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Yep, I know it’s 100. Not celebrating, per se. Saving that. Stay tuned.
1. “Our truth, the real thing, is far more powerful than any story”
Why Your Brave is Someone Else’s Save: When Your Story is the One Someone Desperately Needs to Hear – Julia Hubbel – (Walkabout Saga blog)
I mention Ms. Hubbel often. One description is that she’s a nearly 70-year-old adventure travel buff. Based on the last six months, one might also say she’s an accident prone nearly 70-year-old adventure travel buff. She probably would not disagree.
What I admire, though, is she keeps telling her story, her adventures, scrapes, bumps, bruises and all. With an interesting observation:
They love us best for how we navigate the inevitable, the heartbreak, the deep anxieties and pains of life both real and imagined.
Her persistence, and good humor, serves as an example of how to live.
Do this: LIVE.
2. “Culty ‘therapy’ can help some people”
The Most Dangerous Type of Charlatan – James Fell – (Sweary History newsletter)
Fell takes on the various modern-day charlatans including Dr. Oz, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and a few more. He raises a very valid point, though: they all have success stories.
There are success stories, but also oh so much wreckage and wasted money. People who can’t afford it max out their credit cards to take expensive courses that benefit few other than those on the side of the selling.
I suspect there’s a strong relationship between those success stories and the book I’m reading: The Expectation Effect.
As the subtitle to the article makes clear, “The Most Dangerous Type of Charlatan is the one who is only half full of shit“.
Do this: Avoid the wreckage.
3. “We all are way out of the habit”
How to Have Fun Again – Wendy MacNaughton – (New York Times)
It’s true. We’re all out of the habit of having fun. And boy, oh, boy could we use some.
Fun happens when “we experience the confluence of three states: playfulness, connectedness, and flow. Fun requires being entirely present in your experience.”
Or, as the article so succinctly puts it:
Not. Social. Media.
While I’ll admit watching the latest social media dumpster fire feels entertaining, that’s more schadenfreude than actual fun.
Particularly now, it’s something that we need to be intentional about. For ourselves, for others, for mental health.
Do this: Get back in the habit.
4. “Pi is an intriguing number”
How Many Decimals of Pi Do We Really Need? – NASA/JPL Edu – (Jet Propulsion Laboratory blog)
Not as many as you think.
This was brought to my attention by This Is True, and really fascinated me. The calculations and comparisons all make sense when you think about it, but … I’d never thought about it!
Using only 3.141592653589793, and using the distance of Voyager 1 as one example:
We have a circle more than 94 billion miles (more than 150 billion kilometers) around, and our calculation of that distance would be off by no more than the width of your little finger.
Well, what a relief I don’t have to memorize more.
Do this: On one hand, this is just fun, but on the other it’s a good exercise to remind us that, particularly when it comes to the very small and the very big it’s exceptionally easy for our gut feeling to mislead us.
5. “They’re called blind spots for a reason”
Why Smart People Think They’re Stupid [The Dunning-Kruger Effect] – Mark Manson – (YouTube)
I just found this insight both interesting and troubling:
… again and again research has shown that educating people about their cognitive biases doesn’t really make them any less susceptible to cognitive biases. And that is the most frustrating thing about The Dunning-Kruger Effect, it is so hard to overcome both in others but also in ourselves.
We love (and I do mean love) to point out the D-K effect in others. And yet, even though we know we’re susceptible, we so frequently don’t see it in ourselves. Knowing isn’t enough. We really need to be willing to question ourselves.
Do this: Question what you believe. (Seems to be a theme of many of my takeaways, but that’s only because it’s so critically important.)
6. “Bigger, more systematic time wasters”
The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older – Kristin Wong – (Lifehacker, saved in Pocket)
As Wong points out, it’s not what you think. To summarize:
- Not Asking for Help
- Trying to Make Bad Relationships Work
- Dwelling on Your Mistakes and Shortcomings
- Worrying Too Much About Other People
That last one is tricky. We’re often told to not worry about what other people think, but this is different. It’s not that we shouldn’t care about some, but rather
… we also spend a lot of time fretting over problems that don’t matter in the long run.
“It doesn’t matter” is a mantra I’ve been cycling back to, often, and this is another interesting example.
Do this: Don’t waste time.
7. “It is ok to quit things”
When The Cost Is Just Too High – Steve Makofsky – (makoism blog)
Ultimately, this is a treatise on, and a reminder of, the “sunk cost fallacy”.
- We feel that quitting the investment is to admit failure.
- We hate to admit failure.
- We want to justify that original investment.
- We trick our minds into thinking things will be different.
- We are focused on the past investment rather than the current value.
I’m willing to bet that more long term mistakes have their roots in one of those thoughts than any other single cause. We hate to admit failure, for example.
Do this: Admit it. And move on.
What I’m Reading
- The Expectation Effect – David Robson
- Discipline is Destiny – Ryan Holiday
- The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution – Walter Isaacson (audio)
- Dune: House Atreides – Brian Herbert
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
- Letters from a Stoic – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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