Stuff #120 - a C90 for your soul

A bumper week, with the new edition of the Stuff Mixtape alongside some great articles about building confidence and motivation. We look at ways to let go, reduce pain and get more sleep as well as some beautiful film posters, and libraries.
Matt 5 min read
Stuff #120 - a C90 for your soul

Hey from Dublin,

How are you?  Really?  I hope that this week's mail finds you safe and happy.  

Last week, the most clicked link was 'How to feel your feelings', and I wonder if January isn't leaving us feeling a little bit jaded.  Maybe we can lift ourselves up with a distraction or two, right now.  

This week I'm sharing the latest BUMPER edition of the Stuff Mixtape with you - an excellent selection of tracks that have been in my orbit for the last month, they make a great accompaniment to the newsletter.  I really hope you enjoy the journey!

In other news, this newsletter and my website are now carbon neutral.  I signed up to Backspace, and have committed to offset the carbon emissions of running a small (but growing) site.

Oh - and finally, I've started a project on Twitter.  I'll be posting a new and interesting piece of music to listen to every day.   The cumulative playlist is here. (By the way - I'm using my own habit tracker to make sure I don't skip a day)

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 Stuff Ten

  1. Monday Motivation:   Let this week be the one where you focus on your self-motivation.   You can improve the force you use to drive yourself.  Take this quiz to assess where you are, and think about building a reward system to increase your motivation.  Maybe this month's mixtape could be on your reward list!   Bonus Stuff - Watch out for this list of ten things that steal your motivation.
  2. Your new superpower: A fantastic toolkit for building your confidence, alongside some excellent strategies for rebuilding confidence when it falters. Everyone has days where your confidence is challenged, there are ways to manage.  
  3. Essential Reading:  How to finish what you started.  I really like this short guide to some tactics to improve your completer-finisher game.  Here are some more tactics that can work.
  4. Take care: Hot on the back of last week's link about feelings, this excellent list of 40 ways to let go, and feel less pain.  Some essential self-care advice in here.  Bonus link - 99 brilliant self-care ideas for the year.
  5. TWIL:  It's actually not 2023 everywhere.  In Myanmar it's 1384, and there are multiple places around the world that still use other calendars.  Whatever the actual date, many of these predictions about life today are still come to true.
  6. Can't sleep? You need more sun: It might sound counter-intuitive, but science tell us that getting more sunshine during the day, helps you sleep better.   Might be hard in the Northen hemisphere this time of the year, but getting out once a day could be manageable.
  7. 3pm in Jakarta:  Pole Clock is a delightful way to display time zones in all the places you work with.  This needs to be an Apple Watch face now.
  8. Everything, everywhere: Two excellent lists of the best movie posters of 2022, a lot of beautiful, chaotic colour last year.  My favourite is a little more muted, but no less brilliant.
  9. Find me in the fiction section: Pictures of two beautiful libraries this week, one in France, and the other in a forest in Sweden.  This sent me down a rabbit hole of looking at these other beautiful libraries.  
  10. Finally:  Dots and Boxes.  I remember this game from rainy days, and long car trips.  The computer isn't as kind as you'd like though.
Five ways to improve your Active Listening skills.
Active Listening is an essential skill that can make you an even more effective communicator. Here are five ways to improve your active listening skills.

Stuff to make you smarter

🎬 Sunday afternoon is often movie time in Stuff Towers, and last week we settled down to watch the excellent 'Banshees of Inisherin'.   You'll no doubt have seen it all over the TV this week after Colin Farrell won best actor at the Golden Globes and gave this amazing acceptance speech.

The film itself is superb, set on an island on the West Coast of Ireland, around the time of the Irish Civil War, it shows us two friends who come to something of a crossroads in their friendship.

The Banshees of Inisherin will see plenty of awards this season, the acting is top-notch, the scenery is beautiful and shot well. Most importantly, the story is super stuff.  

The Banshees of Inisherin is highly recommended.

🎧 I'm also recommending this excellent podcast/radio show from Lippy Kid, a self-described Mancunian in Derbyshire.

Electronic Odyssey is an outstanding 2-hour breeze through some proper tunes from 2022, presented on Radio Free Matlock.

It's exactly the kind of thing I'd love to make.

Do you love independent writing? I recommend The Sample. Every day, they will send you a novel newsletter you might like, no obligation.

🎧 Aural Stuff

What's on the Stuff speakers this week? 

🎧 Every month, I find the best music in my orbit and pull it all together in a single playlist, just for you.  This month is no exception, but we have bumper journey in sound.

We open up with some sunshine including a fantastic Bowie cover, and some rocksteady ska from London.  Then, some classic disco from the Salsoul Orchestra and some dancefloor crackers, before a detour to Africa with Fatoumata Diawara.

I've got the indie fans covered with Prima Queen, Leftfield and Grian Chatten from Fontaines DC before I bring you home with the sublime sound of new-R&B from Joesef and finishing with what sounds like a modern-day drinking song featuring David Gray.

Like the old days, it's a C90 mixtape for your soul - and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Stuff someone said

"Love is what remains when all other emotions are gone." - Naval Ravikant

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The Stuff that MattR's

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

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