I know something about you without knowing you. I bet you spend A LOT of time in your head.
You know, thinking, worrying, stressing, freaking out — call it whatever you want. I call it a preoccupied mind. And with what?
99% of your thoughts are useless. William James put it best:
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
All my life I’ve been obsessed with practical things. Practical philosophy, practical knowledge, practical books, practical work, and practical advice.
That idea comes from Pragmatism, a philosophical tradition that started in the 19th century in America. Charles Sanders Peirce, who was a Harvard professor, is considered as the “father of Pragmatism.” …
As I’m writing this in June 2020, we’re going through the rockiest months in decades. We have a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a social crisis on our hands. Most of us are dealing with challenges to stay focused on our tasks. Our attention is all over the place.
One of my readers replied this on one of my member-only emails, a monthly 1000-word email that I send out to my clients and students:
“I just caught myself scrolling up and down your email: I know its important, but at the same time I already am thinking about my next task and cannot even focus on finish reading the email. I think I am going through some kind of entrepreneurial anxiety, so much information, difficult to filter, and therefore lacking focus.” …
Writing a book is one of the most fun and painful things in life. There is nothing like it.
During the process, you feel every emotion known to mankind. And looking back on the books I’ve written, I can’t help but feel a sense of inner satisfaction that can’t be matched by anything external. Sure, it’s great that a lot of people read your work. But you write because you enjoy the craft. I wrote before I made any money with it.
That’s why I’m always pleased to receive questions about the writing process. …
Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do things even if you don’t want to do them. That’s one of the most important qualities in life.
Especially in 2020, since we’re all forced to work and spend more time at home. There’s not much we can do outside of the house. That requires self-discipline. A lot of discipline.
We can’t travel, eat out, shop comfortably, watch movies at the cinema, go to concerts, and so forth. …
Too much stuff makes life complex. And yet, we all accumulate stuff. It’s a part of being a human. Even if you’re a minimalist , you’ll still accumulate things. We all do it, and there’s no need to be shameful about it. But let’s be honest. Do we really need everything we own?
Do you really need ten pairs of shoes? Or how about those two coffee machines that are sitting on your kitchen counter? And that iPad that’s catching dust on your desk?
I’m not perfect at that department. Like every other normal person, I’m also a consumer. But I don’t want to become a mindless one. That’s why I practice Stoicism and Mindfulness to decrease my desire for things I don’t need. …
How often have you said, “I’ve done a good enough job,” and moved on? If you’re like me, that’s the story of your life. It started when I was in school. I didn’t care about my grades. I just wanted to finish something and move on.
I always said, “no one cares about your grades.” And I believed that in “real life” no looks at your report cards from ages ago. And in fact, it’s true. Other than my parents, no one has ever looked at my grades — not from high school, and not from college.
That doesn’t mean no one looks at grades; some employers take grades very seriously. But there are not that many professions that require high grades. …
Do you see yourself as a writer? If not, it’s time to change that perception. Because you are a writer. In fact, everyone is. And here are two writing tips that will make your writing more effective.
Before we get to it, let me tell you this: Writing is the most important skill in today’s attention economy.
And it’s not the best writer that wins; it’s the most effective. It’s especially relevant to people who’re not full-time writers (probably 99.99% of all people). We almost only communicate in the written form these days. Our careers truly depend on it.
Do you know the feeling of going back and forth with someone who misunderstood your email or text message? How about writing copy that no one responds to? Or resumes and cover letters that get zero response? …
Have you ever read a book that totally blew your mind? Books have the power to change your perspective on life.
How many times have you heard about some person that decided to pursue something simply because she read a book? It happens all time. Until I was 17, I believed that reading was something you had to do at school, or something that you did for entertainment. I hated reading.
But when I started reading classic books like Crime and Punishment, I realized something: Through reading, you can live a 1000 lifetimes. You can learn from other people’s experiences.
Do you want to learn about happiness? …
Welcome to this productivity guide. The purpose of this guide is twofold. First, I will define what productivity is. Too often, we try to improve productivity without knowing what it is. Second, I share tested and proven ways to improve your productivity.
This is a dynamic guide. I’ve been researching productivity for 10+ years. I update this page as I find new ways to improve it. Feel free to bookmark this article as a reference. Productivity is not something we only study once. It’s a continuous practice. I hope you find this guide useful.
Productivity is a concept that’s widely misunderstood. The main reason is that we use the word productivity on a macro and micro scale. On the news, we read about workforce productivity, which is basically the aggregate output of all workers. …
For the biggest part of my adult life, I was unfree in a free world. I could do whatever I wanted but I didn’t use that freedom. Unwanted obligations and invisible expectations were holding me back.
Modern-day life is full of obligations. We don’t only need to make a living, we also feel like we need to please everyone in our social lives and keep up with strangers on social media.
If that’s not bad enough, we keep spending our money. …