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Ask HN: What are good resources for life advice?
271 points by sumitsrivastava 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 163 comments
What are other good resources to read from? Any source that are as good as PG essays on how to think in life?

Sources can be videos, audios, recordings, essays, blogs, etc. Anything.






First and foremost, what you are describing is metacognition - thinking about the way you think. Hopefully that will aid you in your search for things!

Secondly, here are some of my favorite influential material:

- Li Ka-Shing, Tips on Life. My takeaway: invest in yourself. https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/asias-richest-ma...

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture. My takeaway: don't limit yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7zzQpvoYcQ

- Guy Kawasaki, Make Meaning. Aimed for startups, but equally applicable in life. My takeaway: Have the proper motivations for doing things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQs6IpJQWXc

- Admiral William H. McRaven, Make your bed. My takeaway: if you want to change the world, start by changing yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70

- David Foster Wallace, This is Water. My takeaway: Take a big picture view, and don't sweat the small stuff. https://fs.blog/2012/04/david-foster-wallace-this-is-water/

- “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”― Rumi

- Man's Search for meaning. My takeaway: We make meaning. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4069.Man_s_Search_for_Me...

- "All the livin that you're saving, won't buy your dreams for you" - Townes Van Zandt

- Idiot wind by Bob Dylan My takeaway: Your reaction to things can be just as bad as the actual thing. https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/57330/

- Stoicism and Marcus Aurelius, Seneca. My takeaway: Focus on what matters. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5617966-a-guide-to-the-g... (read this one first for a good foundation) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/97411.Letters_from_a_Sto... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30659.Meditations

- Buddhism. Our takeaway: Meditation is important, the doctrine of emptiness (not nihilism!) is super interesting. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/104949.How_to_See_Yourse... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammapada https://www.shambhala.com/the-pocket-dalai-lama-14965.html https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25942786-the-mind-illumi... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3346233-buddhism

- Leonardo Da Vinci My take away: There is a beautiful intersection between tech and art. Great things could not exist without a little of both. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34684622-leonardo-da-vin...

- The Alchemist My takeaway: It's not the destination it's the journey. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865.The_Alchemist

- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My takeaway: Seek out quality, whatever the hell that is! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/629.Zen_and_the_Art_of_M...

- Why we sleep. My takeaway: go the fuck to bed. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466963-why-we-sleep

- Anti-Cancer Diet. My takeaway: don't eat shit. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1886829.Anticancer_A_New...

- Non-violent communication. My takeaway: You can (and should) communicate your needs respectfully. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/560861.Non_Violent_Commu...

- Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela. My takeaway: There is a difference between institutionalized action and individual action. Forgiveness is the only path forward. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/318431.Long_Walk_to_Free...

- A people's history of the US. My takeaway: Things are getting better. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2767.A_People_s_History_...


I heard about non violent communication only last week. Heard there’s a course and a workshop too on this.

Very eager to master Non Violent Communivation coz more often than not I find myself in loss for the right word.


If you find yourself at a loss for words often, you might find it useful to talk to yourself more often, rehearsing how you would explain something. Showers are good for this. Parks are too, but there you should carry a handful of papers and occasionally pretend to look at them .

Thanks for your pointers.

Apart from the point to which you have replied, there’s one more I would like to add.

I am an Indian, and have a bit of an accent. Am trying to rub it off. I work for US clients and have observed that I can’t crack jokes as easily as they do, nor do I sound as natural in a friendly banter as well as they do. Also, in the excitement of the conversation, sometimes my American client mumble off something which I am unable to grasp, and which my Indian colleague is able to understand with surprising ease. (The fact that my Indian colleague is vernacular medium educated freaks me off even more)

Also, I am preparing for IELTS the second time (Band 8 in first attempt). I am particularly weak in listening. To remediate that, I listen to a BBC podcast everyday called “The Archers”. I miss out on at least 5 points in the podcast, unable to decipher what they meant. That’s one area I am trying to improve at.

The other one is speaking itself. To put in simple words, I am trying to make my speech as fluid as water. The person I am conversing with should be able to understand me effortlessly. Right now my speech is quite rigid and not that articulate. I scored band 8 in speaking in IELTS. To take things forward, I learnt about this shadowing technique from YouTube’s Emma’s channel and from someone on HackerNews. The bottom line of the shadow technique is, pick up a favorite show - and speak along with whatever the character says, do this for all episodes, and finish the series. One person on HN said that in order to perfect his Mandarin, he shadowed on Chinese TV series for 9 years straight.

In addition to this, I also record myself and speak on some random topic daily for 2 min(Topic is mostly from IELTS speaking tests). Go through the recording. Spot pronunciation / intonation/ articulation mistakes. Take one more go at the same topic. And see if there’s improvement.

Do you have any other ideas apart from these in your mind which can help me with improving my speech?

I am also planning to gobble up all books related to languages written by Steven Pinker.


I teach it. Treat it as learning a new language where you’re also learning new attitudes.

If interested let me know and I’ll give you a free 20 min intro via zoom.


I am absolutely interested.

How do I reach you?


Email me at D-nunlzx2ae16l6yjt6@maildrop.cc

Sent you an email

I was going to suggest Dr. Peterson, but Ctrl+F revealed a veritable graveyard of downvoted comments about him already. That's too bad.

So I'll go with Steve Pavlina's [0] work instead.

Steve Pavlina's blog is a mix of solid personal development advice mixed with a journal of his self experimentation.

His most interesting work is on belief systems, and on deliberately installing new belief systems to improve your life.

An interesting note is that he has released most of his work into the public domain. I'm working on audio versions of his articles.

[0]: https://stevepavlina.com/


That's a clever way to mention (suggest) Mr. Peterson and evade the downvotes. :-P

Being an individualist I don't agree with his life advice one bit.

Those that are not looking to settle down to anything less than perfect in life I'd suggest looking up "Actual Freedom".


> Being an individualist I don't agree with his life advice one bit.

Without knowing much about him, my impression was such that he's a staunch individualist


I have read parts of his book and watched some of his lectures, and would hardly characterize him as a person who is independent and self-reliant (which is what the word individualist refers to).

Just for starters, allowing your well-being dependent on being above some level in some social hierarchy is hardly considered being self-reliant.


> hardly characterize him as a person who is independent and self-reliant

Maybe you have some example as to why.

> allowing your well-being dependent on being above some level in some social hierarchy is hardly considered being self-reliant.

This sounds like a mischaracterization of whatever it is is espoused. No one lives in a bubble, but a strong social network isn't antithetical to self-reliance, because self-reliance isn't an absolute nor is it purported to be - 0 people are entirely self-reliant in the literal sense. It's in practice about initiative, to move beyond a stagnant dependency. For example, seeking professional help in the instance of mental health to improve our lot, or reading a book to that same end, is an example of self-reliance at work. No one can make you do it. You have to want to improve. I see it as self-motivation.


I'm talking specifically about the life advice being dished out by Mr. Peterson. Given that you said "without knowing much about him" perhaps you should first familiarize yourself with what he is promulgating before continuing this discussion.

If you know, you can sum it. Should be easy if you criticize it in abstract

Yup I did:

> Just for starters, allowing your well-being [to be] dependent on being above some level in some social hierarchy is hardly considered being self-reliant.

It may be hard for some not to lump self-reliance (aka. being autonomous) and hierarchy-consciousness (to coin a word) together; which is where the third paragraph of my original comment comes into picture (something you seem to have ignored[1]).

---

[1] I can guess it because of this:

> [slothtrop]: 0 people are entirely self-reliant [in affective context] in the literal sense.

As a matter of fact I know at least 6 people who fit that description.

And:

> [Mr. Peterson]: I’m saying it is inevitable that there will be continuities in the way that animals and human beings organize their [hierarchical] structures. It’s absolutely inevitable, and there is one-third of a billion years of evolutionary history behind that … It’s a long time. You have a mechanism in your brain that runs on serotonin that’s similar to the lobster mechanism that tracks your status—and the higher your status, the better your emotions are regulated. So as your serotonin levels increase you feel more positive emotion and less negative emotion.

I know at least 6 people for whom it is not (anymore) "absolutely inevitable".


> Yup I did:

Seems rather circular then to suggest I familiarize myself with him more if you can't even be bothered to demonstrate how you've extrapolated what you reiterated using a source. Google yields no sources parroting that. Even the negative opinions suggest something completely different : "Ultimately, Peterson’s dismissal of happiness as the purpose of life is a problem because it aligns his argument too closely with an emphasis on an introspective attempt at self-sufficiency. Insisting that meaning can be forged out of effort emphasizes a kind of self-reliance which, while certainly useful and even admirable at times, misses the mark in telling most of the human story. Suffering for the sake of suffering in order to “tolerate the weight of our own self-consciousness” is, I suppose, the best we can aim for if the material world is all that exists." -- https://humanumreview.com/articles/why-we-need-jordan-peters...

> As a matter of fact I know at least 6 people who fit that description.

That can only be true if you don't appreciate the fact that outcomes which appear superficially as self-reliance don't materialize from a lifetime of not benefiting from social networks.

> I know at least 6 people for whom it is not (anymore) "absolutely inevitable".

Seems you drew your own ideas as to how this has anything to do with self-reliance.

How an individual leads their life has no bearing on whether there are hierarchical structures in the whole of society. You can go live in the woods, and humans will continue on without you with class structures.


> Seems rather circular then to suggest I familiarize myself with him more

Only because you wrote "Without knowing much about him" and you keep misunderstanding the nature of my critique.

> ... if you can't even be bothered to demonstrate how you've extrapolated what you reiterated

What I reiterated was that - allowing your well-being [to be] dependent on being above some level in some social hierarchy is hardly considered being self-reliant [aka. being autonomous].

> using a source.

Both Peterson's book and his online videos are the source for that paraphrasing.

> Google yields no sources parroting that.

All you have to do, basically, is to directly read his book and watch some of his online videos; and not read reviews (be it negative or positive) of those works online.

> Even the negative opinions suggest something completely different : "Ultimately, Peterson’s dismissal of happiness as the purpose of life is a problem because it aligns his argument too closely with an emphasis on an introspective attempt at self-sufficiency. Insisting that meaning can be forged out of effort emphasizes a kind of self-reliance which, while certainly useful and even admirable at times, misses the mark in telling most of the human story. Suffering for the sake of suffering in order to “tolerate the weight of our own self-consciousness” is, I suppose, the best we can aim for if the material world is all that exists." -- https://humanumreview.com/articles/why-we-need-jordan-peters....

Of course they do, as I'm referring to the matter-of-fact self-reliance (aka. being autonomous) and not "a kind of self-reliance".

>> As a matter of fact I know at least 6 people who fit that description [being entirely self-reliant [in affective context] in the literal sense].

> That can only be true if you don't appreciate the fact that outcomes which appear superficially as self-reliance don't materialize from a lifetime of not benefiting from social networks.

Given that I wrote in affective context it is beyond me how you can characterize what I wrote as to "appear superficially" and materializing from "a lifetime of not benefiting from social networks".

>> I know at least 6 people for whom it is not (anymore) "absolutely inevitable".

> Seems you drew your own ideas as to how this has anything to do with self-reliance.

Of course it seems that way, as to you -- especially not being familiar with Mr. Peterson's work in critical sense -- whatever you dub as self-reliance is nothing to do with being autonomous in the affective context, and that being actually so somehow automatically implies (to you) "living in the woods" or having "a lifetime of not benefiting from social networks".

> How an individual leads their life has no bearing on whether there are hierarchical structures in the whole of society.

Just so that it is clear, the hierarchical structures Mr. Peterson is alluding to is entirely affective in nature ("class structure" as you mention below belongs here), and is not specifically referring to the actual structures in the society.

> You can go live in the woods, and humans will continue on without you with class structures.

Yes, and so what? This is nothing to do with what I'm talking about.


I used to love Steve's writing (back in the game developer days and some after). But I got the impression that he was becoming more and more eccentric/crazy.

I haven't read his articles in a while, so maybe they are more sane now.


About 10 years ago Steve seemed really on the level of someone like Joel regarding software development and general life advice.

Now it seems Steve is all crazy stuff.

For example this is Timecube level thinking: https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2019/02/your-10-dimensiona...


I disagree. I don't believe Pavlina has the track record of Joel regarding software development. His life advice at that time was "stop sleeping, you'll do more and let's see how far we can ride that secret thing" while claiming being telepathic and talking to birds.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if Steve made way more money than Joel.


These seem to already be the crazy days.

I remember when he was selling games way before any "indie games", even before Bejewled if I remember correctly.

I also thought regarding sleep, that he woke up every morning at the same time, and went to bed when he was tired.


He does. But for 6 months, he just took a 20 minute nap every 4 hours (no 'core' sleep).

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is a quick book that goes into how we internalize meaning that drives happiness from purpose that helped me figure out this out better than many other “journey > destination” books.

Bed of Procrustus by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a bunch of quick aphorisms that takes less than an hour to read and gives good insight into Taleb’s form of critical thinking.

Between the Devil and the Dragon by Eric Hoffer has essays from a self-educated, laborer philosopher and has helped me to understand much about how I think through things and why.


