3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post that posts every other week…

Following a 3-2-1 approach, it contains 3 thoughts from me (that you should ignore), 2 quotes from others (that you should read), and 1 thing I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that has helped me grow.

As a bonus I’ve finished with 1 joke that’s so bad, it’s good.

Let’s begin!


3 x Thoughts:

1) Life is meaningless by design. It’s a blank canvas that you’re suppose paint meaning onto. Keep doing that and you might just create a masterpiece. 

(click to tweet)

2) An idea for reviewing goals: Everyday, review your weekly goals. Every week, review your monthly goals. Every month, review your 1 year goals. Every year, review your 5 year goals. Repeat.

(click to tweet)

3) Don’t worry about success or fame or “making it.” The moment you do, you fail to see what success really is. I find it works the same way as happiness. The more you try to chase it, the less likely you are to find it. Live by your principles first and foremost. Concentrate on being a better person and serving a greater cause. Do that and you might just find some of this stuff people call “success.” 

(click to tweet)


2 x Quotes:

When people prattle on about needing to find their “purpose,” what they really mean is that it’s no longer clear what feels important. The question of purpose is really just a question of values.”

– Mark Manson (@IAmMarkManson)

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche


1 x Thing:

This Tim Ferris podcast with Dr. Andrew Huberman – A Neurobiologist on Optimizing Sleep, Enhancing Performance, Reducing Anxiety, Increasing Testosterone, and Using the Body to Control the Mind.

If you have the time this podcast is well worth a listen. I found Huberman’s knowledge about using your vision to reduce stress to be particular insightful. There’s a good reason why looking out at a vista feels calming.

If you look straight ahead into the distance while trying to expand your vision (try to notice what’s going on in your periphery), it “releases a mechanism in the brain stem involved in vigilance and arousal… You can actually turn off the stress response by changing the way that you are viewing our environment.”

For more about this practise have a read of this article: Broaden Your Vision at Music, Mind & Movement.


1 x Joke:

Another far side comic for you all this week – I hope you enjoy!


Thanks ladies and gentlemen, I’m here all week! As always I welcome ALL thoughts on this blog. Let us know in the comments below.


PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

Mindset Mondays – 12/07/21

The Pursuit Of Unhappiness

Apparently, most of us have a default level of happiness. No matter what our station is in life, we are all slightly dissatisfied. Slightly. Life is just never quite good enough, even when it really is.

This default happiness level readjusts depending on your circumstances. Even if something significant happens to you, like winning the lottery, you soon get over it and return to that base level of slight dissatisfaction.

Luckily this works in reverse too!

If you have a divorce, for example, or end up in an accident that leaves you paralysed — studies have shown that although your life on paper becomes worse, you readjust. Shit feels awful for a while, but then get used to this new normal. You accept it — sort of — and move back to your default level of happiness.

“I can’t use my legs anymore, but I can still binge-watch NETFLIX every evening like I used to!” Or, “I don’t have a smoking hot wife anymore but, you know, there are other less attractive fish in the sea. Ones that won’t steal my stuff. I’ll settle for one of those!”

That’s the spirit!

The reason for this is simple: survival.

It’s not the best strategy to be content with life. Otherwise, we’d stop chasing after that next promotion or that bigger house. We’d stop securing a safer existence for ourselves and our family — even if we already live on a luxury yacht!

It’s for this reason that our egos keep tricking us. It tells us, if you get that next promotion, or have sex with that smoking hot chick, or save enough money for that fast car, then you’ll be happy. Then you’ll achieve the kind of bliss that everyone else on Instagram clearly has.

And so you go after those things like your life depends on it.

But what happens when you actually get those things? When your hopes are realised? Of course, you’re happy for a time. That’s for the memory bank to remind you that more is better. But then what? That’s right, you get used to it! You get accustomed to your new sports car. You get over the fact that you had mind-blowing sex with that hot chick. You get used to the fact that your new house has 8 bedrooms, 2 tennis courts, and an infinity pool.

Once you do, you’ll find yourself back in that familiar default setting of life is okay-ish. Not bad, but it could be better. “I mean, It’s not like I have the fastest sports car in the market, right? And if I’m honest, she was only an 8 out of 10. Plus, I’d quite like a bigger fucking boat!”

The obvious problem, for those canny enough to recognise this ego trick, is that it’s never enough. 

Happiness — the lasting kind at least — can’t be found through the pursuit of happiness. It’s like looking for gold at the end of the rainbow. You’ll never find it. There is no mountain high enough, no river wide enough, no luxury yacht big enough.

The other, less obvious problem, for those canny enough to see the bigger trap here, is your default setting has been adjusted to this more manageable level of existence. And this, I’m afraid to say, makes you weaker. It makes you softer because your default level of happiness is set against this higher standard of living. As a result, minor things start to bother you a lot more. You say, “Unless that waiter brings me the finest quality champagne, I’m gonna lose my shit!” Suddenly it becomes much harder to maintain that baseline of moderate happiness (or unhappiness as the case may be).

In gaining the world, you start to hate it.

As a pilot, I have the added perk of traveling in business class at a fraction of the price that most people pay, provided spare seats are going on a given flight. Is it a great thing? I enjoy business class, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think about it much anymore. That’s because I’m used to it. Instead, I find myself thinking about how great first class looks. I think, “If only my company would let me fly in first. Of course, business class isn’t bad, but, you know, it could be better.”

There I am, back to that default setting. (Spoilt brat, I know…)

But here’s the real kicker. When business is full and the only seats going are in economy class, well, then woe is fucking me! (Please don’t fuck me woe, not again!) What is normal and ok-ish for the vast majority of people has become a kind of hell because of my privilege. My privilege has made me weaker. It’s like that saying, once you go… (You know what? I’m not going to finish that sentence.)

This is the paradox that comes from making life easier for ourselves. We actually make it harder. Similarly, by chasing happiness, we end up finding less of it.

Now I’m going to ask you a question. I use this example only because it makes sense to me personally. Here it is: Why did you have kids? Why do you want to have kids?

To make you happy?

Ha!

Sorry, that one slipped out. But seriously, if your reason is/was to make you happy, you need to sit down and have a rethink.

Kids make everything more complicated. Everything.

There’s a lot of research that suggests couples end up unhappier after having kids. I can vouch for that. Having kids was a rude awakening. It was a shock to my admittedly delicate system. And it didn’t make me happier having them. At least not initially. (There’s a fat dose of honesty for you.)

Changing nappies 8 times a day, being pissed on, rocking them for a goddam hour at 4 am, only for them to wake up the moment you place them in their cots…! Finding any which way to settle the little bastards. (I love them, really.)

If you haven’t felt an overwhelming urge to throw your baby out of the window at some point as a new parent, well, you’re not honest. That’s why, if you want to have kids, you have to really really want them. You also have to be very clear about why you have children.

Because if your why is in the pursuit of happiness, they will make you miserable — they will drive you insane. Then you might actually throw your children out the window. Of course, that would be bad. Very very bad. (I have to keep telling myself that.)

So why would you have kids then?

Well, the same reason you might decide to climb Everest or chose any challenging endeavor. For a sense of fulfillment, to help the world raise a more virtuous and responsible generation, to help you grow as an individual…

You have children because it gives your life more meaning. You do it for love, as cliche as that sounds. You don’t do it for your happiness. Don’t do anything for your happiness. Fuck your happiness. I mean it. 

Ok, no, I don’t. What I mean is fuck looking for your happiness. The only thing that’s guaranteed in this life is pain. Happiness is never guaranteed. Never. You should write that on a billboard and hang it on your living room wall.

My first child forced me to reconcile with some dark inner demons. The moment I was candid with myself and realised that his wellbeing depended on me sorting my own shit, well, everything changed. Seriously. Everything. I sought therapy for his benefit. I did it for his happiness, and in the process, ended up finding my own.

Right there is the trick. What’s your why? That’s always a great question to ask yourself. If your why is happiness, you can expect unhappiness. If your why is to serve something bigger than yourself, well, then you’re actually on to something. Because the genuine pursuit of happiness is found in the pursuit of meaning through pain.

If you pursue meaning through pain, you’ll find the small stuff stops pissing you off. You’ll also find the everyday stuff that everyone takes for granted becomes a kind of paradise.

Suddenly you’ll look down after a long day in which your kids pressed every button — a day in which your nerves were utterly shredded. Despite that, you kept them alive. Not only that, you helped them grow. You also realise that you didn’t completely lose your shit this time. You notice that you also grew as a person. You realise that all that pain you suffered through gave you something no amount of money ever can. And as you look down at your kids, who are fast asleep, in a seemingly mundane moment, you suddenly feel something akin to happiness, but it’s not. It’s something more significant than that.

What you’ve found is peace.

***

You can find more of AP2’s writing here athttps://pointlessoverthinking.com

A 3-Step Guide For Cultivating Extreme Gratitude

“Prepare to die, motherfucker!”

Sorry! Sorry! That was a bit harsh. It sounded cooler in my head. Let me try again.

“Hasta la vista, baby”, “Yippie ki yay, motherfucker!”

Damn it! Sorry! I did it again. One more time.

“Prepare yourself for death… motherfucker!”

I’m sorry, I just… I can’t help myself. I have a problem.

Anyway, what I actually want to say is, come to terms with your own mortality. 

Imagine it. Embrace it even. Picture your loved ones dying. Picture yourself slowly turning into dust. Become acutely aware of the fact that you, and everything you hold dear, are going to die.

Now, you might think I’m one crazy motherfucker for suggesting something so morbid – you might think that contemplating death will make you unhappy, however, studies have shown the opposite to be true. Those who deliberately stare into the abyss actually foster a “non-conscious orientation toward happy thoughts.” 

The Bhutansese, for example, considered to be some of the happiest people on earth, think about death, on average, five times a day. Five times! It turns out that death meditation is a very common Buddhist practise. You know those peaceful chaps with no hair and orange robes? Yeah, they even have a name for it called Maranasati.

Personally I’ve found it to be a very powerful tool. It’s something I practise every morning now. I find few things sober me up to my present reality more. Few things give me as much clarity for doing and saying what I should – for aligning my actions with my values. Few things make me feel so incredibly grateful for the fact that I’m still alive – for the things and the people in my life as it stands today.

Now, I should say there’s like 1 percent of the population who probably shouldn’t meditate on death (disclaimer/suggestion thingy), so if you have some sort of trauma or psychological instability then please consult a mental heath care professional first. For the rest of you, however, I suggest implementing the following 3 steps, like, now!

Here they are:

  1. Meditate on the death of your loved ones.
  2. Meditate on your own death. 
  3. Reflect on and revaluate your priorities, today

Here’s the exercise in full:

  1. While sitting up straight, bring your attention to your breathe for a few minutes. However long it takes to stop the monkey mind from dancing around, then bring to mind someone you love. Now, consider the reality that they will die. Imagine it happening. Imagining being by their side during their final moments. Allow yourself to feel any emotions that arise. Next, notice any thoughts you have – like what you would say to them.
  1. Next, spend a few minutes coming back to your breathe before considering the reality that you yourself will die. Make it clear that you don’t know when or how it will happen. As you inhale you can say to yourself, “This could be my last inhale.” As you exhale you say to yourself, “This could be my last exhale.” Next, allow yourself to feel any emotions that arise. Notice any thoughts you have – like what you wish you would have done or said during your life. 
  1. Next, let your eyes open and stop meditating. Take a few minutes to reflect on your response to the reality of death. Did you feel scared? Did any regrets pop up? What seems important to you now? Consider how can you use this knowledge to inform your decisions today. Ask yourself whether your priorities are aligned. Finally, take out your journal and write down any thoughts you have. Make a list of the 3 most important values/things in your life, then ask yourself how you can prioritise them today. Finally, get on it! 

