How to know who’s trustworthy | Psyche Guides

Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at same time

4 Stoic Virtues

There are two types of people in this world: The kind whose success makes them better and the kind whose success makes them worse. Nero and Marcus Aurelius began to be groomed for power at roughly the same age. One lusted for the throne, the other cried the day he found out he was selected for it. One murdered his step-brother, the other elevated his step-brother to an equal, making him the first co-emperor. One chased frivolity and pleasure, the other took to his job with seriousness and a sense of responsibility. One helped other people, while the other thought only of himself.

Now certainly this kind of absolute power is inherently corruptive, but the truth is that all success affects us. We work long and hard for something, then we get it. We start at the bottom and suddenly we’re on top. We now have distinction, we now have influence, we now have means at our disposal. How will we use these things? What will they reveal about us? Will they make us better or worse?

That is the question. Timeless. Urgent. Unique to each of us.

We’ve talked before about the lyrics to the Lori McKenna song, the one that effortlessly captures much of the four Stoic virtues. In that song she also explains the proper response to success, the path for being the kind of person that is improved by the gifts of fortune, not ruined by them:

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

When you get where you’re goin’
Turn right back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

So what kind of person will you be? What will your success reveal today? Tomorrow? For the rest of your life? Show us whether you’re a hero or a Nero.


MoietyMOY-ə-deePart of speech: nounOrigin: French, 15th century
1Each of two parts into which a thing is or can be divided.2A part or portion, especially a lesser share.
Examples of Moiety in a sentence “I gave a moiety of the treat to each of my dogs.” “Each member of the team delivered a moiety of the final presentation.”

3-2-1 the famous James Clear Newsletter

3-2-1 ThursdayNote: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter. Every Thursday, I share 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question (November 5, 2020)

“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

Read this on

Welcome to 3-2-1 Thursday,

Here are 3 short ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question to ponder this week.

Let’s get to it.



“You can borrow knowledge, but not action.”

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“The trick to writing well is to…

– take long sentences and make them short

– take confusing ideas and make them clear

– take unrelated concepts and make them related

…without losing the main idea in the process.”

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“Successful outcomes are never the result of a single choice. They are built up through good choices over time.

A profitable business is never a choice, it is a series of choices.

A fit body is never a choice, it is a series of choices.

A strong relationship is never a choice, it is a series of choices.”



Chemical engineer Trevor Kletz, a pioneer in his field, on how he accomplished so much in his career:

“If one asked permission there was a 50% chance it would be refused. If one just got on with it, 19 times out of 20 nothing was said.”

Source: By Accident: A Life Preventing Them in Industry


Inventor and writer Lin Yutang on the magic of reading:

“Compare the difference between the life of a man who does no reading and that of a man who does. The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighborhood. From this prison there is no escape.

But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what that ancient author looked like and what type of person he was…

Now to be able to live two hours out of twelve in a different world and take one’s thoughts off the claims of the immediate present is, of course, a privilege to be envied by people shut up in their bodily prison.”

Source: The Importance of Living


What part of this situation is under my control?

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Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the million-copy bestseller, Atomic Habits
Creator of the Habit Journal

p.s. The human body was not made for this.

p.p.s Hat tip to Leo Polovets for sharing this week’s question.

Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown | Psyche Ideas

The unspoken questions

The unspoken questions

Before we make a decision, we wonder about our dreams, our stories and our needs. Some of the things we wonder about, even if we don’t verbalize them to ourselves:

What will I tell my friends?

What will I tell my boss?

What is everyone else doing?

Will this make me feel dumb?

Is this good for me right now?

Does it help my family?

Is it scarce?

Does it raise my status?

Will this help me be part of a group I care about?

Would my mom be proud of me?

Will I get blamed?

Is there a shortcut?

Is it safe?

Is it thrilling?

How will I feel if they run out?

Will it make the pain go away?

Is it forbidden?

[And then, maybe, if we’ve got many choices, “how much does it cost?”]

Courtsey: Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Before plants or animals existed, this 250,000-ton rock fell in the mud. Here’s how we know

6. International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – 6 November

6. International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – 6 November


This day aims to shed light on the impact of war on the environment and lays emphasis on the fact that there can be no peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.

Content marketing ideas:

  • Listicle idea: Here’s how you can donate to NGOs that work in war-torn areas
  • Infographic idea: X Wildlife species that have been affected due to war
  • Video idea: How has war affected the world’s forests?
  • Podcast idea: How can you reduce waste at home?

Did you know..

Did you know…

… that today is Fischer-Spassky Rematch Day? The 1992 match between former World Chess Champions Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky was billed as a World Chess Championship but was unofficial. It was a rematch of the 1972 World Championship match. Fischer won the match 10-5. Many consider him the greatest player of all time. Play a board game with family and friends today!

So, It’s Been a Rough Year?

So, It’s Been a Rough Year? This has probably not been the year you expected. Few of us went into 2020 expecting an impeachment, a pandemic, riots, murder hornets, earthquakes, fires, record-setting unemployment, a contested election, whales swallowing kayakers and god knows what else has hit you individually. Blew out your knee? Lost a big client? A falling out? It’s easy to sit here and say this has been a bad year. But is it really so bad? Is it 1865 bad? Winter of 1777 bad? Was it as bad as many of the years in Marcus Aurelius’s reign? The years at the end of Nero’s? How about 1919—when the world was mopping up after the Great War just as a pandemic was making landfall? Or ’68, which had civil unrest, terrorist bombings and a major influenza outbreak on top? Of course, this is not to dismiss or make light of any of your troubles. Things have gotten real. No one would deny that. The Stoics would simply have pointed out those other examples to help you see that you still have options left. There is still room to maneuver. All is not lost.  They’d want you to have some perspective and also to grasp this simple, black and white truth: Humanity will either survive this or we won’t. You will, or you won’t. Things looked dark in 180 AD, in 1777, in 1865, in 1919 and in 2009. But guess what? We made it through. We survived. And the people who didn’t? They got their own form of relief too, as hard as that is to wrap our heads around in the moment.  This hasn’t been a bad year. It’s been a year. A year more like some others and less like some others. But it is what it is. You don’t control what it has been, but you have some influence over where it’s going—there’s still a couple quarters left to play. So focus on that. Stay objective and don’t despair.  It’ll get better… or as Marcus quips in Meditations, it won’t and you won’t be around to worry about it anymore. P.S. This was originally sent on November 5, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

So, It’s Been a Rough Year?

Courtesy: The Daily Stoic newsletter I am subscribed to and recommend.

Stories to Inspire…

The story of a woodcutter

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”


Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever.

Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to get close to our Creator, giving more time for our family, taking time to read etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness. 

Author: Stephen Covey
From: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People