Week 4, 2024

Week 4, 2024

Week 4 of 2024 has arrived. In the Midwestern US we have reached what we call "Second Winter". The new year brought cold that hurts, and the joy of the holidays is long past... some things are just to be endured. The one that really gets you is 5th winter... early March.

Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square. Done?

Why are you here? Don't get me wrong, I love it that you're here, and I want you to stay.  I am just curious as to why.  Why did you buy a 4K Weeks poster? Why do you keep reading these weekly dispatches on life?

I am going to be personally reaching out to some of you over the next few months to try and have some conversations that help me understand the why, and also what I can do to make life better for this community.  Be on the lookout for those emails. And if you have thoughts on that that you want to share, email me, or tag us in a pic on IG... @the4KWeeks.

Take a listen to the audio version of the weekly newsletter, usually coming in at around 15-20 minutes... try listening! 

If you do listen, do me a favor and rate it and share with a friend!

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Thanks for being here and reading. These emails help me "Sharpen The Saw" and hopefully help you to sharpen yours!

Thanks for being here and reading! These blogs help me "Sharpen The Saw" and hopefully help you to sharpen yours!

Remarkable Weeks

Week  4 of 1968,  Aretha Franklin released her 12th studio album, "Lady Soul." Recognized as the Queen of Soul, she was named the greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone—twice! She was 1,347.71 weeks old. (25.84 yrs) (12 albums!  at 25 years old!)

Week  4 of 1973, President Richard Nixon declares that an agreement has been achieved to bring an end to the Vietnam War. His administration was later involved in the Watergate Scandal, which led to his resignation. All of those things are history now, just like all this will one day be. He was 3,132.71 weeks old. (60.07 yrs)

Week  4 of 2018,  Lebron James reaches the milestone of 30,000 NBA points during the 114-102 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He was the seventh player (and also the youngest) to do so. Basketball players are the best athletes. He was 1,725.29 weeks old. (33.08 yrs)

    This Week's Quote

    Adversity causes some men to break, and other men to break records. -William Ward

    Look, quotes need to be memorable. So, it wouldn't be a good quote if it said "adversity causes some men to break, but not all men."  It has to have a hook.

    Who cares about records... Nobody worth watching does anything to break a record. That part of the quote is a distraction. Because what we need to talk about is you and the person you will be tomorrow.

    You can choose to be tougher.  You should value toughness over ability.  You always have a choice to endure, to push yourself a bit farther than you prefer. As Kevin Kelly said... "just do five more". Your toughness is a muscle. It gets stronger with use.

    You might not like the choice, the pain might be more than you want to bear, but you can always choose to calmly, and without a bunch of drama, do five more. (The toughness is for you... it's ok to be quiet about it.)

    What I am Consuming This Week

    This video on Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday.  Some great reminders on how to BE. Fun fact... The bronze bust that Ryan Holiday has on his desk in this video was made by me. 

    "The Afterlife of a Gun", The Daily.  Man... I know that most of us can agree that fewer guns is better... (If you are pro 2nd amendment, you can still believe this... In a room full of five strangers, would you rather everyone has a gun, or just you?  See, fewer is better.) There is a long road ahead on that track.

    Keep Going, 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad.  Austin Kleon My wife bought me this book and put in my stocking for Christmas.  She loves his newsletter, and he offered to sign books bought from BookPeople, his local bookstore, just before Christmas. It's a great bedtime book... little essays on how to stay creative. 5 stars.

    The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch. I am still listening to this... The reason I mention it is this bit that I heard today... "the spike" The spike is a distinctive strength that is unusually powerful. This is where much of your ability to provide value is. I think a lot of us think we should be well-rounded... but what makes us unique is what makes us valuable.

    Enola Holmes 1&2. My mother-in-law was staying with us recently, and she and my daughter watched these two movies.  I sat through 80% of them.  Delightful. It's incredible to think about what has changed, and what will continue to change, as far as the possibilities for young women in a world where that character exists. Thanks Nancy Springer.

    Insta Nuggets

      What I am Thinking About This Week

      The Minimum Effective Dose + Raw Materials = Results.

      2023 was about fitness for me.  I changed my diet, got serious about strength training, and started playing basketball at an intense level each week... 

      But likely the most important change I made was just making sure that my body had the resources it needed to make the most of those changes.

      I had been strength training for years, but not focusing on anything but moving the weights. It turns out that it is hard to build muscle when you aren't eating enough protein, and it is hard for your muscles to recover if you train every day and don't get enough sleep.

      It doesn't take nearly as much time as you would think each week to totally change your physique. But, you have to give it what it needs...  You can't build a house if you don't deliver 2x4s to the job site, even if you make the carpenters work overtime.

      Tim Ferriss talks a lot about the minimum effective dose... what is the smallest amount of something that will get you results.  And, if you optimize everything... the M.E.D is smaller than you think for almost any endeavor.

      If you are considering tackling a new direction in your life, but keep not starting because it seems "too big", or "too hard", or "too unknown",  I would encourage you to do this:

      1. Decide what the work needs. What are the raw materials that you will build this new you out of? Fitness needs nutrition and rest, fiction writing needs pen, paper and "What if..." thoughts about the world, a new career needs training, courage and hours... what does your thing need?
      2. Then decide on a small Minimum Effective Dose you can tolerate.  30 minutes, 3x a week would be good for strength, 30 minutes a day is good for writing, 1 hour each morning is good for career skill acquisition... What's your M.E.D.?
      3. Commit to starting within the next few days, and document your Day One performance in some meaningful way so that you can look back on where you began.
      4. Give it 30 days of commitment and then see where you are.
      5. Adjust based on what you learn.
      It could be that your M.E.D. needs to be more or less than your experiment... now you know something, and you can build on that. Someone wise once said, "knowing is half the battle".

      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!

      Spencer, Owner of 4KWeeks.com

      Dad Joke O' The Week

      What should you name a sneaky pig?


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