ArtAnSa - Notes

Highlights from Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class

Below are my highlights from the book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class written by Tim Ferriss. Note that the emphasis is mine, that some small parts were changed to turn them into sentences and that all errors are probably mine :-).

Read This First—How to Use This Book

More than 80% of the interviewees have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice

Many use the ChiliPad device for cooling at bedtime. Rave reviews of the books Sapiens, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Influence, and Man’s Search for Meaning, among others. The habit of listening to single songs on repeat for focus.

The belief that “failure is not durable”.

Success, however you define it, is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.

The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths.

Dominic D’Agostino

Dom suggests a 5-day fast 2 to 3 times per year

Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder and Quest Nutrition Coconut Oil Powder

Magnesium daily. “Magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium glycinate”

Scivation XTEND Perform branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Wim “The Iceman” Hof

My (Tim Ferriss) full “workout” process then, is 1) pre-workout BCAA, 2) workout, 3) post-exercise whey protein, 4) immediate heat (~20 minutes) followed by 5) cold (5 to 10 minutes). I repeat the hot-cold cycle 2 to 4 times.

Peter Attia

Glute Medius Workout
#2—Front Kick/Swing
#3—Back Swing
#4—Full Front and Back Swing
#5—Clockwise Circles
#6—Counterclockwise Circles
#7—Bicycle Motion

Evidence is slowly accumulating that relatively tiny doses of lithium can have beneficial effects. They appear to decrease suicide rates significantly and may even promote brain health and improve mood.

10% Happier by Dan Harris is the book that got Peter meditating regularly. After limited success with open monitoring or mindfulness meditation, he was introduced to Transcendental Meditation by a friend

Charles Poliquin

Vary your food sources and confirm any scary test results with a second test.

If you do static stretching and you don’t finish with a contraction, you’re more likely to get an injury

The Slow-Carb Diet® Cheat Sheet
Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white).
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit.
Rule #5: Whenever possible, measure your progress in body fat percentage, NOT total pounds.
Rule #6: Take one day off per week and go nuts.

Pavel Tsatsouline

Halos: Grasp a weight with both hands and rotate it around your head to loosen up the shoulder girdle. I use a 25- to 45-pound kettlebell or plate for this and perform 5 slow reps in each direction. Start light.

Cossack Squat

“Anything more than 5 reps is bodybuilding. If you want to be strong, you want to keep your reps at 5 and under.”

Deadlift to your knees and then drop the bar.

I did this twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. The total “time under tension” during sets is less than 5 minutes per week.

Pavel’s “Simple & Sinister” Kettlebell Program

When in Doubt, Train Your Grip and Your Core

“To increase your pull-up numbers, start doing half the reps you’re capable of (e.g., sets of 4 if your personal best is 8) in repeated sets throughout the day. Simply accumulate reps with at least 15 minutes between sets, and adjust the daily volume to always feel fresh.”

If you are “greasing the groove” for a maximal strength movement, do not exceed 5 reps per set.

Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reece & Brian MacKenzie

I always say that I’ll go first. ... That means if I’m checking out at the store, I’ll say hello first. If I’m coming across somebody and make eye contact, I’ll smile first. [I wish] people would experiment with that in their life a little bit: Be first, because—not all times, but most times—it comes in your favor.

James Fadiman

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

Martin Polanco & Dan Engle

Flotation Tank

Anxiety, insomnia, and mental chattering can be significantly improved in [2 to 3 times per week for a total of] anywhere between 3 and 7 sessions.

Most people get exponentially more benefit from a single 2-hour session than 2 separate 1-hour sessions. Nonetheless, 2-hour floats still make me fidgety, so I routinely do 1-hour sessions. Keeping it simple, Dan suggests you start with 2 to 3 floats inside of 1 month. “I’ve never had anybody come back and say ‘Yeah, that didn’t work.’”

