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Hard Questions for an Easy Life
Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. —Carl Jung
We study science to learn how to get what we want. We study philosophy to know what to want in the first place. —Naval Ravikant
Above: Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
A life full of good answers demands better questions.
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Not only of others but, more importantly, of oneself.
These questions must help, must guide, must guard, and must lead.
Like a good, tender cut of steak, they must become part of you via preparation, ingestion, careful chewing, and digestion.1
This healthy balance of exploration and reflection leads to a life well-lived: an examined one. As Socrates famously spoke so many years ago, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
All to this to say I have been doing a fair bit more thinking than writing as of late.
The causes of this are manifold: work and play, travel and rest, aspiration and ability. Namely, those vicissitudes of life, its joy, and its discontents.
This good, hard look inside has inspired me to share those questions whose answers—per Rilke—I hope to “gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into.”
A reliable truism goes “If you're overthinking, write. If you're underthinking, read.”
Heeding this time-tested wisdom, below are a litany of mine. In time, may we all scribble out lists of our own.
How long am I going to wait before I demand the best for myself? (per Epictetus)
How can I combat against Akrasia?
What is my life’s Telos?
How can I inspire authenticity and vulnerability through my writing?
How do I train my inner monologue to be kinder?
How do I balance my desire to be social, present, and mindful with my unquenchable thirst for knowledge and learning?
How do I honor and promulgate true diversity of thought in an increasingly polarized world?
When setting goals, how do I avoid optimizing for the wrong outcome?
Is the life of the party is always dying inside?
How can I effectively fight against overstimulation and the deluge that is the Information Age?
Richard Feynman famously said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” How am I currently fooling myself and how can I perceive things more clearly?
How do I foster acceptance, compassion, and flourishing with a conspicuous disability?
How do I eke out a living from my penchant for the written word?
How do I delight others by going above and beyond?
In time and God willing, regular such reflection and introspection will take us from this…
If you want to observe, look without.
If you want to understand, look within.
I hope the above inspires more of the latter than the former.
Per my about page, White Noise is a work of experimentation. I view it as a sort of thinking aloud, a stress testing of my nascent ideas. Through it, I hope to sharpen my opinions against the whetstone of other people’s feedback, commentary, and input.
If you want to discuss any of the ideas or musings mentioned above or have any books, papers, or links that you think would be interesting to share on a future edition of White Noise, please reach out to me by replying to this email or following me on
With sincere gratitude,
You are not only what you eat, but also what you think.