Feels Good, Feels Bad

Feels good to know what feels bad.

Hey friends,

I've been keeping my (almost) daily journal for over three years now and the structure of it hasn't changed much over the years. At its core, it's a freeform entry per day (week, month), a bullet list of the memorable events every day (week, month), and a list of the thoughts or insights I'd like to review later.

But once in a while, I run into an idea that makes me update the structure of my journal. Last fall, I decided to start keeping track of the things that make me feel good and bad. Now, whenever I feel strongly about something during the day, I write it down into its own list alongside the rest of my journal entry.

The idea was simple: tracking this would allow me to better understand myself and focus on creating more "good" and addressing the "bad". Good idea in theory, but I just couldn't make myself sit down and review these lists. Months later, I had hundreds of entries in Evernote and Notion, but it just wasn't actionable.

Last week, I finally looked into it. I pulled my "feels good" and "feels bad" lists from Notion into Google Sheets, grouped the individual experiences into buckets, combined similar categories into more general ones, and saw some patterns.

These are the things that made me feel good and bad in July:

Basically, I feel the best when I'm calm, confident, focused, and sociable, and the worst when I'm unfocused, procrastinative, annoyed, or anxious. Well duh.

Surprising? Not really. I've been thinking about (and/or struggling with) a lot of these things for quite a while now. Still, it's good to see my assumptions, thoughts, and contemplations backed by data like that, however shoddy.

Not quite actionable, but nevertheless helpful. Later, I'll dig deeper into this to come up with specific steps I can take to increase the amount of "feels good" and work on fixing the "feels bad" in my life. After all, I've already laid the groundwork with my Mental Library and Mental Maintenance Log. It all pays off!

What about you? Do you really, actually, know what makes you feel good? Bad?

Have an insightful week,


A few thoughts

Second things first. When I'm focused on something particularly important or exciting, I'm often having a hard time not putting the rest of my life on hold. One thing that helps is doing at least a few of the second things first thing in the morning, no matter how much I want to jump right into The Thing. After all, important not urgent" is still important, even if not urgent.

The seasons are all messed up. This year, I've missed out on spring (my favorite season) since most of it was consumed first by winter, then summer. Now, I'm missing out on summer – it basically feels like fall. But I bet you the actual fall and winter (ew) aren't going anywhere. Climate change ain't cool!

Driving a semi for fun. Last week, I tried the American Truck Simulator for the first time. It was fun! When I was a kid, we had a bunch of trucking magazines at home, and I dreamed of driving a semi one day. Still thinking about getting a large goods vehicle license just for the sake of it. Apparently, you don't need a separate license to drive semis non-professionally in the US? How cool is that?

Loved this

What's the point of segmentation? "The further you segment, the smaller the total market gets, inevitably reducing the potential value of the market, in terms of both its cash value and the total quantity of customers."

Cancer pill AOH1996 shows promise in annihilating all solid tumours "The novel approach of AOH1996 is its ability to selectively target the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a protein that is essential in DNA replication and repair within expanding tumors. Prior to the development of AOH1996, PCNA was considered an “undruggable” target."

The fun part

I've been thinking about getting a mirror disco ball for my room for a while now because why not? Last week, I finally did it. One chain that was too weak, a big crash, and some gluing it back together later, I finally have my own disco ball!

I think it looks pretty good alongside the Christmas garland that's become a permanent accessory this year – they both really tie the room together now: