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.
Online, the effort to make someone feel something is hard to measure. You type letters that turn into words that turn into sentences that later turn into passages.
You arrange these sections in such a way, hoping, praying even, that the person who will eventually come across them will somehow feel moved by the subject you are covering. Whether these words will cause a sense of sweet melancholy or a thrilling burst of energy is not always something you can fully control. Nor you should.
The important thing is to evoke sensations that are remembered by the reader. Cause them to think more deeply on the topic or stir them towards a new point of view they have just acquainted with.
Not surprisingly, words on a piece of paper - or in a digital format - can move. It happens all the time. As long as you are focusing outwards - on the people reading.
In my last newsletter, I moved more than 40 people - or at least that's what the stats show. 40+ brave souls decided to move from simply reading a book to actively thinking about the content they are consuming. 40+ curious people decided to put the world and mute so they can slow down, and finally understand what they are reading. 40+ people decided to join The Thinkers Club.
And even if the introduced membership is not right for you, what I wanted to say in this intro is quite simple: Find sources, activities, people that strike the right emotional chord in you. The more something makes you feel something - even if it's not something others will understand - the more you'll pay attention. And the more you pay attention, then, well, the deeper you'll look. The tighter you'll hold. And the stronger you'll connect.
Thanks again to all the Thinkers. You can expect the new digital publication this Saturday.
Range by David Epstein: Often people say that we should specialize in one specific field if we want to succeed – “Find your niche,” they say. However, life is not that simple. Laser focusing on one domain will get you to a certain point but if you want to thrive in this “wicked” world, you should have a range of skills. Packed with a lot of supporting case studies, Range by David Epstein explains that true success comes only after a long period of sampling.
Unlock all of the book summaries on my site and get access to digital workbooks by becoming a Thinker -> Thinkers Club.
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han: Although it's only 60 pages long, this book aims to explain how our competitive, service-oriented society is taking a toll on the late-modern individual. We are being forced to multitask, instead of being empowered to think more deeply.
Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger: Developed by two master clinicians with extensive experience in cognitive therapy treatment and training. This popular workbook shows readers how they can improve their lives using cognitive therapy. At least that's what the cover says.
We all have an inner voice that creates thoughts in our brains. These thoughts then make us feel a certain way. By realizing that our thoughts mold how we feel, we can drastically improve the quality of our lives.
In the book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David D. Burns, outlines scientifically proven techniques that aim to lift our spirit and help us develop a positive outlook on life.
Interesting words from books and around the web:
Kenshō [noun]: Ken means "seeing", shō means "nature, essence". It is usually translated as "seeing one's (true) nature".
Lagom [noun]: Not too much. Not too little. Just right.
Orphic [adjective]: Mysterious and entrancing; beyond ordinary understanding.
Dame Jean Iris Murdoch was an Irish and British novelist and philosopher. Her skills as a writer allow her to portray moral and philosophical questions within accessible storylines.
Murdoch is best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious.
Big idea: Self-Imposed Attention to Detail
Through her work, Iris Murdoch wanted to provoke more people to start paying attention. But not the type of attention we usually encounter - on our job, or when working on a design project. Paying more attention to the people around you and giving them a second chance, so we can see them as they are.
In her famous work, The Idea of Perfection, she explains how a mother called M changes her opinion of her daughter-in-law called D.
Firstly, M calls D "unpolished and lacking in dignity and refinement." Then, after paying attention to her quick and harsh conclusions, M decided to revisit her initial statement until her view of D gradually alters: "D is discovered to be not vulgar but refreshingly simple, not undignified but spontaneous, not noisy but gay, not tiresomely juvenile but delightfully youthful."
The idea here is to confront your first thoughts on how you see others. To pay more attention to what's happening and see things, and people, as they really are.
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From my desk:
About Motion vs. Action: "Motion is a delusional state where you are thinking that you are doing something while you are actually – in most situations – only preparing to start doing the thing you so obsessively talk about. It’s something like wishful thinking."
From around the web:
What is the availability heuristic? "The availability heuristic describes our tendency to use information that comes to mind quickly and easily when making decisions about the future."
Effective Psychological Tricks: "Saying 'You're right!' instead of 'I know' makes you look less like an asshole and doesn't diminish something someone else may have just found out."; "My 4-year-old got into the 'Why?' phase a little while back. I read an article that said the best way to get them to stop was to ask them, 'I'm not sure, what do you think?' It is a godsend."
Loss aversion is our tendency to prefer avoiding losses compared to acquiring equivalent gains. That's why we stop ourselves from engaging with someone we don't know in a conversation or investing in a new business. The mere thought of someone rejecting us or losing part of our cash is scary and heavily outweighs what we might potentially gain.
And to be more specific, loss aversion implies that one who loses $100 will lose more satisfaction than the same person will gain satisfaction from a $100 windfall.
Worth thinking about:
"Being able to depend on someone doesn't mean you're dependent on them."
― Sarah Rees Brennan
Two things to end appropriately:
1) I finally came out of my writing hiatus - I mean, writing something other than a book summary. I published this short piece on motion vs. action.
2) In case you are bored, or you want to create art - even if you're not an artist - this tool can help you doodle online like no other. Check it out: draw online.
Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them. Just hit reply.