Week 5 of 2024 has arrived. One week has passed and another has taken the stage. Same as the ebb and flow of the latest star and starlet. We shine bright in the sun for an instant. Make sure you look around and enjoy it.
Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square. Done?
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Thanks for being here and reading! These blogs help me "Sharpen The Saw" and hopefully help you to sharpen yours!
Week 5 of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook right inside his Harvard dormitory room. Today his net worth is around $75 billion! The jury is still out on if it was a net + or -. He was 1,029.29 weeks old. (19.74 yrs)
Week 5 of 2015, Lydia Ko achieves a historic milestone of being the youngest golfer to be ranked No. 1 worldwide. During her amateur career, she was continuously the top-ranked woman amateur golfer for an impressive 130 weeks! She was 927.29 weeks old. (17.78 yrs)
Week 5 of 1968, Eddie Adams, a photographer, immortalizes the execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan. The photo later became an enduring anti-war icon. Seeing this photo was one moment in bucketful of moments that marked the end of my childhood. He was 1,807.43 weeks old. (34.66 yrs)
This Week's Quote
"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas Edison
Here is the truth. Thomas Edison was born to a fairly well-to-do family. I think about this a lot... My family wasn't wealthy by ANY stretch of the imagination, but my parents loved each other, valued knowledge, worked hard, and provided a stable home. A stable home where effort was rewarded... Our little world seemed fair when I was young.
Sidebar: Do you know about the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment? They told preschoolers, if you don't eat the pretzel in front of you for 15 minutes, you get to choose a marshmallow after. The kids who delayed, when revisited later in life, had higher test scores and higher levels of achievement... but someone long ago made me think about it this way: If your childhood is a world where things are fair, you expect the researcher to honor their word. If your childhood is full of instability and want, then "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!"
It is silly to not admit that all the stuff that happens to you from -9 months to 18 years has a HUGE influence on your ability to succeed.
BUT, and it's a big but...I don't know how to do it any other way. The fact is that the only thing that has ever worked for me (other than being born white, male and middle class in the modern US) is HARD WORK.
I've worked hard on things that didn't pan out, and I've worked hard on things that did. The only unifying theme in my life is that I have benefited from, and learned to love hard work. (Most kinds.)
What I am Consuming This Week
I'm shaking it up a bit this week...
Before I get to the content... I am showing you a picture of my 4K Weeks poster, purchased 1 year before we bought the business. If you look closely, you can see the square colored in gold near the bottom right. This is the week of my dad's life that he died, just shy of 88 years old. I figured that I should be honest with myself about my potential lifespan.
I want to see your 4K Weeks poster... Have you done something unique with it? Do you mark the weeks differently? Email me a picture and maybe I'll share on socials or in the newsletter so other people can benefit from your uniqueness!
The Real Work, On the Mystery of Mastery, Adam Gopnik. I buy books as gifts for Christmas presents, and this one was an extra, so I unwrapped it an started reading. The first chapter is about learning to draw, and is really interesting for this Art school graduate who "can't draw".
Fletch, Gregory McDonald This is the book the inspired the movie... I love the movie and was curious about how different the book was... VERY different, and also the same... The writing is great, but the character Fletch has all of the faults of Chevy Chase's Fletch, and a whole lot more, and none of the witty dry humor...But is interesting to map the differences.
People I mostly Admire, #122 With Arnold Schwarzenegger. This podcast made me want to watch the California Gubernatorial debate... that is saying something.
What I am Thinking About This Week
My good friend said this the other day... "Some churches try to convince you that you are broken so that they can hard-sell you Jesus. It's kinda gross." It is a profound insight.
He was attending the baptism of a relative and went with some other family members to their evangelical church for the first time.
We talked about it for a while... All the psychological tools they were using to take the agency out of the congregation, and put it into the hands of "Jesus" in the form of the pastors... oh, and dig into your pockets and give just enough cash that it hurts. "Bless ya, Brother."
I have no time for that.
Now... to be clear... Jesus had a LOT of amazing messages. I have nothing against Jesus, I'm a fan. He clearly belongs in the pantheon of great humans. I was raised Episcopalian, and there is a lot of good stuff in the New Testament... And a few thoughtful bits in the Old Testament too.
But... there is only one person responsible for, and able to bring about your salvation... and that person is not a Galilean Semite.
It is you! And, if you believe the Gospel of Thomas (one of the Gnostic Gospels), Jesus believed that too!
The four books of the Gospel all promote a version of Christianity that largely centralizes power... ("I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved" John 10:9) You must come to the church for salvation. Good deal for the powerful people in those institutions.
But the Gospel of Thomas has a more decentralized vision... But... one that requires you to do more work.
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you find will set you free, if you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
And that is a message I can get behind. You aren't any more broken than a bundle of 2x4's. Sure, they used to be part of a tree, but their purpose is to build a house! Get to building!
And I would like to think that any savior worth their salt would want you to do the hard work of becoming the best version of yourself that you can become.
The kind of savior that wants you to kiss the hem of their robe is the fake kind. Those that are divine don't ask us to jump through hoops.
Now, go get after bringing forth what is within you!
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!
Dad Joke O' The Week
Why couldn't the Art Dealer Pay his rent?
Because he ran out of Monet!
They say if you have to explain a joke that it wasn't funny... but I just wanted to call out the double entendre... The only thing Art Dealers can make money on is the old dead artists... That's not art, it's capitalism... Buy art from people in your town... I guarantee there are some world class artists working where you live, the they will be forever in your debt if you become a patron.