Sunday Wisdom No. 15

Happy Sunday!

Trust you had a good week. I spent the whole week at my parents’ place in Kolkata. Good food, lots of free time, and no distraction. I also attended one of my best friend’s wedding there. Had loads of fun!

Now without further delay, here is your weekly Sunday Wisdom—a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.


My New Article

The Tyranny of Small Decisions — Before it was a park, Boston Commons was a grazing pasture for cows. The local families used it collectively as a common land. Then a problem arose. Each additional cow that a farmer got benefited his family, but when all the farmers kept getting new cows, the commons started getting depleted. This article explores how even when individual decisions are rational, the cumulative results are sometimes neither optimal nor desired.

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 1413, and 12.


An Advice For You

If you think you know how someone else feels, you should ask them to confirm. You shouldn’t assume you’ve got it right—you probably haven’t.

If you want someone to know how you feel, tell them in the clearest terms possible. Don’t make assumptions.

Being subtle about feelings is not the best idea, especially in high-stakes situations—be it in a relationship or at work. Err on the side of caution whenever possible.


Articles Worth Reading

The Ladders of Wealth Creation: A Step-By-Step Roadmap to Building Wealth — “What lessons do you need to learn to go from odd jobs around the neighbourhood to owning a real estate empire? From working as a freelancer to selling your own digital products? What about from working at Wendy’s to owning a SaaS company earning over $1 million per month?” 

How Busyness Leads to Bad Decisions — “When we’re stressed and feeling pressed for time, our attention and cognitive bandwidth narrow as if we’re in a tunnel. It can sometimes be a good thing, helping us hyper-focus on our most important work. But tunnelling has a dark side. When we get caught up in a time scarcity trap of busyness, a panicked firefighting mode, we might only have the capacity to focus on the most immediate, often low-value tasks right in front of us rather than the big project or the long-range strategic thinking that would help keep us out of the tunnel in the first place.”

Dating While Dying — “‘I’d rather be getting a bone marrow biopsy,’ I texted my friends before marching out to meet my first date in more than a decade. But I went. And it was fine. Fun, actually. So I stuck with it and dated some more. After one great date, I had a crushing realisation: I have only the present to offer, not a hopeful future. “You don’t know that,” a friend told me.”


Worth Thinking About

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky


As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. DM me on Twitter!

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek


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My work is free! But it takes me hundreds of cups of coffee a month to research and write the content. If you find joy and value in Sunday Wisdom, you can thank me by buying me a cup for $3. Buy Me Coffee.

Sunday Wisdom No. 14

Happy Sunday!

Trust you had a good weekend. 

Here is your weekly Sunday Wisdom — a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.


My New Article

Self-Perception Theory: What You Do Affects What Attitude You Build — A salesperson might ask you for something relatively small, such as filling out a questionnaire, which is a trick. This makes it easier to ask you for a larger commitment later. The act of fulfilling the small request leads you to alter your attitude to rationalise your act. You filled out the survey, therefore you must be liking their products as well. Self-Perception Theory is the basis behind this foot-in-the-door tactic.

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 1312, and 11.


An Idea For You

When thought is crucial, you often act without thinking. When action is necessary, you often keep on thinking without acting. All the problems in your life have their roots in one of the above.


Articles Worth Reading

Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids (The Atlantic) — “Kids learn what’s important to adults not by listening to what we say, but by noticing what gets our attention. And in many developed societies, parents now pay more attention to individual achievement and happiness than anything else. However much we praise kindness and caring, we’re not actually showing our kids that we value these traits.” 

The Neuroscience of Anxiety (Scott Young) — “Fear, anxiety and worrying have different, technical meanings. Fear is the feeling associated with imminent danger. Anxiety is the feeling of uncertain threat. Worrying is anxious and repetitive thinking.”


Worth Thinking About

“If you want to walk an hour a day, don’t start with one hour. Choosing one hour is automatically building in the excuse of not having enough time. Commit to a fail-proof five minutes instead.” — Tim Ferriss


As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. Just send me a note!

