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My Weekly Learnings #55 (10.04.22 – 16.04.22)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind. Too much sugar leads to a heavy body. Similarly… too many distractions lead to a heavy mind.

Time spent alone and undistracted, in self-examination and meditation resolves the unresolved.

It takes us from being mentally fat to fit. [Naval Ravikant]

2. The Hawthorne effect occurs when people behave differently because they know they are being watched.

It can affect all sorts of behaviours such as dietary habits, or hygiene practices because these have considerable opportunities for instantaneous modification. It can also affect study results, e.g. a survey of smoking by watching people during work breaks might lead to observing much lower smoking rates than is genuinely representative of the population under study. It can also contaminate an intervention study if one of the control groups changes its behaviour because it is being observed more frequently than the other.

The Hawthorne effect can also lead to the observation being the intervention. For example, recommending individuals who want to lose weight should keep a diary of what they eat and drink. [Catalog of Bias]

3. Reducing your smartphone use is better for your well-being than stopping cold turkey.

Experiment: 4 months after decreasing smartphone use by 1 hr/day, people were happier, less depressed & anxious, and led healthier lifestyles.

Digital moderation beats digital abstinence. [Adam Grant]

4. Many good opportunities are ruined for the dream of slightly better ones.

Would you have a more successful career if you had taken that other job or moved cities? Possibly. But your actual career will definitely suffer if you don’t commit to doing it to the best of your ability.

Would you be 10% happier in a different relationship? Maybe. Maybe not. But you’ll definitely be unhappy in the one you have if you spend all day thinking about what else is out there.

The surefire way to end up worse off is to agonize over unchosen options and fail to make the most of the one you selected. Every minute spent yearning for your unlived lives is a moment you can’t invest in the one you actually have.

Choices matter, but so does your level of commitment. [James Clear]

5. Author Cheryl Strayed on the trap of self-pity:

“Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things befall you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.”

Source: Tiny Beautiful Things

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My Weekly Learnings #54 (03.04.22 – 09.04.22)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Look around your environment.

Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it.

Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back. [James Clear]

2. Writer Jenée Desmond-Harris on how to divide your to-do list:

“I started dividing my to-do list into 1) things I have to do, 2) things I want to do, and 3) things other people want me to do. Life-changing! I often don’t get to #3 and I finally realized… this is what it means to have boundaries.”

3. People can subconsciously become their favourite fictional characters. Psychologists have discovered that while reading a book or story, people are prone to subconsciously adopt their behaviour, thoughts, beliefs, and internal responses to that of fictional characters as if they were their own. [8fact]

4. The person who makes you smarter isn’t always the smartest one in the room. Often it’s the most curious one in the room.

“Why do we do that?” leads you to question old assumptions. “What if?” opens your eyes to new possibilities.

Inquisitive people are catalysts for learning. [Adam Grant]

5. Depth of understanding:

– I have been told
– I have been shown
– I have done
– I have demonstrated
– I have taught someone else

The thresholds you cross are:

– Awareness
– Knowledge
– Understanding
– Skill
– Mastery [Shane Parrish]

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My Weekly Learnings #47 (13.02.22 – 19.02.22)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. It’s easy to accept the limits that are implied when someone asks us for advice and feedback.

Fix the typos, sure. That’s important. But perhaps you have something bigger to add.

A friend shares plans to launch a new retail website. It’s tempting to fix the small errors on the page, but perhaps it’s more useful to discuss the product line, the pricing or whether or not it should be online at all…

The author shares a draft of a new work. You could help with the grammar, but maybe it would help more if you talked about the parts that weren’t included.

The agency shows three versions of a new design they’re considering. Multiple choice might be on offer, but ‘none of the above’ might be a more generous answer.

I’m pretty confident that when the Titanic went down, the deck chairs were clean and well-ordered. It’s a shame no one talked about the icebergs. [#SethGodin]

2. Singer and songwriter, Aretha Franklin, on seeing people as more than just their worst moment:

“You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can’t just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn’t come off the way you thought it should come off.”

