Time Capsule #59
On the quiet life, working hard, and Hamburg.
Welcome to the Time Capsule — a weekly newsletter that discusses the practicalities of life, as well as explores the wisdom, ideas, and events of the past, to help you build a better future.
✏️ On the Quiet Life
If I were a physician, and if I were to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the world, it would be silence.
I recently came back from a 2-week long work retreat with a few friends. Without getting too much into it, it was exactly what I needed. The best way to create close friendships is to spend multiple days at a time with people — in the future I will prioritize weekend plans and other multi-day events with friends that I want to bond with and get to know better. And I recommend it to you as well: it is worth whatever financial cost you may incur.
That being said, it is good to be home. What I learned during that time is that while I most definitely value and appreciate human connection, community, and living room banter, I am someone who requires a structured daily routine, a healthy serving of solitude, and a quiet atmosphere. It is good to get out of one’s comfort zone from time to time. But after 2 years of almost complete COVID isolation, I have managed to identify the optimal environmental conditions for productivity and intellectual progress that simply is not possible in such a foreign, non-optimized environment. This realization has made me think a lot about what I imagine my ideal life to be, and what I should prioritize to achieve that. As I prepare to leave the nest and move to the next phase of my professional life in the coming years, having a stable home base, where I can rest, relax, and reset, is essential. It will also provide a place to welcome friends and family — I have come to appreciate the pleasure of good company and group dinners — and serve as a terminal from which I can still travel, explore the world, and make new connections.
I hope to realize this ideal in the next 1-2 years. In the meantime, the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life await me.
📸 Photo of the Week
📖 Book of the Week — Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen
After the end of the Second World War, the Allies were tasked with the job of dealing justice to the many scientists who played a pivotal role in creating the Nazi war machine. Whilst several were charged with war crimes, there were many who were instrumental in the development of technologies in the field of rocketry, medicine, and more that the US government wanted to recruit for their own scientific programs back home. Operation Paperclip was a “decades-long, covert project to bring Hitler's scientists and their families to the United States.”
This book is a deep dive into one of America’s most controversial and strategic government programs.
💭 Quote of the Week
Your goal in life is to find out the people who need you the most, to find out the business that needs you the most, to find the project and the art that needs you the most. There is something out there just for you.
🔭 Sunday Best
Notes from Malcolm Gladwell’s writing course on Masterclass — Part 4/4 by Taimur Abdaal.
David Perell’s 2019 Annual Review — I have taken a lot of inspiration from David Perell in recent years, and hope to take his writing course Write of Passage in the future. His growth over the last 2 years has been fantastic to watch — he is an excellent example of the power of online writing.
Ten Tips for Being Effective and Efficient at Work — #3: Take care of the “just a few minutes” tasks before they turn into hours of work.
💡 Food for Thought
Working hard is futile if you are moving in the wrong direction.
Aim first, then shoot. 🎯
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