Why So Curious? #21 | APR 2021

Why So Curious? #21 | APR 2021

We recommend pairing this issue of the newsletter with:

This month's little big question:

How do you hack/trick yourself to do things?

Featured artist: Bhavani Bala | Artist and storyteller based in Singapore. Loves word building, puns, cats and improv. | Instagram: @bhankadraws | Site/Shop: bhankadraws.com | DM her on Insta for commission enquiries!

Every month, we'll pose a little big question for you to chew on, and share answers from some awesome people doing interesting things...

In a perfect world, we would all be bastions of discipline. We would follow every routine and complete every task we set out to do.

But you know, the world isn't perfect and all that jazz, and with the exception of the blessed few, most of us spend our days fighting with ourselves to do the things that we have to do.

Yes, even things that we know are good for us.
(Or is it especially things we know that are good for us? 🤔)

Thankfully, humans are resourceful, so many of us have figured out little tricks to get ourselves to do the things we need to do.

And so, this month we thought it'd be fun to crowdsource these much-needed lifehacks.

How do YOU hack/trick yourself to do things? Especially when you have run out of willpower and discipline.

Share your answers with us here:

While you mull over how you hack yourself, here's what our featured Illustrator, Bhavani has to share 👇

Artist says: Bhavani's response

How do you hack/trick yourself to do things?

Very often, we are confronted by deadlines, high-stakes and an endless to-do list of items that needed to be done yesterday. At the same time, we are also confronted by this relentless need to procrastinate, sleep-in and persistent burn-out. But alas, the deadlines keep coming, and they pass by with a wave and a grin.
As a person struggling with depression, anxiety and ADHD, I have to maintain interest (or atleast anxiety) in a task, otherwise I forget to do it. I get around this by trying to gamify my life in ways that I understand. Honestly, it's the easiest way for me to navigate life. I rack up XP to allow myself to do things I find enjoyable, or difficult. I Jump over literal and metaphorical obstacles and fight monsters, all to build up my energy bar and then rest, or reward myself to replenish my health bar.
As fellow neuro-divergents would understand, doing tasks is not as simple as just telling ourselves to do it. There needs to be stakes involved, or atleast a tangible reward before I can get myself to even begin.
And once we finish these tasks, or even if we fail at these tasks, we level up and get to try again!

Name: Aunt Available

Species: Passion Project

Mission: To provide an accessible platform for the people who need to safely talk about their problems

Moves: Listening Ear ( Email | Telegram )

Life is hard and the world is chaotic. And when you're sitting there wondering whether it is you or the world that is breaking down, the beacon of light you seek is often something deceptively simple: a listening ear.

A non-judgemental listening ear. One that only gives advice when advice is sought.
Sadly, not everyone has a listening ear in their life. Even those who do may find that their go-to person isn't emotionally available that day.  

This realization is what led to the birth of Aunt Available.

We like to joke that Aunt Available is like Aunt Agony, but with less agony and more emotional availability.

The founder is aware of how problems and thoughts might bubble and fester when there's no valid outlet. And they hope that by providing a platform with readily available listening ears, they can prevent this stewing and the brutal toll it can have one's emotional and mental well-being.

We think it's beautiful, especially in this day and age where everyone's more eager to wield their voices than their ears, that exists a platform purely for one to be listened to and feel heard.

So if you are ever in need of someone to hear you out, sans judgement, you know where to find them.

PS: Not that y'all don't know this as you're some of the most self-aware, emotionally mature and conscientious readers out there. But it'll make us feel better to nag: Aunt Available (and anyone else who offers a listening ear) is not responsible for any decisions you make. They're job is simply to listen, and offer perspective if asked. What you do with those perspectives is on you. *Nods*

PPS: and on that note. listening ear =\= professional help. Aunt Available is not a trained/certified counselor. So if you are looking for professional advice, please seek help from professional practitioners.

🤯Head Exploding Read

Excerpt taken from Atomic Habits by James Clear

"Every habit is initiated by a cue, and we are more likely to notice cues that stand out. Unfortunately, the environments where we live and work often make it easy to not do certain actions because there is no obvious cue to trigger the behavior. It’s easy to not practice guitar when it’s tucked away in the closet. It’s easy to not read a book when the bookshelf is in the corner of the guest room. It’s easy to not take your vitamins when they are out of sight in the pantry. When the cues that spark a habit are subtle or hidden, they are easy to ignore.

Thankfully, there is good news in this respect. You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.

Environment design is powerful not only because it influences how we engage with the world but also because we rarely do it. Most people live in a world others have created for them. But you can alter the spaces where you live and work to increase your exposure to positive cues and reduce your exposure to negative ones. Environment design allows you to take back control and become the architect of your life. Be the designer of your world, and not merely the consumer of it."

Featured Experiences makes a comeback this month!

Taste Association Wall

It's the month of crowdsourcing!

As part of the taste series experiences we're working on, we're collecting a wall of taste associations. If you've got a moment. we'd love to get your take on it!

(PS: If you hover here 👆, the lower left hand corner of the embedded presentation, navigation controls will appear and you can use it to see other people's answers. They might take a minute to load though!)

😎 Tsundoku (積読) Corner
On the topic of life-hacks, here are some generally UNrelated reads.
A Visual Guide to Human Emotion
For years, humans have attempted to categorize and codify human emotion. Here are those attempts, visualized.
We find that emotional clarity helps when trying to hack yourself so...
Home - World Wisdom Map
World Wisdom Map
Looking to add other morsels of wisdom to your life? This might be up your alley!
Making fanfiction beautiful enough for a bookshelf
Fanfiction bookbinding — the art of taking popular fanfiction stories on Archive of Our Own or Wattpad and binding them into physical, beautiful books — is taking off because of TikTok. While some creators are finding huge success, it’s not entirely risk-free.
Because we love fanfiction and know that many of you secretly love fanfiction too...
Six Cats Under by Team Bean Loop, Miles
You died. Your unfinished business? The fate of your many cats!
Cozy browser game featuring cats. You're welcome.


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Ri Chang
The intersensory workaholic who has made life their job. Also an artist-padawan...and kind of long-winded. 康復中的工作狂. 正努力練習認真生活