Who Over What

“There’s a starman waiting in the sky; He’d like to come and meet us; But he thinks he’d blow our minds” - David Bowie, Starman

For those that really know me, you know that I'm not a fan of popular trends. This triggers something in me to head off in some completely opposite direction of the group-think, partly for the sake of humor, but I do find value in trying to look beyond the words (travel the road less traveled). I also believe many of these overhyped trends, regardless of their source: technology (Cryptocurrency, VR, NFTs, Metaverse, 8-track tape), trendy health or diet fads (avocado diets, activated charcoal, meat alternatives), or even the latest woke servant leadership-think all tend to be panaceas or quick talkable quotes rather than to be honest, tangible fixes or advancements.

And for those wondering, iron doesn't actually sharpen iron - rubbing two pieces of metal together will result in the production of heat via friction, not a sharper blade.

I've been spending a ton of time in 2021 re-evaluating many things surrounding how I've worked, things that matter, where I find sources of strength, and how to view work, health, life, friends, and loved ones.

Months ago, I stumbled upon a great tweet that I refer to that has grounded the later half of the year:

It requires repeating:

It's more important WHO you work with than WHAT you work on.

Never have such simple words summarize all the complex feelings I was going through. So, I've been trying to surround myself with quality instead of quantity.

By building a great personal board of directors, I have a trustworthy group who I hold accountable and they hold me accountable. I opened up office hours on my calendar to take time to connect to new people. I worked on active listening to expand my thinking (people know in meetings I cant help myself - so i’ve been muting myself). I reached out to hear diverse and varied opinions—built relationships. Avoided the memes.

I also learned that it's key to focus on getting the right things done, not 'all the things' done.

These are the ones you want to surround yourself with. They will help you become more than you thought. And you will become more to them than you realize.

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

"Listening is more than the act of hearing. It's creating an environment in which the other person FEELS heard. If we truly listen to someone else's perspective, we can gain understanding and engage in more meaningful dialogue."

A powerful watch from Simon Sinek on the Art of Listening and an excellent reminder that this is something I need to practice continuously. Creating an environment for people to 'empty the bucket' has impressive side effects. (Side note: I need to watch the powerful documentary White Right: Meeting the Enemyfrom Deeyah Khan which is referenced in the video.)

Thought of the week

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

  • I still need to see No Time to Die, but I enjoyed "James Bond Stoicism" which examines how his philosophy "takes infinite pains beforehand and leave as little as possible to chance." Lots of lessons in this one - More
  • File under 'who knew' - did you know that "Ernest Hemingway hunted tuna with a machine gun" - More
  • "Woman sues Kellogg over lack of strawberries in strawberry Pop-Tarts, seeks $5 million" tops the list of this year's wacky lawsuits. Somewhat curious where this one goes because I question what's in their S'Mores variety - More
  • You could almost say Writing IS Thinking, but notebook maker Lochby has a good read on "Why You Should Learn How To Write: How Writing Improves Thinking." Valuable lessons on developing critical thinking in here - More
  • "Runner Who Suffered Heart Attack During Boston Marathon Hopes To Come Back Stronger" strikes a personal note. Anytime I read about runners and heart attacks, I have flashbacks to my health journey, and it's good to read she made it through ok and is well on the road to recovery - More
  • Michael Lopp always knocks it out of the park, and "The Sabotage List" is no exception. I love the concept of having a list 'of important projects I'm currently not doing for... reasons' - More
  • I've previously talked about 'inversion theory' when it comes to life, and "Deconstructing your path" recommends 'researching someone that inspires you, then working backward throughout their career. Deconstructing an outcome is a fun way to peel back the layers of a career' - More
  • "The Great Resignation Is Accelerating" posits that a more prolonged-term effect of the pandemic is going to change worker expectations fundamentally- More
  • "Young Lust – Explained and Demystified" decodes the many "beeps" and "boops" that, for the untrained ear, are just random sounds but captures a moment in time (1979) where telephone technology was in a state of transition - More
  • What we have given up in terms of privacy for the promise of self-improvement what "Intimate data: can a person who tracks their steps, sleep and food ever truly be free?" dives into; it is a hard one to balance - More
  • Remember that piece of art that "self-destructed" after being sold at an auction back in 2018? Well, now the details have sold for even more in "Shredded Banksy artwork sells for $25.4 million at auction" - More


I have always been a huge fan of Pixar, and seeing where they are going with Lightyear with the trailer that dropped this week still shows that they have that unique blend of storytelling and creative genius.

The origin story for Buzz Lightyear. Not the action figure, but the actual space ranger. Brilliant.

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Jamie Larson