Week 9, 2024

Week 9, 2024

Week 9 of 2024 has arrived. My younger self would be embarrassed at how much joy I find in seeing the first bit of a daffodil poking out of the dirt.

That's fine.

One of my favorite parts of getting older is not being afraid to be earnest. When I love something, I want to show it to you so that you can love it too... If you're too cool for school, that's your loss. (And it has been mine, in the past..)

Well, we were about 50/50 on emails in response to last week's soapbox about guns. About what I expected.  One of my favorite things about this poster and the life philosophy that goes along with it is that it's universally applicable. One comment really spoke to me, and I wanted to share it.

"What you write every week is special and marks a solemn, thoughtful end to my and many other's week. I believe you are less effective and might alienate an unknown portion of your audience when you lapse into contemporary political issues. I don't think you changed anyone's mind either."

I agree with that.  All of it. I know that being in your inbox is a privilege.  It is an opportunity for me to share my world view, and possibly open up new avenues of possibility for all of you and the world at large.  I take that responsibility seriously.

I am sure I have a lot of opinions that I haven't given much thought to, and I am committed to rooting those out like the cancer that they are. I promise that I won't, and that I haven't, put anything in this newsletter that I haven't thought about deeply. If it's in here, then I think I am right about it. And while I try to remain open minded to a fault, you need to bring the receipts. Strong beliefs, weakly held.

I will try to avoid third rails when possible, but if you do find yourself stridently disagreeing with me on something that I have written, I hope you will do a few things.

#1) Email me and tell me why you disagree. I love to have my ideas tested. I would (almost) never be angry with someone for telling me why they believe something counter to my beliefs.

#2) Give me the credit that I hope to have earned. With a valuable email placed in to your inbox each week for more than a year, I would like to think I have earned a bit of rope. Please keep reading in spite of your disagreement.

#3) Entertain my ideas. It is especially important when you hold an opposite opinion. Ask yourself, "Why do I believe what I believe?" "How did I come to that decision?" and don't let yourself off the hook. It's ok if you still come down on the other side, but interrogating yourself in this way is a mark of integrity and intelligence.

I am glad you are here. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity.

Take a listen to the audio version of the weekly newsletter, usually coming in at around 15-20 minutes... try listening! 

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

Remarkable Weeks

Week  9 of 1984, Michael Jackson wins eight Grammys at the 26th Grammy Awards. He and Quincy Jones won Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Thriller" and "Beat It." He was 1,335.00 weeks old. (25.60 yrs)

Week  9 of 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American woman to win an Oscar when she clinched the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for "Gone with the Wind." She was 2,333.43 weeks old. (44.75 yrs) 

Week  9 of 1940,  Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben, American chemists, co-discovered the synthesis of the isotope carbon-14, which is used for radiocarbon dating. They were 1,382.86 weeks old (26.52 yrs) and 1,372.86 weeks old (26.32), respectively.

This Week's Quote

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

I have been an entreprenuer my whole life.  I didn't know it at first, but it was always in there.

The hard part about betting on yourself is that there are no answers.  The clock is ticking, decisions need to be made, and no one can tell you which one is right.  At the beginning, nearly every day seems like a potential existential crisis or lottery win.

I still forget about this regularly, today even, but the fact is that the most important thing is to:

Keep. Moving. Forward.

Gather data, make the best decision you can, and do it again tomorrow. There is no perfect decision, there is only the decision you made, which has given you the decision you need to make, which will become the decision you made, which will give you... etc.

Just keep swimming.

What I am Consuming This Week

Only two bits of content this week. It's been nice here and I have been outside. That's good.

The Brick. Again... This thing has added 2 hours of intentional time back to my day. (Also, has anyone sued Apple yet for the Screen Time Snafu?) You get 10% off  the Brick, if you like. Use the Code: 4KWEEKS when you checkout. (Transparency: 4K Weeks gets a commission if you buy one.)

Ezra Klein Show: "Status Games, Polyamory and the Merits of Meritocracy".  I don't put every podcast I listen to in here, some just don't fit.  But the first part of this one was good to roll around in my head.  Status Games... we are all always playing them.  I don't like to, even though my ego ALWAYS wants me to. And then about the meritocracy portion.. this is great.. "...a non-punitive meritocracy. You can think that the rewards that people get are the products of their efforts, without thinking that the people who don't get the rewards are culpable or blameworthy."

Same As Ever. A Guide to What Never Changes. Morgan Housel I liked Housel on the Tim Ferriss Show, and I have also been trying to find some foundational beliefs about the world so that I can make some thoughts about the future. This book is a bit of research.  Early in, so not sure yet if I agree or disagree.

Insta Nuggets:

What I am Thinking About This Week

The past and the future.

They are both illusions of course,  but the book Read Write Own, which I just finished, has me thinking about the last 10 years and the next 10 years. 

I don't know what your life is like, but I am so enmeshed in the day to day that often it seems like THIS is how it is, and has been, and will always be.

The beginning of Read Write Own made me consider my experience with the internet.  It's amazing, and I have been using it since 1994. (My dad was an early adopter)

But the internet of today is insanely different than the internet of 10 years ago. (The same was true the 10 years before that.)

In 2014 I had used Amazon, but only to find some strange long tail item that I couldn't get at Home Depot or Lowes.  Now it is hard to imagine running a house or business without Amazon. In 10 years ecommerce has gone from a difficult, clunky afterthought to an essential daily activity.

That is just one example of many. If you think of the services you use today, likely they were very different 10 years ago.  So much different that you could likely have made millions if you placed a bet on them then. (Rough calculations: $100k of Amazon stock on 2/1/14 is worth $961,325.00 today.) Receipts!

Why does that matter?  It matters because we all recognize that the world and who we are has changed a lot over the last five or ten years, but we don't see that the world and who we are will absolutely change JUST AS MUCH over the next five or ten years.

And once you realize that you are facing that much change in the future, it becomes clear how important it is to be intentional about how you want to change, and what world you want to live in when you get there.

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

This week's joke is courtesy of Lucy G.

What has two tongues but not a single tooth?

A pair of shoes!

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