Source: Aretha: Star’s Legacy Lives, Detroit Free Press (February 18, 2012)

3. Too many people spend their lives being dutiful descendants instead of good ancestors.

The responsibility of each generation is not to please their predecessors. It’s to improve things for their offspring.

It’s more important to make your children proud than your parents proud. [#AdamGrant]

4. No one “builds a house.” They lay one brick again and again and again and the end result is a house. A remarkable, glorious achievement is just what a long series of unremarkable, unglorious tasks looks like from far away.

Procrastinators are bad at remembering this. [#TimUrban]

5. Humans are imitation machines. We mostly learn what to do by copying those around us.

In general, we imitate the habits of three groups:

1. The close – what are friends and family doing?
2. The many – what is the crowd doing?
3. The powerful – what are those with status doing? [#JamesClear]

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My Weekly Learnings #46 (06.02.22 – 12.02.22)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Environment design is powerful not only because it influences how we engage with the world but also because we rarely do it. Most people live in a world others have created for them. But you can alter the spaces where you live and work to increase your exposure to positive cues and reduce your exposure to negative ones. Environment design allows you to take back control and become the architect of your life. Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it. [James Clear]

2. “We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind – for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.” – Marcus Aurelius, Mediations, 6.52

Here’s a funny exercise: think about all the upsetting things you don’t know about – stuff people might have said about you behind your back, mistakes you might have made that never came to your attention, things you dropped or lost without even realizing it. What’s your reaction? You don’t have one because you don’t know about it.

In other words, it is possible to hold no opinion about a negative thing. You just need to cultivate that power instead of wielding it accidentally. Especially when having an opinion is likely to make us aggravated. Practice the ability of having absolutely no thoughts about something – act as if you had no idea it ever occurred. Or that you’ve never heard of it before. Let it become irrelevant to nonexistent to you. It’ll be a lot less powerful this way. [The Daily Stoic]

3. Research shows that mild dehydration corresponding to 1-2% of body weight can negatively affect alertness, concentration, short-term memory, and physical performance. Your brain is 73% water. Before sipping coffee in the morning, grab a large glass of H2O to help your brain go! [BrainChat]

4. Criticizing is fast and easy. Creating is slow and difficult.

The two hours you spent on a book or movie usually took two years to produce.

Anyone can tear down someone else’s work. The true test of insight is whether you can help them improve it or build something of your own. [Adam Grant]

5. I’ve been asking myself: “What opportunities can’t I see because they’re not prestigious enough?”

The very best opportunities are rarely prestigious when there’s big money to be made with them. In my experience, the lust for prestige is the strongest amongst high-status people. When looking for jobs, the children from high-status families tend to value prestige the most. In another world, these people would take bets on exciting, but non-prestigious projects with big upside.

My friend Justin Murphy writes: “You don’t really outperform your peers with quality per se, you outperform your peers by finding underpriced quality that others don’t judge to be valuable.”

Everybody wants to be of high status. But despite the financial rewards, few people are willing to work on low-status projects, even if they have the potential to become high-status. Most of the people who are jumping into Bitcoin now weren’t willing to commit a few years ago, back when people
scoffed at the idea of digital money.

Only after reading Rene Girard did I realize the dangers of chasing too much prestige. The worst rivalries, he said, come when people aren’t competing for a physical object. Duels and comment thread wars come to mind. To that end, it’s no coincidence that the Latin word for prestige is praestigiae, which signifies an illusion or mirage.

The world is filled with under-priced opportunities that are only available to people who are comfortable with promising, but low-status projects.

Beware of chasing prestige. [David Perell]

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My Weekly Learnings #42 (09.01.22 – 15.01.22)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Long hours spent staring at screens underworks panoramic vision, predisposing us towards flight-or-fight sympathetic nervous system activity.

