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How to live by Mind Map: How to live

1. The subtle art of not giving a fuck

1.1. Radical responsibility: you are always choosing.

1.2. Pain is unavoidable: find the problems you enjoy having!

1.2.1. Our solutions to today's problems will define our problems of tomorrow.

1.3. Uncertainty: acknowledge your own ignorance!

1.4. Rejection: be able to hear and say no!

1.4.1. Saying yes to everything is saying yes to nothing.

1.4.2. If nothing is better than anything else we're without values, without purpose.

1.5. Mortality: be aware that your life will end!

1.6. Failure: watch yourself making mistakes

2. 12 Rules for life

2.1. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

2.1.1. Often we're hard on ourselves and intolerant towards our weaknesses. Learning to accept ourselves is the first step to taking care of ourselves.

2.1.2. You are responsible to stand up for yourself, e.g. if bullied, like you would stand up for a bullied child.

2.1.3. It's often the physically or emotionally wounded who keep the machinery running, making an effort to hold their family and society together. This is miraculous and deserves gratitude.

2.1.4. You are morally obliged to make a child a strong, responsible and awake being, ready to take care of itself. Why should you are less responsible for yourself?

2.1.5. Consider what is truly good for you. This is not necessarily what you want or what makes you happy.

2.1.6. Ask yourself: what would my life look like if I take care of myself. You need to know where you are to start your course, you need to determine who you are, you need to articulate your own principles to defend them. He who's life has a why can almost bear any how.

2.2. Stand up straight with your shoulders back.

2.3. Make friends with people who want the best for you.

2.4. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who somebody else is today.

2.4.1. Your perception is limited by your focus. Physiological example: check this attention test video: selective attention test Most of us will only see what they focus on: a certain number of people playing the ball and miss out on what they don't set their focus on: the gorilla. Psychological impact / example with view on "success": if we are focused on a certain goal and don't manage to become successful in this respect, we get frustrated. This is because we fail to recognise what we actually have (achieved) if we'd look at other goals and aspects of success. Therefore it is helpful to regularly re-define success and re-check goals and upcoming opportunities.

2.4.2. Your focus (and your perception) is defined by your religion. "But I am an atheist." - "No, you are not."; all of us have beliefs. To uncover them, we should not think about what we believe but look at our actual behaviour.

3. 48 Laws of Power

3.1. Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself - isolation is dangerous.

3.1.1. This was a great reflection trigger for social work moments, like grabbing coffee with a group we don't know extensively, engaging in meaningless conversation, etc.

3.2. Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.

3.2.1. I've been pondering this one since I'm getting ready to request a salary raise (Wednesday)

3.3. Rule 10: Infection - Avoid the unhappy and unlucky.

3.3.1. This one is similar to that concept of being the average of the people around you. Here he says to avoid people who attract misfortune (in other words, who have the wrong behaviours and attitudes) because you will inevitably pick up some of those traits. Even in the pursuit of helping people who do not want to be helped you will be ultimately punished.

3.3.2. "Recognise the fortunate so that you may choose their company, and the unfortunate so that you may avoid them. Misfortune is usually the crime of folly, and among those who suffer from it there is no malady more contagious. Never open the door to the least of misfortunes, for, if you do, many others will follow in its train" - Baltasan Gracián <- no clue who this guy is. It's just a quote in the book.

3.4. Law 28: Enter Actions with Boldness.

3.4.1. This law touches on that idea that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission, or at least it reminded me of that. In general, boldness eliminates obstacles and I really enjoyed this sentence: "Understand: if boldness is not natural, neither is timidity. It is an acquired habit, picked up out of a desire to avoid conflict. If timidity has taken hold of you, then, root it out. Your fears of the consequences of a bold action are way out of proportion to reality, and in fact the consequences of timidity are worse. Your value is lowered and you create a self-fulfilling cycle of doubt and disaster." This to me, a highly timid guy, really struck a chord.

3.5. Law 25: Re-create yourself.

3.5.1. "Remake yourself into a character of power. Working on yourself like clay should be one of your greatest and most pleasurable life tasks. It makes you in essence an artist - an artist creating yourself" :)

4. ACT (made simple)

4.1. Psychological Flexibility

4.1.1. Defusion: Watch your thinking = Ability to detach from thoughts, images and memories in opposite to "fused", i.e. thoughts would be stuck, glued onto us in practice: recognising thoughts for what they are, i.e. no more or less than words and images

4.1.2. Self-as-context: Pure Awareness

4.1.3. Commited Action: Do what it takes

4.1.4. Values: know what matters

4.1.5. Contact with the present moment: Be here now

4.1.6. Acceptance: Open up

4.2. Cognitive Fusion

4.2.1. Clarifying language: Fused =welded, bonded, attached, stuck together -->defusion = separating, detaching, distancing

4.2.2. In a state of cognitive fusion thoughts dominate our behavior, we're "pushed around by our thoughts". thoughts seem like the absolute truth. thoughts seem like a thread you need to get rid of asap. thoughts seem like something that's happening right here and now even though it's about past/future. thoughts seem like something very important, requiring all attention.

4.2.3. In a state of cognitive defusion thoughts may or may not be true thoughts may or may not be important and we choose how much attention we pay them thoughts are definitively not a command we'd have to obey/follow thoughts are not a thread to us

4.2.4. Workability = Key concept of ACT asking: "is what you're doing working to make your life rich, full, meaningful? --> if no: "unworkable" --> alternatives to be considered. Within this concept, it's not necessary to ask if a behaviour is "good", "bad", "right", "wrong". No need to judge or debate if thoughts are "true" or "false" (s. example of "fat girl").

5. The Trillion Dollar Coach

5.1. Coaching

5.1.1. Trust Trust = “the willingness to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations about another’s behavior.” 1 That’s a bit of an academic mouthful, but it captures the essential point that trust means people feel safe to be vulnerable. Trust means you keep your word. Trust means loyalty. Trust means integrity. Trust means discretion.

5.1.2. Practice free-form listening Listen to people with full and undivided attention Don't think ahead to what you're going to say next Ask questions to get to the real issue

5.1.3. Don't stick it in their ear. Don’t tell people what to do, tell them stories about why they are doing it. “I used to describe success and prescribe to everyone how we were going to do it,” says Dan Rosensweig. “Bill coached me to tell stories. When people understand the story they can connect to it and figure out what to do. You need to get people to buy in. It’s like a running back in football. You don’t tell him exactly what route to run. You tell him where the hole is and what’s the blocking scheme and let him figure it out.”

5.1.4. Feedback If feedback is critical deliver it in private and with the receiver feeling safe. “When I’m really annoyed or frustrated with what someone is doing,” she says, “I step back and force myself to think about what they are doing well and what their value is. You can always find something. If we’re in public, I’ll praise them on that. I’ll give constructive feedback as soon as I can, but only when the person is feeling safe. Once they are feeling safe and supported, then I’ll say ‘by the way’ and provide the feedback. I got this from Bill. He would always do this in a supportive way.” Couple negative feedback with caring. Be relentlessly honest and candid. “He really taught me about honesty and authenticity in giving feedback. You can keep someone’s respect and loyalty while delivering tough news about their performance.” Give feedback as soon as possible.

5.1.5. Be the evangelist for courage. Believe in people more than they believe in themselves and push them to be more courageous. When things are bad, "people come into work every day getting beat up. Everyone feels awful. As a leader, you can't fix problems on your own and you can't fix them when morale is down. So you need to build the confidence on the team."

5.1.6. Full identity front and center. People are most effective when they can be completely themselves and bring their full identity to work. David Drummond is Alphabet’s head of corporate development and legal affairs, and is an African American. “When you come from a background that is not traditional—if you’re black—you don’t typically fit in,” David says. “There is a strong pressure to conform and not show that part of yourself. In Silicon Valley, you are supposed to be either technical or from a fancy business school.” Bill Campbell was neither, but he still, as David puts it, “put his full identity front and center.”

5.2. Team first.

5.2.1. Work the team, then the problem. As managers, we tend to focus on the problem at hand. What is the situation? What are the issues? What are the options? And so on. These are valid questions, but the coach’s instinct is to lead with a more fundamental one. Who was working on the problem? Was the right team in place? Did they have what they needed to succeed? “When I became CEO of Google,” Sundar Pichai says, “Bill advised me that at that level, more than ever before, you need to bet on people. Choose your team. Think much harder about that.”

5.2.2. Pick the right players.

5.3. Leading

5.3.1. Solve the biggest problem first

5.3.2. Don't let the bitch sessions last Air all negative issues, but don't dwell on them. Move on as fast as possible

5.3.3. Win right. Commitment Teamwork Integrity

5.3.4. Committed leadership is even more important in times of crisis. Dan, feeling the strain after a tough multiyear slog, was privately starting to lose faith. Was this company going to make it? Was he the right guy to lead it? He was thinking about quitting but didn’t tell anyone. Then he got a call from Bill, who had been coaching Dan for a few years, helping him through the ups and downs at Chegg. “Dan,” he said, “let’s take a walk.” “Right now? Should I come over?” “No, we’re going to take a virtual walk, right here on the phone.” Uh-oh, Dan thought, looking past the mini football helmets on his desk and out the window at the fountain in the courtyard below. “Where are we going?” he asked. “Behind the woodshed,” Bill replied. He went on to lecture Dan about how he needed to stick with it at Chegg. Leaders lead, he told him. You can’t afford to doubt. You need to commit. You can make mistakes, but you can’t have one foot in and one foot out, because if you aren’t fully committed then the people around you won’t be, either. If you’re in, be in. “I don’t know how he knew I was thinking of leaving,” Dan says, “but he did. And he wasn’t having it.” Dan did not quit. He led . He rallied his team, which is still intact, and together they turned around and built the company.


