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Ten of Our Favorite Articles From 2021
Hello good people! We hope you are transcending the overwhelm and enjoying this wonderful time of year. Quite a few more people took up the December fast challenge with us this past week, so another round of congratulations is in order. Fantastic work!
Last week we gave our second annual book review. We’re following up on that theme this week by sharing a short list of the best articles we’ve read recently. But first, a few reminders/updates about what is coming up:
Beginning on Christmas Day, the ebook version of Setting the Bar will be on sale for only $1.99! That is a full 80% off and it will stay at this price through New Year. For anyone who gets an e-reader this Christmas, Shane would be honored to be your first ebook.
Many IHD Seekers have committed to reading War and Peace in 2022. It is a perfect fit as a daily reader with 361 short chapters. This is a very accessible way to approach what is often considered the greatest novel ever written. We’d love to have you along. More details at the end.
The new year is right around the corner and over 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. There is no better way to kickstart your self-improvement than the 30x30 Challenge — a 30-day, 30 minutes per day daily habit program that establishes the fundamental principles of lifelong self-mastery so that you have the tools to take control of your life. Take the challenge in the membership group, where we will host the daily conversation of each video lesson.
What others have said about the 30x30:
Combining movement, a self-development theme and meditation - all condensed into 30 minutes - was brilliant. I have never been able to stick with any program for that long. I loved the use of quotes to encapsulate the daily themes as well as your lesson excerpts to help summarize the essentials. Kudos! The only "downside" was not having enough space for my notes, hah!
The 30x30 challenge was extremely well done. Both Shane and Justin do a fantastic job of articulating their message on oftentimes complex topics. One valuable aspect of this challenge was seeing the benefit of small time commitments to movement and mindfulness. I think we often think more must be better, then bite off more than we chew, thus killing the possibility of commitment. Even 5 minutes of movement and mindfulness, respectively, has a significant impact on the trajectory of my day. Another valuable part of the program was tying the concept of values to meeting the basic human needs. The concept of defining my values has always been abstract and hard to understand for me for whatever reason. Linking values to ways to meet basic human needs, which are met one way or another, made that concept "click" for me. Tying all of that to the concept of "being the person you want to be" all made sense to me for the first time.
This was exactly what I needed to start out my year and I will likely repeat it.
And now to the Stuff.
ONE FROM YESTERDAY
“What you seek is seeking you.”
TWO FROM TODAY
"To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make."
— Greg McKeown, Essentialism
ONE FROM US
Of the common threads uniting the problems of the 21st century, overload seems to be the most appropriate word. There is so much information coming at us at all times. There are so many options, opinions, and opportunities constantly pulling us in different directions. And the paradox of choice is that with more options we become less rational and less satisfied with each decision. To thrive despite these challenges, we recommend a couple steps:
Make peace with the fact that you cannot do it all. Sounds obvious, but see the Oliver Burkeman article below.
Read more full books and fewer articles. Books require more time and submission to peer criticism which tends to create a far more nuanced and worthwhile perspective.
Take time to intentionally reduce the noise. Some suggestions include:
Game your technology settings. You can drastically increase your well-being by intentionally changing your settings and deleting apps that are a net-negative on your psyche.
Set clear boundaries about what technology you use and when you allow yourself to use it. For example:
No phone an hour before bed or an hour after waking
Check email/social media once per day
Delete email/social media apps so that you can only check these accounts on your computer
Curate a list of high-quality sources (newsletters, online publications, etc.) rather than reading everything that comes from your various social feeds.
We hope we can help with this last piece. Here are a few of the best articles that we’ve come across lately:
On Priorities and Time Management:
The Seven Types of Rest That Every Person Needs - Sandra Daulton-Smith, TED
Treat Your To-Read Pile Like a River, Not a Bucket - Oliver Burkeman
A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone - Ryan Holiday
On the State of the World:
Everything is Broken: And How to Fix It - Alana Whitehouse, Tablet Magazine
How This All Happened - Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund
The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Beyond Industrial Medicine - Charles Eisenstein
Exiting Modernity - Alex Leong, Better Barbarians
Back to Basics (On Education Reform) - Auguste Meyrat, The American Mind
The Death of the Festival - Charles Eisenstein (This is part one in a series that we can’t recommend more! It is published across his transition to Substack so, for ease, find each part here: Part 2, Part 3, Part 3.5, Part 4)
Thank you for reading and sharing with your kindred spirits.
Have a great Christmas week and remember, life is too short to be normal!
Shane and Justin