5 for Friends 11/19/19

Quote:  “Be a practical dreamer, backed by action.”- Bruce Lee
This is the foundation of my life philosophy that captures sometimes big hairy audacious goals sound nice, but they still need to be grounded enough so I know how to take the first step.

Book currently reading: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Late to the game this was a refreshing read of the stoic approach to my own life, that has a modern sensibility, well very plainly states how we care too much about matters outside of our own control.

Article worth a read: Stop using public USB ports
That’s right, according to LA county district attorney advised against using the default data cable to charge your phone at these public ports, due to the risk your data could be compromised.
The silver lining to the doomsaying, the comments section did mention you can always use a charge only cable to ensure no data connectivity is an option.

Small Purchase: By no means is this an endorsement of this specific branch, but I took advantage of finally seeing a chiropractor. There was a chain called The Joint that accepted a walk in who commented on there isn’t so much as an apparent skeletal issue, which is a relief, but confirmed I do sit like a goblin while I hack away on my keyboard.
And for $29 for an assessment and adjustment is just the kind of arb

What am I working on:  One more competition down; Critical Fit put on another great annual tournament at Gett-it where the team I drafted got to experience their physical limits and go beyond, in an obstacle course relay race that was my wildest elementary school dreams. The stipulations of the draft with 5 friends who wanted to captain was to form a team with 1 male and 1 female with less than a year of weightlifting/training experience. Mostly to keep from doing exactly what the top 3 performing teams did which is like gamers optimize teams for the challenges.
Moving on with this team work kick in the next couple weeks the gang will be heading down to South Florida for a December Tough Mudder! So to train I broke down the demands and keeping my training geared towards building explosive pulls and stabilizing.

Warm-up 2min bike
5 Romanian Deadlift
5 Hang Power Cleans
5 Front Squats
5 Push Press

10 Good mornings
10 PVC Windmills
10 Toy Soldiers
10 WGS
10 Cossacks
10 Scorpions
10 Crash Victims
:30 Pigeon
Thruster (5-5-5-5-5)
building E2MOM
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)15min AMRAP
4 Bar Muscle Up
8 Deadlifts (135/95)
12 Alt. Pistols

5 FOR FRIENDS 10/15/19

Quote:  “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And
when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”Joe Namath
There are truly amazing things you can do when you believe you can.

Book currently reading: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Book one of the Farseer Trilogy was on my reading list for a very long time. It has been months since reading a book that reminds me of The Name of the Wind, The KingKiller Chronicles. It is an unfair comparison because the similarities begin and end with it being the narrator telling the story and taking pauses for some omissions from memory.
But I am a sucker for a coming of age story of a bastard trying to find his place in the world.

Article worth a read:  New typeface hides a secret in plain sight
I have a not so secret love for good design. And this goes double for new insights that help special populations. Reading about how designers are going against conventions and working with the Braille Institute of America to create fonts that are easier to read for the visually impaired warms my heart. On the nose naming convention aside, “Hyper-legible” typeface borrows from a smattering of fonts for the visually impaired better distinguish letters, such as “E” & “F” instead of keeping to aesthetic choices for uniformity.

Small Purchase: Instead of a small purchase, a small gesture that had very little cost for me except for sleep was leaving work and cooking dinner for a friend that keeps even worst hours than I do. But, for the costs of ingredients and prep time some tortellini and asparagus made for a great dinner.

What am I working on:  Last week was the beginning of the CrossFit open 20.1 and it was an aggressive time cap of 10 rounds of Ground to Overheads and Burpees reminded that even after 4 months of high volume you work, will not undo 3 years of strongman lifts.
My current aim is to continuing get faster and improve my endurance to be a great allrounder. In the meantime babying my elbow and making sure I don’t reinjure it.

