Notes and Thoughts

An experiment to spark conversation


Most cargo cult coaches are superstitious

Cargo cult coaches include productivity gurus, lifestyle coaches, self-help gurus, retired VCs, management degree folks etc. Not saying they are wrong or are intentionally misleading, for all I know they themselves could be a victim of this mindset. I am specifically talking about people who ask you to look at what successful people do or what the fancy analytical looking ideas are and copy/paste for a better life.

Some of it might be that these people know that most people are poor at self-reflection and use it to their advantage by showing their quasi research that is almost always superstitious in nature.

Example pieces of advice by this group:

  1. Sharing the (morning) routines of highly successful people without accounting for survivorship bias and asking the herd to copy/paste in their life.
  2. Sharing the book recommendations by the highly successful people and trying to read in between and conveying the apparently profound message that the author might not have intended in the first place.
  3. Wrong, extremely wrong, usage of Power Law/Pareto. Telling people to learn 20% of things to reap 80% benefit without understanding that the 20% is almost always unknowable until you have mastered a good chunk of the field, meaning, only the experts can guide the apprentice into 20% zone and even that is not a very easy thing for an expert to do, for most people who are experts are not categorists who can easily analyse or bifurcate the meta learnings.
  4. Encouraging various productivity techniques that are superstitious in nature, which most of it are. Morning routine and book recommendations are a good example of it.
  5. Appealing to audience by quoting from the irrelevant aspects of what scientists, mathematicians, and other equally respected people say and repackage it as copy-pasteable lifestyle choice, or as a philosophical motto.

Always remember: Comparison based on accomplishment does not have a baselineComparison based on accomplishment does not have a baseline
I would just note that you have an image of some "great X" that you are trying to live up to, when really, there is no frame of reference to standardize a measure for X. Point being you and your circumstances are completely unique[[Warren Buffet talks about the idea of maintaining an inner score card of principles to escape this girardian mimetic rat-race::rmn]]. Also, James Richardon, the poet, says this beautifully in his book "Vectors: Aphorisms and 10 Second Essays":

“He wants to know...