Week 2 of 2024 has arrived. There is snow falling outside, and 10 more inches to come over the next week... Winter is here.
Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square. Done?
I wanted to share a few things I have learned this week relating to loss.
First, when you are giving a eulogy, or any other sad speech, and you find yourself getting emotional, take only one deep breath and then just say the next word. It only gets better as you plow through.
Second, I will never forget the people who showed up to the funeral. I didn't need any of them to show up, and I have nothing but love for the friends that couldn't make it for one reason or another. But, if you can, often just showing up is enough.
Third, my dad dying feels very transformational in a way I wouldn't have expected. I am 46, with a family, plenty successful... I have my big boy pants on, no doubt... But I still feel like I am only just a grown up today.
If you need something to aim at in the New Year... our Year Goal Posters are a good start. I'll send you a 15% off code if you email and ask for it.
Take a listen to the audio version of the weekly newsletter. Usually coming in at around 15 minutes... try listening! If you enjoy it let me know and subscribe, rate it, and review it! (There is a bit of extra context on goal setting in there this week.)
Thanks for being here and reading! These blogs help me "Sharpen The Saw" and hopefully help you to sharpen yours!
Week 2 of 1941 Franklin Roosevelt gives his 4 Freedom's speech. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. It's remarkable to remember that after 6000 years of modern civilization, it has only been 83 years since the we began to say out loud that there are things called universal human rights. He was 3075.14 weeks old. (58.97 yrs)
Week 2 in 1884 William K. Dickson records Fred P. Ott's sneeze, in what is now the oldest surviving motion picture to be copyrighted. Dickson was the lead inventor of the kinetoscope, the first motion picture camera. It is remarkable to remember that motion pictures are only 140 years old... (older than human rights tho!) He was 1765.43 weeks old (33.85)
Week 2,of 1992 , George H. W. Bush vomits into the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister. It's remarkable to remember that no matter how many assistants and security personnel you have, you still have to do your own vomiting. (Kudos to him... he held it together until he passed out... tough old dude.) He was 3512.71 weeks old (67.36 yrs).
This Week's Quote
A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart. -Goethe
Isn't that the truth? When I am enveloped in an angry cloud of emotions, the world is, too. When I am light and airy with possibility on my face, the wind rises up to fill my sails.
I think we all understand this.
What I think we forget is this:
Your "self" isn't immutable. You aren't "a certain type of person". You are an evolving experiment. One that is certainly affected by the observer, and one whose outcome is affected by the inputs.
If you want to carry something different in your heart, you can do that. You just have to want it bad enough that you can let go of the person you have been.
What I am Consuming This Week
I have been reading and listening to music more than listening to podcasts lately. Seems right so I am going with it.
HadesTown - I really like this musical and I have been listening to it. Here are some some notes.His voice is so deep it feels dangerous
They'll truss you up in your Sunday best... this line slapped me in the face... people did that... to other humans... in modern memory.
The cycle. The thing that has been heavy on my shoulders (just a little extra weight, nothing too heavy) is the circle of it all. The beautiful tragedy of this life... that I can't bear the pain of losing a father for my son. He will have to do that himself.
Excellent Advice for Living, Kevin Kelly. This is a repeat...I gave my copy away, and so I am reading the new one that arrived now. You should buy it for every 15-30 year old that you love.
How to be a Stoic, Massimo Pigliucci. I have been reading this for 30 minutes or so each morning first thing. It's a good way to start the day.
Seeking Wisdom, From Darwin to Munger, Peter Bevelin. I have been reading a few pages of this before bed each night. Lots of lessons.
Insta Nuggets: I have been trying to boil these down to good content that pushes you forward... but sometimes a hysterical meme will sneak through...
- I feel this mightily in my soul.
- There is just no reason not to do this in life. NONE.
- This is true. All of it.
- Make your art.
What I am Thinking About This Week
Again this week I am stealing from my conversations at Mastermind.
You need to have your own moral code. Your own rules for living a life full of integrity and honor. I am not sure if you need to write it all down, but... maybe. That is the surest way to notice any discrepancies. Writers are the best thinkers.
But you certainly need to know where the lines are that you will and won't cross. And (this is the important part), you need to constantly interrogate it.
Now, sometimes our shit is such a mess that we don't have the bandwidth to build our own structure from scratch. Sometimes, you just need to find a beginners map to a better you. That is totally fine... for a bit.
When I started to get serious about my nutrition a year ago, it was overwhelming... and so I just decided to read the 4 Hour Body and do that. But now, I have made a ton of progress, and learned a lot, and now have good questions to ask. And I need to stop blindly following the advice I started with and start building my own nutrition plan... and it might look a lot like what is currently happening, but since I have built it...IT WILL BE MINE. It will be intrinsically generated, not extrinsic. It will be based on things I know to be true from personal experience.
This is how it came up in Mastermind. One of the guys has been in AA for 24 years, and he knows that a lot of the people in the meeting he attended last week have traded one (albeit much more destructive) extrinsic habit, for another extrinsic habit (the meeting, the ritual, etc.) Now... at the beginning, when you don't have the strength to do it yourself, that is SO important. You need someone to show you the path, and help you get your feet under you.
But, then you have to do the work. You have to build yourself. Brick by brick. There is no other way to live a full life. You can use other people's stuff, no doubt! There isn't an original thought in any of these 50+ weekly emails, it's all been said before. But... I don't blindly swallow whatever Epictetus or Seneca or Goggins says... I curate it. And that's fine.
The trouble with all stale human institutions, (and they all get stale... total "why" sidebar: The founding group is invested in the work, eventually people forget that the work is what made it special, and they just start going through the motions, then some degree of perversion of the original intent and... staleness.) is the troubling fact that lots of humans seem to be 100% fine with the moral code being extrinsic. Imposed from outside of their mind. Someone else chose it, and the person either: #1 was brought up in it, and never developed the skill of "But, Why?", so the moral code is like water to the goldfish (this is most religions), or, #2 adopted it as an adult by: finding a charismatic figure, or doing quick google search, or listening to a few episodes of the same podcast, and said to themselves... 10% of this seems pretty good, I will take all of it. (this is most internet or dinner table know-it-alls)
We are all individuals. There is no way that you have the same moral code as the next guy. You have to do the work yourself. It is an essential part of a full life... And if you are doing the work yourself, you are much less certain about most things than most people. But you are much more certain about a few things.
I hope you have a happy New Year. It's up to you, so you might as well! Have a great week!
Have a great week!
Thanks for being a part of the journey with us! Please tell me if you liked/disliked the blog this week. Ask my wife... those are the only emails I like to get!