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Cultivating Shoshin

On intellectual hubris, fostering callous mindedness and unscripted conversations

Hi folks!

The past week has me beholden. I really appreciate all the people who reached out to me with their feedback and recommendations for the blog lately. Nothing better than connecting with like minded nerds.

I take vanity in being a voracious reader of non-fiction especially self-help books. Without being esoteric, I had my love-hate relationship with self-help for a long while only to come down to it back again for things that really inspire me.

Motivation is shit until you find that one thing that pushes you like fire. Here are some things that inspire me.


If you are wondering what 'Soshin' implies here you go:

The Japanese Zen term shoshin translates as ‘beginner’s mind’ and refers to a paradox: the more you know about a subject, the more likely you are to close your mind to further learning.

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.

It’s easy for the mind to become closed to new ideas. Cultivating a beginner’s mind helps us rediscover the joy of learning. Seeking to master new skills, finding wonder in small things and learning & unlearning each day, isn't it what life is all about?!


1. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins (Audio Book)

This book is the epitome of "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps".

The words of David Goggins resonate with me on a level that I cannot quite describe.

He transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes.

Certainly the most motivating book I have ever read in years.

Why audiobook?

It is part audiobook and part podcast. In between chapters, Goggins actually gives new insight and commentaries on his extraordinary life.

When you think that you are done, you're only 40% in to what your body's capable of doing. That's just the limits that we put on ourselves.

If you think you don't have 13 hours to listen to the book, then take a small dose from his podcast with Joe Rogan. Equally stimulating!


2. A Yearning to Wrinkle by Charlie Pendergast (Poetry)

Although we are living in much better times after numerous waves of the pandemic, this poem makes me nostalgic about all the struggles we have gone through together.

Published in 2020 reminiscing on the times when we were scooped up in our homes.

My shirt now takes longer to wrinkle,

and feels a longing to be stained over moments of wine,

hopes in vain for a nearby face to share

in the explosion of a laugh, and listens in despair to overhear a conversation not meant for it.

It’s desperate for an airing in a din,

and then a satisfying drive home, anticipating a change

into something more comfortable,

and a reason to be sent off for its routine cleansing and renewal.


If you are a rapacious reader you must know about this book called 'Sapiens'. One of the most mind-bending books I read in 2019. In this podcast Yuval talks about how this book came into being, his thoughts on money (super interesting), power of detachment and more.


The Universe in Verse was born in 2017 as a charitable celebration of the wonder of reality through stories of science winged with poetry by the only one- Maria Popova.

This season will depict stories about epoch-making events, discoveries, and unsung heroes from the history of science each illustrated in poetry’s lovely abstract language, with an animated poem.

The first issue of the nine installments has been released and it is about FLOWERS :)

How flowers gave rise to life on Earth and made possible the human consciousness that came to see a world “thronged only with Music"

(Don't forget to watch the animated video)


5. Founders Unfiltered by Aviral Bhatanagar (Podcast)

If you have heard about Aviral and his blog 'A junior VC' you must know him already but do you know about his podcast?

Founders Unfiltered is a podcast about Indian founders, how they built a company, their story and their vision. Extremely engaging podcast elucidating on the startup ecosystem in India.


Other links I found useful:

  • Great Speeches by James Clear

A list of insightful speeches that are not widely known. Each one is filled with useful ideas for life and work.

Download PDF • 832KB

On the beauty of accepting things as they are

“Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that.” ― Galway Kinnell

On how commitment can unlock a world of potential


Quotes that made me go W--A--A--O--O--W

“I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out my ears, my eyes, my noseholes — everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”


Songs that I'm listening to

Don't feel shy from sharing what inspires you. Lots of warmth and fire for you!

As always, I appreciate your feedback (suggestions, critiques, positive reinforcement) as well ideas that inspire you, reading/podcast recommendations etc.

You can write to me on or connect with me on IG at _i__cook or use the comment section!


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Tanish Arora
Tanish Arora
Feb 12, 2022

"Who's gonna carry the Boats ?" , Glad to see Goggins here . On the side note a reading recommendation from me : "The essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson", possibly best collection of essay's I have ever read ( mixture of both poetry , nature and philosophy wrapped under one roof ) .

Keep writing

A fellow nerd :-)

Bhumika Sankhla
Bhumika Sankhla
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Haha Goggins is the real inspiration for me!

Oh I have read bits and pieces about Raldo from The Marginalian but this seems like a good collective of his work. Will definitely check it out :)

Thanks Tanish! Keep reading🐶


Feb 12, 2022

To kill a mockingbird is a must read.

Bhumika Sankhla
Bhumika Sankhla
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Oh it was a fabulous read :)

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