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Sunday Morning Homily: Stupid is not the Opposite of Smart.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | January 6, 2019

No. 1,602

Every Sunday morning I read an email newsletter from Farnam Street by Shane Parrish, which is bubbling with intriguing observations about life, the human mind and things you would usually  never think about.  I recommend it.   You  can find it at newsletter@farnamstreetblog.com

Today Shane has been having a multi-part conversation with Adam Robinson, an investment guru, the latest installment being about how not to be stupid.

Stupidity, as Robinson sees it, has nothing to do with your IQ. It is the the failure to take note of (and act upon) something obvious.  Like leaving something extremely valuable behind in an Uber.  Yo Yo Ma, who is probably a genius, left a cello worth millions in the trunk of one.

While intelligence is very difficult to modify, we can avoid stupidity by being thoughtful.  Take time to be aware of what is going on around you. When you think about needing to take something with you — like important papers, do something about it at the time you think about it.  Pack your briefcase the night before and put it in front of the door. Get gas when you notice that the gage is on empty, not when you are rushing someplace because you are late.

Robinson says to beware of rushing.  Take the time (even when late) to assess the situation. The time you lose is not worth leaving behind an unreplaceable  object that you need.

Robinson says to beware of information overload. That means not practicing multitasking. If you need to do multiple tasks, make yourself a note and then do the most important one first.

All this seems pretty basic, but we all fall victim to our own stupidity.  So be aware of your surroundings. Keep your objectives in mind.  Do what’s necessary as soon as you can.  Do one thing at a time. And don’t be stupid.




CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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