6 ideas in 3-2-1

Treat Thompson



This is a republishing of The Steady Fella Newsletter. Every week readers use the timeless insights on passion, productivity, philosophy, and happiness from this newsletter to build towards the life they want.

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Today’s newsletter is going to be a little different than the previous issues.

Rather than breaking down a singular topic, I'm going to share six of my favourite ideas, in 3 - 2 - 1.

3 one-liners, 2 short ideas, and 1 longer concept

3 One-Liners

Your life is just today repeated

Do nothing today, and you'll have a boring life.

Pursue a dream today, and you'll have a fulfilling life.

Make two people proud: Your 8-year-old self and your 80-year-old self

When you were 8, you probably had wild dreams about what your future would be like. Don't disappoint that kid.

When you're 80, you'll want to reflect on a life well-lived. Don't make your old self wonder what could have been.

Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, and some wonder about things happening

Which group sounds the happiest?

Which group won't wonder what could have been?

2 Short Ideas

I don't know the meaning of life, but I think the theme of life is choice

There are things we have no choice over:

  • What country we're born in.
  • What ethnicity we are.
  • What class were born into.
  • Our genes.

And there are things we do have a choice over:

  • What we do with our resources.
  • How we choose to look at the world.
  • What relationships we build.
  • Where we devote our time.

I don't know what we're supposed to do with our lives, but I know what we should do: make the most out of them.

We do that by taking control of the choices we have. Life seems like a waste if we don't at least attempt to reach our potential.

Your happiness is volatile when you tie it to other's opinions of your possessions and actions. It grows when you start being yourself

Material possessions bring you short-term, relative happiness. You're only as happy as to how much someone values that item and that happiness starts depreciating immediately.

Similarly, when your actions revolve around what others like or dislike, you detach yourself from the happiness equation. You become dependant on validation.

Being yourself is a cliche for a reason. When you start being yourself, your happiness grows; simply because you're doing what matters to you.

This quote by Jim Carrey paints a perfect picture of this:

"... take a chance on being loved or hated for who you really are. Or you're going to have to kill who you really are and fall into a grave grasping onto a character you never were."

1 Longer Concept

How you choose to look at your world is what it becomes.

A small story for context:

  • Two siblings were playing on top of their bunk bed; a little boy and a little girl.
  • The boy accidentally pushed his sister on to the floor. On her hands and knees, he noticed she was about to erupt in tears.
  • He did the only thing his 7-year-old brain could think of. He said, "Amy, wait, don't cry! No human lands on all fours like that. I think this means you're a unicorn."
  • Her brain then had the option to look at life through one of two lenses:
  • Falling off a bunk bed
  • Becoming a unicorn
  • Obviously, being a 5-year old girl, her brain chose the unicorn response.
  • Instead of crying from pain, she climbed back up the bunk bed with a smile on her face.

"It's not our reality that shapes us. It is the lense that our brains view the world that shapes our reality." – Shawn Achor

This isn't just true for children. The clearest example I can give is the news.

The news today consistently places an extreme emphasis on all of what's wrong in the world. If you choose the news to be the lens you look at life with, you'll have a negative opinion of it and may fall into hopelessness.

In contrast, people who keep a gratitude journal will consistently see all that's good in their life and have a positive opinion of the world.

You can focus on the job you don't have, or you can focus on the opportunities your current job brings you. You can focus on your peer's grades, or you can be proud of your own.

You get to choose which lens to look at life with; which means you get to choose your reality.

This weeks quote

"I'm not what happened to me; I'm what I choose to become."- Carl Jung

Similar to the concept I just talked about. You are how you react to the world, not what it does to you.

If you get laid-off at work, that is not you. You are the response to that situation.

You are not the challenges, tests, and roadblocks that happen in life. You are the responses, reactions, and choices you make.

This weeks question

Do you have an exterior or interior locus of control?

Exterior: The belief that you are not in control of your own successes and failures.

Interior: The belief that your successes and failures are attributed to your own efforts.

My answer: I definitely have an interior locus of control. I think it's the healthiest viewpoint to have. I feel both getting a bad grade and being hired for a job is in my control. I think it'd be unhealthy to consistently think "it's because I had no time to study" or "the interviewer was biased".