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek


BECOME A PATRON?

My work is free. But it takes me hundreds of hours a month to think and write the content. If you find knowledge and value in it, you can back my work by becoming a monthly supporter. Become a Patron.

Sunday Wisdom No. 13

Happy Sunday!

Trust you had a good weekend. 

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Wisdom—a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.


My Latest Article

The Einstellung Effect: When Prior Knowledge Harms Performance — During creative problem-solving, we all know that prior knowledge and experience can enhance performance by efficiently guiding us towards solutions that worked in the past. However, prior knowledge can also harm performance if the problem requires a novel solution. This is called the Einstellung Effect. It refers to a person’s tendency to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though better or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist.

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 1211, and 10.


An Idea For You

See things as they are. Seek peace in reality. Control what you can control. Have a strategy to deal with things outside your control.

You don’t need to be positive. Positive thinking is an illusion.


I Enjoyed Watching

Ford v Ferrari (Movie) — Being a big fan of both Christian Bale and Matt Damon, there’s no chance I would have missed watching this movie on the big screen. Minor spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched it yet, read it later.

The movie isn’t about Ford v Ferrari. It is about a lot of other things: fast cars, testosterone drive, love for your craft, the ugly side of big corporations, etc. But I looked at it from another very different perspective: freedom.

The character of Ken Miles played by Christian Bale has a mercurial persona with a strong penchant for not following any rules, or giving into authority. He is neither a master, nor a slave. He’s a warrior without a king. He isn’t the most polite, and not the best team player either. He has not much money. But he has freedom. The kind of freedom all of us crave for.

He remains free until the last moment when he decides not to do things his own way; when he tries to do one for the team. Ken Miles owed Ford nothing. Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) had given him full freedom to do as he pleased. There was no need for him to listen to them. But he did, and it didn’t do very well for him.

The takeaway isn’t that you should never do a solid for the team. The takeaway is that you should ask yourself: do I owe them? Because a lot of times, you might not. A lot of times you might have outgrown your team, and being a team player would only stunt your growth. A lot of times, your team doesn’t deserve you. A lot of times, you have to just move on.


Articles Worth Reading

The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius (Paul Graham) — “When you look at the lives of people who’ve done great work, you see a consistent pattern. They often begin with a bus ticket collector’s obsessive interest in something that would have seemed pointless to most of their contemporaries. One of the most striking features of Darwin’s book about his voyage on the Beagle is the sheer depth of his interest in natural history. His curiosity seems infinite. Ditto for Ramanujan, sitting by the hour working out on his slate what happens to series.”

I’m 72. So What? (Longreads) — “I cried when I turned 20, the end of my teenage years. I felt old again when I turned 34 — with a 2-year-old toddler, and facing the imminent arrival of 35, because it was only five years short of the dreaded 40. And now, paradoxically, I feel younger, more vibrant and in better shape physically and emotionally than I did at 60, or even at 50. So is that all a question of perspective? And is that a slippery concept, that concept of “old” varying from culture to culture, generation to generation and from decade to decade?” 


Worth Thinking About

“Wealth is a loaded word, and while some careless folks would define it as dollars, the truth is that wealth encompasses so much more, including options, health, happiness and the pursuit of one’s vision of what the world should be.” — Jason Calacanis (Angel Investor)


As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. Just send me a note!

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek


COFFEE = THANKS

My work is free. But it takes me hundreds of cups of coffee a month to research, write, and record the content. If you find joy and value in what I do, you can thank me by buying me a cup. Buy Me Coffee.

Sunday Wisdom No. 12

Happy Sunday!

Trust you had a good weekend.

It brings me great joy to present this week’s edition of Sunday Wisdom—a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.


My Latest Article

How to Think About Your Life’s Work — “Don’t give up on your dreams” is bad advice because it implies you’re supposed to be bound by some plan you made early on after watching a movie or hearing a story. It’s hard to get an accurate picture of most jobs from stories and narratives. Rather than passion, your life’s work should be driven by curiosity.

