Doing Less isn’t the Solution to BURNOUT -- Do More of What Energizes You w/ Amy Shearn

Feb 08, 2022

Welcome to episode 34 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.

Episode 34’s guest is ​Amy Shearn. She’s an award-winning author of the novels, Unseen City, The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far is the Ocean from Here. She’s currently working at Medium where she’s the editor of Human Parts and Creators Hub. She’s the former editor of the fiction publication Joyland and her work has been featured in Poets and Writers, Slate, and the New York Times.

Amy shares some interesting ideas about doing more of what energizes you rather than doing less of the things that drain you. It’s a tiny mindset shift that can often be the right solution to burnout. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels.

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels. 

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to overcome burnout.
  • How to manage your personal energy.
  • The idea of finding something that fills you with energy is one solution to burnout.
  • What’s the difference between internal motivation and external motivation.
  • Avoid energy vampires.
  • Don’t always stick to your habits and routines.
  • Be more flexible.
  • Be kind to yourself.


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • The formula to success (1:41)
  • Getting too stressed out (6:37)
  • On writing novels and enjoying the process (9:53)
  • Having a great balance (16:05)
  • Social interaction and working at a company (18:34)
  • Doing more that energizes you (25:14)
  • You need to figure out what works for you (28:21)


Intro Music:
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick —
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download:




[00:00:00] Amy: I get the whole time. Like, it’s not, if you’re serious about it at all, or you care about it, it’s probably not fun all the time. That’s the other thing, I guess, is that people say, that must be fun. I’m like, dear Lord. I mean sometimes, but so if you’re a little bit serious about something, yeah. I was like, I would call it. 

I mean, it’s more of like a vocation, you know, like you feel like you have to do it and you feel passionate about it and you would do it no matter what, and you want to be good at it and you want to make something great. What I’m going to get out of it is continuing to get better at it. 

[00:00:37] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven Podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today’s guest is Amy Shearn. She’s an award-winning author of the novels, Unseen City, The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far is the Ocean from Here. She’s currently working at Medium where she’s the editor of Human Parts and Creators Hub. She’s the former editor of the fiction publication Joyland and her work has been featured in New York Times, Slate and Poets and Writers. She shares some interesting ideas about doing more of what energizes you rather than doing less of the things that drain you and I think it’s a good mindset shift that you should pay attention to. I hope you enjoy today’s episode. 

Welcome Amy. It’s great to have you here on Mindful and Driven. We’ve actually been talking for about half an hour before we started recording but it’s still great to have you here. 

[00:01:19] Amy: Thanks so much. It’s so fun to be here. 

[00:01:21] Amardeep: And so I first found out about you because you edited Forge which is the personal growth publication on Medium. And you’ve since moved on. So now you’re the senior manager at Creator Support, but in your time in Forge and in how much you’ve read at the time, has there been any common advice you’ve disagreed with that you see all the time? 

[00:01:40] Amy: Yeah. I mean, I see, the advice, the very well-meaning advice all the time. You know, if there’s something that you care about, do it every day, you know, produce something everyday. 

Uh, Write every day. Exercise every day. Whatever it is, if you’re working on your business, touch your business plan every day and oh God, I just feel like that’s such kind of gate keeping advice. I don’t think it’s meaning to be at all. And I think for some people it works really well, but a lot of people have really complicated lives and every day doesn’t look the same. And I think it can be kind of self-defeating if you say, okay, I’m going to get on a streak, where I’m writing every day or posting on Medium every day or whatever it is. And then you miss a day, then you get in a weird head game of like now I have to start over and I failed at this thing, and, and that is, I mean, making anything is already hard. 

You don’t need to make it harder for yourself. You can just, it doesn’t have to be a beautiful looking process. You know, it can be messy. 

[00:02:45] Amardeep: Yeah. And I can completely relate because I haven’t written every day ever. I don’t think. Even when I’ve started out because I started out writing and I had a job, so I couldn’t wait for that. I had other things going on, especially pre pandemic, when I had a bit of a social life before and a bit of, a bit of one. Yeah. And what I saw is like, everybody was telling me that you need to write every day to be successful, but I didn’t do that, and it’s worked out okay for me so far and I still see it amongst other people. And it’s almost this trap that people get sent, because if I tell them you don’t need to write every day to be successful or to meet your targets or to meet your goals. And they all do for me, it’s like, no, I need to do it, but you’re, you’re new. And you can see that I’ve managed to do it without doing that. But they’re kind of locked in this thing that so many people have told them, you need to do this. 

