Introducing: Praxis Fellows Essays
I have something special to share with you today: the first contributions of our Praxis Writing Fellows!
I recruited a few of the top Alumni Mentors from my Building a Second Brain course, and they worked hard over the last few months to take some of the most interesting ideas from that experience and turn them into writing.
The first is called Paranoid Productivity by Christina Luo. Christina makes a fascinating case for something I've always noticed but never knew how to articulate: that most people approach working and reading in a state of paranoia.
Drawing on literary scholar Eve Sedgwick and her paper on “Paranoid and Reparative Reading,” Christina examines how we use productivity to avoid negative emotions, mimic what we think others want, defend our existing beliefs, and demonstrate progress, even when those things have nothing to do with our actual goals:
The second essay is by Frank Anaya, called Inner Limits: Why You're Not Getting More Out of Journaling."
Frank has taken the more intentional, systematic approach to notetaking that I teach, and applied it to the age-old practice of journaling. This has long been one of the biggest missing pieces in my work. Journaling is probably the most widespread existing practice for capturing one's thoughts in external form, but I don't have a regular journaling practice myself and so haven't written about it.
Frank's step-by-step process includes writing, reading, recording, reviewing, summarizing, and integrating the insights that arise from journaling. It uses both paper tools and digital ones, combining the best of the old and new.
These are some of the best, most powerful ideas emerging from the Second Brain community, and we'd love to get your feedback on them.
Reply to this email with your reflections and reactions and I'll make sure they're shared with Christina and Frank.