Friday Night Reflections

Annie Dillard talks about the difference between Choosing Presence Over Productivity

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Seneca also remarks how being busy does not equate to living:

“I frequently worry that being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being.”

And Stephen Grosz reminds us that it also applies to family life and raising our kids as well:

Being present, whether with children, with friends, or even with oneself, is always hard work. But isn’t this attentiveness — the feeling that someone is trying to think about us — something we want more than praise?”

Nassim Taleb, talks about the age of the internet and how this over exposure of information also leads to more noise:

“The more frequently you look at data, the more noise you are disproportionally likely to get (rather than the valuable part called the signal); hence the higher the noise to signal ratio.”


“To conclude, the best way to mitigate interventionism is to ration the supply of information, as naturalistically as possible. This is hard to accept in the age of the internet.”

On Abraham Lincoln’s Depression and how he overcame it:

“Lincoln replied that he could kill himself, that he was not afraid to die. Yet, he said, he had an “irrepressible desire” to accomplish something while he lived. He wanted to connect his name with the great events of his generation, and “so impress himself upon them as to link his name with something that would redound to the interest of his fellow man.” This was no mere wish, Lincoln said, but what he “desired to live for.””

The Tim Ferriss Show with Tobi Lütke

On the growth mindset:

“The sort of awakening to a growth mindset is another one of those life events, I think. And so these events matter because what you’re building, eventually, is like some kind of path that allows you to wake up smarter every day. And if you get there, really, really powerful things happen. Suddenly, jumping into a completely new job that you have no qualifications for doesn’t sound scary anymore. It probably still does a little bit. But the challenge and the thrill of this sounds real. “I could fail; I have to grow to make this work” actually becomes hugely motivating.”

On being the best version of yourself:

“Yeah. Here’s why all of these things matter. I don’t particularly believe in Hell. But I like this definition I’ve heard. Hell is meeting the best version that you could have become of your life. And so I think that one of the really, really fun things about an experience like an entrepreneur journey like with a company, the careers we have, the books we read, if they end up being pointed in a direction that allows us to minimize the difference between that person we will meet and the person we are, at that point in time, I think that’s time well spent.”


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