Sure You're Joking, Mr Feynman!

Richard Feynman

Feynman’s stories are simply awesome. His curiosity and focused personality allowed him to pursue a lot of interesting—but arguably useless—experiences that ended up filled with life lessons. He definitely enjoyed his life.

My rating: 5/5 · It was awesome!
3 min · August 14, 2018 · Amazon

My Notes

These notes are not a summary of his stories but the lessons that I was able to extract from his stories. His stories are much, much better. understand Feynman a little bit better then definitely read his book._

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. — Richard Feynman

There is always resistance to innovation, to doing things differently. The people that are before you are the smart ones, the ones that made it to where they are and they are not always open to new ideas.

Understanding groups interests and strengths can help build synergies. This requires both parties to understand how they can benefit from each other’s strengths.

The clueless isn’t wrong just because he’s clueless. They can still come up with good ideas.

Cultural differences are important and must be considered.

Surround yourself with people solving harder and harder problems. Help others solve their problems.

Try new things even if you don’t understand them. Do them for the fun, to see what’s going to happen and where things lead to.

It’s your responsibility to feel comfortable where you are.

People often forget what they know if you take the knowledge out of the context they are used to. Every once in a while try challenging someone on what they already know.

People remember their own ideas, feelings, and conclusions about events. Not the actual events.

Assumptions change.

It’s important to know both the good and the bad. To find out how the rest of the world is. It’s not helpful to always go to the best place possible.

Understand what social cues and habits mean. Don’t expect for everyone to be explicit, direct, nor honest.

Analogies are helpful to explain a subject given another subject but there’s no intrinsic value in the analogies themselves.

Theories are not reality. They are tools to understand reality.

Don’t memorize useless stuff that can be looked up.

Always be tolerant of other ideas even if they are different from what you think or propose.

We don’t think in abstract terms by nature. We’re concrete people. When explaining things make up examples.

If you want to know secrets, ask the questions to make the other person feel proud when giving the answer.

Models to simplify reality are helpful to understand complex things but keep in mind that they are still simplifications.

Bravery is doing something even though you know it’s terrible. Doing things you’re afraid of for the second time.

When discussing ideas, don’t repeat what other people say. Remeber them, consider them, and build better solutions on top of them.

Understanding the problem is essential. That’s what allows people to invent ways of doing things better and better.

Don’t worry about who you’re talking to. Consider only the technical issues. If the idea is bad, say it’s bad. If it’s good, say it’s good.

Always address the root cause otherwise you’re fooling yourself in thinking you’ve fixed the problem. Fix the class of problems, not each instance of the problem.

Have something that you can come back to. Something that you’re good at and doesn’t take you too much effort. Something that you can depend on when other parts of your career gets difficult.

Teaching the basics, even if you know them very well, might be fun and delighful. It doesn’t do any harm to go over them every once in a while. It may even be refreshing.

Learn from everyone who has something to teach you regardless of who they are. You probably know nothing about most things.

Visualization and building up an attitude is important to address situations in a deliberate way.

Making decisions to always do things a certain way frees you up from having to make the decision over and over again. Decide and forget.

What you’ve always wanted might not be good for you. Know yourself. Decline what you’ve always wanted if you know it will be bad for you.

Before arguing about something be sure to understand the other person’s point of view.

If you’ve made up your mind to test something out, then communicate the result regardless of the outcome.

So I have just one wish for you—the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom. — Richard Feynman