Tag Archives: ideas

Be Preposterous

Forward-thinkers have it all backwards. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

preposterous, a. (prɪˈpɒstərəs) [f. L. præposter, reversed]
1. Having or placing last that which should be first; inverted in position or order.

“Life can only be understood backwards,” wrote Soren Kierkegaard.

Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, advises us to imagine what we want people to say of us at our funerals, and to live accordingly.

It’s called reverse engineering. Start at the end, work your way backward.

Put the cart before the horse. Read the last page first. The answers really are at the back.

“In my end is my beginning” – T.S. Eliot

Here is a great idea from the writer James Altucher: Take a sheet of paper and a pen. In the middle of the sheet, write THAT’S CRAZY. Now work backwards, figuring out all the pathways to THAT’S CRAZY.

James Altucher is crazy, because he doesn’t let THAT’S CRAZY get in his way, ever.

THAT’S CRAZY is where you want to end up in your life. It’s your wildest dreams, your fantasies, the things you tell yourself you can never have, or do, or be.

Why? Because that’s crazy.

So be crazy, and be preposterous.

Simple, not simplistic

We need more simple people. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

The best ideas are simple, never simplistic.

E=mc2 is simple. Einstein had other, earlier formulations, but none had the elegance of energy equals mass times the speed of light, squared.

Even a child can recite his simple formula. Few can comprehend its profundity. Einstein provided insight into the nature and relationships of matter, energy, light, and gravity.

If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. It’s simple. And yet there have been countless fad diets, promoting simplistic ideas like “don’t eat x.”

Simplistic ideas often resemble simple ones. Simple ideas summarize complex insights, while simplistic ideas remove them.

The only way to tell a simple idea from a simplistic one is to conduct a forensic audit, listening to the account an idea gives of itself.

The simple idea can not be superseded. It can explain even the simplistic competitor. The reverse is not the case.

Example: any fad diet that works involves eating less calories than you burn.

No one comes up with a simple idea until they have perceived, studied, and comprehended complexity.

Take something complex that you understand, and find a simple way to represent it: a mathematical formula, a picture, a phrase, a neologism.

Use your representation as a means to provide a fuller account.

Be simple, not simplistic, and serve the world.