007 – Week of Dec 8, 2019

Chris Latham Journal Entry #7

Podcast of the Week

“Why Small Talk Should Be Banned & 9 Questions That Go Deeper”

Just before the week’s end, the title of Jay Shetty’s podcast caught my attention “Why Small Talk Should Be Banned & 9 Questions That Go Deeper.” Now let me state I am not saying that we should never have small talk. Earlier in 2019, I learned that small talk has a purpose in our lives. Here is a great video explaining the reasons. TLDR: it serves as a way to screen who we are talking to.

Back to the podcast, I have to say off the top it was a fun and refreshing listen. The part that caught my attention the most was the dinner party he had where you were no small talk was allowed. It seems like a cool idea I will want to try. While listening I noted down the 9 questions. Before I go asking other people any of these questions I will spend time thinking about my own response. Here are the 9 questions for those who are on the TLDR train.

  1. What was the last lie you told? Would you do it again?
  2. If your younger self met you today, what would make them happy and what would make them sad about you today?
  3. What situations make you feel awkward and why?
  4. What did you buy recently that you now regret?
  5. Have you ever been to jail, been arrested, or gotten away with something of the like?
  6. What do you think makes a person most attractive? How attractive are you on that scale?
  7. Complete this sentence, if you really really really knew me, you would know that…
  8. What do you fight about most in your romantic relationships?
  9. What would you talk about the most in a 1-hour therapy session?

Random Thoughts

Why are negative thoughts the default reaction?

I asked myself and a few friends this question. One common response was fear. This comes in many ways. Here are a few examples:

Person 1: I was thinking of going to Columbia for vacation.

Person 2: Oh no, it’s super dangerous in those parts. In the news, they talk about kidnappings and high crime rates all the time.


Person 1: I have been really stressed for the past few months at work. There seems to be no end in sight. I am thinking about making a change and going into a different career path.

Person 2: You make a good salary, will you be able to find the same level of income in your new domain? What if things don’t work out what will you do then?


Person 1: I was thinking about this and ever since I was a kid I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I am thinking about signing up.

Person 2: That’s dangerous. My cousin Bob got injured in a terrible accident years ago and is now in a wheelchair.

You can see how easily these moments can creep into your day. Here you are thinking about a change and the person you are talking to immediately shuts it down by feeding you doubt. This also happens on a personal level where we begin to question ourselves before starting anything.

I had similar thoughts about starting this page. What will I write about? Why will some care about what I have to say? I am normally in bed by 10 am no one will want to hear about that life? Thoughts like that and others have been tenants in my mind for a few weeks. Then one Sunday morning at a cafe I decided to pull the trigger. This can go one of two ways, it becomes a huge success or it flops. Either way, it is a learning opportunity for me. It is most importantly great practice for me to express myself.

Why is it that doubt and other negative thoughts our first impulse, I have no idea. What I do know, is that the energy it takes to think of a negative outcome is the same amount of energy it takes to think of a positive outcome. You probably going yea I heard this before. Let’s put this practice into simple practice. Racecar drivers will sometimes end up in a situation when the car is spinning out of control. The most important thing they are taught to navigate such a scary moment is to not look at the wall. Why is that you ask, simple? If you look (focus your energy) at the wall(negative outcome) you will end up going into the wall(negative outcome). Instead, they look (focus energy) at the clear path ahead (positive outcome). Another example, if you have ever gone downhill mountain biking the one thing they tell you is to look at where you want to go, never look down at the wheel. Same concept looking ahead = a positive outcome.

Good News – Get Your Smile On  ?

This story is funny and goes to show the power of choosing love as your default. TLDR a grandmother sends a thanksgiving invitation via text to her grandkids. Turns out the people she texted were total strangers. Upon finding out they were not her grandkids she extended the invitation to the strangers. This has now turned into a yearly tradition. 

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