How to Write Deep Dives
Part 1: Philosophy and Personal Growth
Edited by Brian Birnbaum.
Note: This is the first part of a series in which I will dissect how to write good deep dives. This knowledge would have been of great help to me ten years ago and I trust that it will be of service to many.
To write great deep dives, you must be able to detach from your ideas.
Writing deep dives online gives your ideas wings. As you write one deep dive after another, they end up creating an avatar of your brain that travels around the world 24/7 while you enjoy life. The avatar autonomously brings you new friends, partners and customers. Its effects also compound over time, giving you an edge in your area of focus, along with your network. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of writing deep dives is who you become by doing so.
From my experience, good writing stems largely from personal growth and our ability to explore and withstand the human condition. In this mysterious existence we inhabit, the only thing we really control is how we engage with our ideas. Our bodies, minds and environments are ultimately subject to untameable cosmic forces and time is the enemy, although also the source of meaning. By exploring an idea in depth, however, we can experience the time continuum perpendicularly and leave our material constraints behind–but, this requires a degree of personal mastery.
At such moments, we are free, if only for a brief period of time, from the existential burden that plagues our condition. At its purest form, the world of ideas is frictionless and has no bounds, but we can only truly inhabit it to the extent that our psyches can cope. We humans are deeply attached to our ideas because they are a reflection of our deepest essence, and exploring, dissecting and sometimes ripping them apart can be scary. It becomes petrifying if we let others do so too.
As such, the courage to expose our psyches and be vulnerable before the whole world is the foundation of an authentic, quality deep dive. For me, that courage stems from knowing that my time is limited and that, soon, everyone and everything I love will leave this world behind. The fear I experience when I face this fact makes other types of fear seem inconsequential and it paradoxically fuels me to relentlessly explore and expose my ideas, as well as to enjoy life to the fullest. Those close to me know that I am almost in a permanent state of admiration and awe for everything, with the occasional bout of existential distress.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
You can get to know the universe very well by sitting still in a room. But gaining the ability to do so is a process. Every time you get closer to the mystery of life, you will likely notice that fear is only half the equation. At the other side of every episode of fear awaits higher levels of inner peace and joy if you trust your inner GPS system, which only communicates with you in whispers. In fact, you may also notice that it is not truly you who is experiencing the fear, but rather a part of you that likes to control everything, including what others think of you and your ideas. This is known as the ego and the more in tune you get with the universe, the weaker a hold it will have over you. You will discover that your true self actually cannot wait to share his ideas.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. — Carl Jung
By gradually transcending my ego, I have been able to navigate ideas better and become more comfortable with being vulnerable in front of an increasingly larger audience. I started this process in 2017 and it has taken me the better part of 6 years to come to terms with it. Initially, I completely identified with my emotions and was attached to my ideas and what others thought of them. Now I know that neither are me, but rather are a reflection of my past self at a given point in time. Criticism of my ideas hurts me less every day, because I am increasingly detached from them.
As you transcend your ego, you will be able to increasingly operate your psyche like a dashboard, choosing which emotions to engage with and which to disregard. Every time I share a deep dive, for example, I feel fear of rejection and of being ridiculed, but I choose to consciously disregard it and tap into my greatest source of courage: my mortality. You will still feel the same emotions, but they will not have as much power over you anymore. The ego will occasionally take hold of the levers, but you will gradually develop the tools to tame it and unleash it to your benefit, instead of letting it take over you. All the tools you need are inside you.
The road to personal mastery is a long one and I am still very far from completing it. However, I can tell you that the invisible thread along the road is love. People do all sorts of things to transcend the ego, but as soon as they leave love behind things go wrong. As you go slowly beyond your ego, you will discover boundless and vast amounts of love for yourself and all things. This will propel you to become your best self and share all the good things you learn with others. Along this road, deep dives will come out of you naturally and before you realize it, your ideas will be making a dent in the universe.
“Life without love, is no life at all.” –– Leonardo da Vinci