Rationality is overrated. The short and sweet edition.

3 mins read

20 minutes. 34 seconds. No equations. All me.

Rationality is overrated. Number don’t always add up. We are the choices we make. Also dreams and regrets. Tell me about your dreams and I can tell you how far you and I are going to go with them…

Should you listen to the little voice from your heart? Or ignore it? Do what seems to be, appears to be rational, or take a bet on a different outcome?

If the models we rely on to make such calls are often wrong, does it make sense to toss them out of the window?

Tell me something before we start, what would you choose?

a) A shot possibly worth 100 million dollars

b) 68,786 after taxes What do you think I chose?


This talk was originally put together for the Pro Actuary summit, June 2021. Based on a much longer 3 hour lecture that I reserve for my students on the last day of class, it took some effort to shrink it down to 20 minutes. A big thank you to Amin Ahmed Farid, who setup and ran the camera team across two days of takes and then synced up the audio from three different feeds. His hours of work made it possible for me to get the final cut out. __________________________________________________

Shared dreams make for the strongest bonds of friendship I have known. Let me tell you about my dreams and the lessons I have learnt from dreaming them.

Lessons # 1. Every dream has a price. Some price we can afford to pay, some we can’t.

Lesson # 2. The big money in building models is not in building models. It’s in intuition. It’s in being wrong. We can’t control the bad breaks, but we do design the circuit breakers. Design them well.

Lesson #2 (b) There is only one way to build intuition. Be wrong. Put capital on the line. Learn. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Make mistakes. Blow up. Leave holes in the ground. Find your true pace. The more mistakes you make, the more valuable you become.

Lesson #2 (c) Be stupid. Not suicidal. Trying to learn to fly on the fly on your way down is a really bad idea. Trust me. I am a founder. I have tried it. Multiple times. Not recommended. It doesn’t work.

Lesson #3 What gets measured, improves We maintain logs as runners and power lifters to track limits. Mileage, volume and pace. We track limits so that we can push beyond them. If you don’t know or document your limits, you will never know when to push and when to quit.

Lesson #4 Wealth is not money in the bank. Wealth is flexibility, control, and choice. Wealth is having what money can’t buy.

Lesson #5 Family. When chips are down, when you have been wiped out, when you prefer the dark over light, who is going to hold your hand and nurse you back to life? When you break, who is going to put you together again? Family. Don’t take them for granted.

Lesson #6 As a successful professional you are going to earn an order of magnitude more in the last two decades of your working life, then you will in the first two. But there is an important requirement. You have to survive as a healthy functional professional.

Lesson #6 (b) Your biggest enemy, your biggest roadblock towards that goal is stress. Stress kills. Stress adds baggage. Stress maims us for life. Unhappiness leads to stress. Being happy releases it. Stay happy.

Lesson #7 (a) Give more than you receive. Leave things better than you find them. You don’t have to win every hand, leave some money on the table.

Lesson #7 (b) You don’t need the Island. You don’t need the million dollars. You don’t need to save a million lives. You can start with one. Yup. Just one. Change one life. Make a difference for one soul. Rinse and repeat. You would be surprised how quickly they add up.

Lesson #8 Bonus Sometimes good enough is enough. Sometimes the realization of our dreams isn’t exactly what we expected it to be. Sometimes it isn’t even our dream.

Just incase you were wondering where to catch Dalmia Dreaming the documentary short mentioned in this chat – you can watch it here – https://youtu.be/Iznj35fwhNs Follow and engage Jawwad about this chat or more on Twitter @rebootdude