5.3.6. Build communities Community building has many similarities to the team-building practices we discuss in the previous chapter . To Bill, it was all part of a grand approach. Once you have your team or your community, what matters most are the bonds between the people on the team, which are forged by caring for each other and the common good. With all the trips Bill took with people, the trips were not the goal of the communities, the communities were the goal of the trips. It was all about making enduring connections between people, generating what sociologists call “social capital.” 6 As John Cirigliano, a lifelong friend of Bill’s dating back to their time at Columbia, says, “Bill fed off of the energy of people in his communities, the energy they generated as a result of being part of the community, and the same can be said for the people that he coached. In that way, he was a sort of perpetual motion machine.”

6. How Google Works

6.1. Company Culture

6.1.1. Ad fixing at Google as a proof for the importance of culture. The reason a bunch of employees who had no direct responsibility for ads, or culpability when they were lousy, spent their weekends transforming someone else’s a clear understanding of their company’s priorities, and knew they had the freedom to try to solve any big problem that stood in the way of success. If they had failed, no one would have chastised them in any way, and when they succeeded, no one—even on the ads team—was jealous of their progress. But it wasn’t Google’s culture that turned those five engineers into problem-solving ninjas who changed the course of the company over the weekend. Rather it was the culture that attracted the ninjas to the company in the first place.

6.1.2. The people make the place. One of the most important academic expressions of this idea appeared in a 1987 journal article by organizational psychologist Benjamin Schneider, “The People Make the Place” ( Personnel Psychology , September 1987). In this influential paper, Schneider lays out an attraction-selection-attrition model (ASA model) of how organizational cultures no longer compatible. As attraction, selection, and attrition processes play out over time, an organization becomes increasingly homogeneous in its culture.

6.1.3. Company culture - how to consciously build it. The smart approach is to ponder and define what sort of culture you want at the outset of your company’s life. And the best way to do that is to ask the smart creatives who form your core team, the ones who know the gospel and believe in it as much as you do. Culture stems from founders, but it is best reflected in the trusted team the founders form to launch their venture. So ask that team: What do we care about? What do we believe? Who do we want to be? How do we want our company to act and make decisions? Then write down their responses. They will, in all likelihood, encompass the founders’ values, but embellish them with insights from the team’s different perspectives and experiences.

6.1.4. Sit with the engineers In the Internet Century, a product manager’s job is to work together with the people who design, engineer, and develop things to make great products. Some of this entails the traditional administrative work around owning the product life cycle, defining the product roadmap, representing the voice of the consumer, and communicating all that to the team and management. Mostly, though, smart-creative product managers need to find the technical insights that make products better.

6.1.5. Messy but well equipped to work: It’s OK to let your office be one hot mess. But while offices can be crowded and messy, they need to provide employees with everything they need to get the job done. In our case, Google is a computer science company, so the thing that our smart creatives need most is computing power. That’s why we give our engineers access to the world’s most powerful data centers and Google’s entire software platform. This is another way to kill facilities envy among smart creatives: Be very generous with the resources they need to do their work.

6.1.6. Make people to work in - and populate - the office. We invest in our offices because we expect people to work there, not from home. Working from home during normal working hours, which to many represents the height of enlightened culture, is a problem that—as Jonathan frequently says—can spread throughout a company and suck the life out of its workplace. Mervin Kelly, the late chairman of the board of Bell Labs, designed his company’s buildings to promote interactions between employees. 35 It was practically impossible for an engineer or scientist to walk down the long halls without running into a colleague or being pulled into an office. This sort of serendipitous encounter will never happen when you are working at home. Google’s AdSense 36 product, which developed into a multibillion-dollar business, was invented one day by a group of engineers from different teams who were playing pool in the office.

6.1.7. Don't listen to the HIPPOs Hippopotamuses are among the deadliest animals, faster than you think and capable of crushing (or biting in half) any enemy in their path. Hippos are dangerous in companies too, where they take the form of the Hi ghest- P aid P erson’s O pinion. When it comes to the quality of decision-making, pay level is intrinsically irrelevant and experience is valuable only if it is used to frame a winning argument. Unfortunately, in most companies experience is the winning argument. We call these places “tenurocracies,” because power derives from tenure, not merit. It reminds us of our favorite quote from Jim Barksdale, erstwhile CEO of Netscape: “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”

6.1.8. The listener might interrupts the speaker ("Wait. I want to get that...") to stay in touch; memorizing and waiting for the right moment would cause the listener to go into their mind and lose presence.

6.1.9. The rule of seven. The solution we finally hit upon was slightly less draconian but just as simple. We call it the rule of seven. We’ve worked at other companies with a rule of seven, but in all of those cases the rule meant that managers were allowed a maximum of seven direct reports. The Google version suggests that managers have a minimum of seven direct reports (Jonathan usually had fifteen to twenty when he ran the Google product team). We still have formal organization charts, but the rule (which is really more of a guideline, since there are exceptions) forces flatter charts with less managerial oversight and more employee freedom.

6.1.10. Comapny re-organisation: Be quick with reorganisation and involve the team in creating/finalising it. The key was doing the reorg quickly and launching it before it was complete. As a result, the organization design was stronger than initially conceived, and the team was more invested in its success because it helped create the end result. Since there is no perfect organizational design, don’t try to find one. Get as close as you can and let your smart creatives figure out the rest.

