The Diderot Effect: why we buy things we don’t need

Did you really need everything you bought? Except if you are one of the most extreme minimalists out there, the answer is likely to be: probably not. Even so, we keep on buying new products, upgrading to the latest version, and filling our lives with possessions we don’t need. That’s the Diderot Effect at play: …

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Scaling down: on seeking fewer goals, relationships, and experiences

We have heard it so many times: quality matters more than quantity. Yet, we struggle to apply the adage. We try to earn as much money as possible; to visit many places; to make lots of friends; to read loads of books. In many areas of our lives, quantity seems to trump quality. Thanks to …

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Interview: Building an anti-regret machine with Tyler Bryden

Many people take lots of notes but then don’t know what to do with them. Our notes, whether written, audio, or video, are a treasure trove of insights about ourselves, but it can be hard to extract those insights. That’s why I was incredibly excited when I discovered Speak Ai, a company on a mission …

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Personal values: how knowing yourself can guide your actions

Ask anyone their opinion on one of the many political and ethical divides of the moment, and you will receive a strong opinion as to what “ought” to be. While people tend to appeal to logic to justify their stance, many of these positions are actually guided by their personal values. Our values are our …

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The power of flexible consistency

When I launched the newsletter last summer, I didn’t expect to hit 20,000 subscribers about a year later. Beside the financial freedom, what started as a little project has brought me countless opportunities to connect with smart people and create new friendships. Many readers are also writers, creators, designers, and entrepreneurs—whether full-time or on the …

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The only numbers that matter

Nowadays, virtually anything can be tracked and measured. Smartwatches include a heart rate monitor, can count your steps, and record your sleep patterns. Apps let you log your meals, your fasting zones, your weight, and your calorie expenditure. A timer on your computer can track your productivity. As Gary Wolf, the co-founder of Quantified Self …

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