Summary of “Lessons in Stillness From One of the Quietest Places on Earth”

WHY DO WE MISTAKE silence for peace? Silence is peaceful because it reduces stimulation.
If silence is so peaceful, I wondered, why do many of us choose to live in busy, noisy cities? Ours is a poetic dilemma: We want silence, but we also want to blot it out.
We confuse silence for peace – then go a little crazy when we have it.
Silence allows troubling realities: what Philip Larkin called, in “Aubade,” his brilliant 1977 poem about predawn silence, the “Arid interrogation” with ourselves over “The dread of dying.” The truest kind of silence is the ultimate one.
We typically think of the need for silence as a way of communicating with our inner selves.
What announced themselves in the existential silence of old rocks and an old ocean were memories – of my mother, who died almost 10 years ago, and the deep sorrow of her never knowing my son, and all that he would lose by not knowing her.
Rather than my having them, they were having me, and I climbed atop a pile of beach logs – enormous spruces, some 50 feet long, piled up like matchsticks by the roaring ocean – and let the driftwood warm my feet and the silence pool in my ears.
To hear ourselves, we sometimes have to flee ourselves, diving into silence until we’re uncomfortably alone with the noise within.

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Summary of “Thank You for Your Undivided Attention”

You walk out the door-you don’t remember if you remembered to say bye or not.
You tap them twice and whisper into them as the instructor yells out instructions.
You forgot to do it yesterday because you ran out of time.
You’d better use the meeting time efficiently to do other stuff.
You spend most of the time talking shit over Google Hangouts Messenger about the other people in the room to Sean.
You are able to pass the time by passively listening to what’s going on, and being entertained.
Something about getting out of a bad relationship and working in start-ups.
Need to plan ahead, because this is just not going to work out.

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Summary of “MVP, offensive, defensive players of year, best rookies through Week 9”

Voters love players who haven’t previously been in serious award consideration and players who succeed just before the voting window closes, so I’ll be keeping that in mind as I file my selections.
Which players have been vital to their teams the way Ezekiel Elliott has been to the Cowboys? NFL Nation reporters look beyond the quarterback position to pick out each team’s MVP so far.
Bouye’s teammate in Jacksonville, Calais Campbell, is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Injuries along Hunt’s offensive line haven’t helped matters, as the starting five the Chiefs ran out to start the season had at least one player missing between Week 3 and Week 8.
Reid revealed an offense that has dazzled with its complex simplicity, the Patriots showed that they had major defensive concerns, and 16-0 quickly turned into 0-1.Comeback Player of the Year.
Given how difficult it is for defensive backs to win this award, the trophy mostly belongs to front-seven players and pass-rushers specifically.
No defensive players have stood out enough to enter the discussion, so we don’t have to worry about them in the MVP hunt.
Antonio Brown could figure on the fringes of the Offensive Player of the Year race, thanks to the fact that he leads the league by more than 130 receiving yards despite spending Week 9 on bye.

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Summary of “The Powerful Mental Benefits of a Daily Morning Run, and How to Start the Habit”

For whatever reason, at about age 27, I decided to start running.
Way more important than all that were the mental benefits that I received from running.
Running clarifies your thinking by changing your mental environmentThere have been very few times where I have gone out running and spent the rest of the day feeling mentally clouded and overwhelmed.
Running builds mental toughnessThis is probably the most Malcolm Gladwell-ish thing I’ll write, but the one trait that seems to display the most return on investment in helping people “Make it” is perseverance.
Maybe you’re not sold on running yet as a habit, and that’s fine; you can’t start a habit.
How to Form The HabitObviously, you have to get out there and run the first day, in order to make it a habit.
Put Your Clothes and Shoes by the Door the Night BeforeIf I had to pick the easiest but most effective way to get a regular morning run going, it’d be this one.
Check your email, make your to-do list - do whatever puts your mind relatively at ease, so that you can at least start out your run with a relatively calm mind.

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Summary of “I poured my blood, sweat and life savings into my restaurant. Dumbest thing I’ve ever done”

Opening a restaurant was the least sensible, dumbest thing I could do.
My stupid restaurant dream had turned into a nightmare.
Unsure of what to do, I sat alone at the bar of my unfinished, unopened restaurant and drank myself to oblivion.
Out of desperation, Dorothy invited her mother to the restaurant for dinner, where we sheepishly explained our problem.
My thoughts would get caught in a vicious feedback loop, the restaurant playlist repeating over and over in my head, garbled conversations with customers churning endlessly.
We were pulling in between $2,500 and $3,500 a night-enough to sustain the restaurant and have some profit at the end of the day.
With our financial situation stabilized and the restaurant hopping every night, Dorothy saw the potential for things to work after all-we were a team again.
Even though we were a solid restaurant, our quiet neighbourhood was a tough area to do business in.

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Summary of “Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez on Love, Beauty, and Redemption”

“‘It was just one of those things where you feel compelled to do something you wouldn’t normally do,” says Jennifer Lopez, explaining how she and retired Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez, who made their red-carpet debut as a couple last spring at the Met Gala, came to be a modern Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio-that is, if Monroe and DiMaggio had been happy, highly functional fortysomethings who had apparently done battle with their demons and emerged the victors.
Marc Anthony, had thrown out the first pitch of a New York Mets game, but the cameras captured Lopez and Rodriguez shaking hands and locking eyes.
Rodriguez tells me that Lopez is happiest at home, in pj’s, eating chocolate-chip cookies with friends.
As Lopez was becoming J.Lo, so Alex Rodriguez was becoming A-Rod.
Prominent on Rodriguez’s list of mentors is eminent investor Warren Buffett, whom Rodriguez met when Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway underwrote disability insurance for his contract with the Rangers.
Rodriguez sent Buffett a thank-you note and asked if he could come visit, thinking he’d get a quick “No.” But Buffett said yes, and Rodriguez has counted him as a friend ever since.
Days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, Lopez gave $1 million to help its victims there, and she and Rodriguez asked their contacts in Hollywood and in the business world to raise $26 million.
In mid-October, Lopez, together with Rodriguez and her ex-husband Marc Anthony, organized a benefit concert and telethon that brought in an additional $9 million in pledges for Puerto Rico’s relief efforts.