Aside: The True Believer is well worth the read. Though I may have some issues with Hoffer's conclusions in his work, I've never regretted the time spent reading him.

True Believer is included in Between Devil and Dragon.

I like how you stated “I’ve never regretted the time spent reading him” as I don’t agree with many of his statements and sometimes his writings seem a bit self-involved or exegesis in need of a peer review, but I’ve found it valuable to read through and think the power of some of the ideas I keep, or just strongly disagree, are worth all the material I discard.


Books on Stoicism. In particular, “A Guide to the Good Life”

Some good stuff here:

https://www.theschooloflife.com/


I second school of life. I don't know more about them than having watch their YouTube videos and they are surprisingly good.

Seriously? I thought they were cartoonishly bad. A group of hipsters dispensing cheap philosophic pills for lazy fake intellectuals.

True true. They don't even teach Philosophy. their video is the embodiment of cognitive ease.

Yep. I'm really surprised to see them upvoted on HN to be honest.

Jordan Peterson's Maps of Meaning, 12 Rules for Life, and his many tens of hours of content on YouTube.

If you're willing to entertain the idea for a brief moment that the Bible has any wisdom at all, his Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories is a must. I recommend them even if you aren't willing, in fact. They converted me, and i was a fairly nihilistic atheist for almost all of my thinking life.


I see Jordan Pererson gets downvoted here, but recommend all critic to read “12 rules for life” themselves. This book helped me a lot.

I did read it. I decided not to take life advice from someone who writes, about a two-year-old child: “I picked him bodily off the playground structure, and threw him thirty feet down the field. No, I didn’t. But it would have been better for him if I had.” It’s a ‘joke’, but it’s a weird joke. I believe he thinks this over-aggression makes him seem dominant and powerful; in reality, a grown man getting so furious at an infant that he fantasises about throwing it is just odd. I can see why young men on the internet find it appealing to be told that being aggressive is actually cool and powerful and good, but that doesn’t actually make it good advice.

I also don’t agree with his sexual-marketplace ideas about how women choose mates, and why it’s a good thing for women to choose men who behave badly towards them because they’ll change: “[female lobsters] identify the top guy quickly, and become irresistibly attracted to him. This is brilliant strategy, in my estimation. It’s also one used by females of many different species, including humans. ... His aggression has made him successful, so he’s likely to react [to the female] in a dominant, irritable manner. Furthermore, he’s large, healthy and powerful. It’s no easy task to switch his attention from fighting to mating. (If properly charmed, however, he will change his behaviour towards the female. This is the lobster equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey, the fastest-selling paperback of all time, and the eternal Beauty-and-the-Beast plot of archetypal romance. This is the pattern of behaviour continually represented in the sexually explicit literary fantasies that are as popular among women as provocative images of naked women are among men.)” Is this good advice or information for men or women? Personally, I don’t think so, but since it bears absolutely no relation to how I chose my partner, I suppose Peterson would say I am some kind of outlier or unusual female. Readers may make their own minds up about the quote.


I thought it was a funny joke. You have to remember he's a psychologist. When it comes to children they think very simply in terms of reward and punishment to "train" children to learn to behave. You should've seen that from everything else he said about his interactions with children. I don't know how you can also come away with that psychoanalysis of him, I'd say you're reading into it too much. In reality, we are human and small things tend to irritate the majority of us from time to time. I'd also add that aggression is a tool that has certain uses throughout life, you can't always live life on the defensive. Young adults of any gender should be told that this is a tool at your disposal and completely okay to use at certain times.

For the lobster thing, I read it as neutral information. I took it as he was bringing up a similarity he has observed between the lobster behavior and popular plots in entertainment that seem to be popular with certain types of women. He's just presenting a connection for readers to make up their own minds about rather than stating some fact. However I also think most young men who read that will tend to agree with him quite easily, it definitely feels like it could partially be true (bad boy stereotype is a thing isn't it?). Also would you consider yourself in general to be a 'usual' female compared to the general population say personality wise or any other metric even? Just being on HN tells me you're already unusual, wouldn't you say?


> in reality, a grown man getting so furious at an infant that he fantasises about throwing it is just odd

You are getting that backwards. In reality, people think that way. They get angry with kids. They may even think violent thoughts. Tragically, they may actually be violent.

Any time you make a statement about what's weird about interactions between adults (especially parents) and kids, you should clarify that you do or do not have kids. So, I'll ask, do you have kids? I ask because we can be rational in an HN discussion. Dealing with kids tests that rationality.

> Is this good advice or information for men or women?

Men who are "alpha male" types get more selection. This may or may not be true. The "should" (rational decisions) is a different argument. JP is trying to explain how things ARE (and he could be wrong on that.) That's different from advice and the information is neither good or bad.


He is just describing “how things are”, not giving advice or telling you what you should do, in his self-help advice book about his “rules for life”? That’s surprising to me, I must say!

Heh, good point.

Okay, you're right. It's a self help book with advice. ;)


The sexual-marketplace is not good advice on how to behave, but there is aspects of truth to acknowledge that humans are somewhat similar to tournament species where a smaller percentage of men have children compared to women. The semi-accurate 20/80 means that social status has a very direct impact on the probability that a man has children, and a sad aspect of human culture is the tendency for men to be rewarded with social status for cultural correct aggression.

But we are also somewhat similar to pair bonding species. I would not describe it as an outlier or unusual, but rather two different biological strategies that is expressed through genes and culture. Researchers has even found some specific genes that is linked to predicting it, and women and men who has more of the pair-bonding associated genes have longer and happier relationships.

Being aware of both strategies and knowing there is a biological aspect to it is useful information, but strictly following one is foolish. We are human with human brains so individuals will behave uniquely even if there is a bias when averaged over a population.


> This is the lobster equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey, the fastest-selling paperback of all time,

There is something strange about that book being so popular.

I think one can argue that women have been socialized to want aggressive men so that becomes a common fantasy vs it's a biologically based phenomenon. I wonder if there is a way to compare how popular the book is in relation to how strongly stereotypical the education and culture is.


> I think one can argue that women have been socialized to want aggressive men so that becomes a common fantasy vs it's a biologically based phenomenon

Or it's just a popular form of easily consumable 'taboo'. No need to theorize about women secretly wanting violent relationships when there's a much simpler explanation on the table.


Sure, but why is it a popular taboo? Otherwise it's like saying "this book is popular because the topic is popular".

It's worth all the down votes and more. I'm sure you can divide the down voters into a handful of camps. Those who are somehow convinced he has ties to the despicable alt right, those who are annoyed they keep hearing about him, and those who have actually heard him speak but, ianno, think taking responsibility and straightening yourself out is bad or something. Maybe they're just afraid of confronting their shadow.

> Those who are somehow convinced he has ties to the despicable alt right,

When he's hosting two prominent alt right figures as guests on his podcast [0], I think it's pretty fair to say that he has ties to the alt right.

[0]: https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson/status/11164318379565834...


1. Ben Shapiro is alt-right. Yea and I shit cotton candy. https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-task-force-issue...

2. By that logic, Chris Wallace has ties to Russia too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHY8yG4mVzs

3. If Peterson is alt-right then so are you. Because I am pretty sure that in one way or another you associate yourself with someone who likes Peterson whether you know it or not. So you associate yourself with someone who associates themselves with Peterson who in turn associates himself with what you yourself would classify as alt-right. You disgust me you alt-right [insert insult here]. See how these things go? Maybe it´s best if we all just stopped with the stupid mental gymnastics.


The first thing that must be said is that there is no true definition of alt-right. https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/21/the-categories-were-ma...

The second thing that must be said is that in order to communicate, we must use a consistent definition of the category for it to be useful.

The third thing that must be said is that when we argue "semantics", we're trying to figure out a shared definition of a category. Without it, there is no agreement. With it, arguments usually evaporate pretty quickly.

The left side of the aisle commits a dishonest fallacy constantly with respect to "alt-right". There is a category of despicable people. There is a category that includes non-despicable people. It's not right to waffle between the two to bolster rhetoric.

There is a category of despicable people that believe Western civilization is good because of its whiteness. These are the original "alt-right" people that everyone agrees are "alt-right". They are racist and pretty much everyone rejects them across the entire political spectrum. Maybe they number 100k globally with a very generous estimate.

There is a subset of those people who believe that enforcing ethnostate boundaries is good. They number maybe 10k globally, generously speaking. They are definitely "alt-right" by everyone's definitions.

There is a larger category that uses the word "alt" to imply simply an "alternative" right, which includes all conservatives that don't agree with traditional turn off the century neoconservative figures. So if you don't like Hannity and O'Reilly but do like Shapiro, then you're "alt-right" because you attach yourself to this new wave of conservative thought that doesn't agree with the old guard.

The definition here matters. People on the left want to stretch and shrink the definition to fit their rhetoric. But this is key here: the final category of alt-right doesn't really even overlap with the racist ethnostatists that everyone hates.

All that being said, Peterson isn't really even conservative. He just happens to be criticising more left leaning figures than right leaning figures because today, the left is far closer to totalitarianism than the right, in his estimation.


There are at least three more reasons why people dislike or even actively attack him:

- he says that there can be value in religion, and it for some reason triggers some people

- he's a critic of the "neo-Marxist post-modern left"

- he promotes emphasis on oneself before emphasis on collective, which in left's eyes is "reactionary". I.e. in his opinion, lots of people have vast room for personal improvement, which will in turn make their life better and easier - while in the left's eyes this is just a diversion, because the best way to life improvement is unionisation, political movements etc.


I feel like I tend to agree with Peterson 80-90% of the time, what with all the clean-your-room stuff, but the last 10-20 I really disagree with

Which is fine really. It would be more worrisome if you agreed 100% or disagreed 100%. That means that you´re not really listening.

I am currently listening to the 12 rules for life audiobook, He does have helpful advice. but in the book he argues that chaos if feminine and order is masculine, and he fails to give any logical reasons for that claim. I understand those who are heavily offended by that viewpoint. Except from that the book is generally good. 3.5 stars.

> he fails to give any logical reasons for that claim.

It would take a mere 10 seconds of googling to find the answer to that question as he is literally asked about it every few hours on twitter or in interviews. And every single time he explains it but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

> I understand those who are heavily offended by that viewpoint

I personally don´t understand those people because they are not really listening to the argument. They are selectively hearing what they want to hear. In your "question" there is an embedded assumption that order (masculine) is "good" and chaos (feminine) is "bad". And that´s why people get offended; if they didn´t equate chaos with bad, there would be no reason to get offended. This happens because they are not _actually_ reading Peterson. They are reading what they _think_ someone like Peterson would say but in doing so they miss the point completely.

Peterson argues that chaos in literature is most often presented as feminine (mother nature for instance) and order is presented as masculine most often (God, the heavenly father for instance). At any point in time, order OR chaos can both take hold to varying extreme degrees, which is not good for society. Example: Totalitarian states (extreme order/masculine) are bad, but so is anarchy/chaos and the complete lack of order. Both extreme order and extreme chaos are bad he argues constantly.

Would it be any better if Peterson argued that chaos was masculine and order was feminine? not really, people would still get offended because that´s what people want to be. They don´t actually stop and listen to what is being said, which is unfortunate :/


Perhaps he shouldn’t bother linking order/chaos with gender at all. There are plenty of arguments you could make that order IS feminine - who, in the American viewpoint, traditionally keeps house, tidies up, makes peace, establishes family routine, is someone you come home to every night? And who is a risk-taker, a go-getter, the one who leaves the comfortable routine and embarks on unknown adventures? I know various literary and psychological arguments about feminine chaos (ooh, the undefinable feminine lack and void! Jungian archetypes!), but what Peterson is trying to get at by this feminine chaos/masculine order thing - apart from a truly boring “the middle way is the best” argument that you point out and which clearly doesn’t require a gender linking to make - is completely unclear.

e: incidentally, if any of Peterson’s theory ramblings do appeal, just go and read Freud, Jung, Lacan, Marx, the Bible etc in the original. They are all vastly more interesting, subtle and worthwhile than Peterson’s jumbled, evo-psyched retelling of them.


> Perhaps he shouldn’t bother linking order/chaos with gender at all.

The point he is making though is that they have traditionally been associated with gender. Just look at any religious art or any art for that matter pre-dating cameras (abstract art took over post the invention of cameras for obvious reasons) and you will find thematic ties to gender. In fact, walk into any church and look at the ceiling, that will show you how the west have thought about this chaos/order duality for 2000 years now.

With that said, is there a way to argue that perhaps feminine is order and masculine is chaos? hell yea. But please note that I wrote "most often", which is also his claim. You could however make the opposite argument and we can have a healthy discussion about the proper metaphorical language space we can use to describe such abstract concepts. But the idea of being offended because gender was used historically is rather nuts. People used what was historically available to them to use in terms of abstract story telling tools. Gender was one of those tools. Getting mad at it is borderline crazy imo.

> but what Peterson is trying to get at by this feminine chaos/masculine order thing - apart from a truly boring “the middle way is the best” argument that you point out and which clearly doesn’t require a gender linking to make - is completely unclear.

