5/21/21 Recommended Issues: puzzles, pre-mortems, tricking your brain

5/21/21 Recommended Issues: puzzles, pre-mortems, tricking your brain

Good day!

Each week we handpick newsletter issues by independent writers you may have missed that provide new or unique perspectives. 

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Here's what's worth reading this week...enjoy!




 How to Do What You Hate in The Mental Health Update by Jordan Brown on May 17 

Jordan makes the point that there’s crap we all hate doing, become resentful of, procrastinate on because we dislike it so much, and draw it out so that it’s a much bigger thing than if we’d just done it in the first place (for some people it’s washing dishes that are piling up in the sink, cleaning a room, sorting mail, etc...you know whatever it is for you!). He advocates for pairing what you hate with something that you love (ex: if there’s a podcast you’re dying to listen to each week, tee that up to listen to while you’re doing hated-task-X); it becomes a way to flip the hate (and procrastination) in your brain to something more motivating (and heaven forbid, perhaps even something you look forward to!). The issue is worth reading because it will make you think about what you dislike doing and how you might be able to make it a much more enjoyable experience. There’s no pain in that and LOTS to gain. (709 words; 2.5 minutes) Read it...


Innovation Hack 5 - Kill Your Own Darling in 101 Innovation Hacks by Adam Egger  

Most people have heard of a post-mortem, commonly used at work when some project/deliverable/product/sale/etc went off the rails in order to figure out why it went awry… But the idea of a pre-mortem -- taking the idea you’re planning to move forward with and trying to figure out all the reasons it could fail -- is quite uncommon.  Adam argues that doing a pre-mortem on an idea you’re bullish about is actually an important part of the creative process that can lead to a much more robust solution/plan/idea etc… The issue is worth a read because it will get you thinking about how you could apply the pre-mortem concept either at work or at home with plans, ideas, processes you’re creating, etc -- leading you to hopefully even better, stronger solutions! (474 words; 1.5 minutes) Read it...


If you like puzzles, The Mystery League newsletter is worth perusing when it comes out every month or two. Each issue offers at least one puzzle-- and you can reply back to the writer if you’re savvy enough to figure out the answer (the next issue will also divulge the answer, but luckily you’ll have a good chunk of time in between to think about it!). Issues also contain some fun and interesting news about puzzles, like this month it links to an article about what “common knowledge” actually means when designing crossword puzzles (which is quite culturally fascinating if you take a few moments to think about it). For those who enjoy having your brain teased a bit every now and again, consider giving this newsletter a shot; it won’t clog your inbox and will certainly get your creative problem solving skills flowing! Enjoy! Read some! (or subscribe)

Learnings from newsletters this week:

  • Expedia and TripAdvisor are now worth 58% and 52% more than in January 2020, despite revenues declining by roughly 60%, their EBITDA dropping by more than 85% in 2020, and travel restrictions still being the norm.  Rational? Irrational? Travel Tech Essentialist 5/13
  • What a decline! Fifteen years ago cell phone ringtones generated over $1 billion in revenue; by 2020, their revenue plummeted to a wimpy $20 million! Penny Fractions 5/19
  • Mooo, bwock, oink... The world’s fastest growing online marketplace (200 million new customers in 2020 with 788.4 million annual active buyers!!!) facilitates direct sales by small-scale farmers to consumers. Fascinating! Curating Futures 5/6
  • Over half of the households (57%) earning less than $30k in the US do not have broadband at home. Fair Warning 5/16
  • "Familect" is a term you can use to describe any of those weird words or phrases you've made up with your family (partner, kids, parents, siblings, roommates, best friends) that people outside of your "family" just don't get and it's never really worth trying to explain... might be fun to sit down and ponder a few that you may have :).   Culture Study 5/16
  • There was a HUGE growth of renewable energy generation in 2020 - up 45% from 2019! Exponential View 5/19
  • Amusing? Apparently 7% of men (and 6% of women!) think they could beat a grizzly if they were unarmed in a fight... but only 76% of men (and 68% of women) think they could beat a rat!... (and there are lots more animals in between those two in this chart). Exponential View 5/19
  • And last but not least... "There are two rules for success...  1. Never reveal everything you know" Timeless & Timely 5/17


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