Last year I decided to make a list of the most important life lessons I had learned until then. I had no idea that a year later, the article was viewed more than two million times.
The article is a reader’s favorite. And I still get emails about the article almost every week. So I thought I’d create an audio version of it, narrated by me.
After the audio article, I talk about how and why I wrote the article. So if you’re interested in behind the scenes, stick around until after the audio article.
If you want to read along, you can find the post below the audio. Enjoy!
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One of the biggest mysteries in modern day life is something that we’re all guilty of.
Please answer me this: Why do we work 8–9 hours a day so that we can earn free time, while we endlessly waste that hard-earned free time?
Have you ever looked at it this way? It’s an absurd way of living. And yet, everyone with a traditional job lives that way.
I remember the moment I realized that vividly. It was about three years ago. At the time, I worked at an IT Research firm in London while… working on my own business in the evenings and weekends.
Hi there, superhero! How are you? Working on a lot of projects simultaneously? Planning a holiday? Taking care of the family? Paying the bills? Hitting the gym every day? Going out with friends? And always solving problems that are not even yours?
I bet you’re doing it all. But here’s the thing: You’re not a superhero. So quit acting like one. You can’t do everything by yourself.
For a while, I thought I was Superman by doing almost everything in my business. On top of that, I also thought I could write blog posts, create online courses, podcasts episodes, and YouTube videos.
When I grew up, it wasn’t cool to read. These days, every coffee shop is packed with folks that are reading a book while sipping on a latte.
That’s a great shift. I’m also reading more books than ever. But here’s the thing: It’s not about how many books you read, it’s about how much you retain from what you read.
Most people I talk to don’t have a reading strategy. They just pick up something and start reading. I used to be like that. But now, that’s unthinkable to me. Sure, you might read a novel for entertainment.
There’s a very fine line between boredom and having a burnout.
Conventional wisdom says that you should jump outside your comfort zone to reach the ‘magic.’ I never understood that saying. What magic are we talking about? Unicorns? Men from Mars? An orgasm? What? I don’t know.
Here’s the thing: I’ve tried leaping out of my comfort zone, and it didn’t work out for me. However, I’ve also tried to take things very slowly. That also didn’t work out for me. I’ve found that you need a balance between challenge and comfort. And that’s a very, very, difficult thing to do.
The reason is that doing challenging things requires skill (see drawing above). The more challenging the task, the more skill you need. The problem with taking huge leaps is that you don’t have the skills to address the challenge.
I love practical advice that you can immediately apply to your life. And Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism, is full of practical wisdom.
When I tell my friends, colleagues, and people I work with that I like reading about Zen Buddhism, they often make remarks like: “When are you going to grow your hair, walk around bare feet, and talk about yoga all day?”
That’s the hipster way of life. Not the Zen way.
What is Zen, actually? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s not a religion, belief, or piece of knowledge.