The Only Thing The World Needs From You

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman (Source: The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time)

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, ‘what do you mean the ONLY THING the world needs from me?! The world demands EVERYTHING from me!!!’

‘It expects me to be a teetotaling, super-ripped, enlightened, buddhist monk who lives in a mansion with 5 cars yet gives everything to the poor, can speak 6 languages, hold 3 full-time jobs with an additional 8 hobbies on the side while also caring for the elderly with the abundance of spare time one must have available.’

Breathe…

‘On top of which I must also find a cure for cancer, prevent global warming, travel the entire world, read 8 books a day, find the time to study for a 4th profession, have the perfect life partner, raise straight A children who never fart in public, cook the recommended 12 meals a day, eat only the finest imported wagyu beef, be a vegan, own the latest model of smartphone while also find a suitable replacement for plastics.’

‘Should I go on?!!!’

You could but I think we get the point.

Yes, unfortunately, this is but a modicum of what our fucked up society expects. That said, this is exactly why we need to be very clear.

What the world needs from you and what society expects are two very different things.

One you need to trust in. The other you need tell fuck off!

Society’s ridiculous expectations have flooded our brains with too much information. We’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions that’s left us paralysed in one. We can’t see through the sea of bullshit to understand what we’re supposed to do. We’re lost wondering which way we should paddle with no land in sight.

The problem isn’t what society thinks, of course. The major problem we have is making society’s expectations our own. In doing so we play a game we can’t possibly win. As a result of not being able to meet these impossible expectations – because none of us can – many of us simply give up.

What we need to do is set ourselves free. We need to cut through the noise and focus on our major purpose in life. We need to follow our calling. Then say ‘fuck it’ to the rest. I truly believe this will benefit the world far more than trying to meet society’s expectations. That’s provided you can shift through all the bullshit and follow what your calling in life actually is. As in, not society’s. Not your parent’s. Not Barrack Obama’s. Certainly not Donald Trump’s. Yours! Your own unique calling.

This is the only thing the world needs from you.

I think that you know this of course, the question is how?! And also what the fuck?

I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but I’ll give you a few more thoughts you should probably ignore.

Fuck what society has to say about who it thinks you should be.

You and only you get to decide what success looks like. Don’t let society do that for you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your life has to look good on paper, so some top level exec can commend you on your perfect CV to only then give the job to the slightly less qualified white man because you’re black, or a woman, or a black woman…

Ahhh shiiiiiiit!

To be clear I’m not saying give up. To not be a better person. To not go after what you want despite any disadvantages you may or may not have. 

No! 

What I’m saying is to be clear about what success actually means to you, to be clear about what you actually want. Don’t go chasing someone else’s goals. If you want to wander the seven seas as a pirate – if that’s what makes you feel alive – then who the fuck am I, or anyone else for that matter, to judge you? At least if you fail as a pirate (highly probable) you’ll have loved life.

Seriously!

We spend far too much time thinking about how our life choices will be viewed by others. We need to wake up and follow what we know in our hearts will make us happy.

A stressful life chasing other people’s version of success is what has turned us all into robots. We’re simply going through the motions so we can reach our end goal. We say to ourselves, it’ll all be worth it after I have secured financial independence for the last 10 good years of my life. After I have broken my body, sold my soul and lost all sense of aliveness in the mean time.

Is your retirement really worth that much? To slave away so that one day you might get to live in the knowledge that money is no longer a problem for you, for the last 10 years of your life?

Let me tell you something that society doesn’t want you to work out. Money is but one problem.

When Jay-Z rapped about 99 problems I suspect they were all related to having money. Bitches weren’t one of them admittedly, because of the money, but even so. The point is be careful what you chase after in life. 

The world really doesn’t need you to be rich and famous. It doesn’t need you to solve all its problems. Society has made this an obsession of yours but it’s bullshit.

The only thing the world needs from you is to come alive. That comes from chasing the dreams that you alone have defined. It comes from following your heart.

I’ve got a new rap song. It goes, I’ve got 99 problems but the dream ain’t one. (How white am I?) If you can sing that you’re winning my friend because you’ll always have 99 problems. Don’t make not following your dreams one of them.


Thanks for reading everyone! I’m acutely aware that talking about chasing your dreams can come across as somewhat rich (pun intended) as a privileged middle class white man, especially when survival is the only thing that millions can ever consider, but I also wonder if, for the same reason, I don’t have a responsibility to chase my dreams? After all, my worst case scenario is far better than most. What do you think? Is the idea of following your dreams overrated? Is it not better to follow our heart if we have the choice? Thoughts and comments very welcome below.

***

You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post that believes you should become a minimalist by giving it all your stuff…

Following a 3-2-1 approach, it contains 3 thoughts from me (that you should ignore), 2 quotes from others (that you should read), and 1 thing I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that has helped me grow.

As a bonus I’ve finished with 1 joke that’s so bad, it’s good.

Let’s begin!


3 x Thoughts:

1) It’s funny how giving away everything for nothing in return gives you everything you want.

2) Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. Looking after both for the sake of each other should be your first priority every day. (Try meditation, exercise, journalling…)

3) The more shit you have, the more shit you have to worry about. Don’t aim to have lots in life. Aim to have the few things you desire the most. Then learn to get as much joy and love out of those things as you possibly can. Cut out the rest. Less really is more.


2 x Quotes:

“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.”

  • Samuel Ullman, a Jewish poet
  • “…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.”

  • Bill Watterson, the cartoonist and creator of Calvin and Hobbes

  • 1 x Thing:

    This brilliant art of manliness article: Via Negativa: Adding to Your Life By Subtracting. The article argues that the path to becoming a better person is often found by subtracting the negative from our lives. Well worth the quick read. A couple of quotes listed below:

    “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.


    1 x Joke:

    Have another far side comic for this week folks. Hope you enjoy!


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. Please let us know in the comments section below.

    One bonus question to finish: What can you subtract from your life to make it better?


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 15/03/21

    12 Personal Commandments For A Happier Life

    A long time ago (5 years?) I put together this list – 12 personal commandments for living a happier, healthier and more purposeful life. I found it in one of my old note books and thought I’d share with you all.

    It was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. As she said in her book, “these aren’t meant to be specific resolutions but overarching principles by which to live.”

    Anyway, I recall it being a fun and creative way to help outline any core values you may have.

    I should say the quotes aren’t mine, but ones that stuck in my mind from various readings over the years. Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

    1. “Live in day-tight compartments” – Live in the moment. There’s no point in living with regret about yesterday or worry for tomorrow. 
    1. “Don’t cry over spilt milk”You can’t change what’s happened. Only pick up the pieces and move forward. Forgive and forget. 
    1. “Pay Rapt Attention” – Meditate daily and show a keen interest in your daily activities and conversations. Stay in the moment and participate fully. 
    1. “Act and think the way you wish to feel – be fearless” – Smile and be happy. Stand up tall and be confident. We live in the mind whether we know it or not. The wisest among us use our actions to influence our emotions and not the other way around. 
    1. “Count your blessings – Not your troubles” – First – aim to get what you want and then Second – Enjoy it! Be grateful everyday. You’re exceptionally lucky. 
    1. “Be Yourself” – Imitation is suicide. Be your best self and embrace your uniqueness. 
    1. “Have malice toward none and charity for all” – Don’t waste a second thinking about those that have wronged you. It serves no purpose. We must harbour no bitterness. Instead find time to give and serve those in greater need. 
    1. “Order is Heaven’s First Law” – Clearing clutter will help create peace of mind. Set specific measurable goals, visualise them complete, then act on them. 
    1. “Lose yourself in action – Just do it” – Secret to being miserable is to have the time to wonder whether you are happy or not. Keep yourself busy. Work daily, Exercise daily and Play daily. The time is now so go!
    1. “Do what’s right, not what’s easy” – The easiest is rarely the best option. Strive toward a higher purpose and think before every word and action. 
    1. “Remember life comes from you not at you” – Give up blaming and complaining. Only YOU are responsible for YOU. Be honest with yourself and understand that belief is a choice so choose to believe!
    1. “Look to the stars” – Have faith you can turn around any situation. To profit from your losses is far more important than capitalising on your gains. Take the time to reflect everyday. 

    Thanks for taking the time to read everyone. Looking back I feel it could definitely use an update! With that in mind, what commandments do you live by (if any)? What would you add (or take away) from the list? Let us know in the comments below. I’d be grateful for the inspiration.

    Wishing you all well, AP2 – X

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post that believes the meaning of life is irrelevant…

    Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always I’ve finished with 1 joke that’s so bad, it’s good.

    Let’s begin!

    (As a way to give credit and to say thank you, I’ve linked back to any posts that have inspired my thoughts. I’ve linked back to any quotes I’ve found as well.)


    4 x Thoughts:

    1) Knowledge is power but imagination is freedom.

    2) When doing something that makes you anxious it’s important to tell yourself that you can. Not because this will ease the nerves, but because when you do manage to pull off the task that you’ve been dreading, instead of feeling relief you will gain confidence. 

    3)  I’m guessing we all struggle with the notion of what life means. I think the ego is always looking for more – hoping that it can somehow live on for eternity. Meaning or belief is a way of guarding against our irrefutable mortality. However I don’t believe that’s necessarily a bad thing. The truth is we are all part of something much bigger. We are all interconnected. I like to say we are nothing if not those who came before us, and we will be for nothing if we don’t serve those who will come after. Meaning is something we must instil – it’s necessary. It’s what eases our own suffering and that of others. It’s what gives us peace. I believe we are meant to serve a greater good. God or no God. Not because it will matter in thousands of years to come but because it matters now, today. Look at what is right in front of you. That’s where the meaning you need to find lies. That’s what matters most. 

    4) You’ll never stop having problems. That’s a something people often don’t realise. They think if they can achieve this or acquire that, then they’ll be rid of their problems and finally be happy. As if happiness is some eternal thing to be realised. It doesn’t work like that. Happiness isn’t permanent. Problems are. Paradoxically expectations of an endlessly happy life will only lead to unhappiness. It’s perfectly ok to be unhappy and normal that you’ll go through low periods during your lifetime. Equally it’s perfectly ok to have problems! Not that you’ll have much of a choice about that. What you might have some choice about is what problems you wish to have. What you’ll always have a choice about is how you interpret and respond to your problems. Go about solving those problems and you might just find some happiness in the process. Keep solving problems and that happiness might actually last.


    3 x Quotes:

    “The meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself”

    – ALBERT CAMUS

    “Meaning is the Way, the path of life more abundant, the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking the Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that.”

    – JORDAN B. PETERSON (From his book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)

    “If you change the MEANING of your life, it’s going to change the FEELINGS…Then, your life is really going to CHANGE.”

    RASHEDUR RYAN RAHMAN


    2 x Things:

    1) This article on psychology today: What is the Meaning of Life? by Neel Burton M.D. Neel argues that the meaning of life is that which we choose to give it. Moreover he argues that we should choose to give it meaning – whether or not you believe in God or an afterlife. How to choose? Drawing from the lessons of Victor Frankl he outlines 3 ways in which we meaning can be found:

    1. Experiencing reality by interacting authentically with the environment and with others.
    2. Giving something back to the world through creativity and self-expression, and,
    3. Changing our attitude when faced with a situation or circumstance that we cannot change.

