A Few Things....

June 26 2019

1. What books did your father give you ? I went back to one my father had given me two decades ago. It was Words I Wish I Wrote by Robert Fulghum. It’s a collection of writings. Wanted to share a few I thought you’d enjoy.

“You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one's life. So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That's not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés.” 

- Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast, They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne”

- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Breakfast of Champions.

“There is really nothing you must be.

And there is nothing you must do.

There is really nothing you must have.

And there is nothing you must know.

There is really nothing you must become.

However. It helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet….”

- Manabu Foljamakis


2. Midlife wisdom schools are the future…..Chip Conley (author of Wisdom at Work, amongst other books) is building the modern Elder Academy. He was on the Tim Ferriss podcast talking about it and other things, the big ideas I took away were:

  • “I think midlife wisdom schools are a thing for the future, in huge way”

    • “I think the idea of lifelong learning and going to a retreat that helps us repurpose ourselves, reframe our mindset to one of growth, and reframe how we think about aging is important… no one’s done that yet”

    • “The thing that happens in midlife is you start to feel the weight of accumulation of what you’ve acquired throughout your life. I don’t mean just physical things, I mean friends, responsibilities, the identities, and the invisible name tags that define who you are in the world. You frankly start to feel overwhelmed by all that accumulation.”

    • “Midlife used to be a crisis, but now it’s a marathon.. At midlife, you need a pit stop. The Modern Elder Academy is that pit stop.”

One of the reasons why you might need this in midlife is because of the Happiness Curve, according to Jonathan Rauch. Here’s the idea:

From ages 25-45, most people experience a slow decline in happiness (mainly due to everything we’ve accumulated piling up – physical items, identities, invisible name tags, etc.)

  • Between 45 and 50, the “unraveling” occurs -  where people start to discard things (we move from “accumulating mode” to “editing mode”)

  • From there – people get happier with each successive decade

    • Men start to flatten out in their overall happiness in the second half of their 70s (for women, it tends to happen in their early 80s)

Finishing The Joys of Compounding by Gautam Baid and The Second Mountain by David Brooks, so more on those next time.


3. A few things worth watching or listening to:

A. I’ve been listening to the Berkshire AGM’s since 1994 in podcast format. Lots of great gems here.

B. The architectural secrets of the world’s ancient wonders, great 2019 TED talk.

C. What could change in the global order mean for Oil, according to Peter Zeihan

D. Probably the best explanation I’ve read on what Libra / Facebook actually means from an investors perspective.