0 - What's on my mind
When I stop and reflect, I realize just how much goes on in any given day. Today I had the privilege of interviewing Wes Kao on my podcast (with Kyle). Throughout the conversation, she clearly lived up to her standard of "rigorous thinking." Wes approaches situations from first principles and that often leads her to have different perspectives on a lot of topics. This is what she calls a "spiky point of view." I really enjoyed talking to her and if you are reading this after September of 2020, that conversation has more than likely been edited and published on The Louis and Kyle Show somewhere in the range of episode 26-30.
I'm also in the process of packing up and leaving Arizona. I'm going to write a short reflection tomorrow (just on paper) and think about what I enjoyed and learned from living here the past 9 weeks or so. I view my life in chapters (that tend to correspond to academic semesters and summers), and today marks the end of my summer in Arizona chapter. It was a good one and I want to neatly organize my thoughts on it. This is a great habit (reflecting on the end of a particular phase in life) and articulating the lessons you learned from it.
I'm also planning on pre-writing my "rules for the fall semester" list (also, just on paper), a collection of do's and don'ts for being productive during an academic semester.
For good measure, I'll probably also be writing a brief July in Review and setting my August goals in the next day or so.
I don't do all this self-reflection without purpose. It's extremely helpful-->you should try it.
1 - Gratitude (smile, look around and see how many small things you can appreciate)
- Bang bang. Rainbow 🌈 Unicorn 🦄 (a Bang flavor) did not disappoint. I bought my last Bang for 2020 today... a Miami Cola for the 'road trip' to Vegas tomorrow. I've thoroughly enjoyed the journey of sampling the Bang flavor palette over my time in AZ, but its time to stop crushing 300mgs of caffeine as part of my morning routine. Break bad habits. Build good ones.
- Brain.fm has been overdelivering on my expectations. (I realize the potentially obvious misidentification of what's been helping me focus lately... caffeine). Anyway their focus music, meditation music, and sleep music have all helped set the right vibe. Thanks Steve.
- Learning and trying brand new exercises is one of my most favorite things to do. It's an opportunity to make progress in strength and mobility and let me just say that the Gymnastic's Bodies curriculum has asked some bizarre things of my body. I'm here for it.
- I don't want all my gratitude to reflect on "consumer products" so I'll think of a few more
- Arizona hot water showers. Maybe its the house and maybe its the fact that its consistently 110+ outside (a strange contrast to the rain noises Brain.fm is playing right now) but you can take a long hot shower in Arizona. That's a luxury I will miss.
- I'm grateful that Shaun (my roommate in AZ) and I never set off the fire-alarm. We cooked some smoky disasters and thankfully never had to deal with any fire departments.
- I'm grateful that I didn't bust the garbage disposal. That disposal is a champion.
2 - 3 Ways I Can Improve
- Continue focusing on brand marketing, not performance marketing. Always grabbing low hanging fruit can harm your reputation.
- Wes Kao (today's podcast guest) had by FAR the most professional zoom set up I've seen. She was sitting in this stately chair with a blossoming garden behind her and natural lighting filling the space. Meanwhile, I've put 25+ episodes out with crooked artwork, bad haircuts, and laundry baskets in the field of vision. I can and should make a few small investments to improve my recording set up (think selfie light and a plant).
- Block out external inputs until as late in the day as possible.
3 - 3 Reminders
- In the long run, you go faster by going slower.
- Focus on the process not the outcomes.
- Buy good tools. They are always good investments (when you can afford them).