This is another reason that prolonged screen time can leave us feeling fatigued; the nervous system has been using a lot of resources to keep us alert, which can leave us feeling wired and tired and the eyes feeling exhausted. ⠀

The eyes are doing a lot of work when we engage in prolonged screen time behaviors. We aren’t aware of this work, but it is still physically (and mentally) fatiguing. This work involves blink and near triad reflexes and everything needed for high visual acuity foveal vision. It also involves dealing with glare, making sense of confusing focus and depth cues, and greater visual workloads. But that’s not all; screens also place extra demands on eye defenses from blue light. [Neurohacker]

2. “The longer you’re a teacher, the less you remember what it is like to be a student.

The longer you’re a doctor, the less you remember what it is like to be a patient.

The longer you’re a coach, the less you remember what it is like to be a player.

Change positions. A new perspective can improve your old methods.” [James Clear]

3. Writer David Chapman on how to improve your thinking:

“Learn from fields very different from your own. They each have ways of thinking that can be useful at surprising times. Just learning to think like an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a philosopher will beneficially stretch your mind.”

Source: How to Think Real Good

4. A song becomes catchy if a few words are repeated enough.

A lie starts becoming truth if it’s repeated enough.

A faith becomes blind if rituals are repeated enough.

We accept everything as safe & normal if an experience is repeated enough.

Repetition is the human kryptonite. [Kunal Shah]

5. What you do on the bad days matters more than the good days.

What you do when you don’t feel like it — when you’re not motivated, when everything seems hard — matters more to the ultimate outcome than what you do when you’re motivated and it is easy.

Maintain the momentum. [Shane Parrish]

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My Weekly Learnings #38 (12.12 – 18.12)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. The Social Neuroscience of Music: Understanding the Social Brain Through Human Song

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that people can adapt quickly to ensure that their social needs are met after being forced to isolate and socially distance. Many individuals turned immediately to music, as evidenced by people singing from balconies, watching live concerts on social media, and group singing online. In this article, we show how these musical adaptations can be understood through the latest advances in the social neuroscience of music—an area that, to date, has been largely overlooked. By streamlining and synthesizing prior theory and research, we introduce a model of the brain that sheds light on the social functions and brain mechanisms that underlie the musical adaptations used for human connection. We highlight the role of oxytocin and the neurocircuitry associated with reward, stress, and the immune system. We show that the social brain networks implicated in music production (in contrast to music listening) overlap with the networks in the brain implicated in the social processes of human cognition, mentalization, empathy, and synchrony—all of which are components of herding; moreover, these components have evolved for social affiliation and connectedness. We conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic could be a starting point for an improved understanding of the relationship between music and the social brain, and we outline goals for future research in the social neuroscience of music. In a time when people across the globe have been unable to meet in person, they have found a way to meet in the music”

From: https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2021-55326-001.pdf

2. The eyes are not just two external things connected to the brain, in a very real sense, they are the brain.

Why can we say that?⠀

The retina and optic nerve are, anatomically speaking, part of the brain. And, the eye is part of the forebrain during embryological development, being essentially birthed by neurological tissue. As we grow from infants to adults, it’s the combination of the maturation of the eye working with the brain that creates perception, the ability to see well and perform perceptual-cognitive tasks.⠀

Not only is the eye-brain an integrated whole, but sighted humans are primarily visual creatures. For most of us, vision is the dominant sense used to interact with the external world. Because of this, visual processes occupy the largest amount of real estate in the cerebral cortex—this is the area of the brain that, among other things, receives and processes sensory information—with 20–30% of the cortex devoted to vision. [Neurohacker]

3. The events that make your blood boil reveal what matters most to you.

Anger rises when your core values are in jeopardy. With reflection, it becomes a mirror for seeing your principles more clearly.

