1. “. . . hundreds of paths up the mountain . . .”
3-2-1: Being yourself, feeling unqualified, and win-win relationships – James Clear – (3-2-1 Thursday newsletter)
This was a short share in Clear’s newsletter that caught my attention. A Hindu proverb on the many ways to win:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
I have to say, there are a lot of people running around the mountain these days.
Do this: take your path.
2. “Abandon books quickly.”
How I Went From Reading Zero Books To 20 A Year – Josh Spector – (For the Interested newsletter)
For the longest time, I was the guy that had to finish every book he started. I’m almost ashamed to admit I read the entire ten-book “Mission Earth” series by L. Ron Hubbard. There’s a slice of my life I’ll never get back.
Giving myself permission to set a book aside was a game-changer. It’s still difficult — maybe there’s gold in the pages I’m about to abandon — but even when I’ve pushed through it’s rarely been the case. You can figure it out pretty quickly. I read somewhere that a great rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 100 and then read that many pages before giving up on a bad book. (And yes, after 100 you’re allowed to judge a book by its cover. )
Another thing to make it a tad easier? There are no “bad” books, just books that aren’t for me. Makes the decision feel less “judgy”.
Do this: you have permission to stop reading that book that isn’t for you.
3. “There will always be trolls, critics and annoying people.”
Great Life Advice From “Jim the Greek.” No, Not That One. – Julia E Hubbel – (Medium)
The quote (from Jim the Greek) continues:
The harshest punishment you can render on them is to ignore them. Just keep being you.
Trolls and politicians crave attention. The best thing — literally the best thing we could do — would be to ignore them. And yet, our media, our social media, our attention, our day-to-day conversations, continue to feed them. One might even say over-feed them. Quit giving them the attention they crave and they’ll go away. Really.
Do this: choose carefully whom you feed.
4. Take notes
To be honest, the book was a disappointment. And yet the takeaway is real. Taking intelligent notes while reading aids both understanding and long-term retention — as well as building a corpus of information to be used and referenced later. My issue with the book is simply that it felt like it spent 90% of the time justifying the practice, and only 10% defining it or giving examples of the technique. To be fair, its target audience is probably closer to those just entering college, but still.
Continuing to look for good resources. (I may have found one.)
Do this: Do what’s appropriate for you to really read for comprehension. It can be difficult.
5. “Savor and celebrate small things.”
Savor-y Flavor – Rob Walker – (The Art of Noticing newsletter)
There’s been more than a little discussion about how earlier this summer the feeling was one of hope and looking forward to a post-pandemic return to normal. As we know, it hasn’t turned out that way. Walker touches on a theme he discovered across several writings, of which the takeaway above is perhaps the most pithy. Another perspective:
So we actually have to put some effort in towards noticing that which is neutral or pleasant — in fact, if we can really notice, most things that are even neutral become pleasant, because they become fascinating. But we do have to create those conditions. And it’s so worth it, if we do.
He’s quoting from an interview he did with Christine Runyan, a clinical psychologist, professor, and “certified mindfulness teacher.”
In thinking about how best to survive the current malaise, the approach makes a lot of sense.
Do this: create those conditions.
6. “. . . truth itself has supply-chain problems . . .”
It’s easy to judge the unvaccinated. As a doctor, I see a better alternative – Jay Baruch – (STAT online news publication)
The phrase “supply chain” has been getting mentioned more and more of late as various industries are adversely affected by problems getting the materials needed to do business. Seeing that phrase applied to accurate information was eye-opening. That’s exactly what’s happening.
The article itself is quite thought-provoking.
Unfortunately, the voices on the extreme right and the extreme left drown out, even obliterate, the opportunities for the conversations we should be having.
I’m not sure I can be as hopeful as his suggested direction, given the forces operating in opposition, but it’s an important perspective from someone who’s truly boots-on-the-ground in the pandemic. (He’s an ER doctor.)
Do this: The article’s worth a read, as his perspective deserves deeper thought than just a simple takeaway or two.
7. “How to Never Grow Old”
How to Never Grow Old – Michael Thompson – (Medium)
I’ll admit, this may be another case of confirmation bias. The article resonates with me so strongly because I believe its premise so strongly.
The saddest part about getting older for me is seeing how intellectually dead some of my friends have chosen to become.
Emphasis mine. For many people getting old is a choice. And what’s frustrating is that it’s easier and easier these days to make different choices.
Choosing to be intellectually alive has become my only marching order. It’s my primarly job. Everything I do revolves around it. Everything else is meaningless without it.
- It serves as a reminder to listen as hard as I can.
- It serves as a reminder to learn as hard as I can.
- It serves as a reminder to care as hard as I can.
One of the reasons I love my chosen profession is that I’ll never be short on things to learn until the day I die.
Do this: Choose wisely.
What I’m Reading
In progress (also on GoodReads):
- The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown – Catherine Burns (editor)
- Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World – Vaclav Smil
- Paper & Blood: Book Two of the Ink & Sigil series – Kevin Hearne
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman