Gratitude: An Antidote to Dissatisfaction

by Christopher Paul on December 12, 2019

As if perfectly timed for the holiday season, Kurzgesagt produced a video on how to help counteract feelings of dissatisfaction. Especially during this time of year, it can be easy to feel unhappy with what one has (or doesn’t have) – and social media has a tendency to promote dissatisfaction by creating a comparison with an internet persona and one’s own.

The short video talks about some causes of dissatisfaction and what research shows counteracts those negative emotions: gratitude. And in typical Kurzgesagt style, it outlines the evolutionary science behind gratitude, research studies on the benefits of gratitude, and lists ways in which to develop gratitude including cognitive-behavior therapy and gratitude journaling.

If you’re feeling unhappy in life, I highly recommend you watch the video and hope it inspires you to reflect on the things for which you’re grateful.

Death By 1000 Cuts

by Christopher Paul on September 11, 2019

After Apple’s iPhone announcement, I’ve been thinking about how much I spend on micro transactions and monthly subscriptions. I because I will try the Apple Arcade and TV+ subscriptions, I feel overwhelmed by each nickel and dime I spend on technology services.

It was a post on The Loop that put things in very direct amounts on Apple’s service offerings. With a family Apple Music subscription, each household would expect to pay approximately $45 USD per month. But I already pay for Hulu, Netflix, weather, sailing, weightlifting, hiking, 3rd party data recovery, VPN, calorie tracker, and all the business software I need. I’m almost afraid to look at what that monthly spend toatals.

Before streaming took off, large cable companies would charge a large sum but give you what seemed like 1000 channels – only 20 or so you used regularly. All the money went to the cable and entertainment companies. Now, it seems, you still pay a larger sum but it’s divided among some large, some very small, and some in between companies that add up to 1000 channels (or services). The difference is that it’s not all at once and in smaller drips so it doesn’t seem as large.

I’m the end, I think Apple was right to price their TV and game subscriptions low and bundle it with hardware for a year (mostly for different reasons I’ll get into later). And with Family Sharing, it makes that estimated $45 more palatable.

But it will be hard to gain traction in an ecosystem that thousands of different $1–5 a month transactions nipping away at my bank account. Each cut adds up. Eventually, I (and other consumers), will bleedout and that won’t be good for anyone.

Welcome Back!

by Christopher Paul on July 24, 2019

It’s been more than two years since I last posted something here and, at the time, I was hardly posting at all. But 2019 has been an experiment of sorts and part of that experiment is to see if I can write more frequently. So far, I’ve maintained a 365 Photo project on Instagram and now that the year is half over, I think I can slowly start to incorporate other regular content into my publishing schedule.

Besides taking and posting photos each day, I’ve tried (with limited success) to meditate. I’ve been better about working out and eating well and spending time with the family which, when I last posted something here, was extremely difficult because of work commitments.

Who We Spend Our Time With

by Christopher Paul on June 25, 2017

These charts on who we spend our time with are interesting but a little depressing… especially that last one.

How to Apologize

by Christopher Paul on June 14, 2017

Writing for New York Magazine, Katie Heaney shines a light on how to apologize for something in response to Bill Maher’s non-apology apology:

Dr. Beth Polin, an assistant professor of management at Eastern Kentucky University and co-author of The Art of the Apology, defines an apology as a statement which includes one or more of six components:

  • An expression of regret — this, usually, is the actual ‘I’m sorry.’
  • An explanation (but, importantly, not a justification).
  • An acknowledgment of responsibility.
  • A declaration of repentance.
  • An offer of repair.
  • A request for forgiveness.

via Kottke