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Keeping your door open

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

One of the best purchases I made at the start of my university days was a doorstopper. Whenever I was in my room during waking hours, I’d leave the door propped open and occasionally, when people would walk past on their way down the hallway, they’d pop in for a chat.

Because of this liberal open-door policy, my room became an informal hang-out zone for my friends, and over the next 6 years, was often the default venue for group study sessions.

Many of my happiest memories from university were a result of the serendipitous meetings that happened as a result of the open-door policy. Had I kept my door shut while I was in (as most students tend to do by default), I probably would’ve been a bit more productive in terms of studying, but at the cost of missing these moments that I now look back on with fondness and joy.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I came across in a Farnam Street article this week:

Working with one’s door closed lets you get more work done per year than if you had an open door, but I have observed repeatedly later those with the closed doors, while working just as hard as others, seem to work on slightly the wrong problems, while those who have let their door stay open get less work done but tend to work on the right problems! I cannot prove the cause and effect relationship, I only observed the correlation. I suspect the open mind leads to the open door, and the open door tends to lead to the open mind; they reinforce each other. (Hamming, Richard R.. Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (Page 211))

Have a great week!

Ali

PS: In case you missed it, I just released a video about my favourite iPad apps. If that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat, you might like to check it out 😉


Stuff I enjoyed this week

1 - Article - How to do great things (Farnam Street) - Quite a fun and inspiring read. I particularly liked the bit about being willing to look like an idiot, a piece of advice I always impart whenever I get the chance.

2 - Podcast episode - The Ground Up Show 094 - This episode of the Ground Up Show featured a guy who interviewed loads of famously successful people and wrote a book about it. The whole hour-long episode is great, but if you’re stuck for time, I’d recommend listening to the first 10 minutes where the author tells a great story about the time he met Steve Wozniak (the co-founder of Apple).

3 - Another podcast episode - Tim Ferriss’ interview with Peter Mallouk - I’ve gotten through lots of podcasts this week while doing my daily gym-before-work routine 😁 In this episode of the Tim Ferriss show, he chats to a wealth manager about investing in stocks, real estate, gold, bitcoin and other asset classes. There’s also some very interesting chat towards the end about money and happiness (a favourite topic of mine). If you’re interesting in investing, or have always wanted to learn more about it, you’ll enjoy this episode.

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.