The Beginner's Mind (初心)
On learning, productivity, best methods, hacks, and mental jiu-jitsu. The Chinese definition of martial arts (功夫) literally means any study, skill, learning, or practice that requires patience, effort, and dedication (only in the West did it become solely about violence). Anyone highly skilled is a martial artist, from the tea ceremony master to the computer programmer. They just don't always give out belts — but they should.
- On the Pomodoro Technique: The Pomodoro is a technique traditionally used to break down work into increments of 25 minutes followed by a short break.
- Why I Use Sticky Notes and Notecards — and Why You Should, Too: Twitter was an external brain that allowed me to access other people's sticky notes. I could add sticky notes to their sticky notes, intertwining thoughts and creating a longer conversation. Succinctness became an art form.
- Subtract to Add: On Weeding Your Mind Garden: We must throw away the unnecessary for the necessary to have room to grow.
- Shoshin: On the Beginner's Mind: Becoming a student is a skill in the same way resilience is a skill. To give up one's control is frightening, but at the same time liberating — this is the duality of learning.
- Mindfully Quiet: A philosopher's journey from academia, to corporate number crunching, the destruction of his city, to mindfulness and quietism.
- The Wholeness of Taoism, Physics, and Artistry: If A is science, and B is philosophy, then to me C is artistry. And through this lens, the world seems beautiful.
- What if Nature Spoke: What if Mother Nature spoke, what might she say? What if Mother Nature spoke, would we listen?
- I Think There's Something There: From comedy to science, how unlocking the power of observation is the key.
- Obama On The Beginner's Mind: The beginner's mind is an attitude of mental nakedness, eager and open, lacking in any preconceptions. Democracy is a system where two parties can and are allowed to disagree.
- Minimum Effective Learning Dosage: Jack of All Trades, a Master of Learning: The first question I ask myself is, how often must I practice to get better?
- Ice Cube and the Eastern Art of Simplicity: We fear simplicity. We fear it won't be enough. Yet even in a few areas, the positive effects can be transformative.
- Instagram Therapy: I Use It to Look at Nice Pictures: When I saw Instagram, I thought to myself, here is the perfect platform to see beautiful pictures.
- On Jedi Mind Tricks: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul: How we think makes all the difference. Your destiny, you must choose.
- Two Travelers on a Boat and the Beginner's Mind: A parable on how the beginner's mind makes all the difference for two weary travellers lost at sea.
- Within Practice Is Repetition: The Desert of Improvement: Practice is not only something you do, it is a state; the longer you are in this state, the more natural this state becomes.
- Lost in the Desert of the Mind: A cautionary tale of growth and ego.
- Sketchnoting BJJ Philosophy: How do you take your notes? I write and draw.
- The Best Are Like Water: It's easy to live a poor and unfortunate life; all one needs is to be rigid. Yet the best are like water.
- In the Case of the Archer: Zen and Tao for the Western Mind: How Zen and the Tao can guide us through the frenzy of modern expectations.
- Bend or Break: The Efficiency of a River: The river runs to meet the sea; it can move around obstacles if that is the most efficient path, but when it's focused, nothing can stand in its way.
- All You Have Is What You've Learned: Experience does not come with time; experience is something one must earn over time.
- The Novice, the Amateur, and the Expert: No matter your area of interest, you may find, learning is jiu-jitsu.
- The Master and Her Student: The hidden lessons of a master to her student. A parable.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson and Isaac Newton: Neil DeGrasse Tyson and his scientific hero, Isaac Newton.
- Lady Liberty: The New Colossus: At the feet of the Statue of Liberty lies a broken chain. And beneath that is an inscription, a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus.