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Welcome to another edition of the Mindf*ck Monday Newsletter — a weekly newsletter that doesn’t suck. Today we’re talking about: 1) the importance of practicing patience, 2) Attention Diets and whether they work or are just a fad, and 3) why you shouldn’t worry about the afterlife.
Let’s dive in:
1. How to Be Patient in an Impatient World
I’ve spent much of this year writing about attention, how we should better manage it, how technology affects it, and the potential risks of succumbing to constant stimulation. But there’s a subtle underside of the attention issue that I have never written about and that’s the issue of patience.
Research suggests that as we become more stimulated and instantly gratified, our ability to be patient crashes and burns. This has repercussions in many areas of our lives. For one, it makes us assholes when we drive. For another, we spend much of our day experiencing mini-eruptions whenever anything happens 10 seconds later than we’d like it to. And that’s no fun. That is no way to live. And that is no way to affect the world.
This week’s article takes a deep dive into patience — the importance of patience, the causes of impatience, and how to shut the hell up for a second and just sit with your own thoughts — seriously, it won’t kill you.
You can read the article below… in just a second… (wait for it…)
Wait for it…
Waaaaait for iitttt….
Come on, be patient now!
OK, here you go!
2. Does The Attention Diet Work?
This summer, I wrote a post on a concept I called “The Attention Diet.” The same way you cut out bad calories to improve our physical health, I posited that we could cut out bad information to improve our mental health. The article was quite thorough in how to do this. It even had pretty pictures. If you missed it, you should check it out.
When I published that piece, I mentioned that I’d be implementing the diet into my own life and invited my readers to do the same and let me know how it went. Well, it’s been about three months since then and I decided to write a follow-up.
The short answer is: it’s great. I can’t imagine going back. The long answer is at the link below:
3. Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the Afterlife
While I don’t believe in any sort of conventional God, I’ve never worried about the afterlife. The whole concept of “me” is something I invented in the first place, a concept that is constantly changing and mutating and dying and being reborn every day anyway. So the idea that this arbitrary concept of “Mark” would continue on after my physical body turns to maggot food strikes me as — how do I put this politely? — like a fucking fairytale.
To me, what happens after we die is an unanswerable question, so why worry about it? I’m a big proponent of the “cross that bridge when we come to it” philosophy of life. And in the case of the afterlife, I’ll worry about being dead when I get there.
But… in case you are one of those people who suffers from the anxiety of wondering what will happen to you when you die, I enjoyed this quote from the Roman Emperor and philosophical badass, Marcus Aurelius:
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
Notice how he places “justice” and “noble living” above “the gods” on his value hierarchy. Good man. You could categorize this quote in the, “Shut Up and Be A Good Person” section of life advice. I’m a fan of it. I hope you are too.
Happy Monday. Until next week… Enjoy contemplating your own mortality.
– Mark Manson