Here is your weekly guide of things I’m reading, doing, and experimenting with. Enjoy.
Book I’m Reading
[from Amazon] James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
My cousin Brian recommended this book to me. I was hesitant to buy it since I feel like I’ve read so many similar books on the subject like The Power of Habit, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, High Performance Habits, The Happiness Project, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, You Are a Badass that I’m like “OK, I GET IT.”
Wake up early, meditate, take a cold shower, practice gratitude, eat a healthy, nutrient rich breakfast, don’t smoke, don’t procrastinate, go to the gym, keep track of what you’re eating, yadda, yadda, yadda…
But to be honest, this was probably the best book on building life-changing systems that I’ve read. There’s a big difference between attempting to start a new habit by going extreme versus implementing small daily habits that will eventually change the structure of your brain and will compound into the larger goals you are looking to accomplish over time. It’s like trying to day trade on Robinhood vs. investing over years and years. You and I both know which one will produce better results.
Video That Has Me Thinking
Derek Sivers (@sivers) is one of my favorite guests on The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcasts #125 & #202). He’s not a well-known celebrity but he has such a unique and positive outlook on things that I thoroughly enjoy his perspective. Here’s a short talk about how the US and Japan look at street names differently. It sounds weird to us, but to them, our system sounds just as weird. Or is it just different?
Sivers also has a great portion of his website with write-ups and notes on over 200 best-selling books. Something I’d like to replicate someday.
What I’m Watching
Remastered: Devil at the Crossroads (Netflix)
I’m obsessed with blues music so this documentary was right up my alley. Even if you’re not a fan of blues, the story of Robert Johnson – the little-known man who basically invented blues and influenced all modern day Rock ‘n’ Roll – is amazing. He was a mediocre guitar player in Mississippi who then disappeared for a year and came back one of the greatest and most innovative guitar players of all time. Legend is he sold his soul to learn the devil’s music…
Famous Robert Johnson covers:
- Crossroads – Cream, Crossroads – John Mayer (Eric Clapton covers several Robert Johnson songs
- Love in Vain – Rolling Stones
- Traveling Riverside Blues – Led Zeppelin (one of my all-time favorites)
His influence is literally everywhere in blues and rock: Zeppelin, Creedence, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Red Hot Chili Peppers… Check him out on Spotify, but check out the Netflix doc first and you’ll understand how influential he was. Shame most of his life still remains a mystery. He only recorded 29 songs and is in the vaulted 27 Club.
Crazy Story I’m Reading Into
Apparently National Lampoon’s Van Wilder was based loosely on the real-life college experience of comedian Bert Kreischer while he was at Florida State University. [Rolling Stone article on Bert from 1997]
Here’s a throwback video of him describing the story on one of the O.G. Joe Rogan Experience podcasts #73.
Also, if you haven’t seen Bert Kreischer’s story about studying abroad in Russia and robbing a train with the Russian mafia, it’s unbelievable. You’ll understand how Van Wilder could be based on this guy’s college days…
Video I Cannot Stop Watching
The sound of this Deontay Wilder knockout haunts my dreams. Maybe the loudest pop of a punch I’ve heard in any boxing match. Holy shit.
Great Reads Across the Internet
- Giannis is the MVP: If you don’t love the Greek Freak already, you will after reading this [Player’s Tribune]
- This School Replaced Detention with Meditation. The Results are Stunning: Robert W. Coleman Elementary school in Baltimore replaced detention with meditation and the suspension rate dropped to zero. [Upworthy]
- What America Will Look Like in 2040. Older, Less White, and Less Religious [Axios]
Look, I love the planet. If you’ve read my other articles or you’ve been to my apartment, you’d know I’m a staunch advocate of Mother Earth, recycling, plants, re-usable energy, and whatever the hell Elon Musk is doing. That said, FUCK these paper straws that are being forced upon us. And yes, I’m upset because of a minor inconvenince to MY daily life is helping marine life and our oceans in a way that I don’t get to see every day. I understand that I’m in the wrong here so don’t take this seriously. I’m mainly joking, but we have way bigger fish to fry than getting rid of the plastic freaking straws at Starbucks, but that’s obvious. Just hear me out.
Exhibit A: when was the last time you ordered Chinese take-out for a family of four? How many god damn plastic containers, plastic forks, and aluminum cans did you get? Enough to take down the Great Barrier Reef? Yeah, how about we get rid of those 17 containers instead of picking on me and the moms who now have to chug their iced coffees before the paper straw self destructs in 29 seconds. Or just re-use them. I re-use my plastic straws and Starbucks cups just like I re-use those takeout containers for leftovers.
As Jack Johnson says – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle (great song if you’ve never heard)
And don’t try to push me on the metal straw. This is about texture. I don’t want to feel like I’m at the dentist clanking my teeth while I’m enjoying my beverage.
It’s turned me into a sour old man. I hoard plastic straws whenever I see them and keep them in my drawers, my pockets, my car. Whenever I go to some hipster Brooklyn coffee shop with fair trade, conflict free, organic, vegan, non-GMO coffee I take out that damn paper straw they serve me, pull out a plastic straw from my secret black market compartment and sip on that delicious cold brew with disgusted envy from all the purple-haired onlookers.
The world is falling apart and all I want to do is enjoy my iced coffee out of a perfectly crisp, not-falling-apart plastic straw without killing turtles in the process. Now Elon, figure out some bio-degrable solution before I lose my shit.