I recently renewed my interest in the world of chess. It was my hobby years ago, but over time I shifted my attention to other interests. The World Chess Championship 2013 brought my attention back. The match is especially interesting to me because the challenger (who then became the world champion) is a phenomenon. Magnus Carlsen is only 22 years old but has already become the world’s number 1 (almost continuously) since 2010. Not only that, he has also broken the rating record of Garry Kasparov. I might write another article about Carlsen and how he does what he does, but for now I want to look at another aspect of the match that I find interesting.
If you want to optimize your life, a key thing you must have is the mindset of constant improvement. You need to look at different areas of your life and ask yourself: “How can I be better at this?” You should have the belief that you can be better and the desire to make it happen. Once you have that mindset, you will open a floodgate of ideas. It’s like consciously thinking about red cars and then noticing a lot more red cars than you otherwise would. Similarly, having this mindset will make you notice a lot more ideas for improvement than you otherwise would. Here are some tips to help you cultivate this mindset of constant improvement:
Do you know what it feels like to lose 50% of your net worth? I lost close to that in 2008 when the stock market plummeted. The loss wasn’t realized because I didn’t sell my portfolio, and the market has since bounced back. But it surely didn’t feel good. Now what about losing 99% of your net worth? That might be hard to imagine, but that’s what happened to Eike Batista. Batista was a billionaire who, in early 2012, ranked as the seventh richest person in the world with a net worth of $30 billion. Not only that, but he also openly boasted that he would become the richest person in the world. Now, 18 months later, he has lost 99% of his net worth because of the bankruptcy of his companies.