Samurai and Seneca agreed: comfort with death brings better living. (Photo: Kalandrakas)
“We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.”
-Randy Pausch (1960-2008), The Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon
This week, one of my friends died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was in his early 30′s.
Several hours after I learned of his passing, I received an e-mail from my parents: the 10-year old daughter of a dear high school coach had been diagnosed with liver cancer. The Reaper does not discriminate. Too often, we spend time focusing on the trivial with people who contribute nothing but their own self-interest.
How do we balance protecting time with protecting relationships? How do we conquer guilt and do what is truly most important?
I often read “On The Shortness of Life,” one of Lucius Seneca‘s most famous letters, whenever I succumb to social pressure to treat time as less valuable than income, or whenever I find myself agreeing to help those who make unreasonable requests and get upset otherwise.
Seneca’s masterful diatribe hit me like a much-needed sledgehammer, and I’ve included it below. He soon became my favorite Stoic philosopher, and this will help you understand why… Read More
Last week, Ramit Sethi and I recorded a private videocast for a select group of readers. The three short videos below, all 2-8 minutes in length, describe our blogging tips and techniques, as well as an examination of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.
He and I have both had the privilege and tactical experience of:
1) Building highly-trafficked blogs in a crowded blogosphere of more than 120 million blogs. More important, both of our blogs are well-known for action-oriented readers (For data on this blog’s readers — that’s you! — check this out).
2) Publishing books that reached The New York Times bestseller lists. Ramit’s experience is fresh and most up-to-date from his last three weeks with I Will Teach You To Be Rich, while I wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been on the New York Times business bestseller list continually for 23 months, since its publication in April of 2007.
Here are some of the topics we cover in the a la carte videos:
Currencies Besides Royalties and Direct Income
Google Juice and SEO Misuse
Choosing Post Topics: From Google Keyword Tool to Stumble Upon
Post Length and Publishing Time
Tactical Redating of Posts
Regarding the plug-in I mention for keeping your best content on your homepage, the very smart Lloyd Budd at Automattic explains:
Stoicism was born on the porch of Zeno, but it can be used in the concrete jungle.
(Photo: Blue Cinderella)
“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.”
Few of us would consider ourselves philosophers.
Most of us can recall at least one turtleneck-wearing intellectual in college who dedicated countless hours of study to the most obscure philosophical points of Marx or post-structural lesbian feminism. For what? Too often, to posture as a superior intellect at meal time or over drinks.
Fortunately, there are a few philosophical systems designed to produce dramatic real-world effects without the nonsense. Unfortunately, they get punished because they lack the ambiguity required for weeks of lectures and expensive textbooks.
In the last three years, I’ve begun to explore one philosophical system in particular: Stoicism. Though my preferred Stoic writer, Lucius Seneca, I’ve found it to be a simple and immensely practical set of rules for better results with less effort.
Ryan Holiday is 21 years old and works directly with Dov Charney as his online strategist for American Apparel. He gets more heat, makes more high-stakes decisions, and take more risks in a given week than most people experience in any given quarter. He also happens to be a die-hard Stoic and incredible at putting the principles into practice… Read More
If there is one thing I’ve learned from this blog, it’s that the readers here — that’s you — have some stellar ideas and skills.
For the next book, tentatively titled “Becoming Superhuman”, I would therefore love to invite any designers out there to throw their hat in the ring for the cover design, especially talented beginners who might not otherwise have a chance to work on a project with international reach.
Loic Le Meur is one of my favorite people in Silicon Valley.
He is a successful serial entrepreneur — having sold companies to France Telecom and Six Apart — as well as a French presidential adviser, and an organizer of the world-famous LeWeb conference held in Paris. I will be speaking there December 9-10 of this year.
I recently stopped by the Seesmic offices, where Loic is pursuing his latest project, and we had a fun conversation on everything from practical philosophies and e-mail management, to product development and how to grow large communities at low cost. Please let me know what other topics you’d like to hear more on.
Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!
On Lifestyle Design and Practical Philosophies – 11:30 Minutes