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My Weekly Learnings #60 (15.05.22 – 21.05.22)

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. What is an amygdala hijack?

Amygdala hijack is an emotional response to stress, often thought of as losing control of one’s emotions.

An example of this is where you are talking to a friend and they do not appear to be listening to you, ignore what you say, or maybe talk over the top of you.

This kind of interaction can make you ‘snap’. You may suddenly have an outburst such as shouting at them for not listening. Afterwards, you may realize that you overreacted and that the way you acted was unnecessary and you may say to yourself ‘what was I thinking?’.

You may not have been thinking at all as what actually happened is that your amygdala hijacked you.

Amygdala hijack refers to the situations where the amygdala overrides control of a person’s ability to respond rationally to a perceived threat – the logical brain gets impaired due to emotional outbursts caused by the amygdala.

[Guy-Evans/ Simply Psychology]

2. The process of learning and remembering things often feels hard and indeed can evoke agitation. Most people don’t realize it, but agitation is the entry point to learning. Literally, the adrenaline that causes agitation signals the nervous system that it should be ready to change. Without it the nervous system is not as primed for change— the process we call neuroplasticity.

Once you understand this, you will more likely embrace (as opposed to avoiding) agitation. Also, after a period of challenging focus and learning, there is an associated increase in feel-good molecules such as dopamine (and to a lesser extent, serotonin).

The takeaway: learning is a process that starts with focus, alertness, and agitation, …and the process is consolidated during sleep and non-sleep deep rest (NSDR).

We all have the capacity for neuroplasticity. Don’t hesitate to lean into it as a process. Recognise the agitation as part of that process. The feel-good part arrives at the end, or days later when, as if suddenly, you have acquired new abilities. [Dr Andrew D Huberman]

3. Movement is literally an expression of the way in which we think and feel. The way you move affects the way you feel, and the way you feel is inseparably tied to the expression of your internal chemistry.

A fascinating study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University showed how posture during communication not only informs the way others perceive you but may even shape your own self-belief.

Researchers asked the participants to list three positive and three negative traits they possess that would impact their professional performance at a future job. Half of the participants were asked to write these traits while they were in a hunched-over position, while the other half were asked to assume an upright posture during the process.

The results were striking. Their posture not only impacted whether or not they identified with the positive things they were asked to write about themselves but also affected a participant’s belief in the statements, positive or negative. [Neurohacker]

4. Lack of sleep can create an imbalance in the body that increases ghrelin levels and lowers leptin levels. This can cause you to feel hungrier during the day. This imbalance caused by sleep deprivation may lead to a higher calorie intake during the day. [Source: Sleep Foundation]

5. The greatest threat to results is impatience.

If you let it, a tiny daily advantage will compound into a massive generational one.

A lack of patience changes the outcome. [Shane Parrish]

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My Weekly Learnings #59 (08.05.22 – 14.05.22)

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. Selfish morality:
– The selfish reason, to be honest, is to clear the mind of exhausting lies and to navigate towards people and situations where you can be completely authentic.
– The selfish reason to love is that it feels better to be in love than to be loved (but don’t expect much back).
– The selfish reason to be ethical is that it attracts the other ethical people in the network.
– The selfish reason to be temperate is that overindulgence desensitizes you to the subtle everyday pleasures of life.
– The selfish reason to be humble is that the more seriously you take yourself, the unhappier you’re going to be.
– The selfish reason to be faithful or dutiful is that it gives you something to care about more than yourself.
– The selfish reason to be thrifty is that living far below your means frees you from obsessing over money.
– The selfish reason to be honourable is that self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.
– The selfish reason to be calm is that anger burns you first before burning the other.
A cool and calm person is more effective than an angry and agitated one.
– The selfish reason to forgive is so that you can move on with the rest of your life (but you can’t fake it or rush it).
– The selfish person realizes that happiness belongs to the self-less. [Naval Ravikant]

2. Human tendency to conform, especially when in large groups, is terrifying. Propaganda machines leverage this throughout human history.

The way out is to think freely, detached from the divisive narratives of the day that masquerade as universal truths.

This often feels lonely. [Lex Fridman]

3. The highest compliment from someone who disagrees with you is not “You were right.” It’s “You made me think.”

Good arguments help us recognize complexity where we once saw simplicity.

The ultimate purpose of debate is not to produce consensus. It’s to promote critical thinking. [Adam Grant]

4. The Accountability Ladder

[Framework: Bruce Gordon Illustration: sketchplantations]

5. Being politically ideological and politically tribal are different things, in direct conflict with each other. Being ideological nails your feet to a point on the political spectrum. Being tribal nails you to a group of people, wherever those people drift along the spectrum.

Some people seem both ideological and tribal, but deep down, their true loyalty lies either with the ideology or with the group of people. The litmus test happens when a political tribe rapidly repositions itself ideologically, for strategic reasons.

Of course, there’s a third way: don’t nail yourself to a set of ideas OR a group of people. Be loyal only to ways of thinking (humility, the scientific method, etc).

I think independence is the thing to strive for and between the other two, ideological is better than tribal. [Tim Urban]

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My Weekly Learnings #58 (01.05.22 – 07.05.22)

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. Some situations seem to call for an opponent.

It might be our personality, the structure of the engagement or the way we’ve been taught to behave, but having an enemy seems to focus individuals and groups.

For fifty years, America decided that the USSR was the enemy and spent a great deal of time and money and attention maintaining that threat.

For many people, the boss is the enemy, the controlling managerial authority, the opponent to be bested in a fight over work, effort and passion.

Or it might simply be the hockey team we’re skating against tonight.

Pick your enemies, pick your future. [Seth Godin]

2. Novelist Doris Lessing on the various ways to succeed:

“We all of us have limited amounts of energy, and I am sure the people who are successful have learned, either by instinct or consciously, to use their energies well instead of spilling them about. And this has to be different for every person, writer or otherwise. I know writers who go to parties every night and then, recharged instead of depleted, happily write all day. But if I stay up half the night talking, I don’t do so well the next day. Some writers like to start work as soon as they can in the morning, while others like the night or—for me almost impossible—the afternoons. Trial and error, and then when you’ve found your needs, what feeds you, what is your instinctive rhythm and routine, then cherish it.”

Source: Walking in the Shade​

3. Husband and wife combo, Benjamin Zander, a longtime conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Rosamund Zander, a family therapist, on the power of point of view:

“Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.”

Source: The Art of Possibility​

4. When you ask a great master or a real expert for advice, they give you seemingly vague or non-specific answers, they shun being prescriptive. What they think matters is not what you believe matters. Further, they know you will misinterpret a specific answer.

They know you will take any advice and blindly follow it.