All cost must be paid

Recently I concluded another meeting with a loosely affiliated group of friends; Friends are in every respect brilliant, ambitious and so much accomplished than I. While what I bring is advice from a codec of social science research and recall of several hundred books and studies, like a Mike Ross that was fascinated by psychology instead of law. Also not posing an associate clinical psychologist to assist a hotshot. Is that too meta? I’ve been consuming a lot of caffeine in between meetings and understanding why I have chosen the life of a Salary-man while moonlighting as a performance coach; instead of continuing with my masters… I don’t have a good answer, and it continually feels more contrived with each book on the subject that I read regarding imposter syndrome and Dunning-Kruger effect. Alas, a rant for another catchy title. Mostly because today’s writing exercise is to connect the importance of strategy and why most people even high performer only understand half of it. 
While en route for this meeting over coffee, a former student of mine called with a crisis (met girl, no want to go med school, no away from the girl.) Marshaling my thoughts to address his plight with the empathy he needed and to avoid doubling down on an emotional decision; my infallible advice was instead of a pro/con list asking can you walk me through a timeline of what this change looks like? Okay not so infallible advice, essentially it’s “what do you want? please explain why” Only that’s what people no matter the age need to hear when they feel strongly about anything. My next trick of that afternoon was making another mental shift for the conversation I was walking into; so, with a chuckle and apology for wrapping up a call in my car that crept into my group’s coffee meeting with me, “I forgot how true it was, all cost must be paid.”

We shared a laugh over this mostly because it was said in a joking tone and everything that comes out of my mouth is often a reference to something else. So, an explain came referring to a game we all played a lot, Magic: the Gathering… where a phase in the game is dedicated to accounting for and resolving any ongoing effects. We shared laughs as we nostalgically remembered games narrowly won or lost because opponents or ourselves overlooked some detail during a turn. The real-world equivalent to the upkeep is checking your budget at the beginning of the month: get paid, pay recurring expenses i.e. housing, food, etc, do what you planned with the rest. 
More examples were also made comparing the magic system used in books The KingKiller Chronicles, Stormlight Archives, and alluded to my yet to be written Tao Te Pokemon to highlight no matter how intelligent, ambitious, or connected people can make plans but success and failure often come down to how well the resources were managed. Since it is hard to win the day or save the kingdom when you run out of your competitive advantage at the wrong time. The meaning was clear. Our meeting was all about tracking progress on the monthly and quarterly projects we stated we wanted to accomplish.

Truthfully that day’s mastermind topic came from an epiphany when putting myself in my student’s shoes, and what an instructor explained to me one day. Unexpected costs will inevitably add up and often cause the death of long-term plans. It felt especially true while guiding the conversation with two professionals attempting to change the culture; and, being aware the two share the same habit I have: take on too many projects at once, with whatever is finished get listed as a win, what’s left to be punted until the muses strike again. I would like to say there’s nothing is innately wrong with this hyperactive approach, heck the most prolific thinkers in history admit to a voluminous approach. There is a caveat we discovered while reverse-engineering the process. Without a greater goal, you’re working towards the common thread can be a haphazard grabbing of low hanging fruit gets completed first. Why our alliance of high achievers came together, to keep us accountable and produce more meaningful work. 
After years of taking meetings, the lesson clients have taught me is the struggle to have to abandon an approach that brought in results in the past. Thankfully it also uncovered a more important question: how good are you at strategy? Not just planning, but setting objectives, what to prioritize (and not to prioritize), what resources are available, and how viable or long term is this.

A lot of smart people believe is a Harvard Business Review article their support team reads, not them though, so often I don’t get a call until disaster is looming, too many projects are being juggled, and not enough manpower to get through the unfinished backlog. Why? Because the crucial part of a strategy that was missed is rarely plain so the costs aren’t tangible. No matter your ambition, moxie or skill when taking on an assignment/project these costs add up and eventually will be paid. An important lesson for anyone to learn for students and seasoned managers alike. So I leave you all with a way of thinking comes from spending my work and play thinking of it like a game: Time, money, emotional/mental energy, and often enough physical things from a car or some piece of equipment. These are not worth zero dollars; no matter how reliable your car is or limitless your energy is when you’re young.