LFK Thoughtful Weekends 003

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To start of the third issue of this newsletter/series we have Kirkegaard as it is spelled with no use of our Danish characters. Kirkegaard is such an obvious choice for so many reasons. Like me, he is/was Danish and like me he was quite fascinated with philosophy. He can be quite hard to read and some people writing about him gets further into the mess by discussing what his already somewhat cryptic language could mean in the context of his contemporary time etc. That is fine for philosophic circle-jerking but for practical purposes it has no real value. But luckily there are others who feel the same way and instead of further complicating his writing and message, works to deconstruct and extract practical advice from it.

The first article is exactly such a case. It deals with “busyness” and Kirkegaards thoughts on the subject. Busyness has by all means developed into the default state of humans trying to convey importance to the world. Being busy is a badge of honor. You and your time are sought after. Not being busy is like being of no value. Being busy becomes the end-all goal to show in a pursuit that leads nowhere. Busy could or should not be the end goal anymore than being not busy. Being busy is fine if you are busy because you get actual important things done, if you aren’t then being not busy is just as fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either as per se. But as a quote from the article points out:

“The unhappy man is always absent from himself, never present to himself,” he wrote. In other words, obsessing over future goals, and keeping frenetically busy with an eye to some far-off date, is a way of distracting oneself from present reality.

It is not a long read, but sure as hell an important topic. As an entrepreneur I find myself falling into this trap quite often. You can always excuse yourself with being busy, but how often are you really, and how often are you just busy because you have spent too much time pretending to be busy and to little time actually getting important stuff done?

The article: http://qz.com/663552/150-years-ago-a-world-famous-philosopher-called-busyness-the-sign-of-an-unhappy-person/

The second article is perhaps not as much and article as an actual press release, but it still deserves it place – and no I don’t have any shares or economic interests that might skyrocket from the few people who read this 😃

I have always been extremely fascinated by people who dream really, really big and is ready to put their money where their mouth is. In our time one of those who most clearly epitomizes this is Elon Musk. There are others that perhaps has dreamt bigger or achieved more, but just call me naive – in my opinion Elon seems to be one of a very few who does it for the right reasons. There is an honesty about the guy, or a sole candidate who should take all Oscars the next 10 years for straight A performances, if he turns out not to be. There are several amazing documentaries about him and his various endeavors, which everyone of them tells an amazing story. The fact that he in the popular meaning of the word had made it after Paypal and then invested almost all his cash back into Tesla is just beyond belief! Starting Tesla, he left out some cash to keep himself secure, which by all means is understandable. But some years later when Tesla almost went bust – he invested almost all his remaining winnings from Paypal into it. If that is not a leader of a company I don’t know what is.

Oh well back on track to the link I am about to post. It has quite a lot to do with the prospects of dreaming big. As said earlier I really enjoy people who dream big, I love to read about it and I love to be surprised at things I had never thought of myself. This is exactly what I get from reading this press release from Tesla appropriately named “Master plan, part deux.” There are so many aspects of it that will help humanity moving forward. If people make enormous amounts of money of helping humanity then absolutely fine with me! I love this as much as I love space exploration, which will probably be a topic for a future post. I have a theory that big goals help unite countries and perhaps even a whole world. Not having any leads to focussing on unimportant things.

But to the point. Here is the actual press release: https://www.tesla.com/da_DK/blog/master-plan-part-deux?redirect=no

As I have already written almost too many words in my opinion I will end it with only 2 links. But as it is friday(and to cheat into leaving 3 links) I will actually end it with a piece of music. Whether here in Denmark is fabulous at the moment, I had a hard and not that good week, so I need something to kick me in the but and get my mood in check – this fits exactly that mold.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

LFK Thoughtful Weekends 002

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Second installment of LFK Thoughtful Weekends – if you missed the first one or want to read the story behind it is here: LFK Thoughtful Weekends 001

But in short these posts are meant to highlight some articles that has made me think a little extra about my life, taught me something or maybe just made me smile.

Well let’s get underway.

The first one highlights somewhat of a potential problem with our consumer-economy. I guess bringing on this together with the one on basic income from last weeks post makes me seem like more of a socialist than what I would see myself, but as mentioned in that post, my own stand doesn’t matter all that much with regards to what I find interesting in these.

Getting back to the article. It revolves around the right to repair. As you have probably noticed from own or others behavior we very rarely repair and most often just buy new. Repairs are done, but primarily within warranty and once beyond items are mostly replaced rather than repaired. The no. 1 reason for this is economy. Economy from two sides but with one side sort of trying to force the hand, which is what this article revolves around.

We buy new because it is cheaper than having it repaired and our behavior is largely reliant on cost. Company policy almost solely controls this. Within warranty they are “forced” to repair but once we go beyond the warranty, they are not and if you go to a third party to get your item repaired, no money is coming back to the company that made the item. As a lot of these companies try to maximize profits they are of course looking at ways to make you buy yet another item from them once the “old” once runs out of warranty and if they can make the old ones harder to repair they might be able to sway you into buying new instead of repairing.

This of course isn’t the best solution for the earth in general as it leaves a hell of a lot of waste to be taken care of. One way to help this underway would be to become better at recycling, but as this article highlights the right to repair is also a struggle that can go a long way of helping this. So with no further explanation:

The right to repair: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/fight-right-repair-180959764/?no-ist

I love Richard Feynman. I have praised him several times before on this blog and will surely continue to do so in the future. What I really love about him is his aversion of pretentiousness and his ability to see and break down the world into simple understandable terms. If you haven’t already read Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! you should absolutely go pick it up. It is just so enjoyable!

This specific article is on the difference between knowing and understanding. It mentions some passages that are also present in the book. In short Richard Feynman is asked to be on an educational board for grade school that should help decide what should be taught and which books should be used to teach the children. In order to prepare for this he thinks he better read all the available books to see help decide on which to choose. Of course he is the only one on the board who actually did this mammut task, but what he finds is even more amusing. They are all crap! They try to use to difficult language to teach something that could be told way more easily. They try to sound wise without really teaching anything. All pretentious!

As he mentions in the book his father always anchored new knowledge to something already knew and understood. Paraphrasing he tells about his father reading aloud from a book that mentions the size of a tyrannosaurus rex. Which was X number of feet tall. But does that really mean anything. A child could recite this number but then if you asked him would that make it larger than a cat, he/she would have no idea. The facts aren’t anchored to anything. So each time his father taught him something like that he always anchored to something he already knew. The tyrannosaurus rex is X feet tall which means that if he stood outside the house his head would be at the hight of the top of our roof on the house. Well this way of thinking is one of the points of this article, but again I can highly recommend reading the actual book!

Feynman on teaching kids: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2016/07/richard-feynman-teaching-math-kids/

Finally a little piece on something almost everyone has experienced and something that you probably won’t experience relaxing through the weekend – but then you are prepared first thing Monday morning. The topic in question is brain fog. Closely related to procrastination as one usually leads to the other. It is no groundbreaking article on brain fog, but a good reminder as to what can be done while struggling with brain fog. I can personally attest to the recommendation of starting something very simple. Just set out to do a little unimportant thing and before you know it you have done way more than you initially set out for. But I won’t dig too deep into this, it is not that deep of an article but sound advice.

Brain fog: http://blog.trello.com/foggy-brain-4-ways-to-better-leverage-your-off-days/

This concludes the second installment of LFK Thoughtful Weekends. Hope you enjoy it. Have a very good weekend and remember to relax!

LFK Thoughtful Weekends 001

Flowers and beachI have for a while considered starting a newsletter, with the sole purpose of sharing some of all the articles I read through the week. Whether new or old, but all with the common theme of having been thoughtful to me. Made me think about how I conduct my life, made an interesting point or educated me in some way. They somehow have an impact on me, so maybe it will do the same to others or perhaps it doesn’t – only one way to find out. The plan of the newsletter would in other words not be to gain a big following or earn a lot of money, but just sharing the articles I read anyway, perhaps with a few comments on what I found interesting and what you might learn as well.

But as my thoughts of starting the newsletter never really amounted to anything, or at least not yet, I thought I might try to start of with having it as an weekly feature on my blog. Then I can try my way with it and perhaps with time merge it into some kind of newsletter feature instead.

I had some ideas as to how you could benefit from some of my notes and highlights from the articles, but I haven’t yet found a smart way to do this, so for now it will just be a few links and some comments about each from me. I hope it works for now, but please feel free to comment.

I have thought of different names for these features, without it being that important, but ended with an abbreviation of the title of the blog and a bit about the content which resulted in: LFK Thoughtful Weekends – feedback here is welcome as well.

So what kind of content will make its way into these. In short everything I find interesting. As I will try to explain what I found interesting in the article, you should be able to determine whether it will be interesting at all for you or not and whether it is worth the read or not. But content will keep very much in line with the philosophy of the blog, so if you find some of my writing interesting then I’m sure you will like this as well.

My idea is to send it out at the end of the week so that you can save it and read it Saturday or Sunday morning with a good cup of coffee or tea. Semi fresh and semi open to new ideas and inputs.

First of we start with a little reminder to carve out time to see our friends. I suspect almost everyone will be able to recognize the scenario from this article. It actually is quite a lot in line with the last post I wrote here on the blog How to make everyday feel like vacation without quitting your job. The point isn’t so much that you should find time to see all your facebook friends or be best friends with everyone you ever met. There are people you don’t see that often and honestly deep down actually is okay with it, even though you always says to each other that you should meet more often. That is perfectly okay. This is about the ones where you really deep down actually want to spend more time with them – only you can tell the difference. If they fall in the latter category, MAKE time for them. It is always a “bad” time. Days can go on end without it being the perfect timing for both. Make an appointment and stick to it.

Here is the link to the article from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/19/lets-get-drinks

Next one is from Ryan Holiday. It is no secret that I am a big fan of his writing. I have his book The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage standing face out on my shelf. I really, really liked that one. Even down to the simple fact of the printing and materials used for it. It just oozes quality. Also pre-ordered his new book Ego Is the Enemy which I really look forward to receive and read.

Well this link here is a list of common thoughtful advice from Ryan. They are hard to categorize, and I would prefer not to highlight anything particular although I end up doing so. I think this is one of the saved articles with most notes and highlights I ever had. Of course it is also a collection of a lot of old points from him which I liked in the first place, but still a very, very good list. Lets just take a few to make you go and check it out yourself.

“Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

“If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.”

“You have no idea what other people are struggling with. You have no idea what their lives are like. Leave them alone. Judge them not”

The article is filled with things like these, each powerful enough to spend an entire blog post elaborating on, but read it and make your own judgement.

Here it is: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2016/06/29-pieces-of-life-changing-advice-i-collected-by-my-29th-birthday/

The last one perhaps is a bit controversial and a point where I have no clear stance on the matter. But what fascinates me is when people think up big ideas that potentially could change the world. Not just incrementally going a bit more in whatever direction but laying out a totally new map. The core of this idea sure fits that description. It may be unattainable or based on flawed assumptions, but independent on whether I think it is a good idea or not, I like that people dream those thoughts and are willing to test them.

Final article: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-05-02/a-basic-income-should-be-the-next-big-thing

That concludes the first issue of LFK Thoughtful weekends. If you liked it please subscribe, or get back next and see if it still floats your boat and subscribe then.

Good weekend everyone!