Ayahuasca is traditionally done in a group ceremony setting, but it’s a very solo, inward journey. Typically, it’s done in the dark, in the jungle. You go through deep, psychological healing, oftentimes pre-verbal healing around traumatic issues that [occurred] between birth and age 4. From a developmental psychological perspective, this is when most of the long-term personality traits are formed. You gain a witness perspective, the fear centers relax, the trauma is brought back up onto the screen of the mind ... you oftentimes get this replay of very early things and can have a corrective experience. ...

It is very successful in helping people transition from chronic depression into what would be called euthymia, or normal mood. Many people don’t even know what having a normal mood feels like; but optimism, faith, courage, strength, [and] personal empowerment are some of its qualities.

So many people, when they have a big experience, want to go share it, and sometimes the response they get isn’t always supportive. That alters the healing that they just received.

Kelly Starrett

Men, if you wake up and you don’t have a boner, there’s a problem.

Here are a few things you should probably do every day:

Restwise software alongside pulse oximeters (for measuring blood oxygen saturation) in the morning to determine whether his athletes should exercise or not.

Paul Levesque (Triple H)

Kids don’t do what you say. They do what they see. How you live your life is their example.

Is that a dream or a goal? Because there’s a difference.

If you don’t do something well, don’t do it unless you want to spend the time to improve it.

“What am I continuing to do myself that I’m not good at?” Improve it, eliminate it, or delegate it.

More than 80% of the world-class performers I’ve interviewed have some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice.

If I could only choose one physical exercise for the body, it would probably be the hex-bar deadlift or two-handed kettlebell swing. If I could only choose one exercise for the mind, it would be 10 to 20 minutes of meditation at least once daily.

Three Tips from a Google Pioneer

Whenever all or part of a sensory experience suddenly disappears, note that. By note I mean clearly acknowledge when you detect the transition point between all of it being present and at least some of it no longer being present. If you wish, you can use a mental label to help you note. The label for any such sudden ending is “Gone.” If nothing vanishes for a while, that’s fine. Just hang out until something does. If you start worrying about the fact that nothing is ending, note each time that thought ends. That’s a “Gone.” If you have a lot of mental sentences, you’ll have a lot of mental periods—full stops, Gones!

It turns out that being on the giving end of a kind thought is rewarding in and of itself. ... All other things being equal, to increase your happiness, all you have to do is randomly wish for somebody else to be happy.

Once an hour, every hour, randomly identify two people walking past your office and secretly wish for each of them to be happy. You don’t have to do or say anything—just think, “I wish for this person to be happy.”

Informal Practice: Wishing for Random People to Be Happy During working hours or school hours, randomly identify two people who walk past you or who are standing or sitting around you. Secretly wish for them to be happy. Just think to yourself, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.” That is the entire practice. Don’t do anything; don’t say anything; just think. This is entirely a thinking exercise.

Formal Practice: Attending to the Joy of Loving-Kindness Sit in any posture that allows you to be alert and relaxed at the same time, whatever that means to you. You may keep your eyes open or closed. Repeat this cycle once per minute: Bring to mind someone for whom you can very easily feel loving-kindness. Wish for him or her to be happy. The joy of loving-kindness may arise, and if that happens, bring full attention to the joy until it fades away. For the rest of the minute, just rest the mind. When the next minute begins, start the cycle again, for a total of 3 minutes. You can do this for however many minutes you choose. You don’t have to stick to a once-per-minute regimen—feel free to rest your mind for as long as you want between each cycle. The timing is not important; the only thing that is important is attending to the joy of loving-kindness, that is all.

Chris Sacca

Which of those did you assign yourself, and which of those are you doing to please someone else? Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item. I needed to get out of my inbox and back to my own to-do list.

Marc Andreessen

“Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Derek Sivers

My recommendation is to do little tests. Try a few months of living the life you think you want, but leave yourself an exit plan, being open to the big chance that you might not like it after actually trying it.

“Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)

To compensate and cope, here’s my 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things):

  1. Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. Email is the mind-killer.
  2. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
  3. Write down the 3 to 5 things—and no more—that are making you the most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
  4. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?”
  5. Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
  6. Block out at 2 to 3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
  7. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2 to 3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work. No phone calls or social media allowed.
  8. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward-spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

Casey Neistat

How can you make your bucket-list dreams pay for themselves by sharing them?

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”

Morgan Spurlock

Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.

Reid Hoffman

Part of the business strategy is to solve the simplest, easiest, and most valuable problem. And actually, in fact, part of doing strategy is to solve the easiest problem.

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” — Thomas Edison

Peter Thiel

You don’t have to wait to start something. So if you’re planning to do something with your life, if you have a 10-year plan of how to get there, you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months? Sometimes, you have to actually go through the complex, 10-year trajectory. But it’s at least worth asking whether that’s the story you’re telling yourself, or whether that’s the reality.

The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market? The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?

“It’s always the hard part that creates value.”
“You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.”

Seth Godin

Trust and attention—these are the scarce items in a post-scarcity world.

What’s the smallest possible footprint I can get away with? What is the smallest possible project that is worth my time? What is the smallest group of people who I could make a difference for, or to? Because smallest is achievable. Smallest feels risky. Because if you pick smallest and you fail, now you’ve really screwed up.

How to Create a Real-World MBA

Commit, within financial reason, to action instead of theory.

Scott Adams

All you do is you pick a goal and you write it down 15 times a day in some specific sentence form, like ‘I, Scott Adams, will become an astronaut,’ for example. And you do that every day.

The exact method doesn’t matter. I think what matters is the degree of focus and the commitment you have to that focus. Because the last affirmation I mentioned was primarily done in my head while driving, but continuously for years, about 3 years

You can use these affirmations, presumably—this is just a hypothesis—to focus your mind and your memory on a very specific thing. And that would allow you to notice things in your environment that might have already been there. It’s just that your filter was set to ignore, and then you just tune it through this memory and repetition trick until it widens a little bit to allow some extra stuff in.

If you want something extraordinary, you have two paths: 1) Become the best at one specific thing. 2) Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

I always advise young people to become good public speakers (top 25%). Anyone can do it with practice. If you add that talent to any other, suddenly you’re the boss of the people who have only one skill. Or get a degree in business on top of your engineering degree, law degree, medical degree, science degree, or whatever. Suddenly you’re in charge, or maybe you’re starting your own company.

At least one of the skills in your mixture should involve communication, either written or verbal. And it could be as simple as learning how to sell more effectively than 75% of the world. That’s one. Now add to that whatever your passion is, and you have two, because that’s the thing you’ll easily put enough energy into to reach the top 25%. If you have an aptitude for a third skill, perhaps business or public speaking, develop that too.

The Law of Category

If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.

When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not “How is this new product better than the competition?” but “First what?” In other words, what category is this new product first in?

Chase Jarvis

“Creativity is an infinite resource. The more you spend,the more you have.”

Good content is the best SEO.

Dan Carlin

Don’t be afraid to do something you’re not qualified to do.

1,000 True Fans—Revisited

Luis von Ahn

This week, try experimenting with saying “I don’t understand. Can you explain that to me?”

The Canvas Strategy

The canvas strategy is easy. The iterations are endless. Maybe it’s coming up with ideas to hand over to your boss. Find people, thinkers, up-and-comers to introduce to each other. Cross wires to create new sparks. Find what nobody else wants to do and do it. Find inefficiencies and waste and redundancies. Identify leaks and patches to free up resources for new areas. Produce more than everyone else and give your ideas away.

Neil Strauss

Use “TK” as a placeholder for things we need to research.

Translated to writing, I was told my goal should be “two crappy pages a day.” That’s it. If you hit two crappy pages, even if you never use them, you can feel “successful” for the day. Sometimes you barely eke out two pages, and they are truly terrible. But at least 50% of the time, you’ll produce perhaps 5, 10, or even—on the rare miracle day—20 pages. Draft ugly and edit pretty.

