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Newsletter: 15 Minutes

(Volume 2, Issue 4)


Quote of the week

"Aspire to inspire before we expire."

-- Eugene Bell, Jr.

Three recent articles


1. A common belief is that communication is the key input to healthy relationships. Nick Wignall questions this common belief and the causal relationship between communication and healthy relationships. Is good communication the cause of healthy relationship? Nick's suggestion is that healthy boundaries are the key to healthy relationships. He describes what boundaries are and how to operate them in his article.


2. Sahil Bloom shares a mental model called Hanlon's Razor. A razor is a rule of thumb like Occam's Razor. Hanlon's Razor is "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." In other words, the world is not out to get you.

3. Mark Suster runs Upfront Ventures in Los Angeles, and writes prolifically on start-ups at Both Sides of the Table. Earlier this year, he shared insights from his 18-month weight loss journey in a series of posts here, here, here and here. The formula is simple, but not easy: make a mental commitment, set a plan (eating and exercise), take small steps, build momentum and gamify.

Topic of the week: 15 Minutes


Fifteen minutes can change your trajectory for the next 10 years. This isn't the fifteen minutes of fame -- those are brief flashes that fade. The fifteen minutes are the time of focused contemplation Julian Shapiro describes here that produce enduring insight and inspiration.


Create the conditions to make the most of fifteen minutes of focused contemplation:

  1. Vigorously exercise (e.g., brisk walk, short run, spin session)

  2. Sit quietly in a familiar location without distractions (e.g., no screens)

  3. List all the values you care about (e.g., family, adventure, romance, money, growth)

  4. Deliberate what's most important to you

  5. Ask yourself which activities best help you pursue what is most important to you

  6. Compare the answer with how you spend your time now - what do you need to stop doing or do more of?

All it takes is 15 minutes of focused contemplation to realize whether you are grounded in what matters and if your actions are concordant with what brings you happiness. These are the best fifteen minutes you can spend. Ironically, pausing for focused contemplation is rare.



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