The Heart is the Bottleneck

Tiago Forte


  • Mastering the mundane tasks of everyday life seems to be a gateway to living an extraordinary
  • We live our lives looking for evidence that our stories are true. We want them to be right more than we want to be free. More than we want close and intimate relationships. If the story is “I’m not good enough,” then we’ll either try a bunch of things, all the while looking for evidence that the story is true; or we’ll try nothing, assuming it’s true. In either case, the story is confirmed.
  • When life becomes dull, restrictive, and threatening you know you’re living in a story, not reality.
  • We blame others for things that happened in the past, making our case look as plausible and sympathetic as possible. We maintain lists of all the things our parents, our ex-s, our former friends, and our ex-bosses did so, so wrong. We collect mountains of evidence supporting these judgments. But we are always innocent in our stories, victims of their inexcusable behavior.
  • “Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” You don’t stop resenting for their sake. You stop it for your own sake.
  • The best way to see what the Forum is about is to attend a 3-hour introduction. Visit this page for more information and to find local times and addresses. I especially recommend attending a “Special Evening,” a larger introduction led by a Forum Leader periodically in major cities. These sessions are facilitated by the people who actually lead the Forum, and use many of the same formats and distinctions, so you can get a sense of what it’s like.
  • Kevin Kelly defines the book nicely: “A book is a self-contained story, argument or body of knowledge that takes more than an hour to read. A book is complete in the sense that it contains its own beginning, middle, and end.”
  • There is a deeply seated human tendency, when things aren’t going how we believe they “should go,” to simply deny reality. We can make up justifications, rationalizations, and excuses effortlessly, and maintain them even when the impact on our health, happiness, and relationships becomes unbearable.
  • All these formats ultimately boil down to different combinations of text, images, and video, which can be delivered and monetized in different ways: Create a PDF and sell it directly on your website using Gumroad Start a blog on WordPress and charge for some of the articles using Memberful or Patreon Publish your work for free and take donations using Paypal Publish a course on Teachable or Thinkific and charge for access Create a profile on Clarity and charge by the minute for phone calls, using your content to market your expertise Create a paid email newsletter using Revue and distribute it via Mailchimp Set up an online forum using Discourse and charge for access
  • In 16th and 17th century Europe, it was fashionable for the wealthy and educated to keep a Wunderkammern, a “wonder chamber” or “cabinet of curiosities,” in their homes. These rooms were filled with interesting or rare artifacts – books, skeletons, jewels, shells, art, plants, minerals, taxidermy specimens, stones – from around the world. They were demonstrations of their owner’s intellect and hunger for knowledge. These collections were the precursors to modern museums, as places dedicated to the study of history, nature, and the arts.

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