[00:03:37] Amy: I mean, I understand it because there’s something very seductive about the idea that there’s a formula. I think that’s what people are really getting at when they’re trying to ask or give that advice. But just the, I mean, wouldn’t that be great if there really was just a formula to success, whatever success means to you, if it’s growing your following on Medium or writing a novel or, whatever I was going to say, running a marathon. I think there is a formula to success for that one, but, you know, creative pursuits. And if it was really a matter of like, if you get up at 5:00 AM and you, you know, face the east or, you know, whatever, some people have all these things that they do. If you use this kind of device, if you shut off your notifications, if you have gotten eight hours of sleep and do your meditation and breathing, and then, creation will it be easy and you will be able to do it because I think, you know, any kind of create work, actually it’s hard and unpredictable. So of course we want to control it or sort of game it, figure out how, if I just do all these steps, then it’ll be easy. But I actually think it’s very freeing to sort of let go of that because I don’t know. I mean, I have kids, which means that my life is just not the same everyday and to sort of set up something, where I had rules for myself, it feels like, well, I must write from five to 7:00 AM every day. I mean, I actually did used to do that before I had kids and it worked, but that is always changing your life, the shape of your life is always changing. And then when you have kids or anything else, that’s kind of unpredictable in your life. It’s just not going to be the same every day and it doesn’t have to be. It’s okay. 

[00:05:23] Amardeep: Yeah. The way I always think about it is you don’t need to be loyal to a past version of yourself. Just because that worked for you before, doesn’t mean that it works for you now. Like you’re a different person now. Being a mother and having like, once you’ve written your first book as well, it’s different. That your process is different for each book you write, I suppose, because you’ve got more experience, you know, yourself better. And if you make the rules based on like, when you were earlier in the process and you didn’t know yourself very well, you didn’t know what worked, what didn’t work. It would be. It wouldn’t make sense for you to stick to that, even when, you know, like, oh, actually I’m more productive in the evening, but I’m going to do it in the morning because that’s when I told myself. 

[00:06:00] Amy: It worked the first time. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s really the key. I feel like, especially for parents, maybe for everyone, but it’s just not getting attached to one version of how to do things, you know, like achieving balance or figuring out how to, how to do it all or what you can focus on. It’s just kind of always changing and that’s not, you know, as they, as they say in tech, it’s the feature, not the bug, you know, that’s like how it is and it’s actually good. 

[00:06:30] Amardeep: Is there a point in the past where you really did struggle with balance and you felt that you were overworked and getting too stressed out and what did you do about it? How did you get out of that? 

[00:06:39] Amy: Yeah, of course. I mean, we were talking about this a little bit, especially when I had little kids, so my kids are 10 and 12 now. And anyone who’s listening, who has very little kids, let me just say it gets so much easier, it really does. It doesn’t feel like it ever will when you’re in it, like when they’re toddlers, you know, but when they were really little. 

[00:07:02] Amardeep: They’re not teenagers yet, are they? 

[00:07:04] Amy: I mean, they are not technically teenagers. My particular children have always been teenagers spiritually, but yeah, but they are 10 and 12 which are great ages. I highly recommend having kids that age. That’s some good advice that people can use, right. Not teenagers yet, but also not, you know, toddlers where you can’t sort of ever let them out of your sight. Like that’s a hard stage. So when they were really little and I was home with them and trying to freelance and trying to write a novel because it’s a very normal thing to do to always be trying to write a novel, no matter what else is going on, it was really, It’s really hard, is really hard. And it was, I think, made harder by this sort of well-meaning thing that people do to parents of very young children, which is that they’re always telling you to enjoy it. You know, I would get stopped on the street by people saying, you know, I’d have like a baby screaming and a carrier and a toddler running into traffic or whatever. And people would be like, oh, I enjoy these moments. And I would just be like, oh, if anyone else tells me to enjoy this, I swear to god. It’s like, yeah, you’re enjoying, you’re enjoying moments every day, but also a lot of it is hard and tiring and you don’t get enough sleep. And so that was, I think, a really hard time. And I really, I had to edit, you know, I mean, I think this is true of any really busy moment in your life. If you have creative work or any work that you want to do, you just have to edit. And, you know, I was like, okay, I can clear that. I can do the kids. I can do work. I can do maybe one other thing, but you can’t, you know, and I know that you’ve had guests who have said this before, cause I listen to your podcast, but it’s really true. Like you can’t have all the things all the time. So I was like, all right, I. Didn’t really have much of a social life for a couple of years. Didn’t really worry about exercising much, had a really messy house. Just things that like, I didn’t love. It wasn’t my favorite. I would have liked all those things to be great, but sort of like, you know, sometimes I have an hour. I could work on a piece of writing in that hour, or I could flip the laundry and you know what? The laundry is going to have folded eventually, but the book is not going to write itself. So you just have to like, be a little ruthless with the things that you kind of like ignore. Like you face the other way from the pile of laundry and you do your, your work that needs to get done. 

