Weekend Reading: letters, focus, motivation, jealousy, and how to argue

Weekend Reading is a weekly collation of 3-5 articles that have caught my attention, published on Saturday mornings. Previous editions can be found here

1. True Stuff: The Art of Letter Writing (wondermark.com)

Lots and lots of fun stuff in this one, including examples of great letters, hilariously specific letter-writing templates from 1900, the history of the self-sticking envelope, the menace of the typewriter, and more.

2. What to Focus On (addingaburden.com)

A sweet piece that is part photography tutorial, part reminder that the people with us are more important than all the other “stuff” around.

3. The Gift of Intrinsic Motivation (janetlansbury.com)

One of the most understandable distractions we face when trying to encourage enriching prospects for our children is the desire to offer our kids the experiences we wish we’d had as kids. But by signing our daughter up for the trombone lessons she never once mentioned wanting, just to expose her, we send a message: I want you to do this, and I know better than you.

4. When Her Good News Makes You Feel Bad (momastery.com)

When a friend (or “a friend”) mentions that she’s received a promotion at work, her son won an award at school, she’s just bought her third vacation home, or recently lost ten pounds . . . how do we feel? I know we say we feel happy for her, but how do we really feel? I think sometimes we really feel a little panicked. Like a determined bride at one of those terrifying Filene’s Basement wedding dress sales, we feel like our friend’s news means that now we have to run a little faster, push a little harder and get more aggressive in general.

5. Five Features of Better Arguments (The Atlantic)

Arguments work best when we’re arguing to come to a solution rather than to win. Here is a short piece with five tips for doing just that.