Pulling the trigger

Nonviolently. I believe we’re all blessed with the ability to create ideas. Seth Godin, in his interview with Tim Ferris, said that the way to have good ideas is to have bad ideas. “If you put enough bad ideas into the world, sooner or later your brain will wake up, and good ideas will come.”

So, the thing to do is to put your ideas into action.

I’ve sat on ideas. I’ve seen some come to market from other people. I’ve seen some never materialize. And I’ve even put a few into the world myself – this blog for instance.

This blog isn’t anything revolutionary. It’s just my ideas, flowing out into the world. The way to get the good ideas out is to get all the ideas out. Eventually, the one that is revolutionary will make its way to its audience. And that’s when the change can happen.

Friday lists

What I’m reading: Letting Go. David Hawkins writes about freedom from attachment, and what that might look like in the modern age. “The mind, with its thoughts, is driven by feelings. Each feeling is the cumulative derivative of many thousands of thoughts. Because most people throughout their lives repress, suppress, and try to escape from their feelings, the suppressed energy accumulates and seeks expression through psychosomatic distress, bodily disorders, emotional illnesses, and disordered behavior in interpersonal relationships.”

What I’m watching: A lot of nothing. I’ve flitted from Lost Girl to a few other supernatural tv shows. A bit of NHK network, the Japanese news channel with travel and language programming. I’m gearing up for the Halloween season, and I want to do some research on horror and mythos.

What I’m listening to: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, narrated by Christian Rummel. I’d not read much by Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451 is really the only one I remember. I know I owned two short story collections, but I don’t recall what I had read from it. But I had a dream a few nights back – partially induced by sleep aids and Benadryl. It involved a traveling circus, and I was reminded of Something Wicked, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Other things that caught my eye:

 

Week’s Highlights

Some of the things that caught my interest this week.

If you’re thinking about how you’ll make it to retirement, here are six suggestions from NBC’s Kelsey Butler in January of last year. I’ve been thinking about retirement accounts a lot over the past couple of months, having blown through three of them over ten years.

The Tim Ferriss podcast with my hands-down favorite author Neil Gaiman. I first read Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek last spring (listened to the audiobook, twice in a row on several trips across Florida). Gaiman’s Neverwhere I read as a high-schooler, and that was my first introduction to the author. I’ve since read just about everything he’s written, including the Sandman series (straight through and then with the annotated editions from Leslie Klinger), American GodsStardust, and The Graveyard Book, to name a few.

If you have an Aubible subscription, get Sam Shepard’s True West, the West End production featuring Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow) & Johnny Flynn. It’s a free download for subscribers (up to two Audible originals each month), and it’s really good.

Unroll.me. I was slow to get this one, but it really works! I’ve gone from a couple hundred emails a day down to less than 30. I’ve still got some clearing out to do, especially across multiple email addresses. but thus far, this has been an amazing help. Plus, its single daily email with previews of each email you’ve rolled (not unsubscribed but not individually let in) gives me one place to see if there’s anything there that I need.

 

A post a day?

I use my iPhone’s Notes app pretty religiously. Here’s a screen shot:

IMG_2338

So, this awkward little snapshot into my thought processes is embarrassing. But the one post a day idea I jotted down on March 11 came back up on April 1st, when I was listening to the first conversation Seth Godin and Tim Ferris had, back in early 2016.

Seth said, “The first thing I would say is everyone should blog, even if it’s not under their own name, every single day. If you are in public making predictions and noticing things, your life gets better.

Because you will find a discipline that can’t help but benefit you. If you want to do it in a diary, that’s fine. But the problem with diaries is because they’re private, you can start hiding. In public, in this blog, there it is. Six weeks ago you said this; 12 weeks ago you said that. Are you able, every day, to say one thing that’s new that you’re willing to stand behind? I think that’s just a huge, wonderful practice.”

Now, will I post every day? Who knows. But will I try? You betcha!

March Reading List

March, 2019

Books Bought:

  • The Essential Drucker – Peter Drucker
  • The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker
  • The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham
  • Kraken – China Mieville
  • This is Marketing – Seth Godin

Books Read:

  • This is Marketing – Seth Godin
  • Kraken – China Mieville (unfinished)
  • The Aspirational Investor – Ashvin B. Chhabra
  • Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss (unfinished)

For March, I didn’t get a whole lot done. Bought a few used books, read a little. March was a transitional month, one job shifting to the next. The last week in March was the first week of work, and it was a lot of hours in the new role.

This is Marketing – quintessential Godin. For whatever reason, any time I listen to him I generate ideas left and right. It’s motivational, and I enjoy everything about his work. I have The Icarus Deception around somewhere, and I may need to reread that as well soon.

Kraken, off to a strange start. The mystery grabbed me finally, about sixty pages in, but I don’t know if it will keep hold of me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out. It reminds me a bit of Christopher Moore, but with less humor. Maybe not less humor, but different humor. And I miss Leon already…

The Aspirational Investor came recommended, so I gave it a try. My money in the markets usually goes up and down, and I just put more in every month. At some point I may do more with it. That remains to be seen. This book was fine, but it wasn’t really new information. I did like the three-tier breakdown of risk, which I’ll likely use in my investments.

And then Ferriss, which I just pull from time to time. This month, reading about acroyoga has led me to further exploration of that activity.

April Fools’

I listened to Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin on the Tim Ferris podcast a few weeks ago. They spoke about Seth’s April fools’ joke of a few years prior. They discuss how, after emailing their lists that the blog would be coming to an end, they received angry notes from their followers. Followers that weren’t in on the joke, and how fear led them to respond.

The truth is, we mostly operate out of fear. It’s stepping away from our fears, and into that other that we find out what we’re here to do. That we’re not playing a zero-sum game, but rather a win-win infinite game – that’s just to be enjoyed.

Your joke:

A man goes to the barber and the barber asks, “How would you like your hair cut?”

The man answers, “In silence.”

Authenticity

“One must know what one wants to be,” the eighteenth-century French mathematician Émilie du Châtelet wrote in weighing the nature of genius. (From Brain Pickings).

Lots of smart people have spoken or written about being true to yourself. Why is that? What is so important about being your authentic self?

There are two elements to this. The first is: an authentic person is doing that thing which she was put here to do. The feeling of absolute joy that comes from being authentic is contagious, and that’s why authentic people are viewed as charismatic, agreeable, and engaging.

Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, ‘Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.'” (Oprah’s new book, The Path Made Clear).

The other element is the concern of authenticity preventing some from showing up. As Seth Godin puts it in his interview on the Tim Ferriss show, “Which means, and this is someplace I’ve gotten in trouble before, authenticity is totally overrated, totally. That I don’t want an authentic surgeon who says, ‘I don’t really feel like doing knee surgery today.’ I want a professional who shows up whatever they feel like, right?

While I view that as a valid point, and I greatly admire Seth Godin and all the work he’s done (I’ve read a number of his books, some multiple times), I believe that this example is more about a lazy authenticity, rather than it being authentic.

The surgeon in Godin’s example is (hopefully) being authentic in being a surgeon. That’s what fuels his life. If he come in and says he doesn’t feel like doing knee surgery today, then it’s not in line with his authentic self. Or, he didn’t want to be a knee surgeon to begin with.

Authenticity, in my view, is something that will give us energy.

Now I do believe that we may find ourselves aligned to our authenticity, while not fully being authentic. That’s why you see so many Generation X and Y switching careers, rather than staying in one for their whole life. (One of the reasons.) Because they are searching for authenticity. But in the job you’re doing – the one you’ve agreed to do for the time being – you still need to show up. To do your best.