This book contains the most useful things you need to know to live your best life.
What do I mean?
I’ve observed that successful people think differently. It’s like their brains are running better software. It’s like they have a life operating system that turns dreams into reality.
I have two kids and I love them very much. To write this book, I imagined it was their only inheritance. What were the most useful things I could share?
The quality of your mind is the quality of your life.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics
I am a medical doctor and entrepreneur. From experience, I know that lots of business advice sounds good but doesn’t work. Similarly, lots of scientific experts are wrong.
For example, doctors used to believe stress, spicy foods, and acid caused stomach ulcers. But in 1982, Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall discovered ulcers were actually caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Instead of expensive pills and medical procedures, patients could be cured quickly and cheaply with antibiotics.
Doctors and drug companies attacked Warren and Marshall. In desperation, Marshall infected himself with H. pylori and showed it caused ulcers. It took years, but Warren and Marshall were finally vindicated—they won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005.
Overall, Stanford professor John Ioannidis has found that most published research findings are false due to bias and statistical cherry-picking. The media is even worse. Almost 50% of stories are later disproven, but journalists rarely write a follow-up.
So much of what we hear and what weʹre taught turns out to be false on closer scrutiny. Whether it is expert advice, what you read in the paper, or what your mother told you, if it is important, take the time to figure out for yourself whether it is really true.
Panning for gold
For this book, I read thousands of books and research studies to find the most useful knowledge supported by strong evidence. When possible, I tested it in my own life.
The result is 3 sections:
There are detailed scientific references at the back.
What do you have to lose? Three hours of your time.
What do you have to gain? The rest of your life.
I was never a prisoner of any theory. What guided me were reason and reality. The acid test I applied to every theory or scheme was: Would it work?
-Lee Kuan Yew
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
Pfeffer J, Sutton RI. (2006). Hard facts, dangerous half-truths & total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Harvard Business School Press.
Altman LK. (2005, October 11). Nobel came after years of battling the system. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/11/health/nobel-came-after-years-of-battling-the-system.html
Ioannidis JPA. (2005). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Med. 2(8): e124.
Dumas-Mallet E et al. (2017). Poor replication validity of biomedical association studies reported by newspapers. PLoS One. 12(2): e0172650.
1,561 newspaper articles covered 156 studies and subsequent meta-analyses confirmed only 48.7%
For psychiatric research, 234 newspaper articles covered 35 initial studies that were later disconfirmed, but only 4 articles covered the refutation
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