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1. “Daily News is Bogus”
Why Daily News is Bogus – David Perell – (Monday Musing newsletter)
It’s something we all feel sometimes, even when the events of the day seem momentous, as they have lately. The perspective Perell offers is rather than paying attention to the daily winds, focus more on the longer term currents of news and information.
By obsessing over the news, you’re placing tremendous weight on ideas just because they’ve been published recently.
Is recency really the most important criteria?
Like the wind, the vast majority of news stories are impossible to ignore in the moment, but completely irrelevant once they’re gone.
Focus on the currents instead.
There are some very strong currents right now that warrant our attention.
Do this: “Attention is zero-sum.” Prioritize yours appropriately.
2. “Not all reading is created equal”
6 strategies that will make you a better reader — and person – Ryan Holiday – (ideas.ted.com)
These are six good ideas that really can help up your reading game. I’m particularly drawn to #6, getting out of a dry spell, not by forcing yourself to read something, but by choosing to re-read something that’s held your attention or inspired you in the past.
In my case, those are things like “The War of Art”, or “Steal Like an Artist”, or even “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
Do this: Have one or more fall-back books.
3. “Be kind”
This writer analyzed 100 graduation speeches — here are the 4 tips they all share – Bruce Feiler – (ideas.ted.com)
The article’s worth a quick read, but it’s not a surprising list:
- Dream Big
- Work Hard
- Make Mistakes
- Be Kind
What’s surprising, perhaps, is that so many feel we need to be reminded so often.
Do this: Think about what lessons you might share in a graduation speech.
4. “Enroll in a 401(k) plan, like, yesterday.”
A Millennial’s Guide to Finances: 5 Things to Start Before You Turn 30 – Megan Nicole O’Neal – (Success Magazine)
Even though it’s titled for the under-30 crowd, there are lessons here that apply to folks at any age.
I’ll admit, though, that the 401(k) thing mystified me. Not that you should do so, but that so many don’t seem to understand the amazing value — especially when an employer offers “free money” by matching a portion of your contributions.
Our education around finances and money is poor to begin with, but this is a good refresher with some solid steps to seriously consider.
Do this: Set up that 401(k), if it’s right for you, and perhaps share the Success article with those who might benefit.
5. “The Mpemba effect”
A Very Basic Experiment Is Stumping the World’s Best Physicists – Adam Mann – (The Atlantic)
I just found it fascinating that this even has a formal name — “Mpemba effect” — after the Tanzanian teenager who began studying the effect in the 1960s. The effect? That hot water might freeze more quickly than cold.
And after all this time, and with all our technology, we’ve learned a lot about various ways this might happen to various substances, but water remains a mystery. The jury is still out on if it happens, and if so, why and how.
“We all have this naive picture that says temperature should change monotonically,” Raz says. “You start at a high temperature, then a medium temperature, and go to a low temperature.” But for something driven out of equilibrium, “it’s not really true to say that the system has a temperature,” and “since that’s the case you can have strange shortcuts.”
It makes little sense, right? And yet. Strange shortcuts.
Do this: Consider how many “obvious” things might, in fact, not be correct, and how many “old wive’s tales” might have a basis in fact.
6. “Ideologically committed to traveling in a straight line”
The Swerve – Cory Doctorow – (Locus magazine)
An interesting analogy for climate change, and the various players in the drama. We’re on a bus heading for a cliff. We still have time before we careen over the edge.
We can swerve. There will be costs and side effects — damage, even — but most will probably survive the disaster. Unlike driving off the cliff.
Will we swerve?
Do this: Do what you can to avoid the cliff.
7. “Your later years may be your most creative”
Stop Letting Age Hold You Back – Phil Cooke – (Medium)
As I enter those “later years” I can’t say that they’re my most creative, but I’m certainly doing everything I can to remain mentally fit, active, and yes, creative.
Creative people are insatiably curious — they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. Whether through intense conversation or solitary mind-wandering, creatives look at the world around them and want to know why, and how, it is the way it is.
That’s not an age decision; that’s a mindset decision.
Another article that’s a good reminder that aging doesn’t define everything.
Do this: Make that mindset decision.
8. “Low self-esteem seems endemic to the species.”
On Acknowledging the Good in Others – Leo Notenboom – (Personal blog)
My “65 thoughts” project kicked off this week. I’m often shocked at how frequently I encounter “imposter syndrome”, and just generally low self-esteem. It really seems endemic to the human species.
I’m also surprised at how much impact a few simple kind words can have.
Do this: Be kind. Share kind words.
What I’m Reading
- No Time to Spare – Ursula K. Le Guin
- Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler
- 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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