Today I thought… about pushing the body to push the mind.
I recently finished watching the Amazon Prime series called The World’s Toughest Race (spoiler alert in essay). It was the revival of the Eco-Challenge adventure sports racing from 2002 where international teams race non-stop for ~10 days.
My only foray in any kind of endurance racing was 8Ks in high school and that’s just a 30 minute jog. Though I was amazed at the stamina and mental grit required for the race, I was particularly drawn to two individuals. …
Today I thought…. about the rationalizations that drive stasis in office design.
I learned about how a man named Robert Propst, a professor of fine arts, was responsible for introducing the office cubicles to modern offices. But Propst wasn’t intending to create dull, demotivating, and… just utterly trash work environments.
Propst was hired into Herman Miller (they probably furnish most offices these days) to get creative and try all kinds of projects. During this time, the office was designed to be like in the scene from Mad Men where you have everyone in an open space. The bullpen style.
Various companies have this style still. I know there are some investment banks, consulting firms and law firms still use this bullpen approach. …
Today I thought… about when you return home.
I wonder if there is some kind of psychological study exploring the effects of frequently saying goodbye in one’s life. Yes, much of life is filled with beginnings and endings of various types. But I think there’s a limit to how good one can get in saying ‘goodbyes’.
I think saying goodbye to my mother at 28 is much different than when I was 8. As I think about my last day in Vancouver after a nice three week trip, it put me in this mode of reflection. It’s odd. Despite how I much I dislike saying goodbye, I also love how concentrated/focused on family time it gets whenever I return. …
Today I thought… about when your priority on tools shifts from cost/basic utility to experience/brand.
It was spurred by a desire to buy fountain pens the next time I visit NYC. It came as a result of using a… extremely shitty pen for my morning journal.
I start every morning — though I fail some days — writing in my journal. The latest iteration has been putting pen to paper in a Leuchstrumm notebook. I didn’t think much of this. …
Today I thought….. about pushing advantages.
This thought came out as a result of some long conversations with family and close friends. The idea of pushing one’s advantage.
When I study companies, it seems rather simple and logical for them to leverage competitive advantages they have to compound that advantage further. Seems simple enough no? I’d expect Bezos to double down and take over every industry he can with Amazon. Once they stop, that’s the start of decay.
It’s also extremely easy to fault the management team as being ineffective when they do not leverage their advantage well. It reminds me of how critical I’ve been to large companies like banks for being so bureaucratic and thriving despite the awful deployment of strategy. Just think of any large organization. …
Today I thought… what my investment account would look like with 20% returns for 30 years.
A 30 year investing period would put me at 58. The significance of that age, I realized, is that it puts me real close to my father’s age now. It might not seem like much but for a very long time…. I defaulted to believing my parents were in their 40s. It’s just a default thing.
This was inspired by Morgan Housel on Ted Seides’ podcast. In the interview, he referenced a segment from his new book, the Psychology of Money, where he noted Warren Buffett would’ve had a net worth of ~$10M if he compounded wealth at ~22% from 25 to his 60s compared to starting in his early teens and compounding into his 90s. …
Today I thought…. about how one leaves a job after 2.5 weeks.
As I stared at my journal with scribbles that even I have a difficult time reading… I thought it would be worthwhile to write about quitting after 2.5 weeks.
Other than my family, handful of close friends and avid subscribers of my newsletter, no one knew I had taken on a new job after a long (some 2 years?) search. Given how picky I was and how long the journey was, the pressure for the opportunity to be ‘just right’ compounded.
I ended up joining a media startup in a writing and research role. …
For: The immigrant pondering on privilege for oneself.
This may be a hot topic in the time in place I write this but I think it will continue to be of relevance for those caught between various ideals.
I’ve been quite fortunate to be an official ‘immigrant’ twice in my life. In the age of globalization where many self-proclaim to be “world citizens”, I wonder if the term ‘immigrant’ holds less weight. But then again, maybe it’s the other way around. …
This is a reflection on the system I currently use to meet a goal of completing a book every two weeks. It’s been my most preferred system from reading 110+ books over the years.
People skills aren’t a strength. Nor is empathy.
But empathy is a very common trait that is thrown around often as a requirement for any leader or job. You won’t find a job that says “Does not need empathy” but plenty that says “looking for people who embody empathy”. Ditto for biographies of leaders
I do believe that certain individuals may be born, and raised, to be more inclined to have strong EQ muscles than others. However, I do not believe it’s innate as something someone has or doesn’t have. Everyone has levels of empathy. …