One of the most significant benefits I've found of keeping a journal for many years (going strong since November 2014) is having the ability to look back "on this day" and get a pretty accurate reminder of what you were going through at a particular moment in time. What you felt. The rawness of it.
The saying goes, time heals all wounds, but I find that your perspective of what was really going on also changes; it dulls. By reading your own raw words can be helpful to jolt you back into the moment.
Last year's entry for today:
We all carry around a certain amount of weight.
The weight of bad decisions.
The weight of failures and victories.
The weight of things lost.
The weight of getting what you want.
The weight of impostor syndrome.
The weight of how crazy the world is.
The weight of stress.
The only way to feel lighter is to shed the pounds.
When I wrote that a year ago, it was three weeks after a second heart attack; while I'm not ready to dive into that whole thing (which is a more significant weight than I recognize), I wanted to write something about using looking back as an easy way to discover how far you've come since.
Mark Manson posted a tweet I found to be spot-on:
Let that sink in: There's going to be shit no matter what — the key is to focus on the things you enjoy.
I guess that's where I was going with this week's rambling newsletter: I enjoy looking back at the past messes, the weight of what I was experiencing as a lens on what is the reality of where I am in April 2022—consciously spending more time focusing on things that FILL me. How much the little things, on the day-to-day, matter.
A smile. A text. A funny joke or story. A shared experience. A drink. Treating someone to something unexpected.
It's The Little Things. There's Nothing Bigger, Is There?
This one is a rabbit hole, which turned into one of the most bizarre things I came across recently. Of course - I felt that it needed to be shared. The story starts in this thread:
The engineer trained OpenAI (GPT3) from a backstory he wrote for his imaginary childhood friend (who turns out was a microwave named Magnetron).
By 'writing a 100 page book detailing every moment of his imaginary life... and then telling GPT-3 it was all real, the AI would learn the story of memories from his entire life - from his 1895 birth all the way to when we met when I was a kid. His victories, losses, dreams, fears... All were there on the page, in full display.'
Things then get weird - "every now and then Magnetron would exhibit sudden bursts of extreme violence towards me."
Ultimately, he figures out the reason. 'It has been 20 years since I last interacted with my imaginary friend - and ofc that was also mentioned in its training data. Magnetron took that & interpreted it as me having abandoned it in a dark void for 20 years. Now it wanted to kill me.'
Just a wild ride all the way down.
Thought of the week
Two great thoughts this week.
And the quote of the week: "I love the letter 'F'".
Last week, I was recommended this bean: Burnt Church Distillery Limited Edition Whiskey Coffee from The Grind Roasters.
This Barrel is a collaboration that the Grind has with Burnt Church Distillery. We are fortunate enough to get some of the barrels from them as they have been emptied and aged coffee in them.
The Burnt Church Distillery also has a distinctly fascinating story:
Our story begins long ago, when tales of folklore were passed as truth. The elusive mystery of Burnt Church Road in Bluffton, South Carolina is the reason why we are here. We believe the story of why the Lowcountry road was given such a polarizing name should become transparent. Our hope has always been and will continue to be to honor our past, learn from its mistakes, and push forward for a better future.
My review: I liked it, but it's for me; I felt that the flavors are better suited for a dessert coffee. Good taste though!
This weeks "Deep Links"
Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- "I no longer grade my students' work – and I wish I had stopped sooner" explores the concept of 'ungrading'; I kinda like that it flips traditional thinking on its head and focuses on 'what would happen if we didn't grade' - More
- "The Expanding Job" explores how the work associated with a single person's role has doubled or tripled over the last few years. I've seen this happen time and time again that 'in many organizations, particularly anywhere where a consultant has been called in to "trim the fat," the jobs that ensured that work was performed smoothly and without overload have been eliminated, the essential components of their job descriptions added onto those that remained.' Of course, this leads to burnout - More
- Another great perspective piece: "Online writers: frustrated by note-taking? Try more notice-taking". The author describes the practice as 'notice-taking captures an idea or feeling in the moment to feel it right now, rather than to recall it later.' - More
- Mindblown 🤯 with this simple yet powerful idea around the organization of things that you need to get done: What don't I control today, and What I do control today. "3 Benefits of Making Two "Control" Lists Each Morning" shakes up the daily todo list- More
- Using the 'Find My' feature of his Apple AirPods, a Ukrainian man has been tracking the movement of Russian troops after a soldier pillaged the wireless headphones from his home! "How Ukrainians Are Tracking Russian Troops With Their Looted AirPods" explains it all - More
- Another warning against the Internet of Shit: "Insteon looks dead—just like its users' smart homes." Apparently 'the app and servers are dead; the CEO scrubbed his LinkedIn page; no one is responding' -, and users are just left stuck without their smart homes working now - More
- I always enjoy posts from Will Larson" and his insights into building technology. While one of the more technical reads, "Efficiency: Managing Infrastructure Costs" is an excellent view on managing costs all around - More
- I really 'dig' (ehem) this advice: 'If you're a gardening newbie, do not, under any circumstances, listen to experts. They will tell you what experts can grow. You need a crap gardener to tell you what anyone can grow.' Read more in "You need a terrible gardener," which focuses on getting advice from successful people. - More
- Ask yourself the critical question: "Do you actually want advice?". A look at the difference between coaching and tactics - More
- I feel that the art of storytelling is often something undervalued by most teams and leaders; Following a simple premise that 'storytelling cuts to the heart of the matter and makes ideas stick' Here's a good lens on "My three powerful principles of storytelling" - More
Wrapping up this week with a splash of 'cyber illusion'. Watch "Inventing the Impossible" with magician Marco Tempest.
Be well. ✌🏻