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My Weekly Learnings #28 (03.10 – 09.10)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Five words we misuse/overuse :
A. Happiness
Most people mistake pleasure for happiness. They think moments of heightened satisfaction mean they’re happy, when really, all it means is they’re satisfied. True happiness is fulfillment – finding things you care about so much you’re willing to sacrifice for them.

B. Love
People mistake affection and validation for love. They assume love is occurring when something is making them feel so good they can’t imagine doing something else. True love is determined by what you feel good about, even when you feel bad.

C. Need
We all overestimate what we need in the world. We need to do good in school. We need to make our friends happy. We need to see the new Netflix show.

We don’t need any of these things. Thousands of people have lived without much of what we believe we need.

D. Best
The idea of “best” is an arbitrary designation based on whatever values we choose to hold. The idea of best is the enemy of growth. There is no such thing as best. There is only “better.”

E. Friend
Stats show there’s a growing sense of loneliness in the world. Perhaps some of this is due to the unreasonably low bar we have for our friendships. A friend is not simply someone who is nice to you. A friend is someone who is willing to sacrifice something for you. [Mark Manson]

2. “I’m just being honest” is a poor excuse for being rude.
Candor is being forthcoming in what you say. Respect is being considerate in how you say it.

Being direct with the content of your feedback doesn’t prevent you from being thoughtful about the best way to deliver it. [Adam Grant]

3.

Source: lizandmollie on Twitter

4. Two men once needed to cross a sea.
One asked: ”Better to row or sail?”

The elder replied: ”Rowing will be quicker at first. But sailing will ultimately be faster and more enjoyable if we can align ourselves with the winds and currents.”

Don’t confuse motion with progress. [David Perell]

5. There is a difference between moving fast and rushing.
You can move fast and be thoughtful. When you rush, you sacrifice thoughtfulness.

Conversely, when you are thoughtful but not moving fast, you are overthinking it. Procrastination in disguise.

Don’t rush, but don’t wait. [James Clear]

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My Weekly Learnings #24 (05.09 – 11.09)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Saying “that’s a good point” doesn’t lose the argument. It wins trust.
Acknowledging a valid observation is a display of respect.

It signals that you’re listening with an open mind, and motivates them to follow suit.

You don’t have to agree on everything to agree on something. [Adam Grant]

2. Excitement comes from the achievement.
Fulfillment comes from the journey that got us there. [Simon Sinek]

3. Pleasure is a false god. It’s the most superficial form of happiness, therefore the easiest to obtain and the quickest to go away. [Mark Manson]

4.

@ lizandmollie

5. Creative have two ways of working : beer mode and coffee mode.

Beer mode is a state of unfocused play where you discover new ideas. It’s filled with intellectual surprises that are impossible to predict. On most days, you feel like you wasted time because you don’t make a breakthrough discovery. But once in a while, beer mode leads to an intellectual breakthrough that you would’ve never discovered in coffee mode.

In contrast, coffee mode is a state of focus where you work towards a specific outcome.

The problem with traditional productivity advice is that it doesn’t take beer mode seriously. Standard tropes like turn off the internet, tune out distractions, and turn towards your goals are all examples of coffee mode thinking.

The see-saw or beer mode and coffee mode is like breathing.

Your best ideas emerge when you balance the inhale of beer mode with the exhale of coffee mode. Beer mode rewards laughter, while coffee mode rewards action
Beer mode rewards conversation, while coffee mode rewards focus.

Our best ideas rarely arise when we’re busy. They spring to Life in aimless contemplation.

In beer mode, you find inspiration. In coffee mode, you harvest it. If you only spend time in coffee mode, you’ll shut yourself off to transformative ideas because the fruits of genius are sown with the seeds of beer mode serendipity. [David Perell]

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My Weekly Learnings #23 (29.08 – 04.09)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Initially, you’re only attracted to songs that move you emotionally. If they’re catchy, you’ll listen to them enough to get stuck in your head. If the song keeps resonating with you, you’ll learn about the artist and explore the lyrics in depth. Talk to an obsessive and in addition to singing the lyrics for you, they’ll tell you the backstory behind the music.

