Seth Godin’s Newsletter


The only way to train a group of sea monkeys is by triggering an instinctual reaction.

The best way to train a dog is with tiny tasty treats, combined with calm and consistent feedback. Some dog owners resist this approach, because it doesn’t seem like the dog is really engaged or paying attention or learning anything if there’s too direct a connection between the actual treat and the action of the dog.

It’s tempting to resort to punishment instead, because it’s not only immediate, but for some trainers, it can relieve frustration and requires less patience. But punishment creates trauma.

Humans make up a lot of stories about what motivates us, but sooner or later, many of our stories involve feedback. We’re not sea monkeys, but we’re well aware of how the world around us treats us.

The most persistent changes in behavior happen when the story is so ingrained, we forget all about the feedback that reinforced it in the first place.

But it still started with the desire to be seen, to be treated with respect, to receive the dignity we each deserve. Ring a bell?


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 (December 3, 2020)

“Working to deliver the most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

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Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

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




“Every skill you have today was once unknown to you.

The human brain is a learning machine. Stick with it.”

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“The best exercise for gaining strength is not missing workouts.”

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“The secret to winning is learning how to lose.

That is, learning to bounce back from failure and disappointment—undeterred—and continuing to steadily march toward your potential.

Your response to failure determines your capacity for success.”

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Author Ann Hastings on the availability of satisfaction:

“Satisfaction is always available. It is just not always looked for. If, when you enter any experience, you enter with curiosity, respect and interest you will emerge enriched and with awareness you have been enriched. Awareness of enrichment is what satisfaction is.”

Source: The Mechanics of Reality


Author and speaker Jim Rohn on the best response to the disappointments of life:

“Let’s face it … people and events are going to continue to both hurt and disappoint you. Among the people will be those you most love, as well as those you least know. Seldom is it their intent to purposely hurt you, but rather, a variety of situations mostly beyond your control will cause them to act, speak, or think in ways which can have an adverse effect upon you, your present feelings and emotions, and the way your life upholds. It has been this way through six thousand years of recorded history, and your hurt or grief is not the first time a human has been deeply hurt by the inappropriate actions of another.

The only way to avoid being touched by life––the good as well as the bad––is to withdraw from society, and even then you will disappoint yourself, and your imagining about what is going on out there will haunt you and hurt you. Knowing this, there is but one solution that will support you when people and events hurt you, and that is to learn to work harder on your personal growth than anything else. Since you cannot control the weather, or the traffic, or the one you love, or your neighbors, or your boss, then you must learn to control you … the one whose response to the difficulties of life really counts.”

Source: The Seasons of Life


Here’s a question that a reader shared with me:

Sometimes you have to pass through the fire. What fire or pain should you seek out in your life over the next year so you can learn its lessons?

If you enjoyed that, please share with others.

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Until next week,

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

p.s. She can move in any direction.


Mirificmih-RIH-fikPart of speech: adjectiveOrigin: Latin, late 15th century
1That works wonders; exciting wonder or astonishment; marvellous.2Also (humorously) in weakened sense.
Examples of Mirific in a sentence “The mirific painting attracted more visitors than the museum had ever seen in its 90-year history.” “Yolanda’s first glance at the mirific mountains nearly took her breath away.”

Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Insulation from the user experience

When a small enterprise offers a lousy user experience, the person in charge learns about it, fast.

Customers leave, visitors bounce, complaints roll in. It’s expensive and it undermines the goals of the organization. Fortunately, in a small organization, the person with the ability to make change happen hears about it and can take action.

In a large organization, like my bank, the resources to make things better are dramatically bigger and largely underused.

That’s because the person who should take action has other priorities. Not only aren’t they exposed to the valuable feedback that frontline workers get (because the organization doesn’t reward ‘bad’ news), but they haven’t prioritized getting the user experience right.

It seems more important to please the boss, go to meetings and keep the numbers on track than it is to fix what might not feel broken.

Spend some time in the store.

Visit your own website to get work done the way a customer would.

Answer the tech phone calls for a few hours.

And figure out how to turn the user experience into a metric that’s as easy to measure as how much money you made last month.

Aeon Psyche Newsletter

Today in
 Wednesday 2 December 2020 
Self-harm and suicideGuideHow to talk to a suicidal friendTwice as many people worldwide die from suicide as from homicide. Here’s how to help your loved ones back from the brinkby Lindsay Weisner
Knowledge and reasonIdeaIn Nyāya philosophy only some debates are worth havingby Malcolm Keating

BiologyEditors’ pick videoFrom egg to the air: 21 days of bee development condensed into one mesmerising minute

Nik’s free ebook Summaries newsletter

Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.

If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.

Happy reading!

