“Every day we see people who are busy distorting their talents in order to enhance their popularity or to make money that they could do without.” Flannery O’Connor
- We’re reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine at the Imperfectionist Book Club.
- I enjoyed this long read at Lapham’s Quarterly on How to Cross a Field of Snow. The piece contains 12 short stories that the author cleverly calls “steps” related to walking, snow, and facing the unknown: “So this is how you cross a field of snow: you take one step forward, and then another. The journey begins, always, in arbitrariness and error. In reaching your destination, you look back over the path you have forged. It is crooked, ugly. On your return trip, you shave off some errant zigs and zags, and your trail becomes slightly straighter. Over the following weeks, other people notice your trail through the snow and begin following it, too.”
- Book I’m looking forward to reading: Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang on the importance of restorative rest to creativity. Learn more from a Q&A with the author at Scientific American.
- “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” -Marcus Aurelius. Listen to this great talk by Ryan Holiday on Stocism. It’s a great primer if you’re new to the philosophy.
- Harvard Business Review on why you should make time for deep reflection.
- A book excerpt from Cal Newport’s Deep Work on Adam Grant, a Wharton professor and author of the book Originals. Cal argues that Adam’s ability to focus on one project for long periods of time has led to his high levels of achievement: “To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.”