With action, it becomes a map for making changes to protect what you hold dear. [Adam Grant]

4. If you put one adult’s veins, capillaries, and arteries end to end, it would stretch 60,000 miles (96560 km), which would circle the Earth two and a half times. [8fact]

5. Author and social activist bell hooks on how to love yourself:

“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am.

It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim “You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself” made clear sense. And I add, “Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.”

Source: All About Love: New Visions (via James Clear’s newsletter)

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My Weekly Learnings #33 (07.11 – 13.11)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. 7 Stoic Questions to ask every day:
i. Is this in my control?
ii. Is this essential/ necessary?
iii. What’s the worst case? Am I prepared?
iv. Where can I do better?
v. What habit bonfires am I fueling?
vi. How can I make the best of this?
vii. (When people irritate you) When have I acted like that? [The Daily Stoic]

2. “Most people optimize for the day ahead. A few people optimize for 1-2 years ahead. Almost nobody optimizes for 3-4 years ahead (or longer).

The person who is willing to delay gratification longer than most reduces competition and gains a decisive advantage.

Patience is power.” [James Clear]

3. Writer David Foster Wallace on the importance of controlling your attention:

“Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”
[Source: This is Water]

4. At first, we sold our labor. That was 10,000 years of history. You traded sweat for food.

Eventually, people figured out that they could build an organization. And an organization made things, which someone could buy. Add some technology and machines and productivity would go up, things would get better, and profits would result. Industrial capitalism. This is the sort of project that most people think about when someone says “I’m going to start a business.”

But there are other options.

Linux and Wikipedia and the local farmer’s market are all projects. They may or may not lead to a profit for every person who engages with them, but they’re distinct entities that organize various talents and inputs and create value for the people they serve.

Stemming climate change, stopping the spread of disease, and fighting homelessness are also projects. They may not have coordinating bodies or a single entity, but they represent a combination of ideas, people, and initiatives that are coordinated through culture.

Bitcoin is a multi-trillion-dollar project with no one in charge.

As our world gets more connected, the projects that change us are more and more likely to have a form that would be hard to recognize just a generation ago. But inventing and choosing and supporting these projects is now on us, and it begins by recognizing that they even exist. [Seth Godin]

5. The basic principles of constructive feedback:
A. Before you give it, ask if they want to receive it.
B. Be clear that you believe in their potential and care about their success.
C. Be as candid as possible in what you say and as thoughtful as possible in how you say it. [Adam Grant]

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My Weekly Learnings #31 (24.10 – 30.10)

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 to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Making a comedy special is like making a samurai sword: “I used to describe it like the way they make samurai swords, or used to: they bang it and fold it, then bang it again, and then they fold it and keep banging it. They pound on it and fold it, so they’re squeezing all the oxygen [out], they just keep making it perfect. So every time you think I’ve got an hour [for this show]; no, you don’t. Write another hour, and then fold it into that one. Get rid of all the impurities and all the bad stuff, and then keep doing that.” [Louis C.K]

2. The strategies that made you successful in the past will, at some point, reach their limit.

Don’t let your previous choices set your future ceiling. The willingness to try new ideas allows you to keep advancing. [James Clear]

3. Why do we ask kids what they want to be when they grow up?

It encourages them to define themselves in terms of work. It also perpetuates the myth that you can only have one career.

We can serve them better by asking what they want to do – and what kind of person they want to be. [Adam Grant]

4. Our brains are programmed to like the music we listened to in high school the most. The music we like gives us a hit of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals, and that’s even stronger when we’re young because our brains are developing. [8fact]

5. An apt visual representation of ‘luck meets preparation.’

[Janis Ozolins]

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My Weekly Learnings #29 (10.10 – 16.10)

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. Among painters, poets, writers, actors, bloggers, directors, influencers, capitalists, fundraisers, politicians and singers, you’ll find a few who want to go all the way to superfamous.
They understand that their work won’t reach every single human, it can’t. They’re okay with that. But they’d like to reach just a few more people than anyone else.