    2) This New York Times article: The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder. It’s one of the best things I have read about the events of January 6th, and what it means/might mean for American democracy. Favourite quotes below.

    “Post-truth is pre-fascism, and Trump has been our post-truth president. When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves.”

    “We cannot be a democratic republic if we tell lies about race, big or small. Democracy is not about minimizing the vote nor ignoring it, neither a matter of gaming nor of breaking a system, but of accepting the equality of others, heeding their voices and counting their votes.”


    1 x Joke:

    Sorry folks I’m out of jokes this week so I’ll leave you with this far side comic instead. Hope you enjoy.


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! I sincerely hope you all have a great week ahead. As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. Please let us know below.

    One bonus question to finish:

    What can you do today that would give your life greater meaning tomorrow?


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 11/01/21

    The Hopeless Nature Of Hoping

    “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.”

    – Vietnam War. Admiral James Stockdale 

    Do you want to know the one reason you’re not happy right now? 

    It’s because you’re hoping for something different. 

    It’s as simple as that. 

    By wishing for something different your perception of what reality should be crashes against what is. This friction is the source of all your suffering. 

    You cannot alter reality. Only your perception of it, your acceptance of it.

    Reality is perfectly happy being the fucked up place it is because it can’t be anything else.

    It was just as fucked before you were born as it will be the day after you die. 

    Stop hoping for something different. 

    Either Act Or Accept.

    These are far better choices than hoping.

    Do you want to know why you’re in the mess that you are?

    It’s because you were sold a dummy by a society that has glorified hope. With the movies and TV shows you watch. The super hero who swoops in to save the day at the final hour. You cling to that, waiting for your knight in shining armour to save you.

    It’s true to say hope can serve as temporary relief from your current pain, but that’s about all one can say. 

    Do you know what else achieves the same? 

    Taking drugs. Drinking alcohol. Binge watching NETFLIX. 

    How have those things worked out for you in the past?

    What has hope really done for you?

    It’s another form of avoidance, of distraction. 

    What happened to your hope when coronavirus fucked up all your plans last year? What happened to your hope when governments repeatedly failed you?

    Is hope going to get us out of this mess?

    No.

    Fuck hope. 

    You’re the super hero of your own reality. You control yourself, your thoughts and the way you look at the world. 

    Fuck hope. 

    Hope is an excuse not to do what you can.

    Hope is an excuse to say these problems are beyond you, to say they are beyond all of us.

    Hope is saying all will be ok when I die and go to heaven. 

    Fuck hope. 

    Hope is what led you to hopelessness when the world didn’t live up to your expectations. 

    And let me tell you, living in hopelessness is an equally terrible place because that isn’t based in reality either. 

    Act or Accept. 

    Those are your choices.

    I’ll say one more thing before I wrap up.

    Giving up hope isn’t about being overly pessimistic – it’s about coming back to reality and seeing it for what it is. 

    Hopelessness is being overly pessimistic.

    If you have clothes on your back, food on the table and a roof over your head. If you can breathe…!

    I’d say there is more right with you than not.

    The best things in life haven’t changed because you lost your job or your wife left you.

    Taking a shit or having a wank is just as wonderful with zero dollars in the bank as it is with billions (sorry, I meant feeling the cool breeze on your skin or listening to the birds chirping in the morning – yeah those things too).

    Will this message inspire you in some way?

    Who knows.

    All I can do is my best to reinforce the narratives that help me and see if it helps others.

    Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

    Either way, I’m not holding onto any hope.


    (Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen. I hope (ha) you enjoyed it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I take an extreme position on a topic simply to challenge myself (and you) to think differently, even if I don’t agree with the argument. Do I really think that hope is such a terrible emotion? No, of course not. Hope is a very important emotion designed to inspire action. But here is what I did take from this post – hope must be tied to action otherwise it’s dangerous. Hoping for things out of your control (as I learnt the hard way this past year) is truly awful for your mental health. Hope only for yourself, for the things that you can control. And then take action to make it so. For everything else you can’t control – I suggest you practise acceptance instead. With that said I’m curious what your thoughts are on the topic of hope? As always I welcome ALL comments and opinions. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏)

    ***

    You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

    24 Invaluable Lessons From 2020

    “Learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively based on finely honed personal values is perhaps the greatest and most important struggle in life.”

    – Mark Manson. 

    “In a crisis, the inevitable suffering that life entails can rapidly make a mockery of the idea that happiness is the proper pursuit of the individual.”

    – Jordan B. Peterson

    “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

    – Sigmund Freud

    I’ve always felt that a period of reflection does more for the soul than sitting down to outline any goals for the year. When we take the time to reflect on our values. When we look deeply at how we have failed to live up-to them. I believe it’s through a deeper reflection that we can derive the most insight. It’s from those lessons that the goals we really want to chase after become clear. Those goals becoming, in turn, an expression of those values. An expression of the things that make you feel whole. That make you feel integral.

    Something a fellow blogging buddy of mine said in response to my earlier post, The Things That I Will Miss got me thinking. He said – to paraphrase slightly – “It’s not so much the things that I will miss but the things that I have learnt.” And so I thought, as part of my personal end of year review, I’d ask the question to you dear readers:

    What are the things that you’ve learnt from this most tumultuous 2020?

    To get the ball rolling (and for a bit of fun) I’ve put together the following list. A kind of rough draft taken from a quick look back at what I’ve written this year. It’s far from polished but then again – it’s the holidays! Anyway here you are – 24 Invaluable Lessons From 2020. I hope you enjoy.


    1. Hope without action is dangerous.
    2. If you can’t act you must accept.
    3. Acceptance is something you must practise.
    4. Honesty is the ultimate form of kindness.
    5. Honesty has to be the gold standard by which we measure our leaders.
    6. Protecting our freedoms means protecting the truth.
    7. The truth is hard. Avoiding it is harder.
    8. The truth is more important than your emotions.
    9. Freedom and responsibility are synonymous
    10. Think as one. Always assume a position of collective responsibility.
    11. You are either being racist or anti-racist. There is no such thing as “not racist.”
    12. No black. No white. Only grey.
    13. We must embrace our demons.
    14. It’s ok to cry (especially as a man).
    15. Looking after yourself = looking after others.
    16. Happiness does not exist without gratitude.
    17. A question for clarifying motivation: Am I doing this because of love or fear?
    18. The other side of shame is a better person.
    19. Better is better than perfect.
    20. Routine has everything to do with developing a growth mindset.
    21. Enthusiasm increases intelligence.
    22. Success is what you alone define.
    23. Spirituality = Awareness
    24. Prepare for the worst. Believe in yourself. Expect nothing.

    Thanks for Reading Ladies and Gentlemen. I am of course curious, what have you have learnt this year? What would be on your list? As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions. Let me finish by saying it’s been an absolute pleasure connecting with all of you this year. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. To each and every one of you – for lifting me up. For making me think. For challenging me. For making me laugh. For everything. You have been a life line for me. I wish you all an infinitely brighter 2021. AP2 X

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to my Mindset Mondays Post! The only weekly newsletter to kiss your mommy after filling up your stocking…

    Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should probably ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should definitely read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always, I’ve finished with 1 terrible joke that’s so bad you won’t be able to help but laugh…

    Let’s begin!


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    Trying to create motivation is massively overrated. Trying to gain clarity is massively underrated. 

    We all follow the herd to some extent. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing provided that the herd subscribes to high standards. However when the herd is not above blaming others or shirking responsibility, when the heard is consumed by fear or led by evil, you need to think very carefully. Because if you want to become the change you wish to see, you have to surround yourself with the right people. You have to put yourself in the right environment. Most of us vastly underestimate the influence others have on ourselves.

    The greatest joy in life comes not from receiving praise or accumulating wealth, but from giving to others. Which, of course, is a form of letting go. Ultimately it’s about letting go of the idea that you need praise or things to be happy which is BS. It’s making other people happy that makes us happy.

    Honesty is often about admitting you’re wrong. It’s important to understand thought that this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Because being wrong is the most ordinary thing in the world. The most dangerous people in this world are the ones incapable of seeing this. The most miserable people often fall into the same boat.


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “Life laughs at you when you are unhappy; Life smiles at you when you are happy; But, life salutes you when you make others happy.” — Charlie Chaplin (Source: https://purplerays.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/life-salutes-you-when-you-make-others-happy/)

    “If a man can reduce his needs to zero, he is truly free: there is nothing that can be taken from him; nothing can hurt him.”— John Boyd

    “Life will present you with unexpected opportunities, and you won’t always know in advance which are the important moments. Above all, it’s the quality of your relationships that will determine the quality of your life. Invest in your connections, even those that seem inconsequential.”— Esther Perel (Source: https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1/refer?rh_ref=36174ee4)


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1) This Best Inventions of 2020 from Time Magazine. For a bit of fun in the build up to Christmas thought I’d share this list of random inventions. As they note, “Nominations were made from editors and correspondents around the world through an online application process. They were then evaluated on key factors, including originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition and impact. The result? 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.”

    2 – For bit more fun this piece from Tom Whitwell: 52 things I Learned in 2020.


    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    So we had a wee Christmas celebration the other night in which I ate a bit too much food (and drank a bit too much ale).

    Despite this I couldn’t resist having a wee bit of cheese just before bed.

    Needless to say this was a bad idea.

    So when I climbed into bed next to my 37 weeks pregnant wife while groaning I said,

    “You have no idea how uncomfortably full I feel.”

    (silence)

    I continued,

    “I think I need a cheese-arean section.”


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week!

    FYI I’m going to be taking something of a blogging hiatus in preparation for Christmas and the arrival of my second child.

    Till the new year,

    Have a very merry Christmas and an infinitely brighter 2021!

    Love to all,

    AP2 X


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 07/12/20

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to my Mindset Mondays Post! The only weekly newsletter that expresses gratitude after forcing you to concede…

    Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should probably ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should definitely read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always, I’ve finished with 1 terrible joke that’s so bad, you won’t be able to help but laugh…

    Let’s begin!


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    There is always a silver lining. You just have to look for it.

    Expressing gratitude might just be one of the single best ways to interpret reality – for the fact that we are alive is an extraordinary miracle. That this is lost on us for the majority of our lives shows a sad and astonishing disconnect from the reality of what it means to be alive. Practising gratitude shouldn’t just be something you practise everyday but something you strive to practise every waking moment of your existence.

    Isn’t it amazing that you can fail an unlimited number of times in life but still succeed? I find that reassuring. Sadly many of us allow repeated failure to grind us down. To tell us we are failures. It’s simply not true. The most successful people in life are the ones who have failed the most. It’s actually a measure of effort. It’s actually a measure of courage. 

    If there’s one thing I could get you to learn – I’d want you to see that you don’t need to achieve anything anymore. You don’t need to keep pushing for some goal to complete. You have everything you need. You’ve achieved it already. Slow down and look. Observe. See and experience what you have. Enjoy it. That’s the part of what it means to be truly successful that most of us fail at. Many people believe they’re successful yet can’t understand why they’re unhappy. People will never realise what true success is until they learn how to enjoy what they’ve already achieved. 


