Articles that changed me for the better (ongoing)

Basically, my list of recommended articles and other links

Here’s an ongoing list of articles and other links that shaped my thinking and maybe even my life.

On awareness / mental health


  • Awareness is a User Interface: “If the space between stimulus and response is very small, you will almost certainly end up following your habitual response, over and over. Your options disappear just at the moment you might want to choose one of them.”
  • There Is No Moral Imperative to Be Miserable: “It’s the system’s fault,” becomes, “there’s nothing I can do if I’m depressed because it’s the system.” This way of thinking can trap people in a kind of nihilism, whereby any action short of a revolution is framed as hopeless.”
 

On identities


  • Mimetic Desire 101: “The things themselves don’t matter much when it comes to desire. We care about people (models), not things. They represent some quality of being that we think we lack.”
 

On meaning


  • How to Be Happy: “Happiness is relative in another sense, too: it is relative to your expectations.”
  • Rick and Morty and the Meaning of Life: “The problem is that you were asking the wrong question. What the meaning of life is not the question you should ask. The proper question is: What does it mean to you?”
 

On the sense of self


  • the right thing for you will not feel wrong all the time: “something being hard is different from something being wrong for you. When something is hard, you might be incredibly uncertain about the outcome, but you’re probably confident in the path, both the day-to-day process of it and the value and the joy. When it’s wrong, it’s out of whack with your basic needs.”
 

Question the default and do your own thing


  • Design games so you enjoy playing them: “The liberating insight from all this is that if some area of life isn’t experienced as playful then you can change things until it is. Make the game easier, make it more challenging, including other players, find new players, change the rules, flout the rules!”
  • What if People Don’t Want ‘A Career’: “It’s not a full-scale rejection of capitalism (though it can be that) or a call to burn down the system altogether. Those questioning their careers are simply daring to imagine what a better, more equitable future of work might look like.”
 

Inspirations


  • Margaret Zhang, a law student turned photographer, filmmaker and Editor in Chief of Vogue China