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#75: having fun
👋 Welcome to the 75th issue of Out of Curiosity, a weekly newsletter promoting ideas to help get 1% better everyday.
My name is Reza, and every week, I go through nearly 100 pieces of content (from books and podcasts to newsletters and tweets), and bring you the best in this newsletter.
If you enjoyed this issue, let me know by hitting the ❤️ button above ⤴
In this issue:
📚 Four Thousand Weeks
📝 100 blocks a day
😌 Having fun
📚 Four Thousand Weeks
Such a foundational and well-researched read by Oliver Burkeman. I'll share all my notes and highlights on the blog over the next few weeks. For now, enjoy these three takeaways:
The more you try to manage your time with the goal of achieving a feeling of total control, and freedom from the inevitable constraints of being human, the more stressful, empty, and frustrating life gets. But the more you confront the facts of finitude instead—and work with them, rather than against them—the more productive, meaningful, and joyful life becomes.
The good procrastinator accepts the fact that she can’t get everything done, then decides as wisely as possible what tasks to focus on and what to neglect. By contrast, the bad procrastinator finds himself paralyzed precisely because he can’t bear the thought of confronting his limitations.
But it should also be becoming clear that there’s something suspect about the idea of time as a thing we “have” in the first place. As the writer David Cain points out, we never have time in the same sense that we have the cash in our wallets or the shoes on our feet. When we claim that we have time, what we really mean is that we expect it. “We assume we have three hours or three days to do something,” Cain writes, “but it never actually comes into our possession.
→ Goodreads | 273 pages
🧘♂️ 100 blocks a day
Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day. It’s always good to step back and think about how we’re using those 100 blocks we get each day.
How many of them are spent with other people, and how many are for time by yourself? How many are used to create something, and how many are used to consume something? How many of the blocks are focused on your body, how many on your mind, and how many on neither one in particular?
Reading 20 minutes a night allows you to read 15 additional books a year—is that worth two blocks? If your favorite recreation is playing video games, you’d have to consider the value you place on fun before deciding how many blocks it warrants.
→ Wait But Why | 2-min read
Every single pursuit – no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem – comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. Everything sucks some of the time. You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much ‘What are you passionate about? The question is ‘What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work? Because if you love something and want something enough – whatever it is – then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it. —Mark Manson
The way I see it, modern American society is a lot like a massive multilevel video game designed by our parents, managers, and government — all without any pre-planning, principles, or plot coordination between parties.
Optimizing for satisfaction is almost always the most meaning-making and longest-lasting option. In my book, big things are only worth committing to if the answer to the question “would you do this thing even if no one was watching?” is an immediate and unequivocal yes.
That isn’t a selfish question, by the way. Instead, it ensures sustainability. Continuing to play games that only feel rewarding when other people are watching is a trap that too many never crawl out of — resulting in so many people’s short shelf life working on important problems.
If you opt for satisfaction: realize that while the plot’s shape will likely only be revealed in retrospect, defining your game’s guiding principles might be a good place to start. In my case: “I solemnly swear I will not be boring.”
→ Mind Mud | 6-min read
😌 Having fun
I believe that things come to us when we both understand our needs and are able to act on them. There’s no point being assertive if you’re assertive about the wrong thing. And what’s the right thing? The right thing is the one that feels *fun*.
So many high-achieving people have no idea who they are and what they want. Our culture has conditioned them to always pursue the prestigious thing. Their understanding of what they personally find fulfilling is weak at best.
You have to do the thing you actually enjoy doing, not the thing you find conceptually exciting. You have to date the person you actually like, not the ideal of perfection you fetishize in your mind. And you have to have enough self-knowledge to know what you enjoy.
→ bookbear express | 3-min read
✨ One last thing…
I've been watching, listening, and meditating to this video on repeat over the past week. I saw Ash live in Toronto a couple of months ago (it was amazing!), but these 🇹🇷 Bonjuk Bay vibes are something else — enjoy!
If you enjoyed this issue, let me know by hitting the ❤️ button below ⤵️
👋 Until next week,