Here is your Seven-Bullet Monday
1. A quote I am pondering:
"You're not meant to do what's easy; you're meant to challenge yourself." - Justin Timberlake
If your training routine or work isn't challenging, it might be time to tackle something more complex, like increased weights in the gym, a more challenging opponent on the squash court, or a more challenging project at work. Whether it's muscle, new skills or mental aptitude you are trying to grow, you need increased resistance to make it happen.
2. A question I am asking myself:
What should my BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) be for the summer?
Along the same lines of challenging my status quo, I have been thinking about what would be a suitable out-there goal to go after for the summer. It might be tempting to relax a bit as summer finally comes our way, but I want something to go after, so in the Fall, I can look back on a productive few months.
3. A book I am reading:
How to Prevent the Next Pandemic – Bill Gates
I like how Bill Gates approaches his writing because he considers issues, in this case, global pandemics, from every angle. That provides a very balanced view on the subject. In the case of COVID-19, he outlined many facts I was unaware of, including some unsung heroes of the fight, like those at the forefront of developing the fastest vaccine development in human history.
4. My favourite podcast this week:
99% Invisible - #491: The Missing Middle
The Missing Middle is about the Toronto housing market. It analyses why abundant high-rise apartments and sprawling single home dwellings exist but very few mid-size rental buildings. This disparity is partly due to some archaic laws that prevented mid-size building construction and partly due to the lopsided commercial zoning laws that marginalize these types of development. This podcast was very informative for someone like me who knew so little about zoning changes.
Lessons from Charlie (Part 1)
This week I am starting a series where I take quotes from the great Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet's life-long partner in Berkshire Hathaway) and try and draw out some practical applications.
Here is his quote for this week:
"A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continually searches and waits, with a curious mind that loves diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then, all that is required is to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favourable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past."
What is noticeable about Buffet and Munger's success is that they make very infrequent and huge investments, taking their time to choose carefully and then going big. This approach has resulted in a historical performance that has dwarfed the stock market. Like them, we need to have great patience as we develop our investing theories before acting decisively. The problem with most investors is that they must scratch the activity itch, and if they are not doing some buying or selling, they feel like they are not actual investing. Buying a little here and selling a little there is unlikely to make you material gains, if any. You would be better advised to thoroughly understand markets, businesses, pricing, risks and opportunities, and then move when an opportunity presents itself. That's how you can win big and separate yourself from the hurry-scurry investing herd.
6. My highlight this last week
Visiting Copper Mountain Mine to see their new Trolley-Assist System
I toured the Copper Mountain Mine this week, where they demonstrated their new trolley-assist system, where 240-tonne haul trucks are pulled up a ramp by overhead pantographs supplying hydroelectric power. In short, this means the mine saves over 90% of the cost of diesel for the trucks to climb the ramp under their own power. It also significantly reduces emissions. Although trolley-assist systems have been around for many years, the technology is now evolving, creating broader applications that will benefit more than just hard-rock mining.
7. My challenge to you for this week
Double-down on your daily gratitude
Greg McKeown said, "If you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. If you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack." While we all have our respective difficulties, lacks and sometimes suffering, we have much more for which to be grateful. Doubling down on our gratitude, especially for the many simple things in life, like fresh water, clean air, a comfortable bed to sleep in, or peace in our lives, can help ensure emotional balance and put more smiles on our faces.