Week 49, 2023

Week 49, 2023

Week 49 of 2023 has arrived. Stores are stuffed full of plastic stuff and candy that no one needs, and the gutters are full of wet leaves, salt, and melting snow... There is a lot to do at this time of year... but you can just close your eyes, lean in and smell the magic... if you choose to.

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

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Remarkable Weeks

Week 49 in 1867, Charles Dickens  has his first public reading in the US. Did you know that as a child his family, everyone save him, was imprisoned for his father's debts. He was, at 12 years old, put to work in a blacking factory. He was 2912.43 weeks old (55.85).

Week 49 of 1911, Willis Carrier releases his "Rational Psychrometric Formulae" which makes air conditioning possible. He was 1827.00 weeks old (35.03).  

Week 49, of 1955, Rosa Parks sits on a bus on her ride home from work. She was 2234.29 weeks old (42.84).

This Week's Quote

Garden sheds tend toward disorder. -me

The energy it takes to maintain things is something I think about a lot. The number of "things" that I am responsible for maintaining seems to grow as I age. I am also witnessing my parents having to deal with their declining ability to maintain as many things as they once could.

I wrote a lyric about it in the first verse of this song:

"Entropy's increasing. It's all, always, falling apart, and everything's unorganizing..."

I uttered this quote when standing in front of our shed at home with a friend... He was borrowing a leaf blower, and the year before he had stood in front of the same shed, fresh from a spring cleaning. He was a bit surprised how cluttered, dusty, and messy it was after a hard, neglectful winter.

Sheds tend toward disorder. It's what they do. Don't feel bad when your shed is a bit messy. Either you are putting a little bit of energy into the tidyness of your shed each time you get a shovel out and replace it, or you are waiting to put a whole weekend's worth of energy into it in the spring. 

Either way, if you want to push your shed towards order, you have to put energy into it. 

What I am Consuming This Week

Epic Content Marketing Ed. 2. Joe Pulizzi. I bought this a long time ago and have been rereading it as I try to get organized with my writing. Lots of good tactical advice for how to operate businesses in the modern economy.

The Tim Ferriss Show, #694 "Sam Corcos".  (Re-listen) I am hiring an Executive Assistant and I have never been a good delegator... I am a doer of things... but... Personal Growth!  This podcast has a lot of good nuggets on tactics, but also Corcos seems to be infused with a philosophy of trying new ways to do things, which is nice to hear.

Ok, go with me on this... Two podcasts to listen to back to back...The Gray Area with Sean Illing. "The case against free will". (this was in last week's email)

Inner Cosmos. #35 "What sticks in your brain and what doesn't?"

I don't know how to hold the "truths" of both of these podcasts in my mind!?!? Samesies?

The Ezra Klein Show,"This is Your Brain on Deep Reading, it's Pretty Magnificent." She is just delightful, and this is an interesting conversation on the attention experiment we are running on humanity right now.

"A lot Has Happened in A.I. Let's Catch Up."  You should be following the development of A.I.... this is a good booster.

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...No Cavalry... (When I got my first big sculpture commission (this one) I thought, That's it! everything will be easy now! Not true...)

PSA: Thanks to those of you who have sent in recommendations! Everyone else: Please send me podcasts that you love!   Spencer@4kweeks.com 

What I am Thinking About This Week

Two nuggets from my Mastermind group meeting this morning. (Friday)

We have been meeting mostly every Friday for almost 10 years. The conversations are good, and I attribute much of any success I have had to the guidance of my fellow Masterminders.   

The conversations used to be solely focused on business and personal growth, but as we have aged, they have moved towards the philosophical.

The first nugget was from a guy who is a criminal defense attorney, artist, punk, and overall bad ass. (He painted this painting for me 5 years ago.)

We were discussing Free Will, (Grey Area podcast with Robert Sapolsky,) and its intersection with personal agency, (Inner Cosmos with Brian Eagleman) a lot of the first podcast has to do with punishment and shame in the criminal justice system. We were debating how handle recidivism, and the sticky wicket of "Yeah, we know you did this horrible thing largely because life has crapped all over you starting before the day you were born... but we can't have you running around hurting people..."

And that's when he dropped this truth nugget: "Relapse is part of recovery."

That is such an open and loving sentence.  And... for all of you thanking your lucky stars for the brain chemistry and circumstance that hasn't lead you to addiction, let me stop you right there...

We are all recovering.  Are you trying to be a better husband? Relapse is part of recovery.  Are you trying to get out of debt? Relapse is part of recovery. Are you trying to get more organized? Relapse is part of recovery. Are you trying to kick a 30 year alcohol habit? Relapse is part of recovery.

In everything that you want to improve, on every personal hill that you are climbing, you will eventually backslide.

Hopefully you don't tumble all the way down the hill.

Hopefully you slide to a stop and immediately refocus on the summit that inspired you in the first place. 

When you can map a bit of universality to your human journey, it makes it easier to have some grace, and be slower to condemn someone who is sliding down their own hill.

(I'll keep this one brief!) The second nugget from today was from a guy who owns a business, is great at seeing things from a different perspective, and who will be the guardian of my kids if my wife and I check out early.

He mentioned that 68 years ago today, Rosa Parks sat on a bus.  And then I mentioned that Ruby Bridges is only 69 years old!

And he said... "Everyone should trace back to their last ancestor who felt the weight of the boot of injustice, and use that to inform how privileged they are."

And I think that is just magical... if your grandparents have been married longer than someone else's people have been able to sit on a bus...  then I think we can agree that stain hasn't fully washed out yet.

Last thing mentioned at Mastermind today... Women have only been able to get a bank account without having a man's permission for 49 years.

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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 is blue and not very heavy?

Light Blue!

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