Circle Three 79 / Catalonia
Happy Super Bowl Sunday. Good luck to the Eagles and my home city of Brotherly Love.
I saw the following quote this week that I felt on a visceral level:
A lot of people hate on running because they’re afraid of running. I used to be that person. I would make fun of it. But deep down I was just afraid of those deep waters You learn a lot about yourself in endurance sports. Running 20+ miles.
After a hiatus from major races in 2022, my roommate and I registered for the Man vs Horse race in June in the smallest town in Wales, Llanwrtyd Wells. I’m excited to get back into the “deep waters” in a familiar way. 600 men and 60 horses run the 22-mile race. A man has only won twice — most recently last year.
If you have any recommendations in London or Wales in June, please give a shout!
brain bites: Psychology & Health
McConaughey’s Houston Graduation Speech
Little Rules About Big Things by Morgan Housel
brain bites: Business & Investing
Disinflation by Scott Galloway
Why Write a Newsletter
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
brain bites: Technology
Why America Should Ban Crypto
Lyric: Catalonia by Vance Joy
brain bites: psychology & health
McConaughey’s Houston Graduation Speech. Matthew McConaughey is a favorite storyteller. He laid out 13 ‘truths’ in his speech that were a helpful reminder to me this week to stay in the process, stay scrappy, and define success for myself.
Video or text versions available.
“The easiest way to dissect success is though gratitude. Giving thanks for that which we do have, for what is working, appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted. We give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocates, creating more to be thankful for. It’s simple, and it works.”
Little Rules About Big Things. From behavioral finance and history expert Morgan Housel, I revisited the list after listening to him on a podcast when he mentioned something from the list:
“Once-in-a-century events happen all the time because lots of unrelated things can go wrong. If there’s a 1% chance of a new disastrous pandemic, a 1% chance of a crippling depression, a 1% chance of a catastrophic flood, a 1% chance of political collapse, and on and on, then the odds that something bad will happen next year – or any year – are … pretty good.”
Preparing for these events individually feels perhaps frivolous, but taking small steps (holding cash in a portfolio, knowing safety protocols, etc) feels like they move the needle while being prepared for the worst, whatever that may be.
brain bites: business & investing
Disinflation by Scott Galloway. A slight departure from his typical cultural commentary, he describes what got us here and how we might think about where we are going
“We were gamblers at a craps table crediting our resilience and daring, while the casino was pumping pure oxygen through the A/C vents.
Anything You Want. Book by Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby.com. I enjoyed the quick read about lessons in entrepreneurship. It’s easy, especially on Twitter, to glorify the entrepreneurial journey, but Derek shows the challenges, heartbreaks, and unexpected joys of the process. In lieu of a full summary, here are a few notes I wrote:
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working. I think the definition of insanity applies here. Starting and growing his business, he didn’t really have a plan, he simply wanted to help and rejiggered things until he got a “hell yes” from clients.
In his first role, Derek found and trained a replacement before he quit. It took him ten years to realize that wasn’t normal! Now he uses it as a lesson: there is a benefit to being naive to the world’s norms and doing things from scratch the way you think they should be done.
Embrace the parts of the process you love, because it’s about the being rather than the having. “When you sign up to run a marathon, you don’t want a taxi to take you to the finish line.” There are processes I love that might not be the most efficient but are where I find flow. I’d never outsource these and am making efforts to refocus on these traits.
Why Write a Newsletter. Thread here. I’m far from a ‘creator’, but my experience writing Circle Three and iterating on its form has been rewarding. It’s free, low-friction, relatively private, and forces me to slow down to develop thoughts and ideas. It also gives people a glimpse into my mind and how that has changed over time.
brain bites: technology
Why America Should Ban Crypto. I have the utmost respect for Charlie Munger — one of the best investors of our time — but find his WSJ Opinion piece myopic. Crypto is larger than America. That’s all I’ll comment on it.
Lyric: Catalonia by Vance Joy
I saw Vance Joy at the Met in Philly this week. We’ve all heard his first hit Riptide, but his new album has some gems that have ukulele and trumpet like Catalonia. Vance Joy’s lyrics carry a depth that comes from many experiences and really wearing your heart on your sleeve — probably a part of why he is the #230 artist in the world.
The Australian grew up in Catholic schools, was a standout professional footballer, and was actually one year away from being a lawyer. I admire his explicit decision to pursue music and not look back.
Music video here.
Hey, Catalonia, I can hear you across the ocean
All the storiеs that we left behind, I trust you'rе my alibi
Hey, Catalonia, I was just getting to know ya
When you stumble down those streets tonight
Just know you'll be on my mind