Monday Medley: Gurus, self reliance, and problems with pop-psych

This is a copy of this week’s email that I sent to my newsletter, which you can join here if you like.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone’s post-debate-what-the-hell-just-happened-hangover isn’t too bad…

Fixing College: I’m starting a project around helping college students pursue non-traditional paths. If that’s interesting to you, I’ve started a group for ithere and would love to have you be part of the (already great) discussions. More to come in the near future.

Not Your Guru: Tony Robbins can get flack sometimes, being called a “motivational speaker” or “self-help guru,” mostly because of how many scammy people have entered his industry after him. The documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” on Netflix is fantastic and demonstrates how effective his techniques really are, and how his methods are based in effective psychology. Check it out.

Self-Reliance: I re-read Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” last week and DAMN that is a motivational essay. A few gems:

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”

“A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thingwere titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think… you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.”

“Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”

20 Cognitive Biases: I found this useful chart of 20 common cognitive biasesand how they influence you. It’s worth regularly reflecting on until they’re ingrained in your psyche, where you don’t just notice them in other people’s words, but your own thoughts.

Popular Tweet: “The crazy thing about psychology today is that you can get credit for “discovering” what philosophy has known for centuries.” (link)

Have a great week :)