It seems to me that you are making the assumption that there IS more to it than that. Which I see no evidence for.

What I don´t really understand is: why really stop? why shouldn´t he link gender with the chaos/order duality? because people get offended? If that is the reason then all of us can say nothing at all. Because I can find a reason to get offended by anything you say. That can´t possibly be a reasonable demand either. How would we ever have any discourse in society if when someone is offended we are all required to be quiet about said thing?

The irony of this whole discussion is that you are demonstrating why Peterson keeps saying that we are slipping into chaos. We are trying to protect everyone who´s offended to the point where society as a whole is slipping toward the Oedipal mother pathology.


If there’s nothing more to it, what place does it have in a self-help book, or in any book? Why bother saying it? What interest should it hold for me? This continual argument I hear from people that he’s just “describing how things are” seems self-defeating - it makes him sound as boring as someone who goes around saying “the sky is blue, the sun is hot”. Yeah, and? So what? There’s no point engaging with or listening to someone who says “Femininity is linked with chaos. I’m not implying anything by that, and my argument should have no bearing on anything. I’m just saying that’s the way it is.” I don’t believe Peterson IS saying that, though - I think it’s just a convenience for him and most of his fans to be able to claim that he’s said nothing at all except raw falsifiable statements which might be wrong (but if they’re wrong it doesn’t matter anyway because they don’t mean anything). Why bother linking the concepts to gender? Well, it looks like the main reason is that it offends people, and some people seem to find that worthwhile in and of itself.

Read the originators of Peterson’s ideas. They certainly thought their statements about gender, archetypes, psychology, etc had deep meaning and informed how things ‘should be’, not merely how they are (of course, simply saying ‘this is how things are’ and nothing else can be an expression of deep conservatism, which is how many interpret Peterson - this is how things are AND YOU CAN’T CHANGE THEM, so just act in accordance with them).


> Why bother linking the concepts to gender? Well, it looks like the main reason is that it offends people, and some people seem to find that worthwhile in and of itself.

You´re missing the point. No one is (or at least I am not) saying that he is merely making a "factual observation" and that´s just that. But you are ASSUMING what his motives are as if you´re some type of mind reader. And of course his motives must be malicious such as "it looks like the main reason is that it offends people, and some people seem to find that worthwhile in and of itself.".

The tough part for me to communicate here is how _ironic_ your assumption here is. You are _literally_ doing what Peterson argues is the feminine and chaotic. You are playing the role of the overprotective mother. You will probably hate this but if you really are of an open mind you should watch this and then we can continue our discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50FbeazFkgs

Assuming you actually watched the video above, what I _see_ when I read a post like yours is exactly what Peterson describes in the video. A deep and complex need for "protecting those who are offended from the evil serpent (the offending party - Peterson)". You have already classified him as malicious thing to be dealt with accordingly.

> Read the originators of Peterson’s ideas. They certainly thought their statements about gender, archetypes, psychology, etc had deep meaning and informed how things ‘should be’, not merely how they are (of course, simply saying ‘this is how things are’ and nothing else can be an expression of deep conservatism, which is how many interpret Peterson - this is how things are AND YOU CAN’T CHANGE THEM, so just act in accordance with them).

I´ve read my fair share. And I agree with you. Some things are not set in stone. But a lot of things are - at least for now. So pretending that we´re all like play-dooh is an equally false assumption as the one of the conservatives who believes that all is set in stone.


> The tough part for me to communicate here is how _ironic_ your assumption here is. You are _literally_ doing what Peterson argues is the feminine and chaotic. You are playing the role of the overprotective mother.

I don't know if irony is the right word for it, but I find it interesting that you've been arguing that Petersons man-order/woman-chaos is somehow not normative and negative to women, and then go and use 'feminine and chaotic' in a pretty much purely negative way.

What I find more interesting is that this exemplifies what bothers me about Peterson schtick. So much of what he says isn't actually saying all that much, because it's couched in "one could argue that", "I'm just observing x", "an interesting thought" style statements, while at the same time the very choice of statements seem to imply something nonetheless.

The frustrating thing is that I find much of this 'implied' message rather concerning, but it's difficult to talk about because he (and his fans) can deny all of it. Or accuse me of reading too much into his words, vilifying him, etc.

I think this comment expresses my unease with Peterson quite well (the whole thread/discussion is worth reading): https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/8m21kw/i_am_dr_jordan...

And then there's the famouns Contrapoints video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LqZdkkBDas

To be clear, I'm not accusing you personally, of all this, just that your comment reminded me of these thoughts. Furthermore, I ultimately do not know the details of what Peterson believes (I mean, who does?), and if his book and talks help people improve themselves I'm all for that.


> I don't know if irony is the right word for it, but I find it interesting that you've been arguing that Petersons man-order/woman-chaos is somehow not normative and negative to women, and then go and use 'feminine and chaotic' in a pretty much purely negative way.

I could have as easily said the "masculine and orderly" if he was expressing that pattern of behavior. For instance, if he was being a full blown fascist, That´s how I would have replied. The feminine isn´t the "negative". It is the _extreme_ feminine. And likewise, the extreme masculine behavior is equally toxic. Hence the phrase, "toxic masculinity" which I´m pretty sure you´re familiar with. Is that not a thing? or is it just that the masculine is filled with toxicity but the feminine never is? That would be a naive proposition. btw, if you read this as an attack on the "feminine" by the "masculine" then there is no point in this discussion at all. It is the extreme pathological behavior that is the issue, not its symbolic manifestation.

> What I find more interesting is that this exemplifies what bothers me about Peterson schtick. So much of what he says isn't actually saying all that much, because it's couched in "one could argue that", "I'm just observing x", "an interesting thought" style statements, while at the same time the very choice of statements seem to imply something nonetheless. The frustrating thing is that I find much of this 'implied' message rather concerning, but it's difficult to talk about because he (and his fans) can deny all of it. Or accuse me of reading too much into his words, vilifying him, etc.

There need be no implication because he says it out right. Watch the video I linked to and he will say literally what he means. Everyone who dislikes Peterson that I´ve personally talked to always ends up talking about "the implicit evil that he holds behind closed doors". Everyone is suddenly a mind reader. What gives? we don´t do that for others when they talk. And besides, debunk his arguments as they stand. Either the arguments are good or bad. talking about the character or the intent of the person is irrelevant to the merit of the argument itself. Imagine if the most despicable human being (ex. Hitler) said 2+2=4 you wouldn´t go: the math is incorrect because he has "hidden motives". No. The math is correct and he´s a piece of shit. We have to decouple the message from the speaker for obvious reasons.

