Sunday Newsletter 6/7/2020
Podcast Recommendation: Tim Ferriss Interviews Brandon Stanton
- The interviewee of this podcast episode (Stanton) is one of the wisest, most heartfelt, and enlightened people I’ve ever heard speak. He created the wildly popular blog Humans of New York, which is one of the most widely read photography/biography blogs of all time. Stanton creates Humans of New York by approaching random strangers on the street, photographing them, and then interviewing them about their lives.
- I’ve learned more from reading this blog than I have from reading just about anything else.
- If you want to listen to the interview, click on the link. I’m also going to include a few excerpts from the episode below:
“I decided I was going to become extremely educated. And I did. I did become an extremely educated person. But 95 percent of that education was outside of school. 95 percent of that education was over the course of seven or eight years saying I’m going to read 100 pages of nonfiction a day, every single day. And I did it for seven or eight years. I’d say 60 percent of that was biography.”
“Biography is the best form of history if you ask me because it cuts through the theory, it cuts through all the speculation of the author, and we get d own to the nuts and the bolts of the decisions that people made in their lives. And I think that is the purest form of education that you can get. And it is the advice that I give people who don’t know what they wanna do with their lives. Pick somebody that you admire and read their biography.”
“I have about three or four entry questions that I use. “What’s your biggest struggle?” “How has your life turned out differently than you expected it to?” “What do you feel most guilty about?” But really, the planned questions are just springboards into a conversation. And how you get to that deep place with a person is absolute presence. It’s being 100 percent there. You’re not thinking in the framework of an interview. You’re not looking at a list of questions. You’re not thinking about your next question. You’re not thinking about how this person fits into your idea of them and what you know about them. You’re 100 percent there, and you’re 100 percent listening to them, and your questions are 100 percent coming based on curiosity about what they are telling you and nothing else.”
Quotes of the Week
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Real intelligence is a creative use of knowledge, not merely an accumulation of facts. The slow thinker who can finally come up with an idea of his own is more important to the world than a walking encyclopedia who hasn’t learned how to use this information productively.”
- Susan Weinbrenner
“Any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it.”
- Henry David Thoreau
People use the phrases “have to do” and “had to do” far too often. “You have to do Y.” “I had to do X.” Most of the time when these statements are used, the more accurate statements would be, “I want you to do X,” or “I think that you should do Y.” Or, “Well everyone says that you have to do Y, and I’m just going with what they say.”
One of the best skills a person can have is the ability to drive home their points by using questions instead of statements.
The more you learn and grow, the less you are troubled by petty things.
Throw yourself into the storm. There’s a chance that it will kill you. But there is also a chance that it will instead kill those things within you that make living unbearable.
Photo of the Week
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