Any great architect, artist, or cook goes through the rote stages of learning until they improve to a high level, after that they ‘abandon’ all knowledge and go by feel, pure essence.

This is what you need to do if you want a lifetime of health and fitness. NOT calorie counting, 300 mins of Zone 2, ‘cardio’, incline bench, Tabata, etc.

You REWILD yourself. Smell the flowers, climb trees, eat natural, get the sun, sleep, and swim in the sea. [Guru Anaerobic/ Mark Baker]

5. Experience is the frequency and quality of feedback loops and not elapsed years.

Many people stay the same for years and many evolve 10x in a single year. [Kunal Shah]

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My Weekly Learnings #57 (24.04.22 – 30.04.22)

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. Writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers on how to change someone’s mind:

“The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.”

Source: The Overstory

2. If you’re ever sitting waiting for a response from someone anxiously, just remember – people don’t delay delivering the good news. [Harry Hurst]

3. Rival and Non-Rival Goods

Source: sketchplantations

4. Author Bell Hooks on the balance between justice and compassion:

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”

Source: “There’s No Place to Go But Up” — bell hooks and Maya Angelou in conversation​

​5. Happiness is not a function of what you achieve. It’s a function of how you spend your time.

Success is a temporary thrill. Happiness lies in doing daily activities that bring you joy.

There’s always a new mountain to climb. You don’t have to anchor your emotions to the summit. [Adam Grant]

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My Weekly Learnings #56 (17.04.22 – 23.04.22)

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. The worst golfer in town came in last in the club tournament.

Actually, that’s not true. The worst golfer didn’t even enter.

Well, that’s not true either. The worst golfer doesn’t even play. [Seth Godin]

2. Any technique that helps us shift the state of our fight-or-flight stress response is interesting to us. The physiological sigh is the fastest, hardwired way for us to eliminate a stress response quickly and in real-time.

The double inhale of the physiological sigh pops open the alveoli air sacks, allowing oxygen in and enabling you to offload carbon dioxide with the long exhaled sigh.

1-3 reps are generally enough to slow HR to baseline and 10-15 cycles can be useful for sleep. [Neurohacker]

3. How does your brain look under stress?

Source: brainchat

4. How to optimize for luck:

– Fall in love with problems, not solutions
– Hang/work with the smartest people possible with diverse opinions
– Be consistent
– Cut distractions
– Failure happens. Whatever
– Mindset & belief in yourself
– Try to be optimistic
– Be kind to people [Greg Isenberg]

5. Entitled people who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that if they constantly paint themselves as victims, eventually someone will come along and save them, and they will receive the love they’ve always wanted. [Mark Manson]

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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 #53 (27.03.22 – 02.04.22)

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. The tendency to dwell on the negative more than the positive is simply one way the brain tries to keep us safe.

Earlier in human history, paying attention to bad, dangerous, and negative threats in the world was literally a matter of life and death. Those who were more attuned to danger and who paid more attention to the bad things around them were more likely to survive.

That’s cool, but most of us no longer need to be on constant high alert like our early ancestors needed to be in order to survive. And yet, the negativity bias still has a starring role in how our brains operate. Research has shown that negative bias can have a wide variety of effects on how people think, respond, and feel.

Neurohacking such mindsets is a crucial part in optimizing our relationships, decision-making, and perceptions. [Neurohacker]

2. Anger magically shrinks our vocabulary when communicating.

Persuasion automatically makes us use most of our vocabulary.

It is maybe easier to anger someone with a limited vocabulary than someone with a vast one. [Kunal Shah]

3. Here’s all the life advice you’ll ever need, without a thread.

Stop living “hour-to-hour”, and start living from “experience to experience”

Get OFF of time. Time makes you feel behind. Stressed

Life is a menu. Choose your experience like choosing an appetizer, main, & dessert. [Shaan Puri]

4. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, on the importance of giving value before you ask for value:

“I quit my job on August 15, 1899, and went into the automobile business…

The most surprising feature of business as it was conducted was the large attention given to finance and the small attention to service. That seemed to me to be reversing the natural process which is that the money should come as the result of work and not before the work…

My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work—the profits and all financial matters—would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings.”

Source: My Life and Work

5. How sugar affects your brain and body?

Source: Business Insider

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My Weekly Learnings #52 (20.03.22 – 26.03.22)

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. We judge people too much by the opinions they give and too little by the values they live.

You don’t have to like their point to admire their courage in making it.

Decency is avoiding disrespect, not avoiding disagreement. Integrity is trying to get it right, not being right. [Adam Grant]

2. When Betty Crocker (not her real name) first started selling cake mixes, all you had to do was add water. They failed.

But when they changed the recipe and required users to add oil and an egg, sales went up.

Because people like to feel as though they’re cooking. It made the mix an activity that felt like homemaking.

If you order a high-end table saw (and you should, so you don’t get injured) you might discover that there are a fair number of nuts and bolts to install. For the premium that’s charged, there’s no reason for this–except that assembling the last bit yourself feels worthy.

And you’ve probably guessed the punchline, so I won’t tell it to you. When you assemble it yourself… [Seth Godin]

3. Unlike our circadian rhythm, our specific sleep chronotype isn’t influenced by any outside force, but rather genetics.

What is a sleep chronotype? A chronotype is your body’s natural disposition to be awake or asleep at certain times (think phrases such as “early bird” and “night owl”). Your chronotype is closely related to your body’s circadian rhythm, which controls your body’s sleep-wake cycle and melatonin production.

But our sleep chronotype is far more than a sleep preference, research indicates that chronotype is a heritable trait, thus directing attention toward its genetic basis. [Neurohacker]

4. When the body is at rest (not engaged in any activity besides breathing, digesting, etc.) the brain uses up a startling 20-25% of the body’s overall energy, mainly in the form of glucose, making the brain the most energy-expensive organ in the body. [BrainChat]

5. There was a man in Africa on safari who saw a group of captive elephants, each with a rope tied to their ankle.

He was confused. They were gigantic creatures, some being over 13,000 pounds…

Yet they were being held in place not with chains or cages–– but with ropes driven into the ground by stakes.

The man asked the elephant trainer, “Why don’t the elephants break free?”

The elephant trainer replied:
“When they were very young and much smaller we used the same ropes to tie them. At that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The elephants were all physically capable of breaking free but remained in captivity due to their limiting beliefs.

They didn’t believe they could break free, so they never tried. [Jay Shetty]

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My Weekly Learnings #51 (13.03.22 – 19.03.22)

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. For people that experience intense sugar cravings: the cause of those cravings is dopamine. Sweet foods and drinks and foods/drinks that contain simple sugars — especially highly processed simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup, trigger two neural pathways, one that detects nutritive value and another that leads to perceived sweetness (taste), both of which result in increased dopamine. The consequence is a heightened desire to pursue and eat sweet food.

