(If you’re having difficulty viewing this in email just visit 7takeaways.com/latest in your browser. If a link to one of the sources below leads to you a paywall or is otherwise inaccessible, please read my note on the topic: Paywalls.)
A very Happy New Year! May 2022 see you happy, healthy, and flourishing throughout.
1. "You are the reason TikTok is toxic."
andydoeshealthy – Andy Miller MS, RD, LD – (TikTok)
I don’t normally grab takeaways from TikTok, but this one’s important, and not just for TikTok — I believe it applies to all social media.
You are shown more of what you consume, and consuming includes watch time, likes, dislikes, shares, or just about anything. What that means is if you’re seeing a lot of things on social that outrage you, it’s because you’ve been interacting with things that outrage you. Stop that. It acts as a signal to social media platforms that more people should see it, which is probably not what you want.
Do this: See something you don’t like? Ignore it, and do so as quickly as possible.
2. "There’s a name for that: languishing."
There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing – Adam Grant – (The New York Times)
I feel seen.
As the pandemic drags on, and the political situation shows no signs of ending, it’s been a struggle to keep a positive attitude. And yet, I can’t say it’s a full-on depression either… though I could see that happening down the road.
This essay struck a chord because it so accurately reflects what I’ve been feeling for a while. There are some suggested activities to help, but since recognizing the concept is somewhat new, there aren’t many clear solutions.
But even just giving it a name seems to help.
Do this: Take care of yourself.
3. "Nobody likes me anymore."
How To Get Out Of A Rut: 13 Ways To Stop Feeling Like A Useless Blob And Get Back To Your Creative, Motivated Self (If That Was Ever You) – Laura Belgray – (Talking Shrimp blog)
Timely, given the topic of the previous take-away. The "rut" Belgray talks about sounds so very much like languishing.
This essay provides 13 things to do about it. Not all will resonate, but perhaps some will, and perhaps some will help you move past "the rut" or move through the "languishing" and return to your more motivated self.
Do this: Check this list if you feel like you’re languishing.
4. "There is no objective experience."
A Neuroscientist Prepares for Death – David J. Linden – (The Atlantic)
And because our brains are organized to predict the near future, it presupposes that there will, in fact, be a near future. In this way, our brains are hardwired to prevent us from imagining the totality of death.
A fascinating reflection on imminent mortality from the perspective of a neuroscientist. Nothing makes the big take-aways of life more real than the hard deadline we all face.
Do this: Memento mori.
5. "As you get older, making friends no longer happens organically."
You’re not uncool. Making friends as an adult is just hard – Peter O’Dowd, Kalyani Saxena – (WBUR)
It’s ironic that at a stage in life where we’re more likely to lose existing friends to both death and other changes in life situations it’s the hardest to make new ones. And yet, while as an introvert & computer geek it pains me to say this, we are social animals in need of social connection.
Do this: The top tip from the article: "Be intentional about making friends".
6. "Getting old is like playing a game of Last Man Standing"
Age Cannot Whether – David Gerrold – (Patreon, unlocked)
This was extra timely given the recent death of Betty White. Not only was she someone everyone seemed to like, so many seemed to admire her as well. "Be like Betty" seems worth aspiring to.
Impermanence and mortality kinda suck. But hopefully they give us reason to squeeze everything we can out of the time we have remaining.
Do this: Memento mori. Again.
7. "The Greek alphabet has made it into the Style section."
A Linguistic Look at Omicron – Mary Norris – (The New Yorker)
This is a short read that answered for me the most common question of our day: "what next?" I know most will ask it wondering what will happen next, but I’m curious about what comes after omicron. And why Greek? And what happens if we run out of Greek alphabet?
Not all questions are answered, but it’s fun to read about the process. (And, no, there’s no consensus on how to pronounce "omicron".)
Do this: get ready for another Greek letter. Which, and when, is unclear, but it’s almost a certainty there’s another on the horizon.
What I’m Reading
- This is How They Tell Me the World Ends – Nicole Perlroth
- The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching – Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
As Austin Kleon says about his own newsletter: it’s free, but not cheap. Your support helps keep 7Takeaways viable. I appreciate your consideration VERY much.
- Recurring Support (Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly options)
- One-Time Support
Pick your own level of support!