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Summary of “How Stalin Became Stalinist”

In addition to genuine insight, this guesswork sometimes involved cross-Atlantic psychoanalysis, including speculations on how Stalin was swaddled as an infant, and could reach the point of imagining his thoughts and putting them in quotation marks.
The archives-while curbing these excesses, settling old arguments over the precise number of people shot by Stalin’s secret police during the Terror, and showing definitively that it was Stalin who signed the execution orders-have not radically altered anyone’s over-all conception of what sort of person Stalin was, or what sort of regime he presided over.
“Stalin had a penis, and he used it” is about the extent of his commentary on Stalin’s romantic exploits, and neither does he have any interest in Stalin as a gangster godfather.
At one meeting, Trotsky stood up and accused Stalin of being the “Grave digger of the revolution.” Stalin grew red in the face and left, slamming the door.
During the period of collective leadership that followed Lenin’s death, one group allied with Stalin to oust Trotsky; the next allied with Stalin to oust the first group.
Kotkin proposes a series of interlocking arguments to explain the Stalinist outcome: the conspiratorial rigidity of Bolshevism; the state’s total domination of life in the absence of private property; the peculiar personality of Stalin; and the pressures of geopolitics.
In some cases, this impulse may have played a part: Kotkin describes how Lev Kamenev, Stalin’s old Pravda co-editor, and Grigory Zinoviev, who with Stalin and Kamenev had formed a ruling troika during Lenin’s final illness, were dragged out of their prison cells in 1936 for a meeting with Stalin; he urged them to confess, for old times’ sake.
The more tyrannical Stalin became, the more people had cause to doubt him, and the more likely it became that they would abandon him.

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Summary of “The Tear-Stained Confessions of Sam Smith”

“I am not Sam Smith, the gay singer,” he said at the time.
“I am Sam Smith, the singer who happens to be gay.” He gave an interview where he talked about Grindr and Tinder, the hookup apps, and how sad it was that all the possibility behind love and serendipity came down to a swiping culture, and saying this offended some in the gay community too.
Literally someone at school said, “Are you gay?” and he said, “I am!” His mother said she’d known since he was 3.
The publicist took Mr. Smith to the Stonewall, a gay bar in Sydney, for a drink one afternoon.
“I lived in a village in the middle of nowhere as an openly gay man from the age of 10 years old,” Mr. Smith said.
So I didn’t know anything about my history as a gay man and then words like ‘spokesperson’ are being thrown at me when I’ve just brought out my first album,” he said.
No, having come out as a gay singer, he realized it was now time to come out as a gay man.
The next day, the news media would pick up a statement he made about feeling as much like a woman as a man, and social media would get on him for being too casual about gender fluidity when he identifies as a gay man.

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Summary of “If You Want Peace, Go to a Graveyard”

In the case of the man in black at Green River Cemetery, my fear went away once I realized where I’d seen him before: at another cemetery, Green-Wood in Brooklyn.
I’d decide upon one of three options to get back home: past the parking lot where all the older jocks hung out in their Mustangs and pickup trucks; through a wooded area; or a shortcut through a cemetery.
My only option was to take the shortcut through the cemetery.
The lyrics of all three bands gave me comfort when I needed it: Robert Smith, like an ’80s Edgar Allan Poe; doomed Ian Curtis, crooning about how love would tear him apart from somebody; and sad old Morrissey, spending his days, like me, walking under the cemetery gates and wondering about the lives people had lived.
One of his greatest projects was creating cemeteries that any person could walk through and feel some comfort.
I’ve trespassed to see the Friends Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park, where the actor Montgomery Clift is buried, as well as Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery near Chicago, reputedly one of the most haunted places in America.
Every single one of us was there enjoying life while walking among the dead-exactly what cemetery planners two centuries ago had hoped for.
Then I go to a cemetery, and I start to feel peaceful again.

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Summary of “On tricking procrastination and getting it done”

So how do we put it into actionAs a quick recap, we have realized now that the two biggest impediments to procrastination are the complexity of the task at hand and our emotional state while trying to perform the task.
Let us say that you have been procrastinating on working out for quite some time.
Since you aren’t really focussing on working out but merely watching videos and keeping it in the background in your mind, it triggers the diffused mode and helps you think better about when to work out, what kind of workout to plan, what to focus on when working out.
Embracing the RoutineThe reason you want to not test your willpower on this is because the end goal for this activity is to turn your task that led to procrastination into a routine and eventually a habit.
Our tasks always change and we try to improvise ourselves to it, which is one of the reasons procrastination is triggered.
You may procrastinate against working out because you probably do not derive joy from it.
Another great thing about this method is that, priming is such an easy step to begin with for any task that even if you still end up procrastinating, you would have at least ended up consuming some content that is relevant to what you were procrastinating on and that is at least some progress than what you would have achieved wasting time viewing some irrelevant content.
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