Rolf Dobelli Quotes
Books by Rolf Dobelli
Best 41 Quotes by Rolf Dobelli – Page 1 of 2
The Art of the Good Life Quotes
“Our school system is largely geared toward the set-up: the emphasis on factual knowledge and certifications makes it seem like life is primarily about getting the best possible grades and giving our careers the best possible jump-start.
Yet the connection between degrees and workplace success is growing ever more tenuous, while the ability to self-correct is growing ever more important — even though it’s hardly taught at school.”
The Art of Thinking Clearly Quotes
“A mathematician is afraid of flying due to the small risk of a terrorist attack. So, on every flight he takes a bomb with him in his hand luggage.
The probability of having a bomb on the plane is very low, he reasons, and the probability of having two bombs on the same plane is virtually zero!”
“A single outstanding skill trumps a thousand mediocre ones. Every hour invested into your circle of competence is worth a thousand spent elsewhere.”
“An unrealized loss isn't as painful as realized one.”
“Assume that your worldview is not borne by the public. More than that: Do not assume that those who think differently are idiots. Before you distrust them, question your own assumptions.”
“Do you have at least one enemy? Good. Invite him or her over for coffee and ask for an honest opinion about your strengths and weaknesses. You will be forever grateful you did.”
“Don’t cling to things. Consider your property something that the universe has bestowed to you temporarily. Keep in mind that it can recoup this, or more, in the blink of an eye.”
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“Every day, shortly before nine o’clock, a man with a red hat stands in a square and begins to wave his cap around wildly. After five minutes he disappears.
One day, a policeman comes up to him and asks:
‘What are you doing?’
- ‘I'm keeping the giraffes away.’
‘But there aren’t any giraffes here.’
- ‘Well, I must be doing a good job, then.’”
“He distributed coffee mugs to half of the students and told them they could either take the mug home or sell it at a price they could specify. The other half of the students who didn’t get a mug were asked how much they would be willing to pay for a mug. In other words, Thaler set up a market for coffee mugs.
One would expect that roughly 50 percent of the students would be willing to trade — to either sell or buy a mug. But the result was much lower than that. Why? Because the average owner would not sell below $5.25, and the average buyer would not pay more than $2.25 for a mug.
We can safely say that we are better at collecting things than at casting them off. Not only does this explain why we fill our homes with junk, but also why lovers of stamps, watches, and pieces of art part with them so seldomly.”
“How do you curb envy? First, stop comparing yourself to others. Second, find your 'circle of competence' and fill it on your own.
Create a niche where you are the best. It doesn’t matter how small your area of mastery is. The main thing is that you are king of the castle.”
“How fortunate we are that books are still ad-free!”
“If someone approaches you in the supermarket, whether to offer you a taste of wine, a chunk of cheese or a handful of olives, my best advice is to refuse their offer – unless you want to end up with a refrigerator full of stuff you don’t even like.”
“If you ever find yourself in a tight, unanimous group, you must speak your mind, even if your team does not like it.”
“If you have nothing to say, say nothing.”
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“If you spend fifteen minutes in a shopping mall, you will pass more people than our ancestors saw during their entire lifetimes.”
“If your hunter-gatherer buddies suddenly bolted, it made sense to follow suit — regardless of whether a saber-toothed tiger or a boar had startled them. If you failed to run away, and it turned out to be a tiger, the price of a first-degree error was death.
On the other hand, if you had just fled from a boar, this lesser mistake would have cost you only a few calories. It paid to be wrong about the same things.
Whoever was wired differently exited the gene pool after the first or second incidence. We are the descendants of those homines sapientes who tend to flee when the crowd does.
But in the modern world, this intuitive behavior is disadvantageous. Today’s world rewards single-minded contemplation and independent action. Anyone who has fallen victim to stock market hype has witnessed that.”
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“For the Stoics, then, our judgments about the world are all that we can control, but also all that we need to control in order to be happy; tranquility results from replacing our irrational judgments with rational ones.”
“In daily life, because triumph is made more visible than failure, you systematically overestimate your chances of succeeding.”
“In psychology, there is a phenomenon called reactance: when we are deprived of an option, we suddenly deem it more attractive. It is a kind of act of defiance.
It is also known as the Romeo and Juliet effect: because the love between the tragic Shakespearean teenagers is forbidden, it knows no bounds.”
“In the third century BC, General Xiang Yu sent his army across the Yangtze River to take on the Qin dynasty. While his troops slept, he ordered all the ships to be set alight.
The next day he told them: “You now have a choice: Either you fight to win or you die.”
By removing the option of retreat, he switched their focus to the only thing that mattered: the battle.”
“It is much more common that we overestimate our knowledge than that we underestimate it.”
“It’s OK to be envious – but only of the person you aspire to become.”
“Mirroring is a standard technique in sales to get exactly this effect. Here, the salesperson tries to copy the gestures, language, and facial expressions of his prospective client.
If the buyer speaks very slowly and quietly, often scratching his head, it makes sense for the seller to speak slowly and quietly, and to scratch his head now and then, too.”
“No matter how much you have already invested, only your assessment of the future costs and benefits counts.”
“Nothing beats books for understanding the world.”
“Professional swimmers don’t have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques. How their bodies are designed is a factor for selection and not the result of their activities.
Similarly, female models advertise cosmetics and thus, many female consumers believe that these products make you beautiful. But it is not the cosmetics that make these women model-like. Quite simply, the models are born attractive and only for this reason are they candidates for cosmetics advertising.
As with the swimmers’ bodies, beauty is a factor for selection and not the result. Whenever we confuse selection factors with results, we fall prey to what Taleb calls the swimmer’s body illusion.”
“Raise expectations for yourself and for the people you love. This increases motivation.”
“Simplicity is the zenith of a long, arduous journey, not the starting point.”
“The best way to shield yourself from nasty surprises is to anticipate them.”
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“The human brain seeks patterns and rules. In fact, it takes it one step further: If it finds no familiar patterns, it simply invents some.”
“The inept are gifted at overlooking the extent of their incompetence. They suffer from illusory superiority, which leads them to make even more thinking errors, thus creating a vicious cycle that erodes the talent pool over time.”
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“To derive the most useful information from multiple sources of evidence, you should always try to make these sources independent of each other.”
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