I discovered Stoicism in early 2015, right around the time my grandmother passed away, and I was dealing with a breakup and a career switch — everything happened at the same time. Stoicism helped me remain resilient during that difficult time. I’ve been studying the philosophy ever since.
Inspired by Seneca’s renowned letters, I’m starting a weekly column here on Medium, that I call the Stoic Letter.
Roughly speaking (and highly generalizing), there are two philosophies to base your life on.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between acquiring wisdom versus executing wisdom. I always dedicate a lot of time to study, whether it’s a pandemic or not. And I enjoy the activity of reading — not just the purpose like learning or entertaining yourself.
But over the past year, I’ve noticed that I spent more time merely consuming information. And I’m not alone. We’re all trying to make sense of everything that’s going on right now. We read about history, philosophy, psychology, and any other field that could give us some wisdom so we at least feel better.
But all of this “sense-making” only leads to more knowledge, and less execution. And as you and I both know, more knowledge by itself is not useful. …
Over the past five years, I’ve written nearly 400 articles and reached millions of readers. While some articles got more views than others, that’s not the way I measure myself.
I look at engagement: How many readers take the time to share, comment, or even email you their thoughts about the article? That’s how I know my article and topic made a real impact.
Here are 10 writing rules I always apply to do that.
There’s a difference between an article that has something to say, versus a piece written for superficial reasons like money or ego. F. …
There are many reasons every person should learn how to write clearly. But two things dwarf every other reason. Namely, credibility and time.
Both these aspects are critical to our careers. Without credibility, it’s impossible to build the trust required for a long-term career. And if your writing is confusing, you’ll waste a lot of time trying to clear things up.
In tech, people often talk about Moore’s law when they want to stress the pace of innovation. The law comes from Gordon Moore, a co-founder of tech giant Intel, who observed that the chips in our computers double their computing power every two years.
This compounded annual growth in computing power is the key driving force of technological change and economic growth. To put this in perspective, if you buy a computer today, it’s likely 32 times faster than a computer you could buy in 2010.
No other industry or technology innovates this fast. This is comparing apples with oranges, but a 2010 gas-powered car is maybe a few percentage points more energy efficient than an average car you can buy today. …
“It is shameful not to walk but to be carried, and suddenly dazed in the midst of worldly confusion to ask: ‘How did I come to this point?’” That’s what the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote in a letter to his good friend Lucilius.
Think about it. Where are you in life? And what led you to this point? Most of us don’t have a good answer. I’ve learned to ask myself that question all the time:“How did I come to this point?” The first time I asked myself this, it was like a whole new world opened up to me.
Until about six years ago, I didn’t take enough time to reflect on my decisions. …
Writing is difficult because it requires thinking. When people say, “I don’t know what to write,” it often means they haven’t spent enough time to formulate their ideas. Or sometimes, we try to write something we don’t really believe in.
Many years ago, I started writing fiction. But like most people who try to write, I had no idea where to start or what to say. The truth was I just liked the idea of writing fiction. I didn’t truly believe in the story I tried to write. So it never amounted to something.
For years, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t write fiction. But when I read an essay on writing by Arthur Schopenhauer, the German pessimist, it finally clicked. …
For the past six years, I’ve been working with a life plan. I’ve been planning my days, months, and years. In this article, I will share how I do it, and what kind of impact this had on my life and career.
I was inspired to work on long-term planning by Jim Rohn. He talks about this in his classic seminar, How To Take Charge Of Your Life. It’s 30 years old, but his advice is more relevant than ever.
We have so many opportunities and shiny things that grab our attention that we’re likely to get paralyzed by indecision. So many of us just wander around without a clear purpose. …
Personal development is an abstract topic, which means different things to different people. And there’s no singular strategy for measuring it.
What does “personal development” mean? The word implies that there’s a progression to it. So if that’s the case, in what stage are you now? I’ll briefly answer those questions in this article. Equipped with that information, you can improve yourself more effectively.
When I talk about personal development, I’m talking about the activities that will make you a reliable human being. Someone you can count on.
To me, it’s the modern version of philosophy. In Ancient Rome, philosophy was mostly a practical pursuit. There were actual schools where you could study the art of becoming a better person. …
Writers come and go. But some actually stay around. Those are the ones who turn writing into a sustainable career.
Now, there are many ways you can build a career as a writer. The opportunities on the internet are endless. Success has no blueprint. But failure has.
Here are 7 habits of those failing writers that I’ve observed over the years. These are the things that the writers who disappeared did. Avoid these habits, and you’ll probably avoid their fate.
Whether you grow as a writer or not, your audience will. People change, and this is something failing writers don’t understand. …