Someone Better Than You

"We are who we choose to be. Now choose!" – Green Goblin, from Spider-Man

outstretched hand

This week I came across an article in which Warren Buffett offered up some advice back in 2004 to young people on how to be successful:

It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you'll drift in that direction.

What struck me about this obvious (yet fantastic) quip is that I've been circling a similar concept for a good chunk of the summer, and this article brought it all into focus. If you've been reading makoism, you have guessed that I've been going through a ton of change recently - a move, figuring out what I want to do next, and establishing a path to "life 2.0".

My mantra has boiled down to a simple thought:

Surround yourself with people that are better than you or that compel you to be better.

Maybe life isn't any more complicated than that simple philosophy. Cut the negative out. Focus on those that make you want to be better. At work. In life.

Look, we all have choices to make. As described in "Life Begins At Its Perceived End":  'An ending and a beginning look much the same. The difference lies in the direction you choose to face.'

My path is different from the next person's. Everyone needs to decide, on their own, where they need to go and how they want to get there.

For me, I want it to be a meaningful journey.

I'll wrap up this week's opening thoughts with a nod to a classic Spiderman film - be who you choose to be.

If you enjoy these posts, you can buy me a coffee ☕️, or if you'd rather keep up with my daily ramblings, follow me on Twitter or keep reading my posts on this blog.

Forward Thinking

Recently I discovered James Victore through the DO Lectures. Described as "part Darth Vader, part Yoda," his book "Feck Perfuction" is now on my to-read list.

I got a ton out of this talk; the concept of daily "cruising pain," for example, that "feeling Sunday night when you have to go to work Monday morning." And if you don't fix these pains, they will make you smaller every day.

In his blunt words - fix your shit.

You have no friends. No enemies. Just teachers.

Thought of the week

Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • In my favorite post of the week, Tim Urban updated his amazing "Putting Time In Perspective" article. In it, he tries to provide a perspective on time, where he 'mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines.' Brilliant and reflective. - More
  • Somewhat mind-blowing that 'the concept of file folders and directories, essential to previous generations understanding of computers, is gibberish to many modern students.' Read more in "Kids who grew up with search engines could change STEM education forever" - More
  • New phones mean new cameras. And in "iPhone 13 Pro Camera Preview: The Hardware Changes", Lux does its usual fantastic job of breaking down what's new - More
  • A break-in at a kindergarten ended up giving up its suspect when the thief "tried to download new stories onto the device a month later it sent his home location to the manufacturers," and they informed the police. Read more in "IT phoned home: Storytelling box foils kindergarten thief" - More
  • Cost cuts are destroying supply chains and causing all sorts of crazy (never-seen-before) shortages. "Sorry. No French Fries with any order. We have no potatoes" examines the wide-spread trouble that schools, fast food restaurants, etc. are having sourcing ingredients - More
  • Hard work vs. Soft work is a great way to examine the relationship building that goes on as part of your job. Derek Thompson explores "Hard Work Isn't the Point of the Office" and if offices are essential - More
  • A humorous look at the fantasy regarding people having enjoyable, productive commute time. In "The Myth of the Productive Commute," the author explores what (in reality) would be a perfect commute - "12 minutes of walking in perfect weather" - More
  • In "Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don't", a good look at the glut of productivity tools and how they don't make us any more productive. This article was good as I am always re-evaluating my workflow - perhaps I spent too much time on that. Naaaaa :) - More
  • "The Avocado Test" is a play on the famed marshmallow test; eat it immediately, and it's underripe or wait too long, and it's all brown inside - More
  • "Writing for Money, Writing Just Because" is a good one. Writing 'just because' was the genesis of this newsletter; it wasn't to build an audience, but rather a simple, human activity to get my creativity flowing. The fact that it found an audience is a bonus, but I am glad you're along for the ride - More


As a nod to my thoughts a few weeks back in "The Empathy Machine," I wanted to comment on this past week's episode of Ted Lasso. It was an odd one, a strange trip down the late evening post-lost escapades of Coach Beard. I wasn't a fan of the episode, except for these few moments of him letting loose on the dance floor.

Until next time...

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Jamie Larson