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Newsletter #37 - Braindump

Published 10 months ago • 3 min read

Newsletter #37 - Braindump

I started writing at least 10 articles last week and neither of them was satisfactory.

I'll dedicate this newsletter instead to giving a short summary of 5 of these ideas.

6 Months

I was listening to Will Smith's autobiography. He mentions how, as a teenager, he spent every free moment he had writing rhymes.

As an adult with a spouse and a child, I don't have the liberty to focus singularly on one thing. There's a baby to feed and bills to be paid.

What I would recommend my younger self (or my older baby) is to take 6 months off. Go write a book, go code a website, go travel, learn something new, start a business, go meditate in India, go build a solar car or do an internship at a formula 1 team, play poker, ... Find your inflection point, where you realise you're very good at something!

Taking that liberty to singularly focus on one thing only, for a long time. The older she grows, the less she'll have of that.

Maybe I should take 6 months off after my freelance contract finishes?

Investing in Intentional Serendipity

I know at least 3 people who's life has been changed by having the luck of meeting people who pushed them forward.

One of them is myself. Doing an MBA at INSEAD allowed me to meet the people who continue to inspire me to this day, 8 years later.

Other, smaller examples:

Doing a one-day Wim Hof Icebath workshop allowed me to meet people with good ideas about health and fitness.

Joining Toastmasters (a speech club) allows me to meet people who are strong leaders.

I work at a co-working because these places tend to attract creative thinkers.

I would want my child to attend the best schools, not to get the best education, but to be surrounded by great examples.

The lesson is: Invest in events or activities which have a high chance of meeting interesting people.

Maybe I should join the most expensive co-working in Bangkok after all?

Force myself to imagine great moments

Life is going through a lot of changes now:

  • We're leaving Bangkok
  • My spouse starts her own company
  • I'll have to make a decision whether to become an FTE or end my freelance contract
  • Other, undisclosed, changes

It's easy to imagine all things which could go WRONG.

It's not intuitive to imagine all the things which could go RIGHT.

I make lists to remind myself of all the great things which could happen.

Doing this (or similar mental exercises) daily 15 - 30 minutes changes the way I think for the rest of the day.

Being Curious

I'm reading Richard Feynmann's autobiography Surely You're Joking Mister Feynmann.

It reads like a fairy tale, or like Forrest Gump: Someone is enthusiastic, curious and open-minded, and suddenly all kinds of good and fun things happen to him.

It's almost as if winning the Nobel prize just happened to him.

It's an inspiring fun read, and a good life-philosophy:

If you’re curious, open-minded, and optimistic a lot of good can happen.

No Babies

Somehow I got interested in the topic of fertility recently.

My underlying driver is that I'm trying to geo-optimise where to live.

And I come to realise that many countries are basically child-unfriendly.

Not intentionally, just as a consequence of well-intended rules:

  • In Japan all babysitters need to be licensed.
  • The FT had an article about the low fertility in Italy. In the same article it mentiones overcrowded daycares.
  • Singapore has a super low fertility rate.

The latter one surprised me, Singapore is one of the few developed countries where a full-time nanny is affordable (maybe Dubai as well?).

And I see easy access to care as one of the main impediments to having more children.

Seemingly the Singaporeans have additional reasons not to have children.

I'll continue geo-optimising for a while.

Or I'll need to get rich, then it doesn't matter anymore as a nanny is affordable anywhere.

Maybe the biggest impediment to having more babies is people wanting to become rich first?

Enjoy your week

That's it for this week.

Unrelated, but below is a pic of my work setup.

Have a great week!

Hi! I'm Joris

This is my weekly braindump. You can read it, but I don't write it for you, I write it for me.

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