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Letter sent on Aug 7, 2016

Newsletter Update and Five Pieces of A+ Media

Dear Reader,

Never fear, the newsletter from The Mission is here!

I’m working to give it an updated look and feel– one that is more:






In that spirit, here are five pieces of A+ media worth sharing this week:

  1. The best of my weekly travels
  2. A not so nice, but transformative, quote
  3. A free book on creating a culture conducive to leadership
  4. The wikipedia entry that is a rabbit hole for self actualization
  5. The audiobook I’ve listened to four times, but stopped gifting

1. The best of my weekly travels

We went to the salt ponds this week. It is by far my favorite place to walk and think in the South Bay.

On the ground, it can feel like you’re in another world, or on the set of a sci-fi/speculative fiction movie.

In modernity, it’s hard to find places in nature which allow us to relax, or better yet, make us feel as if we transported to another world.

The salt ponds are one of those places for me. What are your favorite spots to relax in nature?

2. A not so nice, but transformative, quote

It’s hard to even include this quote, because I want what’s best for everyone, but at the same time know that triumphs over adversity forge incredible people. On more than one occasion, I’ve reflected on this quote to remind myself that if we can endure adversity long enough, we can accomplish anything.

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures. –Nietzsche, The Will to Power

3. A free book on creating a culture conducive to leadership

A world without horrible bosses is possible. So is creating a company culture where leadership is allowed to emerge organically.

Imagine a work environment where nobody forced you to do stupid things to appease silly bosses. Imagine a workplace where you got to choose which small teams you would join, and came up with agendas and deliverables based on your own ideas and passions…

Valve, a multi-billion dollar software company, has created this culture, and they’re crushing it.


It was reported that Valve has more profits per employee than Google and Apple, and they’ve never taken a dime of investor money. The free book I recommend this week is the Valve Handbook for New Employees, a guide for new hires to get acclimated into their eclectic and self-organizing organization.


Here are some of my favorite highlights from the handbook:

“If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, that sounds like a lot of responsibility,” you’re right. And that’s why hiring is the single most important thing you will ever do at Valve (see “Hiring,” on page 43). Any time you interview a potential hire, you need to ask yourself not only if they’re talented or collaborative but also if they’re capable of literally running this company, because they will be.” — VHFNE
“We are all stewards of our long-term relationship with our customers. They watch us, sometimes very publicly, make mistakes. Sometimes they get angry with us. But because we always have their best interests at heart, there’s faith that we’re going to make things better, and that if we’ve screwed up today, it wasn’t because we were trying to take advantage of anyone.” — VHFNE

4. The Wikipedia entry that is a rabbit hole for self-actualization

The entry about Abraham Maslow is the best kind of internet rabbit hole for learning.

“However, the horrors of war instead inspired a vision of peace in him and this led to his groundbreaking psychological studies of self-actualizing people. These studies began with his two mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he admired both professionally and personally. These two were so accomplished in both realms, and such “wonderful human beings” as well, that Maslow began taking notes about them and their behavior.” - Wikipedia, Abraham Maslow
If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.
If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.
– Abraham Maslow

5. The audiobook I’ve listened to four times, but stopped gifting

When many people hear the word ‘devil’ they think of evil, or threats from an insecure authority figure. But what if the ‘devil’ was a just metaphor for the negative portion of the atom and matter? That’s the best way to approach Outwitting The Devil, a book written in an interview style between Napoleon Hill and the Devil. Hill’s work revolved around the causes of success and failure, and sadly, OTD wasn’t published in his lifetime.

The manuscript for OTD went unpublished for over 75 years because Hill’s wife, family, and friends thought it was ‘too controversial.’ This is likely because the book explicitly points out how some schools, churches, and spouses hurt those they think they’re ‘helping.’

OTD is one book I used to give as a gift to others, but I’ve since stopped because many people become angry at the person who points out an escape route or path away from their problems. If you do decide to check out OTD, the audiobook is great, but it contains unnecessary narration. If the extra snippets of narration don’t bother you, give it a listen, but if they do, there is a Kindle and Paperback version of the book without narration. Please disregard the horrible cover that has nothing to do with the philosophy of Hill or the book.

That’s it for this week… :)

I tried to make this week’s newsletter more personable, intentional, concise, authentic, and valuable.

How’d I do?