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🎁 Valentin's Present - power of solitude, frame of reference questions, mental toughness

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🎁 Valentin's Present

December 17 · Issue #16 · View online
The best content I've ever found, sent in digestible weekly gifts. Mouthwatering concepts, tempting questions, juicy books, delicious songs, exquisite short films, and other surprises.

Hope you 1. enjoy and 2. get value from this present. Would love to know your thoughts on what you like about these and how I can make them better.

Provoking Picture
photo by @chrisburkard
Mouthwatering Concepts
This speech turned into an article was given at the West Point Military Academy, and it’s one of my all-time favorite articles on the internet. Link here, a few mouthwatering concepts below, longer notes/summary from the third time I read this here.

“Solitude is the very essence of leadership. Sounds counterintuitive but the position of the leader is ultimately an intensely solitary one. However many people you may consult, you are the one who has to make the hard decisions. And at such moments, all you really have is yourself.”

“[Lots of students are] trained to be world-class hoop jumpers. Any goal you set them, they could achieve. Any test you gave them, they could pass with flying colors. They were, as one of them put it herself, “excellent sheep.””

“For too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place.”

“What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Army—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision.”

“True leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.”

“I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea.

“Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.”

Tempting Questions
Three questions useful to think about what frame of reference you have about the world:
  • Do we live in a friendly or hostile universe?
  • Is everything a miracle or nothing a miracle?
  • Can you do anything you set your mind to without limitation or are there certain things you can’t comprehend?
The frame of references are debatable, but I think the key is to choose which perspective you want to take — which one would be more useful?

Exquisite Short Film
Before You Give Up Watch This - Motivation with Jay Shetty
(2mins) — about the importance of chasing genius, filmed in a cool way, expressed with cool words.

A Little Longer Worth-It Videos
How to Make Yourself Immune to Pain | David Goggins on Impact Theory
David Goggins has earned the reputation of the “toughest man alive”: the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to have completed Navy SEAL Training, the U.S. Army Ranger and Air Force tactical air controller training. Did SEAL Hell Week three times in a year, Guinness world record for most pull ups in 24 hours (over 4,000), and ran an ultra-marathon (100 miles) in under 19 hours despite never having run a marathon before, and other ridiculous feats.

How to Find Your Purpose | Jay Shetty on Impact Theory
Jay Shetty was previously a monk who’s mission right now is to “make wisdom go viral”.

Finger-licking Quotes
Quotes are short and great so today I wanted to include two, with some additional thoughts on top of each.
“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” — Bruce Lee
The reason the wise man can learn from even the most foolish question is that he never assigns that label.
Replace judgment with curiosity.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal
What we are addicted to is a state of not-being-bored. We dread the nothingness of nothing.

Re Human Stories
Today I posted my Re Human weekly reflection before this newsletter, so here is the link to it (week 13). This is for week 12, and week 11, and the “homepage” with links to the daily and weekly posts.

Delicious Music
This is a chill “Sunday and mangos” Spanish playlist I made, called Mango Domingo.

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Thanks, hope you enjoyed and found this present useful. What did you think of the sections this week? Do you like the “longer worth-it videos” idea?

I started these presents as a way to share content with my friends, but anyone can sign up here.

Thank you,
Valentin
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