Small Sins Lead to Catastrophes

We tend to assume that as long as we avoid obvious bad outcomes, we’ll avoid catastrophe. This assumption is wrong.

Catastrophes are often a result of a small sin repeated over time. You don’t die because you ate a bar of chocolate once. You die early because you’ve been eating many bars of chocolate over a longer period of time.

We tend to brush off small sins and label them “exceptions”. While this may be true at that moment, we are also aware that exceptions quickly turn into habits that stick. They become our lifestyle which increases the likelihood of a catastrophe.

Small sins repeated over time lead to devastating catastrophes. It’s the Compound-Effect accelerated in a negative direction. Eating a bar of chocolate once isn’t too bad. Missing a workout once isn’t the end of the world and sleeping late on a Friday night isn’t a huge deal either. But eating a bar of chocolate, missing a workout and not sleeping enough in two days? That’s bad.

Often, it’s not one poor decision that leads to a catastrophe. It’s the many small sins accumulated over a longer period of time that lead to catastrophes.

To prevent catastrophes, resist small sins.

How to Increase your Sleep Quality

  1. Wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Go to bed at the same time every day.
  3. Stop caffeine and nicotine intake 10-12 hours before bed.
  4. Establish an unwinding and relaxing evening routine.
  5. Don’t look at screens a few hours before bed.
  6. Make your bedroom as dark as possible.
  7. Adjust the temperature to around 18-19 degrees Celsius.
  8. Stop exercising 3 hours before bed.
  9. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
  10. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
  11. Get outside and expose yourself to daylight during the day.
  12. Include the time-window from 10 pm until midnight into your sleep-schedule.

Why you Should Care About Realizing your Potential

If you don’t, you won’t be able to deal well with the tragedies of existence and the catastrophies of life. You won’t be armed with the knowledge, the skills and the strengths that you know you could have. You won’t be able to go to bed in good conscience, knowing that you didn’t live your day to the fullest. Worse, you will set yourself up for regrets once you’re older and closer to death.

Worst of all, if you decide against realizing your potential, you will choose alternative ways to spend your time. You’ll play video games, eat junk food and waste your precious days amidst a flurry of expedient options.

This hurts you – short term and long term.
But, worse than that, it will hurt the people closest to you as well. All your flaws and insufficiencies cause unnecessary suffering to the people you love the most. As long as you don’t address them, you will continue to cause this suffering in the future – maybe for the rest of your life. In small and big ways, your decisions to waste your potential lead to precisely that suffering which you could have prevented. Multiply this by the millions of people that you will connect with over the course of your life and you see how much it matters to realize your potential.

Think about how much unnecessary suffering you could reduce, now and in the future. Think about how much more you could be, in all facets of life.

That’s why you should care about realizing your potential.

If you stop…

… you deteriorate.

There is a temptation of taking it easy once we’ve made progress. We think we can hit pause, take a break and pick up where we’ve left off.

More often than not, this is wrong.

While you can and should take short breaks, you should never stop making progress on what is most important to you for long.

If you stop, you…

… lose progress.
… forfeit future progress.
… make it harder to start again.
… build competing habits.
… weaken your positive identity.
… make it more likely to miss a good opportunity.
… make it more likely to become sidetracked.

Invert for progress.

If you keep going, you…
… keep your progress.
… make further progress.
… make it easier to keep doing it.
… reinforce your most important habits.
… reinforce your positive identity.
… are ready to take advantage of opportunities.
… reduce the risk of sidetracking.

Keep going and stay on the Meaningful Path.

The Pursuit of Knowledge

Recently, Spotify suggested that I listen to Zack Hemsey’s album “Nomad“.

I have listened to it every day since.

Hemsey’s lyrics are very meaningful and his delivery is captivating. I highly recommend that you check out his album, but want to share the song “The Pursuit of Knowledge” with you.

Although most lyrics can be interpreted differently, I think Hemsey beautifully illustrates the regrets that come from the exclusive pursuit of knowledge.

Set aside five minutes of undisrupted time, plug in your headphones and listen to this song, while reading the lyrics. It will be worth your time:

The sun was scattered through the colored glass
The floor was stained as light enveloped in a bath
And shadows on the wall from piles of books were cast
With rows that formed an aisle in through which I passed
These the quarters of a recluse whom I’d come to ask
About the origin of wisdom he was said to have
To get the story of “the man who knows more than any”, or so I read
He welcomed me to sit with affection and then he said:
“Since I was seven I’ve traveled the globe through words
Set on a mission to devour all I could learn
I’ve studied the writings of the greatest minds you’ve heard
Discovered the tenets that the finest thinkers observed
The more I gained, the more that I sought to earn
The more I attained, the hotter the fire burned
With every book I finished another was there to serve
For every text I read there were pages still left to turn
I’ve learned from all the migrants and drifters to whom I’d listen
Philosophers and soldiers whose knowledge I would solicit
I know histories of nations I’ll never have chance to visit
Complexities of science and language with great precision
But in the end I’ve seen nothing of what’s been given
This life that I’ve employed, while I love it, it has its limits
The failing I regret, though it’s painful, I must admit it
For everything I know of this world, I never lived it”

A silence hung for a moment’s thought
As echoes from the room decayed and tapered off
And there we sat reflecting, was it all for naught?
Until I spoke in earnest with this brief remark
I said that “while it’s evident your knowledge is rivaled by much shrewdness
I’ve never met a man with such wisdom who’s so foolish”
Then he grinned and he chuckled and asked if I
Would speak on what I’d seen through my travels, so I replied:
“I’ve seen the treasure that waits for a man to find
I’ve seen the consequence when the sun and the moon combine
I’ve seen the peaks of mountains that reach out and touch the sky
The struggle to survive and the desert where dreams have died
I’ve seen the best and the worst that we try to hide
The salt of the earth and the evil of humankind
I’ve seen the wrecked and ravaged and scavengers rummage through debris
And those that searched in hope, finding meaning where none once used to be
And some that stormed the beaches
Some that pledged allegiance
Some that scorched the earth for motives that they don’t agree with
Seen some get lost among the current of their grievance
While the tide of death and birth left some speechless
I’ve seen love bring some to their knees
And some lift hearts when they smile for no reason
I’ve seen fairytale endings to believe in
And now I see a man who’d see the same if he’d but seize it.”

Source: Musixmatch

Knowledge Must Lead to Action

“Knowledge is only valuable when it leads to taking action on an idea.”

Maria Aldrey, How to Build a Second Brain in Notion

We have more access to knowledge than ever before.

What once was the library of Alexandria is now at our fingertips thousandfold.

We can read any book, listen to any podcast and watch any movie we want with the click of a button and at menial cost.

But knowledge is not the same as wisdom.

Knowledge is knowing.
Wisdom is doing.

We don’t admire wise men for their knowledge.

We admire them for their actions.

In your journey towards a more meaningful life, let this guide you. Look for information that facilitates action. Don’t get lost in the ocean of information or in the pursuit of more knowledge.

Knowledge in itself won’t help you.

Only right action will.