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External appearances vs internal experiences

In this episode we talk about the external appearances of different lifestyles and how they differ from the internal experience of living them. We also dig into Ali's mindset when it comes to YouTube and business, and whether it's best to always be thinking about creating economic value. Honestly, we talk about quite a few different things in this episode without much of an overarching theme. Oh well!

Inner Rings - The Desire to Fit In

In this episode, we discuss our desire to fit in, to be part of the 'cool kids' group, to be part of what CS Lewis calls "The Inner Ring". We share some instances in our own life when we've succumbed to this desire, and discuss whether it's ever acceptable to be exclusivist in our circles.

Intentional Socialising

In this episode we talk about how we socialise — the different types of social events we take part in, and how we take part in them. We talk about how we, for the most part, leave our social life down to chance, and we try and find ways to be more intentional about how we socialise.

Being Weird

In this episode we talk about 'being weird'. We explore the merits of being weird, the different ways in which people can be weird, and some of our personal experiences.

Conflict and Communication - The Roommate Relationship ft. Molly

In this episode, Taimur acts as a relationship therapist and digs into the (strictly platonic, for the record) relationship between Ali and his roommate Molly. We discuss our feelings about living with one another, things about Ali that wind Molly up, causes of conflict in the relationship, tips for effectively communicating grievances and a wholesome segment where we discuss the things we've learned from each other.

Treating your personal life like a business

In this episode we talk about a new theory of Taimur's — that we should treat our personal lives more like businesses, and treat our businesses more personally. We explore two aspects of "business thinking" in particular — valuing time + comparing options in terms of ROI (return on investing), and thinking in terms of systems — and how to apply them in our lives. We try and figure out why it generally feels weird to have systems for personal things.

Small Talk & Social Awkwardness

In this episode, Ali tells us about a party(!) he recently attended, and how he approached the social interactions there. We talk about how we approach conversations with new people, whether it's okay to talk about "work" at social events, and, of course, the idea of "small talk".

Book Discussion: "The Magic of Thinking Big"

In this episode, we try a brand new format! We go through Ali's Kindle highlights, from 4 years ago, from the book "The Magic of Thinking Big". We end up talking about mental restraints, making good conversation, setting goals, and a smattering of other topics.

Will a new iPhone make us happier?

In this episode, we try to formulate an algorithm for buying new tech. We try to figure out when it's worth upgrading our iPhones, and how to think about new purchases in terms of their contribution to our overall happiness. We come up with several new mental models for thinking about consumerism, and reference the concepts of measure, diminishing returns and hedonic adaptation.

Invisible Shackles & Life Scripts

As we grow, we're subconsciously exposed to various 'life scripts' that can have a profound effect on the way we lead our lives, without any conscious control on our own part. In this episode, we discuss some of the invisible shackles that bind us, and how to 'break free' from default modes of thinking to carve our own path through life.

What do we want from this podcast?

In this episode, we reflect on what we've been doing for the past 6 months with this podcast. We talk about why we took a break last week, whether we should have an episode every week vs every 2 weeks, and how we should judge the quality of our episodes.

What's it like to be internet-famous? Ft. Sara Dietschy

This week we're joined by a very special guest — Sara Dietschy, tech and creativity Youtuber and podcaster (links in the full show notes). In this episode, Taimur interviews Sara and Ali about being "internet famous" and how they feel about it — getting recognised in public, doing meetups, and everything else. Huge thank you to Sara for joining us this week!

Is being negative ever acceptable?

In this episode, we discuss whether negativity is ever okay. Taimur discusses why he didn't like an Ed Sheeran concert we attended, and we try and figure out whether expressing negative views about stuff / complaining about stuff is ever justified, and if so, to what extent. We invent an acronym NDA (neutral, dispassionate analysis) and Taimur comes up with Vibe Theory as a way of helping us make decisions about this stuff.

Birds, Supersonic Jets, Internet Businesses and Trophy Hunting

Taimur and Ali feature as guests on the Episode Party podcast. Along with hosts Jack and Freddie, we discuss an episode of (1) The Casual Birder, (2) Indie Hackers, (3) Should This Exist, and (4) Radiolab. We share our thoughts on each of these episodes, and discuss some of the ways in which they changed our thinking.

How do we make friends?

In this episode, we discuss the various strategies we use to make friends. We start at primary school (aged 4) and examine how our tactics for making friends changed over time to the present day. We lament the difficulty of making friends and of showing vulnerability, and we realise that Taimur was always desperate to be cool while Ali was just always really weird.

Procrastination, Money-making, Rejection etc - Answering your Questions

This episode is a Life Advice Q&A that Taimur and Ali did as part of Ali's 300,000 YouTube subscriber milestone video. We answer questions about startups, procrastination, motivation, productivity, money-making, rejection, investments, imposter syndrome and hair loss.

Startups, Coding and Making Money Online - An Interview with Taimur

In this episode, Ali interviews Taimur about his life. We discuss how he learned to code, how he made money online by selling psychic readings, and how he uses Twitter to explore fame and fortune.

How should we give advice?

In this episode we talk about whether we should give advice to others, and if so, how to go about it. Do we have a moral imperative to offer advice to our friends if we think they're doing the wrong thing? Or should we simply 'let it be'?

Is ambition a virtue?

In this episode, we tackle the issue of ambition. What does it mean to be ambitious? Why do so many of us look for 'ambition' in a spouse? Why are some activities considered inherently more 'ambitious' than others?

Why do we seek permission?

In this episode, we address a question from a listener. She wants to become a content creator but is concerned that because she isn't 'qualified', no one will care what she has to say. This turns into a discussion about how society is wired to implicitly convince us that we need permission before we can do stuff. We discuss 'The Myth of the Expert' and 'The Curse of the Expert', and offer some advice for anyone who's ever struggled with imposter syndrome.

Ali's Journey on YouTube [Inbetweenasode]

This 'inbetweenasode' is an interview that Ali did on the Social Colours podcast: 'Journey of a Creator'. They talk about how he got started with YouTube, the strategy behind growing his channel, and his inspirations along the way. They also share some thoughts about the motivation and consistency it takes to keep a YouTube channel alive and growing. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be authentic?

This week we talk about authenticity — "keeping it real". Taimur tries, with difficulty, to explain why he thinks there's something deeper to authenticity than what everyone already knows and feels: that it's nice to have authentic interactions with other people. We talk about the different situations in which we behave authentically to varying degrees, the characteristics of certain interactions that make them feel authentic, and, of course, some hacks to making interactions more authentic. We have a lot of difficulty defining what it means to be "authentic", and we don't quite reach the profound insight that Taimur was hoping to get to, but this is probably something we'll revisit in a future episode.

How to deal with Rejection

This week we talk about rejection. We dig into a rejection that Taimur recently faced, and then explore the various rejections we've both faced in our lives — how we felt about them, what we took from them, and how we can improve the way we handle rejection. Among other things, Ali takes us on a tour of his life's romantic rejections, and Taimur regrets not putting himself out there enough to be able to give a romantic rejection tour.

How much of our behaviour is status-seeking?

In this episode, we discuss the concept of social status, and wonder to what extent the signalling of status contributes to our own behaviours. We talk about how our schoolboy days were defined by status games, and think about how we might work to minimise our psyche’s reliance on social capital.

How can we get into the habit of reading?

This week we discuss the challenges of developing a reading habit. Taimur shares his struggles with starting books and never finishing them, lamenting the small role of reading in his life. Ali offers some advice on how to read more regularly, and we share some book recommendations for listeners. Enjoy!

Why do we struggle with motivation?

This episode is all about motivation. We start by introducing our ideal state of 'motivation is a myth' and the idea that discipline is all we *should* need to get stuff done. But then having recognised this, we spend the rest of the episode discussing both high-level strategy and low-level hacks for motivating ourselves to get stuff done.

What makes an awkward silence?

In this episode, we talk about awkward silences, why we think they happen, how we can stop them happening and whether we should stop them happening at all. We try and understand why we're more comfortable with some people than others, and why car journeys and sleepovers are a great source of deep conversation and human connection.

Time management, motivation, productivity etc [Inbetweenasode]

In this Inbetweenasode, Ali answers various questions relating to motivation, productivity, time management and that sort of stuff. It's a bit cheeky because we didn't record a proper episode, but given the need for consistency, we thought we'd repurpose one of his old YouTube videos (50k Q&A) to get a podcast episode out this week. Enjoy!

How should we take advice?

We all love getting advice from our audience, our mentors, our seniors, our listeners. In this episode, we discuss some of the feedback we've got about the podcast so far and wonder to what extent we should change things up based on advice. We then generalise this to general life - how should we take advice effectively without over-correcting our internal models based on individual pieces of advice?

Why do we love our jobs?

This is the first episode that features a guest! Paul Tern, a Cambridge-grad junior doctor who works in London, joins the discussion about why we love our jobs. We start off with some meandering around the history of the 'I want to enjoy my job' mentality, and then share our personal experiences and philosophies about what it means to have fun at work.

Why should you invest in a good kitchen bin?

In this episode, we explore "Measure" — a mental model for spending time and money more effectively. Based on this framework, we conclude that everyone should get a good kitchen bin and a voice coach, and that Ali probably shouldn't get a Tesla.

Why do we struggle with consistency?

In this episode we discuss how consistency in almost every domain is a super power, and come to a few conclusions about what helps us be more consistent with things like morning routines, gym workouts and writing practices.

Why do we hate networking events?

In this episode, we discuss why we hate networking events but love group holidays, and we try and figure out how to better connect with our fellow human beings.

Why are we scared to put ourselves out there?

In this episode, we discuss why we were (once) scared to put ourselves out there and how we overcame that fear. Send us your thoughts —!

Why do we like to be correct?

In this pilot episode of Not Overthinking, we discuss our reasons for starting the podcast, and then have a chat about why we feel the urge to be correct in everyday conversation.

Hosted by Ali and Taimur Abdaal.