A biweekly bookish newsletter pushing you into extraordinary intellectual rabbit holes that will fuel your curiosity, keep your motivation levels high, and inspire you to commit to continuous growth.
Hello and welcome!
Happy new year! Frohes neues Jahr! Feliz año nuevo! Bonne année! Buon anno! Честита нова година!
No matter where you are in the world. I wish you a life-changing year full of intellectually challenging conversations, mind-altering books, goals worth fighting for, and an extra dosage of health.
I took a break from the newsletter to reflect, plan, do some reading, and, of course, write.
Now, I'm finally back.
What are you up to?
This is the time of year when we sit down at the round table of productivity and we note down all kinds of skills that we wish to adopt in the following 12 months. Plus, like every other year, have a personal pep talk about going to the gym (if gyms are open in your country).
But we all know what happens next. We go back doing the same old stuff but a bit slower this time because we are a bit older.
What if, instead of trying to do more. Fail. And then probably hate yourself for wasting time. Why don't try something different...
For instance, do less social media.
The most popular articles I've published last year were all about not using social media.
And while you might think, "Why is someone who writes book summaries so aggressively producing content related to the virtual oasis where we all look awesome?"
Well, if you want to start doing something extra helpful (read books). It makes sense to first get rid of something extraordinarily painful (read posts about how other people read books).
If you stop surfing the online wasteland we collectively call social media. You not only clear your schedule for the important things. But you also heal your troubled soul consumed by the thought "what should I post next?"
That's why, next time - by next time I mean in about two weeks - I'm launching something.
I call them: Manuals for Mortals!
These strange-sounding manuscripts aim to cover one particular topic in a very detailed and practical manner.
My goal with these guides is to make them short enough so you can read them in one sitting, but long enough to alter your thinking - in a good way. The plan is to launch one per year.
And as you can probably suspect. Manual #1 will be all about social media.
How to stop letting it consume your life and start using it to live the life you want.
So, stay tuned for the big launch.
In the meantime, try to imagine what a life without constantly trying to impress others online will look like.
And, more importantly, what you can do with the extra time on your hands.
More about this in the next email!
1) Book summaries:
Atomic Habits by James Clear: What better way to start the year than to remind yourself how important habits are. Uncover the best practices for building better habits. Stop procrastinating and get to work.
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To by David A. Sinclair: The author is making immortality sound kind of possible. Well, you won't become everlasting like Superman. But at least increase your lifespan without feeling like a shipwreck.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt: A business book in a narrative form that introduces the theory of constraints. Eliyahu M. Goldratt wants to help us effectively use what we've got to achieve our goals.
Abendrot (noun): The color of the sky when the sun is setting.
Onsra (noun): The bittersweet feeling that love won't last.
Retrouvailles (noun): From French, the happiness that fills your heart when you meet someone after a very long time.
4) Great thinkers:
Howard Washington Thurman was an American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. He grew up in Daytona, Florida and was raised by his grandmother, a former slave. He played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century.
Big Idea: Common Ground
Howard Thurman preached a philosophy of Common Ground. This principle teaches that humans need to seek inner spiritual happiness that would lead them to share their experiences in the community with others.
He urged people to take an inward journey in order to “find the sound of the genuine in you."
Facing past complexities, failures, and prejudices gives us clarity about who we are. It creates an opportunity to explore ourselves. And eventually, the freedom to live a genuine life.
But the main goal of the Common Ground philosophy is not about simply finding a way to become happier. It's about finding a way to be who you are.
5) Worth checking:
From my desk:
On My Goals for 2022: The month of January offers something no other month can offer – a fresh start. Besides reflecting on what worked and what didn’t in 2021. It’s also the best time of the year to think about what do you most want to improve/do next year? In this post, I share what I'm going to focus on doing this year.
On 2021 (Year In Review & Lessons Learned): A post about how my site performed in 2021 along with lessons learned from the journey. I think that people who run sites/newsletters will find the first part particularly interesting. The second part is probably going to interest everyone. This is not the usual "everything is superb" kind of post. I share the painfully slow growth of my site.
From around the web:
On falling in love and staying in love: "As you approach the same age as your parents when they had you, you gain great empathy for them, realizing that like you, they were just kids trying to figure it all out along the way."
6) Worth knowing:
Learning by teaching:
If you want to learn something quickly and masterfully: Teach. That's the secret.
The learning-by-teaching effect is widely used by knowledge workers to enhance their skills.
The reasoning behind this phenomenon is quite simple. People who teach learn better because it compels them to retrieve what they’ve previously studied.
When you're practicing learning by teaching, you're not simply studying. You think of ways to preset the information better to the people you're teaching. Therefore, you excel faster in the subject.
Don't think that this method is only reserved for teachers. You can practice this by writing articles or simply creating slides for your personal use. The point is to create materials others can learn from - including yourself.
7) Worth thinking about:
"Discovering you were wrong is an update, not a failure, and your worldview is a living document meant to be revised"
― Julia Galef
I paused this newsletter for a month to take a break and make a plan for the year.
I'm back with my regular schedule of sending emails - twice a month.
I hope you are safe wherever you are in the world and I wish you an amazing new year full of things to be proud of.
Before you go, I'll leave you with this amazing poster from a fellow blogger/writer/reader: