Week 51 of 2023 has arrived. Look at that one white square up there, staring you down. Making you feel as if something is ending, and causing your body to release cortisol, just as if a panther was stalking you in the jungle.
Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square. Done?
It's an illusion. All of the boxes we put around time are man-made. What you have is the next moment, maybe a few more. So skip the anxiety, and use the fact that ONE DAY YOU WILL DIE to focus on the work you should be doing.
I have received quite a few emails from you all asking for advice on how to make the most of the Year Goal Poster. Next week I will use the weekly email to talk about goal setting and answer those questions, and you all can read it while you are in your pjs with a cup of hot cocoa.
The beginning is ALWAYS today. There is an endless fountain of energy in that sentence.
Take a listen to The audio version of the weekly newsletter! Usually coming in at around 15 minutes... try listening! If you enjoy it let me know and subscribe, rate it, and review it!
Thanks for being here and reading! These blogs help me "Sharpen The Saw" and hopefully help you to sharpen yours!
Week 51 in 1903, Orville Wright pilots the first sustained motorized aircraft flight. That was only 120 years ago!!! He was 1686.86 weeks old (32.35 yrs).
Week 51,of 2013, Angela Merkl is elected to a third term as Chancellor of Germany. The was the first woman to hold the office, and previously was a research scientist, holding a doctorate in quantum chemistry. She was 3100.57 weeks old (59.46 yrs).
Week 51, of 1989, Larry Bird begins a streak of 71 consecutive free throws during NBA games. 12/19/1989-2/13/1990. He was 1723.57 weeks old (33.05 yrs). (The Hick from French Lick was my favorite player when I was a kid. And just today, when a guy hit a 3 off the backboard, I yelled "Larry Joe Bird!")
This Week's Quote
The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. -Charles Du Bos
It's an impossible standard. I know some amazing people, and not one could ever live up to this... to be able to change at any moment. Everyone who is sincere needs a few minutes to gather themselves up.
However... the spirit of the quote still stands. We are all invested in the "Story of Us" that we tell ourselves. Any meaningful change threatens that story... and we like that story... that's why it IS the story.
So, if you are considering a change for the better, you need to acknowledge the you that you have to let go of. It's ok to be sad and to grieve that version of yourself... but the price of every new and better version of you is leaving the old version behind.
What I am Consuming This Week
My top songs on Spotify for 2023. Here it is... the soundtrack to 2023 for me. I listened to 1369 songs on Spotify, for a total time of 27,110 minutes. Be warned... apparently I like mournful songs!
People I Mostly Admire. #120 "Werner Herzog Thinks his Films are a Distraction". I could listen to his accent all day.
The Unmistakable Creative, "Kevin Kelly. Excellent advice for living". I could listen to Kevin Kelly talk about how to "do life" all day. He is so insightful.
The Daily "Sunday Read. The Bodily Indignities of Space Life". This is fascinating. Did you know that the lack of gravity in space makes it hard to burp without barfing? Because of that, astronauts fart a lot in space... you don't see that in Sci-Fi movies.
Freakonomics Radio, "Do the Police have a Management Problem?". As we progress as a culture, we all get to build on the things other people have figured out... but sometimes we assume organizations are in the modern age... when they aren't.
Freakonomics Radio, #568. "Why are People So Mad At Michael Lewis". Worth listening to.
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...
- This is I repeat... I love it.. So simple.
- Why are chickens so funny?
- The long game... you can bet I am doing this.
PSA: Please send me podcasts that you love! I need input! Most podcast players have a "share" button... just click that and type in my email address... Spencer@4kweeks.com Thanks!
What I am Thinking About This Week
Where We Have Been.
Trajectory is everything, but it's easy to be oblivious to your current trajectory because we are each always in one moment or another.
We forget that two points make a line, and three points make a trend.
Here's why I am thinking about trajectory:
My wife and I bribed our kids to give up their ipads and phones and gaming for six months. We are 1/3 of the way through it.
It's not 100% no screens. They have messenger and phone calls, (it's their primary way of staying connected to their friends) and an hour on the weekends for gaming, but the phones are supposed to be otherwise away at home.
Basically, we wanted to disrupt the "these things are designed to feed me constant dopamine hits, so I never have to be bored, so I never get over the hump of starting something creative" loop in our home.
I can be pretty "all in" on things, and so as we were talking to our Relationship Coach today, (yes we have one, yes you should too... invest time and money in the things that are valuable to you, especially when they are going great, so that if a crisis ever occurs, you have history) I was lamenting that it hasn't gone 100% according to my plan.
My wife stopped me and started describing how much better it has been. In fact, she said she feels like we "got our kids back". And she is right. I was focusing on the wrong thing. It might not be perfect, but it is 80-90% better.
All of this is a long intro story to set the stage for this:
Think about how far you have come this year!
To those of you who can hear this, I would say: "Look back over the year! Look at all you have accomplished!" The only valuable comparison you can make is to the person you used to be.
Take stock of your trajectory... and if it is at least slightly up and to the right, WAY TO GO! Give yourself credit for that HUGE win.
And if your internal voice isn't in agreement with me, believe me, changing the trajectory is easier than it looks. You only need three new data points, and deciding to make a change is the first one... two more to go!
It all comes down to the work. And the work is done one moment at a time. The little moments add up to the big wins, and the big wins often look smaller in the rearview mirror.
As the end of the year draws nigh, be thankful for last year's trajectory, and start setting yourself up for next year's.
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 shouldn't you lend money to elves?
Because they're always short!