If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is
There’s a lovely quote from Kurt Vonnegut that I’ve been thinking about this week.
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Not gonna lie, I lead a pretty happy life, but even so I often forget to notice that. I tend to move from one thing to the next, rarely stopping to appreciate where I am. Since coming across this quote, I’ve made more of an effort to notice when I’m happy, and to think “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”.
A few specific moments come to mind – last weekend I was in Spain with some university friends, and we were chilling in the drawing room of our AirBnB at 2am, having a good old DMC (deep meaningful conversation). At some point in the evening, the Kurt Vonnegut quote came to mind, and when I appreciated how nice the moment was, I couldn’t keep a smile from my face.
But equally, yesterday I was driving home from work, an Audible audiobook playing in the car and a McDonald’s latte in my hand, and again the thought came to me: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”.
There’s so much evidence (scientific and anecdotal) that cultivating gratitude in our day-to-day lives makes us happier. I’m trying to actively remind myself of that each day.
Have a great week!
This week’s podcast
Taimur and I are taking a break from the podcast this week. I’m writing this email en-route to Tokyo where my mum and I are meeting him, and we’ll be spending the next 8 days roaming around Japan together. Hopefully we’ll be able to batch record a few podcasts on the trip that’ll keep our hopefully-once-a-week podcast schedule ticking along.
In the meantime, if you’d like something to listen to, I’d suggest checking out my friend Paul’s podcast Alternative CV. He interviews people (mostly Asians) who’s careers or side-projects deviate from the ‘normal’ trope of Medicine, Engineering, Law etc. The first two episodes of the podcast are an interview with me, where we talk about getting a side-hustle off the ground, motivation, consistency, discipline and all that fun stuff.
ACV01: How to overcome fear, put yourself out there and get started (Ali Abdaal Part 1) – Alternative CV
An interview with Ali Abdaal – Doctor, Youtuber and Entreprenuer – about his journey and how he got started.
My Favourite Things this week
1 – Article – I revisited Mark Manson’s blog post about 33 things every aspiring entrepreneur needs to know. I first read this in 2013, and having been an aspiring entrepreneur for the past 6 years, I definitely agree with everything he says, especially the first few points about monetising your free time.
2 – Short Story – This story, dubbed The Feminist by Tony Tulathimutte was very interesting, and sparked a lot of discussion amongst my school friends’ WhatsApp group.
3 – Podcast – I loved this Money Lab podcast episode featuring productivity YouTuber Thomas Frank. Lots of interesting takeaways about life as a YouTuber, burnout, building systems etc.
Kindle Highlight of the Week
Amateurs know that contributing something is better than contributing nothing.
From Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. Resurfaced with Readwise.