The “Ah Ha” moment, the “Unlock”, and the “Secret Sauce” won’t be found in soundbytes.

It will be found in choosing a gold mine that you spend time digging in every day. Every day that you dig, you’ll carry out a little gold – though most days, you’ll think it’s only dirt.

There are a few surefire ways to GET gold

  • Dig in the mine every day
  • Dig DEEPLY in a few mines
  • Believe you represent the rule

and a few surefire ways to NOT GET gold

  • Own a goldmine, don’t dig in it
  • Take tours of many mines without digging deeply in any
  • Believe you are the exception to the rule

Do dig in the mine every day

The hack for losing weight is Eating less than Burn.

The hack for financial freedom is Spending less than Burn.

The thing about both hacks is that they require you to recommit Every. Single. Day. Today you eat/spend less than you burn, and tomorrow you do the same.

The actual hack is committing to wanting something and then showing up in the most boring way with consistency. The way to “dig in the mine” with ideas is to ruminate on the idea, investigate it, consider it in the context of other topics, and bump it against the knowledge you already have.

Again. And again. And again.

DO NOT Own a goldmine and not dig in it

Getting the real gold out of the mine requires time invested with a pick and shovel, again and again, just like athletes show up to build muscle memory through repetition.

An unplanted seed will never become a tree, an uninvested dollar will never reap interest, an undug mine will never produce gold.

Spending time digging in the mine is the only way to get gold out of the mine.

DO Dig DEEPLY in a FEW mines

Commit to something long enough to build real muscle memory in it.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee 

Seconds are alarmingly competent across a huge variety of things, because we are typically drawn to “the plan”. We understand what needs to happen, and our brains naturally line up all the dominoes that come before that end result.

You’ve practiced the planning and domino line thing like a hundred million times. You’ve done it so many times you’ve forgotten that it’s a skill.

You’ve dug in this mine every day for your entire life.

Pick a few other mines and dig, dig, dig.

DO NOT tour many mines, not digging deeply

It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. – William Deresiewicz

Learning about mines does not get you gold. 

Getting a tour of a mine does not get you gold. 

Book summaries, TikToks, Shorts, LinkedIn posts, AI summaries out the… these are tours of a mine, not digging.

They’re practicing one kick, one time. Maybe they help you understand what the mine will be like so you can decide whether to dig in it, maybe.

Seconds love knowing things. Whether that’s driven by some curiosity (the love of knowing and just being interested in things) or by some fear (the need to be competent, to show up prepared) or some combination of the two… 

That often looks like absorbing NEW information across a huge spectrum of topics all the time, which can easily lead to us wanting summaries, bullet points, and 2x speed audio/video, which are easier than ever with LLMs always wanting to summarize things. (even though they naturally write like Terry Goodkind.)

What starts as part of our special powers becomes something that drags us down into soundbytes.

Stop learning things sometimes.

You know when you’re reading and you go glaze-eyed for 20 pages straight while your brain drifts around creating neural connections?

You think that’s dirt. 

Plot Twist: That’s actually the gold.

DO Believe you represent the rule

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus (or some Navy Seal, maybe)

Digging in only a few mines (in this case, sitting on only a few ideas for a long time) has allowed me to combine MANY disparate concepts into HABITS, and those have created actual change for me. I have built muscle memory and pathways in my brain. 

I have practiced this kick many times. I am trained to respond.

If I assume I’m “around the average” and spend time digging in a few mines, I will build-up muscle memory and training in those things. I’ll be prepared to take opportunities when they come, I’ll be able to hunt for opportunities with my skills.

All of this consistent mining has additional benefits – when something new DOES come along, I’m fit to recognize it and make connections in my mind and body about what’s going on. I find it easier to spot whether the “hack” is going to be good or bad, whether it’s worth actually understanding and practicing or not.

You cannot make those connections unless you spend time digging in the mine.

And if you find out you’re exceptional, that means you win twice.

DO NOT Believe you are the exception

There are going to be people around you that seem to have all the hacks, overnight success, win the lottery, are the top 1%, whatever.

By definition, it’s 99% likely you’re not that person.

“I’d rather be lucky than good” sounds great to say, and betting on it is stupid.

If you’re not lucky, now you’re nothing, and you’ve lost twice.

If you are lucky, you would have been lucky anyway – might as well be lucky AND good.

Finding a Job as a Second

At any point, you may find yourself in need of new work. If you do, here are some tactical resources to get you accelerated in doing that.