Hello fine readers and welcome to my Happy F***ing Mondays Post – a weekly newsletter that attempts to rewrite the narrative Mondays are the shittiest day of the week. (Or at least start it off in a slightly less shit fashion.)
This week it contains 4 thoughts from me, 4 quotes from others and 3 things I’ve been reading, watching and/or listening to this week.
As always I’ve finished with one something silly to hopefully make you all smile.
Love to all X
4 x Thoughts I’ve Been Thinking:
If you want to be an expert at something it’s best never to consider yourself one. That way you’ll always be open to learning and growing.
Why we need to give ourselves real problems: If you don’t have any real problems your mind will create them. Those problems – the ones created by the mind – are the hardest to solve. Give yourself real problems that are larger than you – such as helping others and the world at large – and your mind won’t be so concerned with creating problems for itself.
Acting from a place of simply wanting to be better vs a place of feeling inadequate. There’s a big difference! In both cases you want to be better but if you’re trying to make up for something you feel you’re not, it’s much harder to actually do so.
A Better You = A Better World.
4 x Quotes I’ve been Pondering:
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton
“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work.” – Novelist Jennifer Egan
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Enlightenment is an accident – but meditation makes us accident-prone.” – American Zen Teacher Baker Roshi
3 x Things I’ve Been Listening/Reading/Watching this week:
1 – This Mark Hyman Podcast episode about How To Live In Flow-Motion. In this mini episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy Mark Hyman talks with Reverend Michael Beckwith and Dr. Andrea Pennington, about how we can connect to our highest selves. (I loved Rev. Michael Beckwith’s description of what he sees as the 4 stages of spiritual growth: ‘The first is the victim stage where everything happens to us. We are constantly looking to blame others for our lives – we cannot grow in this stage. The second stage is when we apply learned laws of the mind to the real world (we are accepting and taking responsibility for our reality by asking empowering questions). The third stage is the flow state (‘being in the zone’) – where our higher purpose acts through us. The forth stage is the being stage where we are act as one (with the wider world).’) The video version of this episode is posted below:
2 – This No Stupid Questions Podcast: Is Incompetence a Form of Dishonesty? In this episode Stephen J. Dubner and Angela Duckworth debate two questions: Question #1: Is it immoral to slack off at work when others are depending on you to do a good job? and Question #2: How valuable is it to have a personal mission statement? I found the debate on the latter particularly interesting. My notes and quotes from the show are below.
MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:
- Often people have too much emotion around failing so avoid trying in the first place (instead of simply acknowledging mistakes without emotion and then seeking to understand/correct them).
- What do competence and honesty have in common? There is a standard and there is integrity. It matters if you reach it or fall short.
- There is a psychological phenomena where if you feel you have credit, morally speaking, in one area people feel they can slack off in another. (You ordered a Diet Coke so you can order super sized fries). This accounts to both incompetence and dishonesty. You’re telling yourself it’s good enough when it’s not.
- The problem is satisfising is not a great way to look at morality. You have a standard which is good enough as opposed to continually reflecting on how you can be better
- Better is a better goal than perfect
- Perfect puts us off because we tell ourselves we can never attain that and so give up on simply being better in the first place.
On having Top level goals (a personal mission statement):
- What is it? It’s a mission statement. It’s the why behind everything you do. What is the why behind everything you do?
- It’s important to be clear about your core principles and values.
- ‘Improve human kind’ is too abstract – A good mission statement should be a specific statement about the mission.
- There’s a trade off between abstraction and specificity. Too specific and there is no flexibility.
- It can be very useful way to point your moral compass in the right direction.
- A good top level goal helps better direct and prioritise low level goals (such as your todo list – which are more specific)
- “Use psychological science to help children thrive” – Angela’s Top Level Goal
- “Everyday try to suck a little less” – Stephen’s Top Level Goal
- In psychology we distinguish between Approach Motivation vs Avoidance Motivation. One you want to get better. The other is you want to fail less.
- Trying to eliminate mistakes is more motivational than trying to be better because the latter leads you to compare yourself with others.
- Top level goals are not necessarily needed for everyone especially if you have your priorities in order. However if you’re stuck or unsure of what direction to take in life it can help.
- Trying to say what you’re all about (10 words or less) can be a very valuable exercise. Particularly useful for leaders.
- If a top line goal or mission statement is well written in can help. But too vague and it’s lost.
3 – This Intelligence Squared podcast episode: The Reckoning: Kwame Kwei-Armah and Idris Elba on the Arts and Black Lives Matter. Two leading voices from the arts, Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of the Young Vic, and Idris Elba, star of The Wire and Luther, discuss what should happen and is likely to happen in the world of culture as we move forward in the wake of the brutal killing fo George Flyod. My notes and quotes from the show are below.
MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:
- When you take away art you take away people’s voice. This becomes a pressure cooker for disaster.
- People need their voices. They need healthy ways to express their thoughts and feelings. It’s going to be an explosive time when people are allowed to express themselves again.
- When my 15 year old son asks if I can join the march despite the threat of covid I ask why. When he replies that a white knee on his neck and structural inequality are a bigger threat than covid what can I say?
- History often forgets what has comes before
- It’s up to the older generation to be both inside and outside the house. To be encouraging the noise outside the house but also listen on the inside and make the changes needed to fix this.
- We must lead by example. Don’t wait for others to put their hands up. If you know the answer then speak.
- Knowing the answer is getting on with it.
- Its easy to fixate on how bad the past was – to talk about our history. To look and marvel at how far we’ve come. But this can be self defeating for our future.
- We should always be thinking about where we are going
- Diversity of thought is so important. To have people who think completely different to you around you. To get you to think differently.
- How do we change the ratio of ethnicity in the work place? By diversity of thought.
- Art and artists. Everything is born of our imagination. Everything. Look forward with your eyes open.
- If you want to make it in this world as a black mane you have to be twice as good as a white man.
- This intention is feeding a generation.
- Telling our children to be twice as good has become a huge advantage because we have become multifaceted. We are no longer simply hustling on one front but multiple fronts.
- Our progress is coming home to roost.
- While our burden has become our strength and made us better it has come at a cost. We don’t want our children to keep growing up worrying about having to be twice as good and fight racial inequality.
- Change is coming but it isn’t going to happen over night. The mistake we’ve made is thinking the storm has passed. The storm is still here.
- The future is alive and well in our children. Look – it’s already here! They are out and fighting. They already see themselves as a joint generation. We didn’t and they do. This is progress. Stay positive and believe in the change. Get on board. It’s happening. Get on board. If you don’t you’ll end up drowning.
1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:
We were talking to my parents over video call the other day when my mother apologised for arriving a little late. She explained she had been busy baking buns. Something she’d been doing a lot of recently. #covidlife
I said, “It sounds like you’re on a bit of a roll.”
I got the usual sarcastic moan.
I continued, “It’s ok, I can see how it must be a lot of bun!”
The laughter was deafening…
Till next weeks terrible joke,
Happy Fucking Mondays Everybody!
P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!
One Bonus question for you all:
What ‘bun’ things have you been doing lately?
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