Mike Shinoda

Thomas Huxley famously said, “It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.”

Scott Belsky

Sometimes you need to stop doing things you love in order to nurture the one thing that matters most.

‘It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen.’

How to Earn Your Freedom

Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so-called certainties of this world. Vagabonding is about refusing to exile travel to some other, seemingly more appropriate time of your life. Vagabonding is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate. Thus, the question of how and when to start vagabonding is not really a question at all. Vagabonding starts now. Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises. In this way, vagabonding is not merely a ritual of getting immunizations and packing suitcases. Rather, it’s the ongoing practice of looking and learning, of facing fears and altering habits, of cultivating a new fascination in people and places.

Rather, you should enthusiastically and unapologetically include your vagabonding experience on your résumé when you return. List the job skills travel has taught you: independence, flexibility, negotiation, planning, boldness, self-sufficiency, improvisation. Speak frankly and confidently about your travel experiences—odds are, your next employer will be interested and impressed (and a wee bit envious).

Quitting—whether a job or a habit—means taking a turn so as to be sure you’re still moving in the direction of your dreams.

Peter Diamandis

“I now have a very simple metric I use: Are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999% of people is ‘no.’ I think we need to be training people on how to change the world.”

Law 2: When given a choice ... take both. Law 3: Multiple projects lead to multiple successes. Law 6: When forced to compromise, ask for more. Law 7: If you can’t win, change the rules. Law 8: If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them. Law 11: “No” simply means begin again at one level higher. Law 13: When in doubt: THINK. Law 16: The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live. Law 17: The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself. (adopted from Alan Kay) Law 19: You get what you incentivize. Law 22: The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. Law 26: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

B.J. Novak

If you find yourself saying, “But I’m making so much money” about a job or project, pay attention. “But I’m making so much money,” or “But I’m making good money” is a warning sign that you’re probably not on the right track or, at least, that you shouldn’t stay there for long.

When possible, always give the money to charity, as it allows you to interact with people well above your pay grade.

Schedule (and, if possible, pay for) things in advance to prevent yourself from backing out.

For lifelong night owls like me, it’s nice to know that when you get started each day seems to matter less than learning how to get started consistently.

How to Say “No” When It Matters Most

Great creative work isn’t possible if you’re trying to piece together 30 minutes here and 45 minutes there. Large, uninterrupted blocks of time—3 to 5 hours minimum—create the space needed to find and connect the dots. And one block per week isn’t enough.

Tonight or tomorrow morning, think of a decision you’ve been putting off, and challenge the fuzzy “what ifs” holding you hostage. If not now, when? If left at the status quo, what will your life and stress look like in 6 months? In 1 year? In 3 years? Who around you will also suffer? I hope you find the strength to say “no” when it matters most.

Jocko Willink

‘Discipline equals freedom.’

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.”

Sebastian Junger

“The world is this continually unfolding set of possibilities and opportunities, and the tricky thing about life is, on the one hand having the courage to enter into things that are unfamiliar, but also having the wisdom to stop exploring when you’ve found something worth sticking around for. That is true of a place, of a person, of a vocation. Balancing those two things—the courage of exploring and the commitment to staying—and getting the ratio right is very hard.

Marc Goodman

What is the worst advice you see or hear given in your trade or area of expertise? “If you have nothing to hide, then you don’t have to worry about privacy, and that we must sacrifice our privacy in order to have security.”

