Monday Musings (7/29/19)

How to Cure Writer's Block

Hey everybody, 

Greetings from Northern Michigan! I’m writing to you from a small town called Northport in Grand Traverse Bay.

We’ve spent our time kayaking, sharing stories by the bonfire, and eating lots of cherries. This is the cherry capital of the United States, and it’s peak cherry season. 

Tomorrow, I’m going to visit a friend in Columbia, Missouri. On Thursday, I’ll be back in Michigan to visit Detroit and Ann Arbor. If you have recommendations for food, museums, or activities, please send them! 


Write of Passage

The next version of my online writing course, Write of Passage begins on August 14th. 

The internet is the largest legal wealth creation tool in human history. Writing online is the best way to take advantage of it. Once you start a blog, you’ll become a beacon for people, ideas, and opportunities. 

After lots of student feedback, we made improvements to the course. We made the following changes: 

  • Writing groups to improve accountability

  • Option to complete newsletter and website setup before the course begins

  • Monday night live sessions devoted entirely to student feedback and live conversation

  • Smaller and more frequent writing projects

  • Option to complete key assignments before the course begins

By the end of the course, you’ll have a personal website, an email newsletter, and a series of published articles. 

You’ll also leave with (1) a repeatable system for writing consistently, (2) a collection of published articles, (3) a professional website, and (4) a method to distribute your ideas directly to friends and colleagues.

Next steps: 

  1. Visit the course website here.

  2. If you’re interested in learning about the course, sign up here

  3. If you’re ready to enroll, you can purchase the course here


Fresh Ideas

New Article: How to Cure Writer’s Block

By the time you finish this article, you’ll be done with writer’s block forever. 

The secrets of ending writer’s block lie in the lessons of Kendrick Lamar, David Sedaris, and Sebastian Junger:

"World-class writers don’t have their best ideas by staring at the blank page in front of them. The more time Kendrick Lamar spends meeting people, traveling, exploring his old neighborhood, or talking to children, the better his music."

In the post, I provide three strategies for curing writer’s block: 

  1. Gather supplies

  2. Talk it out

  3. Start with abundance

You can read the article here.


New Podcast: Tren Griffin

Tren Griffin is a Senior Director at Microsoft and the man behind an excellent blog called 25IQ.

He’s one of the most prolific writers I know. He’s written books about negotiation, entrepreneurship, and Charlie Munger. He published an article every week for almost six years, and because of all that hard work, he’s now posted more than 1.3 million words online.

We discussed: 

  • Tren’s writing process

  • Distribution in the cellular business

  • Software-as-a-Service business models

  • Lessons from legendary entrepreneur Craig McCaw

You can listen here: iTunes | Spotify | Website


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

Why Writing is The World’s Best Networking Activity

This is an excellent point.

From Andrew Chen

"Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity - stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down. 

Building your network, your audience, and your ideas will be something you’ll want to do over your entire career. Think of your writing like a multi-decade project.”


Video Games are a Booming Industry

The video game industry generates more revenue than movies and music. 

Combined. 


Where are US Immigrants From?

I found this chart through my friend Shanu Mathew.

He was one of my Write of Passage students. The course attracts hyper-curious and intellectually ambitious people, and Shanu is a perfect example.

His newsletter is outstanding too.


Rise of Dystopian Movies in Hollywood

Dystopian fiction proliferated in the 2000s, and has reached unprecedented levels of publication. 


Dropping in Holland

There’s a summer Dutch tradition known as “dropping,” where teenagers are let go in a forest and expected to find their way home. 

The challenge is meant to be scary and difficult. Sometimes, children are blind-folded on the way to the dropping. If adults want to make the challenge easier, they leave clues for the children; and if they want to make it harder, they drive in loops on the way to the dropping to scramble their sense of direction. 

According to the New York Times, the dropping teach children to not depend too much on adults. By dropping their children, adults teach them to solve their own problems. 


Photo of the Week

This week’s podcast guest, Tren Griffin, loves ideas more than anybody I’ve ever met. His energy is infectious. The second you start talking about ideas, he lights up.

He writes a blog called 25IQ, which I highly recommend. He’s written about all kinds of people including investors, entrepreneurs, and musicians. I’ve devoted entire afternoons to his website and I still haven’t scratched the surface of it. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Until next week,

David Perell


P.S. If you sign up for Write of Passage before August 5th, you’ll receive access to an exclusive “Initiation” workshop. 