[00:09:44] Amardeep: How many novels have you written out for the people who aren’t familiar with your work? 

[00:09:47] Amy: So many, but three have been published, and the fourth one is on the way. I’m supposed to get that contract any moment now, although it’s like the holidays and publishing in New York kind of shuts down. 

[00:10:04] Amardeep: Which one do you think was the hardest to write? In terms of the stage where of your life at that point? 

[00:10:08] Amy: I would say my third book, the one that just came out. It came out last year in the pandemic, which is an interesting way to launch a book, not the worst, honestly, but not the best, best, but that book was written in a moment when my life was probably the busiest. I started, it took a long time. I started at when my kids were, I think about like, three and five, which is like a perfectly bananas moment in your life, no matter what else is going on. And I decided, and, and I was home with them and also working, freelancing and teaching, and also decided that I should write sort of my most ambitious novel that I’d ever written, that involved a lot of historical research and a lot of storylines. And looking back, why were those things all happening at the same time? I’m sure there was some reason, but so I sort of gave myself this giant challenge and it took a really long time, but it got written. 

[00:11:05] Amardeep: For people who are listening and they say they want to write a novel someday, but haven’t started yet, It’s always that thing that’s on the bucket list. What would you kind of warn them as the hardest thing to to be aware of? Before they start writing it, where they say, oh, I can do it in an hour a day. 

[00:11:21] Amy: I want everyone to write a novel. I really do, because, because I don’t know, if people want to write a novel, I think that they should. And I think it’s really good experience. I mean, it’s a terrible experience, but in a, it’s a good experience. No matter what happens to the novel, because it’s just an amazing challenge for any kind of brain. And I think it makes you appreciate all the writing you see it in a very like intense way. You know, you never appreciate a beautifully crafted novel so much as when you have at least tried to write one. So, I never want to be discouraging of people. But I do think it’s very true that the writing of the novel, as hard as it is, is also the reward. So I get nervous when I, when people say, oh, I really want to write a book so that this other thing will happen. I’m like, I’m going to stop you right there. You cannot. There is no reason to write a novel. There’s just no reason to write a novel, unless you really want to write that novel. And you want to be in the experience of writing it because I like the deepest satisfaction that you get is, is in that creative process. And I mean, it’s really cooking. And when the character start talking to you and you didn’t expect them to, and it takes a turn and you’re like, where is this coming from? It’s like a mystical experience. And then a close second is, when you get, if it’s published and you get contacted by a reader who is someone that you don’t know who says, wow, this novel really affected me. It was just what I needed to read at the right time. I felt like you were speaking right to me. That! Those are like the, I think the two best, best things that happen when you’re in that wall. 

[00:13:07] Amardeep: I think It’s a good point about pretty much everything in life. Right. So if you’re doing something that’s like on the side, it’s not because you need it to put food on the table, then you should be enjoying that process. And that can have the same experience with dance competitions, where sometimes can get very serious and people were saying like, they put themselves through very rigorous training and like hours and hours a week, and it’s all because they want to win. And the second sacrifice they need to make to win. But dance is supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to be going to the training because you’re enjoying the training. So yes, you need to work hard. You need to put in effort but it shouldn’t be like, only because the end result. It should be because you’re enjoying that process too. 

[00:13:53] Amy: Yeah, exactly. And I don’t even think, like with writing, I don’t even think, and it probably, I’m sure the same with dancing. You don’t even have to really be enjoying it the whole time. Like it’s not, if you’re serious about it at all, or you care about it, it’s probably not fun all the time. That’s the other thing I guess, is that people say, oh know, is that must be fun? I’m like, dear Lord. I mean, sometimes, but you know, it’s fun. It’s like watching TV, watching TV is amazing or like, or even just being like a joyful amateur at something. Like I play guitar, not well. Not in front of anyone and with no end goal. And that is fun. It’s only ever fun, the second it gets on fun, I put it down, which is why I’m not very good at it, you know? But so if you’re a little bit serious about something, yeah, like, I would call it, I mean, it’s not for me writing and maybe for you dancing, I don’t know. It’s not a hobby and it’s not my day job, but I was, at the risk of sounding extremely pretentious, I would call it more of like a vocation, you know? Like you feel like you have to do it and you feel passionate about it and you would do it no matter what, and you want to be good at it and you want to make something great. But so it’s not always fun but it’s also like what I’m going to get out of it is continuing to get better at it. 

