Just finished Scott Adams's excellent book about his life story and his general approach to achieving success in life. Overall, I'd highly recommend it. It contains a surprising amount of wisdom that I wouldn't have expected to find from a cartoonist. I was sold on him after he predicted, successfully, that Trump would win the Republican Nomination based on his persuasive abilities far in advance of Trump's actual electoral successes. That clued me in the fact that he might have some interesting insights into the world and human behaviour more broadly, and he does.
Some excerpts I found highly useful are transcribed below:
The most important metric to track is your personal energy.
always thought they were nonsense, until I tried them, and they seemed to help.
I don't believe in any woo or magic shit, but one could imagine affirmations as a placebo effect on yourself - tuning your mind in a way that optimizes it toward performance toward certain ends. Scott Adams, whose latest book I'm currently reading, has long advocated for them.
experimenting with affirmations again - stay tuned!
currently in Europe, posts will be short.
After I left the faith and became a nihilist, I dispensed with the entirety of the old morality I had been raised with. It seemed the proper thing to do, I had erased virtually the entire ideological swathe of my life until that point, and resolved to start over. I vowed to be flexible - like water - and decide how to live day by day, no longer tied down to immutable laws passed down by the Hebrews thousands of years ago.
I was listless.
It was in the midst of a turbulent relationship when I came across an excellent Mark Manson article that I can no longer find. The article talked about the importance of principles in the context of relationships: what are the things that value, and behaviour are you willing to accept from others? Principles are not the same thing as boundaries, as boundaries flow naturally from principles (if you value your time, then it follows that you won't make time with people who don't value yours).
I had been in a toxic relationship where I'd found myself straining under the flexibility of my own (virtually nonexistent) principles.
So I took Manson's advice, and wrote down what I believed in. I then typed it up into an Evernote file and printed it, tacking it to my wall.
My principles underwent several revisions, until around 2 years ago, they stopped changing (perhaps a sign of maturity?).
Examine your life. Examine the why.
Follow the why until you arrive at the foundational assumptions of your life - until you've determined the underlying epistemological framework for your worldview.
A principle, having been selected with rational inquiry, paradoxically acts as a thoughtless rule - you encounter a situation, or moment, that evokes it, and you enact it. You find yourself thinking critically about your flaws, and then you remember to meet your own flaws with self compassion (#7), and you move on.
Rules! They're not all bad!
I have no idea.
Finished my job training a month ago. I've spent a month doing almost nothing, getting out of bed at 1, drifting... unable to stop thinking about the past, the things I fucked up so badly, a creeping sensation of emptiness, fear of the unknown, uncertainty about the future, standing at the mouth of the river, a hundred tributaries flowing in a thousand different directions.
Pick one, the world says.
Things I'd forgotten, but now remember: you can fuck a lot of people, but still be lonely, people are not interchangeable, sometimes you only get one chance (or three), and after that, there are none.
What does it mean to experience sadness when, objectively, you know all of the things that you should grateful for?
Go to sleep at a reasonable hour, put a halt on the madness of your life, wake up, listen to what the waves are telling you.
"Don't look back, you're not going that way."
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis