For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
If you are anything like I used to be, you probably put mornings right up there with death on the scale of things you most dread. …
Hey, Friends -
Welcome to The Saturday Slack, a list on what I’m diving into with a one sentence summary for those too busy to explore themselves. Sorry for getting this out a few days late this week, but there are loads of incredible insights in the bullets below. As always, send me the best thing you read/watched/listened to this week!
Cheers — Ben
Rant on Amazon: Masterclass in long term thinking and the power of building extensible processes, in this case Amazon’s decision to build all code in a way that an external party could consume, which ultimately…
Before we start, one note. The essay below was originally something I wrote for myself to distill my thoughts around this concept. It is not a critique nor is it advice for anyone other than myself.
The “financialization” of culture that John Luttig analyzes in his article and is often portrayed in high tech/finance, is when you take financial concepts (leverage, optionality, etc.) and apply them to life. Although cross discipline applications can open up “adjacent possibilities,” they only go so far, and can oftentimes lead you astray.
Where this is seen most is in career advice.
“Take the job…
The weekend affords us slack.
It gives us time to reflect, entertain ourselves, or forget the week we just had (at least for 48 hours).
There is no greater feeling, for me at least, then waking up early on the weekend and diving into interesting topics that I’ve saved during the week.
What follows below, is what I’m calling Saturday Slack.
It will be a weekly aggregation newsletter, sent on Saturday mornings, of the most interesting articles, books, podcasts, etc. that I’ve found valuable over the past week.
The subjects will be varied, as my mind tends to wander from…
It’s helpful to remember that life is much less linear than school, self-help books, or your parents told you it would be.
Progress is much more stochastic in nature.
One day, you leap 13 steps ahead.
The next, you leap 22 steps back.
So whether you find yourself today in the upslope or the downslope, remember that you could just as easily be facing the opposite, so stay humble.
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In modern society, it is often a badge of honor to be busy.
To work 12+ hour days. To achieve numerous goals. To have so many obligations that your schedule is overwhelmed with all the things you have to do.
If there was an upside to covid, in my opinion, it was the complete removal of “busyness” in most people’s lives.
We were able to re-examine the way we were living, the things we were doing, the obligations we just “had” to complete.
And what most people found out is this…most of it didn’t matter.
There is freedom in simplicity…
This week, we are putting our family home on the market.
As part of the preparation process, our realtor made a few suggestions to make the home stand out a bit more from the pack. One of the said suggestions was to paint the basement to give a new buyer a feel for how they could use the space.
The basement was never in bad shape, but over the past two years, we never took the time to update it or make it a place where we’d want to spend time.
However, after a few hours of cleaning and painting…
In the depths of my anxious times, I came across a book by Charlie Hoehn (a former Tim Ferriss employee) that completely reversed how I viewed anxiety.
The book, Play It Away, details Charlie’s own journey through debilitating anxiety and how he was able to conquer it through play.
Although that may sound glib, after trying it for myself, I can now honestly share it with you all as it had a similar impact on my own journey.
As a recovering “non-hobbyist,” my days used to be completely focused on achievement and personal development. I wouldn’t read something unless it…
An honest understanding of what is in our control provides real clarity in an opaque world: All you control is your own mind.
Not events. Not your body. Not others. Not outcomes. Not politics. Not your boss. Not your promotion. Not even, trust me on this, what others think of you.
Anxiety comes from clinging to things in the future outside of our control.
If you are able to relinquish your hold, even slightly, on the 99.9% of things that are outside of your control, you’ll find yourself happier, less anxious, and ultimately more productive.
What are you clinging to…
A mentor asked me to write down the 6–8 words I’d want to be on my tombstone.
The above was what I wrote down without thinking much about it.
What are yours?
It’s funny how none of the above are: wealthy, intelligent, CEO, smart, entrepreneur, etc.
Yet, the latter list seems to be what I’m most focused on now.
Are my priorities misaligned?
Is it possible to blend long term and short term together in a coherent fashion?