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Leaky tyres

Back in Amsterdam, I used to cycle ten kilometres a day on average. As a result,  my cycle tyres would slowly begin to lose air, and I would have to fill them up once every few weeks. It was much easier to ride fast and was more fun to ride when the tyres were full of air than when they had lost some of it.

I heard Dr Laurie Santos, on her Happiness podcast, talk about how happiness is like a leaky tyre. Our life is quite amazing when it is full, but it constantly leaks out as we goo through our lives, and we need to do something to pump it back up to high levels every once in a while.

While this analogy is certainly true about happiness, it is also true about several other things that are just as important for us - like willpower, optimism, the energy we bring to conversations, our ability to do focused work, and so on.

I have always found that I needed to bunch tasks one after another in my day based on what kind of mindset and energy I need to bring to doing that task. For instance, I generally bunch some focused mental work like writing with a spell of focused physical work where my mind can cool off - like a workout or cooking.

But, I had never thought about these actively as filling up the leaky tyres of my reserves of one kind while doing work of another. I had simply made an observation on what would help me be most productive and had followed through on it.

Now, I've started looking at all of these mental states as leaky tyres. Ones that I need to consciously fill up as I see them drop.

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