Hello Fine Readers and welcome to my Happy Silly Mondays Newsletter!
In an attempt to rewrite the narrative that Mondays are the most depressing day, I’ve decided to compile a weekly newsletter for a happier, sillier start to the week!
Following the rule of 3, it contains 3 thoughts from me, 3 positive quotes from others and 3 things I’ve been reading, watching and/or listening to this week.
As a bonus I’ve finished with one something very silly that will hopefully make you smile.
Hope you enjoy.
3 x Thoughtful Quotes From Me:
Trees – they take what we don’t need and give us what we do. We should show them the same love and respect in return.
Make your journey about the journey itself. Not about getting somewhere.
Learning to look at everything through the eyes of your children is perhaps the greatest gift of parenthood. Everything is new and beautiful and amazing, because of course it is! We adults just forgot.
3 x Positive Quotes From Others:
- The physician and writer, Oliver Sacks, on the value of gardens:
“As a writer, I find gardens essential to the creative process; as a physician, I take my patients to gardens whenever possible. All of us have had the experience of wandering through a lush garden or a timeless desert, walking by a river or an ocean, or climbing a mountain and finding ourselves simultaneously calmed and reinvigorated, engaged in mind, refreshed in body and spirit. The importance of these physiological states on individual and community health is fundamental and wide-ranging. In forty years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical “therapy” to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens.”
- An excerpt from the poem “Youth” by Samuel Ullman, a Jewish poet:
“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living.”
- Bill Watterson, the cartoonist and creator of Calvin and Hobbes, on the difference between ambition and happiness:
“…having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another. Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
3 x Positive Things I’ve Been Listening/Reading/Watching this week:
- An insightful Ted Talk by Manoush Zomorodi on How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas:
One Quotes From The Transcript:
“The next time you go to check your phone, remember that if you don’t decide how you’re going to use the technology, the platforms will decide for you. And ask yourself: What am I really looking for? Because if it’s to check email, that’s fine — do it and be done. But if it’s to distract yourself from doing the hard work that comes with deeper thinking, take a break, stare out the window and know that by doing nothing you are actually being your most productive and creative self. It might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, but boredom truly can lead to brilliance.”
- Article: Via Negativa: Adding to Your Life By Subtracting: On how less can really mean more.
Some Key Take Aways:
“Don’t ask yourself “What am I going to do to be a better man?” or “What kind of man do I want to be?” Invert those questions and ask “What am I NOT going to do to be a better man?” and “What kind of man do I NOT want to be?”
“Eliminating obvious downsides like bad habits and debt will provide a good life; eliminating good things so you can focus on the very best will lead to a truly flourishing life.“
- Freakonimcs podcast on Reasons to be cheerful: Why we all have a built-in Negativity bias and why the Covid-19 crisis might be an opportune time to reverse this tendency.
One Great Rule Of Thumb I Took Away: It takes 4 good things to make up for 1 bad thing. (Something to think about when you’re mindlessly scrolling social media or news articles online)
1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:
I was relaying something to my wife the other day that I had been writing, and she said, “you’re turning into such a sage.”
I contemplated this before replying, “I’ve never thought of myself as a herb before?… how silly.”
I told her that she must be a rosemary and that our son, he must be a basil because that’s the silliest herb.
Happy Mondays everyone and thanks for reading! Hope this helped and be sure to exercise your silly muscle this week!
1 Bonus question for you’ll to ponder:
What kind of herb are you and why?