Beet Salad: July Edition
A few quick-read tips, lessons, and recs across career, parenting, life, and more
👋 Hi there! Welcome to our first Beet Salad - a new format we’ll use sometimes that provides a compilation of quick-read tips, lessons, and recs across the full spectrum of topics we discuss on Mind The Beet. Perfect for those who just want to skim and graze yet still soak in a few ideas on how to live your best life as a 21st century grown up!
You can always find all our longer-form, single-topic essays here: mindthebeet.com/articles
Let us know what you think of this new format (you can always reply to this email - it’ll go straight to us!) If you love it, feel free to share it with a few colleagues - it’s a great intro post to the wide range of brain candy here on MTB:
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Career: Consider a Therapist Mentor
Question to ask: What type of mentorship is best for you? And in particular, do you need a “therapist mentor?” People think about sponsors who champions your career and peer mentors who can show you how things work, but often overlooked is the person you share your worries and vent to. Someone far enough away with perspective but close enough to understand and empathize. From Helen’s post on types of mentors:
Therapist mentors – these are people who either do not work in your organization or are really far away from you if they are in the same company. This should be a safe person to vent and complain to. This person is unequivocally on your side and will not have an opportunity or a need to share anything you share. Of course, a good therapist mentor will push you to reframe your thinking and get out of your rut (either by helping you work through your problem or help you get yourself out of the situation).
Dig deeper: Why Mentorship Matters by Helen Harmetz
Parenting: Options Not Ultimatums
One child raising philosophy we use on our house: Treating kids with respect has been really helpful in developing them into people we want to be around. An approach we take is to not dictate to our kids what to do and instead offer choices, even if the choices are manufactured. This helps them feel that they are in control of life around them and gives them the right guard rails within which they can make their own decisions.
For example, if it’s raining outside, we ask if they want to use a red umbrella or a blue umbrella (instead of saying “please take an umbrella to go outside or you can’t go outside”).
This is a balance between providing structure that helps kids feel safe while also enabling them to be self-starters and practice good decision making. It takes patience and discipline to construct an options-oriented mindset - and rarely saves time in the short term. But it’s an important parenting lifestyle choice for us with long term payoff.
Dig deeper: Janet Lansbury podcast series Unruffled
Life: Get a Universal Socket Wrench
File this under “a useful tool you may not already have,” this $12 universal socket wrench comes in handy all the time:
Especially good for build-it-yourself furniture or to have around to unscrew not-normal things - it’s so useful to not be changing out wrench sizes mid-project and be able to turn anything even if you don’t have the right attachment.
It won’t replace your adjustable socket wrench - if it’s important you have a tight and solid fit, this won’t work - but very useful for the everyday fixes.
Content Recs: Mindless Fun
If you are looking for a couple interesting escapes, here’s three things we came across recently:
The Old Guard - After reading about David Ellison’s Skydance studios in the New York Times, I looked up Skydance’s catalog and stumbled across The Old Guard. The premise: “A group of mercenaries, all centuries-old immortals with the ability to heal themselves, discover someone is onto their secret, and they must fight to protect their freedom.” Staring Charlize Theron, it’s got a high body count, lots of action yet a sophisticated enough plot. Streams on Netflix with a 80%/Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. You probably loved The Martian - either the movie with Matt Damon the book that got a lot of fame even outside sci-fi circles. This is by the same author and in the same style. A sardonic narrator who loves science and uses it to tackle almost any problem. This time on a interplanetary voyage with earth-saving implications.
Bridgerton Series - If you enjoyed Netflix’s Duke and I and are looking for vacation romance reading, then you may be happy to learn that there are eight novels in the Bridgerton series that follow each of the siblings in their quest to find love (the Bridgerton children are named in alphabetical order from oldest to youngest, which helps you navigate the chronology of the books as well). If you are finding yourself in need of some romance this summer, this series fits the bill perfectly.
By the way, if you are interested in the origin of romance novels, here is a good podcast and summary: The Clinch.
Content Recs: Great Journalistic Piece
This week, the New York Times published a must-watch 40 minute overview of the Jan 6th Capitol Riots. Rarely do we recommend video journalism vs. written, but when an organization takes the time to meticulously research and compile first hand sources, the results are impactful, moving, and informative for anyone trying to understand this moment of world history.
Adam recently discussed his Information Diet, including prioritizing high quality journalism and taking the time to synthesize world events. This one is a case in point.
Content Rec: New Perspectives
This Vox essay on the intersection of art, Twitter, gender identity, internet norms, anonymity, and the public vs. private sphere is worth a read for anyone trying to gain a deeper understanding of non-normative life experiences that are probably unlike your own and the impact of the internet on them.
Fascinating questions on how the identity of the author impacts how people experience a work of art.
Thanks for reading! Drop us a line (reply to this email or email firstname.lastname@example.org) with any content recs or feedback.