Weekly musings - Jan 4th 2021
I always admired the Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, for his patronage of arts and sciences. I would imagine his court filled with the masters of that era, sharing the best of their works with Akbar. I was envious of Akbar’s access to these masters as not only could he experience their creations at will, but he could also quiz them on their methods and understand what made them excel in their craft. I concluded that among the greatest luxuries of life would be (1) access to masters (2) ability to experience their work (3) ability to understand their systems and methods. These luxuries are accessible to almost everyone today at a much larger scale thanks to the magic of podcasts.
I confess that I did not get Podcasts initially. Reading always seemed more efficient and it seemed pointless to listen to two people talking about random stuff. However, in the last few years, I have become a big fan of this medium of learning mainly due to the excellent work of people like Tim Ferris and Shane Parrish, through their respective podcasts.
My initial journey to podcasts, was passive. I’d listen to it while I was working out and would store away any good insights into my unreliable memory, thinking that it would suffice. However, in the last few months, I have take a more active approach to listening to podcasts. I use the Airr app to listen as it lets me mark sections that are insightful. I can then import highlights into readwise.io and export from that to roam research which serves as my raw note taking tool. I have not yet gotten into converting my notes into a formal Zettelkasten system. Nevertheless, active listening and note taking has amplified the value I have got from podcasts.
How fortunate are we to live in an era when they are so many masters, creating at an unprecedented rate. How fortunate are we that these masters are so willing to share their practices, systems and methods. And how fortunate are we that we have masters like Tim Ferris who excel at the art of getting the best out of other masters and share that with us freely.
So, if you are still reading, I urge you to pick up listening to podcasts actively, as a new habit for 2021. And here are my top three podcasts to get you started
Joe Rogan with Naval Ravikanth where they discuss a whole slew of topics
A Rare interview with a reclusive polymath - Tim Ferris with Jim Collins
Developing the leader in you - Shane Parrish with John Maxwell
Notes to my younger self
Series of notes on multiple topics that if I go back in time, I will share with my 20 year old self. A snippet below.
Among the habits that you build, pay special attention to Evergreen habits. This is a the subset of habits that you should start as soon as possible and should practice all your life. These are habits that are always relevant, that compound over time and lead to development of skills and mindsets that lead to a fulfilling life.
Examples of these are physical fitness, meditation, nutrition, cooking, writing, reading and deep listening. These are the big rocks in your life. However, the busyness of daily living combined with the forces that seek to capture your attention leave little time for a disciplined adherence to these habits.
There is no shortcut. Make a list of evergreen habits that you will absolutely follow. Commit to these habits everyday.
The path to following Evergreen habits has only two steps
One article to read
There have been numerous “year end reviews” and it is hard to keep up with them all. After pouring through a few, I enjoyed the Stratechery year in review the most. Warning there are so many gems in this piece that you might end up spending much more time that you intended. Also if you enjoy technology and strategy, this newsletter is a must subscribe.