[00:15:14] Amardeep: Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show. 

At a moment, how are things going? So your kids are now grown up a little bit. So you’re not having to keep an eye on them all the time, I hope. Do you have the right balance now, do you think? Where you’ve got everything juggling in the right way? 

[00:16:03] Amy: I feel like I actually have great balance now, which sounds bonkers to say, and especially in, you know, while we’re still in this pandemic and I feel weirdly lucky to have balance. I feel like a lot of people have the opposite of balance right now, especially parents. The key for me, and I don’t think that this is replicable and I don’t recommend it, but I’m divorced. And so I share the parenting, you know, I have court ordered equal co-parenting, which is, honestly, very humane way to parent. So I get breaks. I have weekends to myself where I can just write. It’s like the division of labor is real even right now. And then the other thing that really helps me with mounts right now is also something that’s not really under my control, which is that I work from home for me, has been really game changing. You know, when you’re a working mom and you are working in an office and then like rushing to pick up your kids from after care at their school, it’s like, you’re always like the first one to leave work and the last one to pick up the kids and you just feel like you’re failing. You know, I mean, I work somewhere, at Medium, there was, we were in the office, there was never a culture of nobody batted an eye, if I left exactly at five. It was very understanding in that way, but I have worked places, you know, where people are like, ah, look who is leaving right at five, you know, and you’re like racing and willing the train to work properly, which doesn’t cause it’s New York city and everything is broken. And then getting to aftercare, you know, with your kids are like the last people sitting in the cafeteria, just staring at the door like, oh, you decided to come pick us up, like sweating. So sorry. And just that, like not having that in my life anymore is really good for mental health and just for the balance. Yeah, I think working from home is very humane for me for a working parent. That there’s a lot of caveats there, which is that my kids are going to school now. They’re also old enough that they can look after, do their own homework once they’re home and that kind of thing, and I work at a really understanding place where there’s like a lot of trust. 

[00:18:15] Amardeep: What’s interesting about that as well, as you mentioned earlier, before we started recording that you went for dinner recently or drinks with a coworker. 

[00:18:23] Amy: Yeah. 

[00:18:23] Amardeep: So how do you find that as well? Because you said that you really enjoyed that obviously, when you’re not in the office and you don’t get to see your coworkers as much. So when things do get back to normal, hopefully, what kind of balance do you want with that in terms of seeing your coworkers, having that social interaction as well? 

[00:18:40] Amy: I do really miss seeing my colleagues actually and this is going to sound ridiculous and I might someday just laugh and shake my head when I think about this, but I miss having in-person meetings, especially sort of when we’re brainstorming ideas. There’s just something about being in a room with the people I work with that I do actually really miss sometimes. I would love it if there was a future where like now I actually work on a, quite a small team and if there was like a moment in the future where we could all work from home but be in the same place at the same time, maybe one day a week. I think that that would be really nice. 

[00:19:17] Amardeep: Before you worked for Medium, you did work yourself at different points, right? Which one do you prefer? Like you prefer working for a company? Working in a team? Or being your own boss because I know there’s different opinions on this, but I can see what kind of things I’ve lost by working myself when I don’t have that team and I kind of miss it in many ways. 

[00:19:35] Amy: Yeah. I think, I thought that freelancing would be kind of my path towards feeling balanced as a working mom who also has this novel writing situation and actually found it to be really stressful. To me, it works better to work at the actual place. I mean, first of all, I’m a single mom so having a steady income and health insurance really come in handy and just not being able to focus on the work and on building something. I’m really fortunate that my job right now at Medium involves supporting writers and creators, which is, it is crazy to me that this is what my job has turned into. Cause it’s like all I really care about and have ever wanted to do, so it’s amazing to be able to be working, supporting creators and the way that I do now. But it’s like that feeling like we’re building something, and we’re working towards something. I work on this publication, Creators Hub and, and we, which is Medium’s publication for writers, and it’s just been so satisfying to watch it grow. And when your a freelancer, or at least the way I was freelancing, it was like a piece here, a piece here, a consulting thing here, a manuscript consult here. It worked in that because I just had like these interstices of time when you know, my kids were doing something, but it felt so scattershot. And maybe it’s because I wasn’t, you know, I think what you’re doing is really different. If I had been more consciously like building my own thing or my own business or my own brand, I was just kind of doing things here and there. Yeah. So for me it really, having a steady day job at an organization is like, I mean, I think, you know, 20 year old me would have never seen that in my future and would have never seen that as like a path to freedom as a writer. But I really think it is for me. And then also just as, as a writer, it frees me to, you know, I do writing for work, but it’s a different kind of writing than the novels. In my novels and my fiction writing, it’s like, there’s no pressure on that stuff to do anything other than to be art, you know, I don’t need it to make any money because I have a job job and that frees me creatively. But then that also I say that also I have like a lot of job satisfaction and my job is creative and I work with great people. So that would, it would feel really different if that wasn’t the case. 

