In this episode we talk about the external appearances of different lifestyles and how they differ from the internal experience of living them. We also dig into Ali's mindset when it comes to YouTube and business, and whether it's best to always be thinking about creating economic value. Honestly, we talk about quite a few different things in this episode without much of an overarching theme. Oh well!

Below are some of the highlights that can be drawn out from our discussion!

Comparisons between and within fields or professions often leads to people acting as if the ‘other’ position is the dream when the reality can be quite different. External appearances can often conceal the internal experiences and pressures of a position and/or over-exaggerate the benefits that that position may bring.

Pressure to create content can become all consuming. Ali discusses the crises of confidence that he has had with both 6med and with YouTube and how he sometimes feels pressure that things could break down at any point and how it’s going to survive if he’s not continually putting effort into it.

Intentionally taking a break from the headspace of work creates space and distance for inspiration to strike. We sometimes get too caught up with our work that we lose the wood for the trees and actually moments of clarity about issues around our work or personal life often arrive in moments when we afford ourselves the time and space away from those issues. Taimur, for instance, actively avoids trying to think about his work at the gym and often finds, perhaps surprisingly, that most of the important big picture insights have come during those periods away from his business.

How we derive meaning from our work varies from person to person. Some people derive meaning from the importance of their role in society, others from the unique value that they can add. For example, Taimur describes that his sense of meaning comes from the fact that he believes that what he is building is at the intersection of all the things that he cares about and his contribution, along with his co-founder, is unique – if they weren’t doing it, this product wouldn’t exist.


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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.


Follow Not Overthinking on Twitter: https://twitter.com/noverthinking.

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, Instagram

Taimur 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