A biweekly bookish newsletter for lifelong learners and wanderers alike. Full of timely, wise, and deliberately short assortments ranging from book recommendations and summaries, articles, introduction to thinkers, thinking concepts, and more. All shaped specifically for our morally confused and widely distracted age.
We all start from 0.
Running a marathon seems unachievable to a lot of us. But it's all about putting one foot in front of the other till the goal is reached.
You start with one simple step. Then another. And another. And another...
If you focus on the end goal, you'll feel dreadful for the whole course of the run. Hell, you might even quit - or not even start - because all will seem so outrageous and impossible. But if you focus on the tiny little steps. On your next move. And then on the next. The whole journey will feel much more rewarding - and possible.
Getting past any obstacle, any challenge, any goal lies on the other side of consistently showing up. Consistently doing the work.
Yes. Consistency pays off. I bet you've heard this before. But how can you stay consistent in an immediate-return environment? A place where you want to see results here and now? Not after 5 or 10 years?
Hopefully, I've arranged the words in the right order so you can read the whole thing without snoozing or clicking away and drowning in the endless depths of internet meme-ry.
You did? Hit reply and tell me what you think!
1) Book summaries:
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman: The famous book on EQ. Where the author explains that emotional intelligence (EQ) is far more important than intelligence quotient (IQ). Daniel Goleman makes a great case about how emotions influence not only our internal world, but are also heavily responsible for our external performance. Reading this book will help you understand others better. Swiftly handle obstacles that are constantly trying to sabotage your mood, and prevail. Members of the Thinkers Club get access to a handy workbook (Think Workbook) - covering the key aspects and offering thoughtful exercises. You can download the workbook by accessing the Thinkers Home page.
Become a Thinker: Unlock all of the book summaries on my site and get access to digital workbooks by becoming a Thinker: Thinkers Club.
2) Book finds:
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Malone Scott: A talked-about business book for founders and (apparently) Silicon Valley workers who want to become as good as the big boys - Apple, Twitter, Google. The opinions about this title online are polarizing but overall it seems like a good book for people looking to upgrade their leadership skills.
An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World That Expects Exceptional by Rainesford Stauffer: It seems like this is a great book for people who feel aimless. People who believe that pursuing the “best life” is of numero uno importance. According to the author, you don't need the best life. He explains that you can have "an ordinary life" and still feel good.
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross: When you open GoodReads you are immediately bombarded with big headlines that supposedly should convince you, on the spot, that buying this book is a great choice - why not even 2? While I tend to look away when I see titles like "National bestseller - An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power..." The concept is surely intriguing. Case studies exploring the silent internal conversations we have with ourselves? I want more of those.
Interesting words from books and around the web:
Burritoing (noun): The act of wrapping yourself in multiple blankets, nearing, but not reaching, the point of suffocation.
Kalon (noun): The ideal of physical and moral beauty especially as conceived by the philosophers of classical Greece.
Sciamachy (noun): A battle against imaginary enemies; Fighting your shadow.
4) Great thinkers:
Jacques Lacan was a major figure in Parisian intellectual life for much of the twentieth century. Sometimes referred to as "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud."
Lacan wrote many essays and published transcripts of the seminars he gave. And while he stuffed his writings with mathematical equations and unclear language, he made some extremely useful additions to help us better understand ourselves.
Big Idea: The Mirror stage
The moment infants recognize themselves in the mirror is pivotal. They stare at themselves and transform their previously only internal understanding of their body into an object.
Internally, this realization can feel very unsettling later in life. We create an "Ideal I". An image that is somehow different from our perception about ourselves because the face in the mirror doesn't necessarily look as we feel. Based on this, our thoughts about our image are mixed. We can experience hate - "I don't like what I see in the mirror because I feel better inside!" Or envy - "I want to be like the person in the mirror!"
5) Worth checking:
From my desk:
The Time Inconsistency Problem and How It’s Hurting You: "Something that you might think is not so important today – starting a retirement fund, being more mindful about how you spend your leisure time, what you eat – can lead to a future period where you’ll probably regret not thinking more about it in the past."
From around the web:
The Incentives for Groupthink: "What is groupthink? It is the powerful mechanism through which groups reinforce. It is a well-known phenomenon that groupthink leads to increased polarisation and a tendency to pull towards extremes because views within the group are repeated routinely, and countervailing views are not heard because they have been shut out."
You Have to Be Creative and Flexible: "That’s just the way reality works—i.e., you get paid for giving others what they want, which gives you the money to get what you want. How to do that well is one of the great puzzles you have to solve to have the life you want."
The Tyranny Of Time: "Clock time is not what most people think it is. It is not a transparent reflection of some sort of true and absolute time that scientists are monitoring. It was created, and it is frequently altered and adjusted to fit social and political purposes."
6) Worth knowing:
This is a metaphorical psychological state where a person armors himself to protect himself from unwanted or intolerable feelings, sensations, emotions, or experiences. In a sense, he is shutting his emotions and placing them beneath this imaginary armor which basically creates a false self. This extra gear, when experiencing external sensations, can cause muscular spasms because the person is trying hard to prevent his body from reacting. He is blocking his real self and real feelings.
People with "character" armors may arrange their life in such a way in order to avoid human contact and prevent showing their uniqueness. Thinking it's for their protection.
7) Worth thinking about:
"Success isn't about how your life looks to others. It's about how it feels to you. That's what it means to be true to yourself."
― Michelle Obama
What do you think about this edition of The Study Newsletter? Do you notice something different?
I've removed all the pictures. I wanted to create a pictureless edition and focus mainly on the words. I know that a picture can break the monotonous repetition of words, but I'm also a fan of simplifying things.