☝️ Upwarding #53: Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, Discover your life purpose, Predicting the future, The definition of sin.

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


Most humans, regardless of culture, would agree that this landscape is attractive:

Is it in our DNA?  Maybe.  The late Denis Dutton suggested that our perception of beauty is simply a recognition of universal traits that favor survival.  The landscape above has all the following elements:

1) open spaces (so we can see approaching danger)

2) low grass (attracts wildlife)

3) interspersed with trees (for escape)

4) accessible water (to avoid dehydration)

I’d add “shelter” to this list (the home).

Read more about this idea here, or just watch the Ted talk.


Buddhists and others often cite the concept of personal dharma, often translated as “your true inner calling or purpose in life”.  I liked this simple definition by Jay Shetty:

Passion + Expertise + Usefulness = Dharma.  If you can find something you love, that you are good at, that serves the world – that’s a great place to spend your time.  Remember this especially when at a career turning point.


Instead of obsessing about weight, consider obsessing about your waist size.  It’s more predictive of longevity.  And the gains are more exciting (in my experience you can drop 7% of your waist size much easier than 7% of your weight).

Want to measure it?  Dump your scale and use this instead.  Aim for a ratio of 0.46 (for women) or 0.50 (for men).


In my opinion, anticipating the future is one of the fundamental building blocks of investment and business success.  That’s why I love this concept from Jeff Bezos.

I very frequently get the question: "What's going to change in the next 10 years?" And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: "What's not going to change in the next 10 years?" And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. ... [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection.

It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, "Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher." "I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly." Impossible.

And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.


Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (7 Jul 1907-1988)

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