[00:22:11] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think it was good to hear as well is that, some of my guests who come on, many of them have quit their jobs and gone into find something which they really love, but I always tried to make it really clear as well is that you’ve got to do what’s right for you, and for some people, being your own boss and doing your own business, it’s what’s right for you. For other people working for somebody else and being part of a team and building something with a higher purpose is the better way to go, and if somebody interviewed for like the other podcasts, Entrepreneurs Handbook podcast, [unintelligible] people who are successful with an organization. Other people aren’t just doing it because this is what they want. They want to earn X amount of with this job title, it’s because they actually care and that makes such a difference because if you’re working at a company and you believe in what they’re doing, then it’s kind of like go getting paid to work with something that you care about anyway. Which is Great. Which I think is kind of almost the situation you’re in. You’re doing something in which you love. 

[00:23:12] Amy: Yeah, it sounds so corny but look, I have worked places where I didn’t believe in the organization’s mission or didn’t really understand my role in it, or didn’t really feel like we were building towards something and like it’s different, you know, it’s fine, you still have some coworkers you get along with, then maybe you like kind of some of the tasks of your job and you kind of punch in and punch out and cash your paycheck and that’s fine but the job that I had before this one was a way more mellow job, was at this kind of sleepy, nonprofit. Medium is a wild ride. Medium changes a lot. It’s like a, there’s just always a ton of stuff happening and you would think on paper that this other job was sort of a better day job for like a busy writer, mom, it was very calm, nothing ever changed. It was very reliable and I was, felt so burnt out. I was really, and now that I have a little time and space from it, I can see I was even more burnt out than I realized. And it was, part of it was being bored. Part of it was management issues but then also, but part of that was just being like, what am I doing here? Like, what am I adding to this? What is like, not having that real sense of, of purpose, which is no shade on that job. That job is like a, it’s a lovely publication, a lovely place. I just, it didn’t have that same sense of skin in the game or like I was helping to, to create or build something. 

[00:24:49] Amardeep: I think it’s also the idea that sometimes you don’t need to cure burnout by doing less. Sometimes by doing more of what energizes you. So take away stuff that doesn’t energize you, but replace it with something that does energize you and makes you happy. It gives you the energy to take on the day. And it seems like you’re doing more work than did before but you actually, in terms of energy, you’ve got more energy from that. Whereas being bored just drains you. 

[00:25:16] Amy: I think that’s exactly right. And I think that’s, yeah. Now that you say that, I feel like a lot of people and, and also, I mean, it’s such a privilege to even talk about this. Like sometimes you’re just happy to have a job and you need to hold onto it and totally understand that. But I feel like I know people who are creative people and who are maybe building their own thing on the side there, you know, their teaching or their consulting or coaching. And they have sort of a a steady, day-job or thing where they’re like, well, it’s kind of boring, but it’s steady and it’s there. So I can’t take on anything else cause I have all this other stuff and I need to kind of conserve my energy, but I think you’re right. It’s not the amount of stuff that you’re doing. It’s if it gives back to you. If it feeds you, like you had asked a question earlier about a time when I was really burnt out and what I did about it. And when I think about it, I’ve felt burnt out and stressed and like, I had no balance when my kids were really little, and what helps that was not was a little bit like I was saying, sort of editing things out, but also making sure to make time for the thing that really feeds me and energizes me, which is writing. So it was like, I had to like add something to fight for now 

[00:26:31] Amardeep: I got the idea from somebody else. I can’t remember who it was anymore, but I remember seeing those like, oh, I don’t know if I agree with that, then the more I thought, I was like, wait, that kind of does make sense. 

