The 3 Nuggets of Unconventional Wisdom

Yong Yang
3 min readNov 8, 2023


It is time to challenge the conventional wisdom you have received.

Photo by Elisa Calvet B. on Unsplash

Have you heard of the conventional wisdom you should go after the hot thing?

It assumes that what is hot NOW is the FUTURE.

This betrays our diligence and laziness.

Diligence because we are intensely focused on what we are currently doing; laziness because we do not bother about what is happening in the world and think of, if not anticipate, the possible futures.

We are so diligent that we choose to be lazy and ignorant of what is out there.

1 — Be lazy and diligent at the same time

Yes, it is all right to be lazy sometimes at things you focus on.

So you can divert some energy to discover new opportunities or weak signals, which are the little things that tell you something about the future.

Identifying weak signals cannot be trained as it can only be acquired through practice.

While it is important to be an expert in something, it is equally crucial to read widely.

Multidisciplinarity will not fail you.

2 — What is hot today may not be hot tomorrow; what is at the periphery today will be at the centre tomorrow

Everything has a life cycle.

If you think you are lucky enough to learn about an opportunity, do not be overexcited because others may have already seized it.

Stay calm and assess the landscape.

Remember to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are you qualified to seize the opportunity?
  2. If you are not, will the opportunity still be around when you are qualified to seize it?
  3. If it will, is the opportunity an ascending or declining one?

Very often, it is a declining one. But fret not, read on and you will know how to prepare yourself for the future.

Do not ignore what people too often ignore, do not care about what people too often care about.

Opportunities are always waiting for us to uncover them. It might be the one right under your nose. Be observant of the little things around you.

“Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.”

~ Charlie Munger

3 — Be a problem solver and always go after the bigger problems

Chasing after what others are chasing would make it a competitive rat race you may never win.

Even if you do, your win would be short-lived because there are many more rat races waiting for you.

Solving problems that unsettle people would make you more valuable than many others who do not. And remember to start with the smaller problems and incrementally solve bigger problems.

Some think that it would always be best to avoid problems. But what they do not realise is that when you avoid problems, which are opportunities, they avoid you in return.

Start identifying a problem and solve it now.

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I write about personal development, life and philosophy — to help you reach your full potential.