“When we do not expect anything, we can be ourselves.”
— Shunryu Suzuki
Making meditation a daily habit was one of my goals for 2014. But a few months in, I still hadn’t managed to do it for more than two days in a row.
I was sitting in the middle of my room, eyes closed, trying to meditate. But my mind was racing, and my head hurt. I hated the silence. I tried this over and over again, but it never worked. I felt like a failure. In June 2014, I stopped forcing myself and ditched the goal altogether.
With 24 hours a day and limited days before you die, you’re facing a trade-off between how you spend and not spend your time.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman was well aware of this dichotomy, and he developed a framework that helped him navigate through life.
If you ever wondered whether you’re using your time for the right things, this timeless idea will help you direct your attention to what matters most.
While most people find problems inconvenient, Feynman took a fresh approach. Through his lens, problems can give your life meaning and purpose. He once wrote:
“My approach to…
Do you ever lay down thinking you didn’t achieve enough?
If you worry about being worthless, it’s likely because you’ve adopted a toxic thought pattern — often without realizing it. As Dr. Emilia Roig writes:
“Capitalism is to us like water is to fish. We do not notice that it surrounds us.”
If you’ve internalized capitalism, you‘ll never come to a point where you feel like you’re good enough. Your hard work won’t lead to happiness.
The following list will help you know if you’ve internalized capitalism — and what you can do about it if you want to change.
“You’re never going to get rich renting out your time,” Naval Ravikant says. “Earn with your mind, not your time.”
And it’s true: people can become wealthy by establishing systems that make money independent from time. They build products with no costs for selling additional units such as books, online courses, media, movies, and code.
And so I did. When I became self-employed last summer, I said no to trading my time for money. I declined freelance gigs and job offers from previous clients and focused on building scalable online income streams.
Within a few months, I made 4x the…
When was the last time you tried to persuade someone? Whether you’re pitching your business, convincing your kid to do their homework, or negotiating a better deal — persuasion is all around us.
And while most people assume that their either naturally bad or good at it, winning arguments is a skill you can learn. What follows are the most valuable principles I learned in my first year of philosophy studies.
Around 2300 years ago, Aristotle wrote about the three drivers of persuasion: ethos, logos, and pathos. …
To get better runners run, writers write, musicians play. So all knowledge workers need to do is know?
Quite the opposite is true. The things you think you know — the illusion of knowledge — are the biggest enemies of improvement.
When you’re convinced to know something, learning something new means you have to change your mind. But people don’t want to change their minds; a principle psychologists call cognitive laziness.
“We laugh at people who still use Windows 95, yet we still cling to opinions that we formed in 1995,” Adam Grant writes in Think Again. …
Have you ever wondered how things would have gone differently if you tweaked your starting condition just a tiny bit?
Tiny changes can lead to entirely different results.
In 2013 I failed my undergrad studies' most important exams by 0.25 points. I had to wait for six months before I was allowed to retake it. I was furious and disappointed. I doubted my aptitude and looked for things to do instead of studying.
I paused my studies for a year and worked for a startup in India, a German bank in Shanghai, and an education project in Argentina. …
Don’t worry. Don’t lose hope. All this will be over soon.
Phrases I repeated like a mantra from spring to autumn 2020. Then Austria announced a second hard lockdown in November, and my inner voice shifted.
What if this won’t be over anytime soon?
Another month locked in our home with winter scared the sh*t out of me. And if I — no financial concerns, no children to care for, a job I love, big apartment, a supportive partner — struggle, how can people with fewer privileges handle this?
My deepest fears seemed misplaced in the light of others, and…
Books give you access to the smartest brains on our planet. And learning from the greatest minds is your fast track to health, wealth, and wisdom.
But reading per se doesn’t improve your life. You can read a book a week without changing at all.
It’s about what and how you read that will improve your life’s quality and enhance your mind. Mortimer Adler, a famous philosopher, and prolific reader, used to say:
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through…
In 2014 my best friend said, “I took LSD a couple of times,” and I wanted to ignore him for the rest of my life.
Then 21, I was scared of all drugs except for alcohol and weed. I had heard horror stories about addictiveness and people dying from bad trips. So my strategy was to avoid all people who take these drugs, including my best friend.
But I couldn’t say goodbye and ignore him. We were on a houseboat in the middle of a mountain lake in Northern India. There was no escape.
And so happened the potentially most…