6.1.11. Organise the company around high-impact people. You want to invest in the people who are going to do what they think is right, whether or not you give them permission. You’ll find that those people will usually be your best smart creatives. Once you identify the people who have the biggest impact, give them more to do. When you pile more responsibility on your best people, trust that they will keep taking it on or tell you when enough is enough. As the old saying goes: If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

6.1.12. Ownership, not overwork pressure Manage this by giving people responsibility and freedom. Don’t order them to stay late and work or to go home early and spend time with their families. Instead, tell them to own the things for which they are responsible, and they will do what it takes to get them done.

6.1.13. Establish a culture of yes. University of Connecticut president Michael Hogan: “My first word of advice is this: Say yes. In fact, say yes as often as you can. Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to new experiences, and new experiences will lead you to knowledge and wisdom.… An attitude of yes is how you will be able to go forward in these uncertain times.”

6.2. Talent & hiring.

6.2.1. How to plan your career Think about your ideal job, not today but five years from now. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? How much do you want to make? Write down the job description: If you saw this job on a website, what would the posting look like? Now fast forward four or five years and assume you are in that job. What does your five-years-from-now résumé look like? What’s the path you took from now to then to get to your best place? Keep thinking about that ideal job, and assess your strengths and weaknesses in light of it. What do you need to improve to get there? This step requires external input, so talk to your manager or peers and get their take on it. Finally, how will you get there? What training do you need? What work experience? By the way, if your conclusion is that you are ready for your ideal job today, then you aren’t thinking big enough. Start over and make that ideal job a stretch, not a gimme.

6.3. Decisions

6.3.1. On the process of decision making The answer lies in understanding that when it comes to making decisions, you can’t just focus on making the right one. The process by which you reach the decision, the timing of when you reach it, and the way it is implemented are just as important as the decision itself. Blow any of these, and the outcome will likely be negative. And since there’s always another decision to be made, the impact of a poorly executed decision-making process can reverberate past that one issue.

6.3.2. Decide with data It should go without saying—but it usually doesn’t, so we’ll say it—that data is best understood by those closest to the issue, which is often not management. As a leader, it is best not to get lost in details you don’t understand, but rather trust the smart people who work for you to understand them. When making financial decisions, for example, don’t worry about the ABCs of the MBAs’ and CPAs’ EBITDAs, ADRs, and RPMs; focus on what matters, which is usually cash and revenue. (A frequent Eric aphorism during financial discussions: “Revenue solves all known problems.”) This applies to technical and product decisions as well.

6.3.3. The value of dissent to reach the best idea Reaching this best idea requires conflict. People need to disagree and debate their points in an open environment, because you won’t get buy-in until all the choices are debated openly. They’ll bobblehead nod, then leave the room and do what they want to do. So to achieve true consensus, you need dissent. If you are in charge, do not state your position at the outset of the process. The job is to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, regardless of their functional role, which is harder to achieve when the top dog puts a stake in the ground.

6.3.4. Surface different opinions early in a participatory process Do your best to surface all potential dissent early in the process; there is a natural (and valid) bias toward rejecting dissent the later it surfaces in the decision-making process. 127 Once everyone weighs in with an opinion, then the argument will be on, and everyone can participate in the decision-making process and have their voice be heard. A proper consensus-driven process has elements of inclusion (involving all the stakeholders in a participatory manner); cooperation (aiming for the best decision for the group, sometimes at the expense of a minority or individual);

6.3.5. PIA (patience, info, alternatives) as the alternative to bias for action But some behavioral economists believe that a bias for action can be deleterious, since it can favor hasty, poorly thought-out decisions, and in some situations we agree. In a negotiation, for example, Eric’s “PIA” rule can help get the best outcome: Have patience, information, and alternatives. P is especially important. You want to wait as long as possible before committing to a course of action.

6.4. Communications

6.4.1. Make it safe to ask tough questions. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news. Yet as a leader it is precisely the bad news that you most need to hear. Good news will be just as good tomorrow, but bad news will be worse. That’s why you must make it safe to ask the tough questions and to tell the truth at all times, even when the truth hurts.

7. Focusing

7.1. History

7.1.1. Concept created by Eugene Gendlin (*1926 in Austria, escaped from the Nazis to the US and died 2017 in the US).

7.1.2. Gendlin was a student and partner of Carl Rogers, alongside with Marshall Rosenberg.

7.1.3. Gendlin was a professor of philosophy and psychology at University of Chicago until 1995.

7.2. What & Why

7.2.1. Definitions Focusing is a form of person-centered therapy, where the therapist helps the client gain awareness of themselves in a body felt sense. Focusing is paying attention to what you feel, for what you don't yet have words for and being present with the "felt sense" and the words yet to form.

7.2.2. Goals of Focusing The primary goal of Focusing is to direct the client's attention to experiences which may be difficult for them to describe in a concrete way. The goal of focusing therapy is to support the client in "staying" with the felt sense and listen to how it speaks to them.

