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🗓️ Weekly Reset #10 — Autodidact’s Paradox

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

👋 Hey Friends,

Welcome to this special Monday Edition of Weekly Reset, I hope you enjoy! I’ve been considering an alternative title for this newsletter of “Finding Focus”. What do you think? Is it an improvement over the current title? Let me know.

🗝️ Key Idea: Autodidact’s Paradox

During this past week’s book club, I stumbled upon a new concept that I’m calling Autodidact’s Paradox. An autodidact is someone takes initiative to learn on their own through independent study. Someone that doesn’t require formal training to learn a something new. It’s a useful trait, and I believe many of my life’s successes can be attributed to it. However, I recently realized the potential negative side to having this skill. Because an autodidact can teach themselves, they often fall into the habit of using that skill and overlook that many others already understand what they are actively trying to learn. Teaching yourself is a highly durable type of learning, but it’s far from efficient. Its durability is built through frustration, trial and error.

We often observe this phenomenon in programming. An engineer feels they should understand the problem and should be able to solve it, but that person struggles in silence for hours instead of reaching out to other engineers on their team for help. It feels good to be the person who can do it all by themselves. I’ve been that person. Don’t be that person. There are no bonus points for taking the more difficult path, other than stroking your own ego. Find others who are working through the same challenges you are, or even better, someone who is a few steps ahead of you. Develop a Scenius.

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📼 Video: Sisyphus and the Impossible Dream

This week’s video isn’t from me and is instead from Casey Neistat. Casey has been making great videos for quite some time. This one spoke to me at a deeply emotional level. I finished it and then immediately re-watched with Marshie and Charlie. If you have twelve minutes and are looking for inspiration, this is a great place to start.

🪄 Tool of the Week: Your Phone in Grayscale

This week, I’ve been trying the grayscale feature on the iPhone. The goal here is: by removing the color from your phone, you can make it less attractive at rest. Hopefully, that will make it less likely to pull you in. YouTube isn’t nearly as interesting in low contrast grayscale. I’ve tried this in the past, but for whatever reason, it’s never quite stuck. Erik from the Knowledge Worker’s Discord mentioned his success with this. So I’m giving it another try.

This week, I’ve been defaulting my phone into grayscale and then only switching it to color when I need to look at a picture or something that benefits from color. As soon as I’m done with that task, I immediately set it back to grayscale. I’m going to continue doing this, and I’ll report back in a few weeks with what I’ve found. Initial impressions are that it’s helpful, and I haven’t been reaching for my phone nearly as much. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

🙋 A Question for you:

What is an app that you subscribe to that feels more like a membership than a subscription? Why do you think that is? Reply to this email and let me know.

Have a great week!
Brandon Boswell

Looking to improve your focus & creativity?

Brandon Boswell

Subscribe to 🔎 Finding Focus, an email newsletter, where I share with you my reflections from the past week to give you one thought, tip and tool to improve your focus and creativity.

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