Timeless Ideas | August 29, 2020

Here’s your weekly dose of timeless ideas to sharpen your mind, make smarter decisions, and live better.



Take a simple idea and take it seriously.

— Charlie Munger


If you eat, invest, and think according to what the news advocates, you’ll end up nutritionally, financially, and morally bankrupt.

― Naval Ravikant


A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

― Hunter S. Thompson




You must not be afraid of rejection, or of how you would feel if you got sick, or if someone died, or if something else went wrong. You cannot spend your life avoiding things that are not actually happening, or everything will become negative. All you will end up seeing is how much can potentially go wrong. Do you have any idea how many things can cause inner pain and disturbance?

Michael A. Singer in The Untethered Soul


If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep you inner space clear.

Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now


Inventor and businessman Thomas Edison on focus:

You do something all day long, don’t you? Every one does. If you get up at seven o’clock and go to bed at eleven, you have put in sixteen good hours, and it is certain with most people, that they have been doing something all the time. They have been either walking, or reading, or writing, or thinking. The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things and I do it about one. If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed. Success is sure to follow such application. The trouble lies in the fact that people do not have an object, one thing, to which they stick, letting all else go. Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application.

Orison Swett Marden in How They Succeeded


Articles Worth Reading


A Simple Solution to Millennial Burnout

Brad Stulberg | Outside

A number of articles have been written about millennial burnout—both its causes and potential remedies. These pieces have raised important points about student debt, the gig economy, the latest recession, and how America fails to provide adequate health care, childcare, and paid-time-off. It’s a quick route to burnout if you’re constantly struggling to meet your basic needs. But perhaps the problem isn’t the work itself. It’s the addiction to ego, relevance, and self-worth that gets linked to the work and that our culture implicitly and explicitly promotes.


Psychopathic, Narcissistic Machiavellians

Maria Konnikova | Slate

Excerpted from The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time by Maria Konnikova

Real con artists aren’t simply born. They are, as is usually the case, made as well. As the popular saying among scientists goes: Genes load the gun; the environment pulls the trigger. The exact same traits could easily be put to use in more or less devious ways. The choice is not predetermined. And the presence of Machiavellianism or psychopathy or narcissism no more marks someone as a grifter than the presence of charisma or nonchalance. It would be easy, convenient to dismiss the con artist as someone wholly unlike us, someone who is pathological, someone into whom we could never turn—but it would also be wrong. The choice is there for each of us to make.


Uncertain times

Jessica Flack & Melanie Mitchell | Aeon

Rather than attempt to precisely predict the future, we have tried to make the case for designing systems that favour robustness and adaptability – systems that can be creative and responsive when faced with an array of possible scenarios. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an unprecedented opportunity to begin to think through how we might harness collective behaviour and uncertainty to shape a better future for us all.


Want to read more? You can read the full archives here and other posts on our website as they are published.

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