You don’t need me to tell you that 2020 was a crazy year.
But it was probably also a year that had many people (myself included) deeply worried about the future.
It wasn’t just the threat of a pandemic, it was how divided everyone became. Bickering behind their keyboards over everything from police reform to masking, it became clear that society was fraying at the seams.
I found hope in the most unlikely place: Scrolling through Twitter.
Twitter itself might be the source of much division and antagonism, but at it’s best it can spread unifying and uplifting messages.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen a headline that went “How I made $X in my first Y Months Blogging.”
Or selling online courses.
Here’s the ugly truth: Every single one of them is a lie.
I’m not suggesting that these headlines misrepresent the historical facts. But these pieces don’t exist to tell you what happened. They exist to suggest what could happen to you.
It feels good to read these stories, but they can be counterproductive in two ways:
I’ve been reading on Medium since 2017 and one of my favorites writers on the platform is Jessica Wildfire.
It’s great, because she is a very clever, very compelling writer with a very different worldview from me. So I find myself disagreeing a lot, but it’s good to be challenged.
She recently wrote a piece called “It’s Time to Ditch the Abundance Mindset — It Paves the Way to Inequality” that I thought it would be good to respond to. We have a few points of disagreements, but are clearly looking at this from different sides.
I think everyone wins…
As a conservative, I’ve always loved this chestnut from G.K. Chesterton:
Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
It’s a lesson in thinking about second-order consequences. A conservative might also add: “Don’t ever enact a government program unless you can foresee the consequences.”
So you might expect me to be opposed to one of the more progressive ideas floating around right now: Universal basic income (UBI). Sometimes called Unconditional basic income, UBI is the idea of the government sending regular checks to it’s citizens with no strings attached.
Think of the stimulus…
Game of Thrones went out with a whimper.
It was transcendent in seasons one through four, regressed in five, made a triumphant return to form in season six, and then fell apart at the wheels in seasons seven and eight.
Now that it’s over, all of us who love the story are back to desperately hoping that George R.R. Martin can finish The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
While we wait, it’s worth taking some time to appreciate what he was able to achieve with the first five books of the series and
The words we use give fascinating insights into our beliefs.
Are you “eating” or “cheating” when you consume a donut?
Do some foods count as “bad” because they have too many carbs? Are some too fattening because they have too many calories?
Is anything decadent or delicious a “guilty pleasure?”
Or maybe it’s something you have to “earn” at the gym.
Eating shouldn’t be like this.
Of course, you could argue that our language is just reflecting a food environment fraught with peril.
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to get fat and sick than its ever been, but is…
Don’t Create Work You’re Proud Of, Be Proud to Create Work
Even as you improve, there will always be room to grow. Every time you complete a project, you’ll have to live with the knowledge that it could have been better.
The gap between what you can imagine and what you can produce will never fully go away.
The key is to not let perfection be the standard.
Adding the word “yet” to “it’s not perfect” isn’t helpful because it will never be perfect. Your standard for your work will always exceed your current abilities. To move forward, it can…
I spent all of 2019 saving up for Disney passes.
I live about an hour and a half North of the parks and have purchased annual passes twice before.
My plan seemed flawless: one week-long vacation in early 2020, one week-long vacation in early 2021, and several three-day weekend trips in between. The first part of the plan went smoothly, but COVID came and blew the rest of my plans to bits.
Disney World closed on March 16 and didn’t open again until July — and even then, many were scared to go.
In November, my family finally decided to…
Here’s a serious question: why should you even bother to learn about personal finance? After all, plenty of people remain quite ignorant about the topic and seem to (mostly) get by.
While there’s a lot of “personal” in…
Imagine that (during a time without COVID) you are waiting outside to be seated at a really nice restaurant. As you pass the time, your attention is grabbed by the roar of an engine. You look up and see a beautiful red Ferrari pull up to the valet. Normally you aren’t impressed with cars, but this one is an artful blend of classic design with a modern edge. It’s that perfect hot rod red.
In spite of yourself, you start dreaming about owning such a vehicle.
Surely, if you owned a car like that, you would be the center of…