Dean's Notes (Dec 2021)

Mastery, perfect job, best calendar app, and more

Time flies. We're less than 30 days away from saying goodbye to 2021.

It also means that this email is the last newsletter of the year.

I've spent most of November relocating to a new home. It's a great reset that allows me to rethink and redesign my environment to create the habits, routines, and rituals that help me grow.

What are some of your best environment hacks? Love to hear what has worked for you.

December is going to be a month of annual review for me. Always surprise when going through what went well—and wrong—this year. I'm also excited to draft new plans for 2022 (stay tuned for some big changes to this newsletter).

Now, let's dive into this month's newsletter.

Book of the month

👨🏻‍🎨  Mastery by Robert Greene. An in-depth book on how to attain mastery in any craft or field. A must-read for creators and artists.

Summary in 100 words or less: You must see attaining mastery as something necessary and positive and start learning who you really are. Then, find a niche that you love deeply and can dominate. As you gain skill and confidence, make the move to a more active mode of experimentation. Adopt Resistance Practice—go in the opposite direction of all of your natural tendencies when it comes to practice to maximize learning. Lastly, blend the two—discipline and a childlike spirit—together to use your knowledge and skills in new and original ways.

A couple of notes

👶🏻  A lesson from raising 2 CEOs and a doctor Most of us were taught to focus on ourselves when we were young. Where we want to go to college, vacations we want to take, things we want to buy. We ended up chasing money and possessions. Not service, not purpose. The alternative: teach kids to care.

💼  Companies can't stop overworking...and it's not just bad for the employee but for everyone. A study found that the more we work, the more output we produce—only for the first 49 hours. Starting at hour 50, while we still produce more the more we work, but the output shrink. Personally, I think 49 hours are still too much. It should be somewhere around 20-30 hours, especially when you're doing creative and knowledge work.

🤷‍♂️  Does the perfect job exist? A job is a container for many things we hold dear in our lives: financial security, identity, status, flexibility, meaning, learning, socialization, and more. If you don't like your job, dig deeper to figure out what's missing and what you want to get out from it. It gives you better clarity of what and how to change and helps establish a better expectation if you're looking for a new job.

More interesting notes

🌎  The best inventions of 2021. While 2021 is a strange (and not entirely great) year for many people, there are exciting things happening everywhere. For example, here are the top 100 innovations that make our lives easier and change how we live

🗓  Cron: It's about time. I've been looking for a calendar app with a reliable scheduling feature for a long time but there aren't many of them (close to none). I finally found Cron. It's one of the best calendar apps I've used so far. Another good alternative is Hera.

P.S. I've reached out to Cron's founder to get an exclusive invitation to 100 people who are interested to try it out. Fill up this form to get early access.

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Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering