It’s been a tough week.
In fact, I’m coming out of probably the worst, most painful, suffering-filled few days I can remember.
Nice & uplifting on a Monday I know.
But you’ve got the rest of the internet to tell you comforting platitudes, maybe you’ll learn something from this.
Without going into gory details, the opiates I got for my achilles operation last Friday can cause severe digestive discomfort.
(FYI if you ever get discharged with an extended course of Codeine, Oral Morphine or similar – make sure to discuss digestion with your doctor. Lansoprazole & Sennakot was not sufficient at all)
So for most of this week I’ve been unable to eat, sleep or recover as my stomach was in constant pain.
I’ve cancelled podcasts, not read, not meditated and not left the house.
All whilst being on crutches.
It’s been miserable.
There’s not even any associated glory in overcoming something challenging & worthwhile.
Suffering without a purpose is particularly savage.
In Nazi concentration camps the prisoners were made to carry bags of salt from one side of the camp to the other and make a huge pile.
Losing your family and friends.
The constant threat of death hanging over you.
Enduring hard manual labour in the freezing Polish winters on a meagre diet of a single cup of soup and crumbs of bread per day.
Then once the pile was finished and all the salt was moved…
the guards made them carry the bags right back to where they started.
It was a task designed to be totally void of achievement, to break their spirit, to remove any sense of purpose.
I imagine it was very effective.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel of even the most meaningless suffering.
You can use your discomfort as a learning opportunity.
You can transcend any challenge, no matter how painful, by using it as a teacher to help yourself & others overcome future adversity and expedite happiness.
Not only did whatever you go through not beat you, but you’re not going to let it beat other people either.
Your endurance can make the world wiser, more aligned, more resilient, more enlightened, more grateful.
I can’t think of many more hopeful thoughts than that.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time, suffering can be a gift.
“Scars are proof that you are stronger than whatever tried to kill you.”
This week’s upcoming episodes:
James Ball – Pulitzer Prize winning author and good friend of Edward Snowden talks about who owns the internet and how it owns us, crazy well researched.
Cosmic Skeptic – Alex returns to pose us some of the hardest thought experiments in ethics and philosophy. Mind bending stuff and very much a “play along with us” episode which I absolutely love. Have caffeine before.
Still only two episodes this week, back to 3 soon. #achilleslife #opiatelife
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
The Fall on Netflix is outrageously good.
Jamie Dornan plays a psychopath and Gillian Anderson tries to catch him.
It’s brutal, clever, nuanced, super dark and subverts a lot of the tropes you expect from a murder mystery.
There’s some very interesting conclusions to be drawn from this when considering the Deterministic Argument for free will.
Is Paul Spector culpable for his actions given his nature & nurture? Is he even the architect of them?
Go watch it.
Feeling pressure is because you’re doing something meaningful.
Pressure is derived from significance.
If you feel pressure, be grateful that your work is important.
The top 80% of girls are competing for the top 20% of guys on Tinder.
Which means the bottom 80% of guys are competing for the bottom 20% of girls.
A number of studies have highlighted that it’s becoming more and more difficult for guys to get dates and for girls to find guys they are attracted to.
Women becoming increasingly educated & wealthy is narrowing their own potential dating pool because women tend to date “up and across” in terms of status and resources – this is called hypergamy.
More wealth & education among women means there are fewer men who are wealither and better educated than them.
But the hypergamous tendancy & female attraction toward higher status men is still there.
Therefore – a growing number of women are competing for a shrinking number of men.
Uncomfortable reading all round eyh.
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just reporting facts here.
And sadly, facts don’t Karen about your feelings.
For more on this, watch this clip from my episode with Rob Henderson.
Swipe right on the Spotify App to make a Queue Playlist.
When you’re browsing songs and can’t choose between a few – just queue them all.
Swipe right on a track to quickly add it to the Play Next Queue.
Perfect if you’re in the gym or on a drive and want to make a quick playlist for the next while.
Be warned that this playlist isn’t saved anywhere, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I know it’s been an intense few weeks of newsletters. Looking forward to normality resuming soon. I’ve created a HorizontalCast setup so I can still record episodes while recovering, starting this week. Gassssssed.