Sustain issue #47 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)
We exist in an interesting and terrifying moment for so many reasons.
The rate of innovation has never been faster. The ability to launch products and share ideas has never been easier. But the other side of that coin is that we’ve never been more inundated with physical and mental weight.
This isn’t good news for those of us who are trying to simplify and sustain.
On the first-mover advantage
It feels like we’re on the precipice of a major technological revolution. We’ve seen Facebook become Meta. Microsoft is investing heavily in the metaverse as well. And the conversation around Web 3, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs are really heating up.
I am a metaverse away from an expert in this area, but the idea of an entirely new digital world existing online free of borders, with decentralized currencies, and where you buy digital property feels like a lot. That’s an understatement.
It has a lot of early hype and I have no idea what it will turn into. The concepts are hard to grasp, but I do have conviction that it will be important to life in the decades to come.
For that reason, I'm starting to educate myself but not acting yet. This is typical of me. I tend to resist caving to the first-mover advantage and instead wait until I’m ready.
Sure, I might miss out on becoming TikTok famous or getting rich off Bitcoin but I’m protecting my mental health. And that’s more important. Every. Single. Time.
Make your moves intentionally
In a world with unlimited shiny objects (and always more on the way!), it’s good to have a few questions to help with selection criteria to know if the shiny thing is worth pursuing.
I really like L.M. Sacasas’ 41 questions for evaluating technology (via Austin Kleon).
A few are listed here:
1. What sort of person will the use of this technology make of me?
2. What habits will the use of this technology instill?
3. How will the use of this technology affect my experience of time?
4. How will the use of this technology affect how I relate to the world around me?
5. What practices will the use of this technology cultivate?
6. What practices will the use of this technology displace?
As someone who is cultivating habits to live in a sustained way, it’s never been more important to not let new tools and technology drive all your stress and dictate how you spend time.
Don’t let the fear of missing out deplete your limited energy reserves. Just like work, you have to play defense against what’s not important to you – even if it might be important in society. Let in the proper amount but protect yourself from it becoming all-consuming.
Not being an early adopter of something is ok. It's not a strike against your character. It's a sign you know yourself, your capacity, and don't cave to FOMO.
Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?
Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to eliminate burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it even though I never found a playbook for doing so. So, I'm writing it myself.
✉️ Want my top tips? I share my full step-by-step playbook in How I Quit Burnout, my premium newsletter. Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >
🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain