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Life principle of finding 'how-tos' online

2 mins
Shawn L
Builds stuff minimally
Table of Contents

I was searching for how to brew pu-er tea.

Videos after videos, I was taken down a rabbit hole of tea sets, glass kettle and other shiny tools.

And there’s a guy who said he won’t drink water without a bamboo water filter.

“Oh, this must be life changing. I should look up at it.”




30 minutes later, I snapped out of it.

I don’t need all this. A cup of tea is just hot water and tea leaves.

And there I added this line to my life principles notebook:

Looking to ‘how-to’ advice: Stop the person who says you need to buy stuff to do this. You want to know ‘why’ and ‘how’, not ‘what’.

I don’t need this

Whenever I feel the urge to search something online, I start by repeating “I don’t need this” 3 times.

I also practice this when a question pops in my head and I feel the urge to find an answer.

“Qwerty vs dvorak keyboard”

“Hidden waterfalls in Malaysia” (although I had no plans to visit anytime soon)

I didn’t need to know the answer. I’m fine with not knowing.

Meditation apps

Searching “how to meditate” will lead you to the same rabbit hole I went through.

There are apps and Instagram posts of people sitting with two thumbs touching on their knee.

I wonder how many times they opened their eyes and retake the shot.

Soon you’ll be comparing guided meditation apps rather than meditating.

The idea of meditation is to do nothing. To have nothing and be present.

You don’t even need to sit in that posture.

Waiting at a bus stop? Just focus on your breathe and notice things around.

Eating alone? Feel every inch of your taste buds react to the taste and texture.

You don’t need anything to get started.

So, how to brew pu-er?

Right, back to my findings.

  1. Use 100 degree Celsius water.
  2. Rinse the tea leaves once to clean and loosen the leaves.
  3. Steep for 5 minutes.

The amount of leaves or steep time doesn’t matter. I’d sip the tea every minute and taste the difference.

There’s always a better way to brew, but it’s not wrong. Even if I decide to chew on tea leaves, it’s not wrong. The first person who made green tea cake isn’t wrong too.