Back in 16th- and 17th-century Europe, it was a thing amongst wealthy and educated people to have a Wunderkammern, a “wonder chamber,” or a “cabinet of curiosities” in your house. It is a room where you place exquisite and remarkable objects to show your thirst for knowledge of the world.
Inside a Wunderkammern, you will find books, jewels, shells, art, plants, minerals, taxidermy, or other exotic artefacts. Before the museum was a thing, people shared their Wunderkammern with others.
You don’t need to be wealthy and educated to have a cabinet of curiosities these days. We already have one, whether you realised it or not. It could be a box where you keep exotic souvenirs, your bookshelves, your Instagram feed of places you’ve travelled to and friends you’ve made, or even a blog where you share your experiences in work and life. Your cabinet of curiosities shape your taste, and your taste influences your work.
You should open your cabinet of curiosities. It clues people into who you are and what you do, even more than your work. The items in your Wunderkammern are the building blocks of your work.
My Wunderkammern (Early 2021)
Books That Have Influenced Me The Most
James Clear explains how to change your habits and the importance of 1% improvements. It taught me about the importance of small changes, how overnight successes aren’t a thing and why you should focus on systems instead of goals.
This book should be mandatory reading in school. It’s a classic on how to interact with other people and influence them to your way of thinking.
Newsletters I Read Often
Every Thursday, James Clear sends three short ideas from him, two quotes from others and 1 question for you to ponder. It’s easy to read but full of valuable insights.
Your weekly dose of mindful productivity. Anne-Laure shares neuroscience-based strategies to cultivate your creativity and maximise your productivity.
These are noise-cancelling headphones for the Internet. Expect timeless insights and ideas you can use at work and home in your inbox every Sunday.
What I’m reading
My Most Valuable Purchase
My trusty e-book reader I bought last year helped me read more books. Since then, I’ve been learning more, and my mindset and world view have significantly changed from a year ago.
Apps I Can’t Live Without
An app that connects you with other professionals committed to finishing their most crucial work. You choose a time to work, and Focusmate pairs you with an accountability partner for a live, virtual coworking session.
A tool for thinking I use for writing, journaling, and learning.
A to-do list app. Everything goes here. I don’t stress out because everything I need to do is stored somewhere I can trust.
Influencers with the most significant impact in my life
Ali’s a doctor who introduced me to the whole “read more books”,, “productivity” and “habits” spiel. He taught me a lot of new things such as podcasts, GTD, Atomic Habits. He even convinced me to get a Kindle!
A filmmaker who produces fantastic videos on habits, productivity, and minimalism. Highly recommended if you want a cinematic experience in a 10-15 minute video.
One of the reasons I got through high school and college. His tips on learning and productivity became the building blocks of how I worked back then and continue to be.
Besides his books, his podcasts with world-class performers are probably the best thing you can listen to on your commute. My favourite episodes are Hugh Jackman and Derek Sivers.
One of my favourite thinkers. He often makes you say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” He was best known as the founder of CD Baby before selling it and giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.