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🧠 Tiny Thoughts #13: There are no adults, judging others, etc

🧠 Tiny Thoughts #13: There are no adults, judging others, etc
By Jamie Sutton • Issue #13 • View online
Hello. I’m still alive.
Hockey returns today 😍
Here’s what I’ve thought about this past week:

💭 On my mind
  • 👶 There are no adults. A recurring theme in much of the reading I’ve done on happiness and managing emotions is that a significant portion of your behavior today is likely influenced by events that happened to you over a decade ago. The scripts you learned to follow when you were younger don’t disappear on their own. If you learned not to speak your mind around a grumpy sibling in an effort to avoid confrontation, that could still be influencing your behavior today. We may be older, wiser, and stronger now, but there’s still an inner child capable of influencing our behavior, within each of us.
  • 🧐 Sample size and judging others. Social media is largely a tool used to broadcast your life’s highlight reel to the world. The downside is that we now use other people’s highlight reels as a reference point to compare with our mundane day-to-day life. A couple quotes I like on this topic: (1) We grow timid when we allow ourselves to be overexposed to the respectable sides of others and (2) We wouldn’t be able to develop crushes if we weren’t so good at allowing a few details about someone to suggest the whole of them.
  • 💐 Consciously designing your environment. With travel off the table for the foreseeable future, the idea of better designing my environment has been on my mind a lot. I’m being careful with wording here: “environment” and not “workspace”, because I feel the latter presumes the goal is productivity. The better goal, to me, is optimizing for mood. Scattering physical books all over the place is an easy win. Books represent the potential for knowledge and put me in a curious mood.
  • 👩‍🤝‍🧑🏻 Will you lean-in, or lean-out? From a Ryan Holiday post: A few years ago I was exploring a book project with Lance Armstrong and he showed me some of the texts people had sent him when his world came crashing down. “Some people lean in when their friends take heat,” he said, “some people lean away.” I decided I wanted to be a lean-in type, even if I didn’t always agree, even if it was their fault. 
  • 💰 When should you trade your time for money? The answer isn’t “never”, it’s: (1) When you are just getting started, (2) When you are learning a new skill, (3) To save money to launch your next venture, (4) To build relationships and find mentors, and (5) When the work is rewarding and meaningful in its own right. Short, enjoyable article with more reasoning can be found here, by the founder of CovertKit.
📚 Books of the week
Finished: The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain De Botton. Last week I said the School of Life YouTube channel was better than their books. Naturally, I then read ‘the’ School of Life book. It turns out the videos use parts of this book word-for-word as a script. And the this book is great.
There are no answers prescribed in this book, only musings about the nature of our emotions, where they may come from, and what our best course of action may be, with emphasis on the ‘may’. The result is a light, enjoyable walk through the human mind. There are no action steps, but I did find certain parts of this book had a calming effect on certain anxieties. Things just click.
Here’s an example, about what may make a person interesting:
The interesting person isn’t someone to whom obviously and out weirdly interesting things have happened, someone who has traveled the world, met important dignitaries or been present at critical geo political events. Nor is it someone who speaks in learned terms about the great themes of culture, history, or science. They are someone who has grown into an attentive, self-aware listener and a reliable correspondent of their own mind and heart, and who can thereby give us faithful accounts of the pathos, drama, and strangeness of being them.
The gift of being interesting is neither exclusive nor reliant on exceptional talent; it requires only honesty and focus. The person we call interesting is in essence someone alive to what we all want from social intercourse: an uncensored glimpse of what life looks like through the eyes of another person and reassurance that we are not entirely alone with all that feels most bewildering, peculiar, and frightening in us.
👋 See you next Tuesday!
Thanks for reading. Here’s another quote from The School of Life:
We should begin to understand that an average stranger is always far more likely to be as we know we are—with all our quirks, fragilities, compulsions, and surprising aspects—than they are to resemble the apparently “normal” person their exterior implies.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jamie Sutton

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

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