3 actionable ideas for your creative life: be more fragile, develop a persuasion toolkit, live above API
Welcome to another issue of Mind Your Bite! Every Sunday, I share a list of ideas to help you solve a problem in your creative life. You can read a web version of it at mindyourbite.substack.com.
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Change is coming!
Instead of a list of curations, Mind Your Bite Newsletter will feature 3 actionable ideas for your creative life every Sunday. Topics will range from content creation, note-taking, productivity to self-improvement.
The reason for the change is that I want to be more selective with my reading, and share with you more worthwhile ideas than just “cool stuff” I came by. I also hope to turn the newsletter into a growth-reflection journal—to document my journey to become a better writer and human being.
But that doesn’t matter if I like it. Because I made this newsletter for you.
So tell me if this works. Just reply and let me know.
Thanks so much!
Now onto this week’s ideas…
1. How to become antifragile:
I wrote a bit about antifragility last week. Ever since I’ve been thinking of how to incorporate more of this trait into my life. Some ideas I come up with are to discipline myself to do tasks when I don’t feel like it and kick my butt every time I slip down the hole of self-pity.
Here’s one thing I learn:
“If something bothers you, just go and do that thing, you will feel much better.”
People nowadays are too fragile — When shit happens, they blame the world, get swallowed up by pain, and immerse themselves in an addictive activity (K-dramas, anyone?). Jon Hall drew a great example in his article “Before you become antifa, try become antifra first”: “In my formative years, comparisons of how many push-ups one could do were common, today's kids compare antidepressant cocktails.”
The thing is blaming, kicking around, or getting sucked up in your sorrow only makes you feel worse. A better thing you can do for yourself and others to thicken your skin—to be more antifragile. That is to:
Know your feelings don’t matter that much.
Get better at feeling bad.
Assume you have more to learn than to teach in each interaction.
I was deeply touched by this raw, entertaining narrative by Don Hall at The Literate App. If you're building up to a strong, less susceptible mind to cope with pains of all kinds, here’s the read you need.
2. How to build your persuasion toolkit:
In this week's issue of For The Interested, I got introduced to the article Persuade Like A Lawyer: How to Write to Convince A Jury of Readers by Nick Moore, which reveals the secret of persuasion — To build a cable of arguments:
“An amateur arguer tends to conceive of arguments as a chain, as one claim interlocking with and leading to the next claim. If every claim holds, then you have a strong argument. The flaw in this framework is that if you have one weak claim, then the chain slips, and the entire argument falls apart.
Lawyers, professional arguers, instead conceive of arguments as cables.“A cable's strength,” in the words of law professor Wilson R. Huhn, “relies not on that of individual threads, but upon their cumulative strength as they are woven together.””
A cable of arguments contains arguments that exist in parallel with each other. So if one breaks, the others still remain strong. The way you build this argument cable to focus on variety, not the quantity of the arguments,
a.k.a. The Persuasion Tool Kit:
You can apply this not only to one single article but your entire blog:
“When a blog uses repetition effectively, reading an article produces a kaleidoscope effect: the deeper you look, the more you see patterns that interlock and repeat themselves. Every article becomes an instance of a larger argument.”
So many memorable quotes and insights that I couldn’t summarize all in one paragraph. You should just check this out yourself and learn more.
3. Living below API:
Found this idea in Mindf*ck Monday #76: How to Not Get Left Behind by Mark Manson. API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. For example, when you send a message, API processes, delivers that message, and shows you a response from your receiver.
Living below API means relying on software or algorithms to live your life. Those who live below API "seek opinions they agree with and entertainment they usually enjoy".
Living above API requires a little discomfort: “To take professional and personal risks, to habitually challenge preconceived notions, to lean into uncertainty and unpopular opinions, to challenge yourself with information you don’t agree with, with entertainment that doesn’t come naturally to you”
Other cool things I find this week:
A tweet thread that showcases great copy. Thanks Amogh Pant for introducing me to this! — If you enjoy reading to help you improve your emotional and spiritual well-being, check out The Examined Life Newsletter
Goodbye WordPress. Hello Hugo: Build your own static site without WordPress for blazing speed & extreme security (with free hosting). Pretty cool, eh! Big thanks to Aniket Teredesai for reaching out to me with this.
That’s it for the week.
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Until next time,