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How my Housemate Saved Me

How my Housemate Saved Me
By Ali Abdaal • Issue #141 • View online
Hey friends,
As you might’ve seen in my recent video, I’ve been in a bit of a pickle with my book recently.
Although it’s shameful to admit, I became fixated on the idea of the book becoming a New York Times bestseller. I developed an obsession with metrics, sales figures and marketing strategies and put a lot of pressure on myself that “this book has to be really good”.
Inevitably, this focus on the outcome meant that I stopped finding research and writing fun.
Not only that, but after pushing through and getting work done, it turns out, my work wasn’t that great. And so now we’ve taken a whole new turn with the book, and it feels as though I’ve just wasted months of my life worrying and working.
I opened up about this to my housemate and therapist, Sheen. She said something quite simple - ‘Isn’t this supposed to be fun?’
She was totally right.
Even though Journey before Destination is one of my guiding principles, I don’t always take my own advice.
I started this whole process of writing a book because I thought it would be fun, and an interesting adventure. And I forgot that worryingly fast.
So this is a little reminder that if you’re fixated on something, you might also need reminding to enjoy the journey. After all, in the immortal words of Miley Cyrus, “Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.”
Have a great week!
Ali
PS. I’d love to hear back from you. When it comes to having fun with work, what is your biggest challenge? Please hit <reply> and let me know :)

My Favourite Things this Week
1 - Book - This week I’ve started Fast This Way by Dave Asprey, a fascinating read about the benefits of intermittent fasting. Although I’m way too early in the book to be giving advice, I think I’d like to try some sort of fasting soon.
2 - TV show - I’ve been watching and enjoying Scrubs recently. It’s funny and wholesome and at 20 minutes, it’s the perfect length to enjoy while eating food.
3 - Book - I’ve just started reading Bullsh*t Jobs by David Graeber. It’s cutting and hilarious. Would recommend to anyone who’s ever wondered about why there are so many seemingly meaningless jobs out there, and why beaurocracy and pointless administrative work seems to have taken over the world in recent years.
Quote of the Week
“We all think some external accomplishment is going to change everything, but it never seems to. It doesn’t change how you see yourself, it doesn’t change how you go through the world, it doesn’t change what you feel like when you wake up in the morning.”
From How Does It Feel to Get Everything You Ever Wanted? - RyanHoliday.net. Resurfaced using Readwise.
Tweet of the Week
Ali Abdaal
when it comes to doing work you love, what's your biggest challenge?
This week's videos
I Wasted the Last 6 Months of My Life...
I Wasted the Last 6 Months of My Life...
10 Cheap Purchases that Improved my Life
10 Cheap Purchases that Improved my Life
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Ali Abdaal

I’m Ali, a junior doctor, YouTuber and podcaster from Cambridge, UK. Every Sunday I write an email newsletter with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discovered on the internet that week.

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Ali Abdaal, Cambridge, UK.