note to self: stop making these email mistakes


I’ve been enjoying nuggets of wisdom from newsletters and this morning, I received two tips about writing emails that were worth saving.

[1] Kat’s tip about writing better questions in emails

It’s tempting to think that this multiple choice approach makes it easier for the respondent to reply…However, I’ve found that the opposite is actually true. I receive a much clearer response when I ask a short and direct question—as opposed to relying my previously long-winded approach.

Example: Should I include images in this article? Or, should it just be strictly text? vs. Should I include images in this article?Read More »

notes from tim minchin’s 9 life lessons


I’ve been loving Jocelyn K. Glei’s newsletter for some time now and this morning, she shared this little gem. I’m a sucker for good commencement speeches, and Tim Minchin’s speech is up there, along with Steve Job and David Foster Wallace.

See excerpts from speech with my notes below.

One. You don’t have to have a dream…Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up. Just be aware the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery, which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out of the corner of your eye.

What an interesting way to think — to be micro-ambitious. It goes along with everything else that I’ve been reading and feeling lately. The importance of baby steps or micro-steps, micro-goals, small achievements, feeling progress, etc etc.

However, it does take patience and a lot of work to realize that life doesn’t unfold like it does in the movies. On the contrary, everything in life seems slow and gradual these days.

To get out of this funk, I want to celebrate small wins. Maybe keeping a log book of my day similar to Austin Kleon is a good start. Read More »

notes from “how to write a memoir”


Stumbled upon “How to Write a Memoir” article via the comment section of Austin Kleon’s blog.

Below are my notes for another “someday” bucket list of writing a memoir.

Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life and of the family you were born into.

Custodians of memory — it’s the second time I’ve read the term, “custodian” to describe a writer this week. Think the first one was from a book review of someone’s memoir. How fitting.

Too often memories die with their owner, and too often time surprises us by running out.

How many memories will be lost with my parents? What’s the best way to get stories from my parents?Read More »

how do you overcome stress and feeling overwhelmed?


Do you ever feel paralyzed with your ever-growing to-do list brewing in your mind? Feel like there’s not enough time in the day to finish everything? And you can feel you stress level increasing by the second?

Me too! And I hated these moments. So, instead of tackling them, I used to try to walk it off, ignore it or try to work on my tasks. Are you surprised that these tactics failed?

Me neither.

I’ve been trying hard to overcome these moments to make my day more productive and found that acknowledging that I’m overwhelmed is the best first step. Yes, this seems cheesy and I didn’t buy it at first either, but this simple acknowledgement magically triggers the next action, which makes it worthwhile. Read More »

forgetting the books we read is normal: notes from the atlantic article


Notes from Atlantic article about memory and forgetfulness.

…the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone.

This is how I feel all the time, not only with books, but with some of my life experiences as well. Glad to read that I’m not the only one!

The “forgetting curve,” as it’s called, is steepest during the first 24 hours after you learn something. Exactly how much you forget, percentage-wise, varies, but unless you review the material, much of it slips down the drain after the first day, with more to follow in the days after, leaving you with a fraction of what you took in.

I’m delighted to learn that there is a scientific term to describe our tendency to forget, called the “forgetting curve.”

Note to self: consider saying “it appears that my forgetting curve is steep” instead of “I forgot.” On a second note, if I heard someone say that, I would so, so judge them as pretentious and douche-baggy, so scratch that.Read More »