This week, we dig into Kevin Kelly's recent blog post "68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice". We go through the list and talk about a bunch of the advices (?) that resonate with us. The article can be found here.

Below are some of the lessons that we looked at this week and the points that we discussed around them:

Learn how to learn from those you disagree with, or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe.
  • As society has become more polarised, especially in recent years, disagreements have become more common and reconciliation resulting from these disagreements is rate. There is a greater need for people to consider what the reasons are for the other person to have arrived at their position and in what circumstances is what they are saying actually true. One suggestion that Ali posits is that, if you are actively having a disagreement with someone, ask the other person, what position do you think I take that you disagree with which forces them to articulate how they see my own point of view.
Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.
‘Don’t be the best. Be the only’.
  • The idea of ‘different is better’ is one which features heavily in the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, a book which is a strong proponent of the power of being different and defining your own category. The more differentiated we can make ourselves through having broad interests and having projects at the intersection of different fields, the more likely that we can be successful within that niche that we have created for ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may sound stupid because 99% of the time everyone else is thinking of the same question and is too embarrassed to ask it.
  • The fear of speaking out in front of other people or in a group often leads to hesitation in asking questions that would further our understanding or perhaps even enhance our lives. This is a maxim that Ali tries to incorporate into his life.
A worthy goal for a year is to learn enough about a subject so that you can’t believe how ignorant you were a year earlier.
  • We all suffer from the desire to learn more but make the excuse that we perhaps don't have time. In reality we simply don't make time to develop our knowledge and understanding of the subjects that we are interested in. If you could concentrate on one topic per month, limiting the content that you consume to that particular topic and repeat this 12 times per year, your life would become more meaningful through developing a greater understanding about topics that you care about.
Gratitude will unlock all other virtues and is something you can get better at.
Don’t trust all-purpose glue.
  • Surprisingly, this piece of advice leads to Taimur revealing his hatred for multi-purpose things (including a bed with speakers and LED lights) given that such items are bound to involve some form of trade off in terms of quality and performance.
Everyone is shy. Other people are waiting for you to introduce yourself to them, they are waiting for you to send them an email, they are waiting for you to ask them on a date. Go ahead.

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What is this? Not Overthinking is a podcast about happiness, creativity, and the human condition. We talk about things to help us think, do, and be better. Things like social interaction, lifestyle design, mental models...things that are hard to examine, but important to explore. And hopefully, things that make for a fun and interesting chat every week.

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Who are we?

Ali is a junior doctor and YouTuber working in Cambridge, UK. He makes videos about medicine, technology, productivity and lifestyle design. His links: YouTube, Blog, Newsletter, InstagramTaimur is a data scientist and writer, working on his own startup Causal. He writes on his blog and as a columnist for Medium. His links: Blog, Twitter, Medium, Instagram