* The Top Idea in Your Mind by Paul Graham
The Shower Thought has been a tool in my arsenal for a long time; often I use it to gain clarity when I need to sleep over a decision or an idea. Those initial 10-15 minutes in the shower can be surprisingly helpful to see the wood from the trees (though not always). However, Paul Graham points out something that I'd never really thought of before - being careful about what you actually end up thinking in the shower. I've never put much thought into that itself, but he makes a compelling argument: the thing that your mind drifts to while you're in the shower is what you're probably expending the majority of your energy thinking about. And so, you should be careful about what you spend your energy thinking about.
He also makes a great point about learning to turn the other cheek when you get into a dispute, as it can take up a disproportionate amount of space in your brain. I found this quote in particular useful: "I've found I can to some extent avoid thinking about nasty things people have done to me by telling myself: this doesn't deserve space in my head."
I've decided this week that there are thoughts/concerns/etc. that I don't want to think about. One thing that has taken up a disproportionate amount of space in my brain historically is the ups and downs of romantic relationships. I've realised recently that this extensive rumination does not apply to everyone, and I do not want to spend my shower time over such matters anymore because it's never particularly beneficial. So that's been a nice reflection for the week.
This also reminds me of what Naval suggests - of setting yourself an hourly rate (his was US$5,000) and making sure you don't work on anything that's worth less to you than that.
Who I'm Listening To:
* I've released my first playlist as part of what I'm calling The Gold Series. In summary, my thesis is that people want to discover more 'good music' from the past but it can be difficult to know where to start. With The Gold Series, I hope to be an easy starting point for that kind of discovery.
You can read more about my goals and intentions with this project here.
You can also check out the first playlist itself here - Mellow Gold #1.
What I'm Thinking About:
* How do I make sure that I'm spending my mental energy where I want to spend it?
* I'm in the middle of a 4 night trip to a pirate island in Hong Kong (Cheung Chau). It's got a lovely hodge-podge of buildings stacked upon each other due to the hills - what comes to mind are the famous Greek villages - and my brain can't help but drift towards ideas for a fantasy short story set in this kind of pirate town.