Episode 28: Loneliness

December 10, 2015
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My “internet friends”
What I’ve learned this year about friendship and loneliness
This topic is inspired by so many posts I read on r/college where students are reporting feeling so alone.
Key Info for this Podcast: 
The research looking at loneliness is not encouraging.
http://time.com/3747784/loneliness-mortality/ This story relates back to the nun study I talked about in Episode 23
People can be alone a lot and not feel lonely.
People can be around many people quite often and feel extremely lonely.
So what can you do? This is a difficult subject for me to give practical advice to you without sounding really lame. “Just go out there and make friends.” doesn’t seem like it will help. I will try to offer a few practical solutions:
Even though some really good friendships are “easy” in a sense, friendship itself takes work, similarly to how marriage takes work.
Social media is not a replacement for real human connection. “It’s better than nothing”
Similar interests seems to hold the key for opening new doors when it comes to friendships. Clubs, sports, etc.
Home Exercise:
The suggested home exercises for each week this semester:
  1. Set a big goal that ties into your passion.
  2. Write it down, then figure out the first few steps and write them down too.
  3. Figure out dependable time capture and task management tools.
  4. Look back at the first steps, think about what they might have in common, they should lead you to developing a simple ritual (waking up earlier, studying at same time every day, drinking more water).
  5. Think about the people around you, or the places where you have the opportunity to meet people. Think about one person you can approach to have a conversation. Again, you’re not asking them to be your mentor. You just want them at this point to know who you are.
  6. Work a weekly review into your workflow; get into the ritual of methodically checking up on your To-Do list and calendar at least once a week.
  7. Write down the things that are bogging you down.  Which quadrant of the Urgency/Importance matrix do you see them in? How we can we devote more of our time and resources to Quadrant 2?
  8. This week, take a step back, and look at where you’re at a little more globally. Are you on the right path? How has your perception of your situation changed?
  9. Be proactive! Do something to get you closer to your goals that you’ve been thinking about but having trouble executing.
  10. Clarify your To-Do list. Are all of the steps actionable? Are you waiting on anything from anyone? Start a Someday/Maybe list to get those things off your mind.
  11. Ponder the idea that happiness is a choice. Think about ways you reduce the negative feelings and promote the positive ones. Think about who you spend time with. Take one small step, try and make one tiny change that’s doable that might begin to lead you in this direction.
  12. Express gratitude to someone else in written form. A handwritten note would be best, but email is allowed for this exercise.
  13. Do an 80/20 analysis on your remaining school commitments. What is that most important 20% that is going to lead to 80% of the output? Dedicate time in the next week to those activities.
  14. Consider making some flash cards to use as a study tool.  If you’re already past the point of this being a viable strategy, then don’t worry about it, and instead consider using my flash card note-taking system next semester.
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