3 Minute Monday
“The most important question to ask is what pain do you want in your life?
What are you willing to struggle for?
Anything worthwhile is going to require some degree of pain and struggle.
So if you’re oriented toward the pain and struggle you’re probably going to be more aligned with what you’re capable of accomplishing rather then if you just orient toward the pleasures.” — Mark Manson
What pains can you deal with more easily than everyone else?
This is a more realistic version of “find what feels like play to you but looks like work to everyone else”.
Because any pursuit, even the most existentially aligned, will regularly feel like work.
I adore running the podcast.
But I don’t want to do 6 episode edits in a weekend just so I can have a week to myself over Christmas.
I don’t want to have to pack an entire recording studio with me to go to Guatemala so I don’t end up missing publish dates.
I don’t even ALWAYS want to read another book after going through 4 in a week.
But these are pains I’m prepared to have in my life.
I’m willing to struggle through them.
Any pursuit you love can become a labour.
If you want to keep the things you love as exclusively a pleasurable activity then that’s totally fine, but you can’t commit to Turning Pro with them.
As soon as you commit to give it your all, you also open the door to pain and struggle.
Let’s say you love pickleball and you’re good at it, maybe you’re an ex-tennis player from your youth.
You can rock up on a Saturday afternoon with your mates and play and have a fantastic time with ease.
Want to miss a weekend? Want to stop to start doing interpretive dance or have a baby? No worries.
Straight love, no labour.
However, if you want to become the best pro pickleball player you can be, all that is off the table.
Pickleball no longer folds around your life, your life folds around pickleball.
Early morning training sessions, conditioning, watching game tape, technique sessions, uncertainty about your income, travelling to tournaments – that is your pain.
It’s a different pain to the author who is having to write proposals and meet with agents and get rejected by publishers and spend months doing research to release a book.
Or the father who has to get up throughout the night and read books about parenting and get stuck in traffic on the way to football practise in order to be an amazing father.
But make no mistake, if you want to become great at whatever you want to do, you will go through pain and struggle.
So what pain and struggle do you want in your life?
I do a podcast which has had 140 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Richard Shotton – one of the best behavioural scientists on the planet and a MW OG returns to talk psychological biases, mental models, advertising and more. Don’t miss this one.
Alex DatePsych – why is no one having any sex? Is it true that incelpdom is all about looks? Have dating apps been a net negative or a net positive? What does the data say about women’s dating standards and challenges?
Not sure yet, maybe Richard Wrangham on The Goodness Paradox.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Men’s penises are getting longer.
While testosterone and sperm counts are declining, average penis lengths have increased by around 25% over the last 3 decades.
“We looked at flaccid, stretched and erect length and created one large database of measurements.
What we found was quite different from trends in other areas of male fertility and health.
Erect penile length is getting longer, from an average of 4.8 inches to 6 inches, over the past 29 years.”
This study from Stanford showed it’s a trend happening around the world.
The increase may be another indicator that environmental exposures — such as environmental pollutants or increasing sedentary lifestyles — are causing reproductive-related changes.
“Any overall change in development is concerning, because our reproductive system is one of the most important pieces of human biology. If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies.
We should try to confirm these findings and if confirmed, we must determine the cause of these changes.”
h/t Andrew Huberman
Birthrates are still terrifying.
70% of countries worldwide are below the birthrate tipping point
Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the highest, has their birthrate dropping by 1 child per mother every 15 years.
“Do not attribute to group conspiracy, that which can be explained by cancellation anxiety.”
From the outside, it might look like everyone is coordinating to push some ideology or movement.
From the inside, everyone is terrified of losing their job if they don’t adhere to the new ideological stance.
Birthday Discounts from MyProtein and Craftd London.
It’s my birthday this week!
So I asked some partners to do special discounts for you. Consider it a reverse birthday present.
If you follow the links below, for 48 hours you can get:
30% auto applying discount on selected products AND an extra 10% off MyProtein worldwide with code: MODERNWISDOM
20% discount on everything from Craftd London Worldwide with code: MW20
Discount ends 7am UK/1am ET Wednesday.
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Skrillex has a new album out and it’s great.