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “As we express our gratitude we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”John F. Kennedy

    “Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.”Anne Frank (Source: https://myexpressionofthoughtsblog.wordpress.com/)

    It is only from such a place of gratefulness that we can perform beautiful acts — from a place of absolute, ravishing appreciation for the sheer wonder of being alive at all, each of us an improbable and temporary triumph over the staggering odds of nonbeing and nothingness inking the ledger of spacetime. But because we are human, because we are batted about by the violent immediacies of everyday life, such gratitude eludes us as a continuous state of being. We access it only at moments, only when the trance of busyness lifts and the blackout curtain of daily demands parts to let the radiance in, those delicious moments when we find ourselves awash in nonspecific gladness, grateful not to this person, grateful not for this turn of events, but grateful at life — a diffuse gratitude that irradiates every aspect and atom of the world, however small, however unremarkable, however coated with the dull patina of habit. In those moments, everything sings, everything shimmers. In those moments, we are most alive.” — Maria Popova (Source: https://www.brainpickings.org/)


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This Mark Manson article – Shut Up and Be Grateful. In it Manson explains the why gratitude is linked to happiness and why all of us should be practising it. Well worth the quick read!

    “For decades, research has tied gratefulness and appreciation to happiness. People who are happier tend to be more grateful and appreciative for what they have. But what they’ve also found is that it also works the other way around: consciously practicing gratitude makes one happier. It makes one appreciate what one has and helps one to remain in the present moment. Practicing gratitude increases accountability which directly leads to higher self-esteem and happiness.” 

    – Mark Manson

    2 – Since we’re on the subject, this TED Talk video with monk and interfaith scholar (and Jedi master) David Steindl-RastWant to be happy? Be grateful. Well worth watching – just in case I haven’t labelled the point enough…

    It’s not happiness that makes you grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes you happy

    Become aware that every moment is a gift. You haven’t done anything to earn it… it was given to you.

    Opportunity is the gift within every gift. If you miss the opportunity of this moment another one is given to you. If we avail ourselves to this opportunity it is the key to happiness.” 

    – David Steindl-Rast

    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    We decided to start potty training this week.

    Progress has been non existent.

    So you can imagine my surprise when I heard my boy cry out from across room, “Daddy! Look at the shit!”

    At first I didn’t know whether to tell him off for swearing or express how proud I was for doing a poo all on his own.

    And then I thought, ‘there’s no way he’s managed to do it on his own so soon… is there?’

    But sure enough, when I walked over to have look, there it was – my son stood proudly, pointing at a picture of a ship in one of this books.

    Then I thought, Thank God I misheard him.


    Thanks ladies and gentleman. I’m here all week!

    I want to finish this weeks post by taking a moment to express my gratitude to all of you – for everything. For all your support. For helping to keep my head above water this year. For giving my life greater purpose and meaning. For making me a better person. Connecting with each and everyone of you is what has made blogging so incredibly meaningful. You are why I will continue to do so for a long time to come.  

    Till next time… Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!

    A couple of bonus questions for you all:

    What are you grateful for this year? What has this year given you that others haven’t?

    (Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas about today’s weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.)


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 23/11/20

    Why Crying Like A Little Girl Is The Manliest Thing You Can Do

    Why is it always said, he cried like a little girl?

    We never say, she cried like a little boy, do we? 

    For that matter, we never say she cried like a little girl either.

    Of course I’m forgetting that’s because it’s acceptable for girls to cry! Silly me. It’s just boys who don’t cry!

    Except that’s not true, is it?

    Last I checked, little boys cry too. 

    In fact I know it’s not true, because my two year old boy cries every single day.

    And let me tell you something, he’s the happiest person I know.

    The. Happiest. Person. I. Know. 

    It’s odd don’t you think?

    How happy and peaceful children can be, yet we adults have such a hard time accessing those same emotions?

    It got me thinking as to why that might be. I wondered, ‘it couldn’t be related… could it?’

    Could crying, as one example of allowing ourselves to feel and process negative emotions, be exactly what we need to do in order to access positive emotions like peace and joy?

    I decided to do a little research.

    My first findings confirmed what I suspected – that crying from time to time, contrary to popular chauvinistic belief, is actually a pretty fucking good thing for you to do.

    This article from Medical News Today on the benefits of crying noted,

    Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.”

    In addition the article also noted that crying reduces stress, boosts your mood, aids sleep, fights bacteria and even improves your vision (remind me to tell some of my older pilot co-workers of this fact).

    Jebus!

    I figured it must help, but I had no idea it helped this much.

    I wonder then, does this account for why we adults (and men in particular) have a much harder time accessing feelings of peace and happiness?

    Do we not allow ourselves to cry enough?

    Thinking about my own life it certainly makes sense.

    Years of depression was a result of not allowing myself to feel exactly what I needed. After uncovering some hard truths and facing those demons head on, following months of therapy, I finally allowed myself to break down (or ‘break open’ as my therapist referred to it, which I much prefer).

    It was such an enormous relief to finally let go of what I’d been fighting for so many years. Afterwards I’d felt an inner peace I’d not felt for years. I remember sleeping like a baby that night.

    Now I understand the science behind why that was.

    More importantly though the harmful narrative I’d clung onto for years finally began to shift. My life has been immeasurably better ever since.

    Of course this wasn’t purely because I allowed myself to cry, but I do believe I’d never have been able to properly process and let go of those difficult emotions without doing so.

    Recently I’ve been allowing myself to cry more often. I can tell you that’s not easy for a man who has been conditioned by society to keep him emotions under lock and key. Yet in doing so, my life is now filled with far more beauty and meaning.

    I cried the other day when holding my son simply because I became aware of how precious it was while he hugged me during a quiet moment. I let myself cry in front of him. I wanted him to know that this is both a normal and healthy thing to do.

    I wonder if any of you thinks this make me less of a man?

    Did crying when my son was born make me less of a man? When I first held him in my arms?

    Did crying on my wedding day make me less of a man? When I stood in front of all my friends and family as I read out my vows to my wife?

    These were some of the happiest, most meaningful days and moments of my life.

    If the answer is yes then I formally request to be a female because allowing yourself to cry, allowing yourself to feel your emotions, is what makes life beautiful. It’s what allows your difficult emotions to pass. It’s what allows you to find greater peace.

    Luckily I don’t have to go through a sex change operation to allow myself to cry.

    As it turns out – newsflash everyone – men can cry after all!

    Not only can men cry, I found out that it doesn’t result in your life falling apart or your penis falling off.

    Unbelievable news I know but completely true! I can confirm this, you see, because last I checked it’s still there.

    In fact, I’ll double check now for you… Yep, still there.

    Phew!

    Do you want to know why men cry?

    Because it’s not a female thing to cry. Shock, horror… It’s actually a human thing to cry. It’s in our nature to cry.

    I mean of course it is! Evolution wouldn’t have up with crying pointlessly. Think about it.

    Why are we the only species on the planet to deny our nature?

    This is exactly what makes us all a bunch of lunatics.

    Anyway I’ve gotten away from the research that backs all these opinions up, so let me get back to it.

    When I dug a little deeper for this post an extremely bizarre statistic stuck out for me like a sore thumb.

    I assumed that men, being more prone to bottle up their emotions and ‘do it alone,’ would almost certainly have higher rates of depression.

    WRONG.

    Women have been found to have higher rates of depression by a factor of nearly two.

    There are a number of reasons for this including gender inequality but studies suggest biological factors to be the major determinant.

    At any rate, without getting sidetracked into another very important debate, that wasn’t the bit I found weird.

    What I found particularly bizarre was the finding that men are three to four times more likely to take their own life than women.

    Why would men be three to four times as likely to die from suicide if they are half as likely to become depressed in the first place?

    Assuming my very rough maths is correct and assuming that those who commit suicide have first developed depression, then a man with depression is actually 6 to 8 times more likely to kill himself than a women who develops depression does.

    Of course you have to take that with a huge amount of salt, but even so…

    Wow!

    Talk about being a man hey? Or ‘manning the fuck up’ as some my friends might say.

    Talk about the strong emotionally resilient men we have built as a society.

    Clearly we’ve done a great job at giving men the tools they need to process their own emotions right?

    Or maybe not.

    Maybe, instead, we ought to rethink our narrative.

    Maybe, just maybe, telling our boys not to cry isn’t such a smart move.

    Maybe, just maybe, telling our young boys to ‘man up,’ or ‘grow a pair,’ or ‘stop being such a pussy,’ actually hurts both sexes, especially men.

    Maybe, just maybe, we need to redefine what it means to be a man in the first instance.

    What do you think?

    I’ll tell you why I decided to bring this subject up.

    I overheard someone we had hired to babysit our son tell him not to cry. It was a women, by the way, it case you were thinking it must be a man. She clearly didn’t mean any harm but I had to say something.

    I asked her if she’d have said the same thing to a girl, or whether she would, in fact, have picked her up and comforted her?

    (FYI Research shows that mothers talk more on average with their girl children, including sharing and identifying emotions, as opposed to their boy children.)

    I let her know how damaging I believe telling children not to cry is.

    I told her that I hope my son always allows himself to cry if he feels the need and that I will never allow him to be shamed for doing so in my household.

    Never.

    After going away and giving it some more thought, I realised something else.

    A deeper problem that many of us might have with other people crying. And how this problem can likely be attributed to telling our boys not to cry.

    I suspect many of our distraction techniques aren’t about helping the child so much as a strategy by adults to avoid issues they themselves have about how crying makes them feel.

    I believe it’s the adult who often has the problem, whether they are conscious of it or not.

    I know whenever my child cried, early on in the weeks shortly after he was born, it brought up intense feelings for me. I felt like a failure every time I was unable to settle him. I would say, “why doesn’t he like my breastmilk as much as my wife’s?”

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that joke.

    Seriously though, on occasions he’d cry for long periods, without successfully calming him down, I would get very angry with him (not historically an emotion I’ve had a lot of trouble with). I would get so angry that I had to leave the room. Now I was never going to hurt him, but that anger was new to me.

    It felt very intense.

    What quickly followed, whenever I gave up by leaving him in another room, was intense feelings of remorse.

    How could I treat him like that?

    How could I just abandon him in his cot when he’s crying?

    Why am I taking an infant crying so personally?

    What the fuck is wrong with me?

    Clearly I had some serious shit to work through. Yet in a typically male way, I didn’t seek any help, didn’t talk about it, nor did I let myself cry.

    I just beat myself up.

    (FYIAll of these can be explained as reasons why men have a harder time dealing with depression and why they are more likely to commit suicide – see this article for more details)

    It wasn’t until one day when I got home from work that I saw my son playing on the living room floor. In that moment I felt nothing but an overwhelming repulsion to get away from him. I didn’t want to be with him. I didn’t want to father my son. My gorgeous boy.

    This time the remorse that came flooding up was too much. I went to the bedroom closed the door and started to cry.

    I cried like a little girl.

    No.

    I cried like a man.

    I let myself really cry. When I was finished I remember seeing with such clarity, there was no doubt about what it was I needed to do next. I reached for the phone and spoke to someone. I finally asked for the professional help I knew I’d needed for a long time.

    Crying was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

    It gave me the clarity to see what I needed.

    It gave me the courage to ask for help.

    I can’t emphasise that last statement enough.

    Crying gave me courage.


    CLOSING WORDS

    To all men who feel conflicted about their need to cry, it’s important to understand that crying doesn’t mean you’re not capable of dealing with your emotion. It means you are dealing with your emotions. Please understand it’s perfectly ok to do so.

    Equally don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There is no shame in this. There is nothing unmanly about asking for help or showing emotions. We all need help from time to time. That’s part of the human experience.

