Brady F. Anderson

How to Live

I have a hard time putting Derek’s writing into my own words, it’s already concise and omits every needless word. But as his writing has convinced me, avoid quoting.

My Notes

Try quitting a harmless habit just to prove you are the master of yourself.

The freedom you seek may just be freedom from your own perception. You see the world through a lens, no as an objective standard. Change that lens and you change the world.

No choice is inherently the best. There is no soulmate, perfect job, or ideal place to live. Searching for the best prevents you from realizing what is and will be best. Your commitment, dedication, and actions make any choice great. Whatever you irreversibly commit to becomes the best choice.

Friends do not have to decide whether they are indeed friends. Friends are committed to each other by definition.

Being a good person means you are consistently good over your lifetime. But constantly deciding to do good things is impossible. You must have the habits that give rise to exceptional character.

Desire, and expectations generally, are a barrier to happiness

We act in pursuit of specific emotions. You think that you want an experience or ownership of a thing, but you really desire the expected emotion.

Do not indulge, ever. Treat behaviors as if they would be a habit.

Memories are best represented as stories. Great stories can be shared repeatedly. This means your best memories can be remembered through conversation and echoed back to you through others.

You remember what matters. Impart meaning onto that which you want to remember most.

Your sense of self depends on your memories. You can’t fully understand where you are and where you’re going without remembering where you came from.

“People don’t fail by choosing the wrong path – they fail by not choosing”

Comfort is an insidious goal. Comfort makes feel good short-term but makes you fragile. Without exposure to pain, every challenge feels difficult.

We suffer through pain that happens to us. We accept and overcome the pains that we choose.

Strenuous exercise puts life’s other pains into perspective.

Plans bind you to what you wanted in the past. But humans are often terrible at predicting what they want. Discard plans to reach better outcomes.

You’re happy when you get to spend your time doing something you love, having someone to love, and have something to look forward to.

Know when to leave. Let others grow beyond you.

Time delineates the extraordinary from the unexceptional. Consume media that has been around for a long time. Absorb timeless lessons.

Spend time outside in nature. Realize the happiness you find there does not depend on the activities and objects others claim begets happiness.

Rules must be unbreakable. Rules exist to eliminate decisions. That’s what makes them so useful.

When you play rather than work, you remove constraints from yourself.

Making friends in school is easy. Afterwards, you need to put in deliberate effort to make and keep friends.

Psychologists, philosophers, and religions all agree that helping others makes you happier than only helping yourself. Doing kind things for others makes us happier than being the recipient of benevolence.

Your confidence will attract others to you. Your vulnerability is what will make them stay.

Avoid all labels. You are deeper than any box others would sort you into.

Love is best understood as a verb. It’s an action you undertake, not something passive that just happens.

No one will complete you. Seeing someone else as a solution to your needs voids your own agency.

Projecting perfection onto someone else leads you to fall in love with your idea of them rather than the person themself.

Our ideas are not independent of our influences. Original people just aren’t as transparent about those influences.

Planning out your time forces you to act according to your goals. Be deliberate about scheduling the things that make you fulfilled into your time.