Timeless Ideas | January 10, 2021

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

Quotes

I.

The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.

— Friedrich Schiller


II.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

— John Milton


III.

Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.

— B. F. Skinner

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Ideas

I.

Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it

Viktor E. Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning


II.

We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.

Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom


III.

There’s barely a product or service on the market today that customers can’t buy from someone else for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service and about the same features. If you truly have a first-mover’s advantage, it’s probably lost in a matter of months. If you offer something truly novel, someone else will soon come up with something similar and maybe even better. But if you ask most businesses why their customers are their customers, most will tell you it’s because of superior quality, features, price or service. In other words, most companies have no clue why their customers are their customers. This is a fascinating realization.

Simon Sinek in Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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Articles Worth Reading

I.

To Me, Jigsaw Puzzles Are More Than a Quarantine Trend — They’re My Mindfulness Practice

Jackie Homan | Bernard & Hawkes

As we began to work on that puzzle day by day, and then the one after that and the one after that, I realized that prior to quarantine, I’d also been missing something: this moment of slowing down. Working on a puzzle can be social and bonding, and it can also be solitary and meditative. Both are important. Puzzling also allows for a unique sense of accomplishment in doing something just for the sake of doing it. It’s not a task that goes on my to-do list, and it’s not something that goes in a tracking app (like Goodreads for books I’ve read or my Habits app that reminds me to stretch every day). But completing a puzzle, especially one that’s been particularly challenging, still feels like a momentary success despite having no purpose and not building up to anything bigger.


II.

103 Life Lessons People Often Learn Too Late in Life (A Little Manual For Life)

Thomas Oppong | Medium

How you approach life says a lot about who you are. To succeed in life, you must be in a constant state of adaptation — continually unlearning old ‘rules’, relearning new ones and doing more of what makes you come alive. Most people operate on autopilot, doing the same things today that didn’t work yesterday. They are caught in a cycle. They rarely stop to measure the impact of their actions on themselves and others, and how those actions affect their total well-being.


III.

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate

Tim Urban | Wait But Why

The thing that neither the dictionary nor fake procrastinators understand is that for a real procrastinator, procrastination isn’t optional—it’s something they don’t know how to not do.

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