    Don’t think you need to ‘man the fuck up,’ or stop ‘crying like a little girl.’

    If it helps consider the phrase, ‘man the fuck up and cry.’

    In doing so you might just shatter the bullshit stereotype of what it actually means to be a man.

    In doing so you might just have a greater understanding of what it is to be human.

    In doing so you might give this world something it needs more than another macho man incapable of accessing his own emotions.

    (Thank you to all for taking the time to read. I’m very curious to know your thoughts and get a proper debate going. To challenge my views so I can grow. Please help me cry by leaving your comments below. I welcome ALL opinions.)


    ADDITIONAL SOURCES/FURTHER READING

    BBC Article: Why more men than women die by suicide

    Medical News Today Article: Eight benefits of crying: Why it’s good to shed a few tears

    Happiness is here blog post: 10 things for parents to say instead of ‘stop crying.’

    Janet Lansbury’s blog post: No Bad Kids – Toddler Discipline Without Shame (9 Guidelines)

    This study examined gender differences in emotion word use during mother–child and father–child conversations.

    This study explores why depression is more prevalent in women

    For those who might be dealing with depression and/or struggling with thoughts of suicide it goes without saying I hope you can find the strength to reach out and talk to someone. Coming back from the brink isn’t easy, but it’s never too late. Never. Below is a list of various hotlines and websites in which you can seek help.

    HELPLINES, SUICIDE HOTLINES, AND CRISIS-LINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

    Local Websites And Emergency Contact Numbers

    https://www.befrienders.org

    https://www.samaritans.org

    https://www.who.int/mental_health/en/

    https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/international/global-mental-health

    The Shameless Nature Of Pride

    As the dust settles on the US election my feeling is not jubilation. I’m not happy that 70 million people still find Trump an acceptable leader. I’m not happy that a man whose flagrant disregard for the safety of his fellow Americans has cost hundreds of thousands their lives. I’m not happy that in death, the Trump campaign still has the audacity to attack the freedoms that millions have died for. I knew it was coming, but it still hurts. It hurts enormously.

    I broke down and cried when Biden won. A cocktail of difficult emotions coming to a head following weeks of anxiety, depression, anger, shame, hatred… I’ve felt them all this year but not as acutely as I had in the 2 weeks preceding. In the end it was too much. 

    The question I have is where do we go from here? Biden is a gift during a year that’s been desperately short of them, but it doesn’t detract from my feeling that we are nowhere near where we need to be. We cannot continue on our path of wilful ignorance. We cannot continue to turn our attention away from one another or from the marginalised of society. We cannot continue to let our fear get in the way of doing what is right. We must bring greater integrity back into our lives. We must live for our values, not our pride

    We must also start finding common ground and working together. For me that common ground has to be the freedoms for which democracy stands. However we have a massive problem if we can’t agree on what reality is anymore. Perhaps this is the larger consequence of our vote 4 years ago? Where we have become so desensitised to lying that we are willing to accept it as fact. Where we are willing to believe whatever we want because it’s easier or because it’s more interesting – because the “facts” exist to support any cockamamy conspiracy theory out there. 

    We’re clearly addicted to the drama. It feels like we want life to one big conspiracy. In the process we have isolated ourselves from our own reality. In much the same way we refuse to accept the parts of ourselves we dislike, we have pushed the other side away. But in doing so we have only given them strength. We have only deepened the divide. Eventually we will reach a breaking point where we can no longer avoid the other side – those parts of ourselves. In that moment we have choice. We can let pride seal our hearts or let shame break down our egos. 

    As I write this tears are rolling down my face. I look at my 2-year-old boy and my wife who is pregnant with our second. I think about what I want my children to understand as they grow up. I desperately want them to understand that decency and character matter. That the truth and honesty matter. That morals and integrity matter. That responsibility matters. But I also want them to understand just how much forgiveness matters. This is where I have been failing. 

    The truth is I find it difficult to forgive those who still support Trump. And I get it. I understand why it’s the right thing to do. However it’s far easier to say the right thing than to do it. And let’s be honest, would you be able to forgive those who voted for Trump had he actually won? If you’re a Trump supporter do you forgive me? It’s much easier to forgive someone when you don’t have to sacrifice your pride. I recall that I wasn’t in a very forgiving mood four years ago. Maybe this is why so many of us refuse to accept the outcome? Not because we can’t accept reality but because we can’t forgive? It occurs to me that pride holds way more value in our society than honesty. It also occurs to me that I must swallow mine if I’m to forgive those I disagree. So let me do it. Let me say how truly sorry I am. Let me admit my shame publicly. 

    4 years ago I didn’t vote. I’m not talking about the US election. I’m not American FYI. I’m talking about the Brexit referendum in the UK. I didn’t pay attention living here in Hong Kong. I naively assumed we would never leave the EU. I assumed I didn’t need to go through the trouble of voting. Then I watched in disbelief as we voted to leave. And then, as if to teach me the cruelest kind of lesson, I watched on as the rest of the world seemed to follow. A series of backwards political movements that followed me home, culminating in the loss of autonomy here in Hong Kong. A loss that has meant a genuine fear of what I can say publicly. A fear that now has me writing under a pseudonym. And now I watch on in horror as the very legitimacy of voting comes under attack in what might be one of most treacherous acts from a sitting president in the history of American democracy. All for the sake of fucking pride.

    And it is pride that Trump has successfully used against me. He understood that pride can be used to stoke the fires of rage and hatred in my heart. In all our hearts. And he has. He’s made me angrier than any other politician, or indeed few other people, ever have. I believe this is the main reason I cried when I found out Biden won. There was a part of me that needed to be broken down. There still is. That needs to mourn the passing of a previous self. The part that thinks it’s somehow better than others. The part of me who is unwilling to forgive those for the same mistakes I’ve made in my own past. For being human. So for my arrogance, for my wilful ignorance, for ignoring the other side, for avoiding the difficult conversations and for my pride, I am deeply sorry. I will do better.

    Let me finish by telling you about the shame I’ve felt since that period in my life 4 years ago. What I’ve learnt from it and why I’m owning it now. Shame is demonised in our society yet pride is glorified. I call bullshit. Pride is a means of avoiding shame. Often the very shame we need to feel in order to change – to become a better person. Shame isn’t the bugbear that everyone makes out. Of course you shouldn’t cling to it. You need to forgive yourself, but I believe you do need to feel it. You need to process it. Shame allowed me to really see the error of my ways. It allowed me to see why I must never take my freedom for granted ever again. Why I must protect it for my children. Shame has undeniably made me a better person. 

    Of course I understand that pride has its place and that shame for the wrong reasons is very damaging, but if you asked me to swallow one and accept the other – if pride came in form of a red pill and shame in the form of a blue one (you’ll have to excuse my choice of colours) – I would swallow my pride. I would choose to feel shame. It’s by far the harder choice. It’s not hopeful or inspiring like pride is. It’s difficult. It’s brutal in fact, but it hurts because it’s meant to. That’s what makes you change. That’s what makes you a better person. Right now, if you care about freedom and democracy, at the very least, I believe you need to swallow the red pill as well. 

    Thanks for reading everyone. I might have given you a bit too much to chew on there! I also appreciate many of you might have had your fill of politics recently… Still I’m curious to get your thoughts on the relationship between pride and shame. Do we use pride as a shield – as a way of avoiding shame? As a means to avoid reality even? What do you think? As always I welcome ALL opinions and thoughts. And please don’t worry – all is forgiven.

    ***

    You can see more of AP2’s writing here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to my Mindset Mondays Post! The only weekly newsletter that forces you to accept the reality on your situation…

    Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should probably ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should definitely read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always, I’ve finished with 1 terrible joke that’s so bad, you won’t be able to help but laugh…

    Let’s begin!


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    What follows a generation who got things wrong is one that understands why they must not make the same mistakes. 

    Don’t waste your life trying to punish those who wronged you. Don’t spend your life trying to prove yourself to those who doubted you. Instead spend your life proving yourself to those who always believed in you. Reward those who’ve always loved you. Those who were wrong about you don’t need to be told. They’ll know only too well when the time comes. 

    3 simple rules to help you take full responsibility for your life. 1) Give up blaming (yourself or others). 2) Give up complaining (about life circumstances- esp that which is out of your control). 3) Give up excuses (apologise without condition. Make amends where you can and do better next time. Most importantly forgive yourself once you have.)

    An exercise in critical thought: Write down your opinions on a subject exactly as you think them. However outlandish, just put it down on paper and argue your side. Then go about proving it wrong in every conceivable way. Do the research, find the facts and consider the opinions that contradict your argument. If that doesn’t change your mind to some degree then you, my friend, have your head stuck in the sand (or somewhere much worse).


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist.” – Hannah Arendt (Source: THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM.)

    “Let’s point our curiosity at the people who anger us, even when ignoring them feels easier…let’s regrow our collective empathy and mend the tears in our social fabric.” – Jamil Zaki (Source: https://mindfulnessbits.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/inspirational-quotes-and-blogs-monthly-4/)

    “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”Anne Frank (Source: https://purplerays.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/how-wonderful-it-is/)


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This brilliant Happiness Lab Podcast with Dr. Laurie SantosA Happier Election. In this episode ‘Dr. Laurie Santos talks to Niala Boodhoo from the news podcast Axios Today about the simple steps we can take to increase our well-being during stressful and uncertain times.’ Notes and quotes below.

    • Elections are historically fear provoking. The lymphatic nervous system is only meant to be active for a short while. ie. when you see a snake. It’s not designed to keep going over days or weeks at a time because of a pandemic, or this past week because of the election. It wasn’t built for the 24/7 news cycle.
    • How do we look after ourselves? Simple answer is to shut off the lymphatic nervous system. One way to do that is through your breath. Actually taking a really big belly breath signals to the opposite system – the rest and digest system – to kick in.
    • The second thing is remembering what you have control over. What you do have a say in, is how you react. You have a say as to whether you are doom scrolling all the time.
    • Go do the things that bring you joy. There is evidence that you will be able to think much more clearly – that you can problem solve better/more creatively if you are in a joyful state. It’s almost a civic duty to put yourself in a good frame of mind. That means going back to basics. Getting some sleep. Going for some exercise. Eating well. Those basics become much more important during a tough time. 
    • It’s very easy to get into the blame cycle at the moment. To blame others for their actions. For not being more considerate. It’s well proven that blaming others does not feel good. 
    • What feels good? Human connection. Feeling like you’re doing something nice for other people. . You can act empathic towards others. You can try to understand them. This is something you can control. It probably won’t change your political views but it can increase your compassion. 
    • How can we use technology to increase empathy? Empathy is very difficult to communicate using social media and the internet. It’s very difficult to read facial expressions and get a deep connection with people. We are short when we talk using social media. It takes time and effort and intention to convey what our hearts are saying.
    • If you see a post or political opinion from a friend or family member that you disagree instead of ignoring it or scrolling past, you could call them up and have a proper conversation. Narrative dialogue – sharing personal stories is a far more effective way to change minds. Or at least understand them. 
    • Another tip is something called psychological distancing. Where you think about how you will feel in a few months time. The likely hood is you will be much calmer about it all. It’s a great trick for reducing stress. Putting yourself in your future selves shoes. 
    • The danger we have now is we’ve gotten to the point where we don’t like the other side to the point that we are willing to hurt on them.We need to bring empathy and personal connections back to online interactions otherwise we will continue on this dangerous path. 

