This Week’s BIG Idea
Some days I feel overwhelmed with the amount of content I have access to. Nowadays, it’s extremely easy to feel overwhelmed with things. On average, a person consumes around 34GB of data every day. Don’t get me wrong, having access to 4K copies of movies, thousands of books on every topic imaginable, or dozens of podcasts is amazing. At the same time, it’s easy for things to get out of hand quickly. The solution is to determine what’s essential and ignore everything else.
This is an idea that Greg McKeown explains at length in his book, Essentialism. For the author, people who want to make their highest contribution possible must only focus on what’s essential. Ironically, the moment you start saying “no” to things, that’s the moment you feel free and with more options than ever before. I read this book years ago and it made a big impression. As powerful as that idea was at the time, it’s easy to forget it. Also, what you get in return once you focus on what’s essential is priceless: reduced anxiety
As of late, I feel overwhelmed with YouTube videos, movies, podcast episodes, and books. Although all those things pulling me in different directions seem important, they’re not. I must learn to prioritize what matters and ignore the rest. Sometimes having access to so many things gives me anxiety because I see that watching a video leads to two or more videos on the same topic. So instead of consuming less content, I have access to more and more. This is not the kind of life I want to live from now on, so as soon as I’m done writing this newsletter, I’m deleting podcasts, videos, books, and movies.
Most of my days revolve around the same activities: exercising, reading, writing, learning, and socializing. That’s what I consider essential. Everything I do besides that isn’t essential, so if at any point, I feel overwhelmed, I know what to remove from my life. Knowing what’s essential and what isn’t is the first step toward the life that you want.
What I’m Working on
As usual, I’ve been looking for new books to summarize for the site. Since I’m usually following my interests, it’s not until I read the first couple of chapters that I can’t determine if the book’s for me or not. Most books I start reading I never get to finish. Sometimes I go back to certain books I dismissed previously, but this never happens.
I know this isn’t the perfect system, but there are several benefits to the “follow your passion” advice. Mainly, you don’t have to force yourself to read anything. You either like what you’re reading, at which point it doesn’t feel like work, or you don’t, which means you can simply stop and move on to something else. I also love that idea because sometimes I’m interested in checking out books that don’t lend themselves to summaries. So if I’m researching random topics like “constellations” or “cinema”, I can read those books and when I’m done with them, I can check out a book on business, productivity, or psychology for the site. This is one of the reasons why working on the site is sustainable and I don’t think I can burn out. If it doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it.
What I’m Listening to
Sex, Drugs, and Money Might Actually Make You Happier: I’m not subscribed to many podcasts, but whenever Mark Manson releases a new episode, I listen as soon as I can. Ever since Manson released videos and podcasts regularly, I’ve been consuming that content voraciously. This is the latest episode he’s posted on his YouTube channel, so I’m going to be watching it as soon as I’m done writing this newsletter.
What I’m Reading
No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover: No More Mr. Nice Guy discusses “Nice Guy Syndrome”, a compulsion to please others and ignore our basic needs. When “Nice Guys” constantly try to please women and don’t get what they want, they become unhappy and resentful. The book offers an alternative, you focus on yourself first, so that you can become a better partner later. The first step to doing that involves not looking for approval and accepting who you are.
What I’m Watching
The Single Most Important Parenting Strategy – Becky Kennedy: in this TED Talk, Becky Kennedy discusses the best strategy you can use to raise emotionally healthy kids, repair. The act of repair involves reconnecting with your kid after disconnection. This is a complicated way of saying that you must gain composure after snapping or losing your temper. The act of repair causes your kid to change their inner narrative, so instead of thinking “It’s all my fault. I’m so bad inside”, you bring them back to a safe place of love and compassion. I started reading Kennedy’s book “Good Inside” a couple of weeks ago, but for some reason, I stopped. This TED Talk was so illuminating that I might return to the book later.
This Week’s Quote
“The quickest way to gauge the quality of your relationships is to make a positive change. The people who are with you for the right reasons will behave the same but the people with you for the wrong reasons will quickly make themselves known.”Mark Manson
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