Weekly Review 12: “The woods are just trees, the trees are just wood.”

It’s funny how a catchy song can stick in your head, it’s like the opposite of a piece of gum, getting more sticky over time.

My wife and I had an interesting conversation about not having cable anymore. She saw someone at work who couldn’t believe she got rid of the service and anymore it would seem odd to us to have it. I’ll write up a longer post about it later, but we are still happily without.

What I’ve been reading.

I (finally) finished MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins. When I look back at my reading list for the year I’m guessing that this book will be the one I wish I had quit sooner. I kept at this one because it seemed like there would a lot of value at some point. For me there wasn’t much. Robbins lays out 7 steps to master the money game and some of them I already knew, some I was already doing, and some I don’t agree with exactly. The book’s a conclusion mostly similar views, but the ones that aren’t are opposite, making me more confused.
My biggest takeaway was the advice from Warren Buffett, who wasn’t formally interviewed in the book. He met Tony and told him that there wasn’t much to say. Invest in an low fee index fund, even putting that idea in writing that when he passes away his wife should have that as her portfolio.

I’m also reading Thinking Fast and Slow as was suggested by Nassim Taleb. Daniel Kahneman Taleb says, is one of the best thinker with good research to support his work. The book is very good, and balances the pop-science nature with clear logic and conclusions. I’m glad Malcolm Gladwell didn’t attempt to write this one.

To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This is a neat NYT article about what we can do to increase intimacy with people – and my guess is not just our SO. It pairs nicely with Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking. Helipad parenting is my new favorite term, and an idea I’m trying to live. The MMM family shared another decadent year of living on less than $30K. Inspiring and thought provoking as usual. Another case for meditation and another week I failed to meditate. Ugh. 3 Simple Strategies for Learning Anything Better was more good thoughts on learning from Barbara Oakley. After I read her book I felt like I could learn anything.

What I’ve been listening to.

Planet Money explained what it means to short a security – and they decided to short the market index. This should be good.

99PI had two good podcast episodes, one about trademarking sounds, the other about mice, computers, and whether it’s making us smarter.

Invisibilia – a new podcast – had a good episode about fear.

Nassim Taleb was on Econtalk. Very heady.

James Altucher teased an upcoming interview with the author of The Art of Tidying up and says that he threw out 80% of what he owned. If less is more appeals to you, sign up for Joshua Becker’s weekly email.

What I’ve been working on.

At Productivityist my post about Cookie Productivity went up. It was one of the better synergies I’ve come up with, combing psychology, productivity, and via negativa. I do everything I mentioned and it’s made a big difference in what I get done each day.

This week I also published notes on Ben Mezrich, Tony Robbins, and Simon Rich. It’s been a busy week to get those posts done. If you include the time to listen to the interview, research the notes, and write the post that’s 9-15 hours of work in those three. If you head over there and would like to share any feedback, I would appreciate that. Text me at (559) 464-5393 or let’s connect on Twitter, @MikeDariano

Finally, I’m trying to build up my skills as a coach. If you’ve been coached before about anything, finances, health, fitness, cooking, etc. Drop me a line about what your coach did well. Thanks.

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