    2 – This Mark Manson article: 5 Common Beliefs that Can Subtly Screw You Over. The article explores the critical subject of questioning your own beliefs. Make Manson singles out five common categories of belief errors that most of us fall victim to some degree or another. It’s well worth taking the 10 mins or so to read. I’ve left a few quotes from the article below.

    “The antidote to this ego is simply accepting the fact that you might not know what you’re doing. There’s an old saying that the difference between an expert and an amateur is that the expert is aware of what they don’t know.

    “In order to find meaning and purpose in our lives, we almost always have to do the opposite. We have to focus on simplifying. We have to cut out what’s not necessary, to end the addictive cycle of more consumption and more experiences. To pick a handful of pursuits and people and commit to them passionately.

    “The point of goals is not necessarily to accomplish them. Most of the value in them is that they give you direction. They give you something to work towards and ways to improve yourself. The exact quantity of that improvement is less important.

    “It’s important to develop an interest and capacity for self-improvement. But it’s also important to develop an interest and capacity in non-improvement. Ironically, every once in a while, the most useful thing you can do is not useful. It’s to just sit and play a video game, drink a beer, laugh with a friend, talk to your kid, read a book, fart and laugh about it. Then sleep a little too late and do it again.


    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    My son refused to get out of the bath tub before we put him to bed last night. Eventually we had to put our foot down. Unfortunately this resulted in an almighty tantrum. I’m talking screaming, kicking – the works!

    After a prolonged battle my wife and I sat down with a glass of wine to calm our frazzled nerves.

    I looked at her and said, “Unbelievable.”

    She asked, “What?!”

    I said, “That was just like trying to get Donald Trump out of the White House.”


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! 

    Till next time… Have a Happy Monday Everybody!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise you silly muscle this week!

    One bonus question for you all: What beliefs are you holding onto that are no longer serving you?

    (Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas about today’s weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom.)


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays – 09/11/20

    4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to my Mindset Mondays Post! The only weekly newsletter that forces you to take your medicine with a spoon full of sugar…

    Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should probably ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should definitely read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always, I’ve finished with 1 terrible joke that’s so bad, you won’t be able to help but laugh…

    Let’s begin!


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    If you were completely at peace with who you are and where you’re at in life, you wouldn’t be thinking so much about yourself. In fact, beyond your basic needs, you wouldn’t be thinking about yourself at all. 

    Ignorance is bliss… but only for you, for everyone else it’s miserable. That’s not to say ignorance is unforgivable. We’re all ignorant to a large degree. The important thing is not to be deliberately ignorant about matters that affect us all. Listen to the facts. Don’t simply choose to believe something so you don’t have to feel shame. Shame is a useful emotion designed to make you change. It works wonders. Don’t ignore it. Accept it. Process it. Then move on with the greater meaning and purpose that you have derived from it. 

    People forget that our emotions are both our biggest weakness and our biggest superpower. What you need to do is understand them. And I’m not talking on an intellectual level. That’s easy. I’m talking about insight my friend. Insight is what you need. Insight will set you free. 

    If you’re not talking to yourself as you would your own friends and family then perhaps you’re not showing yourself the love and compassion that you should? And if you are, perhaps you’re not being as honest with yourself as you should? (Side note: What a f***ing dichotomy of thought that is.)


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “You don’t build self esteem by patting people on the back and telling them they’re wonderful. Confidence is a much more complex phenomenon that comes from experiencing one’s strengths in action.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter

    “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” – Erin Hanson (Source: https://cristianmihai.net/these-5-quotes-changed-my-mindset-forever/)

    “We are each responsible for our own life. If you are holding anyone else accountable for your happiness, you are wasting your time. You must be fearless enough to give yourself the love you didn’t receive. Begin noticing how each day brings a new opportunity for your growth. Pay attention. Every choice gives you a chance to pave your own road. Keep moving. Full speed ahead.” – Oprah Winfrey (Source: https://vrundachauk.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/taking-responsibility/)


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This Brain Pickings article – 13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings – from one of my favourite bloggers Maria Popova. If you’ve not read her blog I can highly recommend you spend some time exploring. She’s a truly gifted writer. This article is well worth digesting with a cup of tea and bickies! I’ve quoted number 13 from her article below.

    “In any bond of depth and significance, forgive, forgive, forgive. And then forgive again. The richest relationships are lifeboats, but they are also submarines that descend to the darkest and most disquieting places, to the unfathomed trenches of the soul where our deepest shames and foibles and vulnerabilities live, where we are less than we would like to be. Forgiveness is the alchemy by which the shame transforms into the honor and privilege of being invited into another’s darkness and having them witness your own with the undimmed light of love, of sympathy, of nonjudgmental understanding. Forgiveness is the engine of buoyancy that keeps the submarine rising again and again toward the light, so that it may become a lifeboat once more.”

    – Maria Popova

    2 – This YouTube video – Why Coronavirus Will Win Trump The Election – narrated by Stephen Fry. Just is case you haven’t made your mind up about who to vote for yet and just in case there was any doubt about who you really must vote for, well, give this a watch!


    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    My dad sent me a picture of my mum stood next to a ginormous pumpkin that they happened upon in a local farmers market last week.

    This thing was massive! It was wider than my mum is tall! Honestly I’ve never seen a pumpkin so big before in my life.

    Anyway I thought for a second before replying, “Hey, if you carve Donald Trump’s face into that thing you’ll have a life sized replica!”

    (Wait for it…)

    “You could call it Trumpkin!”

    (Just imagine the horror – 4 more years of this! Probably best we just throw it it out in November hey?)


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! 

    Till next time…

    Have a Happy Halloween Everybody!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!

    One bonus question for you all:

    How can you give yourself a break today?

    (Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas about today’s weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom.)


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 19/10/20

    Mindset Mondays – 19/10/20

    Hello lovely readers and welcome back to my new and improved Mindset Mondays post – the only weekly newsletter that turns out all the lights before handing you a lit match…

    For those who don’t know, each week I try my best to give your Mondays a much needed boost by sharing 3 thoughts from me (that you should probably ignore), 2 quotes from others (that you probably shouldn’t), and 1 thing I’ve been reading or listening to that has helped me grow.

    As always I finish with a joke that’s either so good or so bad, you won’t be able to help it but laugh.

    Let’s begin!


    3 x Thoughts From Me:

    Attachments/Wanting = Unhappiness. Letting go/Generosity = Happiness. 

    Some mornings, when life inevitably gets in the way, routine is the first thing that goes out the window. We shouldn’t let this get us down. Instead we should see it as a wonderful opportunity to practise mindfulness – to be at peace with the fact that things didn’t go according to our perfect little plans (because it really doesn’t matter). It’s also a great opportunity to practise flexibility – to work out how you can make it up later on, or fit it around a different schedule. Maybe you only meditate for 5 mins today, or maybe you can only afford to get in 5 pushups? If you can look back and say you still managed something, I’m guessing you did much better today than you think. Routine is important but it’s not the be-all and end-all, being flexible is equally important. In fact, you need to allow for flexibility within your routine. Otherwise you’re liable to throw in the towel completely.

    Ignorance is bliss… but only for you, for everyone else it’s miserable. That’s not to say ignorance is unforgivable. We’re all ignorant to a large degree. The important thing is not to be deliberately ignorant about matters that affect us all. Listen to the facts. Don’t simply choose to believe something so you don’t have to feel shame. Shame is a useful emotion designed to make you change for the better. It works wonders. Don’t avoid it. Accept it. Process it. Then move on with the greater meaning and purpose that you have derived from it. 


    2 x Quotes From Others:

    “Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.” – Buddha

    “The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” – Mark Manson


    1 x Thing That Has Helped Me Grow

    This insightful Happiness Lab podcast episode with Dr. Laurie Santos: Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Buddha From the show description: ‘The Buddha was born to a royal family… and it shocked him when he found out that no amount of money or power could keep suffering and loss at bay forever. The quest to accept that life brings us pain was key to the development of Buddhism as a major religion. Dr Laurie Santos is joined by Liz Angowski and Robert Wright (author of ‘Why Buddhism is True‘) to explore The Buddha’s teachings about unhappiness and how mindfulness meditation can help us come to terms with the negative feelings we all experience from time to time.’ My personal show notes below.

    • It’s not that beautiful things don’t make us happy but that they change. We change with them. To all happiness there is unhappiness and suffering. There is impermanence. There is a flip side. Things age. People die. 
    • Buddishm teaches us that we don’t see the world clearly by nature.  If we could see the world more clearly we would become happier and we would become better people.  
    • What is central to all suffering? That fact that we always want something more. This gratification never lasts. From a Darwinian survival perspective this makes total sense. Being restless and unhappy drives us to find food or have sex. Then we’re satisfied for a while before we are left wanting more. 
    • Unfortunately we are wired to think once we have sex with that person or eat that great meal or attain that big house then we will live happily ever after. Of course we don’t. It doesn’t matter how much you accumulate you will always go back to that unhappy restless base line. This is an example of our delusion. We are designed to keep convincing ourselves of this. That we will be happy after we have just this little bit more money or recognition, etc. 
    • The mind isn’t designed to bring us happiness. That’s not high on natural selection’s agenda. Understanding that is the beginning of seeking a more enduring kind of happiness. Buddhism offers us this path.

    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    Struggling for a story this week folks so thought I’d leave you with this comic instead – Hope you enjoy!


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen… I’m here all week! 

    Till next time, I sincerely hope you have a very happy Monday!

    One bonus question for you all:

    How can you add flexibility to your routine?


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mental Mondays – 12/10/20

    Motivational Mondays – 21/09/20

    Hello fine readers and welcome back to my weekly Motivational Mondays Post!

    The only newsletter to force feed you your recommended 5 a day before offering you a cupcake…

    Following a 4:3:2:1 approach, it contains 4 exceptional thoughts from me (ha), 3 admittedly better quotes from others, and 2 things I’ve been reading and/or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

    As always I’ve finished with 1 something silly to lighten your Monday blues… 

    Much Love,

    AP2 X


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    The cost of convenience is your resilience.

    The trick is not to think win or lose. The trick is not to think success or failure. The trick it is not to trick good or bad. The trick is to think about being better because every single one of us always can be. 

    Anger as an emotion is intimately linked to our “fight, flight or freeze response.” It’s about survival. This is why reacting to it is inappropriate in most situations. When it comes to anger, thinking high emotions = low intelligence is a good rule of thumb. I wonder though, when it comes to the survival of our planet if it’s not entirely justified – if we’re not angry enough? After all, the power of action one can harness from such an emotion is enormous. It can drive us in a way that few other emotions can. Instead of ignoring our anger about climate change, maybe we need to consider how to use it instead? People forget that anger, if responded to mindfully, can be used constructively. Anger can be used to make positive changes. The caveat, of course, is that we need to allow ourselves to feel it. We need to accept it as a valid emotion.

    Competition is meant to be about pushing each other to improve. It’s about personal and collective growth. When we glorify it and make it about ‘winning at all costs’ we turn many people away. This defeats the purpose. Not only are those who still compete weaker because they have less competition, those who don’t compete lose the ability to better themselves altogether. Don’t compete to win, compete to grow.


