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Sloww Sunday Newsletter 143 (May 7, 2023) — Good Quitting, Excellent Advice, No Self, & More
Sloww Sunday shares Sloww creations and fascinating curations to 10,000+ students of life. If you enjoy this issue, please help grow Sloww by forwarding the email version of this newsletter to other lifelong learners.
📚 Lifelong Learning
My “Learning about Learning” Journey
As far as I can remember, I wasn’t familiar with the words “synthesizer” or “synthesist” when I first got started on Sloww. At some point, I stumbled across them, and they deeply resonated with how my mind naturally seems to work. It was one of those epiphany moments!
I also went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and discovered related concepts like “intellectual synthesis,” “knowledge integration,” and more.
Now, I’m putting it all together—grounded in my own personal process—for the upcoming Synthesizer course (click here to be notified when it’s live).
“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” — E. O. Wilson
🌎 Lighter Living
If you want to reduce or quit alcohol…
Last week’s newsletter mentioned quitting alcohol. I received 50+ incredibly inspiring responses from readers sharing their personal stories and top recommendations.
3 Most Popular Recos:
3. Non-alcoholic drink replacements: Athletic Brewing was mentioned several times.
2. Annie Grace’s books: This Naked Mind & The Alcohol Experiment.
1. Andrew Huberman podcast episode on alcohol and health: I listened to the full 2 hours and summarized it all (highlights in a Twitter thread): alcohol & the body, alcohol & the brain, experience & feeling of alcohol, impacts of genes, age, tolerance, and more.
For Premium members: This new Premium post shares all the highlights from Andrew Huberman’s podcast on alcohol while simultaneously sharing my drinking journey (and why I feel like it’s finally time to quit): 🔒Behind the Scenes: Why I’m Quitting Alcohol
Explore more: How do I design a lighter life? (Sloww Stage 1)
🧭 Deeper Purpose
Good Quitting vs Bad Quitting
Steve Jobs had this to say in his famous Stanford commencement speech:
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” — Steve Jobs
This has always stuck with me. I’d refer to this as “good quitting” as I describe in this 30-second video clip from my full podcast with David Elikwu. “Quitting” has become a dirty word, but there’s a big difference between good quitting and bad quitting.
Explore more: How do I find higher purpose (Sloww Stage 2)?
🧠 Mental Wealth
Excellent Advice for Living
Kevin Kelly’s new book was released this week: Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier (Book Summary). It’s such a short and easy read that I was able to read it and publish the summary in the same day. The summary includes 50 life lessons organized into key themes: learning & thinking, creating & giving, comparison & knowing yourself, passion & purpose, habits & work, relationships & knowing others, arguments & manipulation, and experimenting & the future.
For those interested, I shared 25 of my favorite quotes in this Twitter thread.
“Life lessons will be presented to you in the order they are needed. Everything you need to master the lesson is within you. Once you have truly learned a lesson you will be presented with the next one. If you are alive that means you still have lessons to learn … Advice like these are not laws. They are like hats. If one doesn’t fit, try another.” — Kevin Kelly
Explore more: How do I master the mind (Sloww Stage 3)?
Get Mini Mind: 365 Daily Emails of Bite-Size Brain Food
☯️ Timeless Wisdom
No Self, No Problem
I also read No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism by Chris Niebauer Ph.D. along with the companion workbook (Book Summary | 🔒Premium Synthesis). These books are good introductions to the brain hemispheres, major findings in neuroscience in recent decades, and how it all relates to ancient spirituality if you’re new to these subjects.
“This book will explore strong evidence suggesting that the concept of the self is simply a construct of the mind, rather than a physical thing located somewhere within the brain itself. Put another way, it is the process of thinking that creates the self, rather than there being a self having any independent existence separate from thought. The self is more like a verb than a noun. To take it a step further, the implication is that without thought, the self does not, in fact, exist. It’s as if contemporary neuroscience and psychology are just now catching up with what Buddhist, Taoist, and Advaita Vedanta Hinduism have been teaching for over 2,500 years.” — Chris Niebauer
Explore more: How do I embody wisdom (Sloww Stage 4)?
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Go with the Sloww,
Synthesizer & Solopreneur