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!
This week I want to start with the following concept:
We all start from zero.
Zero books written. Zero books read. Zero countries visited - if that's the thing that gets you out of bed.
The point is, we have nothing initially. Whether this will be when we start a new job or begin a quest of learning how to write better words online.
Normally, we'll want to move faster from zero to one. After all, it's quite depressing to have zero skills.
This leads to the following question:
Where do you start?
Most commonly, we turn to purchasing items. Thinking that buying something, a fancy gadget, for instance, will help us magically type better words.
But if buying a new laptop is the mediator that can make us better at writing. Or buying the most expensive guitar in the shop, the thing that can transform us into better guitarists. Why there aren't millions of people who are successful writers or half-naked rock stars on a stage with long hair and a mass of fans screaming?
Oh, that's right, because the item is just a tool. It's not a prerequisite for a successful career.
Writing is writing regardless of the device you use. If you have a hard time putting your ideas on a piece of paper or on your old, sound-making laptop that has marks from your cat. Guess what? You won't do any better even if you upgrade your equipment with the newest machine currently available on the market.
If you write, or you want to write, the device you're using is not that important. The important thing is to want to write and to write more often - or whatever that gives you the chills.
Personally, for me, it all starts on a blank piece of paper.
The words you're reading right now first existed on a piece of paper.
Inside my Idea Journal.
By putting my ideas first on a piece of paper, I basically make a plan for how to make something out of nothing.
This leads to...
This week's post is a bit more personal and a bit more practical.
I'll share my analog note-taking system(s).
And even though my handwriting is worse than a drunk spider dipped in ink, it's one of my favorite activities for planning and jotting down ideas.
Hopefully, the processes mentioned can help you move from zero to one faster in your field of interest.
I'd be glad to hear about your own note-taking system if you have one - just hit reply.
1) Book summaries:
[NEW] The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin: If you're a fan of personality tests you'll adore this book. Gretchen Rubin, apparently a famous blogger I'm just finding out about, created a four-sided system that categorizes humanity. And depending on how you handle expectations, you're either an Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. I was hoping to be a Rebel but it seems that I'm an Upholder.
If you'd like access to the full summary + the whole library of book summaries on my site consider
becoming a member.
2) Book finds:
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Extra note: I'm super excited about this week's Book Finds section! Not one, but three of my favorite authors have new books. I wasn't so sure what I'm going to do this winter but now I know. I'm going to read these three books:
The Daily Laws by Robert Greene: Excited is nowhere near the word that can describe how I felt when his new book was out. I was ecstatic, joy-jumping. Yes, I'm a huge fan of Robert Greene. Still don't know if this is good or bad, but this book is a bit different from his other works. Instead of long and detailed chapters where you kind of lose yourself in the historical events, The Daily Laws, as the title suggests, focuses on daily practices. Short chapters with a single to-do item that should make us better at playing the game of life. Of course, I'm going to read it and soon share my findings.
Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday: If you still don't know, Ryan Holiday started his writing career by dropping out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene. And as we can see, things work out pretty well for him. In this book - which will be part of a series where he will explore four virtues - he talks about courage. How to stop standing on the sidelines of life and start kicking ass.
Will by Will Smith: I'm sure you know Will Smith. But do you know that his yet-to-be-published book was actually written by Mark Manson? Now you know. The author of the widely popular book with a provocative title - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - spent more than a year documenting the journey of the bad boy Will Smith. Oh boy, do I want to get that book.
Interesting words from books and around the web:
Alpas (verb): To become free. To break loose.
Eleutheromania (noun): An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.
Sulit (adjective): Something that is worth it.
4) Great thinkers:
Born in March 1596, Rene Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who famously said: "I think therefore I am."
Widely regarded for his contribution to philosophy and geometry. His greatest achievement is a bit different than only teaching us equations. His task in life was making our minds better equipped for the task of thinking.
Big Idea: Method of Doubts
The Method of Doubts states that you should reject all ideas and principles and then personally re-create the logic behind a system or an object. This way of thinking, also called methodological skepticism, helps you understand principles, theories, solve oppressing problems, and basically understand what's happening around you better.
When you doubt something, you actively think about how this thing exists. In a sense, you are destroying a set of beliefs often imposed by society and you use the ruins plus reason to construct your own logical explanation about the thing you're observing.
5) Worth checking:
From my desk:
Why Obsessively Following Successful People Online is Dangerous: Yet another article where I talk about the negative consequences when you overuse social media. Here's a short snippet: "Personally, I imagine the stream of self-help content being produced each day and shared online, usually on social media, like a river. Let’s call it The Ambitions River..."
One Big Idea: “In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
6) Worth knowing:
Kleinscheiss Tag it's a German concept that can be translated as "Hate Day". Or more precisely, "little sh*t day." No, it's not a day where you purposefully hate everyone you meet. It's a day where you deliberately schedule annoying tasks. Things you absolutely hate but are still important - like doing your taxes, calling an annoying client, or cleaning the house.
When you set aside time for the shitty things in life, you feel less anxious. You basically say, "I've scheduled to worry about my taxes at 3 PM today. Now, I will focus on writing." Try it out. It doesn't have to be a full day. You can make room for an hour of your day where you do things that you don't want to do but you have to do.
"We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone."
― Robert M. Pirsig
Here's how a digital library should look like - interactive. Like you're really holding the book.
It just makes you want to read all of these books.
Thanks for reading!
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