My New Year's Resolution for 2020

Finding balance with my work, how to emotionally manipulate, questioning our reality, and finding what we are most grateful for

Hi friend!

As a part of looking ahead and into the new year, I set New Year's resolutions. I pick a single word (or simple phrase) that can be easily remembered and applied to different aspects of my life.

In 2019, my resolution was mindfulness. In 2018, it was letting go. (Wow, flashback videos, right?)

This year, my resolution is balance.

As I dive in deeper with my work on activism and mindfulness, I’ve found myself strapped for resources, without enough time, energy, or money to do everything I want. As a one-man show, a weekly newsletter, podcast, video, social posts on top of my day-to-day design work was simply impossible. I only have two hands, 24 hours, and a body that needs rest and nourishment.

To do the things that I haven’t done before, I have to give up things that are taking up my resources today. And because “giving up” sounds a bit harsh, my resolution this year is to find balance as I introduce new content into my repertoire.

My life is comprised up of seven pillars: career, personal growth, mindfulness, finance, health, relationships, and play. Across all of these areas of my life, I set up time-blocks with minimums and maximums to ensure that other areas of my life don’t go ignored or take over my schedule.

For example, because I tend to spend too much time with others (relationships), setting a maximum weekly allowance ensures that friend and family time doesn’t come as a sacrifice to my career and mindfulness work. And because finance and personal growth get de-prioritized first when I am extremely busy with work, I have daily and weekly check-ins set up to ensure that they are not long-forgotten.

My biggest learning opportunity this year is to balance my content creation with my day-time work. I shouldn't need to leave my job in order to continue my podcast and weekly writings. It just takes a bit of “balance” to find a happy medium. 🙂 

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

By the way, if you are a queer Asian in NYC next Sunday (January 12, 2020), I have a free mindfulness support group happening in Soho. Registration is free and space is limited, so please RSVP to hold your spot!


Emotional Manipulation

YouTuber Bobby Burns made a really great video talking about how we can be emotionally manipulated with videos. As we see more influencers and celebrities hopping on the trend of being more "authentic" (because over-manufactured content was so yesterday), it might be worth asking ourselves... what becomes the distinction between something real and a facade?

The Illusion of Reality

Recently listened to a podcast episode on the Sam Harris show, where he brought on his wife Annaka and author Donald Huffman, to have a discussion about the truth behind our reality.

They discuss how evolution has failed to select for true perceptions of the world, his “interface theory” of perception, the primacy of math and logic, how space and time cannot be fundamental, the threat of epistemological skepticism, causality as a useful fiction, the hard problem of consciousness, agency, free will, panpsychism, a mathematics of conscious agents, philosophical idealism, death, psychedelics, the relationship between consciousness and mathematics, and many other topics.

A great example of how reality “twists” happens when we use our phones. As soon as we pick it up, we are instantly transported into the digital world of our apps. If all we saw was “reality”, we wouldn’t be able to see past the piece of metal in our hands. Very interesting podcast for anyone interested in these types of meta discussions.

Year-End Reviews

Lifehacker has some great tips on how to do a year-end review. The most insightful question of the bunch?

“What were you most grateful for in 2019, and how can you take that into 2020?”

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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