Good morning sunshine!
Inside this Sunday:
- I’m reading about what history can tell us about our story.
- I’m working on ranking on Google, how to host dinner parties and building in public.
- I’m thinking about actions over words to uncover true priorities.
I posted this on Twitter this week.
Figure out a creative pursuit that allows you to put ideas out into the world. Feedback on those ideas will tell you what the world values. Capturing that value will allow you to gain freedom over your time.
Do you agree?
For me personally, this has been the biggest revelation in my work in 2020 – this idea that everyone can be a maker.
If you think your work isn’t high quality enough to release into the world, that’s kind of the point. You need practice. You need to hit publish. I recently spoke with Salman Ansari and he has this helpful reminder about publishing online.
“When you create with high quantity, your process will inevitably yield high quality. Luckily, internet audiences forget your worst work, but cherish and share your best work.”
Case in point: I wrote an article in February about the Japanese concept of Ikigai. I never spent any time optimizing it for search engines. I released it to crickets. Well, I mean a few nice subscribers like you told me how much you enjoyed it. But mostly crickets.
Scroll down to the “I’m Working On” section to see what happened with this article…
Stay safe, and see you in two weeks.
Two weeks ago, it was Oliver Burkeman’s last article for The Guardian.
History and Who We Are
I’m only going to share one article this week because it’s packed with so much wisdom. It’s an abridged version of a 2005 speech by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough.
It resonates with lessons from history that we can, and should, be applying today. Some of my favorite takeaways:
- There is no such thing as a self-made person; our parents and teachers have changed, shaped, helped and hindered us.
- We stand on the shoulders of giants; never forget that.
- Those giants were winging it, just like us. You are capable of more than you think.
- Great teachers love the subject they are teaching; that enthusiasm is contagious for the curious student. If you have a teacher like this, cherish them. If you had one, cherish their lessons.
- We can’t guarantee success, but we can do something better: we can deserve it.
- Two letters from Abigail Adams to her son John Quincy Adams:
- Our character is born through adversity.
- Reflect where you have had greater opportunities of seeing the world and obtaining knowledge than others.
I’M WORKING ON
First Page on Google
I recently noticed an increase in traffic on my website, and after digging into the source, I found out that my article from February on Ikigai is ranking on the first page of Google! It even showed up in one of these modals near the top of the search results.
The fact that it’s ranking for the single word “ikigai” and not some long-tail search phrase is even more mind-blowing.
It proves the theory that if you just keep publishing two things will happen. Your creative output will improve, and it will get noticed.
What can you create and share with the world?
Speaking of publishing, I released another article into the wild on Monday. This was a fun one to write. In researching, I discovered that these two gents, Thomas Jefferson and Immanuel Kant, know a thing or two about hosting dinner parties.
I mean look at this next level spread on a freakin boat.
For the past 6 years, I have been part of a quarterly dinner with 8 friends in which we’ve built a tradition complete with a set of rules, Host Responsibilities, and 69 pages of notes documenting our conversation across 22 dinners.
I took my experiences with this, and added the sage advice of the two gents pictured above to explain why we need more dinner parties to save society.
Building the Flywheel in Public
I was inspired this past week by a handful of friends on the internet to build in public, which I’ve said before is what this section of the newsletter is about. Now I’m taking beyond the walls of your inbox onto Twitter.
What am I building?
It’s an engine for personal growth.
I’ve already received valuable feedback and encouragement from that initial tweet.
I’M THINKING ABOUT
If someone could only see your actions and not hear your words, what would they say are your priorities?
Hit reply and let me know your answer!
This email newsletter was originally shared with subscribers on October 18th, 2020. To receive the latest newsletters twice a month, sign up below!