Back when the New York Times bestseller list mattered, they worked to be on it. Not just on it, but on top of it.

Back when 100,000 followers were seen as a lot on Twitter, they hustled to be in the top spot. And when it got to a million, then that was the new goal.

Pop albums used to sell millions of copies. Now they sell in the tens of thousands. But one more than just about anyone else is enough (for now).

The desire to be superfamous might come from a good place. The work is important, it deserves to be seen by more people. The work is arduous, and reaching more people with it feels appropriate. The work is measurable, and measuring better is a symptom of good work.

Or the desire might come from the same drive that pushes people to do the work in the first place. Bigger is better, after all.

The problems with superfamous are varied and persistent.

First, it corrupts the work. By ignoring the smallest viable audience and focusing on mass, the creator gives up the focus that can create important work.

Second, the infinity of more can become a gaping hole. Instead of finding solace and a foundation for better work, the bottomless pit of just a little more quickly ceases to be fuel and becomes a burden instead.

Trust is worth more than attention, and the purpose of the work is to create meaningful change, not to be on a list. [Seth Godin]

2. The 10 goods of rice, by Rujuta Divekar

A. Rice is a pre-biotic, it feeds not just you but the diverse ecosystem of microbes within you.
B. Hand milled, single polished rice can be cooked in versatile ways from kanji to kheer and everything in between
C. Leads to steady blood sugar response when you eat like the way Indians eat it – with pulses, dahi, kadhi, legumes, ghee even meat.
D. Easy to digest and light on the stomach. Leads to restorative sleep which further leads to better hormonal balance. Especially required in the ageing and the very young.
E. Great for skin, gets rid of enlarged pores that come with high prolactin levels.
F. Sustains and improves hair growth that an impaired thyroid may have damaged.
G. Rice growing communities tend to be more co-operative and gender equal.
H. Every part of rice is usable, bran fed to cattle.
I. Leaves behind adequate moisture in soil to grow pulses which then enrich the soil
further by working as natural nitrogen fixtures.
J. Grandmom approved – local, seasonal, belongs to your food heritage. Sustains
health, economy, ecology, PURE GOLD. [Rujuta Diwekar]

3. The secret to being productive is to work on the right thing—even if it’s at a slow pace. [James Clear]

4. Politician and Noble Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi on corruption:
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Source: From her speech, “Freedom from Fear” [via James Clear’s newsletter]

5. Children’s dislike of cauliflower and broccoli is connected to the concentration of enzymes produced by bacteria in their saliva. The more of an enzyme called cysteine lyases their mouths produce, the more sulphurous brassicas will taste, according to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. [8fact]

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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 #26 (19.09 – 25.09)

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. There is a commonality to all successful businesses and individuals. The commonality centres around a specific story they tell, believe in and what the story is in reality. The more these three are identical, the more successful the person and business will be in the long term. It’s a story that becomes synonymous with them in so many ways that it’s hard to disregard but unfortunately easy to be superficial.

The story comes from the answer to a straightforward question

“Why do you exist?”

And the answer could define your narrative, its success and also determine how satisfied you are with it. Guy Raz, in his book “How I built this” puts it eloquently when he says,

“The story must explain at a fundamental level why you exist. It is a story you have to tell to your customers, to investors, to employees, and ultimately to yourself.”

It is such a fundamental question to refine and focus on. If the answer is built on a foundation of reflection, passion, and an innate need to work on it in the long term, it will bring success, deep satisfaction, and happiness. And in times when the day gets clogged with things to do, interests become many and varied, and new bright shiny objects demand our attention leading to our sense of clarity becoming blurred, Ask yourself this simple question. An honest answer built on reflection can help you find clarity for a lifetime. [Unschooled with Varun Duggirala]

2.

Source: sketchplantations on Twitter

3. Life is easier when you know what you want—but most people don’t take the time to figure out what they want.
It’s not that we are completely lost, but our efforts are often slightly misdirected. People will work for years and ultimately achieve a lifestyle that isn’t quite what they were hoping for—often, simply, because they never clearly defined what they wanted.

