Hope you had a great Halloween last night. Our kids dressed up as Rey (from Star Wars), Captain America, Sleeping Beauty, and a baby duck. Combined they hauled in over 400 pieces of candy. Few things are more enjoyable than seeing kids count and sort candy after a night of trick or treating.
Books, articles, etc.
Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday (Book)
I’m a huge Ryan Holiday fan. This is his ninth book and I’ve now read seven of them. In Stillness is the Key, Holiday argues that all great leaders, thinkers, artists, athletes, and visionaries share one indelible quality. It enables them to conquer their tempers. To avoid distraction and discover great insights. To achieve happiness and do the right thing. Holiday calls it stillness--to be steady while the world spins around you.
This book is on par with The Obstacle is the Way, one of my all-time favorites. It’s not a page-turner, but it’s packed with insights. Reading a chapter or two each day helped me find practical ways to be more still.
P.S. Holiday came to a book signing event near my office so I was able to meet him. So cool.
The Skeptic's Guide to American History by Mark A. Stoler (Audiobook)
This is the first time I listened to one of the Great Courses on Audible and I really enjoyed it. The lecturer does a great job of combining facts and anecdotes throughout each of the 24 lectures. Worth having a listen if you’re remotely interested in U.S. history.
Eliud Kipchoge Breaks Two-Hour Marathon Barrier (Article)
You may have seen this already, but wow. Kipchoge is the first person to ever run a marathon in under two hours. He held a sub-4:34 pace over 26.2 miles. Just amazing. A good reminder that nothing is impossible.
What if Lehman never went bankrupt?
I spent last week in New York, the first time I’ve been there in over a decade. Last time I was in Manhattan, the skyscraper at 745 Seventh Ave was bright green and was the world headquarters of Lehman Brothers. Now it’s Barclays blue.
The fall of Lehman was a key factor in the 2008 financial meltdown and the ensuing recession. It was brutal for me personally as I lost my job and struggled to find work. At the time, all I could think about was how unfair it was. But in hindsight, if Lehman hadn’t gone bankrupt, my life wouldn’t be as rich. I would have been robbed of many of the lessons I learned in the process. I may not have made a career change to HR and I certainly wouldn’t have written Not Your Parents’ Workplace. As odd as it may sound, Lehman’s implosion has blessed my life in many ways.
We’re missing the point
So many of our decisions are driven by making our lives more comfortable. Whether it’s buying a new house, a new car, or the latest (fill in the blank).
If we paused for a moment and made a list of our values--those things that are most important to us--I doubt that “comfort” would crack the top ten.
As I continue going through coaching training and certification, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at my personal values. Reflecting on what’s important in my life has led to a desire to live life more intentionally. Comfort may be the natural pull, but pursuing a life of pure comfort will rob us of what we value most.
I’ve found power in regularly expressing gratitude so I’ll continue the habit. I’m grateful for my mom. We happened to both be in New York last week and celebrated her birthday together by eating dinner, watching a play, and grabbing dessert. She is a wonderful woman and I am grateful for her unconditional love. I love you, mom.
Thanks for reading. If you've read anything worth sharing I'd love to hear about it. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
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