Studies show that even if the taste of something sweet is blocked, people prefer it and crave it because of so-called post-ingestive effects: neurons in the gut that respond to sugar and signal the release of dopamine in the brain.

Understanding this can help you control or defeat sugar cravings. It also explains why we often will crave more food even if it doesn’t taste incredible.

The takeaway: Your conscious mind is able to override these signals better if you know they are there. [Dr Andrew D Huberman]

2. When we spend hours looking at screens, we are exposing our eyes to ‘photochemical’ stress, a type of light stress that occurs because of the chemical reactions and oxidative stress from the retina absorbing blue light for prolonged periods of time.

The type of photochemical stress to the retina caused by blue light is known as blue light hazard or retinal phototoxicity.

The degree of phototoxicity blue light can cause is dependent on a number of factors: the intensity of blue light to which the eye is exposed, the distance to the source of light, the direction of the line of sight, and the spectrum of the light source, for example.

It’s important to clarify that the main source of blue light in our environment is, without a doubt, the sun. But although the amount of blue light emitted by a screen is low compared to sunlight, the fact is that the type of exposure is very different. Anyone who spends long periods of time looking at screens, especially in close proximity, is being continually exposed to a significant amount of blue light that’s different in important ways compared to looking at a blue sky or ocean. [Neurohacker]

3.

Source: Dr Jordan B Peterson

4. You can’t judge people only by how they treat you. The true test of character is how they treat those they don’t like or need.

Even if someone is kind to you, proceed with caution if they’re consistently unkind to others.

Selective civility is a sign of deep-seated hostility. [Adam Grant]

5. About 1-in-13 people who have ever lived are alive today.

A.D. makes up only about 1% of human history but about half of all people have lived during it.

We live in an insane anomaly.

Visual by Our World In Data

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My Weekly Learnings #50 (06.03.22 – 12.03.22)

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. The people you’re trying to impress are probably busy trying to impress someone else.

It’s called the spotlight effect: the tendency to overestimate how much attention people pay to your appearance and actions.

You’re always a protagonist in your story, but rarely in theirs.

[Adam Grant]

2. The subliminal message of English class is that good writing needs to be poetic. Students read novels with purple prose and try to replicate it in five-paragraph essays so they can impress their teachers.

This obsession with poetic writing is one of the most destructive outcomes of modern writing education.

Focus on clear writing instead.

Basketball provides an analogy. Even if all the stars know how to do fancy dribbles like “through the legs,” the “spin move,” and “behind the back,” you shouldn’t start there. You should master the basic dribbles first. Jumping into advanced dribbles when you start playing basketball is the fastest way to look like a goon and get the ball stolen from you. No matter how fancy their dribbling can become, even the best players focus on basic moves that get the job done even if they don’t turn heads.

So focus on writing clearly.
Let poetic language be a byproduct of clear writing and don’t even think about lavish prose until you’ve mastered the art of writing clearly. [David Perell]

3. High growth environments yield positive-sum players…

Slow/negative growth environments yield zero-sum players…

Hence, progress is a moral imperative. [Matt Huang]

4. Computer programmer Erik Naggum on reaching up instead of punching down:

“The secret to feeling great about yourself is not to be found in searching for people who are less than you and then show yourself superior to them, but in searching for people who are more than you and then show yourself worthy of their company.”

Source: Email (January 2, 2003)

5.

Source: Liz Fosslien

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My Weekly Learnings #49 (27.02.22 – 05.03.22)

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. When you first wake up in the morning your brain switches from delta waves, which occur in a deep sleep state, to theta waves, which occur during a sort of daydreamy state. The brain then moves to produce alpha waves when you are awake but are relaxed and not processing much information.

By grabbing your phone first thing and immediately diving into the online world, you force your body to skip the important theta and alpha stages and go straight from the delta stage to being wide awake and alert (also known as the beta state).

In skipping these states and checking your phone right after waking up you are priming your brain for distraction. Seeing or reading something negative first thing in the morning can trigger your stress response and put you on edge for the rest of the day.

Morning routine tip: push pause on the phone for a bit. Your brain will thank you. [Neurohacker]

2. Celebrity worship syndrome has been described as an obsessive-addictive disorder where an individual becomes overly involved and interested (i.e. completely obsessed) with a celebrity’s personal life. [8fact]

3. It’s easy to want to fill an awkward silence. Often, however, a pause in conversation is time people need to think. When conducting research, and maybe just in normal conversations, try to trust the questions that you ask and avoid filling the silence after asking a question. [sketchplantations]

4. The map might be correct, but that doesn’t mean it will work.

The sign might be legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective.

We’re surrounded by instruction manuals, videos, announcements and all sorts of other forms of instruction.

But a map only works if it helps.

Finding our way, getting the job done, changing our minds–these are forms of wayfinding. And our internal layout of the world doesn’t match the way it is actually built.

You can drive to your childhood home blindfolded, but you probably couldn’t draw a route of how to get there for someone else.

Realizing that our job is to help others find the way is half the job. [Seth Godin]

5. Poet and author Maya Angelou on how to find value in anger:

“I believe in anger. Anger’s like fire, it can burn out all the dross and leave some positive things. But what I don’t believe in is bitterness. Forgiveness is imperative because you don’t want to carry that weight around, who needs to? And it will throw you down. It doesn’t help you to live life. I don’t make myself vulnerable if I can help it.”

Source: Voices of Powerful Women

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My Weekly Learnings #48 (20.02.22 – 26.02.22)

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. The most expensive tasks that brains do are (1) moving your body and (2) learning something new. They have a metabolic cost that may feel unpleasant. So, feeling bad doesn’t always mean that something bad happened. You might just be doing something really hard. [#LisaFeldmanBarrett]

The brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system can change in response to experience — a process we call neural plasticity or neuroplasticity. In general nervous systems are shaped by mere experience in our early stages of life and until about age 25 (in humans) although that is not a strict cut-off. After age 25 neuroplasticity is still possible but requires intense focus followed by periods of deep rest which could be comprised of deep sleep, naps or their combination. Long bouts of sleep (~5- 8+ hours) are when most rewiring of neural connections occurs aka neuroplasticity.

As this post from Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett points out, triggering neural plasticity can sometimes be an unpleasant experience even if the thing we are learning is something we want to engage in. This is important to keep in mind when you experience agitation, frustration, and confusion when trying to learn something. Those feelings are actually reflective of the neuroplasticity process. [#AndrewDHuberman]

2.

