#12: needing nothing

What’s on my mind

Need and desire are two separate things.

Desire is a powerful force you can use to make things happen.

Need, on the other hand, embodies the absence of those things.

Desire propels.

Need compels.

You can desire something without needing it.

But you can’t need something and expect to have it at the same time.

By definition, they can’t coexist.

It’s true… “Needing nothing, attracts everything.”

This week’s stories

📚 Read fewer (but great) books

I’m not a fast reader.

And I rarely drop books before finishing them.

Even when I’m bored, I still want to see where it goes.

Maybe there’s a good idea buried in page 295!

But sometimes it happens…

Like anything else that we spend time on, reading has an opportunity cost associated with it.

Don’t let the act of reading, on its own, persuade you into thinking that you’re spending your time well.

Because there are 3 kinds of books:

  1. Bad books

  2. Pretty good books

  3. Great books

And you should discard the first two.

Listen to good podcasts about those books instead. Or use Blinkist.

And focus only on great books.

After all, do you really have time to read anything but great books?

{3-min read}

🤔 Ideas that changed my life

You spend years trying to learn new stuff but then look back and realize that maybe like 10 big ideas truly changed how you think and drive most of what you believe.

This is not a typical list of ideas… A lot of wisdom is compressed here.

And the 5-minute reading time only counts the number of characters, not their respective weights!

To truly grasp them, you need longer than that. I spent half an hour digesting every idea and taking notes around them to go back to later.

One that particularly stood out to me was our tendency to make assumptions.

And how our individual experiences make up a very small fraction of what’s happening (and being experienced) in the world.

Yet, they define more or less how we see the world.

What a humbling reminder to catch ourselves next time, and consider things from different perspectives.

Start with the assumption that everyone is innocently out of touch and you’ll be more likely to explore what’s going on through multiple points of view, instead of cramming what’s going on into the framework of your own experiences.

{5-min read}

🧠 A place to structure your thinking

I use quite a few tools to capture the ideas and thoughts I stumble upon everyday:

Pocket to read/watch-later.

Snippet for highlighting text and images in-browser.

Notion Web Clipper to save pages and links. 

Readwise for a daily digest of my highlights.

And Notion itself as the foundational database for pretty much everything.

Over the last week, I’ve been using another exceptional tool that sits on top of them all, but doesn’t necessarily replace them.

At least not yet!

It’s called Roam Research.

The bidirectional linking and limitless nature of it resembles how our brains work. And it’s definitely shaping how I’m consuming and retaining ideas.

This article does a great job of explaining why Roam rocks!

🎓 Why beginners should teach

You can (and should) take the teacher role while still learning.

Teaching stuff helps you better retain the information. It also enhances your own learning.

Think you don’t know it all?

Your perceived level of knowledge is somewhat relative.

In your mind, you might be an average public speaker, but to someone else, you’re a pro!


Beginners want to see other beginners. Representation is a very important aspect of what we do: People get intimidated when they only see experts teaching high-level things. Seeing another beginner make mistakes on "basic things" then recover is very encouraging!

{3-min read}

👋 How to be a better listener

Good listeners are underrated.

Yet, being present and actively listening sets the foundation for good conversations and healthy interactions.

It’s what separates outstanding leaders from mediocre ones.

Everyone you meet almost always knows something you don’t.

Learn one thing from them.

To be interesting, be interested.

{12-min read}

Final Thought


#9 | it’s all relative

#10 | don’t take it personally

#11 | one percent better