#21: learning to learn

What's on my mind

Looking back, I learned a lot from university.

But I wish it were more relevant to the real challenges we're facing on this planet.

More practice, less theory.

I wish it developed more emotionally intelligent leaders.

And taught students how to actively listen.

I wish, for an entire semester, I could learn how to tell better stories in front of a crowd.

And how to communicate effectively through written words.

I wish I’d gotten better at capturing and retaining information.

I wish I'd learned how to learn.

👋 Welcome to the 21st volume of Out of Curiosity, a weekly newsletter promoting ideas to help get 1% better everyday in work and life.

In this issue:

  • 📚 Everything I Know (by Paul Jarvis)

  • 🎬 Give yourself permission to be creative

  • 🤓 Being smart is not enough

  • 👋 Steph Smith

📚 Everything I Know (by Paul Jarvis)

Notes on fearless creation, experimentation and saying no:

You won’t know how far your potential reaches until you start experimenting with it and pushing its boundaries. I create things I’m scared as hell to share all the time, but I keep sharing them. I continue to make my own path in whatever I do, because I know it’s the only way to be truly happy with what I create.

But none of us advice-givers know what’s possible for you. We can offer insight, sure, but that’s about it. My best advice? Fuck advice and listen to yourself. Trust in your journey and learn as much as possible through first-hand experiments.

Our time and focus are not renewable resources. Once we use them, we don’t get them back. This is why I say “no” a lot. Saying yes to the wrong things for too long will lead to work that lacks personal meaning.

{146 pages}

🎬 Give yourself permission to be creative

This short talk by one of my favourite actors summarizes several books and essays I've read to date on creativity and doing meaningful work.

What mostly resonated with me is Ethan's take on self expression and self awareness. It's only through that lens that we can approach what's meaningful to us.

First we have to survive, and then we have to thrive. And to thrive, to express ourselves, we have to know ourselves. If you get close to what you love, who you are is revealed to you, and it expands.

{9-min watch}

🤓 Being smart is not enough

To build effective teams, it's important to balance between geniuses and social butterflies: individuals who are flexible to adopt and share the successful behaviours of others around them.

The lesson here is to hire both types of people. Know that it’s the geniuses who innovate, but it’s the butterflies who spread that innovation around.

Smart people might have a lot of ideas, but without the ability to learn from each other, many of their ideas won't make it very far.

{4-min read}

📚 A line from a book that stuck with you

The thing about credit is that it’s not zero-sum. There’s room for everybody, and you’ll shine if other people are shining.

Give and Take (by Adam Grant)

📰 A newsletter you look forward to


🐦 A Twitter account to follow


🎧 A song you'd listen to all day on repeat

Old Pine (Ben Howard)

📱 An essential app


🤔 A question that's been lately on your mind

How can we make learning as enjoyable as Netflix?

👋 Follow Steph

📕 If you're starting to write online, or want to level up your personal or business blog, check out Steph's recent book on Doing Content Right. It's one of the best resources I've come across on creating, writing and scaling your publication to millions of readers from someone who's successfully done it.

👉 Check it out here

Final Thought

I'm part of a newsletter mastermind group. We meet every Wednesday.

Our newsletters are different, but we all have the same intention: to keep getting better and providing value to our readers.

This week, we had a special guest! Paul Jarvis joined us and shared a lot of wisdom on how he's been writing his newsletter for the last 8 years. I liked his focus on maintaining a 2-way communication with his audience. Here's more of what he shared.

To deeper connections,

Reza 🍋


#18: two mistakes

#19: start today

#20: follow excitement