Therapy, Lots of Therapy – 7 Takeaways No. 130

Two hands putting peices into a jigsaw puzzle heart.

(If you’re having difficulty viewing this in email, visit in your browser. If a link to a source below leads to you a paywall or is otherwise inaccessible, please read my note on the topic: Paywalls.)

1. “Living an unoccupied life is a recipe for disaster.”

Why We Work – Joshua Becker – (Simplify Magazine – possible paywall)

I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve always enjoyed my work. This essay dives into the importance of work, not just as a means to a paycheck, but as a contribution to society and personal growth.

And yet:

70% of Americans hate their work or are completely disengaged.

There are many opportunities for people — including the less privileged — to make so much more of their life.

Please don’t view your work as something only to be endured or avoided. Rethink the value of it—whether you are 18 or 80. Regain focus and motivation to use your passions and abilities to contribute good to a society in need of them. Utilize your strengths. Develop your talents. Study your craft. And encourage others.
Work hard. Enjoy it. And at the end of the day, we will all be better because of it.

Do this: Choose to enjoy your work and your contribution. The article has some suggestions.

2. “Therapy, lots of therapy”

Teachers in All 50 States Just Revealed How They Recover from Burnout – Charlotte Hilton Andersen – (The Healthy)

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway it: teachers are grossly underappreciated. Particularly during the pandemic, the stresses they have to deal with daily are incredible. Burnout is high.

The strategies they share for staying sane apply to all of us, in whatever stressful situations we find ourselves in. There are several expected self-care activities — reading shows up repeatedly — but there are a few off-beat ideas as well.

“I do nothing. Literally nothing. When I need to recharge, I go in my room, lay face down on my bed in silence, and just…turn my mind off,” says Emma N., a school counselor for 18 years. “My husband calls it ‘blobbing’—it sounds funny, but it works.”

Do this: Take care of yourself. Blob if you need to.

3. “Thank god for friends”

“I’m Too Tired to Keep on Living.” Why Exhaustion Isn’t Just for the Elderly – Julia Hubbel – (Walkabout Saga blog)

This relates to our current epidemic of loneliness and depression. Many people are just exhausted. It’s kinda scary.

Our friends, our connections to others, play a huge role in our wellbeing. And those are exactly what’s on the decline.

We, no matter what the age, need to ensure that our connections aren’t solely  close to our age. We need rich, lively inter-generational pals and people in our lives whose worlds we also enrich.

Do this: Make connections.

4. “Smarter people have better outcomes”

Why AI Will Save the World – Marc Andreessen – (Andreessen Horowitz blog)

This is a lengthy article, but one in which Andreessen makes a strong case for the positive aspects of AI development

Historically, every new technology that matters, from electric lighting to automobiles to radio to the Internet, has sparked a moral panic.

This point got my attention because it’s something I’ve been thinking for some time. Every new technology causes upheaval and panic, mostly because of a deep lack of understanding. And, indeed, AI is incredibly difficult to understand. (Bonus was a link to the Pessimists Archive, chronicling this very thing.)

Do this: Don’t panic.

5. “Text is everything.”

always bet on text – Graydon Hoare – (Personal blog)

An interesting perspective on communication formats. Specifically, with the rise of images and audio and video, text — what you’re reading right now — is the most flexible, most universal, and most useful format of all.

Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searched efficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. …

I can’t disagree. Even when I start with video (as I sometimes do on Ask Leo!), text remains the more important, and clearer, capture of the issues I discuss.

Do this: When in doubt, choose text.

6. “An explosion of overconfidence and misinformation”

Why You Should Have Fewer Opinions – Mark Manson – (Blog)

The title’s not wrong. I struggle with it myself. We should have fewer opinions, and the opinions we do have should be more loosely held. The reasons are simple.

Having low expertise opinions is dangerous for two reasons. First, anything you believe can be confirmed with a Google search. It doesn’t matter who you are or how crazy your belief is, you’ll find something online that tells you you’re right. Second, and more importantly, we’re now influencing each other with our misguided views.

My take is that it’s just too easy to hold “low expertise opinions”. Or, put another way, it’s more work than we’re willing to take on to properly vet our opinions. Either way, we treat our opinions as more significant than they really are.

Do this: Hold loosely.

7. “When things are too easy, they lose value.”

Friction, Baby – Ernie Smith – (Tedium)

Smith makes the case for making things more difficult to increase focus and make them more valuable. His personal example is writing, where he’s equipped an older Mac to work as a very efficient writing machine. He’s removed all the bells, whistles, and distractions of a more capable machine.

Of course the concept is much greater than just one man’s focus. Removing friction — making things perhaps too easy — has influenced all of us, often in unexpected ways.

Propaganda and lies are cheap to make, and anyone can do it.

In contrast, researching and validating the truth takes work. Guess which path we’re more likely to take?

Do this: Do the harder thing.

More random links & thoughts


New section. I’m going to slowly collect and list my sources. By that I don’t mean the articles listed above, but rather the newsletters, sites, or other sources that brought them to my attention.

This week’s mention:

David Perell‘s Friday Finds newsletter. This week it surfaced the “Text is everywhere”” takeaway. It’s one of several newsletters Perell publishes.

Sources has it’s own page, which right now has only the one entry.

What I’m Reading

In progress:


Support 7 Takeaways

As Austin Kleon says about his own newsletter: it’s free, but not cheap. Your support helps keep 7 Takeaways viable. I appreciate your consideration VERY much.

The best approach is to become a paid subscriber on Substack. This has ripple effects that go beyond your subscription, which is why I list it first.

I also have options for recurring Support (Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly options) as we as one-time support over in The Ask Leo! store.


Leave a Comment