#027 | Focus level based on Novelty and Mastery

One new actionable knowledge each week to help you take more actions and live more intentionally, all towards happiness in life ❤️

Hey friends,

Welcome to a brand new structure of my weekly newsletter! From now on, each week, I will share one actionable knowledge / question.

Here’s why.

One of my themes in Q3 is FOCUS and I am making it my absolute priority to stay and remind myself to stay laser-focus. Focus is extremely important, especially at the macro-level. And so, I am hoping that, through my small effort of introducing only one single knowledge piece / question each week, I can help you to enforce strong focus, even it’s only for the duration of this newsletter.

This brings me to this weeks’ actionable knowledge around focus.

👾 Focus at the Macro-level — 0 to 1 (Novelty) and 1 to 100 (Mastery)

⭐️ Summary: If you are looking to master something, then your focus level is dependent on the level of mastery you are seeking. If you are looking to achieve novelty in something, then focus level has to be high by default.

If you are like me, you probably love to explore many ideas and projects.

There are times when that’s a good thing. If you don’t know what you like and/or are in the process of self-discovery, then exposing yourself to many ideas and projects is a good way to find out what you truly like.


If you are looking to achieve significant results, you need to have focus.

Focus is hard.

I failed many times at being focus because it’s just so much fun to chase many things at the same time.

However, I realised that there are certain projects where you have to have extreme strong focus if you ever want to achieve significant results.

It’s related to the concept of 0 to 1 (novelty) and 1 to 100 (mastery).

How much focus you need to succeed at your project depends on what you want to achieve in terms of novelty and mastery.

If you want to achieve high novelty in your project, then you will need to have extreme high focus in order to succeed. 0 to 1 only happens once and once someone finds it, it’s gone. PhD is a good example of this. So it’s a startup venture project although startup is more ambiguous.

If you want to achieve mastery in your project, then you will still need to focus to succeed, but no way near the level of which it’s required for novelty. The level of focus you need here is highly dependent on the level of mastery you are aiming for. If you want to be an Olympian, then your mastery level has to be very high, and therefore, your focus level has to match that.


Hypothetically, if you have 10 on-going projects, you can only successfully juggle all 10 projects if you are “only” aiming for mastery in all of them AND that you have allocated enough time to achieve the predetermined mastery levels.

However, even if you have one project where you are striving for novelty, you will not be able to successfully juggle all your projects unless you are willing to fail on that one novelty project.

🔥 Actionable Knowledge

Evaluate all your current projects. And more importantly, be clear on what you want to achieve in each of your project. Is it mastery? or is it novelty? Once you are clear on that, you might need to drop some projects to increase focus level

We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal — Robert Brault

Everywhere is Nowhere

Focus acts like an ax. If you try to cut down a tree by hitting it in thousands of different spots, you’ll never succeed. But when you focus and hit the same spot over and over, you can cut down even the biggest tree. With laser-sharp focus you can achieve almost anything you desire — Thibaut Meurisse

I would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts by replying to this email 😊

Thanks for reading everyone. Have a good week ahead! 🎮

All the best,

Ryan O

Current Stats: 12.5% action rate <— Read 40 books | Taken actions on at least 5 books

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