What I learned last week (#77)

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Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“With myself, I have to hold the line. There are areas within myself where I CANNOT compromise. I am going to work hard. I am going to train hard. I am going to improve myself. I am not going to rest on my laurels. I am going to own my mistakes and confront them. I am going to face my demons. I’m not going to give up, or give out, or give in. I’m going to stand. I am going to maintain my self-discipline. And on those points there will be No Compromise. NOT NOW. NOT EVER.”” (Jocko Willink, Discipline Equals Freedom)

The hidden purpose of why I’m listening:

I haven’t even listened to this conversation, but I’ve been thinking about the following paragraph regularly ever since I read it (and plan to listen to the full episode).

I just have this idea that a lot of the time we’re listening for a purpose and mostly that purpose is hidden from us. But if we were to really think about it, our purpose is to win, to convince the person of something, to convince them that, in this case, it’s that they don’t need to be so sad or they don’t need to be so anxious or it’s not really that bad or it’s all going to be temporary or whatever it is, to try and make the problem go away.

I call that listening to win.

Then there’s the problem-solving nature of us and where I was doing this thing where I’m looking for “have you tried this supplement? Have you tried this journaling practice? Have you tried this meditation practice?”

That’s a listening to fix. How can I see your problem and use some of my expertise to make it go away?

And then I think we have to actually really try to listen to learn to go in and say, I don’t have the solution here and I can’t make this go away. So how can I know you better? How can I understand the world that you live in or the problem that you’re seeing in some deeper, richer way? And I think this is a very life giving practice right now and I think it’s a very difficult practice right now. There’s a way it’s more difficult and there’s also a way it’s more necessary.

I think I’m trying to solve way more than I should.

What does defund the police actually mean:

Like many, I needed some help understanding the logic of reducing police budgets. I got some helpful perspective this week by watching the documentary 13th (which came out several years ago).


Highly recommended. Also, the following reading helped me prior to that to understand some of the basic arguments. Like this:

Defunding the police favors putting money into other social programs that continually suffer from underfunding, like public education, public hospitals, public infrastructure, counseling, and social work. In New York City, for example, the operating budget for the police department $5,668,823,000. Comparatively, city services for the homeless topped out at $2,061,776,000 and youth programming had a budget of $872,141,000. Advocates of defunding the police say that city and municipal budgets should reprioritize community resources — many of which could address issues, like mental health and homelessness, that often currently lead to police intervention — instead of spending all that money on law enforcement.

And this:

The research differs from region to region, but overall estimates say that 1 in 4 police shootings are of a person with a mental illness. The ACLU noted, too, how millions of children attend schools that do not have counselors, social workers, or psychologists, but that do have police officers. Advocates for defunding the police say money would be better spent on licensed therapists, counselors, and mental health practitioners, who could address the root of the issue with nuance and expertise before police ever have to be involved.


In boxing, aesthetics don’t count for much:

Interesting background on why more muscle is not necessarily a good thing and some background and history of conditioning in the sport.

Holyfield acquired praise through years of grueling fights, including the 15-round battle of attrition with Qawi. But some ring observers saw a man who was naturally 190 pounds being weighed down by muscle, killing his stamina. Holyfield won fights with intellect and mental toughness more than lung capacity. He’d collected an array of barfighter techniques, hitting opponents below the belt or raking their noses and cheeks with his elbow. And he regularly employed the clinch, leading with his head as he went to hug his opponent.

But the best fighters had both fitness and skill. During boxing’s golden age, championship fighters typically eschewed weightlifting. Jack Dempsey, for example, was known for speed and devastating power, and stayed in shape by jumping rope, chopping wood and swinging a sledgehammer.

Boxers also fought more often. The all-time great “Sugar” Ray Robinson went 11-0 when he first won the middleweight title in 1951, and sometimes fought more than 20 times in a year. The extra activity forced fighters to stay close to their fighting weight between bouts, the matches themselves giving them exercise that could never be properly replicated in training.


The surprising reality of how I feel about the US after being away for a while:

Appreciating Nick Drake:

Quote that I relate to:

Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.

Bob Ross

Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.

Comments welcome!

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