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1-Sentence-Summary: Weird Parenting Wins will make you better at raising your kids by sharing some strange ways that fathers and mothers have had success with their children, helping you see that your intuition might just be the greatest tool you have at your disposal.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

Weird Parenting Wins Summary

Anyone who has kids can tell you raising them isn’t easy. Sure, most will agree it’s worth it, but between times of incomparable laughter and joy, there are times of sleep deprivation, tears, tantrums, and drama. And if you look after kids that aren’t your own, things can be even more difficult. 

Being tasked with taking care of small humans can be daunting. But there are ways to make things easier for both you and the child. I know what you’re thinking, there are a lot of complicated parenting books out there claiming to have the secret to well-behaved kids.

But author Hillary Frank brings you something more simple in her book Weird Parenting Wins: Bathtub Dining, Family Screams, and Other Hacks from the Parenting Trenches. In it, Frank offers practical, creative tips for anyone. 

So quit stressing over confusing and strict parenting methods and take some simple, unexpected hacks from seasoned parents that will make life easier for both you and your youngster.

Here are 3 of the craziest lessons I’ve learned from this book:

  1. Calming a child who whines will require you to put in some effort and creativity.
  2. Parenting can help your child feel brave and calm their overactive imagination.
  3. Help young kids open up about their emotions through role-play, and help teenagers by just listening.

Grab a notepad and get ready to take down all those weird ideas you have about parenting because you’re about to see how they just might work!If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

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Lesson 1: Whining kids respond best when you use your imagination and put in effort.

One of the most common parenting questions for people with young kids is, “how can I get my kid to stop whining?” Listening to a child whine can be exhausting and frustrating. And most parents will agree asking them to “just stop whining” only makes things worse.

The author explains in order to stop whining, you’re going to need to get creative. She tells the story of her young daughter Sasha who she was stuck with in the ski rental line at a resort. They had to wait, but Sasha was cold, bored, and done with waiting. 

The author used her imagination to come up with a distraction to help Sasha. She told her if she was going to whine, she would have to sing the blues. She began to sing silly songs about being cold and tired of the line, and before long, Sasha was giggling and forgot about the line.

With babies, you also need to put in creative effort. The author tells the story of a young couple who was exhausted with a newborn that just didn’t seem to want to sleep. After trying many things, the desperate couple finally noticed that the sound of an electric toothbrush seemed to soothe their baby. From that night on, they set that electric toothbrush near the crib as their newborn lulled off to sleep.

When it comes to parenting, sometimes you just need to think outside the box to find what works specifically for your child.

Lesson 2: You can help your child feel brave and calm their wild imagination through parenting.

If you’ve ever spent time around young children, you know they can have very vibrant imaginations. But this sometimes fun attribute can cause problems when it comes to things they find frightening. Most people can probably relate to the irrational childhood fear that there is a monster waiting under your bed or in your closet. 

As a parent, it can be hard to hush this overactive imagination and help them calm down. This is another area of parenting where you can use creativity.

When the author was younger, she was frightened of wild animals. Her mother helped her by making a sign that barred lions, tigers, and bears from entering her room. This simple idea was incredibly effective.

Another way to help a fearful child is by helping them discover a sense of bravery. Frank suggests playing bravery games.

It can go something like this: ask your child to enter a dark bedroom and stay in until they count to ten. If they do well, they can count even higher. Finding ways to help foster a sense of individual courage through games can work wonders when it comes to childhood fears.

Lesson 3: You can help little kids express themselves through role-play and teens by showing you want to listen rather than judge.

Sure your young child can talk for ten minutes straight about a cool rock he found on the playground, but when it comes to talking about how he feels, he’s not so great. To help a child learn to open up about how they feel, the author says role-playing can help.

Frank shares an example of her daughter in preschool. Sasha would come home aggressive and upset. In an inspired moment, the author encouraged her daughter to share what was wrong through role play.

The author was Sasha, and Sasha played Lily, her preschool friend. Through the role-playing, it became clear Lily was terrorizing Sasha at preschool and not allowing her to play with anyone else. This helped the author understand the complex drama that was going on and she was able to help her daughter. 

When it comes to teenagers and emotions, you will need a very different approach. They respond best to silent listening. The author tells the story of her friend and her son Jack. Jack would often become grumpy. When his mother tried to give input he would withdraw. 

So she tried a different approach. Every night they would go on a walk and she had Jack walk a bit ahead to rant about his frustrations. Instead of adding any thoughts, she would silently listen. This worked wonders for him. Most of the time, teens just want to vent and be heard, rather than be told what to do.

Weird Parenting Wins Review

What an interesting book! I could definitely relate to Weird Parenting Wins as I’ve seen a few strange things work with my kids too. What I liked best was how this book was so much more practical than many other books out there and touches on an important parenting tool that many often overlook.