An hour of thinking can save you a decade of work. [James Clear]

4.

Source : @ lizandmollie on Twitter

5. Seven lessons on wealth and happiness, by Naval
– Happiness is evident more by its absence than its presence.
– Spend your time in the company of geniuses, sages, children, and books.
– In an age of abundance, pursuing pleasure for its own sake creates addiction.
– Retirement starts when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow.
– Making money through an early lucky trade is the worst way to win. The bad habits that it reinforces will lead to a lifetime of losses.
– Persistent, non-specific anxiety is the result of wanting so much, talking so much, and doing so much that you lose touch with the quiet joys of Solitude.
– Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep. [Naval Ravikant]

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My Weekly Learnings #25 (12.09 – 18.09)

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. People who jump from project to project are always dividing their effort, and producing high quality work becomes difficult without intense effort.
Meanwhile, your average work day can be leisurely, yet also productive, if you return to the same project each day.

Do one thing well and watch it compound. [James Clear]

2. We talk about risk like it’s a bad thing.
But all forward motion involves risk. You can’t find a risk-free way to accomplish much of anything.

Appropriate risk has two elements:
A. The odds of it working out are commensurate with the benefits.
B. The consequences of being wrong don’t eliminate your chance to try a different path next time.

We don’t try something simply because there’s no downside. Instead, we intelligently choose projects where the downside is understood and the work is worth doing. [Seth Godin]

3. The theologian Dorothee Sölle on letting go:
“If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive.”

Source: The Strength of the Weak

4. Tetris taught me that if you fit in, you disappear – Tobi Lutke

[Illustration by GoLimitless on Twitter]

5. “Bad luck” is lack of discipline, no initiative, and too much time making up excuses.
“Good luck” is risk-taking, self-belief, grit, and consistency of long-term investments. [Orange Book on Twitter]

My Weekly Learnings #19 (01.08 – 07.08)

My Weekly Learnings #19 (01.08 – 07.08)

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. The Color of Your Thoughts
If you bend your body into a sitting position every day for a long enough period of time, the curvature of your spine changes. A doctor can tell from a radiograph (or an autopsy) whether someone sat at a desk for a living. If you shove your feet into tiny, narrow dress shoes each day, your feet begin to take on that form as well.

The same is true for our minds. If you hold a perpetually negative outlook, soon enough everything you encounter will seem negative. Close it off and you’ll become closed-minded. Color it with the wrong thoughts and your life will be dyed the same. [The Daily Stoic 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living]

2. The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the person who is this. The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it.

True behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.⁠ [James Clear]

3. You might know some people who have stayed healthy into old age … and others who seem to be old before their time. Some of this difference is because of genes (i.e., genotype) and some of it is a result of how genes express themselves on a cellular level as they interact with nutrition, lifestyle, and environment (i.e., phenotype). ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
Identical twins share the same genes, but the older they get, and especially if their nutrition, lifestyle, and/or environment substantially diverge, the way they express these same genes also diverges. The result is that their susceptibility to age-related diseases, the way they look as they age, and even their lifespans also diverge. ⁣⠀
⁣⠀
The key thing to remember is that, while we can’t change our genes, there’s a great deal we can do to influence how they express themselves. While aging isn’t a choice, we can make choices that influence how gracefully we age, because our choices do influence how we express our genes. ⁣[Neurohacker Collective]

4. At Steve Jobs’ funeral Jony Ive said: “I think he better than anyone understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily just squished.”

So protect young ideas like a bird protects its eggs.

Later, they can fly. [David Perell] (https://twitter.com/david_perell/status/1422634978064613383)

5. Education is uncomfortable.
Studying nutrition will reveal weaknesses in your health.
Studying money will reveal weaknesses in your finances.
Studying philosophy will reveal weaknesses in your mentality.

