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1. “I’m tired of people being ugly to each other.”
I’m Just So F*cking Tired – James Fell – (Blog)
Most of you know I’m generally a pretty positive guy. Most of what you see, and even most of what you don’t see, is positive.
But I’m not immune to what’s going on in the world. The last few years have been really, really hard. James Fell captures the other side of what I feel in a way I can only characterize as So. Much. This.
It’s also clear from the comments and reactions that those of us who feel this way are not alone, which is simultaneously deeply troubling, yet also reassuring. (I was one reader who asked he make this public.)
Do this: Know you’re not alone.
2. “Treat teachers like the educated professionals they are”
Teachers Are Done. No, Really – Dina Ley – (Medium)
I’m surprised we have any left at this point. The lack of respect they have to deal with seems overwhelming. I know I couldn’t put up with it. Even before the pandemic, entitled parents alone would be enough to have me running to a new career. Add everything else, and it’s untenable.
Teaching was martyrdom for the greater societal good. In some ways, teachers understood this.
It shouldn’t have been like that to begin with. Now? It’s worse.
Do this: thank a teacher. Ideally by respecting them and paying them what they’re worth.
3. “Be the Dumbest in the Room”
How to Get Lucky – Sahil Bloom – (Newsletter)
I’ve often referred to myself as exceptionally lucky. Whenever I do so, a friend will point out that I worked very hard to be this lucky. Fair enough, but I also had a running start because of many things outside of my control.
As others have put it, luck is nothing more than positioning yourself in front of opportunity and being able to recognize it when it arrives.
In this overview, Bloom outlines several things that are in your control: “20 ways to expand your luck surface area.”
I believe that much of what we come to call “luck” is actually the macro result of 1,000s of micro actions. Your daily habits put you in a position where “luck” is more likely to strike.
Do this: Position yourself in front of opportunity when you can.
4. “Be ‘friendly’ to yourself”
The reverse golden rule – Oliver Burkeman – (Blog)
Burkeman (the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals) begins by outlining his distaste for the common sentiment that we should all treat ourselves better.
“Self-compassion” sounds sanctimonious to my ears, while “self-love” is worse, evoking the kind of indulgent narcissism you can’t avoid on social media.
The concept of being friendly to yourself has a more comfortable and relatable feeling. The reverse golden rule — “Don’t treat yourself in ways you wouldn’t treat others” — is another way to make the concept more tangible and perhaps more practical.
Do this: Don’t treat yourself in ways you wouldn’t treat others, of course.
5. “Hey, Hey, Rise Up”
Pink Floyd reunite for Ukraine protest song – Mark Savage – (BBC Website)
This caught my eye mostly because I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan. The article covers the backstory, but also embeds the YouTube video. Pink Floyd members David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Guy Pratt, and Nitin Sawhney play musical accompaniment to vocals by Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band Boombox.
Facing the camera, Khlyvnyuk sang The Red Viburnum In The Meadow, a protest song written during the first world war, which has become a rallying cry in Ukraine over last six weeks.
Khlyvnyuk’s original Instagram video is also embedded and worth a watch.
Do this: support Ukraine, however you can.
6. “The struggle for certainty is an intrinsically hopeless one”
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals – Oliver Burkeman – (ebook)
One of my pet peeves, or perhaps more clearly, “pet ideas” is that we are all in a constant struggle to find black and white, right or wrong, yes and no answers to the problems we face every day. Be it a misbehaving computer, or a misbehaving politician, we want to measure things in absolutes.
As you hopefully know, life just isn’t that simple.
This quote made me realize that it’s not even about extreme absolutes, but rather about certainty. We want to know, for sure, why things happen, why they are the way they are, and what we can do to create guaranteed certain results.
As I said, life just isn’t that simple.
Do this: Get comfortable with uncertainty.
7. “Listen and learn”
Ryan Holiday’s Most Valuable Life Advice – Ryan Holiday – (YouTube)
The quote above is just from one of several items Holiday lists in this video. It happens to be the one I struggle with the most.
Cato said, “I only speak when I’m certain that what I’m about to say is not better left unsaid.” And then Zeno said, “two ears and one mouth, that we should listen a lot more than we talk.”
I’ve touched on that one before, and it’s worth repeating, if only for myself.
Do this: the video’s 11 minutes well spent.
What I’m Reading
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear
- Courage is Calling – Ryan Holiday
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
- The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature – Robert Greene
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