In it, I will walk you through a step-by-step process for setting up your newsletter and your website, which will save you hours in the course. 

And if you’re interested in the course, you can learn more about it here.

Monday Musings (7/22/19)

New York vs. Los Angeles

Hey everybody, 

Greetings from upstate New York! I’m spending the next few days at a house in Millbrook with a friend.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be traveling through the Midwest. I’ll be in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. Then, I’m off to Mexico City in August to work on a project I can’t wait to tell you about. 


New York vs. Los Angeles

Early in my career, I was strongly influenced by a YouTuber named Casey Neistat. 

I started watching his videos back in college. For years, I didn’t miss any of them. He taught me about travel, marketing, and internet culture. Then, after I moved to New York,  I wrote my first viral article about Casey. 

This week, he moved from New York to Los Angeles. He wants to escape the hustle-and-bustle culture of New York. As he said: 

"New York City is a place where you can do anything and be anything because everyone is too damn busy to worry about what anyone else is doing. It’s a place where you’re all at once surrounded by thousands of people, but are entirely alone, left to your devices to do whatever you set out to accomplish. Nobody lives in New York City. You simply survive in this place. And that weeds out the weak. And that social Darwinism leaves you with 8.5 million other people looking to make their mark... nobody lives in New York because they want to relax. Nobody is here because they want to slow down in life.

There’s no conversation you’ll ever have in New York City that doesn’t end with you talking with another person about your career, your goals, and how you’re going to get there. I’ve been here for 18 years and that pretty sums up every human interaction I’ve ever had in this city. And that’s what makes it great... unless you’re not on that path.”

Casey’s assessment of New York is spot on. I’ve lived in New York for 4 years and I’ve visited Los Angeles twice in the past year, so here’s my off-the-cuff take on the two cities:

LA is a buffet. It’s the birthplace of cool, and like most things fashionable, it floats without direction like a log in the ocean. You can be nobody or anybody. It’s the home of tattoos, beach yoga, and “mind over body” billboards. If spiritual, but not religious was a city, it’d be LA.

New York is religious but not spiritual. It represents the past as much as the future, and aspects of tradition are still respected there. Work is gospel and achievement is truth. With that said, I wear a shield in New York that I don’t wear anywhere else. It’s a tough city and everybody pays a price to live there. 

I see the appeal of LA, but don’t think it’s high-energy enough for many ambitious people, or mellow enough for those who want to take it easy. It’s the ultimate California dream: fame, convertibles, and warm weather. It’s everything and nothing at once, so it’s a choose-your-own-adventure city.


Fresh Content

New Article: Why You Should Write

The next cohort of my online course, Write of Passage begins on August 14th. Writing is one of the most under-rated skills in the world right now.

With the stroke of a pen, you can build your network, improve your thinking, and create opportunities for yourself. Best of all, it's easy to start writing. All you need is discipline.

Here’s why you should write:

“Writing initiates the ultimate positive feedback loop. Online writers are rewarded with instant feedback, and fast feedback loops are the best way to accelerate your learning. Better yet, writing regularly will inspire you to live an interesting life. As your writing improves, so will the opportunities available to you.”

You can read the full article here.


Learn Like an Athlete

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about why it’s important to learn like an athlete in Monday Musings. In just a couple weeks, the post has been read more than 20,000 times. 

"The more you learn, the easier it is to learn. Pick the right projects, and you’ll develop a personal network effect, where each new skill increases the value of skills you already have.

You’ll improve your process every time you complete a learning challenge. By pushing through the cycle of start to finish, you’ll discover quirks about yourself, accelerate your learning process, and ultimately, learn like an athlete.”

You can read the full post here.

Note: I’ve spent the past five months working on an essay called “Who is Peter Thiel?” The 12,000 word essay is now complete. It’s an in-depth introduction to Peter Thiel’s philosophy, and according to one friend, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. I’m looking for volunteers to provide feedback on the essay. If you’d like to help, please let me know by responding directly to this email.


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

Raj Chetty

I spent the week absorbed in Raj Chetty’s work. He’s a Harvard University economist who studied the “American Dream.” He’s written about social mobility, the destiny of geography, and the long-term impact of teachers on student performance. 

If you’re interested in studying Chetty, I recommend the following path: 

  1. Read Chetty’s profile in The Atlantic

  2. Listen to his podcast with Tyler Cowen

  3. Watch his lecture at the London School of Economics

  4. Play with the Opportunity Atlas dataset. It’s probably the most comprehensive and enlightening data set I’ve seen this year. 

For example, this is a classic Raj Chetty discovery: 

“If you live in places like Salt Lake City, Utah, or San Jose, California, the odds of moving from the bottom fifth of the national income distribution to the top fifth are more than 12 percent or even 14 percent in some cases. 

In contrast, in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, or Indianapolis, Indiana, a child’s odds of moving from the bottom fifth to the top fifth are less than 5 percent—less than any developed country for which we currently have data.”


Apollo 11

Here’s the Apollo 11 Customs from after the first moon landing by the astronauts, 50 years ago. 

The best part: they declared rocks and dust.


Dominance in Tennis

These numbers are insane: 

  1. Just three players: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated men’s tennis over the last 15 or so years. Between the three of them they have won 53 of the last 64 grand slam tournaments.

  2. Each one of them has won roughly 10x as many grand slam tournaments as players in the next best group.

  3. There is a similar story on the women’s side. Serena Williams has won 23 grand slam titles and at one point was the number #1 ranked player for 186 consecutive weeks!


The Beach in Manhattan

During the 1980s, there was a beach on the west side of Manhattan. The site was created out of landfill from the excavations to build the World Trade Center. 

Today this beach has been replaced by Battery Park.


The Earth is Alive

The images below are from the NASA Earth Observations website. 

In order, they show: 

  1. Seasonal fire incidence

  2. Vegetation

  3. Amount of sunlight

  4. Cloud cover

  5. North Pole ice sheet coverage

  6. Processed satellite images

  7. Ice sheet data from Blue Marble satellite images


Photo of the Week

If you couldn’t tell by the impeccable writing in today’s newsletter, it was written by my friend’s dog. So if you didn’t like today’s email, it’s not my fault. And if you did, I’m going to recruit “Flo” for editions of Monday Musings. 

Until next week,

David Perell

Monday Musings (7/15/19)

The Amazon Arbitrage

Hey everybody, 

Over the weekend, I published an article with my friend Nik Sharma. 

We wrote about Amazon and the Direct-to-Consumer commerce boom. In the article, we outline the playbook for Direct-to-Consumer brands who want to work with Amazon.

The piece is geared towards industry insiders, but anybody who is interested in the future of commerce will enjoy it. We suggest that working with Amazon is a delicate balance. On the positive side, working with Amazon brings instant sales and reduces overhead. But too many brands become dependent on Amazon. Those who do, don’t build the infrastructure required to create a sustainable DTC business. That’s why working with Amazon is such a delicate balance. 

You can read the full article here.

Some statistics that caught my eye: 

  1. Amazon launched 66 private label brands in 2018.

  2. Amazon has ~ 100 million square feet of distribution center space across the United States.

  3. Amazon now controls more than 550 brands, and 68% of them are apparel-focused.

  4. Amazon’s advertising business promises product discovery for consumers and new product introductions for sellers. It’s already an $8 billion annual business.


Fresh Ideas

[Flashback] North Star Podcast: Eugene Wei

Over the weekend, I had lunch with Eugene Wei who is one of my favorite podcast guests.

He’s worked at some of the world’s top technology companies, such as Amazon, Hulu and Facebook. I can’t think of anybody who understands the intersection of status, culture and technology better than Eugene. 

We talked about: 

  • Life-long learning

  • Jeff Bezos’ principles of communication 

  • Cultural differences between Hollywood and Silicon Valley

Listen to the podcast: Website | ITunes | Spotify


Video: Creative Process Introduction

On July 1, I hosted a workshop in Brooklyn with Tiago Forte. 

The workshop was called The Creative Process. In it, we outlined a fresh approach to writing and idea generation. In the keynote, we summarized the high-level ideas from our courses (Write of Passage and Building a Second Brain). 

We filmed the 11 minute keynote and you can watch it here. Some photos from the event below:


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

Famous People in History

Here’s how far away you are from famous people in history. 

