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Window-openers vs Door-knockers

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

I came across an analogy in a podcast this week that really resonated with me.

It talked about how there are two types of people. Some are window-openers. When making decisions about what to do with their time, they want to be able to look through a window. If they can see the outcome they want through the glass, they open the window and step through.

The problem is that for most good things in life, the pass to success isn't so clear. There isn't an open window with the ideal outcome clearly visible on the other side.

Instead, the best outcomes are often hidden behind doors. We have to knock and open many different doors to see what's behind each one. The second type of people therefore, the door-knockers, are the ones who take these different opportunities. There might not be an immediate, guaranteed short-term return, but they'll go for it anyway and use it as a learning opportunity.

Over time, the door-knockers do lots of things that increase their leverage. They speak at events, they blog, they tweet, they meet people, they learn new skills. Individually, a single one of these might not lead to a 'good' outcome. But overall, the door-knockers increase the surface area for potential positive outcomes.

So, when making decisions about what to do, do you only open windows, or do you knock on doors as well?

Have a great week!

Ali


This week on Not Overthinking

We're a bit delayed on the podcast today. We're recording it later this evening (Sunday night) so if you're subscribed to the podcast, it should appear in your podcast player by tomorrow morning. But in the meantime, here's one of our most popular episodes.

Why do we hate networking events? | Not Overthinking

In this episode, we discuss why we hate networking events but love group holidays, and we try and figure out how to better connect with our fellow human beings.

Stuff I enjoyed this week

1 - Podcast - I really enjoyed the incredibly eye-opening episode of The Knowledge Project (Pleasure is the Measure) featuring sex educator Dr Emily Nagoski. The podcasts I share on this newsletter are often entrepreneurship / productivity themed, but I think this one should be required listening by anyone over the age of 14 anywhere in the world.

2 - Podcast - This interview with Arianna Simpson (The Bitcoin Believer) on the My First Million podcast was very good. There were a handful of great life-insights that I found myself nodding along to like a lunatic.

3 - Video - I normally don't use my phone in bed, but it was a lazy Sunday morning today and I came across this amazing hour-long talk by one of my favourite people Alain de Botton. He really hit the trifecta of educational, entertaining and inspiring all at once.

Kindle Highlight of the Week

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of greener grass through more money, travel, sex, experiences, people, whatever you believe will bring you to that next level of bliss, but in most cases, the grass is greener where you water it. It’s not about trying to find that 99% perfect city, person, project, lifestyle, but about finding ones that are 80-90% of the way there and then investing in them to make them great.

From the article Lessons from One Year of Nomadic Passive Income by Nat Eliason. Resurfaced with Readwise.

This week's video

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Ali Abdaal

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