May 2023

Productivity is often a distraction. Don’t aim for better ways to get through your tasks as quickly as possib`le. Instead aim for better tasks that you never want to stop doing.

“You are the open, empty site of a ceaseless display of an infinite variety of experience.”


What does your dream day look like?

I’m not talking if you had 1 day to live and how would you spend it. If you had thousands of days left to live and you had to do something, be somewhere, what would you be doing?

You might not come up with the answer straight away but keep asking.

If you’re used to telling yourself you’d do things and never actually do them, step one is building back your trust in yourself. You do that by starting unbelievably small.

We worry about having all the right answers.

But I think it’s better to focus on asking the right questions.

The right question at the right time can change the course of a life, can still a turbulent situation, can provide a totally different perspective.

You have devoted your life to the light: devote what remains to obscurity. It is impossible to give up your pursuits if you do not give up their fruits. Renounce all concern for name and glory. … Among other gratifications, give up the one which comes from other people’s approval.

  • On Solitude, Montaigne

Socrates was told that some man had not been improved by travel. ‘I am sure he was not,’ he said. ‘He went with himself!’

Making time for what matters to your life requires setting boundaries and prioritizing tasks based on personal intuition and a balance of urgency, pleasure, and joy. It is important to listen to your intuition and identify that one thing that worths your attention.

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

“It’s hard to grow beyond something if you won’t let go of it.”

“Broaden your interests. It’s nice to have at least one surprising hobby or passion. People find it interesting. In many ways, the part of you that is least expected is more respected.”

“People don’t need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don’t need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. And so forth.

Trying to fill real but nonmaterial needs—for identity, community, self-esteem, challenge, love, joy—with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to never-satisfied longings. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its nonmaterial human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, world require much lower material and energy throughputs and would provide much higher levels of human fulfillment.”

  • Donella Meadows

When you’re living a good day, what is one habit that tends to be part of that day? Can you find time for that habit today?

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

  • Audrey Hepburn

“When is effort superfluous, and when is it what makes all the difference?”

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”​ — Gustave Flaubert

“The public has a distorted view of science because children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries.” — Freeman Dyson

What looks like skill is often just a lot of work that no one sees. Long nights, early mornings, sweat, tears. If you want remarkable results, you need to work remarkably hard. Professionals go all in. They don’t leave at five every day because that’s 8 hours from when they show up; they grind for small insights. Knowledge accumulates in drips and gets leveraged in buckets.

Historically, our identities were given to us at birth. We were defined by our birthplaces and our family names. To the modern mind, this classic relationship with identity is oppressive and limiting, because modern life is different. We want to be unconstrained. Our identities come from within. But what we end up doing is measuring our worth by our level of achievement and our latest successes. In the absence of God, we manufacture our own identities, which can cause us to conflate self-worth with social status.

If aliens arrived on Earth, they’d be shocked by how many humans are unconsciously following default life scripts. They’re doing work they don’t care about with people who don’t inspire them. Driven by fear and sleepwalking through life, they follow the illusion of prestige instead of surrendering to their nature and doing things that actually interest them. - ​The Pathless Path

Your rate of learning is limited only by your curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

If I could sink my teeth into the whole earth And actually taste it, I’d be happier for a moment… But I don’t always want to be happy. To be unhappy now and then Is part of being natural. Not all days are sunny, And when rain is scarce, we pray for it. And so I take unhappiness with happiness Naturally, just as I don’t marvel That there are mountains and plains And that there are rocks and grass… ​> What matters is to be natural and calm In happiness and in unhappiness, To feel as if feeling were seeing, To think as if thinking were walking, And to remember, when death comes, that each day dies, And the sunset is beautiful, and so is the night that remains… That’s how it is and how I want it to be… — Fernando Pessoa

Who are the few people that deliver the majority of happiness in your life? Can you schedule time with one of them today?

“Whoever has the most fun, wins.”

“We learn nothing by being right.” - Elizabeth Bibesco

Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

To be disciplined is to resist your short-term emotional whims in service of your long-term goals. Let everlasting love triumph over the temptress of temporary hate.

Life gets easier when you accept who you truly are, even if doing so may disappoint your friends, your family, and the person you see in the mirror every day.

A mark of maturity is surrendering to the person you actually are, instead of the one you wish you were. Most people never get such clarity, and they’re stunted for life.

Surrender is terrifying at first. It feels like the death of your dreams. But it’s actually the birth of something much more profound.

There’s ease on the other side of surrender.