The Moment in Front of You — 7 Takeaways No. 93


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1. “85% of Americans are CLUELESS.”

What is it About That 85%? And How On Earth Did We Get Here? – Julia Hubbel – (Walkabout Saga blog)

Hubbel shares a series of “85% of people…” statistics that, honestly, are kind of shocking.

  • 85% of people overrated their diet’s healthfulness.
  • 85% of people lie on their resumes
  • 85% of people lie on their online profiles

Or, to quote Hubbel:

We have no clue what we eat. True that.

We have no clue what we look like. True that.

We have no clue what we can do professionally. True that.

Do this: get a clue. Smile

2. “Expectations are like the air we breathe”

The Expectation Effect – David Robson – (ebook)

I just started this book on someone’s recommendation and I’m finding it fascinating already. Of particular interest to me is the following:

People with a more positive attitude to their later years are less likely to develop hearing loss, frailty, and illness— and even Alzheimer’s disease— than people who associate aging with senility and disability.

The mind is much more powerful than we understand it. I expect (ha!) I’ll have more takeaways from this book as I progress.

Do this: Begin simply by noticing your expectations.

3. “Roughly a third of U.S. adults (31%) say they regularly get news from Facebook.”

Social Media and News Fact Sheet – (Pew Research Center)

I don’t like this characterization, and here’s why.

While I might go to Facebook (or Twitter, or other social media sites) to get my news, I get my news from sources who happen to post on those sites. Facebook is not a source of news. Washington Post, for example, is. So when I see posts from the news sources I respect — regardless of which social media channel I happen to be using at the time — it’s that ultimate source, not the aggregator, from which I’m getting my news.

I think muddying the source muddies the problem, and in turn makes getting accurate news into the hands of more people that much more difficult.

I will say that too many people in my age group are apparently getting their news from … Nextdoor? <shudder>

Do this: Pay more attention to the ultimate source of your news.

4. “The moment in front of you right now is a good one.”

3-2-1: Lucky opportunities, aging, and productivity – James Clear – (3-2-1 Newsletter)

I just found one of his items particularly perspective changing:

Whatever age you are today, your future self would love to be it.

Most people do not consider 65 to be a young age… but when you’re 75, you’d love to rewind to 65 and regain those years. Few people would describe 35 as your youth, but in your mid-50s your mid-30s will seem like the “young you.”

Today is a great opportunity, no matter your age. Looking back in a few years, today will seem like the time when you were young and full of potential or the moment when you could have started early or the turning point when you made a choice that benefited your future.

The moment in front of you right now is a good one. Make the most of it.

Do this: Make the most of it.

5. “Rewilding your attention”

A Search Tool For Serendipity – Clive Thompson – (Medium)

The premise is that social media, and in fact much of our media today, focuses our attention on a few current events and issues of the day, with the result being that it’s more difficult than ever to stumble into something interesting by accident.

Enter: search engines designed to surprise you.

The primary tool mentioned in this article is one searches the Library of Congress & Honestly, it’s pretty fascinating. (As I write this I’m listening to a random collection of 78RPM records.) There are also references to other resources.

Do this: look for and embrace serendipity.

6. “Attitude is everything.”

Maybe It’s Your Attitude – Steve Makofsky – (Makoism blog)

I think this is another platitude that we all take for granted, nod our heads wisely when we hear it, and then proceed to completely ignore as we go about our day to day. Maybe because we confuse it with “be positive”. It’s not that.

I think it’s important to understand that attitude isn’t necessarily about being positive all the time; it’s about figuring out what’s important, what’s not necessary, and where to put that energy in the moment.

Attitude will determine how you react to situations. How much energy to expend on each unique circumstance?

Our attitude is something we rarely pay attention to. I’m tempted to say it’s a component of mindfulness, except that I know that term is being over used. Nonetheless, the relationship seems to fit.

Do this: Watch (literally) your attitude.

7. “Infinitely swift is the flight of time”

Letters from a Stoic – Lucius Annaeus Seneca – (ebook)

I mentioned in a recent personal blog entry that I’m being more intentional about how I spend my time. Coincidentally, I also happened to be reading the letter “On the shortness of life” (apparently not to be confused with a longer work with the same title). What made me laugh was this quote:

Why do you torment yourself and lose weight over some problem which it is more clever to have scorned than to solve?

The reason this struck me is that a few days ago I’d written an Ask Leo! article (scheduled to publish for a couple of weeks from now) where I make the perhaps heretical point that some problems aren’t worth solving. Life’s too short. Sometimes it is indeed more “clever” to walk away. (Scorn optional.)

Do this: Choose your battles.

What I’m Reading

In progress:


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2 thoughts on “The Moment in Front of You — 7 Takeaways No. 93”

  1. Thank you Leo, I love the 7 takeaways. First time I’ve seen this (new-old subscriber).
    It reminds us that there is more to the world than just what we see on our computers (albeit using our computers to do this). Which brings me to my question. Since my husband passed a year ago, I’m finding myself immersed in TV, social media, work on my work computer…. you get the drift. Screen time has become overwhelmingly my life. I’m wondering just how bad for us this is (is it bad?) and how to set limits. Do you set limits Leo? I love gardening, walks, eating out, and I also play in various music groups, however I find all my other spare time is spent staring at a screen of some sort. I love reading books but they now come on a screen too. Computer at work, phone in my breaks, TV at night. How to balance?

    • I’m not sure I’d be so bold as to say it’s all right or all wrong. As you can imagine, I spend a TON of time in front of screens, both for my work, for the side-gigs, and for so many other things. I don’t feel it’s impacted me negatively. I still do plenty of other things as well in the real world, often facilitated in part by that screen time.

      I think this is really a per-person thing. There are those for whom a few minutes means impending disaster. Others, for whom day-long screen time is a lifeline to work, friends, and the world.

      Perhaps the most important thing of all is simply to ask the question, and reflect honestly on your answer.

      Thanks for a thought-provoker!


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