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Today’s topic is a very interesting one. We are going to talk about distraction, why we get distracted, why we jump from reading one click baity headline to another, why we constantly scroll down on our Facebook or LinkedIn feed and how detrimental this behavior is to our careers. We are mostly going to talk about the root cause of this behavior, because that’s what I like doing in my channel. Instead of telling you what not to do, I’d prefer telling you why this is happening so you can solve the problem at the root level. Ok? Hope you enjoy;
We are drawn to information. Any information. It’s innate.
But let me tell you why this is the case. Why it’s innate.
From the time of Lucy, 3.2 million years ago up until the 15th century when printing press was invented, the information was scarce. The information didn’t pass through generations. We had a lot more questions than we had answers.
The further you go back the bigger the question marks get.
Now when things changed with printing press in 15th century, and then the internet now, our brains want to binge on any available information. It’s genetic. It’s written in our codes.
It’s like as if you haven’t eaten food the whole day, and in the evening you are presented with this big beautiful table of every food you love in the world. You have access to infinite amount of food. Anything you want, you can eat. That’s the internet in terms of availability of information.
Now, I am going to give you a weird analogy.
That table where you have access to all the food, now, some of that food have high nutritional value but not necessarily very tasty; like Broccoli, and some are very delicious but have no nutritional value, like desserts.
Now, continuing with the same analogy, your desserts on that table is equivalent to funny cat videos, the click baity headlines, watching Vlogs in YouTube, I call this Candy content.
And your nutritional food, is equivalent to your educational content. I’d like to think my channel is one of them.
Now, this poses a very big problem for you.
The problem is, the information you consume is no longer as valuable as before.
Because the poor thing, the brain doesn’t have a filtering mechanism built into it. It’s sort of like an add-on you develop later in life. You are not born with it.
And if you don’t develop that filter, at least the awareness of candy information, it’s danger to your career or life in general, you will suffer. You will suffer because you are going to take advice from all the wrong people.
That’s where the danger is.
Today, everybody can have a YouTube channel or a website, or publish a book on Amazon and even become a best seller author, and if they know a thing or two about marketing, That doesn’t make them an expert though, does it?
In this era, the successful people are the ones who develop the ability to filter out the bad or candy information and only consider the nutritional information under the right context and relevancy. I want to talk about this context and relevancy a bit more.
Let me give you an example.
up until 20 years ago, there was almost no way that one person can take a look at the investment portfolio of the richest investors in the world. Right? I mean could you really walk up to Warren Buffett and say; hey can you please share with me your entire investment portfolio?
Now, things are different. You can pretty much take a look at the investment portfolio of any company, hedge funds, mutual funds, you name it.
But is that a good thing? Is it good for your investments?
Here’s what happened a few weeks ago, someone I know came to me for an investment advice last week. He was asking me, hey Deniz I saved up around 10,000 dollars, and here’s my plan, what do you think? He says to me, I am going to invest my 10,000 dollars like this; 5% in gold, 5% in silver, 5% in government bonds, 5% in real estate funds, 5% in private bonds, 5% bla bla index funds, and so on. Then, he tells me that this is the exact strategy Kevin O’Leary follows.
Now, this guy is around his early 30s, around 6 years younger than I am, and his entire savings is 10,000. He doesn’t need the money and he has a relatively stable job.
So, here’s what I said to him. Kevin O’Leary’s risk threshold is not the same as yours. You lose 50% of your money, you lose 5,000 dollars, not a lot of money and it’s the kind of money that you can replace within a couple of months. But Kevin O’Leary loses 50% his money, he loses 2 billion dollars. Do you see that as same situation? It’s not. There is a major difference in terms of risk threshold here.
Be careful where you are getting your advice from, once you know that it’s a credible source.