Our problems seem special and insurmountable, but they are petty and common. Most of them are already solved in the various books around us.
Reading is a conversation with the greatest people: Books are our conversations with Shakespeare, Lincoln, Einstein, and many others we wish to speak with. They are waiting for us, even after death, to sit and have a dialogue.
When you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?
It allows you to stop thinking about something and to focus your time and energy on something else that actually does matter to you.
When you know how to get started with taking action consistently each day then you’ll procrastinate less by overthinking.
Trying to do so simply doesn’t work because no one can see all possible scenarios in advance.
Trying to think things through 50 times can be a way to try to control everything. To cover every eventuality so you don't risk making a mistake, fail or looking like a fool.
Ask yourself: "What is the worst than can happen?".
You will find that the worst that could realistically happen is usually something that is not as scary as what your mind running wild with vague fear could produce.
When you haven’t slept enough then you become more vulnerable. Vulnerable to worrying and pessimism. To not thinking as clearly as you usually do.
This rule was developed by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell and states that we need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to succeed at anything.
This may create feelings of frustration, especially if you feel you don't have enough time.
Every skill worth learning has dozens of micro-skills.
List the micro-skills. Figure out what you are good at, what you are bad at, and how you can learn to be better at each.
When you start learning something, you're usually pretty bad at it. This applies to everything worth learning.
But that's good news. You can’t learn as much from succeeding because it’s harder to pinpoint where mistakes are.
Without energy, you can’t learn.
If you don’t sleep enough, you’ll be too tired and you won’t learn. If you’re in a bad relationship, your brain will be distracted and you won’t learn.
Try to improve 1% a day at whatever it is you are trying to learn.
This seems like a small number. But 1% a day, compounded, is 3800% per year.
You can’t get better at chess just by reading about it. You have to play. Then you have to play in high stress situations (like a tournament).
The best-case scenario is seldom the one that happens. It is okay to hope for the best. Some degree of optimism is necessary for trying anything new. Without it, we would not start a business or enter a new relationship.
Even when the best-case scenario comes to pass, it rarely unfolds according to plan. Unforeseen problems may appear due to lack of information. Or our ideas may take much longer to implement.
We rarely achieve the ideal. The more complicated a situation, the more people it involves, the more variables and dependencies that exist, the more unlikely it will work out perfectly.
The problem is that while there are many possible outcomes for any given endeavour, we only consider the best case. While it might come to pass, you're better off preparing for the likelihood that it won't.
Knowing that the future will not work out exactly as planned, it is better to prepare for a variety of outcomes, including some of the bad ones. Then, when the worst-case scenario happens, we realize it's not all bad, and we can manage if it happens again.
It will give you peace of mind that you can handle a wide spectrum of possible challenges.
Ignorance indeed is bliss, if practised selectively. News, people, topics, projects can drain a lot of our energy, and most of us seep into everything knowledgeable, thinking it’s the right thing to do.
The unlimited amount of information available on news sites, podcasts, social media can overwhelm anyone. One has to cultivate an intentional approach to one’s content consumption, work and relationships.
While our brain has about a million GB of space, the real limitation or constraint is the time and mental energy. We do not really know how much physical energy we require just to do some mental work.
We need to focus on selective information, actively deciding to not engage in junk news consumption, and other mentally draining activities, saving our mental bandwidth for things we want to focus on.
Though it requires time and practice, one can start selective ignorance by pruning unproductive and boring activities, negativity, unhealthy choices, and irrelevant content.
We need to find the right balance between the stuff we like and what we find useful, leaving out the tedious and draining tasks, choices and activities.
Thinking about your potential regrets give you clarity. It also helps you to remove a few pieces of confusion in the present caused by alternative paths. It helps you make the right decision more easily.
We always think about the risks involved in making a big chance in life. We consider the risks and then decide not to do it. But, the risks shouldn't scare us into inaction.
You can't achieve anything if you lock yourself up in your home. To live life to the fullest, you need to make bold moves. And this doesn't necessarily imply risk-taking.
Try to limit your potential losses. Protect the downside.
“It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.”
Your most valuable resource is time. Yet, most spend their time working on other people's goals.
Use your time wisely by daily improving your skills, learning new things and building relationships. Then you will always have something to fall back on.
If you're in business, consider serving more than one group of customers, or focus on more than one industry.
When sales don't perform well in one area, you always have another option.
Invest in something that has an underlying value.
Limit your potential losses by diversifying. For instance, invest in an index fund, real estate, and business.
The purpose of protecting the downside is to prevent losing everything. You shouldn't put all your life energy into a single thing. This is true for your personal life too.
94% of countries implemented some form of remote learning during the pandemic. And this is not the first time that educators have made use of remote learning.
During a polio outbreak in 1937, the Chicago school system used radio to teach children. During other communicable illnesses, schools typically halted formal learning. Some kids played more while others went back to work at home or on family farms. School sometimes compensated for lost education by shifting the academic calendar or mandating Saturday attendance.
The radio school experiment during the polio outbreak was highly innovative and untested. Some 315,000 children in grades 3 through 8 received lessons on the radio while at home.
Chicago teachers collaborated to create on-air lessons for each grade, local radio stations donated air time, and local papers printed class schedules each morning. Classes were just 15 minutes, providing simple broad questions and assigning homework.
News stories reporting on radio school were mostly positive, but articles also pointed out the challenges. Some children didn't have access to radios. Other kids were distracted or struggled to follow the lessons. They could not ask questions in the moment, and kids needed more parental involvement.
In 2020, when the pandemic shut down schools, many countries turned to multiple platforms, such as television, radio, and internet. However, they continue to face similar challenges to those the radio school faced in the 1930s.
The current pandemic has highlighted the burdens of the digital divide. Children in high-poverty communities don't have access to technology. It highlights the need for funding to address technological inequalities in schools.
Pandemic teaching could ultimately improve education. It could reshape education once school moves back to the classroom. Digital tools could enrich the curriculum and could create new ways to connect with students beyond the traditional modes of learning.
Reading can be harnessed into a great opportunity for mindfulness, and provide us with space to be in the present moment.
Many times a day, we unconsciously read a banner advertisement or a text notification on our smartphones, not realizing that we only read passively, and not give much thought to this amazing ability.
Many layers of uncertainty along with thinking errors of scientists (blind spots) make the research or evidence untrustworthy about 42 percent of the time, according to a study.
Many studies lack validity, but researchers already being involved in the studies develop ‘learned helplessness’ and start believing in evidence even though there is none. A lack of evidence to prove the contrary is not evidence to support the theory.
When we read scientific studies, it helps to keep in mind the following:
The Zeigarnik Effect states that we remember unfinished and incomplete tasks much better than completed tasks. Things remain in our mind due to their being incomplete.
There are several studies that have failed to replicate Zeigarnik’s experiment. But this does not mean the theory is false. It means the concept might be true for some people, but not all people.
It is a good idea to remain critical as most psychological experiments are situational and may not stand the test of time.
Certain ideas that claim scientific evidence like the 10,000 hour rule or Grit, study a specific group of people, and are not universal theories.
There are very few absolutely certain, universal truths in life. We are quick to think a piece of information is 100 percent true if it's presented as a new, groundbreaking idea, making us have a lightbulb moment.
Apart from basic math, which is a universal truth, very few truths are found in our lifetime that resonate with us for decades.