As for the reddit comment. The author talks about cognitive dissonance when he clearly suffers form a shit ton of it him/herself. It was one incoherent mess.

Look, I understand you, the other commenter and countrapoints (been a long time fan of that channel btw even if I disagree with a lot of what is said there) in that you are justified to feel uneasy. Peterson is _way too careful_ as if he is trying to mask/hide something from us. But the truth is much simpler than that. When you are constantly over the years met with extreme backlash you become very careful. Take the example of "forced monogamy". When Peterson was talking about a historical concept, that was portrayed as if he _wants to_ "distribute women to horny men" - a position no one has ever held. Imagine being exposed to that level of misrepresentation, heckling and hatred. You too, I imagine, would be more careful about what you say in order not to be misrepresented at every turn. Once you put yourself in his shoes you realize that it isn´t that there is an implied hidden agenda but rather the exact opposite. And so far, I have seen 0 evidence to the contrary.

> To be clear, I'm not accusing you personally, of all this, just that your comment reminded me of these thoughts. Furthermore, I ultimately do not know the details of what Peterson believes (I mean, who does?), and if his book and talks help people improve themselves I'm all for that.

Fair enough.


I think you may be mixing me up with the original poster of this comment chain. I have only said that linking chaos/order to femininity/masculinity appears to have no point or meaning, not that I’m personally offended by it. In fact I don’t believe the original poster was offended either, and only said that some people are offended. You still haven’t managed to explain, at least to my satisfaction, what the point IS rather than harping on about “offence” you imagine I’ve taken. If your whole argument is that Peterson says they’re linked ‘because that’s how things are most of the time’, that is fine; I just don’t think that in itself is an interesting, original, worthwhile, or entirely correct observation, especially not when his aims are a) to provide self-help and advice or b) to provide a dull “truth is in the middle” argument. It appears, as your comments focus on, to provide much more fruitful grounds for claiming or decrying offence, rather than showing anything interesting about men, women, chaos, order, or anything else. Cheers.

Peterson only describes the masculine perspective on order vs chaos (and therein lies his bias). If you however include the moral and covert domains, order actually becomes feminine, as Ms. Arianna Stassinopoulos wrote: [quote]: ‘Women are the carriers of society’s values ... men are deviant in the sense that many of the qualities admired in them are also one’s that society has to regard with disapproval ... Women’s Lib portrays society and morality as a male invention to coerce and punish women ... [yet] women are a virtuous group seeking to impose their moral standards on men’. [endquote].

This thread got really deep, but the answer is simple.

Peterson is describing traditional mythological associations, not prescribing anything. Chaos is tradtionally associated with the feminine. Order is traditionally associated with the maculine. This is true historically. He's not saying anything should be any way on this topic.


I agree. I used to watch Peterson's lecture on Youtube even before his rise. It brought me out of despair and my constant feeling of meaninglessness of life.

To all people, who are downvoting Peterson, take some time to watch his classroom lectures on Youtube.


Do you not believe that some people might have already watched some of his classroom lectures, speaking tour lectures, and broadcast debates and then decided to downvote afterwards?

Edit: tense


Well, it's not big assumption since there has been a continuous negative coverage about Dr.Peterson in the media. Also, recently a NZ bookstore banned his books.

But if people have watched his lectures and didn't like it, then I don't have any issues getting downvoted.


> This book helped me a lot

In what way did the book help you a lot? What do you now do differently in life?


What sort of "life advice" do you want?

I think for starters is to realize there is a lot of contradicting life advice. Then the other thing is wether people follow the advice they give others.

There is a Carl Jung quote:

> Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.

Personally for me, understanding life is understanding the pros/cons of every scenario.

The pros and cons of short term thinking.

The pros and cons of long term thinking.

The trade offs between both. There are trade offs in everything we do. Understanding them, and accepting them is important.


Yeah, came here to say the same thing. There's so much advice out there, different advice is good for different people at different times, and none of it can cover life in full.

One way to think of it is that reading advice puts you in the perspective of the advice-giver, instead of your own. Like, when you read a book titled "99 ways not to be a loser", you begin worrying if you're a loser and seeing everything through that lens. And then you read "35 ways to become a decent person" and suddenly being a loser isn't a problem anymore, now there's something else on your mind. And so on. It stops you from seeing your life on its own terms, from many angles and the actual weighting of each, which is very personal. It requires living, not reading.


That is part of the reason that I have thought long about maturity models: a collaboratively-built step-by-step approach. Not everyone is in the same place, but there are some best practices that can help us all, when we are ready for them. More at http://lukecall.net, under "Life lessons".

(ps: I am a religious person and the content is heavily influenced by that, but I hope the concept, and present/future software, are amenable to about any worldview.)


The Psychology of Human Misjudgment by Charles T. Munger https://www.harrisonbarnes.com/the-psychology-of-human-misju... (You may wish to scroll down to "psychology-based tendencies that, while generally useful, often mislead")

> There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how's the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” -- David Foster Wallace

This is a nice analogy about how hard it is to understand what we live in every day. To know about 'water' I learned a lot from Thomas Eriksen -- Small Places, Large Issues. It's an introduction to cultural anthropology and it's a great academic read, but it also taught me a lot on a personal level; to clearly recognize different schools of thought and see their particular and universal value.

Good contextual knowledge of this sort tones down the general chaos of life for me. It just helps a lot to have a solid mental model of cultures and ideologies, know their overlaps and contradictions, and to have the ability to relate specific thinkers to this model.


Naval has a lot of good content.

I would start with his tweet storm: How to Get Rich (without getting lucky):

https://twitter.com/naval/status/1002103360646823936?s=21


For whatever reason, Twitter is rate limiting me. I don’t visit Twitter almost at all, can’t even remember last time I loaded a page from twitter.com.

Anyhow, in order to be able to read this I had to use a third party service.

Link: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1002103360646823936.html


I read it right now. I feel enriched. Thanks.

A modern Tao

A couple of the tweets remind me of The Richest Man in Babylon , but I like how succinct this is.

That’s a sweet tweet storm, thanks!

Glad you liked it! He has a lot of other content too. You can see a compilation of his best works on the site linked in his twitter bio:

https://theangelphilosopher.com/


Second this. It’s the best podcast I’ve ever listened to—I re-play it every time I have a road trip.

They went as far to create a lovely transcript of it, too: https://fs.blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Naval-Ravikant-TK...


This is just a bunch of vague garbage. Sure, "don't trade your time for money, invest and make money off of your investments", but saying so is a lot harder than doing. All of this vague garbage is a lot easier for white upper class people that get nice interest free loans from their white upper class parents.

