Wall of Love
Ismail Benmbarek
August 14, 2023

Nonfiction books are too long

Most nonfiction books should've been 1000-word articles.

I find myself abandoning a lot of books right around the 25-30% mark.

Not because they're bad, but because I fully get the gist by that point and it's right around when the repetition of examples and ideas begins.

I'm okay with abandoning a book midway now. Just a couple years ago, I would power through the whole thing in fear of missing out on some crucial ideas in the later chapters.

Now, I just have fun with it. If it piques my interest, great – I'll buy it, read the chapters that seem interesting, get what I came for and move onto the next one.

I think a lot of these authors are just trying to meet some sort of quota. I dunno.

There's elegance in brevity.

More Reflections

Have you forgotten about the fundamentals?

I’ve learned that no amount of coaching, fancy apps, “creativity hacks & tips” etc, will make up for:

  • Subpar sleep
  • Low vitamin D3 (lack of direct sunlight exposure)
  • Lack of movement (sports, resistance training, cardio)
  • Poor diet (macro and micronutrients)
  • Nonexistent stress management

Get these right first.

They are the highest impact things you can do.

Ignoring these is like a student ignoring the fundamental concepts needed to ace an exam and instead focusing on color-coding their notes, using fancy study apps, and organizing their study space with intricate decorations.

Master the basics. Everything else falls into place.

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A note on this weird cold plunge trend

So many of these "gurus" telling us to take cold showers and cold plunges 😂 😂

If you’re tired all the time:

  • Go get your bloodwork done and see what you’re deficient in
  • Get outside. Get some damn sun
  • Sleep well
  • Use your mind to build something – It'll energize you

Stick to high-impact basics. These little micro-optimizations aren't going to change anything.

Enjoy your hot showers 🔥🚿

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The perfect home gym setup

The most space-efficient, complete, and affordable home gym setup you’ve ever seen:

  • 2 dumbbell handles + plates = Dumbbells that go from 5lbs to 120lbs (each)
  • Power tower (dips + pullups)
  • Adjustable bench (incline, flat, decline)
  • Dip belt (weighted dips and weighted pullups)
  • Compact weight tree
  • Forget the stationary bike, just go for a walk outside

Name a respectable exercise that can’t be done with the above setup.

Physique fully built on this setup.

Video of setup and physique pic

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Movement is everything

The abdominal hernia I suffered at the end of last year forced me to be quite sedentary at the beginning of this year.

The lack of movement took a massive toll. I wasn't ready.

It affected many areas of my life. Both the physical and mental were impacted.

My digestion took a hit, mental clarity was at an all-time low, and anxiety was constant.

It's a big chain of events that lead to a negative feedback loop. If you're not moving enough, you won't be tired enough to sleep deeply. That sleep deprivation leads to an anxious and cloudy mind.

The only way out is daily movement.

Luckily, I recovered, got back to walking and resistance training daily – all negative symptoms were gone within a week.

Get moving.

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