Midweek Nudge #52

“Slowing down is sometimes the best way to speed up.”

— Mike Vance

Hi there!

Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.

Life & Descaling A Coffee Machine

If you’ve ever owned a coffee machine, you’re probably familiar with those moments where you notice that the coffee takes a lot of time to prepare. A week or so after you notice but ignore this delay, the machine practically stops working and gets stuck. No coffee lands in the carafe, and the water remains water. This is usually because of hard water. For the uninitiated, hard water is when there are many minerals and salts dissolved in the water naturally. Now, when water is heated and then passed through the tiny parts of an appliance, the salts accumulate everywhere in the tiny pipes, the little contraptions and so on.

Specifically for coffee machines, the process of removing this buildup and getting it working again is called descaling. The idea is to run a “descaling solution” through the machine as if you were making coffee, and it breaks the mineral buildup in the functional parts of the machine. You can find fancy descaling agents in the market or on Amazon, but the most common and trustworthy solution is running equal parts white vinegar and water through the machine. It clears up in one cycle. Then you run just water a few times, and the machine is as good as new. The question is, why am I going on and on about cleaning a coffee machine? It’s because while cleaning mine today, I realised it’s the same with life, more or less.

Life is hard, in general, with all sorts of salt that we keep accumulating through things that happen, through others’ behaviour, through failures, et al. Of course, we see ourselves slowing down or getting tired, but we don’t get to cleaning it. Then, when we finally cease to work, we go for all the fancy solutions, take the wildest advice, travel, restart life in a different city, et al. The solution, however, as most people learn eventually, is usually a clean up away. We need to get rid of some of that buildup, rest a little and come back stronger. The power of taking it slow for a few days to keep running in the long term is underrated.

The best part? It’s the simplest solution to try that works!

What’s On My Mind?

The vivid experience of losing all anxiety or thought when I’m engrossed with something like code or design, especially when I forget about the hours and enter the zone. I spent the entire night working on a problem that wasn’t even my own, but I was so engrossed, I forgot the countless things that were on my mind that day. It’s funny how being engrossed with the right thoughts can have such an opposite effect than when we’re engrossed with unconstructive anxiety.

I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.


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