Being busy isn’t a badge of honour

If you think I’m sharing this image because my name is Doug and I find the accompanying image amusing then you’d be 100% correct.

I used to think being swamped was a good sign. I’m doing stuff! I’m making progress! I’m important! I have an excuse to make others wait! Then I realized being swamped just means I’m stuck in the default state, like a ball that settled to a stop in the deepest part of an empty pool, the spot where rainwater has collected into a puddle.

Being swamped means probably not getting enough rest, making things more complicated than they need to be, wasting time on petty decisions, and not thinking deeply about important decisions.

Now, I’m impressed by people who are not swamped. They prioritize ruthlessly to separate what’s most important from everything else, think deeply about those most-important things, execute them well to make a big impact, do that consistently, and get others around them to do the same. Damn, that’s impressive!

Source: Being Swamped is Normal and Not Impressive | Greg Kogan

Meta may really be exiting Europe as soon as this year

Well, we can but hope. The backlash from Instagram-obsessed people would be too much for politicians to bear, however…

Meta has—as it must—warned its investors that it’s in deep trouble in Europe. It’s neither a threat nor a bluff, but rather a statement of fact: without a successor to the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield deal, which the EU’s top court nuked a couple of years back, Facebook and Instagram will be forced to pack up and abandon the European market.

Indeed, this uncomfortable reality was made clearer last month, when Ireland’s privacy regulator submitted a draft decision to its EU peers that would ban Facebook and Insta from transferring Europeans’ personal data to the U.S., because there is no longer any legal basis for these transfers to continue.

[…]

I find it astonishing that even Facebook’s critics, let alone the markets, haven’t glommed onto the reality of the situation. I suspect the culprit is a deep-seated notion that Mark Zuckerberg’s all-powerful company can somehow fix this by modifying its legendarily bad privacy behavior—as though it had some brilliant solution hidden up its sleeve, just waiting until the last possible second before pulling it out.

Source: Even Meta’s critics don’t grasp how likely it is that Facebook and Instagram will soon have to exit Europe | Fortune

Image: created using Midjourney

The importance of being yourself

Any article that quotes the Stoic philosopher Epictetus and talks about the importance of being yourself is a winner.

When we are ourselves, we have value. When we are like everyone else…we are fungible. We are replaceable–by definition. We have little value…by definition.

[…]

BE YOU. Be the only one of you in the whole world. Be the red. That’s where the fun is (without having to fake it). That’s where the money is (you can name your price). That’s where the value is (you can’t be replaced).

[…]

Two thousand years before Peter Thiel said that, “competition is for losers,” Epictetus quipped that, “You can always win if you only enter competitions where winning is up to you.”

[…]

Too many people pointlessly enter contests where the outcome is dependent on forces outside their control. They think it’s safer to be like everyone else…when in fact, what they’re really doing is hiding themselves in the chorus, protecting themselves from judgment. They’re less likely to be singled out and laughed at, sure, but they’re guaranteeing that they’ll never really be noticed or appreciated. Theirs becomes the Indian restaurant that will never be great, but it will never be closed. That is the best you can expect when you’re not playing to win…you’re playing not to lose.

Source: This Is The Best Career Decision You Can Possibly Make | Ryan Holiday