Category Archives: advice

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You want short novels? The Paris Review got your back


As they say, here is: A Very Short List of Very Short Novels with Very Short Commentary.

Some of these you may have read, but chances are there are a few you haven’t. I recommend short novels to people who want to read more and are stuck with not having read anything recently. Better still, read good short novels. Every book on that short list is a good book.

Enjoy

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How to Read More Books, According to an Editor Who Finishes 60+ a Year


It’s Saturday. You are thinking: I should start reading more books. But I suck at it. Well then, read this: How to Read More Books, According to an Editor Who Finishes 60+ a Year

I can’t promise it will get you to 60 books, but it will help.

Things I’d add:

  • Toss books you don’t like.
  • If you get stuck on a book, move on.
  • Put down your phone.
  • Don’t just sit there: pick up a book!
  • Have more than one book on the go, but mix up the genres.
  • If you get put off by big books, get smaller books. Finishing any sized book is satisfying.
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How to be more productive with a better todo list?


Easy. Don’t make these mistakes: These Seven To-Do List Mistakes Could Be Derailing Your Productivity

What should you do?

1. Write your lists the day before
2. Don’t have too many items
3. Have items you can truly do that day
4. Prioritize items
5. Be specific
6. Create a fresh list each day
7. Link it to your calendar

If you need guidance, see the article.

It’s a skill writing a good todo list. Having better ones means you have a better or at least a more productive day.

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Can you replace a Mac with an iPad?


According to this iPad vs. Mac: Is a tablet better than a laptop for school and work? in The Washington Post, not yet.

I agree with that assessment. I think there will be a time soon when you can, but not this year. Read the piece before you try to go solo with a tablet.

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On being grateful (and a good alternative to it)


I have read in many places that it is good to be grateful. To be thankful. Here is one such article: What Does It Mean to Be Grateful? – Mindful. If that works for you, then I recommend it.

I find a simpler and just as effective approach is to acknowledge when something is good. Wake up feeling rested? Say “This is good”. Enjoy your cup of coffee or tea or even just being up? Acknowledge that “This is nice”. As you go through your day, make an effort to consciously acknowledge all the good things big and small in your life. You’ll find many. And if you can’t, that’s ok too. Work to appreciate the good things in the bad. Rainy, overcast day? Good for flowers. Monday? A new week to do something good. Etc. If you struggle to think of any, talk to a friend or some other council.

You have lots of good things in your life. As you appreciate them, you will better appreciate your life in general. And that too is good.

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How to Harness Your Anxiety


Easier said than done, I know. But worth addressing. And not impossible. Good luck! Anxiety may seem like a tiger, but it can also be a horse: you can get a grip on it, break it, and use it to your advantage even.

How to Harness Your Anxiety – The New York Times

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Five ways to be more stoical


1. Visualize Your Life Without the Things You Love

“He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.” —Seneca

2. Memento Mori — Meditate on Death

“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. . . . The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” —Seneca

3. Set Internal Goals and Detach Yourself From Outcomes

“Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing.” —Epictetus

4. Welcome Discomfort

“Nature has intermingled pleasure with necessary things — not in order that we should seek pleasure, but in order that the addition of pleasure may make the indispensable means of existence attractive to our eyes. Should it claim rights of its own, it is luxury. Let us therefore resist these faults when they are demanding entrance, because, as I have said, it is easier to deny them admittance than to make them depart.” —Seneca

5. Vigorously Pursue Character and Virtue

“Every day I reduce the number of my vices.” —Seneca

via 5 Ancient Stoic Tactics for Modern Life | The Art of Manliness

(Image of Seneca)