Life is Short

Paul Graham nails it. Again.

I love Paul Graham’s essays. This one, from 2016, truly hits home.

Life is short, so it’s worth eliminating the time wasters. For one, defending yourself online.

Your instinct when attacked is to defend yourself. But like a lot of instincts, this one wasn’t designed for the world we now live in. Counterintuitive as it feels, it’s better most of the time not to defend yourself. Otherwise these people are literally taking your life.

But that’s just one of many powerful ideas in this essay. Please take 10 of your precious remaining minutes to read it.

One heuristic for distinguishing stuff that matters is to ask yourself whether you’ll care about it in the future. Fake stuff that matters usually has a sharp peak of seeming to matter. That’s how it tricks you. The area under the curve is small, but its shape jabs into your consciousness like a pin.

As I come to the waning years of my life, I want to make every minute count.

Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That’s what you do when life is short.