Giving Yourself Permission Is The Huge Gift You Need

This Week’s BIG Idea

Back in 2010, I started a website that focused on video games. That’s where I learned everything there’s to learn about WordPress, online writing, SEO, and several other topics. Ever since I made the difficult decision that I wasn’t going to continue writing for that site, my relationship with games has been complicated. I seldom play games and when I do, I feel this sense of regret and guilt. In part, this happens because the thing that made games fun wasn’t playing them, but it was writing about them. Now I’m unable to play a game without thinking that it’s a complete waste of time. I’ve managed to successfully finish a game here and there, but I’ve done it while listening to podcasts or doing something else.

More than anything else, I wrote this article as a personal reminder that enjoying games, films, or any kind of entertainment isn’t a waste of time, as long as you enjoy it. Productivity is about spending your time mindfully and that means something different for everyone. Nowadays, the thing I value the most is learning new things which is why I often gravitate towards books, podcasts, documentaries, blog posts, and YouTube videos. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to never indulge in the simple pleasures of life, even if that’s playing games from time to time.

What I’m Working on

I’ve been thinking about essentialism a lot for the past few days. I’ve been overwhelmed with a lot of thoughts of things I’d like to be doing at some point and I have problems prioritizing them. Essentialism is the idea that you’re able to distinguish the “trivial many” from the “vital few” and you can literally apply that to every area of your life. As I said in the introduction, I’ve been struggling when it comes to entertainment and determining what role it plays in my life.

This is something that people rarely bring up in the productivity space (you don’t usually associate games and movies with productivity after all). But I think it’s important that we reflect on what’s important to us whatever that is. In my case, I’ve been thinking about the games and films that bring joy to my life. The things that resonate with me are few and far between, so why not focus on them every once in a while?

What I’m Listening to

I made some changes to the way I’m listening to podcasts. I’m going to try to consume podcasts on YouTube for a while. I think the visual nature of the platform is going to help me remember some of the topics discussed in the episodes. Something I’ve been noticing is that whenever I listen to podcasts I don’t take down notes in any way, so I tend to forget some of the discussions. Hopefully, using YouTube as my main podcast app of choice can encourage me to take down notes on a Notion page.

What I’m Reading

  • The Second Mountain by David Brooks: after hearing about this book on numerous occasions I finally decided to give it a chance. I just read the opening paragraphs, so I don’t have much to share yet. The premise of the book is that there are two mountains in life. The first one is the one we start climbing when we’re young and it’s all about getting external achievements. The second one, we often climb later in life and it’s all about pursuing joy and doing meaningful things.

What I’m Watching

I used to play a lot of video games growing up and the first blog I’ve ever launched was about gaming. Despite playing numerous games, one of my blind spots has always been the MMO World of Warcraft. Since I don’t see myself spending hundreds of hours killing orcs in Azeroth, I decided to watch Looking for Group a documentary by Blizzard Entertainment (the developer behind World of Warcraft, but also WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo). The film eloquently explains what the game meant for popular culture and what it was like playing it when it first came out.

This Week’s Quote

“Time is both free and priceless. The person you are now is a consequence of how you used your time in the past. The person you’ll become in the future is a consequence of how you use your time in the present. Spend your time wisely, gamble it intrinsically and save it diligently.”

Steven Bartlett – Happy Sexy Millionaire

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