19 Things That'll Brighten You Up and Don't Cost a Cent
A Year-End Grab Bag of Goodies
A carefully curated list of offerings for the end of your year: great music, articles, resources, and quotes. Enjoy, share, report back!
I listen to a lot of music. When I’m not a short-order DJ for the kids in our car rides, I’m deep in the proverbial archive and newcomer bins of audio. Here’s a playlist of My Favorite New Jams of 2023. And because 2023 was a hefty dose in equal proportions of struggle, sorrow, abundance, and joy, the mix swings through all the feels, guaranteed to bolster and make you bounce in equal proportions.
Oldie but goodie, this 6-minute read by the inimitable Paul Graham is on my yearly re-read list. It’s an incisive call-to-action that closes with this zinger:
Relentlessly prune bullshit, don't wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That's what you do when life is short.
Read “Life Is Short”
Another oldie I just came across, this brilliant 3-minute beauty picks up on a thread laid down in Graham’s piece: the improbable, potent deliverance that comes from spending meaningful time with the little ones in our life.
🧑🏽🤝🧑🏽 The Loneliness Economy
The landscape of technology in our modern lives is all-too-often a driver of our isolation and insularity. This offering aims to solve this with its comprehensive repository of resources for connection and belonging.
Explore “The Loneliness Economy”
The gift that is Ryan Holiday’s deep, modern-day Stoic wisdom is most palpable in this compendium of deep, tactical guidelines for better living.
We all have a Circle of Competence. Know what you know and what you don’t. Identify your circle and its boundaries. Be ruthless in protecting it. Hint: It’s usually smaller than you think. (Sahil Bloom)
Writer and poet Emma Campbell Webster wrote this short, poignant, heart-rending piece that grapples courageously with the quandary of how to do life while acute, collective suffering ignites across the world.
The “mother of coaching” Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott devised these “rules” in her seminal book If Life is a Game, These are the Rules. They’re so timeless that they have made their way around socials as being “handed down from ancient Sanskrit.”
This brilliant micro-site takes us on a journey of emotional awareness, where we uncover the power of naming and visualizing your feelings. Immersive and insightful, it’s a practical tool for practicing our emotional intelligence.
Explore “How Are You Doing?”
I am not what you think I am; you are what you think I am.
One of the most precise, propulsive philosophical voices of our time, Peter Limberg devised the term “vocation gap” for the “all too common phenomena of having a livelihood and vocation misaligned.” In this 8-minute read, Limberg brings his care and clarity to outlining the seven strategies possible for closing that gap.
Taking the vocation question from a different tactical lens, Larry Cornett Ph.D. offers this phenomenal 6-minute framework for those on the search for their next job. With his deep expertise, Dr. Cornett colors in the three macro-strategies that assure a successful upgrade in career.
Twitter/X can be a powerful platform for learning, connection, and community, and it can be an all-out dumpster fire. This repository curates a hand-picked, informative and categorized wellspring of Twitter threads.
When you’re overthinking, you’re pretending that you’re trying to decide what to do, when in reality, you’re actually trying to eliminate the consequences or the risk, which is impossible. (h/t Erwin McManus)
Oliver Burkeman wrote one of the best “productivity” books in 2021. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals is a must-read. His newsletter is a dose of pure gold, too. This 4-minute piece cautions us against defining ourselves, boxing ourselves in, with the tools we find. The tools we find need to be chosen, day in day out, job by job. There is no blanket silver bullet.
P.S. His “Lists are Menus” piece delivers the same type of relieving framing to our to-do lists.
Artist, healer, and experience designer, Rei Chou is a prescient, pure voice and a powerful coach I leaned on during a huge career transition. Her thinking is bold and brilliant. Her words:
Business needs a bigger Myth. Our understanding of our work is far too myopic to satisfy our deeper desires for connection, relevance, and meaning… and to find it, its leaders must carry out their own quest. To know themselves as part of something greater than just their own lives.
Morgan Housel’s reputation precedes him, and his own blog writing is electric learning always. He also curated this bouquet of riches, mostly one-liner quotes from all walks of life, and they’re zingers one and all.
The blemishes, scars, and setbacks are what give you the character to take you places other people are too soft and smooth to go! (Joshua Medcalf, Chop Wood Carry Water)
👋🏻 That’s all for now. Blessings to you for a graceful and meaningful end to your 2023.
P.S. Photograph by Alessandro Carboni/TNC Photo Contest 2023