Source: #BrainChat

3. Poet #MaySarton on remaining a beginner:
“It is good for a professional to be reminded that his professionalism is only a husk, that the real person must remain an amateur, a lover of the work.”

Source: Plant Dreaming Deep

4. Superpowers you can have:
– Ability to change yourself & your mind
– Not taking things personally
– Not needing to prove you’re right
– Careful selection of all relationships
– Staying calm
– Being alone without being lonely
– Being ok being uncomfortable
– Thinking for oneself [#ShaneParrish]

5. When things go wrong, is your instinct to hide in a corner and hope you won’t get noticed–or to lean into the situation and make it clear that this one is on you?
“I’ve got this,” is a phrase that some people will go out of their way to avoid saying. At work, where it’s incredibly valuable, or in personal relationships, where it creates a deep connection.

The movies are filled with heroes who take responsibility. Organizations are miserly when it comes to handing out authority, but most of them are eager to pay attention (and give respect) to anyone who is willing to take responsibility.

Like our control preference, responsibility is a learned skill. You might be born with an instinct for it, but mostly it’s something we’re taught or choose to learn.

Sadly, this is a line that’s missing from every resume I’ve ever seen. It seems to be that a bias toward taking responsibility is one of the most important things to look for when hiring an employee, finding a doctor or building a team. [#SethGodin]

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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 #45 (30.01.22 – 05.02.22)

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. LEARN WHILE YOU SLEEP (OR NAP)

Learning anything is a two-step process: we must focus intensely to trigger the learning but it is only during periods of deep sleep or shallow naps, that the circuitry of the brain changes— a process called neuroplasticity.

To learn faster, focus intensely then make sure to nap for 20-90min later that day (or immediately after the learning trigger session). Also: focus on getting deep sleep the next 2 nights.

If napping hinders your nighttime sleep don’t do it, and never nap for more than 90 minutes— that can really alter your sleep cycles and impair learning. [Andrew D Huberman]

2. A mastered being never does anything under the charm of Motivation.

He does what he wants to do when he wants to do it.

He’s neither pushed by motivation nor stopped by procrastination.

He decides. He plays. He achieves. [Kunal B Sarkar]

3. When you play the game of life, intuition is the currency you get by taking risks.

Intuition is the same currency you need to win the next level of risk.

No real hack to build intuition without taking risks.

Those who are bad at self-reflection learn little from the risks taken.

Intuition and Reputation are slow currencies of life. No way to hack them without taking risks.

Reputation is the currency you get bankrupt on if you don’t use your intuition to calculate risks and second-order effects of your actions.

You’ll never meet a person with a reputation in the game of life without strong intuition as well.

All those with intuition but no reputation are often incapable of playing long term games due to poor emotional control. [Kunal Shah]

4. 5 Ways to Deal With a Narcissist:

1. Stay away.
2. Don’t try to convince them they’re wrong. Stay away.
3. Don’t try to “fix” them. Stay away.
4. Don’t argue with them. Stay away.
5. Oh, uh, stay away. [Mark Manson]

5. Don’t ask the barber if you need a haircut — a simple reminder that asking someone with a vested interest in the outcome isn’t likely to give you an impartial answer.

[Source: sketchplantations]

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My Weekly Learnings #44 (23.01.22 – 29.01.22)

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. Most people refrain from risk thinking they’re worried about financial downside but they’re mostly worried about reputation drop.
Many people who have disproportionate success are wired to worry less about ridicule. Risk appetite is often connected to the shame one feels. [Kunal Shah]

2. When we make everyday decisions on the spot we often make suboptimal choices.
Saying no to dessert every time it is offered is hard.

An effective solution is to make a simple rule. “My rule is I don’t eat dessert.”

Simple rules turn desired behaviour into default behaviour. [Shane Parrish]

3. Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, on life:
“When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean.

But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It’s wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life.”

Source: Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society

4.

Source: Rujuta Diwekar

5. The notion that the mind and body are separate is simply false. The nervous system bridges them both and they communicate in both directions to direct our states. States include emotions but are a larger umbrella for emotional responses that include bodily responses too. States are also more objective to define.

This is a heat map from a study described in the book The Neuroscience of Emotion by Adolphs and Anderson from Caltech.

People vary in how they express emotions verbally but the body representations are relatively stereotyped.

We are sophisticated animals but we are still animals and these maps are established by our genome, modified by experience but nonetheless relatively hardwired. Learning to recognize your bodily responses to different mental states is powerful. [Andrew D Huberman]

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My Weekly Learnings #43 (16.01.22 – 22.01.22)

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. “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” — Sun Tzu
This lesson goes beyond war.

For example, a little extra time upfront finding a great employee changes the outcome.

What seems like a great outcome in hindsight is often just better preparation.

There are so many examples.

Hiring a great architect avoids problems. Hiring a great lawyer avoids problems. Investing in your relationship makes inevitable conflict easier to resolve.

Preparation today creates more favourable circumstances tomorrow.

The thing a lot of people miss is that a little time spent before problems crop up avoids them entirely or creates a better position to deal with them.

You can spend time fixing problems or avoiding them entirely. Knowing where to apply effort yields a 10x return. [Shane Parrish]

2. Picking someone as your role model in life sets unrealistic expectations. Eventually, you’ll learn they don’t belong on a pedestal.
It’s better to admire people for specific strengths. It reminds you they have weaknesses too.

Knowing they have vices put their virtues in reach. [Adam Grant]

3. How to remember if you did something?

Source: sketchplantations

4. Would you rather write the script, read the script, watch the movie or write the review?
When someone commutes by train, they’re giving up control over the journey. On one hand, that means that they can’t actively impact how fast the train arrives. On the other hand, it means that they don’t have to be fully present and in command of all the decisions involved.

There’s a huge diversity of control preferences, and it varies across the many areas of our lives. Perhaps you need to be in control over your work, but have no interest in controlling what you eat for dinner–or vice versa.

I remember a restaurant in the Bronx where the waiter would ask you one or two questions about which food you liked, and then walk away and bring you back a series of dishes that you didn’t expect or choose. Some people really enjoy this, others are frustrated by the lack of control it requires.

While it may be that each of us has an inherent bias away or toward control, it’s pretty clear that it is also a skill that can be learned, and that different industries allocate control to people as part of their hierarchies. It’s also true that different cultures have evolved to allocate and teach control preference in different ways. Sometimes it’s based on gender and caste, but there are also cultural mores that have been fueled by industry, the patriarchy and governance.

One of the things we certainly have control over is deciding whether we’ll seek to spend our days in control or not. We might have make sacrifices along the way, but the feeling is up to us. [Seth Godin]

5. Thomas Mitchell, a farmer, on productivity:
“It is wonderful how much work can be got through in a day, if we go by the rule—map out our time, divide it off, and take up one thing regularly after another. To drift through our work, or to rush through it in a helter-skelter fashion, ends in comparatively little being done. “One thing at a time” will always perform a better day’s work than doing two or three things at a time. By following this rule, one person will do more in a day than another does in a week.”

Source: Essays on Life

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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 #41 (02.01.22 – 08.01.22)

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. “I know that I know nothing” – Plato

The Dunning–Kruger effect is the cognitive bias whereby people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. Some researchers also include in their definition the opposite effect for high performers: their tendency to underestimate their skills.

[Source: brainchat]

2. Why do you stick your tongue out while concentrating?
A 2019 study found that the area of the brain that is activated by complex hand movements sits right next to that engaged in the language.
Neuroimaging from that research indicated that something called “motor overflow” could explain why our tongues are trying to get involved when our hands start moving, as the overlapping networks spill onto one another.

3. When we admit what we don’t know, it increases the chance that someone, who does know, will offer to help. [Simon Sinek]

4. “A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind, loving diagnosis and involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favorable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.” – Charlie Munger

5. Many people hesitate to share their work because they’re uncomfortable promoting themselves.

Sharing your art, writing, or invention isn’t an act of self-promotion. It’s an act of self-expression.

If you don’t put your ideas out in the world, no one else can benefit from them. [Adam Grant]

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My Weekly Learnings #40 (26.12.21 – 01.01.22)

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.

Source: Liz Fosslien

2. You have a choice between what you want now and what you want most.

Don’t let feeling good today come at the expense of the decade.

Be patient. Keep the end in mind. [Shane Parish]

3. Every communication platform teaches a different lesson:

Twitter: Cut the fluff
YouTube: People love a good narrative
TikTok: Nail the hook
Instagram: Make it beautiful
Email: Whatever you’re saying, shorten it [David Perell]

4. People who spent money on experiences rather than on material goods were happier because the excitement we often get from purchasing things tends to diminish quickly as we get used to them and start taking them for granted.

The research also noted that the joy and memories experiences bring can give us stronger feelings of satisfaction, even if the experience doesn’t last nearly as long as the physical item that we purchased.

Source: The Journal of Positive Psychology

5. Tribalism and integrity battle in each of our heads.

When our tribe is behaving according to our principles, we’re in the yellow zone where life is easy. Our true colors reveal themselves only when our tribe is behaving badly and we’re forced to choose either orange or green.

[Tim Urban]

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My Weekly Learnings #39 (19.12 – 25.12)

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. “If I aired a highlight reel of your most selfish life moments and most shameful thoughts, you’d seem like an awful person. If I aired a reel of your best, kindest moments, you’d seem like a saint. But people aren’t highlight reels, and the unedited cut is always a messy mix!”

[Tim Urban]

2. – have a glass of water
– eat a fresh fruit
– defer your decision by 15 mins

The 3 step formula to know whether you are actually feeling like a cake/ chocolate/ cookie or simply giving in to the craving out of habit. [Rujuta Diwekar]

3. The desire to avoid rejection at all costs, to avoid confrontation and conflict, the desire to attempt to accept everything equally and to make everything cohere and harmonize, is a deep and subtle form of entitlement. [Mark Manson]

4. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

Elie Wiesel

5. We spend too much time trying to change people’s minds and too little energy aiming to open them.

Changing minds assumes they’re wrong. You’re pushing them to accept your views.

Opening minds assumes there’s more to learn. You’re inviting them to question their views. [Adam Grant]

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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 #37 (05.12 – 11.12)

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. Seven signs that you’re actually the problem…
a. You feel like no one understands you.
b. You always complain you’re not appreciated.
c. You believe you rarely get the attention you deserve.
d. You assume other people have it easy while you’re barely scraping by.
e. You have little interest or curiosity in the lives of others.
f. You often fight with close friends and loved ones.
g. And it’s always their fault. [Mark Manson]

2. When people ask for your feedback, it’s a mark of respect. They value your knowledge, skill, or taste.
When they don’t hesitate to give you feedback, it’s a sign of trust. They have faith that you’ll take it as an opportunity to grow, not a threat to your ego. [Adam Grant]

3. “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness.” – Mary Shelley

4. We generally adopt a posture of optimism or pessimism as a response (or reaction) to external events. We see how things are unfolding and make a decision about what to expect. We feel like we need to justify our response based on the facts on the ground.

But that doesn’t actually explain why different people, similarly informed, might adopt an optimistic mood or a pessimistic one.

In fact, that mood is a choice. And it’s one that determines how we’ll behave.

Optimism is a tool that permits us to solve problems more effectively. If used wisely, it brings enthusiasm, inspiration, and hope to projects that benefit from them.

[And pessimism is a tool as well–it can help you with budgeting, scheduling, and other projects. If it works for you, that’s great. Choose your tools wisely.]

As a universal default, either mood will certainly lead to misguided energy and poor decisions. But if we can be thoughtful about optimism as a tactic, the focus, and energy it brings can solve problems that others might simply walk away from.

Our pessimism might not be an accurate diagnosis of the past. It might simply be a way we’re using to produce a future we’re not happy with. [Seth Godin]

5. The real fun of life is in living it with a mastered mind.

For those who live enslaved to their mind, life is a mere vessel of suffering. [Kunal Sarkar]

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My Weekly Learnings #36 (28.11 – 04.12)

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. Your brain has a limited capacity to store readily accessible information. This storage is called ‘Working Memory’ and the ability to utilize this working memory is called Attention. Think of it as your shopping trolley. It only has a fixed amount of space. And if you fill it up, and something important comes up, something has to leave the trolley to make space.Another way to think of this is that attention is a torch. A torch can only illuminate a certain amount of things in your environment. Wherever you turn that circle of light becomes visible to you while the rest of the world disappears.

We can only pay attention to a fixed number of things, which makes attention a precious resource. And like every other precious resource, everyone wants a piece of it. Your friends, family, boss, employees, the supermarket, amazon, Netflix, cricket, news channels, social media, your health apps, even your watch. Everything and everyone is competing for that precious attention of yours. [Siddharth Warrier]

2. Discipline is cheaper than regret. [Shane Parrish]

3. We develop low-level addictions to junk that fuels our insecurities: junk information, junk activities, junk friends. Quitting means exposing emotions and triggering weird cravings but the goal is to stay focused on things that add value to your life. [Mark Manson]

4. ‘The first one never knows’
The first sponsor of an American TV sitcom was Anacin.

