Recommendations from a Standing Bookworm Workaholic
These are the best lessons from last month’s living and working. Writing this is therapeutic for me, and hopefully it helps you as well. I categorized this article in the same structure I structure my weekly reviews. I have four chambers that need to be aired out in each review: health (physical and mental), wealth (career and side projects), love (personal growth and spirituality), and learning (knowledge).
Get a bike or walk instead of driving, work standing up, stretch every single day.
Externalize your inner creative battles. If you’re passionate about your job, you’ll probably turn into a workaholic but that’s OK as long as you don’t do something that sucks or hurt those close to you.
Find things, not people, that give you pleasure deep down and make time for them.
Learn more about things that interest you, but most importantly connect them to other knowledge.
Recommended Books (with affiliate links)
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
Heavy subjects like politics and religion first polarize groups of people, and then they paralyze them with no hope for middle ground. It’s amazing to me how people can be so confident in their intuitions. It’s not a matter of intelligence (although it does play a factor), Haidt claims that people are wired psychologically to inherently think the are right. Ultimately, we can’t transcend the human condition so we might as well try to understand it. I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Haidt’s writing because he blends psychology, biology, and Eastern & Western philosophy in a way that is necessary to look at the global moral psychology.
The Death of Cool: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood by Gavin McInnes
Although he’s kind of a piece of shit in the same sense Tucker Max was in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Gavin McInnes has a unique story and a great way of expressing it. He’s since parted ways with Vice, but as the co-founder McInnes blends a collection of degenerate guy stories with the origins of a billion dollar media company. The Death of Cool definitely isn’t for the easily offended, but if you are easily offended by a book then you probably should get back under your blankets. It’s no shocker that Gavin had the same agent behind The Death of Cool as Tucker Max did for I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
The Elements of Style: The Original Edition (Dover Language Guides) by William Strunk Jr.
This book has been used by writers for decades to perfect the technicalities of their writing. After going on a hiring spree of bringing on 12 different writers in a month, I had a “holy shit” moment that most people don’t know to write even at an elementary sense. Chances are you haven’t written an essay in a couple years, and you’d be surprised how quickly the technical elements of your writing disappear. I still can’t I’ve used a semicolon correctly with 100% confidence. This book is only $3 and not a bad addition even if you just do some casual personal writing.
October Music Picks
Tool – 10,000 Days
Tycho – Receiver
Kanye West- Fade
Atmosphere – Windows
Logic – Deeper than Money
Pearls of Wisdom:
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work–as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for–the things which I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Happiness comes from between. It comes from getting the right relationships between yourself and others, yourself and your work, and yourself and something larger than yourself. – Jonathan Haidt, the Happiness Hypothesis
Extended Notes on Health and Wealth:
I bought two new bikes: a commuter to replace my car for short trips and a road bike to go on extended rides. Saving gas, burning calories, shifting my brain into a different gear, and free cardio sounds like a good tradeoff to moving marginally faster. Using my bike for half the travel every week burns around 1,240 calories, which I will enthusiastically make up for with more food.
I made an active effort to work standing up. Not only is sitting down horrible for your spine, it’s brutal on your hips. 47% of your flexibility limitation comes from your hip caps and joint caps, and throwing heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts into rigid hips exponentially increases the risk of injury. It’s comically pathetic how humans can essentially break from sitting down, but hey that’s life.
Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and Benjamin Franklin wrote while standing up. Each hour spent standing up burns 50 calories more than sitting down, so half of a 10 hour workday means 250 more calories burned in autopilot. FOOD.
Stretching has been a major key. After doing hot yoga for 5 days during a trip to Philadelphia, my squat magically went up 80 pounds. If you’ve got a tight lower back or hips, these are some of the stretches I regularly do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g7RMmDJkCQ
Externalizing your inner battles so you can approach them as a general far from the chaos as opposed to the foot soldier in the trenches. Solopreneurship and entrepreneurship involves dodging rabbit holes of self-doubt, existential anxiety, or what Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” in the War of Art. The War of Art is a great kick in the ass for any entrepreneur or creative type.
For example, as a writer you must perfect the technical aspects of writing in different formats while maintaining your personal voice. When you get hired for a big project for a client, you inevitably derail your creative process by putting your personal writing development aside. I have to shift gears between succinct, powerful short form copywriting, to extended content, to ghostwriting in another person’s voice, to recalibrating my own personality when it comes time to write for myself.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. On the business side, you have to learn the balance between being an employee at the business, and being the business. You not only have to do your niche business, but also be sales, customer service, marketing, etc. yourself. You must also keep tabs on your mental psychology and allow your personality to grow with your intertwining business. A peek at the abyss of being a workaholic is when the business you’ve created starts to overshadow your personality. That’s why you have to pick doing something you love so you turn into something you’re proud of.