Writer, entrepreneur, musician, programmer, and student, Derek Sivers. I first heard Derek speak on the Tim Ferris podcast, and thought, “This guy sounds very interesting.” I had never heard of Derek Sivers before, but he is definitely someone worth knowing!!
I continued listening to Derek speak, and I took a few screenshots of his name on the podcast so that I would remember him and be able to look him up on google later. As I looked up Derek on google I saw a picture of him that seemed appropriate to his voice as I heard him through podcast.
Derek has made millions of dollars and has given away millions of dollars. He lives a life worth living. His writings focus on the usable psychology of self-improvement, business and philosophy to name a few.
Out of the numerous amounts of writings Derek has completed I could write about them all, but I am choosing to discuss his notes on “How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want.” This book and Derek’s notes remind me of the person Derek is, an open-minded, understanding, genuine illusion-breaking person. One of these illusions is that we know our own minds more deeply than we actually do. This can make your mind appear superior to the minds of others. Most people will live believing their mind is superior to others, but Derek breaks through this illusion.
I was electrified when I received an email back from Derek this past week, but after reading his works it makes sense. Mr. Sivers is a giver, he likes to connect with his fans and does the public a service by answering emails from mostly anyone. So if you have a question for the down-to-earth millionaire, email him at email@example.com. I very much appreciate what you do Derek, and thank you for your humble lifestyle.
Here are some useful quotes from Derek’s notes:
“Your brain’s greatest skill is its ability to think about the minds of others in order to understand them better.”
“You are consciously aware of your brain’s finished products-conscious attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and feelings-but are unaware of the processes your brain went through to construct those final products, and you are therefore unable to recognize its mistakes.”
“Naive realism: the intuitive sense that we see the world out there as it actually is, rather than as it appears from our perspective.” (In other words, a person thinks other people are wrong for their views because their own views are “right”)
“Universal tendency to assume that other’s minds are less sophisticated and more superficial than one’s own.”
“Treat workers with respect, encourage them to think independently, allow them to make decisions, and make them feel connected to an important effort.”
“The social spotlight does not shine on us nearly as brightly as we think.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
“Engage the minds of others more routinely instead of treating nearby neighbors as mindless objects.”
“The expert’s problem is assuming that what’s so clear in his or her own mind is more obvious to others.”
“Politicians talk about what ‘the people’ want: the speaker’s own beliefs.”
“You define yourself by the attributes that make you different.”
“Nearly everything you know is secondhand: things you know only because someone told you.”
“You can’t judge another person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. You hear it so often because the advice is so routinely ignored-by the rich who judge the poor as lazy and incompetent, the sober who judge the addicted to be weak and immoral, and the happy who can’t understand why the depressed don’t just ‘snap out of it.'”