Your Operating System Matters More Than Your Apps

Imagine a day at school or college. You are loaded up on history, biology, politics, literature . . . the list goes on. These are apps, programs that your brain can use to do certain things. The problem is that we don’t need many of these apps! What we need is a mindset for success, what we need is a hunger for learning. We need to change our operating system.

In the future, the one skill that will be necessary is the ability to adapt. In their book The Future is Faster Than You Think, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler say that the next 100 years will bring as much innovation as the past 10,000 years. That is from the start of farming to the internet age. Big things are coming. Flying cars. Autonomous vehicles. Computers smarter than the entire human species put together. When will this change be happening, you may ask? In the next 30 years or less, the authors say. Train your apps, and you are screwed. Who knows when that app will be replaced by a robot? But if you can change your operating system, you can adapt to the exponential growth coming ahead. A good operating system allows for success in all domains. Great operating systems create their own luck.

How do you go about revamping your operating system? I certainly cannot say what it best for you, but there are some commonalities of successful people.

  1. Read books. Seriously. School has destroyed the love of reading in so many, showcased by the phrase “Will this be on the test?” Reading is all about what you want, what you need. Do not listen to anyone else when you start reading for mental growth or for fun (they are the same for me). Just read whatever you enjoy, and you will progress. Make sure to block out time for reading, however. Swapping between your phone and your book every 5 minutes won’t amount to much. Reading will hone your concentration and introduce you to the best mentors you’ll ever meet. Tim Ferriss has said that one common trait among all top performers is that they read. Don’t read what you’re supposed to. Read what you want. Follow your intellectual curiosity and you will instill an independent mindset that will set you on the path to success.
  2. Meditate. Meditation, for me, is like running my system in de-bug mode. All the negative thoughts and emotions inside me come out, and I deal with them. You see, the more of these you have stuck inside of you, the more you are weighed down. Just like you don’t want to have a heavy body, you don’t want to have a heavy mind. You want peace. When the mind is free of negative thoughts, you gain a focus that is unrivaled. You choose where to direction your attention, instead of your subconscious mind choosing for you. Of course this is extremely hard to achieve. But the point is that meditation allows you to focus more on the present moment, to focus more on what you want to do. Without it, the mind is constantly pulled back into the past, trying to resolve things when it never has time. It is hard, though. It always has been. In 1670, Blaise Pascal said that “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” If that is too hard for you, try walking without any other stimulation. Walking is a favorite of many great thinkers. My favorite meditation guide is this book, which explains meditation in a “scientific” way that anyone can understand. I recommend you check it out.

It has always been crucial to have a good operating system, but it is even more important today. The rapid changes ahead require a stable foundation (your operating system). Do you think Elon Musk was able to create SpaceX (space exploration), Tesla (electric vehicles), Neuralink (brain-computer connections), and SolarCity (solar power) all because of his degrees in Physics and Economics? No! Elon had the right operating system, the right vision. And he set out to make that vision a reality. Peter Diamandis, creator of 22 companies (!!!), has said that he learned more at the 6 day Date With Destiny camp by Tony Robbins than he did during his 4 years at MIT. Why? It transformed his operating system. MIT gave him specific apps, but Date With Destiny changed his entire outlook on life.

Remember this: learning apps can always be done with the right operating system. A desire to learn is the only tool you need to succeed in today’s democratized world. You can attend MIT for free. You can learn how to code better than 90% of programmers. The future will be about skills, not about signaling. But to get those those, you must brew up the desire in you. You must cultivate a love for learning. You must change your operating system. Once you change your operating system, you can change the world.


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