3 Minute Monday – Presence, Chess & Noise-Cancelling

3 Minute Monday

Hi friend,

I’ve been thinking about presence this week.

Blaise Pascal explains the problem…

“We never keep to the present.

We anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight.

We are so unwise that we wander about in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does; so vain that we dream of times that are not and blindly flee the only one that is.

The fact is that the present usually hurts.

We thrust it out of sight because it distresses us, and if we find it enjoyable, we are sorry to see it slip away.

We try to give it the support of the future, and think how we are going to arrange things over which we have no control for a time we can never be sure of reaching.

Let each of us examine his thoughts; he will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future.

We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light it throws on our plans for the future.

The present is never our end. 

The past and the present are our means, the future alone our end.

Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.”

Looking over the shoulder of the present moment is a guaranteed way to ensure that you miss whatever is true and beautiful in your life right now.

No matter how big the problems or concerns or anxieties are, the reality of your life is always now.

Find some presence this week.

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This week’s upcoming episodes:

Mary Harrington – modern society has failed men & women, dating, porn, children, feminism, men’s rights & more. Very good.

Not sure yet, maybe Dr Duncan French from the UFC’s Performance Institute on how to maximise hypertrophy in training.

Not sure yet. Maybe Matt Rudd on the modern mental health crises of men.


Your introversion is justified, financially.

Studies have shown that wearing noise cancelling headphones in an open-plan office helps a little bit — reducing cognitive errors by 14% — but actual silence reduces those errors by one third. 

“Everything grand is made from a series of ugly little moments.

Everything worthwhile by hours of self-doubt and days of drudgery.

All the works by people you and I admire sit atop a foundation of failures.” — Pierce Brown

Extracurriculars have no impact on school outcomes.

Some parents make kids learn skills because they think they will spillover to school.

Studies found that none of these seem to help with academic achievement: chess, second languages, playing an instrument & high school sports.

h/t Ethan Mollick


Watch Succession.

HBO’s amazing series about a media conglomerate family.

Witty, dry, insanely fast paced with compelling characters and great dialogue.

If you need a new obsession, this is it.

Big love,
Chris x

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I’ve bought another sunrise alarm clock in Austin now. Waking up to sound-only is primitive. Fight me.


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