True for any subject.

That’s why most people don’t do it. [Jack Butcher]

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 #11 (06.06 – 12.06)

My Weekly Learnings #11 (06.06 – 12.06)

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. There is no life of only pleasure and no pain, of only success and no failure, of only acceptance and no rejection. To have one, you must have the other. [Mark Manson]

2. The moral panic over social media will continue to distract us from more important, less sensational problems like sleep and family closeness. Is this moral panic justified? [Nir Eyal] (Read more here – https://www.nirandfar.com/social-media-and-teens)

3. The purpose of life is the life of purpose [Robin Sharma] (Learn more here – https://open.spotify.com/episode/7jKed5UOAgPUBHCwmvP0ax)

4. The faster you jump to conclusions, the more likely you are to default to fashionable thinking. [David Perell] (Read more here – https://perell.com/essay/how-philosophers-think/)

5. Most people don’t want accurate information, they want validating information. Growth requires you to be open to unlearning ideas that previously served you. [James Clear]

My Weekly Learnings #9 (23.05 – 29.05)

My Weekly Learnings #9 (23.05 – 29.05)

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. The bad days are more important than the good days.
If you…

– write
– exercise
– meditate
– cook
– whatever
… when you don’t feel like it, then you maintain the habit.

And if you maintain the habit, then all you need is time. (James Clear)

2. When you can’t decide between two choices, pick the one with short-term costs and long-term benefits. (Shane Parrish)

3. What I write ≠ what you read. (Jack Butcher)

4. Happiness comes from WHAT we do. Fulfillment comes from WHY we do it. (Simon Sinek)

5. When you see a journalist writing articles to impress other journalists or a restaurant owner trying to impress other foodies and restaurant owners, it’s usually not practical or high-quality.

The journalist or restaurant owner may receive accolades within certain elite circles, but that doesn’t reflect reality.

A scientist or an experimentalist gets feedback from Mother Nature, and an entrepreneur gets feedback from a free market in which people vote with their money and time. Those are much better predictors. [Naval] (Listen more here – https://nav.al/optimism)

My Weekly Learnings #7 (09.05 – 15.05)

My Weekly Learnings #7 (09.05 – 15.05)

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. If you want to spread an idea, write an essay that makes it easy to understand. If you want to spread an action, build a product that makes it easy to do. (James Clear)

2. Four Stoic Tips to build Self-discipline
– Use the morning to set your intentions for the day
– Realize that you choose to give in to distraction
– At the end of the day, review your choices. What worked? What didn’t?
– Resolve to do better tomorrow.

3. The American Psychological Association once invited William James to give a talk on the first 50 years of psychology research.
He simply said: “People, by and large, become what they think of themselves.”
Then, he left. [David Perell]

4. Truth enlightens the mind, but won’t always bring happiness to your heart. (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

My Weekly Learnings #2 (04.04 – 10.04)

My Weekly Learnings #2 (04.04 – 10.04)

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. There’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” emotion. There are only “good” and “bad” reactions to emotions. (Mark Manson)

2. Not doing it because somebody else has done it is like not eating because somebody else is full. (Jack Butcher)

3. A list of 6P’s that provide a useful framework for anyone who wants to sell something.

Product – what are you selling
Pricing – at what price
Person – to whom
Purpose – why are they buying it
Priority – why now
Prestige – and why from you? (Balaji Srinivasan)

4. Intelligence can be analogized to computers. Belief in a singular intelligence implies that humans possess a single general-purpose computer, which can perform well (high IQ), average (normal IQ), or poorly (low IQ). Multiple intelligences theory implies that human beings possess several relatively independent computers; strength in one computer does not predict strength (or weakness) with other computers.

Read more here – https://www.multipleintelligencesoasis.org/a-beginners-guide-to-mi

5. “Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut.

But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China.

Everything is a remix—and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others.” (James Clear)