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.
Ever wanted to do something? Something that can positively impact your body. Mind. Existence as a whole. But you weren't able to do it because you started doing something else? Something that brings you immediate delight?
Of course, you did. We all do it.
Our undying desire to experience pleasure in this very moment is in constant confrontation with our long-term goals.
Ever since there is internet access wherever we go. It feels like they placed a bakery inside every gym on the planet.
Technically, I can exercise. I have all the means necessary to have a decent-looking body. And yet, I'm not doing it. It feels much better to just relax and enjoy the desserts that make me feel good now.
And it's not just exercising. It's everything.
Postponing pleasure is a battle that you need to wrestle with for as long as you are alive. Especially today. Where feel-good sensations are just a tap away.
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by K. Anders Ericsson: Frustrated by your random actions and average results? You are convinced that greatness is something you are born with, not something you can acquire? Expose yourself to decades of research debunking the myth about talent – that success is embedded in our DNA. Peak (a.k.a. the deliberate practice book) explores the mindset, skills, and techniques a person needs to obtain to reach expert performance.
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Self-Analysis by Karen Horney: Foundational book in the self-analysis movement. Karen Horney discusses the driving forces in the neuroses and gives us tools to understand our inner self.
Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life by Diane Tavenner: In this book, the author, Diane Tavenner, founder of the first Summit charter school - creating personalized learning plans for every student. Offers a blueprint for a better way to educate our children.
3) Great thinkers:
Born in 1902, Fritz Riemann was a German psychologist, psychoanalyst, astrologer, and author.
He is best known for his work on anxiety, which eventually led to the publication of the book of the same name: Anxiety.
Big Idea: Conflicting Needs
Fritz Riemann argued that mental problems are not caused by the presence of fears. It's caused by the imbalance caused by fears.
All the time, the brain is troubled with conflicting needs. On the one hand, we want to be individuals. To self-actualize ourselves. To pursue what we want. On the other hand, we are afraid of being lonely. Thus, we strive to fit in.
Fritz calls this "the need to be an individual versus the need to be part of a group". The fears that emerge from this conflict are fear of commitment and fear of loneliness and self-actualization.
If we are afraid of being left alone, we'll attach ourselves to a person. Idealize them and become dependent on them.
Conversely, afraid that we won't achieve our personal goals. We'll focus on aggressively pursuing only what we want, which will eventually lead us to be by ourselves.
The point is to not let your fears and your desires become dominant - mentally unhealthy. It's all about balance.
Climbing the wrong hill: Kind of old, but exceptionally brilliant post on why you should stop and check which mountain are you climbing and make a change if it is the wrong one.
5) Worth knowing:
Ichigyo-zammai, or the art of the one thing. Is a Japanese technique that teaches us to focus on singular activities.
So simple. And so necessary for our modern crazy world.
Ichigyo-zammai is often called a zen art that basically translated as "just one activity with your full focus."
For those who think that doing this thing. Doing this one thing is an easy task. It's probably because you haven't tried working on a single thing at a time.
The biggest problem in today's world is that there is too much to do and always too little time. Desperately trying to get it all done. We convince ourselves that we can multitask - i.e., do a couple of things simultaneously. But this is just a hallucination.
We can't multitask. We just switch from one task to another, never reaching a state of excellence.
What ichigyo-zammai aims to create is to restore your sanity by focusing you on just one thing.
When you eat. You just eat.
When you do task A. You do just task A.
When you play with your kids. You just play with your kids - you don't check your phone in middle-session attempting to answer even more emails.
It's nearly impossible to practice this today. In the age of busyness where everyone and everything is fighting for your attention. But in the moments when you can. I believe it will be helpful if you just focus on doing the one thing you intended to do.
6) Worth thinking about:
"After awhile you could get used to anything."
― Albert Camus
The above quote cares for further unpacking.
You can do this...
"After awhile you could get used to" toxic relationships, terrible work conditions, and notifications destroying your focus.
But you can also do this...
"After awhile you could get used to" exercising daily, eating healthy meals, and not needing to prove yourself online.
None of this is easy. But realizing what you're settling for is the first step towards creating a plan to start climbing.
Thank you for your time!
To share your thoughts, just hit reply. I love hearing from you. Seriously, do it. It's one of the best parts of writing this newsletter.
New here? Subscribe to the future editions by clicking here.
You are receiving this email because you signed up on my website to receive this newsletter or you are part of my membership program.
Never want to hear from me again? Break my heart by clicking the big unsubscribe button below: