Boredom, Career Levels, Yoga, Joy

Avthar's Weekly Wisdom #46 (03/15/2021)

Welcome to edition #46 of Avthar's Weekly Wisdom!

🔥 This newsletter is where I share practical wisdom about self-mastery, startups, health and happiness, all to help you live better. My guarantee is that you’ll discover one thing that can change your life every week.

Here's what I want to share with you this week:

  • A life-changing understanding of boredom

  • A framework for career progression (no matter your industry)

  • A yoga practice for tight hips

  • A quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu on why our own joy matters

🏆 On Self-Mastery — 

What is boredom?: When we think of boredom, we picture ourselves disengaged, uninterested and looking for things to do. It’s what a husband feels when he’s waiting for his wife to finish clothes shopping or what a kid playing video games feels when they’re playing on a level that’s too easy for them.

But what if boredom also manifested itself when doing things we are interested in? 

This is what I call “hidden boredom”, which appears when we are taking on challenges that are overwhelmingly difficult, leaving us over stimulated and frustrated. It’s like playing a video game on too hard a difficulty and losing all the time. After a while the challenge turns into frustration and it stops being fun. 

This concept of “hidden boredom” was inspired by the StrongFit podcast episode on boredom. Tyler and Julien discuss what boredom is, and how it relates to anxiety, depression, and how we engage in our environment. They reveal that boredom is disconnecting from your environment so much so that you don’t want to be there. And explore how boredom manifests itself in both apathy (traditional boredom) and frustration (hidden boredom).

🚀 On Career Growth —

How to think about career progression: In the tech industry, there’s much debate about what separates a “junior X” from a “senior X” and a “X leader”, where X is a job like engineer, marketer, product manager etc. The exact differences vary from company to company, but few people (especially those early in their career) have a clear idea of the differences in responsibility as you progress from an individual contributor to more senior and leadership positions. 

Enter this wonderful post by Dacheng Zhao (a Product Manager at LinkedIn) about career progression, specifically for product managers. Zhao defines different levels of complexity that people in his role can operate on, and shows how you solve problems of increasing abstraction as you move up in rank. In any role, you start off executing a piece of a plan. You then move on to coming up with a plan to execute at various levels of complexity, to eventually creating a team where you coach and lead others to develop their execution and judgement skills. 

It reminds me of Naval Ravikant’s belief that judgement is the decisive skill.

In an age of infinite leverage, judgment becomes the most important skill.

- Naval Ravikant

You move from executing and using your time and energy to create an impact, to using your thinking and your judgement to impact via leverage.

If you’re early in your career, I invite you to think about what the levels look like for your specific role and industry (perhaps even involve your boss to help you).

And if you’re more advanced in your career, I encourage you to think about what these skill levels look like for your role, and to share it with more junior folks in your organization. They will thank you for it. 

💪 On Health —

Yoga for Hips: Last week I shared Ido Portal’s squat routine and ya’ll really liked it! So I thought I’d continue with the theme of exercises for people who probably sit too much and share my favorite yoga practice for hip mobility. It’s from Fightmaster Yoga, a YouTube channel that offers high quality, free yoga practice videos for people of all levels of experience (beginner, medium, advanced) and busyness (10 - 60 minute practices).

🙏 On Happiness —

I’ll end with a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu which reminded me that the ultimate goal of my own happinessis to share it with the people around me:

‘The goal is not just to create joy for ourselves but “to be a reservoir of joy, an oasis of peace, a pool of serenity that can ripple out to all those around you” ‘

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Book of Joy

👨🏽‍💻 What I'm up to these days:

Reflection: I’m creating some empty space for myself to reflect on themes like purpose, career growth and selfless service. If anything noteworthy arises from it, I’ll be sure to share it with you, so that you can benefit from the universal insights as well.

It’s also my birthday this week, and I’m grateful for another year alive, and for this newsletter and community of readers and listeners. Producing this newsletter every week has been a growth inducing experience - it’s taught me not just about the mechanics of content, but how I can make something that helps people, and also about myself, so thank you for being part of that journey.

🙏 Thank you again for reading and for your support! I wish you a week of happiness, success and peace!

Until next week,



🐦 Keep in touch on Twitter

📈 PS. I’d love your help to make the newsletter the best it can be. Please share your feedback with me, it will only take a minute:

Give Avthar Feedback

🌊 If you found this online or someone forwarded it to you, please take a moment to join the Wisdom Wave:

Let me know which parts spoke to you by replying to this email or hitting the comment button below:

Leave a comment

🎉 If you enjoyed this letter or any of my previous letters, please do share it with friends, family and coworkers who would enjoy it too:

Share Avthar's Weekly Wisdom