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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 #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 #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 #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 #12 (13.06 – 19.06)

My Weekly Learnings #12 (13.06 – 19.06)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Weekly Learnings #5 (25.04 – 01.05)

My Weekly Learnings #5 (25.04 – 01.05)

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

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

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

(Read more here)

2. Writer Alice Walker on the discomfort of growth:

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

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

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

Source: Living by the Word: Essays

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

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

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

My Weekly Learnings #3 (11.04 – 17.04)

My Weekly Learnings #3 (11.04 – 17.04)

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 are no full stops in success. There are just commas. Success is not a destination. Success is a journey.

• One who seeks victory is a Man. One who spreads Victory is a ‘Maharshi’.
(Maharshi, a Telugu film)

2. More isn’t better.
    Faster isn’t further.
    Money isn’t wealth.
    Habits aren’t destiny.
    Solitude isn’t loneliness.
(Shane Parish)

3. ‘Everyone is rational’
But if that’s true, then why don’t we all agree on the right next step?
It could be because everyone has a different experience, different data and different goals.

Or, it could be that you are the only one who’s rational.

And it could be that we all like to tell ourselves we’re doing the right thing, but ultimately, all we can do is make choices based on how we see the world.

The way we see things drives our choices, and, of course, our choices change the way we see things.
(Seth Godin)

4. ⁃ Early to bed, early to rise
    ⁃ Not skipping meals and eating on time
    ⁃ Being regular with exercise

Remain the most underrated and undervalued means to boost immunity,  simply because they cannot be packed into a bottle and sold as a pill.
(Rujuta Diwekar)

#3 of The Last 7 Days (23.03-29.03)

#3 of The Last 7 Days (23.03-29.03)

With another Sunday, here’s the third edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.

I’ve been told my choices are pretty good to consume and I should share them with everyone, so you don’t have to just browse through.

If any of the below-mentioned topics interest you, let’s chat – @rth24 on Instagram.


What To Read:

1. Why Singapore isn’t in a coronavirus lockdown — as told by a doctor of the country.

Read here.

2. 29 Movies on Netflix With Complex, Strong Women Leads That You Can Watch Tonight

Check it out here.

3. Read a report on ‘Social Media To Help Indian Digital Ads Market Reach INR 59K Cr By 2025’.


What To Listen:

1. 11 Indoor Activities to reduce stress, beat boredom and boost Positivity by Jay Shetty.

Listen here.

2. Listen to this episode of Today, Explained – a podcast by Vox Media where they talk about Asia’s second wave of COVID-19.

3. Manchester United have their own podcast, yep, you read that right. In their latest episode, they interview Juan Mata and talk about his journey as a footballer.

You can listen to it here.

4. Salil Acharya has a new podcast on Spotify, Off Script with Salil and he interviews Taapsee Pannu on her life beyond movies.

Listen to it here.

5. Akimbo – a podcast by Seth Godin, if you don’t know who he is, Google him. In one of his recent episodes, he talks about the curation of information on the internet and its quite interesting.

Do check it out here.


What To Watch:

1. Rajeev Masand has a new series on YouTube, Catching Up during Self-Isolation and he interviews Pankaj Tripathi in one of the episodes. What’s special about this episode is Pankaj Tripathi’s point of view on life and isolation and what can we learn from it.

Watch it here.

2. Director Rian Johnson breaks down a scene from ‘Knives Out‘ and explains the process behind shooting that scene.

Watch it here.

3. The Internet Said So, a podcast by Varun Thakur, Aadar Malik, Neville Shah and Kautuk Srivastava where they discuss random, absurd, interesting stuff from the internet.

In one of their recent episodes ft Biswa Kalyan Rath, they discuss Conspiracy Theories and well, its comically interesting to watch.

Here.

4. Dann Mace, a YouTuber with some fascinating and gripping content has a new video titled, ‘getting old with Casey Neistat‘ and Casey makes a super interesting point on the perspective of turning 30.

You should definitely give it a watch here.


There is a lot of insightful, engaging and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.

This is Marketing by Seth Godin (Review)

This is Marketing by Seth Godin (Review)

If you don’t know who Seth Godin is, I’d suggest you Google him and find out – the guy is a legend, so insightful and brilliant, be it his books, his keynote or his podcasts, he always stuns you with his knowledge on the subject of marketing.

This is one of the best books in this category, with so much information that it’ll definitely give you a new outlook on Marketing!

What Marketing is supposed to be, How marketers should approach the market, the pointers you should keep in mind, this book covers it all.

More importantly, the book also gives you an insight of looking at the market, if you’re a consumer.

In this age of marketing, where ads are being thrown on us with selling products and services, and hardly anyone taking care of the consumers, it is important to notice which brand do you align yourself with.

The values that the brand is providing, how do the other consumers align themselves with the brand, and is there any synergy or not.

This book is everything and I’d absolutely recommend it to be in your top 10 books to read list.