Week 40, 2023

Week 40, 2023

Week 40 of 2023 has arrived. Pallets of pumpkins have shown up at all of the grocery stores in town.  Soon there will be hay bales and dried ears of corn. Summer comes and goes, and the fall comes once again.

I never really brought the seasons into my awareness when I was a younger man... I think that you have to have lived awhile to really feel the cycle.  Beginnings and endings, beginnings and endings, beginnings and endings.

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

I "thought" my way out of the funk I was in last week.  More on that down in the "What I am Thinking About this Week" section.

But, I have to say, the replies to the email that some of you all sent were so thoughtful and kind. To all of you who replied and said some version of:

"Sorry you're in a funk, I like the emails, hope you feel better!"

Thank you so much... I can't tell you how much I appreciated it...

That is Humanity at its best.

Nice job!

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

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The 4K Weeks Brightsider-A Multicolor Extravaganza!

The 4K Weeks Long View-A Different Horizon

Remarkable Weeks

Week 40 in the year 1924, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi runs world record 4 mile (19:15.4) & 5 mile (24:06.2)at Vilpuri, Russia. He was 1,424.43 weeks old (27.32 yrs).

Week 40 in the year 1989Colin Powell becomes youngest Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation's highest military position. He was 2,738.86 weeks old (52.53 yrs).

Week 40 in the year 1956Albert Sabin announces that his oral polio vaccine is ready for testing; it would soon supplant Jonas Salk's vaccine in many parts of the world. Sabin notably refused to patent his vaccine, which allowed it to be produced at a low price and used all around the world. The Sabin Vaccine Institute, founded in 1993, has since continued his work. He was 2614.86 weeks old (50.14).

This Week's Quote

If you wish to be a writer, write. -Epictetus

Everything else is ego.

The theme this week is ego I suppose...

Everything that gets in the way of the thing you want to do is ego. It is so simple. Do the thing.

All of the other stuff is ego. There is a place for accolades and encouragement, but every aspect of "being a writer" other than: generate idea, write idea down, try to improve written idea... is ego.

Are you published? EGO.  Did the book sell? EGO.  Do you make your living as a writer? EGO.  Did you get a 5 star review? EGO.

Everything else is ego. And ego can never be satisfied. It always wants more, but it is rarely enough to keep your butt in the chair for 1000 words a day, or whatever your fear is keeping you from doing

What I am Consuming This Week

Hospice: The End Can be as Beautiful as the Beginning. Rebecca Malcolm Schubert. My mom is a retired hospice chaplain, and she just published a book about her experience.  Two exceptional things here: #1) It takes a very special soul to sit with people in their hardest moments. It's not for the faint of heart. #2) My mom is 80 years old, and she just published a book.  There is no reason to stop. Keep doing work that is meaningful to you over the full course of your life.

Reader Recommendation: Death, Sex and Money, hosted by Anna Sale I listened to 2 of these in short order, and they were all great!

Revisionist History, hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, "Guns Part 5: The Footnote". Takeaways...

  • The number of homicides in your community is an equation: the number of people victimized by acts of violence minus how good the trauma surgeons are at saving the lives of those victims.
  • If you are going to get shot, make sure it is within 5 miles of a Level 1 Trauma Center.
  • We all suffer when we are so economically stratified.

Reader Recommendation: This is Uncomfortable,  hosted by Reema Khrais. "The Crude Reality of Debt." This was a very compelling story... think of all the creative, productive energy we miss out on by yoking young people to tens of thousands of dollars in debt, just so they can become more educated and useful to society... seems stupid.

Reader Recommendation: The Grey Area, hosted by Sean Illing, "Naomi Klein on Her Doppelganger (and Yours)" Terrifying and interesting.

IG Nuggets:

Final Note: The week before last week, a reader sent me an email noting that all of the voices in the content I recommended that week were men... True... and of course, unintentional... I asked her to recommend some of her favorites, she did, and I would like to ask you all to as well. Please send me podcasts, hosted by women, that you think I might like, based on the content that has been in the email... I look forward to listening and sharing.

What I am Thinking About This Week

Ok, for those of you who are new... last week I was in a bit of a funk, and was honest about it in this newsletter.

The funk continued in to this week a bit, and perhaps even got a bit worse... I normally sleep very easily, but on Tuesday I couldn't sleep, and so got up and wrote pages on pages about my "worries".

And then on Wednesday, after laying in bed for an hour, with a constant stream of :"what if's" and "what shoulds" and "if this thing fails..." and "none of those things you count as successes are 'actually' successes" going through my head, I got up and did another hour writing in the quiet, dark living room.

And... as I laid my head back down, at 1 am, all the same "worries" started to come back... and then a voice from the back of my head said:

"Those are all EGO concerns."

And I realized the truth of it immediately.

Everything I was worried about had to do with what other people would think if X, Y, or Z happened.  And I know that I don't want anyone else's opinion of me to matter to me in that way.

If the product launch fails, great. Let's get to work.

If the business we bought fails, great. Let's get to work.

If I try thing after thing, and nothing works, great. Let's get to work.

If people have a different opinion of me than the one I want them to, great. Let's get to work.

If I lose it all, great.  Let's get to work.

It all comes back to the work.

The work I need to be doing is different than the work you need to be doing. What I think about your work doesn't matter unless you ask me about your work, and I give you a helpful opinion. And then, after you decide to accept or reject my point of view, it goes right back to not mattering.

...Great, Let's get to work.

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

Did you hear about the huge sale on canoes?

Yeah, it was a big oar deal!


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