Rule 2: Consume thought-provoking content.   

Created with DALL-E by Open AI

Being interested makes one interesting. Consistent “inflow” of thought-provoking content keeps our minds fresh and curious.    

It doesn’t feel like I’m “working” at absorbing content, although I do that occasionally when something new and somewhat complex stimulates my curiosity and I want to informed – like around artificial intelligence or a current affairs topic – then that falls under Rule 7 – Learn Something New.  Generally, I’m looking for entertaining content that teaches and stimulates me to think outside my box.  As William Shatner says in his book “Boldly Go,” I’m never so thrilled as when the word “WOW” escapes my mouth.  It’s an almost involuntary expression of childlike delight at learning something new. 

Here are some of the ways I keep my mind fresh: 

  • Business books (I listen via Audible to fill drive time) by contemporary authors.  Gotta be careful though – with some business books, I’ve found that the introduction and chapter 1 are enough – the rest seems to have been added to make the concept salable as a book.  I found this to be the case in an ironically titled time management book!  When I find a book has lost its steam for me, I just quit it.  (Secret: Audible lets you return books that you don’t like and don’t finish, although – side note – they cut me off because although I used the policy with integrity it was inconsistent with their honesty algorithm, I guess.) 
  • Fiction!  Sometimes I read fiction that stimulates ideas that help me stay Stubbornly Young.  One, for example, is a book called Ready Player One – a lot of it takes place in what we now call the Metaverse.  Even though it is fiction, reading it has given me a lot of insights about where the metaverse is going, and encouraged conversations with others about the metaverse.  Definitely book, not the movie, on this one. 
  • Podcasts – of course, listen to Stubbornly Young!  And then do a search on anything that feeds your curiosity.  
  • Traditional media – I’m old school and subscribe to the Wall Street Journal print that I read with 2 cups of coffee every morning.  The 2nd section keeps me informed on new tech trends and business innovation.  I also listen to NPR (see below). 
  • Streaming media – I mix things up by watching YouTube videos and occasional documentaries.  In preparation for a Stubbornly Young episode #10 on Quantum Computing, I watched three YouTube videos in an attempt to get a basic understanding (listen to hear how I did!).

EDITORIALIZED NEWS DOES NOT COUNT as thought provoking content.  One might think that I violate this by reading the WSJ and listening to NPR, and yes, course both are biased… but (and we could disagree here) neither is pandering to the extreme. In my mind, they balance themselves out because I consume both.  Far right and far left media do not count as “thought provoking content” unless you are listening to one that has views different from yours.  The extremist talking heads and social media posters reinforce our own biases and that’s the opposite of thought provoking – it makes us unattractively dug-in.  See RULE 5: Be open to the merit of both sides of an issue, and listen to Stubbornly Young podcast Episode 4 featuring Stephen Hawkins of More in Common.  Please share your ideas for thought provoking content! 


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