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Two things to Try for Twenty Twenty One


Journaling and Planning

For four to five years – when I was about 17 to 21 – I kept a daily journal. It was too much effort and I wasn’t enjoying it, so I stopped for almost ten years.

Over the last year, I just keep a few notes roughly once a week about things that happened and intentions I have for the next day/month or year. A few of my short learnings on making journaling easier:

  1. Pick out a dense book and read a page when you do a diary entry. If there’s a quote I like, I write it down in my journal. So far, I’ve used Letters from a Stoic (Seneca) and Meditations (Aurelius) for this.
  2. Buy a nice little diary. I’ve spent a more than just buying a cheap book. It put more love/soul into it. Splash out and get a wooden cover or something.
  3. I write down a few things that happened and how I feel about them.
  4. I write down a few intentions. I try to avoid setting myself up for failure with things outside of my control (e.g. do a fundraise for $X) in favour of things I can control (e.g. remain calm in handling upcoming difficult conversation y).

Even all of this stuff can be boring and/or not enjoyable. An alternative option is to just write once a year or once every few years.

You can do that on for free and have the letter e-mailed to you in 1, 3 or 5 years (or whatever). It can be nice to do it with a friend or a partner/spouse. Hat tip to my brother for this idea.

Improve the News

A lot of people are always harping on about how X is so divided or polarized (and it’s getting worse). X can be people, the country, the world… insert your word of choice.

My favorite question to ask back (actually I usually just stay quiet) is: Well, what are you doing to make things less divided, if you think that’s a goal?

There’s a dude at MIT (Max Tegmark) who actually is doing something on this front with – it’s a website that allows you to move sliders between left and right to see the news change. Try it for yourself.

Sliders set to “Left” and “Pro Establishment”
Sliders set to Right and Anti-Establishment

Lastly, my favourite tab settings:

Sliders to the middle

Might save me a bit of time compared to alt-tabbing between CNN and Fox…

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