At the time they did it, no one had any idea how many people watched TV or would watch a sitcom.

They had no way to measure what they would get for their sponsorship dollars because it was a new and untested medium.

But Anacin tried it anyway.

In an attempt to measure the size of the audience, they offered viewers the chance to get a free mirror if they wrote a letter after seeing the show.

The company guessed 200 people might send a letter and bought 400 mirrors just to be safe.

They wound up getting more than 8,000. [For the Interested Newsletter]

5.

Source: lizandmollie

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My Weekly Learnings #35 (21.11 – 27.11)

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. Anything that uplifts your consciousness is spirituality. Anything that brings you more peace of mind, that’s spirituality. Anything that gives you confidence, self-confidence, is spirituality. Anything that helps you to communicate better with people and anything that promotes a better understanding of yourself, of others, and of the universe, that’s spirituality. (Listen here more to understand about spirituality) [Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar]

2. Beware of confusing attention with admiration. Being noticed isn’t a substitute for being respected.

Don’t mistake recognition for appreciation. Knowing who you are doesn’t mean people value what you do.

The point of sharing isn’t to gain followers. It’s to make a contribution. [Adam Grant]

3. “Many people use deliberate cold exposure specifically to increase their metabolism and fat loss. Because many people also combine deliberate cold exposure with a sauna or hot showers, I asked Dr. Susanna Soeberg, Ph.D. (expert in human cold therapy science and first author on a recent landmark study about cold exposure for metabolism), whether or not heat should be done before or after cold exposure.

Dr. Soeberg’s answer is what I now call “The Soeberg Principle”: which states that even though you can alternate heat and cold *if your main goal is to increase metabolism then you should end with the cold* because it forces your body to use its own energy to heat back up.

Remember: you can still get benefits from a cold exposure if you end with heat but you won’t get as great a metabolic effect.” [Andrew Huberman]

4. The Illusion of Self

Source: grantdraws

5. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, isn’t a fan of the phrase “work-life balance.”

Bezos said new Amazon employees shouldn’t view work and life as a balancing act. Instead, Bezos said it’s more productive to view them as two integrated parts.

“It actually is a circle,” Bezos said. “It’s not a balance.”

“And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off.”

“If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy,” Bezos said. “And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy.” [Jeff Bezos via Business Insider] (Read more here)

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My Weekly Learnings #34 (14.11 – 20.11)

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. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
— Epictetus

Humility is the antidote to arrogance.

Humility is a recognition that we don’t know, that we were wrong, that we’re not better than anyone else. Humility is simple to understand but hard to practice.

Humility isn’t a lack of confidence but an earned confidence. The confidence to say that you might not be right, but you’ve done the diligence, and you’ve put in the work. Humility keeps you wondering what you’re missing or if someone is working harder than you.

And yet when pride and arrogance take over, humility flees and so does our ability to learn, adapt, and build lasting relationships with others.
Humility won’t let you take credit for luck. And humility is the voice in your mind that doesn’t let small victories seem larger than they are. Humility is the voice inside your head that says, ‘anyone can do it once, that’s luck. Can you do it consistently?’

More than knowing yourself, humility is accepting yourself. [Shane Parrish]

2. ‘Why You Should Be Prolific’
As a writer, you need to remember that your favorite creators are likely more prolific than you think.

Don’t compare your early ideas to other people’s edited and refined published works. When | interviewed the Grammy-nominated musician Logic, he said he has thousands of unreleased songs. From him, | learned that the vast majority of what every creator makes is junk. There’s no way around that.

Gobs of nonsense are part of the creative process, which is why excellence comes not from raising standards for your first drafts but from knowing what to publish and what to discard.

It’s easy to feel like a failure when you’re stuck. It’s easy to feel like you’ll never achieve your creative ambitions or your best days are behind you.

Keep making stuff. No matter how stuck you feel, commit to sitting down at the keyboard and putting ideas on paper. If your creative well is dry, surround yourself with art that stirs your soul.

Remember that the frustrations you feel in the present are the price you pay for the joy you’ll feel in the future. Progress is usually felt in retrospect when you look back at all the hours that felt like a road to nowhere. [David Perrell]

3. Whoever is worthy of teaching is sharing their knowledge for free on the internet but their content is unstructured.

But most of us are conditioned to think that only an expensive degree giving structured knowledge is worthy, making it a fantastic business. [Kunal Shah]

4. The Three Layers of the Self-Awareness Onion:
Layer 1: A simple understanding of one’s emotions.

“I’m angry… I’m really fucking angry.”

Layer 2: An ability to ask why we feel certain emotions.

“Why am I so angry all the time? What is this doing for me?”

Layer 3: Our personal values – how we measure ourselves and the world.

“I’m angry because I constantly feel as though I’m being disrespected. Am I really though?” [Mark Manson]

5.

Source: sketchplantations

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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 #32 (31.10 – 06.11)

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. In my experience, not body weight but these are the factors that improve health — healthy mother
– good education
– strong family bonds
– access to doctors
– well-paying jobs
– athletic childhood
– living in green walkable cities

Health is multidisciplinary, not a number. [Rujuta Diwekar]

2. Charcoal & Diamonds are both carbons. The difference lies in the configuration of the carbon atoms in them.

There’s a big lesson in here.

You can increase the value of something by changing its very nature by re-organizing its building blocks.

Inputs <> Outputs [Kavin Bharti Mittal]

3. Tips To Building Your Emotional Intelligence:

– Accept that you can’t be happy all the time
– Start to identify emotions in other people and yourself
– Accept that not all emotions have to mean something
– Identify when zero response is the best response [Mark Manson]

4. “MOTIVATION” = EFFORT + (INTERMITTENT) REWARD

Dopamine is the common currency of motivation, pleasure, and pursuit of pleasures. Everybody enjoys pleasure. That said if you achieve pleasure from food or experiences without having to put in any effort pretty soon those pleasures lose their potency. That doesn’t mean we stop pursuing pleasures but it lowers our baseline level of dopamine and causes us to pursue progressively smaller goals. That is not good.

These days pleasure is available to us without any work: High potency food, experiences, etc. that don’t require any strain or effort to achieve.

Some small amount of that is fine of course but the best way to keep your dopamine system tuned up for ongoing motivation and pursuit is to periodically avoid pleasures that are easy to access, focusing instead on pleasures that take effort to achieve. And sometimes it can even be useful to not reward yourself at all for hard work and instead just cycle right back into another round of effort. Of course, get your rest and your sleep too so you can continue to be motivated and in pursuit (and pleasure) for all your days and years. [Andrew Huberman]

5. “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

‘Up to a point a person’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and changes in the world about them. Then there comes a time when it lies within their grasp to shape the clay of their life into the sort of thing they wish it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has the power to say, “This I am today. That I shall be tomorrow.” [Louis L’Amour – The Walking Drum]

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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 #30 (17.10 – 23.10)

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. How to have a disagreement that opens minds instead of closing them:
How can you possibly believe that?
→ How did you arrive at that view?