7.2.3. Why is listening powerful? Valuable realization often is beyond the speaker's awareness, only as a subtle feeling (the "felt sense"). Through listening and repeating what has been said, the listener keeps the speaker connected to the subtlety, they're searching words for. Presence and interruption by the listener ensure the connection between a) listener - speaker and b) speaker - felt sense. Listener = "external RAM" for the speaker. By the words being said, received and repeated, new room for realization forms in the speaker.

7.3. Terms and aspects

7.3.1. The "felt sense" Felt sense are sensations present in the person's body that provide info on situations, thoughts and feelings. "The felt sense is like the subtle feeling that you have forgotten something but you don't know yet what." "The felt sense is like the feeling that you know a person you meet, but you can't remember from where."

7.3.2. Dis-identification Dis-identification refers to how a person separates themselves from unknown feelings ("I don't know how I feel"). The joker question The joker question is a way of the therapist responding to the answer “I don’t know how I feel”. A joker question, such as ‘what do you feel at this moment’ helps the client take ownership and focus on how their body is responding.

7.4. How Focusing works

7.4.1. Three points for the listener. The only agenda is to be with the speaker. "Get" the feeling / take it in. Verify the words received.

7.4.2. The listener "follows" the speaker. Presence Is present and attentive with their body language. Confirms reception/understanding ("yes, yes, yes"). Getting them. Goal of the listener is to "get" the speaker (not necessarily in a cognitive way, but on an emotional level). Chunkiness The listener repeats the key words received after each "chunk" / "unit of meaning", as support for both listener and speaker to stay present. Paying attention to the new. Listening as supportive tool requires to identify which words bring new elements from within the speaker. These are to be repeated. Metaphor: you observe the cars passing by: car, car, car, car, fire truck, car, car, car, car. It's the fire truck you want to point out.

7.4.3. The speaker is enabled to "live forward". Hearing their own words back show the speaker that the words don't need to struggle anymore to be heard. This makes space for new within the speaker. The speaking process is "life unfolding". New realization often comes after a longer pause in the speaking. If the speaker speaks about something new, they haven't uncovered before, in a special climate (created by attentive listener), they change. The speaker is different after the speaking process.

8. Way of the peaceful warrior

8.1. Learning to live

8.1.1. I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live — that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.

8.1.2. “The world out there,” he said, waving his arm across the horizon, “is a school, Dan. Life is the only real teacher. It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters. But the lessons of experience are hidden. I can help you learn from experience to see the world clearly, and clarity is something you desperately need right now. You know this is true, but your mind rebels; you haven’t yet turned knowledge into wisdom.”

8.2. Being a warrior

8.2.1. Three qualities of a warrior He nodded. “You may experience the mind of a warrior on occasion, resolute, flexible, clear, and free of doubt. You can develop the body of a warrior, lithe, supple, sensitive, and filled with energy. In rare moments, you may even feel the heart of a warrior, extending compassion to those around you. But these qualities are fragmented in you. You lack integration. My task is to put you back together again, Humpty.”

8.3. Attention & meditation

8.3.1. Then I knew that awareness is how the human being experiences the light of consciousness. I learned the meaning of attention — it is the intentional channeling of awareness.

8.3.2. Finally, I realized the process of real meditation — to expand awareness, to direct attention, to ultimately to the light of consciousness.

8.4. Presence

8.4.1. No ordinary moments Just then my attention was captured by two pretty teenagers who were watching me and giggling. I guess those girls are impressed, I thought, as I put both legs into one pant leg, lost my balance, tipped over, and sprawled on the grass. A few other students joined the girls in their laughter. I felt embarrassed for a moment, but then lay back and laughed with them. I wondered, still standing on the rock, why that incident came to me. Then it hit me; I walked into the office, stood before Soc’s desk, and announced, “There are no ordinary moments!” Soc smiled. “Welcome back.” I collapsed on the couch and he made tea. After that, I treated every moment in the gym — on the ground as well as in the air — as special, worthy of my full attention. But as Socrates had explained to me more than once, the ability to extend razor-sharp attention to every moment in my daily life would require much more practice.

8.4.2. Satori “Now let me tell you about satori, a Zen concept. Satori occurs when attention rests in the present moment, when the body is alert, sensitive, relaxed, and the emotions are open and free. Satori is what you experienced when the knife was flying toward you. Satori is the warrior’s state of being.” “You know, Soc, I’ve had that feeling many times, especially during competitions. Often I’m concentrating so hard, I don’t even hear the applause.” “Yes, that is the experience of satori. Sports, dance, or music, and any other challenging activity can serve as a gateway to satori. You imagine that you love gymnastics, but it’s merely the wrapping for the gift of satori. Your gymnastics requires full attention on your actions. Gymnastics draws you into the moment of truth; your life is on the line. As with a dueling samurai, it’s satori or death.”