Learning works the same way. [David Perell]

2. Work-life balance isn’t about squeezing everything into one day.
It’s about spreading what matters to you throughout the week.

You can’t have it all at once, but you can probably have most of it over time.

[Adam Grant + lizandmollie]

3. The next time you find yourself worrying about what to do: try to simplify first, not last.

It’s a frameshift that will help you come up with options that are categorically different and usually better. [Wes Kao] (Understand more here – https://www.weskao.com/blog/simplify-first-not-last)

4. A batter who averages 4 hits every 20 at-bats is out of a job.

One who averages 5/20 is mediocre.

6/20, an all-star.

7/20, the league MVP.

There’s probably some area of your life you’re going 4/20 and feel hopeless. But upping your game just a little might change everything. [Tim Urban]

5. Research demonstrates that long-term meditators have been shown to have increased hippocampal volume.

One of the likely reasons for this change is that stress decreases hippocampal volume over time. Cortisol can lead to a shrunken hippocampus, the seat of our learning and memory. As we engage in long-term meditation practices, we’re down regulating our stress and cortisol levels, and this has a protective effect on the size of our hippocampus. [Neurohacker] (Read more here – https://neurohacker.com/the-exact-science-of-what-happens-to-your-brain-when-you-meditate)

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My Weekly Learnings #22 (22.08 – 28.08)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. LeBron James didn’t always have thick calves, a raging six-pack, and arms like the Incredible Hulk. Ask LeBron about his off-season training regime, and he’ll share a detailed run-down of his workout plan and on-the-court practice routine.

Athletes train. Musicians train. Performers train.

But knowledge workers don’t.

Knowledge workers should train like LeBron, and implement strict “learning plans.” To be sure, intellectual life is different from basketball. Success is harder to measure and the metrics for improvement aren’t quite as clear. Even then, there’s a lot to learn from the way top athletes train. They are clear in their objectives and deliberate in their pursuit of improvement.

Knowledge workers should imitate them. But right now, they don’t. Even the most ambitious knowledge workers don’t take their work as seriously as they could. Learning plans are rare. What’s the equivalent of watching game film? Stretching. Or, working out for 90 minutes every day?

Just as LeBron structures his training to win Championships, knowledge workers should train to build skills, generate leverage, and increase their productive abilities. [Learn like an Athlete, a mini essay by David Perrell]

2. Anger is often seen as an irrational emotion. But it’s not due to the absence of logic—it’s due to the presence of threat or harm.

Getting mad is a sign that something important to you is at risk.

Understanding what makes you angry is a prism for understanding what you value. [Adam Grant]

3. Folks with substance, don’t like to give and receive compliments unless truly deserved.

Folks without substance, tend to constantly form mutual admiration club to belong. [Kunal Shah]

4. “Today I escaped from all bothering circumstances – or rather I threw them out.
They were nothing external, but inside me, just my own judgements.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 9.13

5. Ego gets in the way of learning. You can’t learn if you’re not open to being wrong.
Two ways to identify people who learn:
(1) When they’ve made a mistake, they quickly correct it rather than hoping things will get better; and
(2) They change their mind. [Shane Parrish]

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My Weekly Learnings #21 (15.08 – 21.08)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. There are many types of wealth:
– you have a healthy body
– you grew up with loving parents
– in a position to donate and help
– you spend your time as you wish
– the people you love love you back
– freedom from envy, peace of mind
[@ Orange Book on Twitter]

2. One mark of a smart person is the ability to learn from people they don’t like. [Shane Parrish]

3. Resting is not a waste of time. It’s an investment in well-being.

Relaxing is not a sign of laziness. It’s a source of energy.

Breaks are not a distraction. They’re a chance to refocus attention.

Play is not a frivolous activity. It’s a path to connection and creativity.
[Adam Grant]

4. Ironically, the more we imitate others, the more we discover our unique style.

There’s a long lineage of comedians who tried to copy each other, failed, and became great themselves : Johnny Carson tried to copy Jack Benny, but failed and won six Emmy awards. Then, David Letterman tried to copy Johnny Carson, but failed and became one of America’s great television hosts.

Reflecting on his own influences, Conan O’Brien sair: “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”

All these comedians learned that imitation reveals our identity, especially when we fall short of those we admire. To improve your writing, binge-read your favorite writers and imitate their style when you write. Spoiler alert: You won’t be able to do it perfectly. Your voice will reveal itself when you try to imitate them – which is exactly what you want to have happen.

Don’t seek originality. Instead, imitate others so passionately that the glitter of their brilliance shines upon your craft. Imitation the closest you can get to a conversation with the writer. Aim for perfection but pay attention to your shortcomings, for they hold the seeds of your individuality.

Imitate, then innovate. [A mini-essay by David Perrell]

5. Emotions usually only last 90 seconds when you observe them without judgment and gently breath in and out. Many people create and reinforce disempowering emotional loops by getting sucked into thinking about what they are feeling. Then… they feel what they are thinking about and unknowingly create a self-fulfilling disempowering doom loop that gets reinforced and cemented deeper and deeper into the subconscious. [John Assaraf]

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My Weekly Learnings #20 (08.08 – 14.08)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Sociologist, historian, and activist W. E. B. Du Bois with some life advice in a letter to his daughter: “The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin—the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world.

Don’t shrink from new experiences and customs. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bedroom. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not.

Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.”

Source: The Correspondence of W. E. B. Du Bois (via James Clear’s newsletter)

2. There are countless ways to make a point. You can clearly demonstrate that you are angry, smart, concerned, stronger, faster, or more prepared than the person you’re engaging with.

But making a point isn’t the same thing as making a difference.

To make a difference, we need the practical empathy to realize that the other person doesn’t know what you know, doesn’t believe what you believe, and might not want what you want. We have to move from where we are and momentarily understand where they are.

When we make a point, we reject all of this. When we make a point, we establish our power in one way or another, but we probably don’t change very much.

Change comes about when the story the other person tells themselves begins to change. If all you do is make a point, you’ve handed them a story about yourself. When you make a change, you’ve helped them embrace a new story about themselves.

And even though it’s more fun (and feels safe, in some way) to make a point, if we really care, we’ll do the hard work to make a difference instead. [Seth Godin]

3. Time away from something or someone gives us perspective on that something or someone. [Mark Manson] (Check out more here – https://markmanson.net/newsletters/mindfck-monthly-91)

4. Most people disagree on social media in the most undesirable way either because they’ve not learned about superior methods of disagreeing or just wish to outrage to get likes. This chart by Paul Graham is a good way to know if you disagree well. [via Kunal Shah’s Twitter account]

5. Things people aren’t afraid to say when they have psychological safety:

  • I don’t know
  • I made a mistake
  • I disagree
  • I might be wrong
  • I have a concern
  • I have an idea

[via Adam Grant’s Twitter and image from @ lizandmollie on Twitter]

My Weekly Learnings #17 (18.07 – 24.07)

My Weekly Learnings #17 (18.07 – 24.07)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. “It can be easy to think you’re going down the wrong path, that you’re making a huge mistake, that nobody gets it, that you’re the only one. The reason for this is simple: We hear a lot more from the people who disagree with us than the people who agree with us.” [Ryan Holiday]
(Listen to this in-depth here – https://open.spotify.com/episode/6FkCPauGZqUuimk11ipiPI)

