Data is Everywhere — 7 Takeaways No. 74

So. Much. Data.

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1. “Everyone is more or less struggling with the same three or four problems”

The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned From You – Mark Manson – (blog)

In the 100th issue of his newsletter Manson summarizes his discovery that everyone struggles with, essentially, the same kinds of problems regardless of how different we all are.

“I’m unhappy in my relationship but don’t know if I should end it or keep trying.”
“I’m unsure of what to do for my future—I worry that I’ve been on the wrong path.”
“I struggle with anxiety/anger/depression and it’s fucking up many areas of my life.”
“I’m insecure about my money/status/appearance and wish I didn’t give a fuck.”

That this might be surprising is a reflection of how unwilling we seem to be to be vulnerable.

Do this: Be vulnerable. Share. You’ll be supporting others who struggle as well.

2. “Romanticizing your life”

Welcome to the Infraverse – Rob Walker – (Newsletter)

If the “metaverse” is all about creating a complete virtual world that we step into, what’s it’s opposite? An interesting thought exercise that Walker refers to as the “Infraverse”. The exploration of some subset of of your own world. Over the past couple of years this introspection has often been referred to as “romanticizing your life” by paying attention to it.

Experts say the romanticizing trend may have endured in part because it is a new way of exploring mindfulness — the practice of paying attention to the present moment and becoming aware of your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions in a nonjudgmental way. …

Do this: Whatever you choose to call it, pay attention.

3. “Expand your world”

Things I’d Tell My Younger Self – Jen Wilking – (Medium, via Refind)

I’ve mentioned before I’m a sucker for these types of essays. I wish I’d been a sucker for them when I was “my younger self”, but here we are.

Experience more of the world, and explore different perspectives.

Sometimes I think this single piece of advice could literally change the world. So many people live in their closed bubble, never leaving home — mentally or literally — to experience the rest of the world. Travelling if you can, reading, and now experiencing other perspectives online are such a great way to gain a better understanding of humanity, and in turn, ourselves.

It’s a short essay with several relatable items.

Do this: “Visit new places, and read good books.”

4. “The heart and soul of charisma is to be all about other folks”

How to Write Your Life as a Hero’s Journey: Reframing the Story of You – Julia Hubbel – (Blog)

This is an interview (email, I assume) Hubbel gave with a magazine writing focusing on her story as a strong woman in today’s society. It’s long, but insightful.

In response to “What are the five top things a Powerful Woman needs?” she lists:

  1. Humility.
  2. Humor.
  3. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Be willing to be publicly WRONG, publicly SORRY, and be willing to make that a learning point …
  5. Be willing to live and stay in the question.

Her list goes into more detail, but my reaction on re-reading it is that we could all be better by applying them.

Do this: Be strong.

5. “Enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose”

From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life – Arthur C. Brooks – (Next Big Idea Club, via Fast Company)

Happiness is not just up to chance.

I truly wish more people understood that. They view happiness as something that happens to them, rather than a choice, or the result of intentional choices they can make.

This book summary lays out some interesting principles for an interesting observation: about half the population over 70 gets happier, while the other half gets less happy. Recognizing what it takes to be happy can help increase your ability to be in the former group (even before 70, in my opinion).

Do this: Choose happiness.

6. “Any man who asks for greater authority does not deserve to have it.”

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad – Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson – (ebook)

Honestly, this is here for the quote alone. So much of today’s socio-political situation seems to confirm that statement in a multitude of ways.

After watching the Dune movie, I was reminded of the books written by Frank Herbert’s son Brian, and how much more readable they were than the Dune centerpiece novels. I decided to start reading them in Dune-timeline order. This first book covers the revolt against the ruling AI, which somehow seems timely as well.

Do this: Be skeptical of anyone seeking power.

7. “Data is everywhere”

Data, information and decisions – Seth Godin – (Blog)

This caught my eye:

But if you’re not going to use the data to make a decision, don’t spend the time to expose yourself to it.

Godin writes mostly for business and entrepreneurship, but this statement applies to so much more given the flood of data that is thrown at us each day. Yes, some of it we might use to make decisions in the future — who to vote for, what to do with our money, and so on — but truly the vast majority of data we choose to expose ourselves to are things we’ll never, ever use.

Do this: choose your data wisely.

What I’m Reading

In progress:


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