What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. ~ Viktor Frankl
First off, let me say thanks to all who wrote me in response to last week’s issue of Further. The idea of seeking self-improvement for the right reasons (and conversely avoiding damaging motivations) seemed to strike a chord with many of you.
The most damning sentiments involved feelings of inadequacy and even depression from the constant barrage of one-upmanship by the “super gurus.” How counterintuitively counterproductive is that? If you missed it, you can read last week’s issue here.
Keeping proper perspective helps, even (maybe especially) when it comes to striving for a better version of yourself. But I certainly haven’t stopped being fascinated by the amazing possibilities of human potential, and I hope the same applies to you.
On that note, I found a bunch of interesting resources for expanding your own potential, and couldn’t quite limit the count to the usual ten. The first one relates back to last week’s topic, in that it’s up to you to decide which goal, in Viktor Frankl’s words, is worthy of struggling and striving to achieve. That in itself takes some work, but it’s worth it.
further: top twelve
Death to Dieting
Dieting is the worst — short-term thinking and behavior, powered by white-knuckle willpower to achieve an extrinsic goal that’s only a fleeting number on a scale (if you even manage to get there). Healthy eating, on the other hand, is a liberating habit that ends up getting you what you truly want in the long run.
Land of the Free Radicals
Despite the marketing hype, antioxidants found in so-called superfoods are no more effective than those in regular fruit and vegetables, so you’re better off saving your money. Worse, research has found that antioxidant supplements may cause more harm than good.
Cycling coach and world-class rider Gary Hoffman, age 66, knows exactly why older athletes often lack explosive power. They tell themselves to plod toward the horizon, convinced that the days of sprints, leaps, launches, and dynos are gone. They’re wrong. In fact, Hoffman is almost as fast as he was when he was 20.
Insult to Injury
Whenever I get on a solid streak of improved fitness like I’m on right now, the fear of illness or injury is always in the back of my mind. In the case of injury, it’s bound to happen — and here’s how to make the best of it.
How’s this for a productivity hack? Spend 5 minutes planning tomorrow’s to-do list right before you hit the sack, which in turn helps you fall asleep faster so you can better execute on your tasks in the morning.
This simple, short parable contains one of the most important lessons for success at anything, but especially in the world of work. I think I’ll stick it to the fridge so my kids can pretend not to see it.
Learner or Slacker?
The headline of this article doesn’t pull punches, but it’s hard to argue with. After all, it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest, unless you got in super early on Bitcoin.” That quote is from memory, but I’m pretty sure it goes something like that.
If that last piece spoke to you, perhaps you’re going to start binge reading to catch up. While cramming may get some through college, it’ll probably pay diminishing returns in your career. Here’s the scientific reason you need some space between your learning sessions.
Here’s that Ben Franklin fella again. Find our how this insanely productive and intellectually diverse man became healthy, wealthy, and wise with the help of his trusty journal.
The idea that people have self-control because they’re good at willpower is looking more and more like a myth. It turns out that self-control, and all the benefits from it, may not be related to inhibiting impulses at all.
All decisions involve potential trade offs and opportunity costs. The question is, how can we make the best possible choices when the factors involved are often so complicated and confusing? It comes down to thinking in terms of expected value.
A neuroscientist maintains that the question is not whether we can upload our brains into a computer, but what will become of us when we do. Such a technology would change the definition of what it means to be an individual and what it means to be alive.
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