Week 44, 2023

Week 44, 2023

Week 44 of 2023 has arrived. In Kansas City, the fallen leaves are matted down and soaked after three days of rain... fast tracking their decay into useful biomass for next years flowers.

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

This is the 52nd weekly newsletter!  It is officially a year old, and I haven't run out of things to share with you yet! I think that's relevant, because that was a major concern at the beginning, and is often a concern of any new creative venture.

Here is the first newsletter ...if you want to see how it has changed...

To mark this occasion, I want to give away a few Year Goal Posters. (The Year Goal Poster tracks a daily goal for 365 days.) I have 20 posters to send, so here is the deal...  Help us out by Liking and Commenting on each of these two videos, and then send me an email with your shipping address, and I will send the first 20 of you a poster. Simple! 

Video 1

Video 2

And... if you aren't interested in a Goal poster, I would still love to hear from you. This email goes out to around 20,000 people, and about 60-70% of you open it each week. So, what do you 14,000 people who open it like or dislike? I live to serve...

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 44 in 1973,  Elmore Smith of the LA Lakers blocks 17 shots in a game, still the NBA record...He is 7 ft tall. He was 1276.86 weeks old (24.48 yrs).

Week 44 of 1886, The Statue of Liberty was dedicated, forever enshrining the United States as a nation of immigrants, though we sometimes forget. Her iron interior structure was designed by Gustav Eiffel, and she was sculpted by a team lead by Frederic Bartholdi. She is now 7148.29 weeks old (137.09 yrs).

Week 44, of 1954, Ernest Hemmingway is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.  He was 2883.86 weeks old (55.3 yrs).

This Week's Quote

“When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away - even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.”   -Kurt Vonnegut

After my little soliloquy in the "What I Am Thinking About This Week" section, I went looking for a quote that related...  and I found this one.  I love Kurt Vonnegut's writing, mostly for its pointed irreverence.

Think about what this quote says about us humans. Want is such a pivotal part of our daily experience that no story or character is believable unless there is want... A hole to be filled, a mountain to be climbed, a star to be grasped, a feeling to be felt.

Maybe that is the curse of human existence... that we, unlike all other animals, have found a way to articulate the existence of the bottomless pit inside ourselves, but still haven't found a reliable way to fill it.

What I am Consuming This Week

(Week 2!)My band, Underhill's new album on Spotify, Amazon Music, or Apple Music So.. this isn't something I am consuming, but maybe you would like to... I was in a band in my 20's...  We get together every month to write songs and have fun.  We recorded these seven songs over the last year. My favorites are "Other Suns" and "Waves" - I think I want "Other Suns" played at my funeral

Pete Holmes: I Am Not For Everyone. Netflix Comedy is an interesting art form... It always reminds me of the final part of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land when the Martian says "I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much... because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting." This was funny... I watched it with my 11 year old, and he lasted until the end when it gets pretty R-rated. (I am a different father than my father was!)

The Tim Ferriss Show: "Apollo Robbins, The World's Most Famous Pickpocket".  Man... this was a compelling listen. But interestingly, my "spidey sense" was up the whole time... perhaps because he is such a good manipulator.  Watch the video.

Cautionary Tales, Tim Harford. "Oil and Blood: The Osage Murders". Why didn't I learn about this in school?  There is just no question that I have a bit more because they were allowed to have nothing. The world is often zero sum, even though I believe in abundance.

Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell. "Unlocking Hidden Potential with Adam Grant".This is a good conversation between these two about Grant's new book... Imposter syndrome is real, and ubiquitous.

IG Nuggets: I have been trying to boil these down to good content that pushes you forward... but sometimes a hysterical meme will sneak through...

What I am Thinking About This Week

The bottomless pit at the center of a Human Tootsie Roll Pop... and the NCAA finals of life.

First: Humans seem to have an insatiable appetite...a bottomless pit that can never be filled. Very rare is the person who is not striving.  We can debate if it is a good or bad attribute... but I don't think there is any debate about the truth of it.

Everyone I know seems to have a hole that they are trying to fill one way or the other.

You can see it everywhere from the mundane to the huge and existential. I was thinking about this Thursday night, after 4 days of only protein and vegetables... I had eaten a huge helping of chicken with peppers and broccoli and cauliflower, and I was full... but I wanted MOARRRR! More of something I "couldn't" have. It wasn't a craving for anything specific... I just wanted...SOMETHING.

It's a mundane example, but lots of our modern life is little bits like this. Have you ever had "enough" social media? Have you ever had "enough" late night junk food?  Do you have "enough" status... money... security...?

My main theory here is that the "unsatisfiable" nature of modern human existence needs to be acknowledged, taken seriously, and planned for in moments of strength.

Are there things that it might be good to have an insatiable appetite for?  Probably... but we should all be really careful which things we allow ourselves to have a bottomless need for.

...And sometimes, when you find yourself wanting some kind of MOARRRR!...the best plan is to brush your teeth and go to bed.

Second:  I was talking to my friend John over coffee this week... He was expressing his performance anxiety related to a higher-profile-than -normal career event. I dug in to his anxieties, and we decided that the buzzer-beating jump shot in the NCAA finals... is just a jump shot.  Do the work all year, and then take the shot.

Epictetus would say: "Regardless of what is going on around you, make the best of what is in your power, and take the rest as it comes."

It's just the 10,000th jump shot you have taken this year, that's it.  Don't add unnecessary context.

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

Why shouldn't you feed teddy bears? 

Because they are already stuffed!

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