Read full summary on Blinkist >>

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Learn more about the author >>

Who would I recommend the Weird Parenting Wins summary to?

The 27-year-old couple that wants to start having kids but is scared they won’t know what to do, the 45-year-old couple who have some unique parenting problems, and everyone who works with children or has their own.

The post Weird Parenting Wins Summary appeared first on Four Minute Books.Keep learning,

Wisdom Quotes

Don’t expect happiness to just fall into your lap, you have to go out and find it.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. (Dalai Lama)
Your roots are like that of a tree, without it you’re weak and easy to push over.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. (Marcus Garvey)


If Memento Mori is there to remind us of how little time we have, how temporary our existence can be—then what do we have to remind us of how powerful we can be, what we can draw on even in the face of events completely outside our control? It’s another Latin phrase embodied and practiced by the Stoics: Amor Fati or “a love of fate.”

Friedrich Nietzsche said that amor fati was his formula for greatness: “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.” Marcus Aurelius would say: “A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.” And it would be the great Robert Greene (48 Laws of PowerMastery) who would make the connection between these brilliant ideas. Robert describes Amor Fati as a power “so immense that it’s almost hard to fathom. You feel that everything happens for a purpose, and that it is up to you to make this purpose something positive and active.”

Which is why the Daily Stoic, in collaboration with Robert, created our amor fati medallionAmor fati is a mindset that you take on for making the best out of anything that happens: Treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential.

The flame on the front is inspired by Marcus Aurelius’s timeless wisdom: “a blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.”

Order yours now

The back features an excerpt from Nietzsche’s formula for greatness: “Not merely to bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.”

Order yours now

Like last time, this coin was designed by our team and manufactured by Wendell’s, a custom mint operating in Minnesota since 1882 and famously invented the anniversary coins for members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Just like those reminders of sobriety and our memento mori medallion, it is meant to be carried around and felt, a tangible piece of philosophy.

Amor Fati prompts us to say: We will put our energies and emotions and exertions only where they will have real impact. This is that place. We will tell ourselves: This is what I’ve got to do or put up with? Well, I might as well be happy about it.

The goal is:

Not: I’m okay with this.

Not: I think I feel good about this.

But: I feel great about it. Because if it happened, then it was meant to happen, and I am glad that it did when it did. I am going to make the best of it.

And proceed to do exactly that.

If the event must occur, amor fati is the response.

Order yours now

The coin’s purpose is to have a physical reminder of this—so that in every tough moment, every reversal, every time something goes unexpectedly, you can reach into your pocket and literally feel that etching of a flame. And know that it is a metaphor for you, for what you’re capable of, and why this is an opportunity for you to do your best, to respond cheerfully and virtuously.

Yes, it’s a little unnatural to love things we never wanted to happen in the first place. But what other, worse adversities might this one be saving us from? What might we learn from this unchosen experience? What good, equally unexpected events might result from it? We know that in retrospect we often look back at difficult times fondly, almost wistfully, so we might as well feel that now.

That is not to say that the good will always outweigh the bad. Still, embrace all of it. Don’t wish for it to be any different. You don’t have to like it to work with it—to use it to your advantage. Amor fati—a love of what happens. Because that’s your only option.


WiddershinsWIH-dər-shinzPart of speech: adverbOrigin: Scottish, early 16th century
1In a direction contrary to the sun’s course, considered as unlucky.2Counterclockwise.
Examples of Widdershins in a sentence “The first thing my dog does when he gets home is run widdershins three times around the backyard.” “Despite dancing widdershins when everyone else went clockwise, Martha was the highlight of the Christmas musical.”

World Soil Day – 5 December

World Soil Day – 5 December

World Soil Day

This day is marked to bring to the attention of people the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for its sustainable management.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: X Ways you can improve garden soil
  • Infographic idea: X Compost ideas for your home garden
  • Video idea: How do insects improve soil quality?
  • Podcast idea: How can you compost effectively?

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development – 5 December

Volunteer Day Content Marketing Ideas

This day celebrates volunteers and organizations across the world and aims to share and promote their values.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: Here’s what you should know before becoming a volunteer
  • Infographic idea: How can being a volunteer benefit you?
  • Video idea: How is money raised at fundraisers for various causes?
  • Podcast idea: What will the future of volunteering look like?

World Soil Day – 5 December

World Soil Day

This day is marked to bring to the attention of people the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for its sustainable management.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: X Ways you can improve garden soil
  • Infographic idea: X Compost ideas for your home garden
  • Video idea: How do insects improve soil quality?
  • Podcast idea: How can you compost effectively?