Greg Thinks Things #20

• 6 min read

Twenty editions of my newsletter down! Actually, it might be more, I’m not sure when I changed the name of it, but I am taking it nonetheless.

Greg Thinks Things #20

Hello Friends,

Twenty editions of my newsletter down! Actually, it might be more, I’m not sure when I changed the name of it, but I am taking it nonetheless. Unfortunately, this is the edition that nearly didn’t happen. I actually thought long and hard about not continuing and only the day before I usually send it decided to push one out so to speak.

Not because I don’t have things to write about, I have lots of things floating around in my brain, but because I got myself into a self-pity cycle and started to compare myself, and the things I produce, against others. Something that is so easy to do when you are surrounded by brilliant creators all day. Everyone seems to be producing videos better than mine, getting more subscribers, sending out newsletters I enjoy much more than my own and then the imposter syndrome really kicks in.

My last edition saved me, though. I read the words I had written about what success looks like as if they were someone else's. I feel different, my creative inspiration somehow dulled. I am not the same as I was, but I am striving to get back there little by little. Success isn’t measuring myself against others, it’s writing what I want to write and shooting what I want to shoot. Hitting publish is my success.

Unfortunately, that is so easy to forget. To wonder why you bother because everyone else is better than you anyway. Be inspired by others, but don’t compare.

I Don’t Know Where My Phone Is

One of the biggest reasons I got rid of my iPhone 11 Pro was because I didn’t use it much. It sat on my desk and wasn’t touched almost from one day to another. When I walked the dog I had my Apple Watch to keep me connected and when at home the phone rang on my wrist or on the computer I was using at the time.

The same is happening again with the iPhone 12 Pro. After weeks and months of using loads of different phones the novelty was worn off and I simply don’t use it much at all. To the stage that for a full weekend I didn’t even know where I had left my phone. I knew it was in the house somewhere because hand off was still working, but after looking in the usual places I gave up and let it be.

I found it again in my coat pocket a few days later in need of a charge, but marvelling at the fact I didn’t need it at all. Only then did I remember I could have pinged it with my Apple Watch! It’s amazing when all of your gadgets work tougher to eliminate the need for one of them, and honestly think I could just put my sim in an old SE on charge and survive 90% of the time.

Understanding Yourself

One of the great things about writing about how you feel is having to first understand what you do actually feel. Understanding what is going on inside your own mind and who you actually are is one of the hardest things because so often all of these feelings and motivations are on a non verbal level. Very often it isn’t until I see the self expression of someone else I realise I feel like that too, but never knew how to communicate it.

This is one of the huge problems with living in a world of algorithms and curated feeds of information. The AI used to find tune each and everything we see now understands us — the real us, the internal us — far better than we can ever hope to. It understand us and what we need to see to get the best possible result. Surrounding us in a bubble of our own feelings reflected back at us by others.

So when we step out of this haze and interact with people that don’t think and react like we do, it’s a shock to the system. Our self centred nature allows us to completely ignore the feelings of people around us because we are so internally focused on ourselves that we don’t understand any other way. It takes effort to understand the way others think and the reasons behind the way they react.

Too much effort for us to bother with. So we close ourself off in our own curated world, attempt to cancel anything we don’t like and carry on. Why resist. Being surrounded by an environment that understand us, breeds our thoughts and shapes our desires in their own image makes us content. Why bother to understand anyone else not like us. We are happy in this state, but we are not living.

Stock App Update

Seeing as I am still asked about what apps I am using, I thought an update seemed right. Since ditching almost everything bar stock apps for productivity I am yet to find a reason to go back. I have invested in Readwise and Roam but above this I have cut down on my subscriptions almost completely. Apple reminders and notes are seemingly rock solid at the moment and I see little reason for that to change.

The way I take reminders has changed slightly due to not being able to attach as much information, but I do not miss Todoist at all. After years of use I have lost total faith in the updates they are making to the app and the functionality it is still missing. I love the team, and enjoy working with the team, but I don’t see myself using the service again any time soon.

Sudo Journaling

I hate the particle of journaling. Not because it’s not beneficial, but because of all the connotations the word carries with it. It implies a practice that young girls do, or that hustle porn YouTubers bang on about in their perfect handwriting. I never knew how to start, I never knew what I was writing and it always sounded uncomfortable when I read it back.

So I am am doing the same thing, but throughout the day to replace my morning pages. They still happen in the morning, but I am getting into the hobbit of just typing out thoughts and ideas into my morning pages place in Roam and seeing where they end up. Some of them turn into videos, some turn into newsletter posts but many of them go no where. So I am journalling, but not with all the weird connotations that go with it. It’s great.

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The Confessions of the Hacker Who Saved the Internet
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Before I go

I typed out a whole monologue about being kind to other people and thinking about how you react but it seemed too overly instructive. You all know this right, think before you tweet? The increased uncertainty around Christmas and rising COVID cases are getting on top of us again, and the “all in this together” message is a little lost currently.

But you can change that, take the very best care of yourself, look out for each other. Be kind and wear a mask.


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