That’s ridiculous!
→ I’m surprised to hear you say that. Tell me more

You’re wrong!
→ What would lead you to rethink that? [Adam Grant]

2. Forgiveness is a productivity accelerator. The great saints, sages, and spiritual geniuses all understood that the main aim on the path to awakening was to stand in any mess that life sends and remain centered, courageous, serene, and free.

As Robin Sharma wrote about in The 5 AM Club, everyone alive does the best that they can based on where they’re at in terms of their awareness and their understanding of life. And once you realize that, you won’t be upset with them – you can begin to forgive them.

So resolve to forgive those who have hurt you [they made you stronger and nobler]. And commit to letting go of what no longer serves you [it got you to here]. Remember that the past was perfect preparation for you to become who you now are and to grow the extraordinary life that you now face the opportunity to create. [Robin Sharma]

3. Colin Powell’s 13 rules of life
Rule #1: It ain’t bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
Rule #2: Get mad, then get over it.
Rule #3: Avoid your ego so close to your position that when your position
falls, your ego goes with it.
Rule #4: It can be done.
Rule #5: Be careful whom you choose.
Rule #6: Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
Rule #7: You can’t make someone else’s decisions. You shouldn’t let
someone else make yours.
Rule #8: Check small things.
Rule #9: Share credit.
Rule #10: Remain calm. Be Kind.
Rule #11: Have a vision. Be demanding.
Rule #12: Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
Rule #13: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

4. Art (movies, plays, fiction, paintings, poetry…) exists to create a change. Often, that’s a change in the viewer, and sometimes, powerful art changes the culture.

Art with no intent can entertain us, and it can also reinforce stereotypes and simply help what is in our world persist.

Art with selfish intent exists to manipulate the viewer to serve the needs of the artist. It doesn’t often spread, but when it does, it can have a corrosive effect on the world around us.

But art with generous intent is different. It might not address an issue the way you would (in fact, that’s precisely why we need it) and it creates tension as it helps us look at things in a new way.

The plays of Sarah Jones or a book by Sinclair Lewis or music by Charles Wilson or a movie by Amy Koppelman exist to make us think hard. To think about what we’ve taken for granted and to think about what might be different if we cared enough.

I’m not sure it even matters what the artist thought they wanted when they sat down to create the work. The art itself seems to want something, to make a change in the world. And the ability to create art like that belongs to each of us. [Seth Godin]

5. The only two ways to make money:
A. Add value
B. Subtract suffering [Sahil Lavingia]

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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 #27 (26.09 – 02.10)

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. We enjoy spicy food, roller coasters, and depressing music due to something called “benign masochism”. We feel a sense of pleasure from initiating negative experiences that our brain falsely interprets as threatening.

This realization that the body has been fooled, and that there is no real danger, leads to pleasure derived from ‘mind over body’. [Source: 8fact on Instagram]

2. There is something called organ comfort. There are various aspects to this. Just to handle one aspect of it – see right now, most of the vital organs of the body are in the chest and abdomen region. These organs are not rigid, they are not fixed with bolts and clams. They are loose, hanging in nets. Only if you sit with your spine erect, your organs will be in the maximum possible comfort.

Now, the modern idea of comfort is to lean backward and slouch. If you sit in such a posture, your organs will never be at comfort. They will not function the way they need to. This is especially true if you eat a full meal and sit in a reclining chair. A lot of travel happens in reclining chairs. I would say, if you travel a thousand kilometers on a reclining chair in a car, your lifespan will come down by at least three to five years. This is because the organs suffer so much, their ability to function will go down dramatically or you will at least be impaired in some ways.

Keeping the body erect is not because we don’t like comfort, it is because we understand and experience comfort in a completely different way. You can train your muscles to be comfortable, with your spine erect, but you cannot train your organs to be comfortable while slouching. There is no way to do it. So, we choose to train the body, so that our skeletal system and muscular system are comfortable sitting this way. [Sadhguru]

3. People think originality is a form of genius, but it’s not really about intelligence or talent – it emerges naturally from people who have absorbed this basic fact –

Conventional Wisdom is not very wise

Originality lives in all of us, but we keep it locked away behind the classic delusion :

‘If my weird ideas were actually special, they’d already be out there. If no one else is saying/doing it, there must be a good reason.’

We all come pre-programmed with this delusion. Originals are those who have learned to override it. [Tim Urban]

4. Saying no doesn’t always mean you’re letting someone down. It might mean you’re holding up your own boundaries.

You feel guilty when you focus on the costs of falling short of others’ expectations. You feel relieved when you consider the benefits of knowing your own limits. [Adam Grant]

5. Let’s say you want to teach someone how to play chess.

What most people do is explain how all the pieces work (which takes a while) before playing a game (which is a reward).

Instead, you could explain how two pieces work (which doesn’t take long) and play a mini-game using only those pieces (which engages the student and hooks them).

The more engaging (and rewarding) you make learning and the faster you do so, the more likely the person you teach is to care.

(via p. 48 of Write Useful Books) [Source: For The Interested newsletter by Josh Spector]

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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]

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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 #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 #18 (25.07 – 31.07)

My Weekly Learnings #18 (25.07 – 31.07)

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).

For this week’s edition, I’m sharing a third edition of the quotes from Star Wars : The Clone Wars (continuing from the first set here and the second set here(updating the quotes as and when I watch more episodes)

Star Wars : The Clone Wars. A series created by George Lucas, began with a theatrical feature film, and is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the three years between the prequel films Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
At the start of each episode is a line that summarizes a lesson, a takeaway from the episode and its definitely something to learn.

S02E01 (Holocron Heist) : A lesson learned is a lesson earned

S02E02 (Cargo of Doom) : Overconfidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness

S02E03 (Children of the Force) : The first step to correcting a mistake is patience

S02E17 (Bounty Hunters) : Courage makes heroes, but trust builds friendship.

S02E18 (The Zillo Beast) : Choose what is right, not what is easy.

S02E19 (The Zillo Beast Strikes Back) : The most dangerous beast is the beast within

S02E04 (Senate Spy) : A true heart should never be doubted.

S02E05 (Landing at Point Rain) : Believe in yourself or no one else will

S02E06 (Weapons Factory) : No gift is more previous than trust

S02E07 (Legacy of Terror) : Sometimes, accepting help is harder than offering it

— will hopefully update more in the coming series as and when I watch more episodes —

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 #16 (11.07 – 17.07)

My Weekly Learnings #16 (11.07 – 17.07)

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. The wind gets all the attention. The wind howls and the wind gusts… But the wind is light.
The current, on the other hand is persistent and heavy.

On a river, it’s the current that will move the canoe far more than the wind will. But the wind distracts us.

Back on land, the current looks like the educational industrial complex, or the network effect or the ratchet of Moore’s Law and the cultural trends that last for decades. The current is our persistent systems of class and race and gender, and the powerful industrial economy. It can be overcome, but it takes focused effort.

On the other hand, the wind is the breaking news of the moment, the latest social media sensation and the thin layer of hype that surrounds us. It might be a useful distraction, but our real work lies in overcoming the current, or changing it.

It helps to see it first, and to ignore the wind when we can. [Seth Godin]

2. We may want what others have, but perhaps without having gone through what they have. Focussing on others’ success and feeling resentment towards them causes unnecessary negativity, we should instead be satisfied with what we have and focus on our own growth and contentment. (Listen more here – https://open.spotify.com/episode/4697Gfy5gbjXusQd3trYdS) [Gita for the Young and Restless Podcast]

3. Your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works.
Morgan Housel

4. A parable from priest and therapist Anthony de Mello on the stories we tell ourselves:
“A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chickens and grew up with them.

All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked.

“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we’re chickens.”

So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.”

Source: Song of the Bird

5. Those who love gossiping have a deep need to be interesting at all costs. [Kunal Shah]

My Weekly Learnings #15 (04.07 – 10.07)

My Weekly Learnings #15 (04.07 – 10.07)

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. Read to collect the dots, write to connect them. [David Perell]

2. Fitness is 80% nutrition, 20% working out.
Clarity is 80% thinking/writing, 20% reading.
Growing is 80% self-discipline, 20% long-term vision.
Investing is 50% good judgment, 50% being patient.
Attracting opportunities is 0% luck, 100% putting yourself out there and taking risks. [Orange Book on Twitter]

3. A word to every creative person from Ira Glass (sourced from David Perell’s Twitter)

4. What if your life was a sacred responsibility?
The body, a temple.

Every motive, pure.

Every glance, compassionate.

Every word, true.

Every act, right.

Every moment, holy. [Naval Ravikant]

5. “We’re juicing ourselves with sugar, with caffeine, and with whatever the ‘dopaminey’ stimulus is of social media … We’re dosing ourselves to the absolute maximum. This is a sugar, caffeine, and social media society.” [Balaji Srinivasan on the Invest like the Best podcast] (Listen to this particular clip here: https://t.co/PVsGZR5lb8)

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 #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 #10 (30.05 – 05.06)

My Weekly Learnings #10 (30.05 – 05.06)

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).

For this week’s edition, I’m sharing a second edition of the quotes from Star Wars : The Clone Wars (continuing from the first set here) (updating the quotes as and when I watch more episodes)

Star Wars : The Clone Wars. A series created by George Lucas, began with a theatrical feature film, and is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the three years between the prequel films Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
At the start of each episode is a line that summarizes a lesson, a takeaway from the episode and its definitely something to learn.

S01E12 : Fail with honor rather than succeed with fraud

S01E13 (Jedi Crash) : Greed and Fear of Loss are the roots that lead to the tree of evil

S01E14 (Defenders of Peace) : When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side.

S01E15 (Trespass) : Arrogance diminishes Wisdom

S01E17 (Blue Shadow Virus) : Fear is a disease; hope is its only cure.

S01E18 (Mystery of the Thousand Moons) : A single chance is a galaxy of hope

S01E19 (Storm over Ryloth) : It is a rough road that leads to the heights of Greatness

S01E20 (Innocents of Ryloth) : The costs of war can never be truly accounted for

S01E21 (Liberty on Ryloth) : Compromise is a virtue to be cultivated, not a weakness to be despised.


will hopefully update more in the coming series as and when I watch more episodes —

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 #8 (16.05 – 22.05)

My Weekly Learnings #8 (16.05 – 22.05)

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).

For this week’s edition, I decided to take a different route and share something quite interesting.

So I’ve been watching this animated series, Star Wars : The Clone Wars. A series created by George Lucas, began with a theatrical feature film, and is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the three years between the prequel films Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

At the start of each episode is a line that summarizes a lesson, a takeaway from the episode and its definitely something to learn. Since I’ve recently started the series, sharing the few quotes that I’ve come across as of now.

S02E16 (Cat and Mouse) : A wise leader knows when to follow.

S01E16 (The Hidden Enemy) : Truth enlightens the mind, but won’t always bring happiness to your heart.

S03E01 (Clone Cadets) : Brothers in arms are brothers for life.

S03E03 (Supply Lines) : Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

S01E01 (Ambush) :  Great leaders inspire greatness in others.

S01E02 (Rising Malevolence) : Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction.

S01E03 (Shadow of Malevolence) : Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego.

S01E04 (Destroy Malevolence) : A plan is only as good as those who see it through.

S01E05 (Rookies) : The best confidence builder is experience.

S01E06 (Downfall of a Droid) : Trust in your friends, and they’ll have reason to trust in you.

S01E07 (Duel of the Droids) : You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head.

S01E08 (Bombad Jedi) : Heroes are made by the times.

S01E09 (Cloak of Darkness) : Ignore your instincts at your peril.

S01E10 (Lair of Grievous) : Most powerful is he who controls his own power.

S01E11 (Dooku Captured) : The winding path to peace is always a worthy one, regardless of how many turns it takes.

will hopefully update more in the coming series as and when I watch more episodes —

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 #6 (02.05 – 08.05)

My Weekly Learnings #6 (02.05 – 08.05)

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. All bad behavior comes from an absence or momentary lapse of long-term thinking. [Kunal Shah]

2. 3 Things School Taught You Without You Even Realizing It:
A. You learned success is determined by the approval of others
B. You learned failure is a source of shame, rather than a stepping stone to success
C. You learned to depend on authority for thoughts & interpretations [Mark Manson]

3. The most unhappy person on an Olympic medal podium is the silver medalist.
Because silver medalists focus on what they failed to accomplish (win gold), while bronze medalists focus on what they accomplished (winning a medal).
This isn’t theoretical.
A study proved it true.
It’s the difference between “I almost…” and “At least I…”
Turns out that difference in mindset represents a significant amount of happiness. (an excerpt from the book Stretch) [Josh Spector]

4. 7 Productivity Recommendations by Elon Musk were a good read, in the form of a Twitter thread by user, Gabriel Gruber. Check it out here.

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 #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)