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Stuff #118 - Shchaslyvoho Novoho roku!*

Stuff welcomes in the New Year with Monday Motivation for your personal review process, and some AI tools that will help you in 2023. We'll also talk about our ability to concentrate and some interesting vegetable chopping news!
Matt 4 min read
Stuff #118 - Shchaslyvoho Novoho roku!*

Hey from Dublin,

Welcome to 2023! I hope that the holiday season has given you a chance to recharge your energy and prepare for the New Year.

I'm not a fan of New Year Resolutions, but I have set some 'themes' for the year:

  • Simplify
  • Gratitude
  • Energy

Across the year, I'll be using these themes to help develop content for 'Stuff', I'm grateful that you are on this journey with me.

I'm also grateful for all the new subscribers that joined during 2022, I've had about 120% growth over the year, and I'm happy to have everyone on board!

If you're enjoying Stuff, I'd ♥️ if you would hit 'forward' and share this with a friend, if not hit 'reply' and tell me how I can make Stuff better for you.  

As always - thanks for being here - it's great to have you join me each week! If you received this from an amazing friend, get your own copy here.

The Stuff30 Journaling Challenge
Getting started with a journal can be tricky, I have you covered with 30 days of simple prompts, directly to your inbox.
Start the New Year with a challenge that will improve your mental health and help you become more mindful. A simple 30-day course to help your start your journalling journey. 

The Stuff Ten

  1. Monday Motivation:  Make this week the one where you power-up your life with a 'past year review'.  There are hundreds of annual review processes, but I keep it as easy as possible by following this exercise from Tim Ferriss.
  2. Your new superpower:  Two tools that leverage the emerging powers of AI to make you stronger and smarter.  ChatGPT Writer is an extension for Chrome that will reply to your emails with a little guidance.  For the spreadsheet users, Mehran Jalali is developing an AI assistant for spreadsheets, this one could change the way many people work.
  3. Essential Reading:  New Year's Resolutions often fail.   Here are 16 reasons why they don't work.  Of course, psychology can give us better ways to achieve our goals.  My recommendation is to build a few tiny habits at a time, or set mini-goals towards an attainable resolution you can use my (free) habit tracker to build those.
  4. Take care: How are you doing?  Join The Pudding on a journey of emotional awareness, where we uncover how to name and visualise your feelings.   Highly recommended.
  5. TWIL:  Max Factor was a REAL person, and the name is short for MAKSYMILIAN FAKTOROWICZ!
  6. CON-CEN-TRATE! Is modern life ruining our ability to concentrate? Or could the mindless scrolling actually be good for our brains?  Science tells us that being bored is good for creativity, so the jury is still out!
  7. VIS-U-A-LISE!   The worlds 100 biggest companies in one chart, followed by the Global Economy, where 84% of the wealth is in the top 25 countries.  
  8. Chop-chop!  Apparently, there is more than one way to sharpen a pencil, and there are more than many, many more ways to chop a vegetable in Japan!
  9. Something good:  Floating Solar Panels feel like an excellent solution to places addicted to fossil fuels.  Like these solar flowers in South Korea.  I fully endorse these!
  10. Finally:  Full Rainbow - another daily word game, solve an anagram against the clock.    Everyone needs more rainbows in their life.
Recommended Stuff to make you Smarter

🎥 I recently upgraded my video conferencing setup at home, adding an Facecam, and a Ring Light, both made by Elgato. It's allowed me to get strong lighting and a great picture for my regular Zoom conferences.

📚 Surge is a British film from 2020 (on Netflix) starring Ben Wishaw as a man trapped in a soulless job, who escapes after a single act of rebellion, leading to a 24-hour journey of emotional release. I found this by accident, and really enjoyed it - despite being anxiety inducing and uncomfortable to watch in places. 

🎧 Aural Stuff

What's on the Stuff speakers this week? 

This week I've been exploring many of the 'best of' lists of 2022 albums, and one that popped up was a soundtrack from Galya Bisengalieva, a Kazakh-British violinist and composer based in London.

Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is an atmospheric and dark album, underpinned by drones and layered with beautiful violins.   The documentary (Netflix) is an extraordinary look at Johanna Nordblad, an ice diver from Norway, and the soundtrack serves as an excellent introduction to an extraordinary film.

Stuff someone said...

"And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been." - Rilke

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Weekly writing on self-development and joy, with a sideline in curiosity and music.

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