Sunday Wisdom No. 58

The art of selling has got a bad rap. For some reason, it feels icky. Like an unnatural push to get people to buy what we’re offering. Mostly because we’ve got the whole narrative backwards.

Hi, I’m Abhishek. Each week I introduce you to multidisciplinary wisdom—in the form of original essays, bite-sized lessons, book reviews, article recommendations, quotes, and more. If you are loving Sunday Wisdom, consider buying me a coffee or sharing this newsletter with a friend.

Welcome to Issue 58!

An advice I gave a friend for an interview recently: “In order to answer 10 questions, you have to prepare to answer 10,000 questions.” This applies to writing, teaching, communicating, and life as well.

To be able to teach middle school physics, a teacher has to know 10x more. In order to write a 500-word essay, the author has to study 1000x more. To have an unfair advantage on the field, a cricketer has to put 100x more effort off the field. What is visible is only the 0.1% of the effort.

— Abhishek


The art of selling has got a bad rap. For some reason, it feels icky. Like an unnatural push to get people to buy what you’re offering. Mostly because we’ve got the whole narrative of selling backwards.

— Demand-Side Sales: Everybody Wants to Buy, But Nobody Wants to be Sold to

I realise there are bunch of people (among my friends) who love my ideas, but hate reading my essays. Turns out all of them love watching videos. Here’s a treat for them and all my true fans (who love both my essays and videos): an impromptu repurposed version of the essay in video format.



“In two recently published studies, we explored several different techniques and found that a breathing exercise was most effective for both immediate and long-term stress reduction.”

— Why Breathing Is So Effective at Reducing Stress


“In a perfect world, we would learn from success and failure alike. Both hold instructive lessons and provide needed reality checks that may safeguard our decisions from bad information or biased advice. But, alas, our brain doesn’t work this way.”

— We Learn Faster When We Aren’t Told What Choices to Make


“Standard career advice for high-achievers early in their careers is to seek out jobs with ‘steep learning curves’. In other words, find a job where you’ll be able to learn a lot, quickly.”

— Seek Out Jobs With Fast Learning Cycles


“The American philosopher John Rawls was the most influential political thinkers of the late twentieth century. A Theory of Justice, his magnum opus, was published in 1971 and is a philosophy of what a just and fair society would look like.”

— A Theory of Justice


“It’s almost impossible to not connect the film to events that have occurred since – all of the hacking scandals, to Gamergate, to cancel culture, to the MeToo movement, and to the fact that Tinder is basically just voluntary FaceMash.”

— The Social Network Ten Years Later


If you’ve loved Range, you would enjoy Where Good Ideas Come From. This book surveys the elements that make innovation possible. The ideas, taken from various sources, are organised into seven mental models: The Adjacent Possible, Liquid Networks, The Slow Hunch, Serendipity, Error, Exaptation, and Platforms.

The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.

The writing is fat-free. The author doesn’t mull over the same thing over and over again (unlike this one which I didn’t bother to recommend). But like Range, a lot of people may not agree with the author’s inferences. It doesn’t matter whether he’s correct or not, he does give us good perspectives to start looking into.


Mobs aren’t just bad for the people they attack, but also for the people in the mob, who are led to behave much worse than they would ordinarily.

— Paul Graham

👋 That’s All!

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