Maria Popova shares, after ten years of running Brain Pickings, shares ten “core beliefs, written largely as notes to myself that may or may not be useful to others” to which she has returned repeatedly:
- Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
- Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
- Be generous.
- Build pockets of stillness into your life.
- When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
- Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
- “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”
- Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
- Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.
- Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively.
For each, Popova provides a fuller description, with links to other pieces at Brain Pickings that dive in deeper. But, as she notes (echoing J.S. Mill), it’s not enough just to read these—they’re “refined and enriched in the act of living”.