brain pickings

Brain Pickings | Vol. 7


I get to accomplish so much without any Wi-Fi connection. That’s real and, as kids say, LIT AF. I’m one of those people who easily get hypnotized when there’s a strong Internet connection nearby. While I only need to upload this photo, I end up checking this celebrity’s account, watching a song cover on Youtube, scrolling endlessly on Twitter, looking up interesting hashtags, and so on.. all while forgetting to upload that photo – the main reason I unlocked my phone in the first place. Are you like me?

This happens to me all the time. So when something’s really important, I say it over and over again until it’s done for and I can close the platform (example: Look up #redlipstick,  hashtag  red lipstick, just hashtag red lipstick..). With no Internet, I get to read actual books, check off articles from my Pocket app, and actually interact face to face with breathing, living human beings.  That said, I found myself finishing quite a number of articles from my Pocket app during the weekend since we kept going out and I have no 3G in my phone (it’s a blessing and a curse).

I love this app because you can use it offline (as long as you update your list while still connected to the Internet!). It’s my go-to app when I’m bored to death and I don’t have a physical book with me.  I read articles during idle times and I can spare a few minutes. Although sometimes I wish the app saves the actual template of the website and not show a uniform template. The layout of an article is what keeps me reading sometimes. UI is important!

Basically, I use it to save articles, listicles, news, and even blog posts that I want to read later.. whenever later is. Being a gregarious person offline (I know, how ironic),  I like sharing what I read with others. So welcome to another series of Brain Pickings. Let’s hit it with volume  7!

The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

Mindless activity is the enemy of deliberate practice. The danger of practicing the same thing again and again is that progress becomes assumed. Too often, we assume we are getting better simply because we are gaining experience. In reality, we are merely reinforcing our current habits—not improving them.

You Are Not Allowed to Be Funny

The latest shenanigans by the administration were awful. They crossed a red line. That was it. There is no turning back. It’s why you can’t sleep.

It was a rough night. And every day is a rough day. Every day is anxious, and every day will be like this for the next four years. You feel out of control. You aren’t sure what to do. Your mind races. What will happen in the news today? Whose rights will be infringed upon? What ethnic or religious group will be attacked?

How I Tricked Myself Into Reading More Books

I love books. I can’t leave a bookstore without at least one. But I also have a tendency to buy books and not actually read them. Somewhere along the way reading fell by the wayside in favor of other forms of entertainment. To get back on track, I made some simple changes that have helped me with my reading habits thus far—no speed reading necessary.

Isaac Asimov: How to Never Run Out of Ideas Again

Why was Asimov able to have so many good ideas when the rest of us seem to only have 1 or 2 in a lifetime? To find out, I looked into Asimov’s autobiography, It’s Been a Good Life.

Asimov wasn’t born writing 8 hours a day 7 days a week. He tore up pages, he got frustrated and he failed over and over and over again. In his autobiography, Asimov shares the tactics and strategies he developed to never run out of ideas again.

Let’s steal everything we can.

You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things.

It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

Let me explain.

Happy reading!

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