Weekly Update – #20 – February 9th, 2020

Hi, I’m Torrey. I’m a runner, a reader, and a writer, among many other things. Each week I take some time to share my experiences running, reading, and writing. Thanks for stopping by.

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This Week

On the running front, my tracking app tells me I ran 11.8 miles this week. No PR’s broken or milestones hit, but I’m happy with the progress and proud to say I’m back in the habit. I realized something during my long Sunday-morning run. I enjoy the experience of exploring new places more than the running itself. Running long distances just enables going new and interesting places, off the beaten path and off road. Repeating the same routes over and over doesn’t bring the same level of enjoyment.

On the reading front, I’m enjoying two books. A lot of my free time has been soaked up by little computer programming side projects in the last few weeks, but I did pick up some books to check out. I continue to practice Ramit Sethi’s book buying policy: if you think about buying a book, just buy it.

Here’s an outstanding excerpt from one of my open books.

“But the greatest battle of all is with yourself–your weaknesses, your emotions, your lack of resolution in seeing things through to the end. You must declare unceasing war on yourself.”

That passage comes from the preface of The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene. The author is known for another similarly titled book The 48 Laws of Power. Greene draws from historical examples to illustrate principles. In this case, 33 different principles to help you think and act strategically. The passage I shared above resonates with me, because it speaks to the question: how many times have I let myself down?

The second book I’m reading is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Gregory Hays. Before now I never really thought about how important the translator and translation is. This is probably the third time I’ve tried reading Meditations. The text is so old, it’s in public domain and you can find free ebooks. But, each time I tried reading it I found myself bogged down in the awkward language of the translation. The Gregory Hays translation was recommended by Ryan Holiday and Shane Parrish.

So far, I am not disappointed with this version of Meditations. I’m still making my way through the preface, which provides a summary of Marcus Aurelius’s life. What an awe-inspiring life, from orphan to emperor of Rome, and all the while a humble philosopher. It’s amazing that his meditations have survived through the ages and we can all read them today.

On the writing front, I’ve re-established by weekly writing habit. This update makes 2 weeks in a row of publishing Weekly Updates here on Torrey’s blog. Let’s see how long it can continue. Woot!


Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week! If you like what I wrote, please follow or subscribe. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments, too.


The photo is a brilliant flower which bloomed in our backyard on the day of Chinese New Year. It’s a happy sign of good luck.


 

What Ive learned about Success from social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk

After immigrating to America, Gary built a million dollar wine business, took that business online. Now he runs Vayner Media. Watching hours and hours of keynotes and other content from Gary Vaynerchuk (YouTube) left me with a few key lessons.

Gary says (paraphrasing) “don’t create, document.” What he means is that you don’t need to bother trying to be clever, to be creative. Just document your work, your successes and failures, what you learned. Doing this creates value for people who follow, and anyone else following your journey.

Gary also taught me many other things. Here is a short list.

  • Self-awareness is extremely valuable and unteachable. Know you are, aren’t and be aware of your biases, blind spots.
  • Know your strengths and triple down on them. Don’t chase what other people tell you you should do.
  • Regret is the most painful. Spending time with retirement home residents to reveals this truth. People regret what they do not do.
  • Immigrants have an unfair advantage because they recognize the opportunity that others don’t. Native-born Americans take things for granted.
  • Those who work the hardest create the most luck. Impact Theory host Tom Bilyeu takes this to an extreme: “I will die before I quit. I will outwork you.”
  • Don’t pay attention to people who complain. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos: “complaining is not a strategy.”
  • Don’t use age (or anything else) as an excuse to not learn new technology.
  • Pursue unreasonable goals. Gary will buy the New York Jets when the time is right.