13 Comments
Jan 28Liked by Fran Soto

This is the type of list you want to stick to your wall. It has a level of stoicism to it mixed with your experience.

I'd like to add a #11: Simplicity wins (not only in software design).

Achieving simplicity is extremely complicated today. Social media and the 10 billion dollar self-help industry with all the frameworks, guides, and free PDFs trying to "help" you. It's genuinely hard to tune out, select the one thing you want to act on, and just do it every day, but deep down, we all know it's what we should do.

I fight with this daily, but it's worth it because the choice is mine.

Here's where I chose simplicity, and it helped me:

Reading: Stoicism classic > modern-day philosophers

Self-improvement: Picking one thing > improving 10 aspects of your life at once

Peace: Acknowledging most things are out of your control > trying to change your surroundings

Thanks for the mention, Fran! 🤝

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Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Akos.

I totally agree with your take on simplicity.

Deep down we know the fundamentals for almost every area. But we overload ourselves with information to make it more complicated.

For example, when we talk about health & fitness, it's pretty trivial to identify processed products vs real food. No need for 40 different diets.

The only thing I see good in the online world is that more people say the same message with other words. One person may not be to your liking, but another will resonate with you

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Jan 29Liked by Fran Soto

That's right. This was pretty clear while I was on Twitter and deeply involved in some circles. I'd go as far as saying there haven't been groundbreakingly different ideas on how to live a better life spiritually since stoic philosophers. Who were also fit as hell btw.

But as you said, Seneca might not be your liking, and despite contemporary philosophers saying the same thing, you can connect with them and finally improve in the area you want.

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Very concisely and directly written. I like how you demonstrated your ideas in the shortest words possible.

I agree with the 10 principles. I especially relate to #9 learn one level deeper. Learning in depth first mode is important when it comes to levelling up.

Good one Fran!

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Thanks, Basma!

If we know "just enough", when there's the slightest complication it would be easy to fall into the mindset of "it's not my problem"

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awesome article, I love principles-based thinking.

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Thanks, Fernando. I'm glad you liked it! 😄

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Related to #5 above, Paul Graham (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Graham_(programmer)) says you should follow - "Strong opinions loosely held".

If you have conviction about something, then be a bold proponent of the idea. However, if you find an evidence that you were wrong, then we ready to change your opinion gracefully.

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Thanks for sharing, Avneesh. I heard that phrase but didn't know it came from Paul Graham.

I think it's very easy to confuse a having strong opinion and holding it tightly.

I also love the quote: "Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a man in the process of changing"

I think we are afraid of voicing our opinions because if they are not the best, we will have a lot of social pressure instead of changing our minds

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Indeed we all are different levels of hypocrite if you could dig deep enough.

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Loved the post. It's always good to read a quick refresher on the most effective principles.

I resonated with #3 - Focus on what you control, your actions. Decouple them from the results.

Last year I did a lot of research on motivation and dopamine. One of the new ideas I learned is that we should learn to attach our feeling of achievement (dopamine) to our work, not to the results. This creates a healthy attachment where you feel good because of the work you do, not the results you get.

Thanks for a shoutout!

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Thanks, Eugene. I'm glad you found value in it.

I think it's a tricky balance on #3. If we are completely decoupled from the results, we may be not optimal in our actions. For example, the tutorial hell or eternal student. Always doing some extra courses but not producing any value to get results on them.

If we have another mechanism to identify that our actions are good and not just filling our time, then when we stop attaching our feelings our relationship with that work is much healthier.

I did it with writing online. In the beginning, it was hard to detach from the numbers. It was something very new for me.

Then I decided to feel accomplished on "not breaking the chain" of one post per week. This makes it a real commitment and not something I do when I feel "motivated" based on external validation

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That's true, I forgot about the eternal students. I wonder where they get motivation to keep learning without results :)

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