5L Issue #029

Vale; Smiling and Envious Strangers


What eyeballs are worth..

I watch a lot of YouTube. It’s not that I’m procrastinating. It helps me find things to link to, okay? It’s basically a tax-deduction.

Often, while watching these channels doing very appropriate and respectable research, I think to myself ‘how much is this kid making off his bajillion subscribers watching him play Playstation?’. Well, now there’s a way of working that out!

YouTube Money Calculator: Calculate How Much You Can Make

(via Savy Saturdays)


The undisputed carrot in a box world champion..

Very sad to read that Sean Lock passed away at age 58 😢



The grass is greenest where its fertilised with bullshit..

I enjoyed this piece by Morgan Housel - the author of The Psychology of Money, which I’m still yet to read - in which he reminds us that, regardless of whatever brand they might sell publicly, everyone is human and thus flawed. And we would do well to remind ourselves of that fact when reflecting on our own flaws.

Not me, obviously. I’m killing it in all regards and near flawless. But others, definitely.

Everything is sales also means that everyone is trying to craft an image of who they are. The image helps them sell themselves to others. Some are more aggressive than others, but everyone plays the image game, even if it’s subconscious. Since they’re crafting the image, it’s not a complete view. There’s a filter. Skills are advertised, flaws are hidden.


When you are keenly aware of your own struggles but blind to others’, it’s easy toassume you’re missing some skill or secret that others have. The more we describe successful people as having guru-like powers, the more everyone else looks at them and says, “I could never do that.” Which is unfortunate, because more people would be willing to try if they knew that those they admire are probably normal people who played the odds right.

Harder Than It Looks, Not As Fun as It Seems | Collaborative Fund

(via The Curious Bunch)


Smiling at strangers..

I **loved** this longer read on the utility of striking conversations with relative strangers, which popped up via Apple News of all places. Non-iOS / OS X subscribers may not be able to access the link (which is the price you pay for not worshipping at the Apple altar) but it’s well worth a read for those that can.

I could have quoted many more paragraphs. I’ve bought the book from which the article is extracted, and so I will report back on whether it’s worth a read.

Oh, and in a similar vein, dedicated readers may recall that in 5L #009 I linked to a book about penises. Well, to report back, I did buy and read the book. And no, like many of my penis-related contributions, expectations were not met. Save your money.

Nightingall has learned that, for a lot of people, the hardest thing about talking to strangers is initiating the conversation: approaching someone, making them feel safe, and quickly conveying the idea that you don’t have an agenda, that you’re just being friendly or curious. She found that older people are much more likely to initiate a conversation, for instance, whereas younger people require a little more assurance. But she also found that in all her own attempts to speak to strangers, the vast majority of those interactions were substantial, and many went great.


Here are other ways Nightingall suggests breaking a script. When a shop clerk asks, “Can I help you?” you can reply, “Can I help you?” Or instead of asking people at a party what they do, ask them what they’d like to do more of, or what they don’t do. Or instead of asking someone how their day went, ask, “Has your day lived up to your expectations?” All these things require a certain measure of confidence to pull off, Nightingall says. But they work. And when they do, they will reveal a little nugget of what it’s like to be that person. That is meaningful, because that nugget is indicative of what is beneath the surface. “How you do anything is how you do everything,” Nightingall says. That nugget tells you where to go next in the conversation.


Nightingall suggested asking simpler and more open-ended questions. Instead of saying, “Do you think this was because you were a control freak?” just echo, or say, “Why do you think that is?” That is the opposite of what I usually do, but it’s what I must learn to do. In a good conversation, you must relinquish control. Your job is to help your partner arrive at their own conclusion and surprise you, not to ferret out whatever it is, slap a bow on it, and go, Next! There’s a powerful lesson there: If you’re interested only in things you know you’re interested in, you will never be surprised. You’ll never learn anything new, or gain a fresh perspective, or make a new friend or contact. The key to talking to strangers, it turns out, is letting go, letting them lead. Then the world opens itself to you.

How to Become a Master at Talking to Strangers


Graffiti over the generations..

Enhance. Enhance. Enhance.


If you enjoyed any of these links, the best way you can help me is by forwarding this email on to a friend. They can browse past issues and subscribe at this link

- Bennett


Cover Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash