“I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that’s a big deal. And if you’re going to be a leader—if you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the world—in the room, you’ve got real problems.”
– Jack Welch
Did you know the Barbie doll’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, from Willows, Wisconsin. Her birthday is March 9, 1959, when she was first displayed at the New York Toy Fair. Pretty wild. It makes us wonder about Ken… and, by association, Ryan Gosling.
Today’s email is made possible by some all-natural sleepy hot cocoa we recently got to try from Beam. We slept like bears in hibernation.
– Mike & Alec, Co-Founder of The Tonic
A Dash of Daring
Creative people are creative because they want to… well, create.
They don’t want to mimic other creative people — they want to woo the world with their own genius.
Unfortunately, that’s not where it starts.
Because before a great painter, or a brilliant architect, or a remarkable mathmatician can create something truly special… they’ve got to learn the basics.
They’ve got to learn the basics from other people who are great at their craft.
Most importantly, they’ve got to mimic what they see.
Vinh Giang, international motivation speaker, explains this by describing how great chefs learn to cook.
“How does a chef become a great chef? Practice. But with who’s recipes? Other people’s recipes. So what they do is they imitate; they copy. And in the world of cooking, when you copy a great chef’s dish, no one is like ‘Oh you shouldn’t copy. It’s bad’ They know that’s how you learn.
And he copies it again. The second time it tastes a little bit better. The third time, it tastes great. The fourth time, he’s confident. The fifth time, he’s like ‘I’m adding a bit of lemon.’ And he adds a bit of lemon and makes it his own. This is the same process we all must follow.
It’s okay to imitate. But it’s not okay to imitate forever and never add lemon or chives. You have to start making things your own. But the fastest way to improve is to start looking for people who can influence you.”
And then, once you’re ready, add a bit of lemon to make it your own.
This post is made possible by Beam’s Dream Powder
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Depressing Past, Anxious Future
Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and the founder of Taoism, once said something pretty wise:
If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
There’s nothing to be anxious or depressed about right now.
Those things only occur in our minds as a reflection of the fast or a premonition of the future.
I love this affirmation when I’m feeling particularly antsy: All is well and I am safe.
♫ Dooon’t STOP… Walking♫
It was soccer season and 15-year-old Mike woke up with excruciatingly sore muscles from the previous day’s practice.
My legs hurt.
I had that soreness where you don’t even want to get out of bed — much less go to soccer practice again later that day.
But alas… I had to if I wanted to make the cut.
I remember, during the practice, in response to me loudly complaining about how sore I was, my coach said, “Exercising is good for the soreness.”
I also remember that didn’t make a damn bit of sense to me at the time.
Why would working a sore muscles make me feel better?
But he was right.
At the end of practice, my legs felt quite a bit better.
And the reason is simple.
When you stay home and sit all day, your muscles get less blood flow than they need to repair themselves… and they tighten up (making the pain even worse).
The solution is to walk and to get some light exercise. Maybe stretch. Or even massage out the tender areas.
There’s a metaphor here about how we approach the times that we’re feeling “sore” — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Sometimes, the solution isn’t to come to a complete stop… but just to walk for a while rather than run. Keep your momentum, but dial down the speed.
That’s how we work through (and with) the seasons where we’re “sore”.
We keep going.
Just at a slightly slower, more reparative pace.
Here is some other stuff we found interesting this last week!
- Chartbook #145: China on the tightrope
- How Death Masks Blur the Lines Between Art, Mourning, and Remembrance
- Archive | The Who by Angela Carter
This Week’s Image
“A langur bounds across a meadow in Yala National Park in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on August 21, 2022.” via The Atlantic
This Week’s Riddle
Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!
A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?
This Week’s Journaling Prompt
Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt.
Why are you sometimes in such a hurry to achieve certain things in your life? Why might it benefit you to slow down?
This Week’s Challenge
Find your walking pace. If you’ve been moving at lightning speed and you’re feeling burnt out, don’t stop altogether (unless doing so is necessary), look for a pace that is more manageable and restorative. Life is long. You’ve got time.
Riddle Answer: Four sisters and three brothers.