Why Get Out of Bed in the Morning

This is essentially a question about motivation. To do any type of action we need to be motivated enough to do so. Motivation comes in two forms, pain and pleasure. As a human, you want to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. That’s why you get out of bed in the morning. Maybe because of seeking that sweet and tasty pleasure of your morning coffee. Maybe of the excitement of making progress on your pet project. Or to avoid your boss yelling at you for being late to the meeting. Pain and pleasure are the needles of our compass.

But is that it?

Why yes, however, there is more to pain and pleasure than the whip and the carrot. Fundamentally, we’re striving towards happiness. A somewhat elusive term and concept, but feelings always are. Naval Ravikant has a wonderfully simple formula for happiness, which I personally like as a basic definition:

Happiness = Wealth + Health + Good Relationships

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Overcome Domain Dependence

As humans we tend to think in boxes. There’s a box with knowledge about how to write, a box that informs us about how to edit the work, and one about publishing and promoting. We think of each of these boxes as independent areas of expertise. But they’re not independent. The boxes we construct are usually interconnected and knowledge in one domain is useful in another. For example, writing and the skill of story telling is tremendously useful when it comes to promoting your work as well.

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Principles for Healthy Media Consumption

Everyone agrees that your body needs a healthy diet to function optimally. Only with with the right fuel, nutrients and building materials can you live a long and happy life. It prevents you from many ailments and strengthens your immune system so you do not have to spend your days sick in bed.

However, I argue that your mind needs a healthy diet too. I am not talking about how the brain as part of your body is affected by food as well. I am talking about the diet of information and knowledge you feed your brain.

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The Art of Calendar Painting

If you care at all about productivity and getting more out of your time, you probably are constantly on the lookout for tools that might help you. In fact, the question I hear most often related to improving in any area is usually related to what tools successful people are using. If you know me, you probably know that I believe that principles are much more important than tools, however, I also believe that sometimes the two don’t exclude each other. So if people ask me what I believe to be the greatest productivity tool my answer always is: my calendar.

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5 Timeless Principles of Managing Time

“You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness — the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends! — depends on that.”

Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

I was deeply fascinated reading Arnold Bennett’s book “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day” years ago. In it he expresses his puzzlement of the amount of literature and focus that people put on the “money problem” — how to get by on X-amount of money — however, almost none on how to get by on 24 hours a day. The world offers countless possible activities, a multitude of possible paths to follow, infinite lives to be lived, but at the same time you have been bestowed with a very finite time on this earth. In light of longevity research still being far away from cracking the code of immortality, we have no other choice than to accept this and make the best out of it.

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