3 Minute Monday
I recently wrote a post on Instagram that summarised the key lesson I’d learned in 2020.
Below is an extended version.
“Your life should be lived by design, not default.”
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It is easiest for people to just plod along down the path of least resistance of an unexamined life.
Things aren’t that good and they aren’t that bad.
They’ve forgotten their dreams and the things that excited them as a child, but they’ve also forgotten that they’ve forgotten them.
They are the subject of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.”
Blindly following your desires makes you a slave to your impulses.
A slave to the assumptions of those around you, the advertisements you’re exposed to, and the confused chemical signals of your body.
If we don’t pause and ask ourselves what we want to want, we will spend our lives focused on unhealthy aims defined for us by others and the worst parts of ourselves.
We will pass these bad assumptions about life on and reinforce these boring, desperate defaults in everyone we encounter.
To achieve freedom we must be able to think for ourselves.
If we don’t cut to the core and program our wants then our best-case scenario is to be a successful, rich, or famous slave.
If we never peer into our programming then we may end up being the cleverest rat in the room, but that’s hardly worth celebrating.
Truly the most important thing you have to do is to cultivate independent thought.
Through deliberate training that at first feels tedious, you will eventually arrive at a point where you want what you want to want.
This is the essence of a consciously designed life.
Choose to be a sailboat using life’s breeze, not a kite being buffeted by it.
Choose to do something, not be someone.
Choose to be good, not just appear good.
Reprogram these desperate, boring patterns.
Your soul and the world at large will thank you for it.
I do a podcast which has had 9 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Dr Andrew Steele explains why we age and how we can stop it as we go deep into the biology and philosophy of ageing and longevity research.
Noreena Hertz breaks down the world’s loneliness epidemic. In a time where we’ve never been so connected, more and more people are reporting feeling lonely.
Dr Jordan Shallow on how to prepare your body for a return to training after a deload period over Christmas and how he uses social media to his advantage.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Grey areas are where you go to die.
Future MW guest Richard Meadows has some great advice when purchasing:
“Buy the very best-in-class for a small set of items, but the cheapest possible version of everything else, and avoid the middle ground.“.
“The mindless accumulation of vast mountains of stuff is unforgivably dumb.
Mindful curation of meaningful possessions however, can be a great source of joy.”
Logan Paul’s new single is actually really catchy.
I can’t believe I wrote that either.
It’s called “2020”.
Spotify it and tell me I’m wrong.
Moderate cardio training will improve your HRV
Heart Rate Variability is everyone’s favourite new body metric.
Associated with living longer, lowered stress and a ton of other good things.
HRV World Expert Joel Jamieson gave me this simple heuristic for improving your HRV:
Train 4 days a week in the 120-160bpm range for 40 minutes to an hour.
Then once or twice a week in your 90%+ range.
It’s certainly something I’ll be focussing on more in 2021.
Don’t Take Your Phone To The Toilet
One of my primary goals for 2021 is to reduce my screentime.
It probably should be yours too.
As a part of this I’ve had to set a bunch of ridiculous but useful behavioural triggers around my phone.
Instead of turning a 2 minute toilet trip into a 10 minute scroll-hole, just leave it behind.
We all need to become accustomed to enjoying boredom again.
Instead of just fleeing from it with the device in our pocket at the first opportunity.
Listen to me on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Say hi on Twitter or Instagram.
You might plan on reading more books in 2021. If so, my reading list has been recently updated. Check it out here.