1 generation = 25 years


Eye-Opening Quotes

  1. ”Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them." — L.M.Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Series

  2. “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus

  3. “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” — Hafiz, translation by Daniel Ladinsky

  4. “Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” — Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

  5. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." — Catcher In The Rye


Federer and Nadal

I don’t watch a lot of tennis. But when Federer and Nadal are on the big screen, I can’t resist. 

The two tennis greats are rivals on the court, but friends off it. The New Yorker nailed the dynamic between the two superstars. The more they differ, the more alike they become. 


Energy Efficiency


Which Trips Are Most Common? 


Highest Grossing Media Franchises


Photo of the Week

On Friday night, I hosted a group of friends to see the opening of The Farewell

The movie was only okay. It was funny, but too slow for my taste. Nevertheless, from death, to family, to the cultural differences between the West and the East, the movie tackled some fascinating themes, which sparked some memorable dinner conversations.

If you see the movie, please share your thoughts. 

Until next week,

David Perell

Monday Musings (7/8/19)

Learn Like an Athlete

Hey everybody,

Quick update: I’ve been thinking about the best way to describe the long-term vision for my online course, Write of Passage.

This morning, I had an epiphany. Along with my business parter Tiago Forte, we’re building a Y-Combinator for online writers.

Here’s what we already do:

  1. Teach students to build a personal brand.

  2. Introduce them to other aspiring writers.

  3. Give students the tools to publish consistently.

Long term, we hope to guarantee audience growth for new writers. Like many online businesses, there are increasing returns to scale and we plan to teach 1,000 people to write this year.

Later this summer, we will also offer an online version of our live writing workshop to existing Write of Passage and Building a Second Brain students. Using Zoom, we will re-create the creative energy of modern writing groups and Paris coffee shops in the early 20th century. By doing so, we’ll de-mistify the writing process, help writers come up with interesting ideas, and build a global community of ambitious online writers.

I can’t wait.


Learn Like an Athlete

LeBron James didn’t always have thick calves, a raging six-pack, and arms like the Incredible Hulk.

Ask LeBron about his off-season training regimen, and he’ll share a detailed run-down of his workout plan and on-the-court practice routine. When he entered the NBA, LeBron wasn’t a strong shooter. I’d bet the house that early in his career, LeBron built his off-season training regimen around his weak jump shot and disappointing 42% field goal percentage during his rookie season. As his Instagram posts reveal, LeBron worked for his strength, agility, impeccable history of injury avoidance, and an outstanding 54% field goal percentage during his 14th NBA season. 

Athletes train. Musicians train. Performers train. But knowledge workers don’t. 

Knowledge workers should train like LeBron, and implement strict “learning plans.” To be sure, intellectual life is different from basketball. Success is harder to measure and the metrics for improvement aren’t quite as clear. Even then, there’s a lot to learn from the way top athletes train. They are clear in their objectives and deliberate in their pursuit of improvement.

Knowledge workers should imitate them.

— —

What Does a Learning Plan Look Like?

Similar to how LeBron structures his training to win NBA championships, knowledge workers should train to build skills, complete projects, and increase their productive power. Armed with an effective system, we’ll learn faster and have more fun doing it.

My friend Nick Maggiulli is a case study in building a learning plan. 

In 2015, he decided to learn a programming language called R. Two years later, he was a data science expert. That new skill propelled Nick into his next long-term endeavor, a personal blog. Nick started writing a blog post every Tuesday, starting on January 1st, 2017. Fast forward to today, and he’s now published a post every week for the past 131 weeks. Despite his success, his pursuit of knowledge is relentless. Last time I visited his apartment, I saw an 850-page book about tax law on his living room table. He plans to devote the next year to study the American tax code, so he can know as much about tax law as anybody at his company. 

Nick should serve as a role model for all of us. 

Even among the most ambitious individuals, learning plans are rare. Most people are reactive. They don’t plan. Like surfers in a violent ocean, they surrender to their environment. They direct their attention towards the never-ending shouts of email newsletters, friend recommendations, and social media feeds.

We can do better.

— —

What Should You Do? 

Learn in three-month sprints. Commit to a new learning project every quarter. Even the longest projects are simply a collection of short term tasks. Knowing that, you should break down the project into daily increments, and create a series of daily and weekly goals to learn the skills required to complete the project on time. 