[00:26:40] Amy: It’s like that introvert, extravert conundrum. Like where do you get your energy? And wherever you get your energy, that’s something that you should make space for in your life. Is it being around other people? Okay. Then make that a priority. Is it having time to yourself? Okay, then make that a priority. Is it working at a job that really interests you? Okay, do that. Is it having a ton of free time? I mean, I think I fall into this trap all the time. The sort of writer fantasy of, well, if I had just had nothing to do and I just, we are talking about this cause I’m about to go be in a cabin in the woods for a week writing, which will either be the best or like the worst. I might go lose my mind, but it’s that sort of fantasy of like, if I had no other responsibilities and I could just be in a cabin in the woods and work on my writing or work on my, whatever it is, my thing that I love to do, then that would be great, but is that true? I don’t know if that’s really true. I think we need all of these pieces of our lives. I think anything, if you just do it too much, you probably get sick of it and get burnt out and you need input. 

[00:27:52] Amardeep: What’s one mindset shift you think, the people listening today make, and make a positive difference in their lives. 

[00:27:58] Amy: Well, like we were talking about earlier, I think the idea that there is one answer to sort of cracking the code of being balanced in your life and being able to do it all, I think that’s just, it’s tempting, but it’s not that useful. I think, what’s right for one person isn’t going to be right for everyone. And what’s like you were saying earlier, what’s right for you at one point in your life, isn’t necessarily going to be what’s right for you in another point in your life, I feel like you just have to kind of stay, stay nimble. Yeah. And sometimes being okay with not having a process is okay. I think the real answer is you need to figure out what works for you. Not what works for people on Medium. Not what works for Amar, although that does like, do you feel like maybe you have all the answers, but you know, what, like what works for you in your particular life, at this particular moment. Which is like a very like unsexy answer, you know, like, sorry, sorry, but you got to figure it out for yourself. 

[00:29:01] Amardeep: Yeah. I think it’s listening to the right people at the right time. It might work for you amazingly, if you’re at a different point in your life, but we shouldn’t try to apply that advice if it doesn’t suit your personal circumstances. So it’s kind of like seeking that, like who’s in a position I was in, and what advice can I take from them who knew my actual experience? 

[00:29:22] Amy: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Like we were talking about, there’s a lot of, kind of personal development advice from no offense, men who don’t have children and I’ll read it and be like, oh yeah, that seems great. Wait, no, I can’t. I have children. I can’t do that. You know, like, and then do this every day and do, you know, I just live a different life, you know, it’s important. And then, and then I also have to not beat myself up. Like, I mean, there’s a lot of advice on Medium and on Forge that I feel like is such good advice that I personally can’t assimilate into my life and, and I can like anyone and beat myself up about it and be like, oh man, if only I had this great note card system or this great, I don’t know, exercise routine or whatever that, these guys are so productive. They’re so on top of things. I’m a mess in the neighborhood. It’s like, well, you know, that’s, first of all, why that advice is so fascinating to me. And and there are sometimes things that can be taken from it. And also I[unintelligible] looks like, you know. 

[00:30:20] Amardeep: It’s been a pleasure to talk to you Amy. Where can the people listening today hear more about you? 

[00:30:24] Amy: I have a website. and that has links to all my things. I’m on Twitter at Amy, Sharon. Yeah. It’s lovely to talk to you. 

[00:30:35] Amardeep: So the final thing I always finish off on is, what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy recently? 

[00:30:41] Amy: Oh gosh. I have a very specific answer, which is that my son, always felt very passionately that we do this Skittles taste test and my daughter and I were both like, okay. And it was so, you know, like all kids nowadays, like kids I don’t know, they’re online a lot. They often seem very like world weary to me, you know, like New York city kids, who’ve gone through a pandemic, they’re like, they’re pretty knowing, and then every once in a while we will all just find something that helps us to descend into silly, pointless joy and it’s such a treat. He set up this very careful blind Skittles taste test. It was actually fascinating. We, the Skittles flavors are very confusing. If you have your eyes closed, I highly recommend this and it, and then we had a really interesting conversation about the connections between our senses and how flavors work and how marketing works. And it was just delightful, and I ended up being so glad that we had set aside time for it, you know, my daughter kind of sighed and had to set aside some homework, and I was trying to answer a work email and were like, why are you making us do this? And then it was, it was so worth it. The larger takeaway you might think is, you know, set aside some time to actually pay attention to your children, but really it’s about Skittles. Try Skittles. They’re crazy. 

[00:32:17] Amardeep: If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes. 

Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.

Amar's Letter

Real talk on driving impact as an imperfect human.