WW #23: On Enlightenment, Moral Improvement, and Thinking

Hi, it’s me Waldi!

Here are five ideas, insights, and a bit of wisdom to help you live better.


I.

Suppressing your feelings, emotions, and thoughts poisons your mind.

The more you suppress them, the worse you feel.

Examine and learn what they want you to know. It’s a reliable way to feel better.

II.

Writing and talking are different forms of thinking.

Writing confines your thoughts on paper and enables you to keep track of complex ideas and problems more easily.

Talking declutters your mind and helps you process your experiences and emotions.

Use the method that best suits your personality and the situation you’re in.

III.

Enlightenment is often found where you least want to look.

IV.

When you disagree with someone you quickly judge their character as being bad, rather than their idea.

Hat tip to Mark Manson for the observation.

V.

David Brooks on moral improvement:

“Example is the best teacher. Moral improvement occurs most reliably when the heart is warmed, when we come into contact with people we admire and love and we consciously and unconsciously bend our lives to mimic theirs.”

Source: The Road to Character


Until next week,

Waldi

WW #22: On Truth, Self-Understanding, and Pain

Hi, it’s me Waldi!

Here are five ideas, insights, and a bit of wisdom to help you live better.


I.

Every truth has an opposite truth that is just as true.

The environment keeps us alive and kills us. Culture restricts and frees us. Everyone is good and bad.

Futile discussions endlessly pitch one truth against the other. Worthwhile discussions focus on the nuances, differences, and similarities of both truths, with the goal of solving the resulting problems.

II.

Rereading the best books until you truly understand them is often a better use of your time than reading more books.

III.

Your ego has many benefits and detriments.

Only in mastering it, can you choose to avoid its detriments and utilize its benefits.

IV.

A reminder on the importance of self-understanding:

"The closer you are to someone, the more you may unknowingly treat them the way you treat yourself. If you are hard on yourself, you may unknowingly be hard on them. Observe and understand yourself, because your relationship with others is based on your relationship with yourself."

Source: Unknown*

V.

Kapil Gupta on the source of conflict and pain:

“‘There is no other’ means that there’s no problem outside of yourself and that all conflict is self-conflict. These things in which pain arises from a circumstance aren’t really caused by the circumstance. The circumstance does not cause pain, it reveals it.”

Source: Conquering the Mind


Until next week,

Waldi

* If you know who said this, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know.

Waldi's Weekly #21

Weekly ideas, insights, and wisdom for a better life

Hi, it’s me Waldi!

Here’s what’s new:

  • I wrote about the benefits of practicing when others quit.

  • I didn’t receive any direct feedback on last weeks’ newsletter but many of you clicked on some of the links included. So, I think you like the format and I’ll keep it for now. You can always let me know what you think by replying to this mail.

And here are this week’s ideas, insights, and wisdom for a better life:


  1. I’m not able to stop thinking about the insights in Naval’s recent podcast episode about happiness. You’ll likely want to listen to this repeatedly. It’s that good.

  2. Since I’ve first listened to “Arise” by“ The Siege (YouTube) I’ve listened to all their songs and created a custom playlist for their songs that’s running almost every day. It’s great.

  3. I really enjoy Oliver Burkemanns's articles on his blog “The Imperfectionist” lately. This one, about morning pages, might get you into the habit of capturing your thoughts on paper.

  4. Learning about any philosophy can be a daunting task. That’s why Louis Pereira’s 500-word article on stoicism is the perfect primer to get into this ancient philosophy.

  5. If you summarize a lot of information, Tiago Forte’s article on How to Distill Ideas may make you faster at it.

  6. In her article about the value of time, Polina Marinova analyzes the popular musical Hamilton and writes about why time is our most valuable resource.

  7. If you wonder why you should put your reps in, read Austin Kleon’s post on why quantity leads to quality.


A quote to ponder this week:

“So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long. … They [people] are trifling with life's most precious commodity, being deceived because it is an intangible thing, not open to inspection and therefore reckoned very cheap - in fact, almost without any value. ... But nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it cost nothing.”

