The Ideal Life


Hey friends,

I’ve been thinking a lot this week (and many other weeks) about what I want to do with my life. That’s quite a big question, so I’ve been digging around on the internet to find alternative ways of framing it.

In listening to Naval’s interview on the Samantha Ryan podcast last week, I came across two framings that I’ve found helpful.

The first is that all our (personal) problems in life can be split into these 4 categories:

  1. Money
  2. Physical Health
  3. Mental Health / wellbeing
  4. Relationships

Once we’ve defined these areas, we can figure out which of them we might be unhappy with our position in, and we can then work out ways to actively improve it. I’ve been significantly over-indexing on the Money and Mental wellbeing stuff over the past few years, with a lot less effort paid to my physical health and (particularly romantic) relationships. I know that needs to change if I’m optimising for a healthy, happy, balanced life.

The second is a quote about what makes an ideal life:

“The ideal life would be one where you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you money, you had a hobby that as a byproduct kept you healthy, you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you smarter and more creative”.

For me, YouTube is a hobby that as a byproduct makes me money. Pre-lockdown, I used to gym somewhat regularly (and play squash and tennis too) which kept me healthy. But a hobby that makes me smarter and more creative… I suppose ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ comes into it, but this is an area I’ve also been short-changing over the past few years.

In thinking about these two ideas over the past week, I’ve gotten some level of clarity about what I want my ideal life to look like, and how I can change what I’m doing to get closer to that ideal. Hopefully it’ll be somewhat helpful for you as well.

Have a great week!


This Week on Not Overthinking

Not Overthinking is the weekly podcast hosted by me and my brother. If you enjoy these emails, you’ll hopefully like that too. You can listen on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherCastro (my favourite podcast app) or any other podcast app – just search for ‘Not Overthinking’.

Responses to our ‘racism’ episode | Not Overthinking

In this episode we discuss some of the responses we received to last week’s episode (“Racism, Black Lives Matter, and Figuring Stuff Out”), from hate mail to not-hate mail. Ali also unveils his life plan for the next few years, and Taimur goes on a bit of a rant about “legibility”.

My Favourite Things This Week

1 – Article – I reread this article by Nat Eliason about Lessons from One Year of Nomadic Passive Income, that I first mentioned on a Monthly Favourites video last year. It holds quite a few valuable lessons beyond simply the benefits and problems he encountered on his year of nomadic passive income.

2 – Article – Whilst reading Nat’s article, I remembered an article called The Simple Joys Are The Most Meaningful which I first read on Mark Manson‘s blog several years ago. Its core message resonates with the themes of Nat’s piece and they’re both equally worth reading.

Quote of the Week

If we use busy as an excuse for not doing something what we are really, really saying is that it’s not a priority. Simply put: You don’t find the time to do something; you make the time to do things.

From Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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