General Stanley McChrystal & Chris Fussell

Set of push-ups to max reps 100 sit-ups, 3-minute plank, 2 to 3 minutes of yoga Set of push-ups to max reps 50 to 100 crunch-like crossover (legs up), 2.5-minute plank, 2 to 3 minutes of yoga Set of push-ups to max reps 50 to 100 crossover sit-ups (the first two variations combined), 2-minute plank, 2 to 3 minutes of yoga Set of push-ups to max reps 60 flutter kicks, followed by static hold; 1.5-minute plank; set of crunches; 1-minute plank; 2 to 3 minutes of yoga STAN: “Then I’ll leave my house and go to the gym, because my gym opens at 5:30. It’s three blocks from my house.” TIM: “I assume we mean a.m.” STAN: “Yeah. If I get up at 4, I can do all that from 4:30 to about 5:20, then at 5:25, go down to my gym. When I get to the gym, I do four sets of pull-ups, alternated with inclined bench press and standing curls. [One-legged balance exercises are the rest break between them.] Then I’ll do a few other things, and I can do all that in 30, 35 minutes. So by 6:15 or 6:20, I can be done at the gym, head back home, get cleaned up, and then start work.”

“What are three tests or practices from the military that civilians could use to help develop mental toughness?”: STAN: “The first is to push yourself harder than you believe you’re capable of. You’ll find new depth inside yourself. The second is to put yourself in groups who share difficulties, discomfort. We used to call it ‘shared privation.’ You’ll find that when you have been through that kind of difficult environment, that you feel more strongly about that which you’re committed to. And finally, create some fear and make individuals overcome it.”

The Dickens Process — What Are Your Beliefs Costing You?

In the Dickens Process, you’re forced to examine limiting beliefs—say, your top two or three handicapping beliefs—across each tense.

What has each belief cost you in the past, and what has it cost people you’ve loved in the past? What have you lost because of this belief? See it, hear it, feel it. What is each costing you and people you care about in the present? See it, hear it, feel it. What will each cost you and people you care about 1, 3, 5, and 10 years from now? See it, hear it, feel it.

Perhaps it’s time for you to take a temporary break from pursuing goals to find the knots in the garden hose that, once removed, will make everything else better and easier? It’s incredible what can happen when you stop driving with the emergency brake on.

Sam Harris

What is “vipassana” meditation? “It’s simply a method of paying exquisitely close and nonjudgmental attention to whatever you’re experiencing anyway.”

In my case, [meditation] didn’t really become useful, which is to say it really didn’t become true meditation, until I had sat my first one or two intensive retreats. I remember the experience clearly. I’d been very disciplined and had been sitting an hour every day in the morning for a year before I sat my first 10-day retreat. I remember looking back over that year at some point, somewhere around the middle of my first 10-day vipassana retreat, and realizing that I had just been thinking with my legs crossed every hour that I had practiced that year. This is not to say that this will be true of all of you who are practicing meditation without ever having gone on a retreat, but it’s very likely true of many of you. ... A silent retreat is a crucible where you can develop enough energy and attention to break through to another level.

Caroline Paul

‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.’

My Favorite Thought Exercise: Fear-Setting

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.

Kevin Kelly

In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.

Memento mori—remember that you’re going to die. It’s a great way to remember to live.

Whitney Cummings

And I think ultimately, sometimes when we judge other people, it’s just a way to not look at ourselves; a way to feel superior or sanctimonious or whatever. My trauma therapist said every time you meet someone, just in your head say, ‘I love you’ before you have a conversation with them, and that conversation is going to go a lot better.

Writing Prompts from Cheryl Strayed

Try one for two pages of longhand writing. Go for uninterrupted flow, and don’t stop to edit. Step one is to generate without judging. Chances are that you’ll surprise yourself. Write about a time when you realized you were mistaken. Write about a lesson you learned the hard way. Write about a time you were inappropriately dressed for the occasion. Write about something you lost that you’ll never get back. Write about a time when you knew you’d done the right thing. Write about something you don’t remember. Write about your darkest teacher. Write about a memory of a physical injury. Write about when you knew it was over. Write about being loved. Write about what you were really thinking. Write about how you found your way back. Write about the kindness of strangers. Write about why you could not do it. Write about why you did.

Eric Weinstein

“When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something? So, how am I going to get past this bouncer who told me that I can’t come into this nightclub? How am I going to start a business when my credit is terrible and I have no experience?”

Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

‘Don’t keep stuff to yourself.’ You’re surrounded by smart people. Bring them in. Get other people’s opinions. Share it with them. And most importantly, emotion is what matters. It’s an emotional journey.

8 Tactics for Dealing with Haters

Here are my three primary responses to online criticism:

  1. Starve it of oxygen (ignore it)—90%
  2. Pour gasoline on it (promote it)—8%
  3. Engage with trolls after too much wine (and really regret it)—2%

The reason that you would want to starve 90% of oxygen is because doing otherwise gives your haters extra Google juice. In other words, if you reply publicly—worst-case scenario, you put something on another site with high page rank and link to the critic—all you’re going to do is gift them powerful inbound links, increase traffic, and ensure the persistence and prominence of the piece. In some cases, I’ve had to bite my tongue for months at a time to wait for something (infuriating BS that I could easily refute) to drop off the front page or even the second page of Google results. It’s very, very hard to stay silent, and it’s very, very important to have that self-control.

There are times to apologize when you truly screw up or speak too soon, but more often than not, acknowledgment is all that’s required. Some version of “I see you” will diffuse at least 80% of people who appear to be haters or would-be haters.

To do anything remotely interesting, you need to train yourself to handle—or even enjoy—criticism.

Naval Ravikant

In any situation in life, you only have three options. You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it.

Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.

Be present above all else. Desire is suffering (Buddha). Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at someone else (Buddhist saying). If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day. Reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill and can be traded for anything else. All the real benefits in life come from compound interest. Earn with your mind, not your time. 99% of all effort is wasted. Total honesty at all times. It’s almost always possible to be honest and positive. Praise specifically, criticize generally (Warren Buffett). Truth is that which has predictive power. Watch every thought. (Always ask, “Why am I having this thought?”) All greatness comes from suffering. Love is given, not received. Enlightenment is the space between your thoughts (Eckhart Tolle). Mathematics is the language of nature. Every moment has to be complete in and of itself.

“What you choose to work on, and who you choose to work with, are far more important than how hard you work.”

“If you eat, invest, and think according to what the ‘news’ advocates, you’ll end up nutritionally, financially, and morally bankrupt.”

“We waste our time with short-term thinking and busywork. Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting. That act lasts decades.”

Glenn Beck

Be willing to fail or succeed on who you really are. Don’t ever try to be anything else. What you are is good enough for whatever it is you’re doing.

“There’s a mystic who says there’s only one really good question, which is, ‘What am I unwilling to feel?’ ”

Tara Brach

When Mara visits us, in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, “I see you, Mara,” and clearly recognize the reality of craving and fear that lives in each human heart. By accepting these experiences with the warmth of compassion, we can offer Mara tea rather than fearfully drive him away. Seeing what is true, we hold what is seen with kindness. We express such wakefulness of heart each time we recognize and embrace our hurts and fears.

Pema Chödrön says that through spiritual practice, “We are learning to make friends with ourselves, our life, at the most profound level possible.”

Stephen J. Dubner

What’s the worst advice you hear often? “‘Write what you know.’ Why would I want to write about what little I know? Don’t I want to use writing to learn more?

Jamie Foxx

Morning workout routine, done roughly every other day, consists of: 15 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 100 sit-ups 15 pull-ups (different grip), 50 push-ups 10 pull-ups (first grip) 10 pull-ups (second grip)

Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide

This too shall pass, whatever it is.

If you can’t seem to make yourself happy, do little things to make other people happy. This is a very effective magic trick. Focus on others instead of yourself. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line (I do this a lot), compliment a stranger, volunteer at a soup kitchen, help a classroom on, buy a round of drinks for the line cooks and servers at your favorite restaurant, etc.

Robert Rodriguez

The trust comes first.

I know you’ll only get the idea once you start. It’s this totally reverse thing. You have to act first before inspiration will hit. You don’t wait for inspiration and then act, or you’re never going to act, because you’re never going to have the inspiration, not consistently.


That’s it. When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.”

Accept reality, but focus on the solution.

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