Category Archives: advice

Deal with social media better by having less opinions

Word cloud
Social media bombards us with opinions. Such bombardment tugs at us to form our own opinions, but this is is a trap that leads us to be unhappy. As this piece (Free Your Mind by Having Fewer Useless Opinions) argues:

The more opinions you have, the more time and energy you end up wasting to defend those opinions, and the more small amounts of stress you accrue. But the less you have, the more time and energy you have to focus on the deep opinions you have.

I think this is a great idea. There are lots of reasons not to have an opinion on things: you don’t have knowledge on a topic, you don’t have interest on a topic, you prefer to focus your thoughts on other topics. Much of popular culture can be dismissed this way, as can many political scandals.

So let others spend their time fretting and fussing over such things and spend your time focusing on the things you think matter.

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Today is World Kindness Day. Here’s 30 ways you can be kind


No doubt you are kind, but the world can always use more kindness. This post  is a list of 30 things you can do to be more kind, to expand your sphere of kindness. Try doing one a day or even one a week. Thank you.

If you can’t find a new movie to watch, you want to rewatch one of these

Why this list of movies? According to Five Thirty Eight, they are the most rewatchable movies of all time. Scanning the list, I see a few of the ones I tend to watch over and over again. Chances are you do too.

Enjoy.

Meanwhile, here’s one of the many great scenes from Casablanca.

It’s Friday. Here’s a list of 26 things you can do for yourself

Read this list. Pick three. Do them. Your life will be better.

Why three? No reason, other than to make it seem possible. Skip three and just do one. That’s a good start. Or do one every two weeks for the next year. Whatever works for you.

What is wrong with minimalism (and how to fix that)

What is wrong with minimalism? If you were to read this piece by Mark Manson on the Disease of More, you would be right in thinking that less is what we need. The less you have, the better off you should be. In which case, approaching minimalism should be the idea.

Yet minimalism taken to an extreme is just another form of More is Better, which seems to be the point of this Guardian article, Minimalism: another boring product wealthy people can buy.  (And the truth is, minimalism can be difficult to achieve, as this article shows.)  So, is minimalism a good idea or not? Should you give up on minimalism?

What both minimalist and anti-minimalists miss in their arguments is what is required to have a good life. What should be pursued is not to have more because more is better, or having less because less is better, but to have just what is essential for you to have a good life.

Of course what is essential depends on who you are. For some, this is a perfect environment:


For others, it’s this:

There is nothing wrong with a minimal environment if that is essential for you to be happy and content. Likewise, having a room jam packed with stimulating items may be essential to you.  You have to decide for yourself, rather than sticking with a simple formula of Less is More or More is More.

What you should have is  what is essential for you to live a good life. The fix for minimalism is essentialism. Preferably a lean essentialism. But again, that is up to you.

How to arrange supermarket flowers and other flower arranging tips

Flowers
If you are fortunate, you have access to a great florist and they can arrange your favorite flowers for you. If you don’t have that, if the best you have is flowers from the supermarket or the corner store, you can still do great things, as these three articles show:

  1. How to Make a Stunning Bouquet with Supermarket Flowers | Bon Appetit
  2. Three Stylish Takes on DIY Flower Arrangements – Bon Appétit | Bon Appetit
  3. Three Great Tips for Making Better Flower Arrangements | Healthyish | Bon Appetit

My advice: pick one or two of  these rules or examples and then get some flowers based on them. If in doubt, start small and keep it simple.  As you can see from the photo, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a big bouquet stuffed in a large vase: a simple collection of one type of flower in a simple bottle still looks wonderful. If you get a bunch of 4 or 5 different flowers from the supermarket, break them up into groups of 1, 2 or 3.  Try different things. Flower arranging is an art in more ways than one.

Also, when cutting your flowers, take your time and cut away a bit at a time until you get the height you want. You can always cut further, but obviously you cannot lengthen them!

Flowers bring automatic beauty into your life. Go get some.

P.S. If you have to get vases and you don’t want to spend alot, consider the local dollar store. Most will have a collection of simple glass cylinders of all heights. Get a small, medium, and large size cylinder and you will be all set for whatever flowers suit your mood that day, be they a small bunch of daisies or a big batch of sunflowers.

Some advice on middle age and ageism


I found a collection of links on getting older, links I am drawn to as I get older. Some of them are essential but depressing. Others affirm there are possibilities for new things as one reaches middle age and then old age. There are difficulties, including discrimination due to ageism: some of these articles can help deal with that.

I’ll conclude with two pieces on much older artists still capable of doing great things. One of the biggest problems of being middle-aged is succumbing to fatalism and a pessimistic belief that almost everything is behind you, and that you have nothing to live for or work towards. As you can see in these pieces below, that’s not always true. You should fight that belief, and live your days like you have many, while taking care to enjoy each day as you can. You need a vision to care you forward, a way to get off the track labelled Dead End and on to the one the continues forward. I hope these links can help achieve that vision:

Finally, there is this: Seeing old age as a never ending adventure