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 1110, and 09.


An Idea For You

If you posses self-discipline, you have the ability to determine what you do with your life. If you lack self-discipline, the path you are taking through life is determined by someone or something else.

Self-discipline is worth possessing.


InstaPoetry

I built a simple app to compose aphorisms I share on Twitter. I had initially built it for my personal use. It makes it extremely easy to compose a 10-12 line poem or prose, add a nice background to it, and post on Instagram, Twitter, etc. Yesterday I released it on the App Store. If you have an iPhone, do give it a try.


Articles Worth Reading

The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas (New Yorker) — “All problem solvers and problem inventors have had the experience of thinking, and then overthinking, themselves into a dead end. The question we’ve all encountered—and, inevitably, will encounter again—is how to get things moving and keep them moving. That is, how to get unstuck.”

It’s Not Enough to Be Right—You Also Have to Be Kind (Ryan Holiday) — “We care a lot less about the people who think differently than us and put little effort into persuading them. That’s because persuasion is no longer the goal—it’s signalling.” 

5-Hour Workdays? 4-Day Workweeks? Yes, Please (Cal Newport) — “Because everyone can talk to everyone at any time through email and instant messages, we just let work flow along as an unstructured conversation made up of missives flying back and forth through the electronic ether. This scales up the way we’ve always naturally collaborated in small groups.”


A Question For You

Of all the things in life you might pursue, which is the one thing you believe to be most valuable?


Worth Thinking About

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami (Japanese Writer)


As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. Just send me a note!

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek


COFFEE = THANKS

My work is free. But it takes me hundreds of cups of coffee a month to research and write the content. If you find joy and value in what I do, you can thank me by buying me a cup. Buy Me Coffee.

Sunday Wisdom No. 11

Happy Sunday!

Trust you had a good weekend. I’m feeling particularly grateful to have you reading this email. Thank you for sharing your precious time with me every Sunday.

I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of Sunday Wisdom — a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.


My New Article

Action Bias: Why Waiting and Watching Is Torture — Action Bias or Do Something Syndrome is the outcome of our tendency to always do something by intervening when, in fact things should be left as they are.

This bias is a mix of a lack of patience and a strong desire to intervene without thinking, or even considering the possibility of a downside. Knowing about this bias would help you understand that there are better methods than always defaulting to action.

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 1009, and 08.


An Idea For You

Practice humility.

If you are humble, people would empathise with you. They would root for you. They would want you to succeed. If you are selfish, they would detest you. They would want you to fail.

Being humble is not only a virtue, but also a very good PR strategy.


I Enjoyed Watching

The Game Changers (Netflix) — Did you know that the ancient Roman gladiators were mainly vegetarians? This documentary takes a look at the benefits—athletic, medicinal and even sexual—of plant-based diets. Nutrition is a bit of a controversial subject, so don’t take the ideas presented as hardcore scientific advice. But it’s a good starting point to do your own research.


I Recommend Reading

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things (NPR) — “In general, when we think about bad behaviour, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.”

Is Sending Text Reminders Behavioural Economics? (Psychology Today) — “…labelling this intervention behavioural economics seems like a stretch; more fitting might be to call it design, communication, or common sense, and I can’t see how the design of such an intervention is helped by any specialised knowledge of behavioural economics.”

Turing As a Runner — “I have such a stressful job that the only way I can get it out of my mind is by running hard; its the only way I can get some release.”


Worth Thinking About

“A good leader doesn’t need to have the answers: they just need to identify problems and make sure they are addressed.”

— Dave Bailey (CEO Coach)


As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. Just send me a note!

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek


☕️ FOR THE LOVE OF COFFEE

My work is free. But it takes me hundreds of cups of coffee a month to research, write, and record the content for coffeeandjunk. If you find joy and value in what I do, please consider buying me a cup. Buy Me Coffee.

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