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching” ― Gerard Way

    “Most people think they lack motivation when they really lack clarity.”James Clear

    “Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This Tim Ferris Podcast episode My Healing Journey After Childhood Abuse with Debbie Millman. This might be the most important Tim Ferris episode I’ve ever listened to. To come out and publicly share what happened to him takes an enormous amount of courage – more courage than I suspect most of us will ever know. I would implore anyone to give this episode a listen, but especially those who have previously experienced sexual abuse. The list of resources available – as he and Debbie talk about extensively – extend well beyond conventional therapy. Please look under the list of resources via the link above for more information on a number of potential tools and reading for help to deal with trauma.

    2 QUOTES FROM THE POD:

    Your path to the healing is very much your own in the same way that you have your own path to love or to family or to success.”

    Debbie Millman

    “There is only one question that matters and this is, what are you unwilling to feel?”

    Tara Brach

    2 – This brilliant Happiness Lab Podcast with Dr. Laurie SantosHappiness Lessons of The Ancients: Aristotle. In this episode Dr. Laurie Santos talks to Yale professor Tamar Gendler about “Aristotle’s wellbeing insights and how he recommended taking daily “baby steps” towards becoming the sort of happy, moderate person we aspire to be. A kind of ancient “fake it, ’til you make it” ethos.” Notes and quotes below.

    MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:

    • Aristotle and other Greek philosophers were given free reign to pursue the question, what makes humans flourish, as their profession. As a result they were able to come to a greater understanding about it than many others have at different times during our history. 
    • Aristotle can be looked at as the father of modern positive psychology. – He was brought to Athens at the age of 17 to study. He liked school so much he stayed for another 20 years! 
    • He was one of the greatest polymath thinkers of any generation. He was the inverter of physics as a field. Biology as a field. He was a great theorist of poetry and theatre. 
    • 2 distinct notions of happiness. 1 hedonistic happiness. The indulgence of short lived happiness or pleasures. Eating or sex. This is an important of what it means to be human. To take pleasure in the physical world around you. 
    • 2 Aristotle was interested in a richer and more robust and lasting notion of what happiness is. 
    • He philosophised that in the same way a knife is designed to cut our primary function as humans was to express virtue and reason.  This is a lasting rather than short lived happiness. 
    • We are getting the same insights Aristotle did 2000 years ago from behavioural science and modern psychology about what it is that gives us lasting fufillment and happiness. 
    • Being clear that indulging in great food, having sex and watching NETFLIX isn’t what will make you happy long term is important. If anything an overindulgence in these kind of activities leaves people feeling empty. 
    • Theoretical wisdom vs practical wisdom. Theoretical wisdom comes from reading about something like the science of psychology to understand what makes us happy or not. This isn’t enough. 
    • Aristotle said we need something called practical wisdom – this is the skill that comes from practising the activity in which you want to make progress. 
    • The way we find this deeper level of thriving in Aristotle’s opinion comes from a strategy of practicing being the kind of person who is virtuous and takes pleasure in being virtuous. 
    • Self education project. You make yourself into the person you want to be. The soul you want to inhibit. You practise being the kind of person you want to become and then the act of practicing becomes pleasurable to you. 
    • The same way you want to learn the violin or raise good children you have to put the work the same applies to bumping up your happiness. You engage with it and build it up like a skill set from the ground up. 
    • We become just by doing just actions. We become temperate by acting so. Brave by doing brave actions. This is how we come to having practical wisdom. We practice the skills we want to inhibit until they become natural to us. 
    • Aristotle was interested in developing a moderate character in the right ways.  What does he mean? Taking braving as an example. One extreme is being a coward. Another is being reckless. In between is braver. The perfect moderate virtue. Humour. You can be a Baffoon or somber or someone with a good sense of humour. 
    • If you want to be a brave person, act the way a brave person acts and you will start to manifest bravery and you will be reinforced in your experience about how pleasurable and possible it is for you to act bravely. 
    • Virtuous life – life is not just a moral life but brings happiness and thriving – how to live well morally, happily and part of harmonious society.
    • The data suggests that if you want to live a happy life you want to live a moral life. For Aristotle pleasure is derived from seeing others around them doing well.
    • Friendship is incredibly important – the young need it to prevent them for error – the old need it for protection and companionship, to look after them – those in their prime need it to do fine actions.
    • 3 different kinds. 1 shallow utility based – we both gain something from one another – a service or product. 2 we enjoy each others company. 3 based on mutual deep appreciation of one another’s morals. The latter provides self reinforcing cycle. Aristotle calls this kind of friend “a second self.
    • Surrounding yourself with those who are committed to same things – the same values. Put yourself in a setting where others are trying to achieve the same kind of spiritual transcendence.
    • Acting as if you already have the virtues you wish to embody is incredibly powerful and liberating. Having a second self available makes you much more likely to stick to those values – to hold you accountable.

    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    Struggling for a story this week folks so thought I’d leave you with this rejected New Yorker cartoon that made me chuckle.


    Till next week…

    Have a Happy Monday Everybody!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!

    One bonus question for you all:

    What is one thing you can do for the environment today that will help it tomorrow?

    (As always thank you ALL so much for reading. If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas about today’s weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom.)

    Motivational Mondays – 31/08/20

    Hello fine readers and welcome back to my Motivational Mondays Post – The only weekly newsletter to give your medicine with a spoon full of sugar!

    Following a 4:3:2:1 approach, it contains 4 exceptional thoughts from me (ha), 3 admittedly better quotes from others, and 2 things I’ve been reading and/or listening to this week that have helped me grow!

    As always I’ve finished with 1 silly story to lighten your Monday blues… 

    Love to all X


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    If you can improve your life knowing you already have enough, then future failures will hurt you less and future successes will bring you more joy. 

    The early bird often catches the worm because he or she is an early bird. If you’re a night owl, forcing yourself to catch worms in the morning isn’t the best strategy. Far better to build your day according to a schedule that suits your chronotype. Why hunt for worms if it’s easier for you to catch mice?

    For all wannabe bloggers: understand we all have to start from scratch and that it takes time and effort for things to take off. Most important are your reasons for blogging. Let it be about the love of writing. Let it be about helping others, however small the number. If your words reach just one person then you’ve already achieved something special. Forget the numbers and speak from your heart. Forget the numbers and concentrate on making connections instead. Forget the numbers and enjoy the journey.

    An intolerance of right wing politics from the left only strengthens intolerance in the right and vice versa. Not having tolerance for those who you disagree only strengthens their position, as well as your own. It only deepens the divide. What we need is greater understanding. We cannot change what we don’t understand.


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.” – Octavia Butler

    “After a point of time, when you get success and fame, money and everything, the purpose of life has to be redefined. For me, I think that purpose is to build bridges. Artists can do that very easily, more than politicians.” – A. R. Rahman

    “Democracy is only as good as the education that surrounds it.”- Socrates


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This interesting No Stupid Questions podcast episode with Steven Dubner and Angela Duckworth: How Much of Your Life Do You Actually Control? In this episode Steven and Angela discuss the advantages of having an internal locus of control versus an external locus. They also discuss the reasons why we procrastinate and how to stop it. Note and quotes below.

    MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:

    • Those who have an internal locus of control tend to think they effect outcomes more than they actually do. They believe life is controlled by them. Those with an external locus tend to think they have less control than they actually do. They believe life happens to them. 
    • People with an internal locus tend to be more successful. They have better mental health. People with external locus are more prone to depression- tend to be more lackadaisical at work. 
    • The most productive thing one can do in a difficult situation is to concentrate on controlling the controllables.
    • Good to have two columns in your mind. What you can control and what you can’t. Make the active choice to concentrate your finite attention and energy on what you can control. Give up wasting it on blaming external circumstances outside of your control. 
    • Children taught to have a growth mindset and to have grit perform better. It’s important to teach this mindset keeping in mind that other children – through no fault of their own – are disadvantaged. We can’t continue to create a culture of superiority where adults believe it’s only because they worked harder that they have been more successful. 
    • “Why put off what you can do tomorrow till the day after tomorrow?” – Mark Twain 
    • Why do we procrastinate? We procrastinate because of fear. Not because of laziness. 
    • We often think of a task as being far more difficult and taxing than it really is. As a result we expend more emotional energy procrastinating than we would if we simply got on with the task.
    • I love deadlines. I need deadlines. Without the deadline I’d be about 90% less productive than I am. 
    • Procrastinating is a form of impulsivity. It’s a failure to delay gratification – like the marshmallow test. The question is whether you are going to do what’s best for your future self or please your present self? 
    • A procrastinator correlates with lower achievement and lower self esteem 
    • Upside to procrastination?- more creative. Procrastinating can be used as a useful creative tool. To connect the dots. 
    • But deliberately delaying a task or a problem to think of a solution – is that procrastination? Procrastination is used as a negative term to describe an action we wish we had done earlier. 
    • Tip 1. Break big tasks into small tasks. The dread is often because you are anticipating the enormity of a task like writing a book. When focusing on small manageable chunks progress becomes easier. 
    • Tip 2. Just start. Self deception. I’m just going to take a look. I’m just going to do 5 mins. Simply start and you’ll often find you end up doing more than you expected.

    2 – This excellent TED talk – Why Schools Should Teach Children For The Real World – by Ted Dintersmith.

    “As automation eliminates structured jobs and careers, schools should focus on training students to be bold, creative and entrepreneurial. Instead, argues education advocate Ted Dintersmith, the core purpose of education has been lost in a wave of testing, data and increasingly irrelevant metrics. In this talk, he underscores the need to educate for innovative and creative strengths, and trust our schools and teachers to prepare our kids for life, instead of standardized tests.”


    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    This one will be short and sweet, just like my gorgeous silly boy who decided to start naming his nose after things!

    Yes you read that correctly.

    As my wife explained, he’s started pointing at his nose and saying things like, “This is car!”

    I laughed before replying, “That’s good to nose…”

    I’m here all week ladies and gentlemen!


    Till next time…

    Have a Happy Monday Everybody!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!

    One bonus question for you all:

    What can you write about that nobody else can?

    (Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas about today’s weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom.)


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POSTS:

    Motivational Mondays – 24/08/20

    Motivational Mondays – 17/08/20

    Motivational Mondays – 10/08/20

    Motivational Mondays – 03/08/20

    Motivational Mondays – 27/07/20

    Motivational Mondays – 20/07/20

    Motivational Mondays – 13/07/20

    Motivational Mondays – 06/07/20

    How To Develop More Intelligent Self-Interest

    “One should never do something to others that one would regard as an injury to one’s own self. In brief, this is dharma. Anything else is succumbing to desire.”

    — MAHĀBHĀRATA 13.114.8 (CRITICAL EDITION)

    It’s ironic that the fictional character Joey from friends, who everyone laughed at for being a bit slow, was also the character to come out with one of the most profound statements of the entire show when he argued with Phoebe that,

    “There is no such thing as a truly self-less good deed.”

    I agree with him.

    Whether you’d care to admit it almost every action we make is motivated on some level by selfish intent. Even a charitable act is motivated on some level by your desire to feel good.

    That’s not to say there is anything wrong with this – in fact, quite the opposite – it’s just something to be aware of. After all, if we weren’t motivated on some level by a desire to feel good, or to avoid feeling bad, then why would we do anything? We need something to motivate us. For that reason there has to be an element of self-interest behind our actions.

    Anyway, why do I bring this up?

    I heard the expression intelligent self-interest mentioned on a podcast a while back. This got me thinking about what this means and how we can make our self-interests more intelligent.

    When I dug a little deeper I came to understand, although they are described/defined somewhat differently by various articles on the subject we can, broadly speaking, look at self-interest on three different levels.

