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📐 of the 🧠 [008]

Triangle of the Mind
📐 of the 🧠 [008]
By Steve Ledlow • Issue #8 • View online
It wasn’t intentional to publish issue 007 a bit over two months ago and then take an unannounced hiatus. While I do plan to resume a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule, I’ve definitely recognized that having a few extra issues ready to publish would give me some much needed cushion when “life happens.” During the last two months, I’ve taken a much needed family vacation, weathered the entire clan having COVID-19 and many, many more events along the way. I’m happy to say that we’re all in good health and life is resuming whatever form of structure it naturally falls into with a household of two adults, 6 kids, an English Mastiff, a ragdoll cat, and a leopard gecko.
Life has a rather ironic way of forcing you to come up for air whether you think you need it or not. I’m slowly trying to make changes that simplify various aspects of my now 40-something life. I’ve been on a “Twitter diet” of sorts. While the number of people I follow is relatively contained, I found the urge to open Tweetbot in “empty” moments disconcerting. I recognized that even with my near elimination of “endless scroll” social media consumption, Twitter was sneaking in as the “but I get value” trojan horse to my castle of attention. I’ve removed Tweetbot from my phone. I use Typefully to occasionally share a thought, but even that has been seldom enough to make me question if I should just ditch the entire thing. My Instagram has been in “archive mode” since it hit 500 posts.
I haven’t placed these platforms under glass because I felt I had an unhealthy relationship with them. I did it because I am peeling things away. I’m reducing inputs in order to try and allow space for mental boredom. Many of the thoughts I have that are worth writing about aren’t worth reading if I put them down when they’re still eggs. They need to be incubated. They need time to develop and hatch into something meaningful. It may not be the case for all, but for me, that process needs some empty space in my head. Most of the incremental changes I find myself making are in service of clearing the non-essential from my mind.
Again, I’m not in the business of giving advice… but if you feel any sense of “I can’t keep up” with the mental demands of life, maybe some of the above will spark thought of how running faster may not be the only solution.

1️⃣ Something I did...
I met Thor on the interwebs somewhere awhile back and we hit it off. I was honored to participate in his Async Chats newsletter and it was a lovely experience to email back and forth for a few weeks as our schedules allowed and have it get published as issue 11 back in June.
2️⃣ Something I read...
Over the years I’ve read lots of pieces by Burkeman. They are always thoughtful and stretch the mind (two things I seek in my non-fictional reading).
This one nails something I’ve long believed in and try to constantly test within myself:
The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.
Here’s the gem:
It’s possible, instead, to make a game of gradually increasing your capacity for discomfort, like weight training at the gym. When you expect that an action will be accompanied by feelings of irritability, anxiety or boredom, it’s usually possible to let that feeling arise and fade, while doing the action anyway. The rewards come so quickly, in terms of what you’ll accomplish, that it soon becomes the more appealing way to live.
My wife thinks some things I do in this discomfort game theory exercise are nuts. It is a very Western approach to seek a solution to every one of life’s discomforts. Lean in and embrace it. Train yourself to not be swayed by minor inconveniences and discomforts and you’ll weather the storms of life with much less anxiety, effort and energy consumed in the process.
3️⃣ Something else I read...
Manu has been writing more on his blog lately and I’ve been truly enjoying his thoughts and what they spark in my own thoughts. This one is a highlight, but I’d suggest if you enjoy it, read more of his writing.
My favorite line is the final one:
Sometimes, we are alone, and that’s OK.
Read the piece for the context, but my connection to the piece goes back to my introduction of this issue. Our current tools and platforms for interaction seem to push us toward an overabundance of “stuff”… including connections to other people.
The strength of those connections is concerning, especially considering the time being invested to “maintain” them. Being alone with one’s thoughts has become a discomfort to many. We’re back in item #2 territory. Here’s a link post where I highlight another great piece of writing from Carl Barenbrug and my thoughts around Better Connections.
📬 Thanks for reading!
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For more of my writing, check out my landing page with links to other efforts.
Angles Outside 180 📐
This section is only for the folks that scroll to the bottom of a newsletter the way true fans sit to the end of the credits in a movie hoping for a little more…
  • I’m almost done with a modular dance floor build out in my garage. Videos and photos of it in action will be featured in a newsletter soon, but super excited about it.
  • My consumption reduction project has also hit my podcast subscriptions. The desire to listen to every episode of certain shows leads to a long backlog in some cases. Claim bankruptcy and clear the it without guilt has been my current approach, while simultaneously unsubscribing from several shows I’ve listened to for years.
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Steve Ledlow

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