8.4.3. Right here, right now. “Understand this above all,” he interrupted. “You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you expect or hope for. There have never been past warriors, nor will there be future ones. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear and anger, regret and guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.” “Hold on, Socrates. I distinctly remember being angry in the present.” “Not so,” he said. “What you mean is that you acted angry in a present moment. Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. Its only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”

8.4.4. Are you still carrying her? “Right you are,” he grinned. “Don’t let anybody or anything, least of all your own thoughts, draw you out of the present. Surely you have heard the story of the two monks: Two monks, one old, one very young, walked along a muddy path in a rain forest, on their way back to a monastery in Japan. They came upon a lovely woman who stood helplessly at the edge of a muddy, fast-flowing stream. Seeing her predicament, the older monk swept her up in his strong arms and carried her across. She smiled at him, her arms around his neck, until he put her gently down on the other side. Thanking him, she bowed, and the monks continued on their way in silence. As they neared the monastery gates, the young monk could no longer contain himself. “How could you carry a beautiful woman in your arms? Such behavior does not seem proper for a priest.” The old monk looked at his companion, replying, “I left her back there. Are you still carrying her?” “Looks like more work ahead.” I sighed. “Just when I thought I was getting somewhere.” “Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’ — it is to be here.

8.5. Dealing with adversaty

8.5.1. Good luck, bad luck “Socrates has a message for you, Danny; he asked me to tell you this story:” I closed my eyes and listened intently. An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away. “How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors. “What bad luck.” “Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck,” the farmer replied. A week later, the horse returned from the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn. “What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors. “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man. The next day, the son, trying to tame one of the horses, fell and broke his leg. “How terrible. What bad luck!” “Bad luck? Good luck?” The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war, but the farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared. “Good? Bad?”

8.5.2. Is that so? I decided to pay Joseph a visit and tell him what had happened. As I walked down Shattuck a couple of fire engines wailed by me. I didn’t think anything about it until I neared the café and saw the orange sky. I began to run. The crowd was already dispersing when I arrived. Joseph had just arrived himself and was standing in front of his charred and gutted café. I heard his cry of anguish and saw him drop slowly to his knees and cry. By the time I reached him, his face was serene. The fire chief came over to him and told him that the fire had probably started at the dry cleaners next door. “Thank you,” Joseph said. “Joseph, I’m so sorry.” “Yes, me too,” he replied with a smile. “But a few moments ago you were so upset.” He smiled. “Yes, I was.” I remembered Soc’s words, “Let feelings flow, then let them go.” Until now, this had seemed like a nice concept, but here, before the blackened, waterlogged remains of his beautiful café, this gentle warrior had demonstrated how to make peace with emotions. “It was such a beautiful place, Joseph,” I sighed, shaking my head. “Yes,” he said wistfully, “wasn’t it?” For some reason, his calm now bothered me. “Aren’t you upset at all?” He looked at me dispassionately, then said, “I have a story you might enjoy, Dan. Want to hear it?” “Well — OK.” In a small fishing village in Japan, there lived a young, unmarried woman who gave birth to a child. Her parents felt disgraced and demanded to know the identity of the father. Afraid, she refused to tell them. The fisherman she loved had told her, secretly, that he was going off to seek his fortune and would return to marry her. Her parents persisted. In desperation, she named Hakuin, a monk who lived in the hills, as the father. Outraged, the parents took the infant girl up to his door, pounded until he opened it, and handed him the baby, saying, “This child is yours; you must care for it!” “Is that so?” Hakuin said, taking the child in his arms, waving good-bye to the parents. A year passed and the real father returned to marry the woman. At once they went to Hakuin to beg for the return of the child. “We must have our daughter,” they said. “Is that so?” said Hakuin, handing the child to them. Joseph smiled and waited for my response. “An interesting story, Joseph, but I don’t understand why you’re telling it to me now. I mean, your café just burned down!” “Is that so?” he said. Then we laughed as I shook my head in resignation.

8.6. Emotions

8.6.1. Don't control emotions “How can I control my habits if I can’t even seem to control my emotions?” “You don’t need to control emotion,” he said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”

8.7. Happiness

8.7.1. Happiness = Satisfaction / Desires “As a matter of fact, Dan, I’m quite wealthy. One must become rich to be happy.” He smiled at my dumbfounded expression, picked up a pen from his desk, and wrote on a clean white sheet of paper: Happiness = Satisfaction / Desires “You are rich if you have enough money to satisfy all your desires. So there are two ways to be rich: You earn, inherit, borrow, beg, or steal enough money to meet all your desires; or, you cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires; that way you always have enough money. “A peaceful warrior has the insight and discipline to choose the simple way — to know the difference between needs and wants. We have few basic needs but endless wants. Full attention to every moment is my pleasure. Attention costs no money; your only investment is training. That’s another advantage of being a warrior, Dan — it’s cheaper! The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

8.7.2. Wake up! I walked up University, then along Shattuck, passing through the streets like a happy phantom, the Buddha's gost. I wanted to whisper in people's ears, "Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die - so now, wake up and be content with this knowledge: There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It's all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don't worry, you are already free!"

9. Design your life

9.1. Mindsets for life design

9.1.1. re-framing, radical collaboration, curiosity, being mindful of the process and bias towards action

9.2. Getting rid of dysfunctional beliefs

9.2.1. “What’s your passion?”

9.2.2. "You should know where you’re going by now”

9.2.3. "You have to be the best version of you”

9.3. Main concepts

9.3.1. Connect the dots of “who you are”, “what you believe”, “what you do” → life view, work view → this is what makes your life meaningful

9.3.2. Gravity problems: accept circumstances you cannot change; and: “you can’t solve a problem you’re not willing to have”.

9.3.3. Ideate: Creating three five-year plans. imagine what you could be in different parallel universes, Scenario 1: continue the thing you're currently doing. Assume that it'll develop well. Scenario 2: you can't pursue your current career. What else? Make a side-hustle your main thing. Scenario 3: something completely different. Assume that money or your image are not an issue!

9.3.4. Prototype conversations: just flipping your life should be considered carefully. Therefore... Ask interesting questions to the people who are already living your potential future today. Expose assumptions: try things by diving into a potential new environment for a short time. Involve others in your ideas Sneak up on the future

9.3.5. The process of choosing well Gather and create Get good at being lucky Narrow down Cross out options: you cannot choose right from too many options. Choose "The wisdom of emotions is a real thing." - Daniel Goleman. Let go and move forward Synthesizing happiness

9.4. Summary

9.4.1. Get curious

9.4.2. Talk to people

9.4.3. Try stuff

10. Adult learning

10.1. Knowles' adult learning assumptions

10.1.1. Learners have prior experience

10.1.2. Learners have a self-concept.

10.1.3. Learners prefer a practical approach.

10.1.4. Learners prefer relevance.

10.1.5. Learners are internally motivated.

10.1.6. Learners need to know why they learn.

10.2. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

10.2.1. = distance between what the learner can do with guidance and what they can do on their own.

10.2.2. Learning as a dialogue between the learner and his future, not between the learner and the teacher's past.

10.2.3. Learning as a walk across worlds' boundaries, not only up the ladder of competency.

11. Mediation

11.1. MIDL course

11.1.1. Expanding awareness Expanding awareness meditation How Why

11.1.2. Touch points Antidote against fourth hindrance to meditation: mental sluggishness Focusing on toch points of body (bottom-floor, feet-floor, hands-hands, lips-lips) increases energy level

12. Stoicism: A guide to the good life

12.1. Who were the stoics?

12.1.1. The most important of the Roman Stoics—and the Stoics from whom, I think, modern individuals have the most to gain—were Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.1 The contributions these four made to Roman Stoicism were nicely complementary. Seneca was the best writer of the bunch, and his essays and letters to Lucilius form a quite accessible introduction to Roman Stoicism. Musonius is notable for his pragmatism: He offered detailed advice on how practicing Stoics should eat, what they should wear, how they should behave toward their parents, and even how they should conduct their sex life. Epictetus’s specialty was analysis: He explained, among other things, why practicing Stoicism can bring us tranquility. Finally, in Marcus’s Meditations, written as a kind of diary, we are privy to the thoughts of a practicing Stoic: We watch as he searches for Stoic solutions to the problems of daily life as well as the problems he encountered as emperor of Rome.

12.2. self-awareness

12.2.1. We should become self-aware: We should observe ourselves as we go about our daily business, and we should periodically reflect on how we responded to the day’s events.

12.3. build happiness where we are

12.3.1. negative visualisation To conquer our insatiability, the Stoics advise us to engage in negative visualization. We should contemplate the impermanence of all things. We should imagine ourselves losing the things we most value. We should also imagine the loss of our own life. If we do this, we will come to appreciate the things we now have, and because we appreciate them, we will be less likely to form desires for other things. as antidote to hedonic adaption Negative visualization, though, is a powerful antidote to hedonic adaptation. By consciously thinking about the loss of what we have, we can regain our appreciation of it, and with this regained appreciation we can revitalize our capacity for joy. hedonic adpation example: children One reason children are capable of joy is because they take almost nothing for granted. To them, the world is wonderfully new and surprising. Not only that, but they aren’t yet sure how the world works: Perhaps the things they have today will mysteriously vanish tomorrow. It is hard for them to take something for granted when they can’t even count on its continued existence. convince yourself that you want what you have How, after all, can we convince ourselves to want the things we already have? The stoics thought they had an answer to this question. They recommended that we spend time imagining that we have lost the things we value—that our wife has left us, our car was stolen, or we lost our job. Doing this, the Stoics thought, will make us value our wife, our car, and our job more than we otherwise would. This technique—let us refer to it as negative visualization—was employed by the Stoics at least as far back as Chrysippus.5

12.3.2. Focus on what you have (partly) control over To curb our tendency to worry about things beyond our control, the Stoics advise us to perform a kind of triage with respect to the elements of our life and sort them into those we have no control over, those we have complete control over, and those we have some but not complete control over. Having done this, we should not bother about things over which we have no control. Instead, we should spend some of our time dealing with things over which we have complete control, such as our goals and values, and spend most of our time dealing with things over which we have some but not complete control. If we do this, we will avoid experiencing much needless anxiety.

12.3.3. Internalise goals When we spend time dealing with things over which we have some but not complete control, we should be careful to internalize our goals. My goal in playing tennis, for example, should be not to win the match but to play the best match possible. How can the aspiring novelist reduce the psychological cost of rejection and thereby increase her chances of success? By internalizing her goals with respect to novel writing. She should have as her goal not something external over which she has little control, such as getting her novel published, but something internal over which she has considerable control, such as how hard she works on the manuscript or how many times she submits it in a given period of time.

12.3.4. Be fatalistic about the past We should be fatalistic with respect to the external world: We should realize that what has happened to us in the past and what is happening to us at this very moment are beyond our control, so it is foolish to get upset about these things.

12.4. mastering our desires

12.4.1. We should use our reasoning ability to overcome negative emotions. We should also use our reasoning ability to master our desires.

12.4.2. Self control The Stoics will then point out that exercising self-control has certain benefits that might not be obvious. In particular, as strange as it may seem, consciously abstaining from pleasure can itself be pleasant. Suppose, for example, that while on a diet, you develop a craving for the ice cream you know to be in your refrigerator. If you eat it, you will experience a certain gastronomic pleasure, along with a certain regret for having eaten it. If you refrain from eating the ice cream, though, you will forgo this gastronomic pleasure but will experience pleasure of a different kind: As Epictetus observes, you will “be pleased and will praise yourself ” for not eating it.12

12.4.3. wealth In particular, we should use reason to convince ourselves that things such as fame and fortune aren’t worth having—not, at any rate, if what we seek is tranquility. If, despite not having pursued wealth, we find ourselves wealthy, we should enjoy our affluence; it was the Cynics, not the Stoics, who advocated asceticism. But although we should enjoy wealth, we should not cling to it; indeed, even as we enjoy it, we should contemplate its loss.

12.5. Practice discomfort

12.5.1. To train for future discomfort By undertaking acts of voluntary discomfort— by, for example, in ourselves an immunity that will protect us from a debilitating illness in the future.

12.5.2. To fight fear and anxiety A person who periodically experiences minor discomforts will grow confident that he can withstand major discomforts as well, so the prospect of experiencing such discomforts at some future time will not, at present, be a source of anxiety for him. By experiencing minor discomforts, he is, says Musonius, training himself to be courageous.4

12.5.3. To appreciate what we already have In particular, by purposely causing ourselves discomfort, we will better appreciate whatever comfort we experience. It is, of course, nice to be in a warm room when it is cold and blustery outside, but if we really want to enjoy that warmth and sense of shelter, we should go outside in the cold for a while and then come back in.

12.6. on social relations

12.6.1. we should form and maintain relations with others. In doing so, though, we should be careful about whom we befriend. We should also, to the extent possible, avoid people whose values are corrupt, for fear that their values will contaminate ours.

12.6.2. Don't let anger disrupt tranqulity By allowing ourselves to get angry over little things, we take what might have been a barely noticeable disruption of our day and transform it into a tranquility-shattering state of agitation. Furthermore, as Seneca observes, “our anger invariably lasts longer than the damage done to us.”7 What fools we are, therefore, when we allow our tranquility to be disrupted by minor things. The Stoics, as we have seen, recommend that we use humor to deflect insults:

13. Hell Yeah or No

13.1. The public you is not you

13.1.1. There were over a thousand comments saying that I was a complete idiot and a terrible programmer. At first I was upset and insulted, like anyone would be. Then, luckily, something switched in my head and I realized the most important point: They weren’t talking about me. They were talking about a cardboard cut out that looked like me. A little online avatar that has the same name as me, but is not me. I couldn’t be offended when they said I was a terrible programmer, because they had never seen my code. I couldn’t be offended when they said I was an idiot, because they didn’t know me. They had read a few paragraphs of an article and spewed some insults. Their reactions had nothing to do with the real me.

13.2. No speed limit

13.2.1. There were over a thousand comments saying that I was a complete idiot and a terrible programmer. At first I was upset and insulted, like anyone would be. Then, luckily, something switched in my head and I realized the most important point: They weren’t talking about me. They were talking about a cardboard cut out that looked like me. A little online avatar that has the same name as me, but is not me. I couldn’t be offended when they said I was a terrible programmer, because they had never seen my code. I couldn’t be offended when they said I was an idiot, because they didn’t know me. They had read a few paragraphs of an article and spewed some insults. Their reactions had nothing to do with the real me.

13.3. Relaxed attitude, same result

13.3.1. I’m usually so damn driven, always doing everything as intensely as I can. It was so nice to take it easy for once. I felt I could do this forever, without any exhaustion. When I finished, I looked at the time: forty-five minutes. Wait — what?!? How could that be? Yep. I double-checked: forty-five minutes, . And what a difference in experience! To go the same distance, in about the same time, but one way leaves me exhausted, and the other way, rejuvenated.

13.4. Great goals impact your present

13.4.1. I’m usually so damn driven, always doing everything as intensely as I can. It was so nice to take it easy for once. I felt I could do this forever, without any exhaustion. When I finished, I looked at the time: forty-five minutes. Wait — what?!? How could that be? Yep. I double-checked: forty-five minutes, . And what a difference in experience! To go the same distance, in about the same time, but one way leaves me exhausted, and the other way, rejuvenated.