1 March 2019

Friday Night Review - 03.01.2019

Talk about getting WAY off track for a couple of weeks.

I gently warned others that February has a sneaky way of derailing even the best of intentions and plans. Perhaps I need to heed my own advice. Well… perhaps…

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve lapsed into a silence filled with contemplation and an almost singular focus in reengineering habits. Much of this was influenced by a serendipitous series of books.

The progression was: Patrick Rhone’s Enough -> Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal Method -> James Clear’s Atomic Habits -> Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism.

Individually, these are the four most influential books I’ve read in years. Cumulatively, they have spurred on a transformation in me that others have noticed.

You seem much more calm.”

You’ve changed.”

Something’s up. What’s going on with you?”

I am. I have. There is.

More on that when I find the right words. But here is the one thing I have learned…

Go back to the basics and trust the process.

That could be my mantra for the rest of the year (my life).

Reading - Online

I’m reading less and less online. Some of that is a byproduct of the books listed above. Some of it stems from a general feeling of eating to avoid screens as much as possible as of late.

But here’s a couple of gems…

Top 5 things the internet made me feel about my notebook:
My notebook isn’t pretty enough.
My notebook is too chaotic. It’s slowing my workflow.
My notebook doesn’t contain the right kind of content.
If I put in more important information, my notebook would be more helpful to me.
I should create a digital solution for my analog thinking.
So I tried. I tried to fix all of these problems. I tried to impose an outside order to my chaotic notebook.
By September last year, I hated my notebook and stopped using it.

— K. C. Wise, The Internet Made Me Hate My Notebook (But I Fixed It. We’re Good Now.)”

Been there. Done this.

My notebooks aren’t aesthetically pleasing. They’re utilitarian and messy and glorious all at once. Wise’s post is another reason anytime I see the hashtag BuJo” in any social media feed, I close the app.

I know what my tools are. I know how to use them to achieve the outcomes I choose.

We don’t ignore abundant resources on purpose, necessarily; it’s more that our mindset doesn’t allow us to see what is there.

— Annie Mueller, How to quit ignoring the abundance you have”

Annie (if I may use her first name) always seems to somehow write the precise words I need to hear at the precise moment I need to hear them. If you’re not reading her writing, you’re missing a source of vital wisdom for our times.

The abundance I’ve recently seen is the beautiful scenery on my long bike rides… especially the Greenline in Memphis… a gorgeous bike path from the suburbs into the center of the city. There are long stretches where I forget I’m in an urban setting. Is scenery a resource? You bet it is.

Reading - In Print

Working my way through Newport’s Digital Minimalism. It’s slow going because I’m taking extensive notes. There are lengthy passages I’m copying word for word. Sometimes it’s what Newport says… sometimes it’s how Newport says it… and sometimes it’s very tight prose… which I always respect.

Related to Newport… I’ve started Roger McNamee’s Zucked: Waking Up To The Facebook Catastrophe. McNamee was a mentor to Zuck. He warned him and Sheryl Sandberg about possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. I’m confident Zucked will be both fascinating and horrifying.

Your Week

February is over. March is here. Time to take a look back at the last month and make some tweaks. We all have the right intentions. Sometimes it’s a failure of systems… and that’s okay. It’s up to us to make those systems changes so we can live better lives.

Try to find that one small change that leads to cumulative success down the road. For me… it will be… the push-up.

Have a great week.


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