The Circle of Life

"and it moves us all, through despair and hope, through faith and love, til we find our place, on the path unwinding"

yes, i took this photo in South Africa :)

This week I spent watching way more of the Olympics than I have in previous years; it's been somewhat frustrating to have news alerts firing off on my phone early in the morning with the big events that happen on the TV coverage later that night. There are two significant things I wanted to touch on this week.

Lydia Jacoby, the 17-year-old swimmer had a tremendous upset in the 100-meter breaststroke that embodied everything that you ever dreamed that the Olympics represented. Hailing from Seward, Alaska which has one pool, a common joke that she 'trains every day out there with the whales and sea lions'.

Watching this race, her hometown's support and explosive support, gave me all the feels. Amazing athlete and huge respect deserved; I can't wait to see how her story unfolds in the next few years.

The biggest story (which I hope you aren't sick of hearing about), is what's going on with the US Gymnastics team. A few weeks back I talked about Naomi Oaska and her focus on mental health, and the article 'The Radical Courage of Simone Biles’s Exit from the Team USA Olympic Finale', dives deeper into the issue facing many athletes.

Anyone who has followed the tumult of USA Gymnastics in recent years knows the immense, the immense, inhumane pressure that Biles and her teammates have borne. Since the revelations of Larry Nassar’s abuse, athletes say they have struggled to get reassurance, from both the sport's governing body and the United States Olympic Committee, that their health and well-being are a priority. USA Gymnastics has relied on Biles to buoy its reputation during a scandal and to boost its scores in international competition.

Olympian Michael Phelps talked a lot about these pressures in the 2020 HBO documentary "The Weight Of Gold". A highly recommended watch if you haven't already seen it.

He sums up her anguish in a post on Twitter:

"We're human beings. Nobody is perfect. So yes, it is okay to not be okay."

I'm not sure where I am going with this, but as someone who has suffered the health effects of stress, have had my feelings of impostor syndrome, and as a human who spends way too much time in my head, I was originally going to open with about a great post from Michael Loop about "Asking for Help".

Yeah. We’re in a hurry. We have a deadline. Everyone is scurrying around so competently. In this hurry, we create the erroneous perception that stopping to teach is somehow slowing the team down when the reality is that we are not just investing in future speed, but in team health: the selfless act of teaching is one of the greatest accelerants to building trust in a team.

In no way am I comparing the challenges or struggles that affect an Olympic athlete what we * every day* people go through (except remembering these athletes are also people) - the point I wanted to get out there this week is that it is okay to not be okay. Talk to your family, friends, your personal board of directors.

We're all in this together.

If you're interested in my daily ramblings, follow me on Twitter or my posts on this blog.

Forward Thinking

The The DO Lectures continue to be a tremendous source of inspiration for me. This week I came across a talk from Chris Baréz Brown in 2015 on "How To Have The Most Amazing Life Right Now"

"I'm going to do the things that feel right for me, and not worry a shit about what other people think"

Love this. Check out his latest energy experiment which is writing a hand-written note every day to say "thank you" to someone. Powerful stuff.

Chris is the founder of "Upping Your Elvis" and author of the book of the same name. He has a great blog that's worth the time to check out.

Thought of the Week

Latest obsession

Earlier this year, my wife purchased a Yukon Solo Stove Smokeless Backyard Fire Pit

smoke free

This thing is awesome; it's 'designed to burn efficiently and produce as little smoke as possible in the process'. I would recommend getting the stand to be sure there's enough airflow under it, but it ups the enjoyment of sitting around the fire without the nagging smoke.

There's something magical about having a fire-pit as part of hosting friends or family, and deep conversations with co-workers without having a bunch of smelly clothes afterward. Check it out.

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

  • Super interesting article (and podcast) that dives into 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s; each episode tackles a song that personified those 10 years. I found episode 38, "Madonna Strikes a Pose" fascinating - More
  • The French government has a smartphone app that gives 300 euros to every 18-year-old in the country. The idea was to inspire cultural purchases, such as books and music but teenagers had a different idea: "France Gave Teenagers $350 for Culture. They’re Buying Comic Books." - More
  • True story - Back in the '90s, I had an exec once tell me that 'no one will use the Internet for business', after I showed him a prototype of a web-based version of a tool we were building in Mosaic. Steven Sinofsky has been nailing it lately, and with "[…] is a toy" he explores when inventions appear, how they are often labeled as 'incapable of doing real work' - More
  • "Cutting the cord: Apps, savings, and a networking headache" - I cut the cord earlier this year, moving my TV to YouTubeTV. While the interface has some family members confused, it's a much better experience to let the cable/fiber providers just be a pipe for the Internet into my house - More
  • "The future of social is private"; yes, I couldn't agree more. Hit me up if you want an invite to 'Friends' a private media sharing platform I've been testing or join the waitlist - More
  • "How Doing a Life Review Can Help Your Understand Your Past, Present, and Future" is a great idea. I need to sit down, take some time, and 'look back so I can look forward' - More
  • In "We Need To Talk About The Insecurity Industry", Edward Snowden talks about 'the greatest danger to national security has become the companies that claim to protect it'. Another mustread - More
  • A wonderful perspective on how "Poking Holes in Our Stories" allows us how 'not to take thoughts at face value; just because I think something doesn’t make it so' - More
  • FUN! I love 'what if' questions and "If 8 Popular Websites Existed In The 90s" nails these favorite sites - More
  • "The Real Reason You’re So Distracted (Spoiler: It’s Not Your Phone)" and how to fix it - More
  • How many times will organizations not have a good policy in place around domain expiration and things they link to? "A Defunct Video Hosting Site Is Flooding Normal Websites With Hardcore Porn" is the latest faux pas when an old video site (Vidme) had it's domain registration taken over - More
  • If I am on a treadmill, I run with headphones; if outside, I do not. In "The Benefits of Running Without Headphones" they explore the side benefits to ditching them - More
  • File under 'storytelling' techniques; Alignment is a description of a character’s morals and beliefs, and in "D&D Alignment 101 (MCU Character Examples)", the author does a great job of using the Marvel Cinematic Universe to explain how storytellers 'uses alignment and conflict to get you addicted to characters' - More


Finishing up this week with an inspiring moment from the cast of the The Lion King getting together in person for the first time in 15 months. Special thanks to my wife who sent this to me to get me moving.

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama!

Which amusingly enough, translates from Zulu as

Here comes a lion, father, Oh yes it’s a lion.

Enjoy this one. Be a lion.And be there for each other.