Sunday Reads #128: What I learnt from Shaan Puri's $1000 course.

(you get it for free 👇)

Welcome to the latest edition of Sunday Reads, where we look for cheat codes to life, business, and careers (sometimes we even find them!).

If you’re new here, don’t forget to check out some of my best articles: The best of Jitha.me. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

And here’s the last edition of my newsletter, in case you missed it: Sunday Reads #127: Exhaust fumes and infinite games - how startups are valued..

This week, let’s talk about growth. Not growth of a business or startup, but your growth.

Let’s talk about the secret to relentless personal growth (and it’s surprisingly simple).

And some link love, of course.

PS. Do subscribe if you haven’t 😊.


1. The Golden Nugget Rule. Or, How to never stagnate again.

A couple of weeks ago, I did Shaan Puri's Power Writing course.

Remains to be seen how much I learned about Power Writing 😁, but my most valuable learning had nothing to do with writing.

My biggest takeaway was the Golden Nugget Rule.

What is the Golden Nugget Rule? Oh, it's only the secret to relentless personal growth.

Break through every wall. Escape every dip. Surpass every plateau.

It's how to never stagnate again.

First, a quick backstory...

Have you ever felt like you're just going through the motions?

Weeks are flying past you, and it's hard enough just keeping up with the constant firefighting?

You look back at your day, and it seems all you've done is a bunch of emails?

You're working hard, but your heart isn't in it?

Well, it's possible I'm projecting.

Because you see, I've been a little jaded these last few months.

This surprised me. I'm the guy who's always excited to wake up every morning, looking forward to the day ahead. Till one day suddenly, not so much...

Yup, it was the dreaded "plateau of stagnation" all right.

  • Not learning much at work.

  • Not enjoying writing the newsletter as much (I missed a few weeks - I'm sure you've noticed).

  • Health-wise too; fat loss hit a pause.

Now, as regular readers of this newsletter know, this isn't me at all!

I take pride in being a lifelong learner. Always curious. Always trying new things. Always giving 110%.

What's wrong, and how do I fix this? How do I break out of this funk!

Enter the Golden Nugget Rule.

It was in this predicament, in the first session of Shaan's course (in the first 10 min), that I first heard of this rule.

It's very simple:

In whatever you do, look for one golden nugget.

No earth-shattering sudden insight. No answer to life, the universe, and everything.

No, all you need is one, teeny-tiny (but golden) nugget.

No matter what you're doing:

  • boring meeting

  • blah day

  • blog post you're reading to avoid working

FIND. THE. GOLDEN. NUGGET.

Simple hack. Why would it work at all?

Three powerful reasons:

#1: It harnesses your power of noticing.

You know how, when you're looking to buy a car, you start noticing Mercs everywhere?

Or when you learn a new word, all of a sudden everyone around you is using it?

In the same way, priming yourself to look for those nuggets will help you uncover more of them.

#2: It's a powerful re-frame.

There's a saying among the stoics, "The Obstacle is the Way".

In the same manner, you're now re-framing the boring task in front of you as a learning opportunity.

You start leaning in to even the most mundane tasks. Because the harder it is to find a kernel of insight, the greater the dopamine hit when you find it.

It's not busywork, it's a Treasure Hunt!

And you know you like to win.

#3: It becomes a forcing function.

When you tell yourself, "I will find one golden nugget in this meeting-from-hell, no matter what!", you know what happens?

You find the golden nugget.

And if you've publicly committed to it (like I have - check my twitter profile), then you have a choice:

(a) find a golden nugget, no matter how small; or

(b) fail in public.

Guess which one you pick?

Why am I so excited about this?

Because this shit compounds!

Self-help gurus and talking heads always speak about "growing 1% everyday".

It never meant anything to me.

But this is an actionable way to actually do that - learn a little everyday, grow a little everyday.

Harness the power of compounding. Slowly, and then suddenly, you're an entirely different person!

It's early days for me (just a week since I did this re-frame), but it's already getting some results:

  • I'm looking forward to Mondays 🤯

  • Pumped up about writing every day

  • Some nights my head is swirling with ideas, and I have trouble sleeping (OK this last may not be so great)

Join me!

I know this sounds corny, but give it a try.

In whatever you do, always look for one golden nugget. Just one.

Bonus points if you post it on Twitter. I'm posting one every day (see @jithamithra); I’d love if you post yours and tag me.

Let's grow together.

Gradatim ferociter. Step by step, ferociously.


2. Stuff that blew my mind 🤯

OpenAI's Codex Live Demo is the most astonishing thing I saw this week.

To quote Tyler Cowen:

"I don’t think I would have been more amazed had I witnessed the first flight of the Wright Brothers."

Notable timestamps:

  • 00:08:04: Creates a web page and serves it from a Python server on the fly.

  • 00:17:56: Creates a program to manipulate images on the screen.

  • 00:23:00: Creates a game in 5 min (!)

If you're a programmer, be afraid. Be very afraid.

I jest, of course. Programmers aren't the only ones who should be afraid. AI will take ALL our jobs.

Looks like design is going too...


3. They said "sex sells"...

Well then, let them eat bread.

I saw this a week ago, still laughing out loud.


That's it for this week! Hope you liked today’s edition. Drop me a line (just hit reply or leave a comment through the button below) and let me know what you think.

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PS. No Sunday Reads next week (taking a few days off), but will be back to weekly after that.

Until next time, wish you good health, safety, and sanity.

Jitha