Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite books of all time Fooled by Randomness written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, where instead of summarizing the findings of entire disciplines, he introduced the idea of core generators in the following manner.
“This brings to mind Rabbi Hillel’s story, when he was asked by someone particularly lazy if Hillel could teach him the Torah while the student was standing on one leg. Rabbi Hillel’s genius is that he did not summarize; instead, he provided the core generator of the idea, the axiomatic framework, which I paraphrase as follows: Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you; the rest is just commentary.
It took me an entire lifetime to find out what my generator is. It is: We favor the visible, the embedded, the personal, the narrated, and the tangible; we scorn the abstract. Everything good (aesthetics, ethics) and wrong (Fooled by Randomness) with us seems to flow from it.”
One day I was thinking about the following question: what could be the core generator of a life defined as well spent in retrospect? Then, I thought of the third step in a previous post, The exact formula to accomplish anything: “Protect your Now.” So the exact core generator is
Do the right thing at this moment.
And that’s it. Time can be divided into planning, administrative and creative tasks. It can balanced between work, health and family objectives. But in essence, whatever you do, do not at any cost deviate from what you are doing.
One simple trick to achieve this mindset is to do nothing if you don’t feel like doing the required activity. That will make sure that when you come back to doing something, you only do the required thing and nothing else.