The Lock

The same day I bought and discarded a new lock because I couldn’t recall the combination, I found my old lock and, after giving it some time, remembered that combination.

There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

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The Work Is What Matters

“The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There’s far less competition.”

— Dwight Morrow

As Ryan Holiday writes in Ego Is the Enemy, John Boyd is “one of the most influential strategists and practitioners in modern warfare,” yet he’s “someone most people have never heard of.”

The fact that Boyd is unknown is fitting, because his lasting legacy is a speech he gave to scores of young officers that has come to be known as the “To Do or To Be” speech:

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Is Enough Ever Enough?

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Let’s talk about money.

Most of us have some sort of financial concern. Some estimates show that nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 61% can’t cover a $1,000 emergency. Wages have stagnated, but the cost of everything else has continued to rise meaning that purchasing power hasn’t really moved in four decades.

It takes an annual income of one-third of a million dollars to buy a home in San Francisco, which is fascinating considering the median household income there is about $83,000. It’s not just the coasts, either. Real median household income in New York City is just under $51,000 but in the entire country it’s $59,000. Considering how expensive everything — housing, food, transportation — is, that’s not very much.

Have you ever felt like if you had just a little bit more money it would make an enormous difference? The problem with that thought — one that I’ve had many times — is that the goalposts continue to move.

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Time vs. Money

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For the vast majority of us, it takes time to make money and, traditionally, it took more time to make more money (overtime pay is the most basic example of this). The paradox, of course, is that we don’t have time to actually enjoy the money we’re making and are instead on just running on the human hamster wheel.

This is why everyone is so obsessed with passive income and why The Four-Hour Workweek continues to sell copies year after year. We want more of our time without giving up our money. We want to keep the same lifestyle that our money afford us — house, car, spending cash — but we want to also have the time to actually enjoy those things.

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The Twitter Reckoning

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I find it astounding just how important Twitter has become to life, particularly in the United States. It’s fun for jokes and music releases and live-tweeting sporting events or award shows, but it affects the country in profound ways, from the economy to national security to pop culture and sports. The latter two may seem minor in comparison, but they are billion dollar industries that are a real part of the national conversation.

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When It All Goes Wrong

“This too shall pass

— Persian adage


Monday morning. The start of another week.

After a Friday and Saturday of perfect sunny, 80-degree weather, Mother Nature’s mood darkened. It turned wet and chilly, just a bummer of a day, so we turned it into a lazy Sunday.

Things became worse overnight and I was even awakened a few times by the sound of the wind and the rain battering my house. This was the weather in a bad horror film. I thought about worst-case scenarios. When you’re a homeowner, everything is cause for worry because everything is expensive and time-consuming.

Shortly after waking up, my wife called me into our daughter’s room.

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Our Brains Can’t Handle Technology

Evolution

What’s the first thing you did when you woke up today? Did you reach for your phone?

We as a species are not meant to look at screens all day, but yet we can’t stop ourselves.

It’s not breaking news that most people are addicted to their technology, but many may not know that smartphones are actually designed to be addictive, thus making it far more difficult for them to disentangle themselves.

While that’s even more reason to do so, anyone that has ever gone on a phone or tech detox knows that the withdrawal symptoms are real. It’s a drug, one humans simply cannot handle.

It took thousands of years for sapiens to evolve into our current selves, but our technology has grown exponentially in mere decades — and our brains can’t keep up.

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A “City Slickers” Birthday

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Last month, I turned 38-years-old.

I don’t immediately think of myself as a man in my late-thirties. I’m still struggling with the idea that I’m an actual adult.

It’s not that I feel 18 or 22, but like almost everyone else, I think of myself as some vague, younger version of me. Age has a way of sneaking up on you like that. It’s like growth spurt or a change in your weight. You live with it every day, so it’s gradual to you, but then you walk by a mirror and a different person is looking back at you. I still can’t believe I’ve been married for seven-and-a-half years and have been in the same relationship for thirteen years. I still think of the early ’00s as just a few years ago.

As Gertrude Stein once said, “We are always the same age inside.”

As I received well-wishes on my birthday, I couldn’t help thinking about City Slickers.

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