- Seneca in On the Shortness of Life


Until next week,

Waldi

PS: Mystery Box


If you enjoy this newsletter, share it with a friend and visit my blog for more insights.

If you are reading this for the first time, you can subscribe here.

Waldi's Weekly #20

Weekly ideas, insights, and wisdom for a better life

Hi, it’s me Waldi!

Here’s what’s new:

  • If you want to learn how to tame your Monkey Mind, read my latest article on it.

  • If you're looking for interesting people to follow and be inspired by, take a look at this list I’ve published on Instagram.

  • I try out a new, shorter format for the newsletter this week. You’d do me a huge favor if you’d tell me if you like this shorter format better than the longer one. Just reply to this e-mail! :)

And here are this week’s ideas, insights and wisdom for a better life:


  1. Too often, we live like we will live forever. Paul Graham explained why life is short and how we can use this knowledge to live better right now.

  2. If you wonder how ideas develop a life of their own and why our personal reputation becomes less and more valuable, read Nadia Eghbal The Tyranny of Ideas.

  3. Do you want to know how to make something worthwhile of yourself? Nietzsche has got your back.

  4. In current times it’s very important to be resilient. Fortunately, Polina Marinova profiled 7 people on the tactics they use to build resilience.

  5. Have you ever felt crushed by your ambitions? Brad Stullberg explains how to redefine success so it doesn’t crush your soul (anymore).

  6. If you like some useful one-liners on how to live better, LessWrong has you covered!

  7. Do you struggle with goal-setting? Mark Manson shares the science that will help you set better goals.


A quote to ponder this week:

“Life is entropy. A beautiful chaos. But with rhythm, underpinnings of clockwork. Almost as if designed to push you to the next stage of your growth.”

- Kamal Ravikant in Live Your Truth


Again, please let me if you like this format more than the old one!

Until next week,

Waldi

PS: Mystery Box


If you are reading this for the first time, you can subscribe here.

If you enjoy this newsletter, share it with a friend and visit my blog for more insights.

Waldi's Weekly #19

Your weekly ideas, insights, and wisdom for a better life

Hi, it’s me Waldi!

Here’s what’s new:

  • My blog got a redesign, additional articles, recommendations, and more!

  • I’ve changed the name and format of this newsletter to better reflect its purpose and cadence.

  • I’ve redesigned my Instagram channel and have been posting daily since January!

Now, on to this week’s bullets:


1. Timothy Gallway on Focus

“Focus is not achieved by staring hard at something. It is not trying to force focus, nor does it mean thinking hard about something. Natural focus occurs when the mind is interested. When this occurs, the mind is drawn irresistibly toward the object (or subject) of interest. It is effortless and relaxed, not tense and overly controlled.”

Source: The Inner Game of Tennis

2. Tim Ferriss on Making Your Bed

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”

Source: Tools of Titans

3. Embrace Complexity

Today’s world is more complex than anything in the history of humankind. It drives people that are afraid to look for simple solutions and explanations for complex problems. This is often because they’re afraid of complexity. If you want to solve complex problems you have to understand them in-depth first. Thus, you need to embrace complexity, not pretend it doesn’t exist.

4. Telling the truth sets you free

If you don’t know what to do, try telling the truth.

It may mean that you’ll have more uncomfortable conversations, arguments, or debates in the short term, but in the long-term, it’s one of the greatest contributors to a fulfilling life I know. I’ve expanded on this idea in this Instagram Post.

5. Kamal Ravikant on When Magic Happens

“Knowledge is never enough. Even action, if it’s just following a prescribed way, will never fully express your potential. But to dive in, test each theory out, kick the tires, keep what works, discard the rest, add your own — that’s where magic happens.”

Source: Live Your Truth

6. Elizabeth Gilbert on Transformation

“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.”

Source: Big Magic

7. Kapil Gupta on External Problems

“Beyond a certain basic level, a lot of the problems we’re trying to solve in the external world are actually internal problems.”

Source: Conquering The Mind


Until next week,

Waldi

PS: Mystery Box


If you are reading this for the first time, you can subscribe here.

If you enjoy this newsletter, share it with a friend or visit my blog for more valuable insights.

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