Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Brain Pickings on 'the most important things'

I enjoy the weekly email sent out by Maria Popova's Brain Pickings website. I find it a bit overwhelming (and high on the estrogens), and so sample only a few of the idea chunks it presents. I suggest you have a look. On its 9th birthday, Brain Pickings noted the "9 most important things I have learned":
1.  Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
2.  Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
3. Be generous.
4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.


  1. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Dear Deric, I've been following your blog and really appreciate your posts, as well as the ones that share your personal interests. I love reading Brain Pickings as well and I find it has a distinctive writing style, from the mind of Maria Popova. I would be interested in knowing what you mean by being high on the estrogens, as well as what would a writing style high on testosterone look like for you? I know my question might sound silly but I wish to ask, as being a woman in academia it might also help me to understand how my writing may be perceived, for better or for worse. Thank you!

  2. A very good question! I debated putting in that phrase. It is a bit cryptic, but what I am referring to is the deep empathy, sympathy, feeling tone of Popova's writing. What I would describe as higher testosterone style would be more flat, unemotional, less sympathetic, a bit more confrontational, writing.