Secret to happiness

9/2 - What's Next

Hey there, happy Monday!

Lots of interesting content this week. Hope you enjoy!


Articles to Read.

The Surfer’s Secret to Happiness

Watching the surfers, I noticed that the time they spent standing on their boards, riding waves — doing what nonsurfers would call surfing — was minimal compared with the time they spent bobbing around in the water next to the board, generally going nowhere. Even the really good surfers spend far more time off the board than on it.

If you added up the seconds that a good surfer actually spent riding the waves, it would amount to only the smallest fraction of an entire life. Yet surfers are surfers all the time. They are surfers while they are working their crap jobs, daydreaming about surfing. They are surfers when they wake up at 4 in the morning. They are surfers when they walk the board down the hill to Bondi Beach. They are surfers when they drink their predawn espressos. They are surfers when they paddle out on their boards. They are surfers when they wait and wait for the right wave. They are surfers when they wipe out, thrashing around blindly in the waves, praying the board doesn’t crack their skulls. They are surfers when they sit by their trucks with their friends after surfing, silently eating their grain-bowl meals.

And the thing about surfers? They don’t seem to regret all that time they don’t spend standing on boards and riding waves. Not only are they surfers all the time, they are, it seems to me, happy all the time.

What You'll Wish You'd Known

I'll start by telling you something you don't have to know in high school: what you want to do with your life. People are always asking you this, so you think you're supposed to have an answer. But adults ask this mainly as a conversation starter. They want to know what sort of person you are, and this question is just to get you talking. They ask it the way you might poke a hermit crab in a tide pool, to see what it does.

If I were back in high school and someone asked about my plans, I'd say that my first priority was to learn what the options were. You don't need to be in a rush to choose your life's work. What you need to do is discover what you like. You have to work on stuff you like if you want to be good at what you do.

The only real difference between adults and high school kids is that adults realize they need to get things done, and high school kids don't. That realization hits most people around 23. But I'm letting you in on the secret early. So get to work. Maybe you can be the first generation whose greatest regret from high school isn't how much time you wasted.

A helpful guide to reading better

Reading the words is the easy part. You were taught how to do this in elementary school. But just because you read the words doesn’t mean you read well. Ideally, the way you read is tailored to whether you’re reading for entertainment, information, or understanding.

Knowing how to read is only half the battle. Too much of what we consume these days is the mental equivalent of junk food. Quality matters more than quantity.

Whatever you do, don’t read what everyone else is reading. Rather than read new books, focus on old ones.

Why TJ Maxx has been able to thrive without costly e-commerce investments

TJ Maxx continues to post consistent same-store sales growth even as it has invested little in e-commerce, thanks to what analysts say is a unique in-store experience that competitors have found difficult replicating both in-store and online.

There are a couple of reasons why it’s more difficult for an off-price retailer like TJ Maxx — which is able to sell goods at a discount by selling excess or unwanted inventory obtained from other brands and retailers — to drive more online sales. Namely, its inventory varies more on a store-by-store basis compared to other retailers, who might carry the same private label items or new products from major brands across all stores.

Second, it doesn’t hold inventory for as long as department stores or big-box retailers, who might buy enough product from a brand to ensure that it has enough to last for an entire season. That makes it more difficult for an off-price retailer to create content online promoting certain products, because they may sell out of it more quickly.

How China Uses LinkedIn to Recruit Spies Abroad

One former senior foreign policy official in the Obama administration received messages from someone on LinkedIn offering to fly him to China and connect him with “well paid” opportunities.

“Instead of dispatching spies to the U.S. to recruit a single target, it’s more efficient to sit behind a computer in China and send out friend requests to thousands of targets using fake profiles.”

What Happens When You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill

Companies can try to collect on medical debt virtually forever. Although old debt is easier to escape in court, little prevents debt collectors from trying to collect on it. “Debt never dies.”

Generally, hospitals seeking to get bills paid place accounts in a “waterfall” of collection attempts, Antico told me. At first, hospitals, or the collections agencies they hire, will approach debtors with a “soft” collection: Did you misplace your bill? Maybe you qualify for charity care. “But then if people aren’t responding, it will get more stressful,” Antico said.

Eventually, collectors might opt to sue you, in which case they might be able to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property.

What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane

The mystery surrounding MH370 has been a focus of continued investigation and a source of sometimes feverish public speculation. The loss devastated families on four continents. The idea that a sophisticated machine, with its modern instruments and redundant communications, could simply vanish seems beyond the realm of possibility. It is hard to permanently delete an email, and living off the grid is nearly unachievable even when the attempt is deliberate. A Boeing 777 is meant to be electronically accessible at all times. The disappearance of the airplane has provoked a host of theories. Many are preposterous. All are given life by the fact that, in this age, commercial airplanes don’t just vanish.

in truth, a lot can now be known with certainty about the fate of MH370. First, the disappearance was an intentional act. It is inconceivable that the known flight path, accompanied by radio and electronic silence, was caused by any combination of system failure and human error. Computer glitch, control-system collapse, squall lines, ice, lightning strike, bird strike, meteorite, volcanic ash, mechanical failure, sensor failure, instrument failure, radio failure, electrical failure, fire, smoke, explosive decompression, cargo explosion, pilot confusion, medical emergency, bomb, war, or act of God—none of these can explain the flight path.

More to Check Out: 
- Inside Foot Locker’s bananas plan to survive in post-mall America
- How do you read?
- The loneliness epidemic is bad
Rich Families Are Legally Separating from Their Kids to Pay Less for College
- The best email workflow


My Update.

  • Can you believe we are already more than half way through 2019? I recently re-read my 2018 Year in Review—amazing how time flies.

  • Working: building, hiring, learning!

  • Let me know how things are going. Many of you have recently started full-time work. Not to be a cynic, but I imagine, many of you probably already hate your job. And you probably do not know your escape route. Do not worry. There is hope…so much hope. Email me jordangonen1@gmail.com—I may be able to help!