Love yourself...
..."funny papers

                                                                                          listen to music

                                                                                          raise children"...

Charles Eames, 1949
The five:
  1. There’s a better way to learn💰than sitting around forcing your brain to concentrate. There’s also double loop learning, and James Clear’s strategy guide for building a new habit. Speaking of new things: how about this new proposal for daily work — that we don’t start doing it full time until we’re 40
  2. Feeling less than motivated? Here’s a book recommendation. Also, Adam Grant has a podcast episode dedicated to faking emotions at work and the toll it can take. It’s a great listen, and here’s an article that claims it will make you love your job. Oh, never mind, you don’t need motivation to succeed. In fact, you may just want to quit … to get ahead💰(because quitters are winning in this economy, apparently💰) or follow these 10 tips to improve your follow-through.
  3. There’s more to Jessica Livingston’s story than being Paul Graham’s wife. A lot more. If you’re a leader and wondering what the three transitions are that leaders struggle with: here they are💰. It also turns out weak ties have a power all their own
  4. If you have a child now, it’s likely that, in the future, they will have a job that doesn’t exist yet. Here’s how to prepare them. Also, just because you’re seeing negative headlines doesn’t mean the world is getting worse. Also, whatever happened to Abalonia
  5. Are you living the life you want to live? Are you saving as much as you want to save? If you’re wondering how others are doing relative to you, here’s the average American’s 401(k) balance last year. Also, maybe being “washed” isn’t so bad, but the crippling debt load carried by far too many college graduates is.  Also, here’s why Americans are having fewer babies
Bonus: Why Africa needs to get more of that sweet, sweet cash from the role it plays in satisfying Europe’s sweet tooth: “...while the [European] continent dominates the finished-chocolate goods market, African countries are collectively the beating heart of that success, by producing and exporting over two-thirds of global cocoa, chocolate’s raw material. Côte d’Ivoire alone accounts for third of all cocoa produced in the world." 

💰 = Paywall, though please do consider paying to read what people write. Writers like to eat too. (Apologies if I miss one…) 

How to plan a life with someone 💘📓
This essay could be short and sweet with the simple instruction: don’t. In other words, don’t plan a life with someone, just live it. The fact of the matter is many of us prefer having a plan to not having a plan. Plans can also lend clarity, and help you understand where you are relative to where you want to be. Plans can help you avoid regret (or they can lead you to it, depending on the plan). Plans can also give you a sense of control.  

So, here’s what I'm (still) learning about how to plan a life with someone.  

Identify someone to plan a life with — even if you are identifying yourself. If that’s a life partner, great. If that’s you, wonderful. Yes, you can plan a life with yourself. There’s a wonderful luxury and freedom in that, and it should not be ignored. Also, the single-person tax is one of the more pernicious forms of discrimination in our society

Listen a lot, and when you think you’re done listening … listen some more. The fact of the matter is, we are always giving signals to one another, and these signals are often hidden in the noise of daily life. Listen carefully for the signals and sit with them. If you’re planning your life with yourself (again, I am all about self-love), then journal regularly and go back and read what you’ve written. It’s easier to identify signals from past you when you have a record of what you’ve been thinking over time.  

Ask questions. Questions are all the rage these days. Seriously, everywhere I turn I hear people encouraging others to ask questions. There is even a list of 13 questions to ask your partner from The New York Times (some of which are fascinating to contemplate even if you’re committing to a life without a partner) Asking questions can leave you feeling very vulnerable. Remember that vulnerability is strength, so dive into asking questions with both feet. Yes, you can ask questions of yourself. I love doing this — especially “why” questions. “Why do you want to make a lot of money?”, “Why are you afraid of being a single parent?”, “What do you want to say you did before you die?” Whether I am asking these questions of myself or my partner, I find the answers very helpful in the planning process.  

Invest in your planning process. Set aside a day or two, grab some fresh sharpie markers and post-its. Buy a whiteboard. Invest in the planning of your life as you would a real project or as you would invest in school supplies for a really challenging class. Turn off your phone(s) and clear your calendar for the day — no dinner guests, no plans to go elsewhere. Just be present with yourself/with one another and start throwing stuff up on the board to see how you work together.  

Be prepared to put in the work. Whether it’s keeping your relationship with yourself strong or your relationship with another person, be prepared to put in the work. Self-care takes work; caring for others takes work. Love may seem free, but it’s not. Love takes a lot of time and investment — no matter who the object happens to be.  

Let your imagination go wild. It’s your life, and it can be anything. Literally, you can be anything. I was listening to the 99% Invisible podcast the other day on Ed Roberts and the history of curb cuts — the lowered area of  sidewalk corners. I’ve listened to it twice now, and each time I do two things:  

  1. I am so grateful for Ed and the thousands of others who make the world a more fair and just place to be. 
  2. I ask myself, “Would I have done what Ed did if I had been stricken with polio and relegated to an iron lung?” Each time, the answer was, “Probably not, but I want to be that kind of person; I want to see myself in that light. What change do I want to see today that I feel I can’t catalyze/realize?” 

That goes back to my point about asking questions, but the point I’m making here isn’t the question. The point is this: Rather than focusing on just achieving the basics, try to expand your understanding of self/your partner and “avoid the preconceived idea”.  

Stay flexible. Whatever you put up on the whiteboard or the wall — or whatever answers you give to the questions you ask one another/yourself — stay flexible. Circumstances change, and life is good at nothing if not throwing curve balls. So, stay flexible. Don’t assume that the way things are today is the way they will be tomorrow. After all, that’s what keeps it all so interesting.  
Thank you a million times...
Thank you so much to my long-time donor Natalya Pemberton! Natalya is a culture and design enthusiast learning Sustainable Systems at the innovative Presidio Graduate School.

She has generously supported E is for Everything on Patreon. Please jump on through to learn more about both them and their projects.
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Do you wish I'd shared something else? Please send me recommendations via Facebook, Twitter at @emikolawole, on Medium or reply directly to this e-mail. I will always and whenever possible give credit where it's due for great recommendations and inspiration. Have a great weekend! love everyone else.
Emi Kolawole · E is for Everything HQ · Palo Alto California 94306 · USA
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