Holding onto thoughts

That worrying thought you had today – is it an actual worry or is your mind looking for something to hold onto?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had has been to quieten my mind when thoughts are worries. Instead, I’m learning to embrace thoughts for what they are – just thoughts.

Letting go frees up your mind for peace and space, and more productive uses of your time.

Changing the meaning of depression

I read this quote from Jim Carrey today, which made me stop for a moment and reframe (slightly) how I think about depression:

Depression is your body saying, “I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me”.

You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest’. Your body needs to be depressed. it needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.

I realise depression can mean more than just your body telling you to stop playing a superficial character – from people I know who’ve been through this, there’s a change in the chemicals in our brains which contribute to this state. However, looking at this from a perspective of your body needing ‘deep rest’ could allow you to reframe where you are in life and what YOU can do to step back and position your life in the way you need to be.

Eating your cake and having it too

Once you’ve eaten the cake, there’s nothing left for you to claim. You can’t have it – or all the benefits that come with possessing the cake – once you’ve eaten it.

As I read through Amazon’s reasons for backing out of its new HQ in New York, there was a sense of justice being served. It took a year-long competition – of pitting cities against each other while having to bend to Amazon’s will to get the best deal they possibly can – to get to this stage. Through this process, Amazon was able to get its most favored locations and receive a ton of incentives.

This led them down a slippery slope of negotiating sales tax breaks in all cities they worked with – this short-term focus on tax has caused long-term damage to their reputation but also slowed what would’ve been a nice competitive advantage – being in New York, the human capital and advertising knowledge they could’ve gained made it a no-brainer for them to get as many players on side.

When we become too greedy and become unreasonable – we sometimes get what we want, but what we lose is something we can’t get back. In certain moments, it would be more beneficial to accept a lesser offer if it keeps your reputation intact.

Gathering data points

I finally got round to reading Bill and Melinda Gates’ 2019 annual letter – it was 100% worth the wait.

As always, they fill their annual letter with the most pressing issues they are working on, as well as other areas where some level of substantial progress has been made, as well as those in need of progress the most.

You can read the full thing here – one which stood out to me was how little data is available on women and girls. Bill explains that women’s issues seem to be separated due to other reasons/variables and therefore don’t get as much of an in-depth study to not skew the data (at least to my understanding).

In addition to the lack of data about areas like income, real estate ownership, how they spend their time and much more – the data which does exist is bad and lackluster.

Thankfully, this is an area their foundation is working to improve – they are leading the “gender data revolution” – by empowering data collectors with new tools and training to breaking down existing datasets by gender to mine them for insights.

The last line here hit me – “what we choose to measure is a reflection of what society values. That’s why when it comes to understanding the lives of women and girls, the world can’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer”.

Unconventional team activities

It’s interesting to me that activities like escape rooms or team paintballing embody the same values and learning opportunities as more serious activities.

It made me wonder how teams find things out – do they do the activities and then realise its benefits, or are games like this designed to fulfil a specific purpose?

We need to find opportunities to embrace that allow us to express our values in different ways.