Brain Food – No. 542 – September 17, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life. (Read the archives).
This is Water:
“As I’m sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotised by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about “the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.””
Anne Lamott on perfectionism keeping you from doing:
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.”
Josh Waitzkin on why the second mistake is worse than the first:
“One idea I taught was the importance of regaining presence and clarity of mind after making a serious error. This is a hard lesson for all competitors and performers. The first mistake rarely proves disastrous, but the downward spiral of the second, third, and fourth error creates a devastating chain reaction.”
Source: The Art of Learning
Stick to the basics
Do your job.
Sweat the details.
Put the team first.
Ignore the noise.
Speak for yourself.
On reviews …
“A few years before, Nadella had sat down with then-CEO Steve Ballmer for his annual review. In a 2014 interview with the New York Times, Nadella recalled asking Ballmer how he was performing. “You don’t have to ask me, ‘How am I doing?’” Ballmer responded. “At your level, it’s going to be fairly implicit.””
The start of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk:
“I re-invented electric cars and am sending people to mars…did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
Thanks for reading,
P.S. If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.