Hello from New York City!
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Welcome to the 37th Edition of FRIDAY FAVORITES!
Check out this week's list of things I've learned, how I've implemented them, and what I'm enjoying or pondering.
If you're also on the adventurous pursuit of smart passive income it'll come in handy 😉.
All the best,
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P.P.S: Don't know who I am? Look at this.
The rest of the world is really picking up on how quickly freelancers are growing to dominate the majority of the global workforce. I'm happy to see individuals feeling empowered enough to build a lifestyle they're happy with.
I DO A LOT FOR FREE BUT I DON'T WANT TO WASTE ANY TIME
I make this piece of content every Friday to document what I'm reading, doing, enjoying, and learning. If you're new, you can sign up here: https://echostudio.co/#subscribe-section
I also run giveaways for 1-hour growth strategy sessions:
I run a podcast/youtube channel that's meant to dissect how entrepreneurs got to where they are so that you could do the same if you so wished: https://echostudio.co/podcast
BUT, ALL of that stuff is extremely time-consuming and I'd like to know what you would find REALLY valuable and would be dying to engage with, so I created a poll in our Facebook Group: Echo Tribe. Please have a look and VOTE on the current options or offer your own.
3. What I Am Enjoying: The end of, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" and other Memento Mori or Amor Fati
Honestly, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was an entertaining read to start, then divulged into a fairly self-interested biography of sorts, then redeemed itself through the very last chapter that introduced its link to ancient stoic and Buddhist philosophies regarding remembering one's own mortality at all times.
The Buddhists see all life as some form of suffering, and that suffering gives us meaning so we should be grateful for it. The Stoics believed in having complete control over one's emotions, and therefore actions. They saw this as the most important skill to develop because it would allow them to live their lives as they saw fit. One of the many ways they instilled this practice was through Amor Fati which roughly translates to "A Love of Fate". Meaning, whenever something unwanted, negative, or terrible would happen, they would try to change anything they actually had control over and, if that didn't work, they wouldn't try to change things they didn't have control over and would instead just enjoy whatever they could about their predicament.
A modern-ish example of this is when Thomas Edison's factory, that contained all of his life's work", caught fire and couldn't be saved. Instead of uselessly struggling to put out a fire of that magnitude to save burned up documents, or just breaking down and crying/lamenting his situation, he told his son, who was watching the fire with him, to go get his mother because she'd rarely ever get to see a fire like this. Having that kind of perspective in order to think about others and their pleasure when you're in the midst of a personal crisis is the power that comes with being able to love your own fate on command.
Another tool they used was called a Memento Mori, which roughly translates to "Remember Death". Renaissance artists also consistently instilled symbolic allusions to remember one's death in their art, like skeletons, an hourglass, or a flower.
I will explain what I learned from these tools and how to apply the subtle art of not giving a f*ck below.
4. What I Have Learned / Applied: There is a simple 3-part argument for living a life doing what you care about
The great thing about the last chapter of Mark Manson's, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his introduction of another man I've become recently fascinated with, Ernest Becker.
Ernest Becker was that college professor with a fun and awesome style of teaching who fights for what's right, tells bureaucracy to shove it, focuses on what's effective, is loved by students and hated by faculty. Teaching in the 70s, he protested in the street with his students, openly called-out his superiors, and got fired 6 different times.
Unfortunately, after losing his sixth job, he got colon cancer and needed to be hospitalized. There, he wrote a book that later became one of the most formative books in the fields of philosophy, psychology, and social anthropology for the 20th century. The book is called, The Denial of Death and its basic premise is:
"human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism."
In other words, because we are afraid of death, we distract ourselves from thinking about it, and instead tend to focus on other things that are meaningless in the face of death but keep us busy like:
comparing ourselves to others
working a job we don't like to make money we don't know what to do with
acquiring material possessions
avoiding things we're afraid of
So part 1 of the argument (or premise 1) is we naturally avoid thinking about our own death.
Next, we need to prove that thinking about our own death is an effective way of getting our priorities straight. Asking yourself questions like, "If I were on my deathbed, would I do X?" Or "If I were on my deathbed, would I be happy I did X?" is a great way to prioritize what's important.
Why is that?
Is it because we are actually aware of what we truly want, an "authentic inner-self" of sorts, and, given the possibility of death, we're much more willing to give that authentic inner-self what it wants?
Or maybe we are connected to core values that we wish to remain consistent with and therefore asking ourselves if X is consistent with our core values is our way of determining whether or not we'd regret taking action X?
The methods can be different for everyone, but one of them is thinking about our own death, and, for those people, it's an effective way of determining what's important or what to prioritize.
Third, we need to prove that knowing what's important to you is enough to get you to act on that information and therefore live doing only what you care about.
The truth is, I can't prove this. I don't know how, and I don't know if anyone can. But, there are tons and tons of people dying every day with regrets about their lives, and, for many of them, the only time they realized those regrets was on their deathbed.
So, instead of focusing on whether or not knowing what's important is enough to get someone to act, I'm going to focus on a simple argument that makes taking that action easier
Once we've prioritized what is important to us, it logically follows that acting to keep, practice, or foster the things important to us is in our interest.
Therefore, we would need to act a certain way in order to live a life doing things we care about.
When and if acting to maintain what is important to us scares us, or seems difficult, we can remember that not acting, is working against our own interests by risking the loss of what is important to us. If we allow ourselves to be scared out of taking action by what others think, possibly failing, or some other distraction, we are not acting rationally in accordance with what is more important to us on our list of priorities. So, logically, overcoming that fear is always worth it if we wish to maintain what's important to us, even if it results in some loss of something less important.
5. Thought(s) I Am Pondering:
Thanks for reading, have an awesome weekend! 😁
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