More To That

The three foundational questions 🏛️

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read

Hey friends,

The theme of today’s newsletter will be on the topic of questions, and the importance of asking three in particular.

But before diving in, I have a question for you that I’d like to ask at the outset:

What’s a problem (or struggle) you’re experiencing that I can help resolve?

Given what you know about me and my work, I’m curious what type of problems you feel I’m capable of addressing well. Would it be something creativity-related? Money or business-related? Something to do with self-examination? Or something else entirely?

Answering this question will help me better understand what you’re struggling with, and what I may be able to offer in the future. The more specific the problem, the better, so please keep that in mind. I’m going to read every single email I receive in response to this question, so hit reply to let me know your thoughts.

All right! Now onto today’s post.

I’ve come to realize that much of my work revolves around asking questions and answering them to the best of my ability. And it turns out that there are a few overarching themes that help connect these inquiries.

So in today’s reflection, I’m going to go over three of the biggest ones with the help of an influential thinker from the Enlightenment era. So when you’re ready, let’s dive right in:

The Three Foundational Questions

A Book I’ve Been Enjoying

A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy — In 1885, Tolstoy wrote this in a letter to his assistant: "I would like to create a book in which I could tell a person about his life, and about the Good Way of Life."

Fifteen years later, this is the book that emerged.

A Calendar of Wisdom is Tolstoy’s curated compilation of quotes from great thinkers across history, all of which are spread across 366 pages. They have been thematically categorized so that each day, you’ll gain insight into a particular topic through select passages (along with Tolstoy’s personal commentary). I read a page each day before my journaling sessions, and it’s been a delightful companion to my writing practice.

An Illustrated Insight

The antidote to envy is to focus on your own work.

A Thought I’ve Been Pondering

Envy is inversely correlated with self-examination. The less you know yourself, the more you look to others to get an idea of your worth. But the more you delve into who you are, the less you seek from others, and the dissolution of envy begins.

(Repost this on Twitter)

A Brief Parting Question

Today’s parting question will be the same one I asked at the outset:

What’s a problem you’re experiencing that I can help resolve?

Like I said earlier, I’m going to read every single response. I look forward to hearing your thoughts =).

As always, hit reply to share any thoughts, to respond to the parting question, or to simply say hello. I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this email with anyone who might enjoy it. Have a great rest of your week!

-Lawrence Yeo

P.S. Thanks to Travis Tomsu for adding your support on Patreon! It means so much. If you’d like to support More To That and get access to exclusive AMAs, offline posts, and other reflections, join as a patron today.

P.P.S. If you want to learn how to write reflections like the one I shared today, check out The Examined Writer. It’s 3 hours of self-paced material, all designed to elevate your writing practice.

If you were forwarded this email, subscribe to the More To That newsletter and get the next edition in your inbox.

More To That

by Lawrence Yeo

Illustrated stories on the human condition.

Read more from More To That

Hey friends, Hello from Vancouver, where I’m visiting family until early next week. This city holds a special place in my heart because my wife and I got married here, and it’s wild that we’re now here with a child. The pages of life turn quickly, and I hope you’re taking a moment to slow down and bookmark the most special ones. Today, I wanted to share a reflection on one of life’s most important topics: happiness. In a sense, happiness is the greatest aspiration of all. It’s what makes the...

18 days ago • 3 min read

Hey friends, Of all the virtues we aspire to embody, kindness should reside near the top. If you take inventory of all the world’s problems, almost every single one can be resolved with it. With that said, there is a nuance to navigate. It turns out that there’s a species of kindness which doesn’t add to one’s well-being, but detracts from it. Instead of acting as a force for compassion, it becomes a proponent of cowardice. So in today’s post, we’re going to explore the border between the...

about 1 month ago • 2 min read

Hey friends, Before getting into today’s post, I wanted to share an observation. There’s been a recent uptick in enrollment for my writing course, The Examined Writer. I’m not sure why that is, or how exactly people have found their way to the program (I don’t have analytics set up on any of my course pages). It’s possible that students are simply spreading the word about it, which is the best outcome I could hope for. Regardless, this kind of thing is great because my work as a whole is...

about 2 months ago • 4 min read
Share this post