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Sunday Self-Scaler 28
3 highly ignored subjects that are actually the ones we need the most and updates on my personal front
There’s such a huge divide between what we’re taught and what we actually need to know in life that it’s almost funny.
It’s the perfect rat wheel trap — Plop into school. Get good grades. Get into a prestigious college. Take a student loan. Get good grades again. Land a high-paying job. Live paycheck to paycheck. Hate your job but slave away. Finally, pay off the student loan. Your paycheck increases but so do your expenses. Get married. Continue to slave away. Have kids. Pull them into the rat-wheel as well. Retire at 60 — to “live” whatever life’s left.
This is the life society and schooling set us up for. Not life, mere existence, to be accurate.
Just a couple of years ago, I had envisioned the same “life” for myself, albeit fancier. But that’s drastically changed now — Having gotten off the rat wheel, I’m forging my own path.
With a lifestyle that meets my definition of perfection and striving towards my ideal of success, I’ve never been happier.
And this is mainly thanks to exploring three subjects that most of us ignore.
The Key to Better Understand Ourselves and Others
People are as different as they come, and in life, we cross paths with thousands of them.
While we can at least comprehend the behavior of some, some seem like black boxes that leave us puzzling — “Why did he act that way?”, “What was she trying to imply?”, “What made her that angry?”,
Forget understanding others. How many of us understand ourselves? — Often, our own actions and behavior stump us. This is exactly why psychology is such an important subject.
Growing up, I was pretty naïve and bad at understanding people. The result was — misunderstandings, fractured relationships, and unexciting conversations.
It was out of boredom that I took an online psychology course. But I soon fell in love with the subject. The more I learned, the more the fog surrounding people started melting away.
I got so good at understanding people and reading their underlying motives that I even felt guilty initially — the kind of feeling you get when you peep at something you’ve explicitly been told not to.
It felt like a superpower. And to be honest, it is.
Not only other people, but I came to know myself better. I became more objective, better at spotting my cognitive biases, and better able to manage my emotions.
The best part is that you don’t need to do a Ph.D., learning just the basics can put you far ahead of the curve.
The Key to Understanding Life Itself
Caught up in the external world, many of us fail to realize that there’s an entire world inside us.
Disproportional external growth rooted in worldly experiences as with most high-profile CEOs leads to a feeling of hollowness.
“Growth often results in complexity, but if that growth is mis-balanced or leans too heavily in one direction, without some kind of punctuation, then eventually, that growth destroys itself”
— Zat Rana
In our hyperstimulated world, there is no dearth of outer growth. It's the lack of inner growth that’s the problem — this is where philosophy comes in.
With psychology, we only scratch the surface of the internal world. With philosophy, we dive into its depths.
It was reading the novel Atlas Shrugged that sent me down the path of philosophy.
I had resonated so much with the book’s ideas that I hungered to learn more of the author Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
Thus I scrambled down the wonderful rabbit hole of philosophy. And it has changed my life — so much so that my past self seems like a stranger.
I used to be clueless, but now — I know what makes me happy. What matters to me in life and what doesn’t. What my core values, principles, and beliefs are.
I know myself as I’ve never known before.
“If you would attain real freedom, you must be the slave of philosophy.”
Philosophy makes you let go of the things you took to be true and helps you find your actual truths. It shows you how to live life and not just exist.
Philosophy can seem intimidating and boring at first blush, but it’s far from it. The key is starting right — diving into the direct translations of Aristotelian ethics will make you give up.
The book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and the online course Introduction to Philosophy by the University of Edinburgh are great starting points.
And the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is the best reference out there. I also just love the YouTube channels Pursuit Of Wonder and The School Of Life. With beautiful animations and storytelling, they’re philosophical treats.
The One Thing We All Need but Hesitate to Talk About
Money is one of the best inventions of humankind ever and it runs the world. But most of us don’t even understand it properly. We think it’s a couple of dollar bills while as Yuval Noah Harari says:
“Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”
The most appalling thing is that our “education” system somehow thinks that — memorizing the atomic number of Boron or the capital of Georgia is more important than understanding money.
Sure, a cartographer or chemist might need them. But it’s things like saving taxes, planning our finances, and investing that every single one of us needs to know.
“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.”
We think that the key to getting rich is a high paycheck, while in reality, the paycheck barely even matters.
It is minimizing expenses, smart and disciplined investing, prudent spending, and optimizing taxes that really do.
The real problem is not even the lack of knowledge but the taboo surrounding money. Except for a few friends that are also into stock trading and investing, I cannot have a decent money-related conversation with most people.
How can we earn something that we don’t even want to talk about?
This is largely thanks to being told all our lives that — Money is the root of all evil.
Money isn’t evil. It’s just a tool. Like how a shovel can be used to either smash someone’s head or dig up soil to plant a tree, we can wield money for different purposes.
Money matters — much more than we’ll admit. Therefore, understanding how money works and learning personal finance is a must.
Updates on My Personal Front
Since I’ve come to my native town, my daily routine and habits have gone to the dogs. But the good thing is I got almost all of the work I had planned on doing done.
I’ll be traveling back to Bangalore in a few days and back to my happy place, everything’s going to fall back into place.
I’ll soon be getting my second tattoo and I’m super pumped for it. As always, you will be one of the first few to get a glimpse of it. Since it’s a customized tattoo, the design is still underway.
Once it’s done, I’ll probably share it with you. That’s all from my side! Have a great weekend and week ahead!