Sunday Wisdom No. 19
Happy New Year!
It brings me great joy to present 2020’s first edition of Sunday Wisdom—a newsletter on decision making, strategy, and antifragility.
My Latest Article
Humans are unhappy in large part because we are insatiable. After working hard to get what we want, we routinely lose interest in the object of our desire. Rather than feeling satisfied, we start feeling bored, and in response, we go on to form new and grander desires.
This article explores the stoic mental exercise of Negative Visualisation to help us learn to appreciate the things we posses, and make the best of what we already have—our possessions, our relationships, and our life. It also revisits questions such as, How to live every day as if it were your last? (1,518 words)
A Thought For You
The world is aloof, busy, and distracted.
If you want the world to pay attention to you, you have to provide a compelling reason. You have to provide value that the world cares about. It doesn’t care about your dreams and life goals.
Articles Worth Reading
Stephen Kuenzli wrote a 300-page book, a 5,600-word research paper, and more than 105 posts for his tech blog. He breaks down his process here. “Since writing is a primary mechanism for developing my thoughts, it’s critical that I do it regularly. In my case, I think and write daily for 1.5-2 hours. I know that may sound like an unimaginable luxury or incomprehensible use of time.”
Cambridge University professor James Warren talks us through the philosophy of Epicurus and explains how it’s still relevant today—particularly when it comes to facing death. “When I’m here, death isn’t, and when death’s here, I’m not, so we shouldn’t be too bothered about it. What’s more, we don’t worry about the eternity before our conception, why worry about the eternity afterwards? There’s an asymmetry in our tendency to worry about the period when we might have lived.”
I’ve written about the Outcome Bias before. Here’s a short and succinct article with a different take. “An individual decides to drive home after an evening out despite being knowingly over the legal alcohol limit; before completing their journey they are stopped by the police and charged with driving under the influence. In a parallel universe, the same scenario occurs but with one key difference—prior to being pulled over by the police the individual’s intoxication leads to an accident that causes serious injuries for passengers in another car. How should we view the perpetrator in these two incidents?”
Worth Thinking About
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” ― Cyril Connolly
I consider coffeeandjunk to be a repository or my knowledge—what I read, what I learn, and what I think. I write for my own benefit. But I’ve found a small dedicated audience in you who find value is my writing. For that I’m extremely grateful.
Little Bits of Wisdom (LBW)
I've started sharing daily bits of wisdom with my Patreon members. You’ll receive them every weekday—Monday to Friday.
These are lessons drawn from subjects such as stoicism, behavioural economics, neuroscience, business, sociology, and are presented in a digestible and actionable format. Lessons that will make you a clear thinker and better decision maker.
Commit to more wit and more wisdom this year. Become an exclusive member for as little as a dollar, and immediately start getting access to all the content.
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 time!