You

Why You Need Low-Stakes, Casual Friendships

I used to think of casual friendships as sort of calculating and shallow. Especially way back in high school, it seemed like having lots of friendships was a way to “collect” friends and just try to look cool. So I revolted and embraced only a few close, genuine friends. In fact, I still play video games every weekend with my elementary school friends from 40 years ago. And of course I’m so glad to have them.

But now after a few life adjustments, I’m finally learning that, as with self-confidence, I had things backwards. It’s okay and not shallow to make friends with random people (“neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class”)! It’s fun, and people like it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ (What was I thinking?)

These two article are a good reminder that it’s good to just be a silly occasional friend with people.

“Take a ton of pictures, text your friends stupid things, check in with old friends as often as possible, express admiration to co-workers, and every day, tell as many people as you can that you love them.”

By the way… It’s not always easy doing this as a single, middle-aged guy. But it can be done. Women in particular may think you’re trying to pick them up. And maybe you are. It gets ambiguous. But that can be part of the fun. 😆

A 2014 study found that the more weak ties a person has (neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class), the happier they feel.

Quotes · You

“Happiness isn’t a choice… it’s a habit.”

Happiness isn’t a choice, or meaningfulness or something that you arrive at once you achieve something; it’s a habit.

10 Habits of Consistently Happy People

Okay, here’s another one of these lists of things that happy/confident/successful people do. I’ve been generally skipping over these since they’re getting repetitive. But I saw this one and liked that it was emphasizing that these are not big, grand things, but little things to do consistently every day. (In that sense, it’s similar to being physically fit and eating right.)

👉 10 Habits of Consistently Happy People

Summary: be optimistic, don’t compare, be grateful, be kind, maintain friendships, cope, forgive, pursue goals, be physically active, cultivate your sense of self.

But remember, pessimism has its place. 🤷🏻‍♂️

You

How to Raise Successful Kids

👉Time via Apple News

As a parent of two girls. this article from a mom who raised three very successful and (ostensibly) happy women immediately caught my eye. She lists five simple parenting principles. To my relief, they all fit nicely with my own ideas on raising my kids. ☺️

trust, respect, independence, collaboration, kindness

These all sound obvious. But many parents routinely (and with the best intentions) break the trust and undermine the respect and independence of their kids.

(It’s always fascinated me how baby talk, coddling, and strict discipline all go hand in hand. And none of these are on this list for making a strong, kind, happy adult.)

You may not care what I think as a parent, but I do suggest considering the ideas of this woman who raised two CEOs and a doctor. Her emphasis is big on kindness and independence and never about “getting ahead.”

What I wanted more than anything was to make them first into independent children and then into empowered, independent adults. I figured that if they could think on their own and make sound decisions, they could face any challenges that came their way.

What I’m offering… is an antidote to our parenting and teaching problems, a way to fight against the anxiety, discipline problems, power struggles, peer pressure and fear of technology that cloud our judgment and harm our children.

Esther Wojcicki
Quotes

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

I find it annoying when someone says “This BBQ isn’t very good” just because it’s not Franlkin’s. Hey, Rudy’s is still good BBQ, and I was so happy to find it when I moved back to Texas! Yum!

Or “This beach isn’t nearly as nice as Hawaii.” Hey, Galveston is still a beach! Sand, waves, wind. Heaven.

Just because there might exist some other version somewhere that is (arguably) better doesn’t mean this one isn’t good/fun/yummy. You’re only hurting yourself, people! So I like this Teddy Roosevelt quote.

Comparison is the thief of joy

Teddy Roosevelt via Soup Peddler
You

Why It’s Better to Find Success Later in Life

👉 Why It’s Better to Find Success Later in Life

Nothing super groundbreaking in this article, but it’s a good refresher. Basically, you earn a certain amount of success, happiness, and confidence by failing and bouncing back over time.

This is a lot of how I look at parenting (hopefully) resilient kids…

…the best way to gain strength is by falling and continually bouncing back, practicing, working around obstacles. But this flexibility is critical to long-term success.

Fortunately, it’s easy to struggle. 😉 This makes me think of George Washington, who failed a lot. Like, he was pretty bad for quite a while before he became amazing.

You don’t need to go out of your way to struggle and stumble, because it will happen naturally to most of us. And many a great has failed before they bloomed.

You

Should You Take That Promotion? Well, Maybe.

Summary

Consider…

  • Do you know what the new role is clearly defined, you know what the expectations are and why the position is open?
  • Do you have (or want to develop) the skills to do the job?
  • Do you want to do that kind of work?

What does success in this role look like?

Health and lifestyle

The new gig might negatively impact your health if it’s not a good fit. Chronic work-related stress can cause high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.

Goals

If you don’t have specific objectives in mind — identifiable skills you want to sharpen, an idea of the direction you want your career to go — you’re not going to know if this promotion is going to get you to closer to those goals

Use self-assessment tools such as Strengthsfinder to figure out if the promotion plays to your talents.

“Think of what you’re doing now, what you’re good at, what you want to do more of, and see if the promotion will allow you to continue to do that,” she said. “If the promotion is not going to let you do that, it might not be a good fit.”

Priorities

Try ranking the top three things you’re looking for in any position you take. Everyone’s priorities are different. For some, it could be proximity to home, the ability to engage in challenging work and maintaining a certain salary bracket. For others, flexible work hours, being on a cohesive team and access to mentors are priorities

New opportunities

It’s important to keep an open mind and think about the doors that might open if you take the job. You could contribute to an exciting project, break into an emerging industry or learn a new skill set

Take control

focus on the things you can control when it comes to your professional development. Instead of fretting over when opportunities for advancement will present themselves, hone your expertise and strengthen your network so you’ll be a competitive hire no matter what