This is literally post #201 on the site—a “short” summary of the last 16 months of my journey (posts 101-200).
I published something similar back when Sloww hit 100 posts. It’s amazing to see how my focus areas have naturally evolved over time.
The first 100 posts focused on:
- Busyness & Slow Living
- Decluttering, Minimalism, & Simple Living
- Life Purpose
- Perspective & Future
Posts 101-200 focused on the following topics: Click a link to jump to a section below
- Sloww’s Evolution, New Newsletter, & New Premium Membership
- Slow Living, Simple Living, Voluntary Simplicity, & Minimalism
- The Art of Living & Spiritual Growth
- Self-Actualization, Transcendence, & Life Purpose
- Society, Work, & Money
A “Short” Summary of Everything I Learned from Sloww’s Posts 101-200
Sloww’s Evolution, New Newsletter, & New Premium Membership
- Since Sloww is a public record of my personal journey, it will naturally evolve over time. Last year, that included a progression from Sloww 1.0 to Sloww 2.0 followed by a site redesign.
- I started to clarify for myself how I think I can make an impact—as a synthesizer and by embracing combinatorial creativity.
- On a personal note, we moved across the country.
Sloww Sunday Newsletter:
- A new newsletter launched in January 2020!
- Newsletter Issues: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011
Sloww Premium Membership:
- A new Premium Membership launched in March 2020!
- Book How-Tos:
- Book+Book Synthesis:
- Stream of Consciousness Series—Asking deep questions like:
Slow Living, Simple Living, Voluntary Simplicity, & Minimalism
- I finally read the go-to book on slow living—“In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honoré.
- A previous Dean of Harvard College sent this amazing “Slow Down” letter to all incoming students.
- The best book I’ve read lately is “The Quest of the Simple Life” by W. J. Dawson—incredibly well-written and still applicable today even though it was published in 1907. It’s the story of a London clerk downshifting to simple living in the country and includes a deep debate he had with a friend for and against simple living.
- The Quakers have a “testimony of simplicity” that we can all learn a thing or two from—same with “simple living, high thinking” which may have originated (or was at least popularized) with Indian spiritual leaders and philosophers.
- Richard Gregg coined “voluntary simplicity” in 1936 and was one of the first Americans to live and work with Gandhi.
- Perhaps another way of saying “voluntary simplicity” is “mindful consumption.”
- Finally got around to rewatching the “Minimalism” documentary and tackled the one big question I was asking myself from it.
The Art of Living & Spiritual Growth
The Art of Living:
- Started to infuse some inspiration on the art of living and lifelong learning (you may also like these deep life quotes and daily life quotes).
- Is the modern art of living simply taking personal responsibility for your own life?
- Also went straight into the deep end with perhaps the best book on the art of living, “Tao Te Ching”—one of the handful of books I recommended that are worth your time this year.
- I put happiness in perspective for myself with a series called “The Hierarchy of Happiness”: 101 (physical), 201 (psychological), 301 (spiritual).
- Consider that your mind is like a garden with “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen.
- There’s little that beats Zen when it comes to understanding enlightenment: the stages of enlightenment and the quote “chop wood, carry water.”
- Gave myself a crash course on the “Big Three” of Stoicism. So far, I rank their impact on me in this order: 1) Seneca, 2) Epictetus, 3) Marcus Aurelius. I have more reading from Seneca and Epictetus planned. Personally, I didn’t think “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius lived up to the hype, but maybe it was just the translation I read—I’d just stick to the top quotes. And, I threw in a little modern synthesis with “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday.
- Perhaps the most insight-dense podcast of the last year was with Naval Ravikant—so many wise gems on the meaning of life, happiness, peace, and more.
- Learned about some watch-outs like spiritual narcissism, virtue signalling, and moral grandstanding
- “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer is the book I’d start with if I was just starting my spiritual journey today.
- If you’re a little further along the journey, I thought the tough love approach to spirituality in “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello was a breath of fresh air.
- Loved the story of “Siddhartha”—the journey from mind to body to spirit really resonates with me. I believe my own journey has gone from body to mind to spirit.
- Gave myself an introduction to yogi, mystic, and visionary Sadhguru which was helpful to understand the purpose of a guru and the difference between seekers and believers.
- The deepest and most profound thing I read (and ironically one of the shortest) was “Who am I?” by Ramana Maharshi
- I don’t often read fiction, but the short story “The Egg” by Andy Weir provoked some mind-expanding thoughts.
Self-Actualization, Transcendence, & Life Purpose
Self-Actualization & Transcendence:
- Easily one of the most important areas I’ve studied to date is Maslow’s late-life writings in “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature” about self-actualization, transcendence, and the characteristics of self-actualizing transcenders. Diving deeper into this over the next few weeks.
- Can gerotranscendence—the final stage in a possible natural progression towards maturation and wisdom—be experienced at a younger age?
- In one of my crazier rabbit hole research projects, I decided to literally read 100+ articles on life purpose. Here are the highlights of everything I learned.
- Celebrated the 4-year anniversary of my existential crisis.
- I did a deep dive into the truth about ikigai and why the viral 4-circle ikigai diagram needs to evolve—eBook on this coming soon. Ikigai is also eerily close to the Hedgehog Concept by Jim Collins. Find your purpose and then use his “flywheel effect” to create momentum.
- Did some exploration to better know myself through the Enneagram (and how I’m stuck between 3 types). I do need to revisit “the stages of the work.”
- Read some of the top life purpose books of all-time: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl (here are the top themes / quotes and a memorable short story) and “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.
- A great book to start discovering purpose/vocation is “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker J. Palmer.
- Finally read “The Alchemist” but wasn’t a big fan (“Siddhartha” is a much more engaging journey story in my opinion). That being said, I did like the “secret of happiness” story.
- The “why discovery process” from “Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek attempts to offer a how-to approach to life purpose—my take is that it falls short and there are better approaches out there.
- Oprah published a book about life purpose, although I wish she tapped into more of her own unique perspective.
Society, Work, & Money
- I’m still constantly thinking about Will & Ariel Durant’s short book “The Lessons of History”—especially the deep questions they proposed.
- Humanity’s greatest thinkers believe our greatest challenge is ourselves.
- Buckminster Fuller on the impact of the individual: “Call me Trim Tab”.
- The Law of Progressive Simplification and why real progress is spiritual (internal) vs material (external).
- The concept of “Total Work” blew my mind and was an aha moment for me—I realized that I was a Total Worker for a decade.
- It seems like there’s a spectrum of work busyness: high busyness (workism and “hustle porn”) to low busyness (performative busyness and “bullshit jobs”).
- Thought about post-workism and possible scenarios on the future of work.
- On a practical note, timeboxing (aka timeblocking) can be an effective way to management your time each day. Could be a good habit to build using “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.
- Turns out our belief in the American Dream not only doesn’t match reality, but we are trading our leisure time for more work in pursuit of the myth.
- But, geographic arbitrage could help you make your money go further inside and outside the US.
- We cut our household’s expenses by 30% once we started living intentionally. The majority of the average household’s expenses is from just three categories: housing, transportation, and food.
- Money can only “buy happiness” up to a point. Learn how much income is enough for you.
Want me to explore more in a certain area or topic? Please let me know in the comments.
Here’s to the next 100 posts!
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