I wish I had something substantial to write this week but I’m a disorganised slob who has to be up in 6h to save lives or something.
This week’s email is therefore a guest post from Luke Jones, a high school senior who’s apparently been consuming all the drivel I put out into the world for the past 2 years. He writes about 3 life lessons that he’s learned from my stuff. Enjoy!
This ultimately fly-wheeled into effective time management and an effusive life for me–all thanks to Ali Abdaal. After two years of soaking up all of the content I could find from his Youtube channel, podcast, and weekly newsletters, I have led a substantially more productive and happy life.
Here are three key takeaways that I have gleaned from Ali’s content and found to be most impactful:
1. Active Recall
You hear this term thrown around a lot nowadays in study circles around the internet, and maybe even from one of your professors on occasion. However, it is unlikely that they are referring to it in the form that provides its highest form of effectiveness. Ali has shown me that by testing yourself on the material that you are studying and embracing the difficulty of learning, you solidify neural networks that lead to permanent understanding as opposed to uselessly crammed, last-minute jargon.
2. It’s not that you don’t have time–it’s that you choose to spend your time on other things
Everyone knows that one person that seems to be oh-so busy and “just doesn’t have time” for the things that they wish to pursue.
False. False. False.
Ali’s wizardry productivity videos have shown me that everyone has the time for precisely what they prioritize. That’s the trick though, you have to focus your attention with intention on the tasks that you want to accomplish and provide you the most fulfillment(this can take many different forms). Want to go see a movie with friends because it makes you happy? Sure! Go for it! But don’t drudge on about how you just don’t have time to study or make it to the gym ever.
3. Make it a game
Learning is hard! Nobody likes to start those big projects that have been looming over their heads or study for long stretches of time. But if you cue up some background instrumental music and just make it fun, the time flows by and you get to enjoy yourself during the process. So sit down and get cracking like you would a board game with friends, and give yourself that dopamine hit for the “wins”–or in this case, right answers to your active recall questions.
This might be the one that I still continue to draw from the most . If you’ve been watching Ali’s Youtube for a fair amount of time, you’ll see his resting expression is this half-excited sort-of cheeky grin, irregardless of whether he’s just taken a massive final year exam or finished chilling out with friends for the night. I perceive this as his own personal manifestation of Stoicism and finding pleasure within his own mind because life and studying are as fun as you make them!
Thank you Luke, for those kind words, and for saving me from the joy of sleep deprivation. If anyone else would like to contribute a guest post to this newsletter for future (distressingly common) occasions when I leave it to the last minute, please do email me a few paragraphs and I’ll be eternally grateful.
Have a great week!