2. The physiological sigh is a pattern of breathing that we all engage in in deep sleep. When levels of carbon dioxide in our bloodstream get too high, we, or our dogs, you can see your dog do this, will do a double-inhale, followed by an extended exhale. Children, or adults for that matter, that are sobbing and lose their breath, so to speak, will also do a double-inhale, exhale. That’s the spontaneous execution of what we call the physiological sigh. The reason it works so well to relax us is because it offloads a lot of carbon dioxide all at once, and the way it works is the following: Our lungs are not just two big bags of air. We have all these little millions of sacks of air, that if we were to lay them out flat, they would be as big as about a tennis court or so. The volume of air, therefore, and the volume of carbon dioxide that we can offload is tremendously high, except that we get stressed as carbon dioxide builds up in our bloodstream, and, it’s kind of a double whammy, these little sacks deflate.
Now, when we do a double-inhale, so I’ll do this now twice through my nose, or you could do this. You could do it through your mouth, but it works best through the nose. It’s inhale, and then you sneak a little bit more air in at the very end. When you do that, you reinflate those little sacks, and when you exhale, then you discard all the carbon oxide at once. So the simple way to describe this protocol is that, unless you are underwater, you do a double-inhale, followed by an extended exhale, and you offload the maximum amount of carbon dioxide. And we found in our laboratory, and other laboratories have found, that just one, two, or three of those physiological sighs brings your level of stress down very, very fast. And it’s a tool that you can use any time. [Andrew Hubberman, a Neurobiologist on Optimizing Sleep, Performance, and Testosterone on The Tim Ferriss Show] (Listen to the full episode here – https://open.spotify.com/episode/6Ac19ix9yioyJDXtTtNp2V)

3. Working on a better Mindset over 2021 while neglecting your Heartset sets up a situation of self-sabotage where your intellect knows what you should do yet your emotional world keeps you limited. [Robin Sharma] (Understand this in depth here – https://open.spotify.com/episode/5BwmXSljMOfuNwX0EhrKs2)

4. THE DREAM:
You want something. Month after month, year after year, you dream you are going to get it.

THE REALITY:
Nothing happens. You never come any closer to it…

THE TRUTH:
You didn’t actually want it. You wanted the idea of it. [Mark Manson]

5. When you only listen to the smartest person in the room, you miss out on discovering what the rest of the room is smart about.
Everyone you meet knows something you don’t—and has wisdom from experiences you haven’t lived.

Every conversation is a chance to learn something new. [Adam Grant]

My Weekly Learnings #14 (27.06 – 03.07)

My Weekly Learnings #14 (27.06 – 03.07)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. “If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with.”
Jeff Bezos

2. A fantastic piece by Balaji Srinivasan, on the problem with social media today and the evolution of the space with the help of a decentralized blockchain. (Shared this via Amol Telang)

3. The absence of mental illness doesn’t mean the presence of mental health.
Even if you’re not depressed or burned out, you might be languishing—feeling a sense of emptiness and stagnation. Meh. [Adam Grant] (Read more here – https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html)

4. In absence of future data, we use conventional status signals to indicate trust, be it money, power, good-looks or degrees. Quite weirdly “wasting money” signals massive status. [Kunal Shah]

5. Andre Agassi shares how he started beating Boris Becker regularly after his initial losses. Check it out here – https://youtu.be/3woPuCIk_d8

My Weekly Learnings #13 (20.06 – 26.06)

My Weekly Learnings #13 (20.06 – 26.06)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. If you have to ask if you’re happy, then you’re probably not.
If you have to ask if someone loves you, then they probably don’t.

If you have to ask if you are successful, then you’re probably not.

If you have to ask if you are healthy, then you probably are not. [Mark Manson]

2. Show up and do your job.
Don’t speak for anyone else.
Don’t criticize others.
Put the team first.
Pay attention to the details.
Avoid the drama.
Focus on getting better than yesterday.
Repeat. [Shane Parrish]

3. Jerry Seinfeld’s recipe for good writing

4. If work is guided by utilitarian outcomes, leisure is driven by intuitive awareness. Leisure is not a time to retreat from the world. Rather, it’s a time for poetry, prayer, and philosophy — a chance to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. [David Perell] (https://perell.com/essay/dont-kill-time/)

5. Identity is a work in progress. Your past self shouldn’t constrain your future goals.
Comfort comes from maintaining your identity. Growth comes from evolving your identity. [Adam Grant]

My Weekly Learnings #12 (13.06 – 19.06)

My Weekly Learnings #12 (13.06 – 19.06)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Your mind is a suggestion engine. Every thought you have is a suggestion, not an order.
Sometimes your mind suggests that you are tired, that you should give up, or that you should take an easier path.
But if you pause, you can discover new suggestions. For example, that you will feel good once the work is done or that you have the ability to finish things even when you don’t feel like it.
Your thoughts are not orders. Merely suggestions. You have the power to choose which option to follow. [James Clear]

2. Author Gretchen Rubin on how to rebound from a mistake:
“Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, “I’ll get back on track tomorrow,” try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter.
Fail small, not big.”

3. The right response to feedback is, “thank you.” Or perhaps, “that’s a great point.” Even if it’s not your job to change the system, or not your fault that things didn’t work as expected, both of these responses are valid and useful.

Feedback is a gift. It lets you know precisely what the other person wants or needs. After you receive the gift, it’s up to you to accept it or not. But shutting down feedback with an argument or by appearing ungrateful makes it less likely you’ll be offered it again. And if you’re getting feedback from a customer or a prospect, shutting it down makes it likely that they’ll walk away and take their attention and their trust somewhere else.

When you say, “no problem,” you’re letting yourself off the hook, refusing to acknowledge what was said, and closing the door for a useful interaction. Because there is a problem. Exploring what the problem is is far better than denying it. [Seth Godin]

4. A Netflix binge is a temporary escape from languishing, not a cure.
Passive engagement in a fictional world doesn’t offer a lasting sense of meaning, mastery, or mattering.

Flourishing depends on active participation in the real world: creating, connecting, and contributing. [Adam Grant]

5. People who project a higher status than their actual substance, don’t miss an opportunity to dramatically complain about all minor inconveniences. [Kunal Shah]

My Weekly Learnings #5 (25.04 – 01.05)

My Weekly Learnings #5 (25.04 – 01.05)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. No sense in being a puppet, especially if you can’t be sure who is pulling the strings or why. [Seth Godin]

(Read more here)

2. Writer Alice Walker on the discomfort of growth:

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger than we were before.

Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant.

But what is most unpleasant is not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be… for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”

Source: Living by the Word: Essays

3. If you are going to be jealous of someone, you must be willing to swap your *entire* life for theirs. You can’t cherry-pick the aspect of their life you want.
You must give up *everything* you have and know. [Summarized for context; Naval on The Knowledge Project podcast]

4. Demonstration of success creates trust, which unlocks opportunities for further demonstration of success. The loop goes on, and that’s just the way it is. Hating people and complaining doesn’t do you any favours. [Kunal Shah on Paras Chopra’s Bold Conjectures podcast]

5. Fragmented attention is an enemy of engagement and excellence. [Adam Grant]

My Weekly Learnings #4 (18.04 – 24.04)

My Weekly Learnings #4 (18.04 – 24.04)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Your first impression isn’t your appearance, it’s your energy. (Ascendant Power)

2. Intelligence isn’t a substitute for knowledge. Being smart doesn’t mean you’ve taken the time to be informed.
Knowledge isn’t a substitute for wisdom. Being informed doesn’t mean you’ve developed good judgment.

Good judgment requires the humility to know what you don’t know. (Adam Grant)

3. Only the one who has faced failure is able to tell where you are bound to fail as well. (TVF Aspirants)

4. “Like our stomachs, our minds are hurt more often by overeating than by hunger.” — Petrarch

5. When you deal with an angry person or an angry mob, they are in a state of amygdala hijack.
It’s often not helpful to talk to their prefrontal cortex of their brain and try to rationalize that time but easier to communicate in childlike sentences and calm their amygdala first. (Kunal Shah)