The end goal should be clear. Start by writing down a positive vision for your future. Focus on the end goal, not the skill itself. For example, rather than saying “I want to learn how to draw,” I focused on the end goal: “moving forward, all the charts, graphs, and images on my website will be hand-drawn.” 

I like Daniel Gross’ framework for learning. When I interviewed him, he told me to build a video game for myself. Like a video game, productive projects have multiple levels. They follow the Goldilocks Principle: not too easy, not too hard. The learning project needs to be challenging enough to demand focus, but easy enough to make consistent progress. That way, you can enter the optimal state of learning. 

If you get stuck, the “video game” is too hard. When this happens, you should stop. Work on a smaller step or retreat to a manageable challenge. Otherwise, you will lose your motivation to continue learning. Conversely, if you’re bored, the video game isn’t difficult enough, so you should attempt a tougher challenge that you haven’t seen before.

Everybody loves novelty. Even if your learning plan bounded by a strict goal, the details should be flexible. The activities should be cohesive enough to keep on track, but diverse enough to stay interesting. For example, if you want to learn about the Space Race between America and the Soviet Union, you can read books, watch documentaries, listen to podcasts with astronauts, and explore newspaper articles from the time-period. Choose what excites you, as long as it serves the end goal.

— —

Learn Like an Athlete

The more you learn, the easier it is to learn. Pick the right projects, and you’ll develop a personal network effect, where each new skill increases the value of skills you already have. 

You’ll improve your process every time you complete a learning challenge. By pushing through the cycle of start to finish, you’ll discover quirks about yourself, accelerate your learning process, and ultimately, learn like an athlete.

Note: I’ve created a template to help you learn like an athlete. You can download it here.


Fresh Ideas

New Article: The Paradox of Ambition

Last month, I spent a week in Silicon Valley. Besides walking around the city, I met with multiple founders, CEOs and investors. 

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Silicon Valley isn’t just a place. It’s an intellectual movement. 

The culture is designed to build big-time companies, and we should all learn from it. 

Here’s what I learned.

— —

New Podcast: Mason Hartman

For years, I’ve admired Mason's perspectives on the culture, childhood, and the education system.

We recorded this episode in Los Angeles, where Mason works at a school for gifted children and does most of her research. In this episode, we chat about all things education early childhood development, the road to college, and why childhood has become a full time job. Then we close the episode with lessons from two of Mason's favorite people, David Deutsch and Patrick Collison.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

Listen Here: iTunes | Overcast | Website

— —

Blog Recommendation: Sid Jha

My assistant, Sid Jha is an absolute rockstar. He works on every podcast and manages my online course.

He recently launched an email newsletter. Now, he’s leveling up. Inspired by Write of Passage, he plans to publish a blog post every day for 60 days. I particularly enjoyed this article about Greg Popovich, the legendary basketball coach.

Keep an eye on Sid and check out his writing.


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

Library Way in New York

Snapped this photo in front of the New York Public Library on 42nd street on Saturday. 

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” 

Phenomenal.


So Simple. So Profound.


Who Can Predict the Future? 

From Range by David Epstein: 

"The average expert was a horrific forecaster. 

Their area of specialty, years of experience, academic degrees, and even (for some) access to classified information made no difference. They were bad at short-term forecasting, bad at long-term forecasting, and bad at forecasting in every domain. When experts declared that some future event was impossible or nearly impossible, it nonetheless occurred 15 percent of the time. When they declared a sure thing, it failed to transpire more than one-quarter of the time. 

The Danish proverb that warns “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” was right.”


Hallgrimskirkja Church in Iceland is Magnificent


Photos from Shopping Malls in the 1980s


Bike Parking 

The fietsvlonder is a “bike platform” that temporarily swaps one car parking space for 10 bicycles. 

If deemed a success, the curb is permanently adjusted, and the structure is moved to the next location.


Photo of the Week

Snapped this photo with Mason Hartman in Los Angeles after we recorded our podcast.

Mason has more original ideas than just about anybody I know. She’s not bogged down by conventional ways of thinking about psychology and childhood education, which made for a great podcast. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the week she spent with David Deutsch in Oxford.

Enjoy the episode and let me know what sticks out to you.

