The Tao of Checking Your Phone 

I’m guilty of checking my phone too much. I try to be disciplined, but I still check social media at random moments. The worst app is TikTok – the algo is spooky in how it optimizes the feed to keep you on it for hours. I deleted it, but then I turn to Instagram Reels or YouTube shorts – they are worse versions of TikTok but still addictive.  

My new tactic is to get rid of all of these apps and replace them with the Kindle App. The trick is to pick a book that has short sections to read, which gives me my ‘quick fix’.  My current pick is the Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu wrote it around 400BC. I’ve got an accessible English translation by award-winning author Ursula Le Guin. It contains timeless pieces of wisdom in the spirit of doing less is doing more.  

Here are some of the quotes that stood out for me over the past few weeks: 

‘The greatest evil: wanting more. The worst luck: discontent. Greed’s the curse of life. To know enough’s enough is enough to know.’ 

‘True leaders are hardly known to their followers… When the work’s done right, with no fuss or boasting, ordinary people say: Oh, we did it.’ 

‘Need little, want less. Forget the rules. Be untroubled.’ 

‘Be broken to be whole. Twist to be straight. Be empty to be full. Wear out to be renewed. Have little to gain much. Have much and get confused.’ 

‘Nature doesn’t make long speeches. A whirlwind doesn’t last all morning. A cloudburst doesn’t last all day… if [nature] don’t go on and on, certainly people don’t need to.’ 

‘Knowing other people is intelligence, knowing yourself is wisdom. Overcoming others takes strength, overcoming yourself takes greatness. Contentment is wealth. ‘ 

‘To be comfortable in  the world, stay calm and clear.’ 

‘True goodness is like water. Water’s good for everything, it doesn’t compete.’ 

‘To give birth, to nourish, to bear and not to own, to act and not lay claim, to lead and not to rule: this is mysterious power.’ 

‘Peace: to accept must be to know what endures. In that knowledge is wisdom. Without it, ruin, disorder. To know what endures is to be openhearted, magnanimous, regal…’ 

Let me know what your Kindle pick is when you’ve ditched your social media! 


Bilal Hafeez is the CEO and Editor of Macro Hive. He spent over twenty years doing research at big banks – JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, and Nomura, where he had various “Global Head” roles and did FX, rates and cross-markets research.
(The commentary contained in the above article does not constitute an offer or a solicitation, or a recommendation to implement or liquidate an investment or to carry out any other transaction. It should not be used as a basis for any investment decision or other decision. Any investment decision should be based on appropriate professional advice specific to your needs.)

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