    Those are unintelligent (or stupid as I like to think of it), intelligent and enlightened self-interest.

    This post is going to define each and look at how we can cultivate the latter two.


    What is unintelligent self-interest?

    Unintelligent self-interest is the personal interest of an individual that, if pursued, hurts others and/or themselves.

    Some obvious examples of unintelligent-interest include binge watching NETFLIX, drug abuse, smoking, mindlessly scrolling on social media, etc. 

    You know, all the things you shouldn’t be doing that every blogger and his dog bang on about everyday. (All the things I’ve done before, and in some cases still do…)

    These are unintelligent forms of self interest because they satisfy a desire at the expense of our longer term health and happiness. 

    We also tend to think because I’m only doing these things to myself that’s ok. I’m not hurting anyone else. 

    But that’s wrong. 

    What hurts you ultimately hurts others. By not working to resolve past trauma or avoiding negative emotions instead of doing what you ought to, you can trust me when I tell you this, not only does this hurt yourself it also hurts those around you. 

    How then can we make our self-interests more intelligent and what does it mean?


    What is intelligent self interest?

    Intelligent self-interest is still about acting in ways that suit you, however, it also considers the ways in which it helps others.

    It is about thinking of the other person while acting for yourself, i.e. you’re not acting without regard for others.

    Some obvious examples of intelligent self-interest include meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, plentiful sleep, etc.

    You know, all the things you should do that every blogger and his dog bang on about everyday. 

    These are intelligent forms of self interest because you’re acting in a way that not only benefits your own longer term health and happiness, it also benefits others.

    After all, a happier and healthier you is a happier and healthier world. Further, you cannot look after others without first looking after yourself.

    One of the problems that proponents of such activities have is the way in which they frame their motivations. They talk on and on about the benefits they have for you. How meditation, exercise and a balanced diet helps you

    Often they over emphasise the benefits these activities have for you without considering the larger reasons beyond the immediate. 

    If you want to make mediation a habit, as an example, it’s far better to consider how taking the time to cultivate mindfulness is of benefit to your family and friends, as well as yourself. 

    One way to do this is by asking yourself the following question:

    Am I doing this because of love or fear?

    I believe one of the major reasons our motivations stall is because we don’t feel we’re good enough (fear) and so give up far too easily. This is a problem many of us have when focusing solely on ourselves. If you take the focus away from yourself and instead remind yourself of the other people in your life for whom you’re doing these things (love), you’re far more likely to stick with it.

    At least I know I am.

    Instead of beating ourselves up for not being good enough and metaphorically whipping ourselves to do something about it, why not focus on feeling good about doing the things that ultimately help others too?

    It’s a win win.

    This brings us to the final level on the self-interest scale that I made up. The question I have is how can we act in enlightened self-interest that helps others? How can we see that helping others does in fact help ourselves? Let’s first explore what it means.


    What is enlightened self-interest?

    Enlightened self-interest is acting for others without expecting anything in return.

    Some obvious examples of enlightened self-interest include donating to charity, volunteer work, saving someones life, etc.

    You know, all the things every blogger and his dog probably should be going on about everyday but don’t.

    These are acts done from the goodness of ones hearts. They aren’t done in expectation of gaining anything personally. 

    I would make a point that this is very different to acting out of a sense of responsibility or obligation – because you think it’s the right thing to do. 

    It’s far deeper than that. 

    Enlightened self-interest understands that although no obvious attributable gain for oneself has been made, a bit like the beautiful philosophical idea of karma, what comes around goes around.

    People who act in enlightened self-interest understand we are all part of the same world. That by hurting another you’re ultimately hurting yourself.

    This is why it’s heavily related to the Golden rule: To treat others as you would like others to treat you.

    Or, to put it as a question, one can ask themselves,

    How would I want others to help me if I were in their position?

    This isn’t rocket science of course.

    If you look deeply enough, you’ll find how you treat others is how you treat yourself. Kindness to others extends inwards as well as out. The same is as true for anger or hatred. You give fuel to those feelings within yourself by acting on them. 

    Enlightened self-interests come about as a by-product of truly wanting to help this world, as you would like it to be for you. By thinking in terms of how your actions will affect others we can, bit by bit, develop enlightened self-interest naturally. It’s simply a matter of acting in the interests of your heart. 

    (As always I welcome ALL comments and ideas on this blog. If you have anything to add or any other suggestions about how develop more intelligent self-interest I’d love to hear from you in the comments sections below)


    SOURCES:

    https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/evolution/unselfish-act.htm

    https://hbr.org/1989/05/how-selfish-are-people-really

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightened_self-interest

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

    Motivational Mondays – 20/07/20

    Hello fine readers and welcome to my Motivational Mondays Post – a weekly newsletter that attempts to rewrite the narrative Mondays are the most depressing day of the week. (Or at least start it off in a slightly better fashion.)

    Following a 4:3:2:1 approach, it contains 4 exceptional thoughts from me (ha), 3 admittedly better quotes from others, and 2 things I’ve been reading and/or listening to this week that have helped me grow

    As always I’ve finished with 1 something silly to hopefully make you all smile. 

    Love to all X

    (To my readers: you’ll notice I’ve been playing around with the title. If you have any other ideas about a better title for this weekly post I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom. Equally any thoughts, feelings or suggestions about anything at else is also very welcome! Thanks for reading.)


    4 x Thoughts From Me:

    Happiness comes from finding the right sized circle of problems for you to solve. If it’s too small the insignificant things annoy you because you don’t have anything better to worry about – more to the point, you haven’t given yourself big enough problems to worry about. Similarly if it’s too big you’ll end up worrying about the things you can’t control – like current global events. Pick problems that you can solve and that speak to your heart. Learn to accept what you cannot. 

    The great thing about momentum is it builds naturally. Like a boulder rolling down the hill. The difficult part, of course, is getting it to move. 

    Make it your mission to be an agent of calm in the midst of chaos. When the storm settles, which it will, you will be well placed to pick up the pieces and put the world back together.

    Clinging to hope has the same effect as clinging to happiness. You end up feeling the opposite. It is often far better to live in the present than to live in hope. 


    3 x Quotes From Others:

    “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

    “Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. Sister, those who expected to rise did not, their beds became their cooling boards, and their blankets became their winding sheets. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all for just five minutes of this… So you watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou: Source: Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

    “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much your own unguarded thoughts.”- Gautam Buddha


    2 x Things That Helped Me Grow

    1 – This engaging intelligence squared podcast episode – Angrynomics: Why The World is So Angry, with Mark Byth, Eric Lonergan and Linda Yueh. The episode explores the role anger has had to play in our current state of affairs – and how a long overdue change in economic policy could help the world to feel less angry.

    MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:

    • Trump listened to what everybody else considered to be just noise. What he heard – the moral outrage. He gave that recognition. Then he went to the boarder and talked about Mexicans being rapists. He used that anger and weaponised it for his own agenda. He created his own tribe. 
    • What makes you angry tells you something about your character. 
    • One of angers important functions is for the recognition of injustice. It identifies ethical wrong doings. 
    • What would it say about our society if people weren’t protesting?
    • You’re suppose to get angry. It’s appropriate that people are affronted by these acts of injustice. 
    • Tribal rage. It’s an age old instinct for it to turn into violence. This where we need to be very careful with our anger. (Why many sports fans become violent). 
    • What we’re very concerned about is how politicians are exploiting this to motivate minorities in order to tactically win elections. 
    • By banding together as part of groups and giving ourselves a narrative it gives us back a sense of control we feel we’ve lost. These are groups very much based on the idea that everybody else is wrong. 
    • Tribalism versus ligiitmate anger or moral outrage. 
    • Why are we also seeing more moral anger? In many ways we understand what is happening – by demonstrating our moral outrage. This is a sign for optimism.
    • One of the reasons Tribalism is being exploited by the political elites is that we lack motivating ethical ideologies. 
    • The two overriding moral questions we are concerned about are climate change about the scale of inequality 
    • Whatever you sit on the political spectrum a situation where you have 90% of the wealth allocated to just 1% of the population is clearly not very functional. 
    • We have moral outrage about inequality and global sustainability. Add to that a recession – these are the 3 issues we need to solve as a top priority. 
    • The majority of lower income individuals in the most vulnerable positions are getting hardest hit. When they see companies like Boeing given 50billion at the drop of a hat. When they were told for years there is no money to sure up student debts or increase minimum wage yet suddenly they can magic up trillions in the afternoon for big business. Why wouldn’t they be morally outraged. That’s where we are. 
    • There is a lot of consensus about income inequality but very little consensus about what to do about it. 
    • 3 ways to do this? 1) A National Wealth Fund  2) A green new deal 3) Use dual interest rates
    • We all look at the climate crisis as this huge problem that requires a huge sacrifice. I view it completely the other way around. I say, ‘thank god we have this great opportunity for lots of investment spending because our economic situation is crying out for lots of investment spending.’ 
    • These changes will fundamentally change our economic system so that is more transparent and fairer. More importantly it will make people feel valued again and this will help counteract the huge rise in global anger. 

    2 –This Starting Greatness podcast episodeLessons of Greatness: Why the world needs breakthrough builders; How it can be you. This episode explores backcasting as a tool for building a better future.

    MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:

    • “Everything that makes up this world that we call life was made by people no smarter than you. Once you learn this you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs
    • The future doesn’t happen to us. It happens because of us. 
    • Now is really the time to ask what you want your life to be about. This question is more important than ever because the present has stopped working. 
    • We need more people who unapologeticcally seek break throughs 
    • How can you do it? By backcasting.
    • Forecasting works best when you want to maintain a current path. When it comes to breakthroughs forecasting doesn’t work. Forecasting simply brings our current problems into the future with us. 
    • Backcasting assumes that previous models of forcasting won’t work. Which is the whole point because you want to change the future. You don’t want to play by the rules anymore. 
    • To do this first look for inflections. – An inflection is a time of significant change. (Technology/adoption/regulatory and belief – four major kinds of)
    • Inflection points provide leverage for entrepreneurs to wage war against the status quo. 
    • You need to work from the future backwards. Consider different and surprising futures then work backwards to the present. This is how you find surprising breakthroughs in the market. 
    • Imagine as a many as you can then look for and gather insights – An insight is an unrecognised truth that can lead to a breakthrough from the present. 
    • It forms a connection between inflections and the breakthrough product 
    • Think about futures that you are uniquely capable of building. Then ask about how you can build a team to make your insight a reality.
    • This is the moment to show who you are and what you want your life to stand for. The present has stopped working. We must create a better future. Bet on your ability to find a place to change the world. 

    1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:

    My wife made these delectable carrot cup cakes the other day.

    The first batch were regular sized but with the little bit of batter she had left she made a few smaller ones too.

    When I got round to eating the smaller ones, I told her they were even more delicious than the big ones.

    She asked why.

    I told her because you can get a much higher icing to cupcake ratio with the smaller ones.

    She laughed before commenting, “You’ve added more icing than cupcake!”

    “Exactly,” I mumbled with one already stuffed into my happy face.

    Exactly.


    Till next week…

    Have a Happy Fucking Monday Everybody!

    P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!

    One bonus question for you all:

    How much icing do you like on your muffins?


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POSTS:

    Motivational Mondays – 13/07/20

    Motivational Mondays – 06/07/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 29/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 22/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 15/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 08/06/20

    Happy Silly Mondays – 25/05/20

    Happy Silly Mondays – 18/05/20

    Happy Silly Mondays – 11/05/20