Self-Improvement

Imitate, Then Innovate

How did Leonardo da Vinci, Hunter S. Thompson, and George Lucas create their masterpieces? They found their creative voices while committing today’s grave sin: imitation. During his apprenticeship, da Vinci learned skills like math, anatomy, and drawing techniques by imitating his master, Andrea del Verrocchio. Many of da Vinci’s masterpieces were similar to Verrocchio’s work, although they weren’t perfect copies. Da Vinci didn’t just look toward his master. He also imitated Michelangelo’s David, which he was fascinated with likely because Verrocchio made a sculpture similar to it.
Read full article here

Life Is Not Short

Life isn’t short; we just waste most of the time we’re given. Seneca, one of the most popular Stoic philosophers, believed we waste our time on busywork that doesn’t make us happy, often for a future that we can’t guarantee we’ll see. Even Emperor Augustus, the most powerful man of his time, longed for the day he could retire. Instead of living for the future, Seneca implores us to live as if every day were our last; to do things we care about today so we don’t wish for tomorrow.
Read full article here

Psychological Debt

Like monetary debt, we can build up psychological debt throughout our lives. Psychological debt is the sum of our traumatic experiences that still affect us. Much like monetary debt, sometimes we don’t want to pay it all off because it takes a lot of work. We’d prefer to address our traumas when they immediately affect us, then push it all away when we’re psychologically safe. But much like monetary debt, working to pay it off—through therapy, reflection, soul-searching, and more—is said to be better for us in the long run. Read full article here

The Definition Of Knowledge And Its Management

Peter Drucker, the father of management thinking, was right when he predicted that knowledge would be the most valuable asset of the 21st century. Being able to apply information into situations is necessary in the information age. That’s why we should manage knowledge like we would our investments. For example, we should “buy low and sell high” by learning emerging techniques (when the demand and value are low) to use in the future (when the demand and value are high). Read full article here

Entropy: Why Life Always Seems To Get More Complicated

Why do we exert so much effort into acheiving our ideal lives? It’s because of entropy—the universe’s tendency for disorder. There is only one set of circumstances that would lead to your ideal life; the rest would be some form of disorder. Therefore, the chances of having an ideal life from the get-go are astronomically small. James Clear argues that you can fight back against entropy, with simply energy, patience, and effort to get your life into order. Read full article here

I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)

It’s human nature to want to be happy, but it seems like constantly pursuing happiness ironically makes us less happy in the long run. Neurological studies have found that having overly high expectations about things or events often results in less satisfaction overall, even after a positive outcome. Worse still is that this diminished happiness causes us to move on from positive outcomes quickly because of our need to feel happy, meaning we aren’t able to be grateful for what we just achieved or what just happened in our lives. Read full article here

Encouraging Self-Doubt

While confidence is good, Michael DeHaan argues that self-doubt is even more important. When one is overconfident, they tend to mistrust people; the logic is that they think that they can’t be wrong, so their teammates must be wrong instead. Instead of casting doubt on themselves, they cast doubt on others, passing over possibly brilliant ideas. A casualty of this mistrust is the stifling of these brilliant ideas and their development because ideas can’t develop when you think your idea alone is the best. Read full article here

Building Healthy Habits When You’re Truly Exhausted

The first step towards building healthy habits when you’re constantly exhausted is to focus on sleep. To improve your sleep quality, time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders suggests going to bed earlier instead of setting an alarm to wake up earlier. Calculate the time you need to be in bed by choosing a time to wake up and the number of hours of sleep that make you feel rested. She suggests this order because going to bed early and falling asleep quickly is much harder than getting up on time. Read full article here

The Time Hack Everyone Should Know

When we make active decisions about how we spend our time and decide where to invest it, we are practising the concept of social economising. Michelle Drouin calls social economising the greatest hack of all time because it makes us realise that technology doesn’t control us. One way you can practise social economising is through omission; carve out intimate times and spaces where your phone is off limits, like dinner time and the bedroom, to curb your screen time. Read full article here

Optimal Quitting

Opportunity cost refers to the gains one forfeits by choosing one option over another one. John A. List illustrates opportunity cost through the story of his failed golf career. After realising he would never be a pro golfer, he decided to shift gears and take up economics; it was a field he was skilled in and enjoyed. If he had chosen to be a golfer, he would have missed out on his teaching and consulting careers and a lot of publications, which are more important than being a lousy golfer. Read full article here

FASCINATING READS, SUMMARISED

The occasional email full of conversation-worthy content