Until next week,

David Perell

Monday Musings (7/1/19)

Building a Second Brain

Hey everybody, 

Two years ago, I enrolled in an online course called Building a Second Brain. Before taking the course, I was overwhelmed by information overload. I felt like there were too many books, emails, podcasts, articles, and newsletters to sort through. I felt like I was swimming an infinite pool of information. No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t keep up. 

At first, I managed to tread water. But over time, I lost my stamina. The world was throwing too much information at me, and I didn’t have a system to manage any of it. I felt stressed, anxious, and frustrated.

Second Brain felt like a life jacket. For the first time, I didn’t have to worry about keeping my head above the surface. The violent waters of information overload stopped being an issue. My relationship to information transformed. Like a surfer, I welcomed the rush of the waves. Armed with a new system for managing information, I felt like a surfer barreling through the tidal wave of information. The wilder the waters, the better the ride. 

Taking Second Brain is the single best decision I’ve made in my career. It’s become my operating system for everything I do. When my friends watch me use my Second Brain, they think I have a superpower. 

They’re right. 

Fast-forward two years and I’ll be teaching the next version of Second Brain, which begins on Wednesday, July 3. My fingerprints are all over this course. We’ve spent the past few months stripping the course down to its essence. We’ve designed a new and improved version for people like you who want to learn faster and achieve more, without all the stress and anxiety of time-consuming information overload.

It’s time to build a system that gives you instant access to your knowledge 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, no matter where you are.

I’ve interviewed countless writers, entrepreneurs, and creatives. When I show my Second Brain system to them, their jaws hit the floor. Not a single one has an information management system on par with the one you’ll create for yourself in this online course. 

Second Brain is the greatest gift I can give you. There is nothing I recommend more.

The course begins on Wednesday , July 3. The live sessions are recommended, but not essential. If you can’t attend the live lectures, you can watch a recorded version online. 

Like any great piece of technology, my second brain feels like magic. I believe in it so much that teaching this course is my #1 priority right now. 

Tomorrow night (July 2) is the deadline to sign up. There's no risk in signing up now because you have a 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked.

Implementing this system will change your life. You’ll be able to sleep comfortably knowing that you’ll no longer lose your most important ideas. Once you finish the course, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without your Second Brain. This is a chance to radically transform your life. To take a leap, invest in yourself, and step into your future.  

I hope you’ll join me. 

P.S Here’s a direct link to sign up for the course.

When you’re checking out, use this link to receive my special rate for Monday Musings subscribers.


Fresh Ideas

North Star Podcast: Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr., the Director of Revenue at Tinder. We discussed:

  • Jeff’s MBA thesis at UCLA. He wrote about Lambda School

  • The transition from marketing funnels to marketing loops

  • How Tinder is growing its average revenue per user

  • Hollywood's transition from movies to television

  • The handwritten letter Jeff received from legendary UCLA college basketball coach John Wooden.

You can listen to podcast here: iTunes | Website | Overcast


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Logo is Incredible


People are Listening to Older Music


The Importance of Sleep

It’s easy to ignore sleep. It pulls us from our friends, family, and work, so it can feel like a waste of time. But Matthew Walker believes that sleep’s uselessness proves it’s usefulness.

From Why We Sleep:

“No matter what vantage point you take, sleep would appear to be the most foolish of biological phenomena. When you are asleep, you cannot gather food. You cannot socialize. You cannot find a mate and reproduce. You cannot nurture or protect your offspring. Worse still, sleep leaves you vulnerable to predation. 

Sleep is surely one of the most puzzling of all human behaviors. On any one of these grounds—never mind all of them in combination—there ought to have been a strong evolutionary pressure to prevent the emergence of sleep or anything remotely like it. 

As one sleep scientist has said, “If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process has ever made.”


When to Create

Inspiration is perishable.

Strike while the flame of creativity is hot. Don’t wait. The candle of inspiration will propel you through the challenges of creating something.

Create before the flame dies out.


Photo of the Week

On Friday night, I hosted a meet-up with the New York based graduates of my online writing course, Write of Passage.

We sparked instant friendships. Students spent lots of time together in the course, so people recognized each other before they shook hands.

Most of the people in the photo above will be enrolling in the upcoming version of Building a Second Brain. It will be co-taught by Tiago Forte who is to my left in the photo. I hope you’ll join us.

Until next week,

David Perell

P.S. You can purchase Building a Second Brain with the Monday Musings discount code here.

Loading more posts…