Sunday Wisdom No. 5

Happy Sunday!

Welcome to a new edition of Sunday Wisdom from Coffee&Junk where I share many little bits of wisdom in a single email.

Let’s get right to it. Here’s your weekly dose of fat-free wisdom.


LATEST ARTICLE

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make a Stoic Lemonade — A friend of mine is having some trouble at his workplace. He had come to me for advice. Although I gave the simplest of the advice, this advice can fit into a lot of situations we face in our lives. So I decided to share it here, with his permission of course.

Here’s the gist of what he said:

“I’m not happy where I work. There’s unnecessary bureaucracy. I took this job with a pay cut so that I could do great work. But the whole process is so convoluted here. Too much focus is on optics and ass-kissing. People try to focus on showing that they are getting things done, rather than focussing on getting things done.”

“It doesn’t look good if you don’t stay late in the office, because everybody is staying late. That’s the culture here. I was brought in to solve big problems, and contribute to the business to achieve the vision of the company. But I’m stuck doing micro-level meagre jobs that’s neither helping me in any way, nor giving me any kind of joy. Pure grunt work!”

“The CEO has no vision. The business has no direction. I’ve pitched my ideas, but nothing is moving. I’m stuck in a rut. Everyday has become excruciating. I cannot go on like this.”

If you look at it, it’s not a workplace problem. The setting is in the workplace, yes. But it’s a problem of what you can control, and what you cannot control. Rather than the situation, it’s about your emotional reaction to it.

Read the full article to know what I said to him, or save it to Pocket to read it later.


LATEST VIDEO

Charlie Munger On The Power of Not Making Stupid Decisions — According to Charlie Munger, it is a good strategy to avoid making stupid decisions, rather than trying to become intelligent.

While everybody, every text book, every advice is asking us to be more intelligent, smarter, and sharper, Charlie Munger is giving the inverse of the advice. That is, “don’t be stupid”.

There are a couple of things we have to do to avoid making stupid decisions. Watch this video to know all about it:


FROM THE ARCHIVE

Attractiveness Bias: Why Attractive People Get Preferential Treatment — Imagine you have to hire a secretary. Both the candidates have identical qualifications and experience, but you find one a bit more attractive than the other. Who would you hire? Think of a real life situation in the past where you might have had to make a similar choice. Who did you pick?

Identity-Based Habits: How to Build Habits That Stick — Few things can have a more powerful impact on your life than improving your daily habits. We all want to become better people—stronger and healthier, more creative and more skilled, a better friend or family member. But even if we get really inspired and start doing things better, it’s tough to actually stick to new behaviours. And despite our best intentions, unhealthy habits like eating junk food, watching too much television, procrastinating, and smoking can feel impossible to break. Is there a solution?


DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

I dread them. Especially if it’s a friend, or somebody close to me. But, more than often, we all need some tough love. Colleagues, friends, family members, children, and everybody else.

I try to write down everything I want to say or discuss in advance. This helps me have difficult conversations I’d avoid having.

Writing your thoughts help you figure out how to communicate what you want to say in a non-violent way. It’ll also help you think how to counter the arguments your counterpart would have. This will also help you not chicken out or soft-pedal during a heated conversation.

P.S. I read the notes either right before or even during the conversation.


WORTH LOOKING INTO

How Google Discovered the Value of Surveillance — “Wi-Fi–enabled and networked, the thermostat’s intricate, personalised data stores are uploaded to Google’s servers. Each thermostat comes with a “privacy policy,” a “terms-of-service agreement,” and an “end-user licensing agreement.” These reveal oppressive privacy and security consequences in which sensitive household and personal information are shared with other smart devices, unnamed personnel, and third parties for the purposes of predictive analyses and sales to other unspecified parties. Nest takes little responsibility for the security of the information it collects and none for how the other companies in its ecosystem will put those data to use.”

What Really Happens vs. How The Marketing Team Talks — turnoff.us is a geek comic site. If you are a developer, you cannot help but fall in love with it.


THINK ABOUT IT

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

— Marcus Aurelius

These words, written two millennia ago, cut to the core of what it means to live a good life. It isn’t what we say that defines our character, it’s what we do.

Aurelius was trying to remind himself to lead by example. He wrote these words to himself, for his own reflection. Centuries later, we could all use more ways to remind ourselves of this universal truth.

What are some non-obvious ways to become a good person? Share your thoughts with me. You can DM me on Twitter, or email me at hellocoffeeandjunk [at] gmail [dot] com.


The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 0403, and 02.

Until next Sunday!

Best,
Abhishek

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