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Curiosity, Consistency, & The Wild West

By: Michael Blankenship |

“When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.”

– Andy Andrews

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re talking about why curiosity is preferable to discouragement and how real-life consistency is seasonal. We’re also sharing some career-searching advice from Kat Cole and some stoic advice from Ryan Holiday. 

Our challenge is for you to schedule recess for yourself this week — ya know, like was done for you in elementary school. 

And as always, we’ve got a riddle, a photo, and a question. 


Curiosity Vs. Discouragement

What is your response to failure?

Disappointment? Discouragement? Or curiosity?

You could be forgiven for responding by being discouraged — that’s what most of us do. When we work hard on something and it doesn’t produce the results we had hoped for or expected, we go through a period of grief and sometimes we quit altogether. 

But that’s silly, isn’t it? 

Because as we already know, failure is a natural part of the process (just watch a kid who’s trying to learn to walk).

A better perspective would be curiosity — to engage the problem-solving part of our brain and ask ourselves why the thing didn’t work. There is likely a reason, after all, and by searching for it and correcting our course based on what we find, we can avoid being crippled by grief and keep moving forward despite setbacks. 

So the next time you feel discouraged, flip the switch to curiosity — you’ll find that you’re more than capable of solving the problem before you. 

Oh — and keep in mind what Einstein said: “A person who never makes mistakes is a person who never tried anything new.” 

Stoic Wisdom

Ryan Holiday’s Twitter account is full of wisdom from stoics — we recommend following him if you’re on Twitter and you’re into that sort of thing. He recently posted something that caught our attention and made us reflect — six simple reminders that we could all use (courtesy of Marcus Aurelius)… 

If you want to dive deeper into modern-day stoicism, check out Ryan’s best-selling books, The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, or Stillness Is the Key.

The Wild West

Kat Cole has spent 20 years helping people navigate work and career decisions — from switching jobs and negotiating salaries to finding purpose and identifying a person’s core values. 

And in the midst of what many are calling the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffling — what Kate calls “the wild west of opportunity” — Kate published some advice for people looking for direction in their careers under the title, Values, Money, Ego, and Capabilities.

In it, she outlines her framework for making important career decisions. Put simply, it consists of…

  1. Grounding yourself in your values
  2. Evaluating your financial standing (what you want/need)
  3. Determining the sort of work that fulfills you
  4. Outlining your skills and capabilities
  5. Questioning your ego
  6. Vetting opportunities

It’s not rocket science. But it is a helpful and worthwhile process for anyone navigating challenging career decisions right now. 

Seasonal Consistency

Scott Oldford is a mentor, investor, and advisor for successful online businesses — as well as founder for multiple 7-figure companies of his own. 

And this week we received an awesome email from him that put a new spin on the popularized ideas of consistency and grit. 

Here it is: 

Consistency sounds great doesn’t it?

Every month, make more money…

Every day, feel really great…

Every moment, feeling totally present…

Every minute, structured, productive…

I mean…

It works, doesn’t it?

Is someone successful because they are a genius?

OR because they are consistent?  

It’s likely neither.

Consistency isn’t possible.

Fall isn’t Summer.

Summer isn’t Winter

Consistency overrides the way the universe operates.

Yet, most of the time, we desire it so deeply.

To wake up and know what to expect.

To have a business and know it works.

To have a relationship that will be the same yesterday, today.

To have consistency fulfills our desire of certainty.

Which is a pursuit that will always fail.


When you believe that you should post every day on Instagram.

When you believe every month should be massive.

When you believe you should always be on.


That you can be consistent in a season.

You can’t be consistent for your whole life.

Unless that consistency is embodied in the knowledge that you’ll just consistently wake up and be who you’re supposed to be for the season you’re in.

Embrace what’s next.

Embrace the past.

Embrace the moment.

– Scott

Extra Stuff

Here are some other awesome articles that caught our attention this week…

This Week’s Photo

Ulises Ruiz / AFP / Getty

“A Bengal tigress runs in Guadalajara Zoo in Jalisco state, Mexico, on October 5, 2021.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What is black when you buy it, bright orange when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

How do you reverse negative self-talk? 

This Week’s Challenge

Recess is a well-protected tradition in elementary schools. And then in middle school or high school and well into adulthood, we toss recess out and label it as something that’s only for children. How silly! Do we really take ourselves so seriously that we consider ourselves above playing outside? Are the needs of children really all that different from our own? According to Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, Professor of Developmental Psychology at New York University, “Children that aren’t allowed to play experience a loss of self-motivation and they run the risk of burn-out.”

Sound familiar?

Schedule some time to play outside this week — whether it’s romping with your kid, running with your dog, playing with your spouse, or attending a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee, it’s time well-spent.

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: Charcoal

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