Naval is an Indian Born Self-made guy. Sure, it is hard. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

I didn't know that about Naval. I'm used to hearing this sort of self-serving advice from "self-made" people that really weren't self-made at all. The reason this vague helpless advice is appealing to people is because the implication is that it IS easy, and that everyone CAN do it.

Don't be a racist.

Pointing out the fact of white privilege and the fact that wealth often flows through generations in families is not a racist statement.

Designating a group of people by the color of their skin is racist.

No, that's not what racism is. Racism is saying that a group is less human because of their skin tone or heritage. I am not saying that white people are less human; I am saying that they enjoy privileges in America that other racial or ethnic groups do not. This is not racism.

Nope, racism is saying that such group is better or worse in some way.

Now, are you saying that white people in 21st century America are enjoying something they don't have a right to have?


I recommend Mark Manson – he's got a popular blog (https://markmanson.net) on topics like these and also wrote a great book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Coming late to this but ... I have thought long about maturity models: a collaboratively-built step-by-step approach. The famous coach John Wooden said something like "the trouble with all the good new books is they keep us from reading all the good old books".

Not everyone is in the same place in their personal growth process, or has time to read as much as needed to find what is best and most applicable to them, but there are some best practices that can help us all, when we are ready for them. So the intent is to capture those, for any area of life (which I have grouped under mental, physical, spiritual, social/emotional).

I have posted much more at http://lukecall.net, under "Life lessons". (I think the site is lightweight/responsive, and skimmable.)

(ps: I am a religious person and the content explains why, and is heavily influenced by that. Also, I hope the concepts, and present/future software to help with it, can be helpful, given almost any worldview.)


12 rules of life by Jordan Peterson. Also Peterson's YouTube channel has loads of free lectures.

It's pretty hard to avoid the reactionary politics when consuming Peterson, but if you can yeah you get mostly tried-and-true basic self-help advice.

It's funny. He took like one political stance and then got labeled awful things. We can just skip past the trans thing. It's ok.

For those that don't know: he interpreted a law that was passed in Canada as compelled speech law and decided that was a line that shall not be crossed, no matter the presumed benefit. That line happened to coincidentally involve trans people and, well, it's the late 2010s, so that speaks for itself. It takes about three minutes of listening to him talk on the subject to understand that his singular life's mission is to figure out what is necessary to prevent totalitarianism ever again. Compelled speech laws are something we ought to be on the defensive for in that regard. The fact that it involved trans people is irrelevant to him and should be irrelevant to us.

verbify 10 days ago [flagged]

> It takes about three minutes of listening to him talk on the subject to understand that his singular life's mission is to figure out what is necessary to prevent totalitarianism ever again

I spent some time listening to him, and that wasn't my impression. It struck me as a mixture of contrarianism, attention seeking behaviour and latent transphobia.

gdy 10 days ago [flagged]

My impression is that your comment is a mixture of contrarianism, attention seeking behaviour and latent transphobophobia. Can't refute it, can you?

That's what happens when you don't take anything seriously.

He takes quite a few political stances...

Derek Sivers' blog. One of my favourite pieces of his, There is No Speed Limit:

https://sivers.org/kimo


Zen mind, beginner's mind - Shunryu Suzuki. I don't think it's life advice. But, it certainly had a profound impact on my life.

As an entrepreneur, I found the best way to learn about life is to read biographies of successful people, especially the ones that speak of the transformations.

Shoe Dog - Phil Knight Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein - Walter Isaacson


>Zen mind, beginner's mind - Shunryu Suzuki. I don't think it's life advice. But, it certainly had a profound impact on my life.

Just wanted to second this. One of the few books that has actually changed the way I view everything in life, and led to a years long deep dive into eastern philosophy.


Third here. I was talking about this book just yesterday on HN and also briefly with my team at work. It's definitely not life advice, but it also helped me change the way that I view most things in life.

The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell.

Never knew unhappiness after I read this. Highly recommended.

Another one is Méditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Lives by Plutarch if you have the patience.


Your parents, grand parents and other paternal figures like coaches teachers aunts uncles and siblings

Very happy to find this obvious answer. People always look far for what can be found right here.

I recently finished reading "The Wisdom of Insecurity" (1951) by Alan Watts. I have to go back through it again to grasp it further. It's a short read (~150 pages). I highly recommend it.

I like Aaron Swartz's Raw Nerve series: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/rawnerve

Disclaimer: This is it’s a series of posts on how to get better at life written by someone that ended their own life.

Why is that a disclaimer and why does your comment sound like knocking on something good? If you haven’t watched the documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy” [1], check it out. The amount of harassment (mental and emotional) he faced could also bring most other people to take steps that they never would’ve imagined themselves doing.

It’s very easy to knock down others. But you haven’t lived his life, and you just cannot know how it was for him and what pushed him to take his own life.

Would someone put down any works by Ian Murdock (founder of Debian) because he also took his life?

I find these kind of criticisms, based on some actions of a person who otherwise contributed a lot, very silly and downright insulting in the meanest of ways.

Next time you want to write a disclaimer on Aaron Swartz, you could perhaps describe it as how the FBI and DoJ went too far and killed him in more ways than one.

[1]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Internet%27s_Own_Boy


I enjoyed his writing, but what is wrong with the warning? The analogy with Murdock is wrong - it would apply if Murdock had accidentally erased his own hard drive or something like that. He is giving advice about IT, not life.

Even when he was still alive, I already sometimes felt he is following an ideology that might end up hurting him. I feel the same way about many young people involved in politics. Unfortunately political movements have the tendency to swallow people, and make them give up their lives for the (presumed) greater good rather than their own benefit.


On the other hand, someone here mentioned Viktor Frankl, who had been through a lot worse than what Aaron Swartz faced, and survived. Which one of them is more qualified to give life advice?

On what scale could you possibly imagine to compare different people's experiences, without being those people?

Both are qualified to give life advice based on their experiences. In fact, others are also qualified. Good life advice usually stems from struggles that one has gone through. There doesn’t need to be a scale or measure on who is more qualified.

What if you need to choose only one?

'How to be happy and not to kill yourself' by a man who's killed himself. Seriously?

Your disclaimer is a touch ad hominem isn't it

Ad hominem is more about attacking someone's character or motive. Pointing out flaws in someone's skill when they try to teach that skill is a valid argument. No use taking swimming lessons from someone who can't swim.

Sometimes, those who suffer the most have the most to teach the rest.

Socrates, Spinoza, Hobbes, Rosseau, Kant, Nietzche, J.S. Mill, Camus, de Beauvoir, Arendt.

Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. It's the hardest pill I've ever tried to swallow in my life; in fact, I am still in the process of doing so. It goes over the mental process and ruminations of assuming the greatest commitment a human being can make: that which you make to reason and nature. Taking full responsibility of your existence is a daunting proposition, but initiating the process is a fruitful enterprise.

Just a warning, though: be prepared for thanatophobia while reading it, since it has "memento mori" written all over it.


For people that may want to put a little Stoicism in their lives, you may want to try this book: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius [1]

This one-per-day, helps me absorb them in a slow and steady manner.

[1]: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daily-Stoic-Meditations-Perseveranc...

(link is not associate)


I frequently scan Quora for interesting perspectives on life. I really like to learn from the personal stories of individuals. Of course, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, as Quora is not peer-reviewed or scholarly supported, but exactly this raw and unfiltered content makes it attractive.

You can learn best from the mistakes of others. It's a kind of wisdom of the crowds-approach.

(I don't work for Quora, nor do I participate in their partner program)


Any body remember when Alone was writing The Last Psychiatrist?


What did become of him, and who is Alone? I only know The Last Psychiatrist.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Basically the introduction to Stoicism philosophy)

Seconded !

My favorites:

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie


David Chapman - Meaningness

https://meaningness.com


Wow, didn't expect it here. Chapman is an amazing guy. Influenced mostly by Buddhism, has a good grasp of western philosophy and his insights into AI make things even more interesting (he was playing part in the GOFAI).

The message is very subtle, but much closer to reality than most of the other suggestions here. The difficult part is that it requires letting go a lot of views to which we are very attached. Not your typical feel-good motivational book.


I am waiting for the finish book to read.

Don't tell me his meaning is the journey not the destination (end product book)


How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams.

An extremely concise life advice book. Doesn't wander around ideas. Well-written.

Of all 'self-help' books I have read, this is the only I truely recommend.



If you're in for a 15min/day kinda thing, try out the Harvard Classics. Reading them acts as a great barometer for the 'stickier' problems that we humans face. Totally free to download and read here: https://www.myharvardclassics.com/categories/20120212

Daily Reading Guide here: https://www.myharvardclassics.com/categories/20120612_1


I think Poor Charlies Almanac is great as it covers the mental models. It also has a wealth of life advice.

You can also subscribe to the fs blog or their podcast The Knowledge Project. They do a lot with mental models.

The book The Art of Thinking Clearly is another great book that covers biases of the mind in one to two pages each.

The Tim Ferris podcast surprisingly has some amazing guests filled with life advice. I just listened to one with Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. It was absolutely fantastic.


Morgan Housel for financial advice. Just Google the name and follow his Twitter feed if you have an account there.

I have learned a ton through playing poker. The game has a lot of carry-over into real life. Luck vs Skill. Variance. Take a look at the link for a great review on a great book about poker.

https://25iq.com/2018/10/13/lessons-from-annie-duke-author-o...


A wonderful book that's a little off the beaten path for HN is "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life," by Anne Lamott.

I enjoy the writings of Kapil Gupta. In fact I found them life-transforming. Naval is mentioned here - I believe him and Kapil are friends.

He writes on mastery, seriousness and the Truth.

His Twitter: https://twitter.com/KapilGuptaMD.

And some excerpts from his writings:

> "Cleverness and insincerity are loud. Seriousness is quiet"

> "The Mind does not assault man for his mistakes. It assaults him for the cover-up"

> "If there was one single thing that stands between man and his freedom, it is the belief that he has time"

> "What must be understood is that human beings’ lives harden into routines. They harden into a way of being. At some long-forgotten moment many moons ago, they settled. For things they swore they would not settle for...today's compromise is tomorrow's resentment”"

> "People are who they are. And they will do everything in their power to remain who they are. And the Mind will make certain of this"

> "The common man is afraid of “losing.” The Legend is afraid of not arriving at his ultimate capability. These are fundamentally different paths"


Pocket's must reads are full of lots of self-development articles: https://blog.getpocket.com/2018/11/2018-must-reads-on-pocket...

Joe imbriano, The Fullerton Informer is a good start. He covers many issue related to technology, health, government, self improvement etc.

https://thefullertoninformer.com

www.YouTube.com/thefullertoninformer



Thank you!

There is great a number of Alan Watts talks on YouTube. For more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts




Go out and explore the world and try meet interesting people ;) no better resource then that

I like Coach Red Pill on You Tube. Some of his stuff is pretty insightful.

Sam Altman’s blog. I like this article https://blog.samaltman.com/the-days-are-long-but-the-decades...

In particular. Do new things often as it slows down the perception of time.


I'm biased in favor of audiobooks since they fit with strolls. Books are for sitting, walking burns calories :)

Books:

How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Taste testing:

PhilosophersNotes is like sparknotes for self-help books. Can be used as a way to discover / screen books you'd like.

Audio:

Psychology in Seattle's episodes regarding Attachment Theory (6 episodes). The reason why is it's a swiss army knife for understanding relationships and behavior. These episodes are paywalled though, but there are free episodes available if you use a Podcast app.

Like aphextron mentioned Socrates: Republic, Apology by Plato are really good. The one narrated by Ray Childs.

Audible for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (it's like a Socratic dialog about what Quality is)

A lot of stuff by The Teaching Company / Great Courses in general have been good quality (maybe I've been lucky).


Stoicism books, Markmanson.net, books by Brene Brown

If my kids ask me for advice about buying a house, taking a job, doing a degree, etc, I'll refer them to bogleheads.org without hesitation.

Dear Sugar, the Rumpus advice column.

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

Maybe not the place to admit it but I'm more of a Naval fan myself...

Who is that, where can it be read?

Twitter @naval.

I think many here at HN follow Naval. This is not a bad place to admit it.

Not sure if spending time on life advice is better than on life itself.

By reading such resources and articles, I learned from the mistakes that the authors painfully learned themselves or observed in their lives. Putting what I learned from them into practice would save me so much time and money, by not repeating those mistakes or at least minimize them. They are my mentors across different space and time.

What makes you think you would have repeated those mistakes?

I got really better at living life by learning from other people's experiences. PG really knows which ones would I value more. That's why I like PG's essays.

It's absolutely possible to waste your life thinking you don't have to, or shouldn't have to, worry about it.

Everything we spend time on is life itself.

12 rules of life by Jordan peterson

If you already know all the usual advice or don’t think highly of them, try the graduate level works of Kapil Gupta.

- kapilguptamd.com

- He appeared in a few episodes on 33voices podcast

- two recent appearances in Crazy Wisdom podcast with Stewart Alsop


Are you serious? That website looks like total bullshit.



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