Welcome to another weekly roundup, filled with three resource gems from the internet, two ideas from me, and one story lesson to pass on!
- Most Beautiful Songs According to Reddit on Spotify
A wholesome thread of song recommendations crowdsourced from the Internet, a great playlist to play in the background during light work.
Allow yourself to marvel at the wonder of the Internet when you stumble across a song that resonated powerfully with you, and know that it resonated equally powerfully with someone else.Check out the actual Reddit thread and 975 comments here for submissions, and feel the joy seeing other people endorse a submission suggestion as their favorite track as well.
- Having Realistic Expectations Could Make You Happier Than Being Over-Optimistic (22 mins)
How often have you heard the phrase: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll among the stars.”This study proves this cliched phrase is not the best advice to pursue our goals, and how realistic thinking about life outcomes tends to make you happier than if you over estimated or underestimated them.
The research pulls from a sample of 1600+ people, showing that people with realistic beliefs (AKA achievable stretch goals) scored higher on psychological wellbeing than those with too low or too high expectations.
- 12 Life Lessons from 2021Some favorite lessons from the YouTube great, Ali Abdaal. There were a few on there that really resonated with me:
2. ⛔️ Steven Bartlett’s quitting framework – Quitting isn’t for losers, it’s for winners. Knowing when to quit something is a big life skill. Here’s how it works:
3. 📈 The gap and the gain – If we want to motivate ourselves, we should look back at the gain we’ve made (’wow I’m looking way more hench compared to last year’), instead of judging ourselves by the gap between us and our ideal outcome.
- Daily Digital Detox (1 hr)
Previously, I wrote about the value of a weekly digital detox where every Sunday from 10 AM – 7 PM we committed to a digital fast with different ranges of intensity.Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a daily micro detox for an hour or so.
I’ve noticed on days when I consciously avoid digital products for an hour, I am substantially more successful at doing things I’ve been procrastinating around the house.
This is an example of tasks I was able to complete in one my sessions, that I likely would have procrastinated for several days or weeks if I had not had an hour of boredom that I wanted to fill up time with, scrunched up on the couch scrolling.
The brain is truly a fascinating and productive thing — especially when we remove distractions.
- Things that bring me joy
Instead of a gratitude journal, I’ve been listing three things that bring me joy as part of my daily morning routine.On rough days, I often couldn’t find things to write when I did gratitude journals. It’s hard to feel grateful when things are tough.
But joy, however, felt easy. Recalling things that brought me joy resurfaced easily, and in that brief period of remembering, I could literally feel it opening up my body — bringing with it a renewed outlook and brighter spring in my step.
And it also allows for more feelings of awe, fascination, wonderment and a variety of other positive emotions than just gratitude, emotions that have been proven to bring about powerful trickle down effects.
1 Story Lesson
There are a few moral stories that begin with a glass of water.
It can be the timeless, proverbial question of: is the glass half full or half empty?
Or it could be the lesson on managing priorities, and asking ourselves: is the jar full?
These are all great life lessons: learn to view things optimistically, or learn to prioritize the important things — prioritizing the rocks, pebbles and sand priorities (in that order) for your jar of life.
But perhaps one of the most compelling story lessons I’ve encountered regarding a glass and water was the question a professor asked to a classroom of students:
How heavy is a glass of water?
At first glance, it looks like a basic question of physics: the weight of the cup + the weight of the liquid contained inside.
The professor shook her head, smiling at the different answers being thrown about.
She replied: “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter.
It all depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.
In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”
Reading about this story, it brought to mind the Greek mythology of Atlas: the Titan with the burden of holding up the weight of the world for eternity.
It made me realize how heavy a price that is to pay. What an immeasurably heavy load to bear.
And at the same time, how much more compassion I feel for the weights we carry.
There are some pains and traumas we’ve carried all our lives. How heavy they must be after so long.
And so, like the professor continues:
“Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water.
Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.
Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed — incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”