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What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#95)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“To me, complete rational logic tells me to be atheist about all of the Earth’s religions and utterly agnostic about the nature of our existence or the possible existence of a higher being. I don’t arrive there via any form of faith, just by logic.” (Tim Urban, Wait but Why Year One)


Quote I appreciated:

Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.

Abraham Lincoln

Fake it till you make it:

Our brains are trained to think and feel certain things that cause us to behave certain ways. Learned thoughts and feelings turn into learned behaviors.

Once we’ve learned these things, it’s difficult to unlearn them. We get comfortable in our routines and patterns. It’s hard for us to imagine a different reality or a new way of thinking. The thoughts we’ve practiced for so long solidify in our minds, practically becoming truths.

When you “fake it till you make it,” you’re showing your brain an alternative scenario—one that involves you thinking, feeling, and/or acting differently. You’re essentially giving yourself new evidence, proving to your brain that there might be a different way to look at things.

The more you practice thinking in new ways, the more you’ll start to “unlearn” the harmful thoughts that have been holding you back so that you can move forward with thoughts that truly serve you. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen over time.

Reminds me of something Derek Sivers said on a TF podcast about how he was never a confident person until he started just trying to pretend he was confident and all of the sudden he realized he could be that way if wanted to.

Categories
Misc

The altruists survive

“There are these two explorers in the jungle and they suddenly hear a lion roar. And one of them starts looking for a place where both of them can hide. And the other one starts putting on his running shoes. And the first person says to the second person, “You’re crazy. You can’t run faster than a lion.” And the second one turns to the first one and says, “I don’t need to run faster than the lion. All I need to do is run faster than you.”

Without my daily forced commute, I’m not finding that I’m listening to a lot of podcasts at the moment. Instead of multiple a week, I typically only listen to 20-30 minutes of a show while shaving my head (this being my haircut of choice now, it takes a little while). Last week’s choice was a Tim Ferriss conversation with the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (never heard of him until now), and it contained some gems, especially the following portion.

Categories
Kids

Lighthouse

Early morning before anyone was up, Vivi showed me how she learned to draw a lighthouse.

Later, Sam and Kav were waiting for me after my run, full of goofball faces.

Feeling more than grateful.

The night before I read this:

Studies have confirmed what’s pretty obvious – having children makes people even unhappier. But what people want, above all else, is not to be happy; they want to devote themselves to something, to give themselves away. Some parents had told me that you couldn’t understand what it meant to truly love someone until you’d had a child, which had always seemed to me like not a very impressive advertisement for human altruism – most people only ever experienced selfless love toward people who were genetic extensions of themselves? But now here it was, a force as matter-of-fact and implacable as the gravity of the planet, the deceptively gentle pull of six thousand sextillion tons.

(Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing)