How to innovate:
- Build a prototype, and then keep iterating.
- Each time, only change one single thing. Then you see exactly what caused the improvement or failure.
- That way you build a huge bank of knowledge, and after many iterations, end up with something unique.
James Dyson used this method to create over 5000 prototypes of his radically different vacuum technology.
What will you come up with?
It’s healthy to reflect on the nature of impermanence, especially our human mortality. The Stoics recommend to prepare for your own death every day.
During one of my daily reflections, I looked it up. Each day, 150,000 humans die. That means that in 2019, more than 50 million people will die.
It’s good to remember that one day, today will be our last day. And one year, this year will be the one on our grave stone.
Remember what Steve Jobs said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Happy 2019, everybody! Don’t waste it.
(I use WeCroak for daily mortality reminders.)
As the year is coming to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask some big questions. I recommend to do it in writing:
- Which people in my life are toxic? How can I reduce contact with them?
- Which relationships do I want to nourish?
- Am I investing my time & energy into the things that are important to me?
- How can I be useful to as many people as possible?
- What areas in my life am I neglecting?
- How happy am I with my career?
In fact, I answer similar questions every day as part of my journaling.
Questions I answer daily:
- How do you feel?
- If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?
- What is important to me?
- What duty’s left undone?
- Today was a good day because…
Doing this every day has unlocked many things for me. I now have a much clearer understanding of what is truly important to me. How I want to live my life. Also, it’s giving me a sense of contentment and peace of mind.
I hope you will try it, and wish the same benefits to you.
I’m a big fan of morning routines, because they help me get a good start into the day. However, they are never static. As my life progresses and evolves, so do my mornings.
Here is the current version:
- I get up at 06:45
- I read the daily teaching in The Daily Stoic book (German version)
- I do a 1–3 minutes breathing exercise (using the Wim Hof app or Oak)
- I do 4–8 minutes of high intensity interval training (using this video, I also like the 7 Minute Workout)
- I write my daily journal using this Self Reflection app
- I read or work, until my 13-hour fast is completed (I use Zero to track my daily fasting)
- I start a podcast episode or audiobook, and do the following sequence: eating breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, brushing teeth, shaving. All very slowly and deliberately, as I usually love the audio I am listening to.
- Now it’s between 09:00–11:00 and I feel quite nourished on many levels
I gave up my office, so unfortunately I’m not walking to work anymore. I used to love it. Instead, I sold my gasoline scooter, and am now doing it the Mr. Money Mustache way, using a bicycle.
I have also been thinking about incorporating a more formal writing practice as proposed by Seth Godin, but have not been ready to make this commitment yet.
What are your best morning habits? Let me know on Twitter.
As 2018 is coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the most important books I have read this year. Enjoy!
My favorite books of 2018
1. The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli (audio version):
This was the most important book I read in 2018 (I’ve read the original German version). The book was so good that I have read it twice and have scheduled to re-read it at least once a year. It gives very practical recommendations of how to live a better life, and I’ve been able to implement multiple things.
2. A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine (audio version):
It’s a great companion to Rolf Dobelli’s book (see above), and it’s a wonderful introduction to the stoic way of life. I’ve decided to not only read it, but to study it, and to integrate these practices into my life. This little iPhone app is helping me to practice it every day.
3. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson (audio version):
This book helped me fix my bad sleeping habits. I’m now sleeping more and better! A great companion book is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (audio version). A great tool that I use to track my sleep is the Oura Ring. According to Why We Sleep it’s the most accurate sleep tracker available.
What were yours? Let me know on Twitter.
I only recommend books that I liked. I use Audible for (almost) 100% of my book reading. My current audio library contains 455 titles, and counting…
What were yours? Let me know on Twitter.
I only recommend books that I liked. I use Audible for (almost) 100% of my book reading. My current audio library contains 317 titles, and counting…