📕 LivingOS Issue #117 - How to Cultivate a Content Diet That Works for You

"Aim to be a chef." — Elon Musk

Hey friends, let’s start April with three special announcements:

  1. I’m very grateful for the feedback from each fellowship cohort.

  2. My friends Reza Saeedi and Nate Kadlac are brilliant writers and designers. They just released a wonderful podcast interview with Yours Truly.

  3. If you are more of a reader, consider reading my friend Alice Zhang’s feature. In this interview, I shared how my early childhood prepared me to become a coach.

Information as food

The concept of “information as food” is nothing new. You have probably heard of everyday metaphors such as food for thought, reader’s digest, and exclusive taste before.

Here are five key elements that make information delicious: 

  1. Nourishing: Good information nurtures our mind and body. 

  2. Memorable: Good information leaves an eternal mark. 

  3. Balanced: Good information enhances cognitive diversity.

  4. Organic: Good information leverages pure, organic sources.

  5. Sustainable: Good information has a long shelf-life and stays relevant for years.

Just like food, what you consume shapes who you will become. 

Cultivating a better diet

Here’s how I cultivate my content diet.

  1. Source primary information. Just as walking around farmers’ markets will help you uncover hidden gems, reading primary sources will enrich your content diet. If you don’t know where to start, consider my pecking order of information: 

    1. Academic papers/Top journals: These papers have been peer reviewed, referenced, and verified by researchers in the field. They are rigours but take a while to read, so I would pair them with Hebbia.

    2. Book footnotes/appendix: I read 2-3 books a week with varying speed. Thanks to Model Breakers, I have shifted my focus from chapters to the footnotes/appendix of books. By following the sources, I uncovered tons of primary resources and learned that nothing is original. For example, I used to think that Daniel Kahneman invented System 1 and System 2 Thinking until I stumbled upon the academic paper written by Stanovich and West in 2000.

    3. Newsletter/blogs: I read dozens of newsletters every week. My current favorites are Yanyi’s The Reading, Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Colossus, and Gibson Biddle’s Product Newsletter.

    4. Mainstream news: I rarely read the news because most articles are biased, clickbaity, or ephemeral. If I were to give any advice here, I’d recommend you to always cross-reference and fact-check the sources.

  2. Reset your diet. Just as fasting, diet reset helps cleanse our body. In the age of abundance, what not to read is just as important as what to read. 

    I used to set aggressive email filters to protect my inbox.

    After I transitioned my email client to Hey, I can simply screen out lukewarm subscriptions and make sure that every single newsletter would make my day.

    If you don’t know where to start, consider relying on curators with great taste. Many people love The Browser, but it’s not for me.

  3. Be a chef. Just as cooking will make you eat healthier, creating will make your content diet better.

    If you don’t know where to start, create something that would make your life a bit better. Chances are that someone like you may benefit from it as well.

Share LivingOS Newsletter

PS - We are upgrading this newsletter next week. If you have any feedback, please hit reply and let me know. Your support means a lot ❤️