The Curious Letter — Issue #6

Happy Friday!

Welcome to the sixth issue of The Curious Letter – an occasional collection of fascinating things worth your time – books, podcasts, articles, videos, and more.

If you missed the previous issue, you can find it here.

Today I have for you an updated version of one of my favorite books, a philosopher CEO podcast, a video explaining love, and a few curious links.


? Book I’m reading

Kamal Ravikant has revised and updated his incredibly successful bestseller “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It.”

The first version was self-published in 2012 and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Kamal worked on this expanded version (the first one was 8,000 words, this one is over 50,000) for over a year, and it’s basically a completely new book.

One of the key points that stood out for me in the book is asking yourself: “If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?” before making a decision.

Here are some quotes by Kamal from his recent appearance on the “What Got You There” podcast that I loved:

“Everything starts from a commitment to the self… It all starts from within. If you fix your inside, the outside works.”

“If it scares me, there’s magic on the other side.”

“Most fear is a signal of where to go, but we actually look at it as a signal of where not to go.”

“You don’t first look and create a net and then leap into it. You gotta leap first. The net appears afterward.”

? A Podcast Episode Worth Listening

Below the Line with James Beshara – Justin Kan (@justinkan) — The Philosopher CEO (Part 1Part 2)

Justin is a founder of Twitch (sold to Amazon for $970 mil), co-founder and CEO of Atrium, a former partner at YC Combinator, and an investor.

This conversation in two parts covers everything from his near-death experience that shaped his life to increasing your baseline happiness.

A few quotes to give you a taste:

“Measuring your company by how many employees it has is like measuring the quality of your airplane by its weight.”

“You’ll lose everything that you have in your life. One day I’m not going to be famous, people are going to forget about me. Fame is going to be the first to go. I’m going to lose my health at one point. All my relations and family members are going to die, or they are going to watch me die.
And that’s okay. Change is the only thing that’s constant in the world. You can fight it and have anxiety about it, or you can accept it, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be.”

“Your emotional state and baseline happiness will never change in a lasting way from any outcome or any external circumstance.”

“Everything you’re stressed out about today, a year from now, you probably won’t even remember.”

? An Article Worth Reading

The Neuroscience of Anxiety by Scott Young.

This great essay is Scott’s summary of some of the main insights of the book “Anxious” by NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux.

The book offers fascinating insights into the underlying mechanisms that make us miserable.

It tries to answer questions such as:

  • What, exactly, is anxiety?
  • Where do feelings of anxiety come from?
  • Why don’t anti-anxiety drugs really work?
  • How can exposure therapy help?
  • Why we get stuck in anxiety?
  • And more.

If you want to understand the anxiety and want to worry less, read this essay (or the book itself).

? A Video Worth Watching

Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person – Alain de Botton

There are so many gems in this video.

Alain argues that love is a skill that needs to be learned. A skill that our society refuses to consider as a skill. We all meant just to follow our feelings, and if you keep following your feelings, you’ll most certainly make a big mistake in your life.

He says that to love, ultimately, is to have the willingness to interpret someone’s, on the surface not very appealing behavior, to find more benevolent reasons why it may be unfolding.

In other words, to love someone is to apply charity and generosity to interpretation.

✨ Random Curious Stuff

As always, feel free to reply with your questions and feedback, and if you liked this issue, please share “The Curious Letter” with a friend or two.

You can send them here to sign up and if you stumble upon anything interesting this week, let me know on Twitter!

Stay curious,

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