This post first appeared on my dev blog at dinobansigan.com. It was published back in 01/28/2019. I've updated the post and moved it here as it was not really a software development or tech related post.
A few days ago I heard an ad on TV that said something like, “people say less is more, but more is REALLY MORE!” Obviously, the intent of that ad is to get you to spend more money. We live in a world where people are judged by their material possessions. The narrative being, if you have more, then you are living a better life compared to everyone else around you. That is ridiculous.
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
As Seneca points out, “We are not given a short life, but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it.” A minute is long if you know how to use it. A week is plenty of time if you don’t waste it.
I thought this was an extremely good read. If you are a fan of Stoicism, you'll find much to like here. And even if you are not a fan, there is still so much good information here. The kind that you could use right away.
Reading this has made me interested in finding out more about Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. From the quotes I've read on Seneca, he seems to be this old guy full of common-sense wisdom that he imparts in sometimes hilarious fashion. Marcus Aurelius on the other hand, was like this serious, principled and disciplined authority figure. Figures, he was only emperor of Rome at some point in time.
If you’re one of these people, opening a book might have become something to do when you haven’t got anything else going on, which is almost never. It’s as if you decided at some point, likely without conscious thought, that even though you love books, book reading is effectively the least important thing in your life – you’ll squeeze it in, if you can.
I have a feeling that a lot of it has to do with the smartphones in our pockets. At least, that's what I struggle with from time to time.
Reason #2: filtering out information takes effort.
Contrary to common sense, ignoring things is not a passive mental process.
Researchers have found that it takes energy to ignore irrelevant stimuli.
In other words, ignoring something still takes a toll on your mental stamina. Think of it this way, we wake up in the morning and our mental stamina bar is at 100% full. If you have to go through the day trying to ignore irrelevant stimuli, your mental stamina bar will probably be down to 50% by lunchtime. By the time you go home, it may be down to 10%. Then you end up just getting fast food because you can't think of anything else better to eat. And you crash down on your sofa to binge-watch Netflix, because your brain is too tired to do something else.
Great read on why being right is not enough to convince people to get on your side. You have to show kindness too. In this post, Ryan breaks down what makes online debates and discussions so toxic nowadays. And how we can hopefully fix it.
As we’ve become more polarized and more algorithmically sorted, we care a lot less about the people who think differently than us and put little effort into persuading them. That’s because persuasion is no longer the goal—it’s signaling. And with signaling, it’s vehemence that matters, not quality. The constraints of social media also reduce the space for any nuance or qualification you might be inclined to offer; 140 characters or even 240 does not leave much room for humility or kindness. And the desire for viral sharing heightens the need for aggressive, simplistic arguments.
Another reason why you should share your thoughts on your blog, instead of on social media. Use social media to point to your blog, instead of making social media your blog.
Ignore the negative people. Instead of whining and complaining, focus your time and energy on living. Focus it on actually doing or creating something. That's a far better use of your time and energy. And you'll be a better person for it.
Love this. This is similar to what Jocko Willink said in his book Discipline Equals Freedom — ignore and outperform. Love it.
Our aversion to pain and struggle in any capacity has become so ingrained in everything we do that it’s compromising our ability to learn, grow, and function as healthy and stable adults. It shocks and appalls me that companies and products that are supposed to help this issue are only making it worse.
You don’t build psychological resilience by feeling good all the time. You build psychological resilience by getting better at feeling bad.
There he goes again with his counter-intuitive logic. Except, it does make sense to me.
Lots of interesting goals or habits in this list, some I already do, the others I don't. Of particular interest to me is number 10, Plan Your Weekends.
Plan Your Weekends
We often think of planning only in terms of one’s workaday life (the scheduling of which can indeed be beneficial), whereas we feel that leisure time should be wholly spontaneous. But everyone’s life experience shows that good times typically don’t just happen; when left to chance, we end up surrendering our free time to inertia and don’t end up doing much at all. So take a page from Ernest Hemingway and intentionally plan out your weekends, always having an idea of a few fun things you’d like to do as you head into them. (If you’re married, we highly recommend doing this planning during your weekly marriage meeting.) You’ll have an easier time facing Monday, when you truly made the most of your Saturday/Sunday.
I'm going to give that a try this year. In fact I've already started yesterday. I created my first ever weekly spread on my bullet journal and planned the activities and tasks for this whole week.