Stop thinking (if you're smart)

There is the idea that smart people are unhappy, mainly because they can think continuously and nurture thoughts, scenarios, and routes anytime, anywhere.

While listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast with Naval, I learned another perspective. If you’re too smart, then why haven’t you figured out how to be happy? In that case, you’re not that smart, after all.

During the last weeks, I have taken some time to meditate after work. It is a small habit that I wanted to build — and it is difficult, but from now, I can see the changes in my behavior.

I used to feel proud of being someone smart — someone who sees his mind as a machine that doesn’t stop working. But that has caused me anxiety, emotional problems, and unhappiness.

Fundamentally meditation serves to calm the mind. And unlike other methods to feel happy — like parties, alcohol, hallucinogens and extreme sports, in meditation, you don’t get away from your mind.

In fact, meditation serves to learn to live with your mind and be happy with your thoughts. It’s hard not to make judgments or think negatively, but observing those internal behaviors is a huge step.

To be smart, from this perspective, is to observe your thoughts, analyze them, and ask yourself why they arise at the moment they arise. Then you will have the opportunity to solve those thoughts. And to feel calm. And to be happy.

Stop thinking.

You can watch Joe Rogan’s podcast with Naval here.

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How stop eating changed my life

It's been over a month since I got heartburn.

The doctor gave me a prescription and told me that everything would be fine. But, to be honest, I didn’t feel the same. During this month, I have felt my body’s warning to change my whole diet.

Practically everything causes me heartburn. Before that, I was used to eating acidic and fatty things. So making this change is really hard. But I have to do it.

These weeks, I stopped drastically consuming coffee, cigarettes, beer, carbonated drinks, fried foods, and fats.

The diet of steamed vegetables and grilled meat became my diet. On top of that, water, green juices, and red apples are my best companions — sometimes I allow myself to eat seeds. But everything in my diet changed.

Stop eating changed my life for good, because I have never felt that silence — the one you feel when your body doesn’t have sugar.

Also, I don’t feel the need to drink anything to have fun. Maybe because I left the beer and alcohol in general. Nor do I look for a way out of my daily stress, because I don’t smoke cigarettes either.

Instead of that, I look for some time alone. I downloaded some apps to do meditation. And now I talk more with my partner about how I feel during the day. Even some of my personal projects have progressed during these weeks.

Stop eating gave me inner peace. I am surprised at how doped we can be for foods that are not fruits and vegetables. They generate anxiety, noise, and we use them to compensate for our negative feelings.

Stop eating is the best gift I am giving myself in the future. Now I have to finish my treatment and hope for the best. But every day, I feel grateful that my body gave me the alarm signal while I am still young.

Plus: Now, thanks to this experience, I am working on an app that helps you build thoughtful habits. You can request the beta version here.

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Don't be yourself. Be better

Stop thinking you cannot do better

Once I published that the worst advice you can receive is: "Just be yourself."

Two sides of the coin

On the one hand, you can think that being yourself is to be fluid and less analytical with your behavior. Being yourself means then let yourself be whatever you want. With those qualities and defects that you have learned during your life.

It makes sense.

But the other side generates noise to me. Being yourself also means letting your dark side flow. As something that cannot change. The typical: "This is how I am. Accept it."

It also makes sense.

But having this mindset is also contradictory. Accepting who you are, in theory, is also accepting that you can change over time.

Change the mindset

So don’t be yourself. Be better. Not being yourself means accepting that you can react to situations as you want. That you are someone fickle, changeable, and full of emotions. That you can embrace the fact that today you can be happy, sad tomorrow, and in two months excited about a new job.

Not being yourself is opening the door to your goals and dreams, but also putting aside the person you thought you were.

Not being yourself is accepting that you can do better. It depends on you how your identity embraces change. Because that is the only sure thing in this life: as long as you exist, everything moves and moves forward.

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Break your patterns

Small differences towards a free life

Yesterday I received a guest in a house that I host on Airbnb.

Whenever I receive a new reservation, I go to the house, clean it, and put a couple of clean sheets in the rooms. I go to the kitchen and throw the garbage.

Afterward, I pick up the phone, send a couple of messages to my guests, and go home to start my workday.

Following the pattern

All the time, we follow a pattern.

For example, if you drink a glass of water every day when you wake up, or if you fold your sheet before going to the bathroom, you are following a pattern of yours.

Patterns are good. They allow us to define routines for work and home. They make us more efficient.

But yesterday I realized how sometimes we behave almost automatically. Our well-learned behaviors do not require creativity. Only our execution.

When we are heading to work, we are likely always to take the same direction. It does not require us to think about how to get to work. We already know how. But when you realize that, it loses a bit of meaning.

Our behaviors become mechanical. So, what we do during the day is not a decision at that moment. It is something previously learned.

Breaking the pattern

I also realized that with a different movement, that condition can change. Breaking our patterns is a sign that what we learn to do can be unlearned.

So I set myself the task of breaking a pattern of mine.

Instead of working at my house, I went to a donut shop. My back hurt, I did not have my comfortable work chair. I learned that in an external place, ideas flow. I had to concentrate on my back, my work, and eating my donut. My brain was out of comfort.

A little event of freedom

When I returned home, I felt different and energetic.

I really wanted to see my family and my girlfriend. I wanted to tell them how my day was in the donut shop, and how delicious that donut was.

I call this a little event of freedom.

It turns out that freedom is a gesture. Like when we see a shooting star go through the night. Something strange, something that makes us feel good. But not something that happens all the time.

In fact, it is challenging to break our patterns. They are part of our personalities. But going against that is fun. It reminds me that, in fact, I am the one who decides how to work today.

Break your patterns, realize that today while reading these texts, you could be heading to the beach with your friends. Or that you could be buying a flower for someone you love.

Whatever you do. But make it different. And far from your comfort zone.

You will feel free. One break at a time.

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The future of work is to do everything

Why should we start to learn stuff

It’s 10 A.M. I just woke up to open my computer.

I am working in a city in Mexico. During the day, I design landing pages, write articles, and create blogs.

I have been doing this for a year now.

It can be once a day. Or once a week. My chief occasionally calls me to fix some work issues. But generally, we solve everything from the computer.

We use a to-do app. We upload everything to Dropbox, and we handle the accounts passwords in 1Password.

It is increasingly clear to me that what I do is the future of work.

The future of work

Two powerful forces are shaping the future of work: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent.

The impact of automation will continue to drive us to have more creative jobs. And to cut off specialization. Mechanical work is in the process of automation, but so are the professions.

Learning everything

That evolution requires to develop specific knowledge. And to learn things we don’t know: how to start a business, how to invest in companies, how to work from home.

In my case, I studied marketing. Now I’m doing web design. And I have plans to learn to code.

The future of work is learning anything we can.

If you are not willing to expand your knowledge, the future of work will end your career.

Learn things you never thought you would learn. If you are an engineer, learn marketing. If you are an accountant, learn to code. If you are an architect, learn how to make a podcast.

The future of work is this: to change, to learn, to do everything.

Some useful links: Why Naval Ravikant Thinks Remote Work Is The Future

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