Strong Opinions, Loosely Held

By Elizabeth Filips

Hiya, I'm Elizabeth, a medical student and artist in London. Every Sunday I write about exploring meaning, productivity, little pleasures and just navigating life. And some of my favourite things that week.

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#27・

Hey, you don't hate your job do you?

Find a job that feels like play and you won't work a day in your life.This is one of the earliest principles I adopted as a child. I hated seeing adults being tired, burnt out, dispassionate and miserable. It's what every successful and happy person ever de...

 
#26・

Stop flattering yourself, you're not that bad.

They say the British are very polite. It's true. Even in London, there's always two of us apologising to each other when we bump in the tube. I've aplogised to rocks, trees, edges of tables, you name it.I'm very comfortable saying sorry. I'm very comfortabl...

 
#25・

Productivity is a trap, don't fall for it

I think I'm too fargone.I've been reading two books a day this week (trashy books, nothing worth summarising) and topping that off with more "respectable" essays on the human condition to take the guilt away. The guilt of wasting my time. The guilt of not d...

 
#24・

Our sense of time is all wrong and what to do about it

I was crossing the road the other day when a thought occurred to me, and not for the first time. What exactly were people doing for 200,000 years? It seems so bizarre that creatures, exactly as evolved as us, would simply sit around campfires for so long in...

 
#23・

OK honey, what would make this situation better for you?

I went on a long hike today (I’m not sure I’ll be able to use my legs tomorrow) and I ran into a few families going on a walk with their children. It was very interesting to see the family dynamics. There is the usual mix: crying children, running children,...

 
#22・

Are you still the same person?

How often do you check with yourself to see if you're the same person? How much of your outdated behavioural patterns, defence mechanisms, routines and beliefs do you carry with you? Even beyond their expiry date, more damaging than healthy?I've been doing ...

 
#21・

Should you follow your dreams?

Heya it's been a while!I've finally settled into the new house, have an internet connection and despite everything else in my life still raging on, I finally have the time to sit down and write in peace.I've been thinking about advertising and marketing rec...

 
#20・

What if you die tomorrow?

We definitely romanticise dying within 24 hours.Have a difficult decision to make? Well, what would you do if you were dying tomorrow?Think you're not on the right path in life? Let me tell you what people's biggest regrets are on their deathbeds to help yo...

 
#19・

An easy way to feel better

Hiya overthinkers,My most recent attempt to be more present and enjoy my life has been surprisingly quite effective. I've spent the last few weeks pointing out to myself when I start thinking about the past.Things I've done wrong. Things I wished I'd done. ...

 
#18・

You need to start seeing yourself as a bear

Heya, I'm back! I've genuinely missed this newsletter.Today I've been thinking about our expectations for ourselves.I tend to be (and be surrounded by) people with very high "ambitions", plans and dreams. And there's nothing wrong with that in itself, but w...

 
#17・

Overcoming beginners' pain

I wonder if the feeling "who do I think I am?" is universal.Maybe you've wanted to learn to dance better, but were ashamed of signing up for a class. Maybe you wanted to share a photo of a particularly good lunch online, but remembered your friends commenti...

 
#16・

Goalsetting for the summer

I need to get my life in order.I've been putting off sitting down and organising my life by thinking 'oh, next week I'll be a bit more free', 'oh, after exams', 'after work', and now, when it's become completely clear that work is never going to ease and so...

 
#15・

I have an announcement!

Hello everyone!! Sorry for the mid-week email, but I couldn't wait until Sunday to announce this - I finally set up my Book Newsletter! If you want to get more benefits from books in your life when you don't necessarily have the extra time (or money) to spe...

 
#14・

How to reward yourself

Heya,It's milestone time: I've just graduated from my third year of university (having done better than I expected), completed an extra 3 year diploma (on philosophy, theology, politics), just got promoted into (one of my) dream jobs and lockdown seems to b...

 
#13・

Emotionally stepping aside

Has this ever happened to you as a child? Your mum is furiously shouting at you, and then the phone rings. And within a few seconds she composes herself and answers with the sweetest tone to the person on the other side.It's funny as an adult. But more than...

#12・

The Scarcity Mindset

It sometimes takes just one small mindset change to shift my world view. This is one of them.It started with my Kindle. I've wanted one for years. I've added and deleted it from my Amazon cart tens of times. Adding the bundle with the cover and charger alwa...

 
#11・

Doing the Bare Minimum

Heya, Having always been a perfectionist, my natural state is that of relentless overworking. Reading 3 times the necessary amount. Doing work no-one will recognise, need or use. Constantly feeling let down (by myself and others) after what feels like throw...

 
#10・

This is not a safe space

Heya, I’ve had years of training for welfare. To create comfortable, accepting, non-judgemental spaces for discussions to occur. A ‘safe’ space, or a ‘brave’ space. So you can imagine my shock when I was listening to a podcast wherein the invitee, someone I...

 
#9・

I'm a horrible person

I've been a terrible friend for the last few weeks.And no, nothing's changed. I've acted the same as I always do, the only difference is, this time it was with new people. And it just highlighted how messed up some of my behaviour is.I usually never go to p...

 
#8・

Why I'm OK with being mediocre

Heya, I’ve changed. I’ve just realised, I’ve gone from a “never show your work until it’s perfect” kind of person, to a “put things out anyways and cry if you must” kind of person. And it’s been incredible. I’ve been programmed to only produce ‘good’ work. ...