☝️ Upwarding #12: Joy is simple, Gibberish meditation, Muscle soreness, Nature heals

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. Issue #12.

The newsletter can be read straight through, I only provide links if you want to learn more about a particular topic. My blog, with more detailed articles, can be found here.


It might take a lifetime for you to figure out what makes you happy. On the other hand, what makes you joyful is simple and predictable.

In this remarkable Ted talk, product designer Ingrid Lee discusses the known visual traits that induce joy. Including… round things, pops of bright color, symmetrical shapes, a sense of abundance and multiplicity, and a feeling of lightness or elevation. In other words, something like the picture above. But maybe with googly eyes on some of the balloons.


If you’ve tried meditation before and it didn’t stick, consider a new form. Here’s a zany one that I love: speaking gibberish.


I’m sore a lot of the time. I’m over 40, have lots of nagging injuries, and work out frequently. An unconventional Israeli chiropractor once told me that the solution was to stop eating fish. His theory was that I was suffering from what might be described as “low level gout”, and that the purines in fish were making me sore. Sure enough, after giving up fish for three weeks, the pain went away.

Note: you can try drinking tart cherry juice to offset this effect.


This one comes from my friend Justin Hughes. Whenever you are buying something overseas with a credit card, pay in the local currency. Many retailers and payment companies have begun to offer “dynamic currency conversion”, i.e. pricing in your home currency (e.g. US Dollars) , vs. the local currency (e.g. Mexican Pesos). Due to our cognitive bias towards the familiar, we want to select the version in our home currency. And we pay dearly (up to 10% more) for that privilege.

Random Thought

I managed to get outside more than usual this week, and my mood improved dramatically. Here’s a fun spoof on pharmaceutical ads that talks about nature’s ability to heal us.


“No rain, no rainbows” – cab driver in Hawaii.

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