Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of timeless ideas and insights for life and business.

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The problem is that our culture does not recognize that the true nature of math is art. So we teach it in a manner that would just as easily ruin any other art. … What if music education was all about notation and theory, with listening or playing only open to those who somehow persevered until college

— Math isn’t boring

Explore Your Curiosity

★ “Looking back on my career, my favorite managers allowed me to own decisions, even if they disagreed with me. They couldn’t do this for every decision — some were just too expensive or difficult to reverse. But if they spotted an opportunity for me to own a decision, they let me run with it. This would often be preceded by spirited debate, where they challenged my assumptions and forced me to think through various outcomes. Then they gave me the space to decide and room to fail and learn (and to sometimes surprise them).”

— High Impact Managers

★ A fascinating look at how nature uses speed (centralized decisions) and acquires accuracy (decentralized decisions).

“[N]ervous systems can implement multiple forms of government simultaneously. A neuronal dictatorship can coexist with an oligarchy or democracy. The dictator, acting fastest, may trigger the onset of a behavior while other neurons fine-tune the ensuing movements. There does not need to be a single form of government as long as the behavioral consequences increase the probability of survival and reproduction.”

— Is Your Nervous System a Democracy or a Dictatorship?

★ “Despite being one of the most familiar and widely recognized natural phenomena, lightning remains relatively poorly understood. Even the most basic questions of how lightning is initiated inside thunderclouds and how it then propagates for many tens of kilometers have only begun to be addressed.”

— The Physics of Lightning

Timeless Insight

“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego. … When I focus on the future, that’s my pride. I try to focus on the present. That’s humility.”

— Giannis Antetokounmpo (source)

Focusing on past accomplishments creates obstacles to success in the present. If you’re still talking about something great you did 20 years ago like it was yesterday, your ego is getting in the way.

What you did in the past makes a good story. What you’re doing now makes a difference.

Tiny Thought

Lack of courage sabotages more people than lack of ability.
Don’t beat yourself before you start.