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🧠 Tiny Thoughts 12: Budgeting, conditional happiness, etc

🧠 Tiny Thoughts 12: Budgeting, conditional happiness, etc
By Jamie Sutton • Issue #12 • View online
Hello. I’m still alive.
Linen t-shirts are underrated workout clothing.
Here’s what I’ve thought about this past week:

💭 On my mind
  • 🙃 Opting out of conditional happiness. Achieving your goals only makes room for new ones. Achievement doesn’t seem like the path to contentment. Not the answer: new toys, new people, new skills. You don’t add to reach contentment.
  • 💰 Where do you put your money? After tweaking my budget every couple of months, I’m finally happy with my minimalist approach: emergency fund, retirement, gifts, upskilling, yearly PC upgrade, and travel. Rent, food, and transportation is flexible and determined by where I’m staying. After COVID, I decided to work towards 5x'ing my emergency fund, which is also my “in case you randomly quit your job” fund.
  • 📺 Quality YouTube content. I’m still watching videos from The School of Life (their videos are better than their books). I also love watching laoshu505000 surprise people by speaking foreign languages.
  • 📙 A curriculum for self-learners. The Slate Star Codex community brainstormed about what topics are worth learning for autotdidacts (self-learners). I’ve written about autodidacts before.
  • 😨 Grandmaster chess players are the real magicians. I’ve been putting live chess matches on as background noise this month. My favorites are the ones with Russian commentators. Here’s a short clip where Hikaru Nakamura solves an extremely difficult chess puzzle… 23 moves in advance.
📚 Books of the week
Finished: Soul Without Shame by Byron Brown. I have a weird relationship with this book. There were moments where I’d nod my head in agreement, highlight the passage, and take a photo with my phone to review later. Quotes like “You are a slave to your own ideas of who you are and how you need to be” resonated deeply.
But… these moments of clarity were sandwiched between long stretches of rhetoric that read like typical self-help pseudo-science. The big idea being communicated is that your internal judge, the voice in your head that hijacks your conscience and tells you how you should act, has your soul/true being in a strait jacket.
Your internal judge has ran your show for so long that you no longer identify with you. Instead, your identify with your emotions, thoughts, images in your mind, relationships to other people, and all kinds of other things you weren’t born with. Your judge tricks you into believing your value as a person is dependent on these externalities.
I can buy into this premise. Unfortunately, I found the solutions proposed by the author too scattered to attempt to summarize. I feel better off having read this book, but I’m going to need to put more work into digesting and understanding my notes to map together a coherent message.
👋 See you next Tuesday!
Thanks for reading. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Naval Ravikant:
Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jamie Sutton

Bite-sized ideas for curious minds when I have things worth sharing.

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