#24: work that matters

What's on my mind

We spend one-third of our lives working.

Nearly 90,000 hours.

To do work that matters, it's important to ask:

How much are you learning?

What are you doing that only you can do best?

How much of your work is in alignment with your personal values?

Would people miss what you do if you stopped doing it tomorrow?

What are you trying to change? What does change mean to you?

Do you wake up everyday excited to keep adding to what you built yesterday?

You might not know the answer to all of them, but it's important to keep questioning.

The answers will bring you more clarity.

And get you gradually closer to working on the right things.

👋 Welcome to the 24th volume of Out of Curiosity, a weekly newsletter promoting ideas to help get 1% better everyday in work and life.

Every week, I go through nearly 100 pieces of content (from books and podcasts to newsletters and tweets), and bring you the best in this newsletter.

In this issue:

  • 📚 The Start-Up of You (by Reid Hoffman)

  • 🎖 What you should be working on

  • 🤓 5 lessons from 150 episodes

  • 👋 Anne-Laure Le Cunff

📚 The Start-Up of You (by Reid Hoffman)

Notes on experimenting, commitment to growth, and aspirations:

Always stay in the beta mode. As a person. As a company. Always be testing. Always be improving.

For many people “twenty years of experience” is really one year of experience repeated twenty times. If you’re in permanent beta in your career, twenty years of experience actually is twenty years of experience because each year will be marked by new, enriching challenges and opportunities. Permanent beta is essentially a lifelong commitment to continuous personal growth.

Identify 3 people who strive toward aspirations similar to your own. Use them as benchmarks. What are their differentiators? How did they get to where they are? How you spend your free time may reveal your true aspirations.

{274 pages}

🎖 What you should be working on

What if you wrote down all that you cared about on a piece of paper.

And used that to understand how you subconsciously assess a new opportunity or project worthiness?

When Julian did this exercise, he realized writing is more important to him than starting startups.

What prompted him to consider digging into his values was pondering how Elon Musk picks what to work on:

I wondered, Is the fundamental difference between Musk and others that he's better at knowing what to spend his time on every day?

And to reassure himself that he's on the right path, he used a mental framework called Regret minimization.

Through this model, he had an aha moment:

The moment I understood I'd be more regretful if I failed to become a successful writer than a successful entrepreneur, I was no longer distracted by the urge to pursue startups. Instead, I was focused on ensuring I didn't die without becoming a successful writer.

{15-min read}

🤓 5 lessons from 150 episodes

MetaLearn has turned into one of my favourite podcasts.

And as I'm learning more and more about podcasting myself, I found a lot of value in Nasos' 5 lessons from recording 150 episodes.

He distills them down to:

  • Be willing to look foolish

  • Keep momentum on your side

  • Be you own #1 fan

  • Filter opinions and advice

  • If you're the creative type, get creating

{16-min listen}

📚 A line from a book that stuck with you

The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.

Labyrinths (by Jorge Luis Borges)

📰 A newsletter you look forward to receiving

Brain Pickings

🐦 A Twitter account to follow


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

Le Temps Est Bon (Bon Entendeur remix)

🤔 A question that's been on your mind lately

Thinking about the emergence of consciousness. Many entities have properties their parts don’t have on their own. Is that the case for consciousness?

👋 Follow Anne-Laure

Ness Labs | Community | Twitter

Final Thought

Did anything stand out to you in this week’s letter?

I’d love to hear it if so!

Simply reply to this email.

love and lemons,

Reza 🍋

#21: learning to learn

#22: fresh perspectives

#23: your philosophy