Weekly I/O #7
Top 5 Regrets, Astronaut, Whiplash, The Opposite of Happiness, Alicia Keys
Weekly I/O is a project where I share my learning Input/Output. Every Sunday, I write an email newsletter with five things I discovered and learned that week.
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The below is extracted from the email sent on Jan 3, 2021.
Here’s a list of what I’m exploring and pondering this week.
1. The top of my todo list
Article: The top of my todo list
This is from Paul Graham’s blog post: The top of my todo list. The blog post mentioned a list of the 5 biggest regrets of the dying made by a palliative care nurse.
The five are
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
- I wish I’d had the courage to live the life true to myself
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
- I wish I’d had let myself happier
- I wish I’d kept in touch with my friends
To avoid these mistakes, PG inverted the regrets to five commands:
- Don’t ignore your dreams
- Don’t work too much
- Say what you think
- Cultivate friendships
- Be happy.
He put those at the top of the todo list he’s using.
2. Unexpected and Unimaginable Astronaut Story
Jonny Kim is a Navy SEAL, a Harvard MD, a physician, a NASA Astronaut. When first hearing his story, I was expecting he might have a more “born-to-be-an-astronaut” childhood: decided to be an astronaut at 3, straight As, privileged family, etc.
From an almost five hours long podcast from Jocko Willink interviewing Jonny Kim, the astronaut talked about his childhood. Surprisingly, his childhood is a nightmare. His father was abusive and an alcoholic. One night his father almost murdered him and his mom and got gunned down.
The episode is the longest podcast I have listened to, but it is so inspiring to just listen to his talking. In the podcast, he also talked about emotional stories of his deployment in Iraq, where he lost teammates in the war, the struggle of his post-deployment emotion, his life in Harvard Medical School where he woke up at 3:30 and already had three kids.
Despite all the crazy accomplishment, he still considers himself average both physically and mentally.
3. “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.” — Whiplash (2014)
Good is the enemy of great.
4. The opposite of happiness is boredom, not sadness. Just like the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.
Book: The 4-Hour Workweek
The author Tim Ferriss also argued that the question people usually ask themselves, “What do I want”, is too imprecise to produce meaningful and actionable answers. “What would excite me” is a better question than “What do I want” or “What are my goals” since excitement is a more practical synonym for happiness.
5. Alicia Keys in Paris | A Take Away Show
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