I’m always struck how music improves my mood. Not even when I’m in a bad mood, but anytime. It’s like MSG for life and this has been a (Christmas) music filled week of good stuff.
What I’ve been reading.
I started (and finished) Smartcuts after hearing a few interviews with the authors Shane Snow. The premise of the book is that we can find success by thinking in new, lateral and non-vertical ways. I agree with the premise and liked the model of thinking the book provides. The most persuasive argument is that the best presidents are often those that don’t ‘pay their elected dues.’ That is, you look at examples like Clinton, Eisenhower, and Reagan to see people that had no national legislative experience. Snow also does a good job of choosing uncommon but sound examples.
I’m still reading Antifragile and it still continues to be good. I’ve been thinking about the issue of temporary stress as a way to grow and the artificial applications. One example is how I workout. Lifting metal circles up and down is less practical than chopping wood, but I choose it nonetheless. To apply it to my kids I’ll have to revisit Grit by Paul Tough. Antifragile thinking is so hard to get my brain around I could spend all my time thinking about it.
What I’ve been listening to.
NPR Planet Money had a good episode about gangs in Honduras, where extortion is the new utility. The seeds of which were planted by the banana men years before. (And my favorite book this year)
Stuff You Should Know had a good episode about the history of homeschooling and how the boomerang works. Both of which were great stories.
Episode 285 of Dan Carlin’s show brought up the idea of long and short term thinking (through the lens of torture).
Tim Ferriss interviewed Dr. Peter Attia on episode #50 and it was a refreshing piece of physiology and nutrition information in a sea of crap. There have been a lot of people peddling dubious information, this was anything but.
What I’ve been working on.
My stoic parenting book has been printed and proofed. I need to incorporate the changes and then do two more passes. The fact that I learned, applied, and wrote about being more stoic as a parent is my proudest growth of the year.
I’ve had good luck sticking with the bullet journal technique. I’m trying to build the habit now to role it into the new year.
I wrote a “lessons learned from” post about my favorite book of the year at Productivityist.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.