What I learned last week (#147): lighter touch

Learned last week: the rock, second brain, question writing, and more!

A weekly selection of what I was reading, drawing, writing, and doing.


Thing I was thinking about this week:

Spend the best hours of your day on the biggest opportunity, not the biggest problem.

FS.blog Newsletter

I read this and got almost the exact same advice from a colleague this week. I am thinking about investing more in a side project but struggling to find the time and the advice was essentially to block off an hour every morning to work on that idea.


Quote I enjoyed:

Before you can look at someone else, you gotta look at yourself in the mirror; because that’s how things get started.

Michael Jordan

Inspiration from The Rock:

Interesting to learn about the background and approach of Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock”.

The Johnson philosophy—fun for them, fun for him—also animates the movies he makes. “It is as simple as it sounds: Let’s make people feel good,” he says. And this goal also determines, to some degree, what he chooses to do in front of the camera: “There are a lot of actors—and a lot of my friends—that utilize the platform of acting to explore their emotional shit. What has worked for me is a lighter touch, as it relates to that. I would prefer not to explore my emotional shit in my movies because for me, that’s my responsibility to go figure out. That’s a lot of sludge. It’s more important to me to impact as many people as possible on day one. I don’t need acting to work out my personal shit. I work it out on my own.”

Dwayne Johnson Lets Down His Guard


Using Roam to aid writing:

I have been thinking about whether I should check out Roam Research for note taking/writing for a while now. This essay from one of my colleagues has inched me closer. I often am writing about a topic and search Readwise, Pocket, and Notion for places where I’ve referenced something and Notion doesn’t create connections automatically like Roam does.

Welcome to my Second Brain, on Roam


How to write a good question:

One of my colleagues shared this article this week on how to write a great question on Stack Overflow (a site for help with software development aka coding questions).

The thing is, this is a great example of how to ask questions and format written requests in general (i.e. via email). Here is my attempt to adjust the formula for any written question:

  1. Write a brief introduction – aka summarize your question right at the outset
  2. Provide a self-contained code example Provide facts (or an example) about the issue/observation (be objective)
  3. Detail the expected results and why I expect those results What is expected/unexpected about the facts that is driving the question? (always assume good intent, describe your perspective)
  4. Add any important notes
  5. Link to any relevant questions/examples
  6. Write a title that summarizes the question

How to write a great Stack Overflow question


What I wrote and drew about this week:


What I did, was reminded of, or was thankful for last week:

  • We had parent-teacher conferences this week which consisted of a seven minute call with both our kid’s school teachers this week. Seven minutes!?!? The calls automatically cut off after seven minutes so essentially there was time for a hello and one question and really nothing else. I’m realizing more now that we’re not part of the school in any way. It feels like our kids live two separate lives: one at home and one with us. The school systems here reinforce this separation. I don’t know how to feel about it yet other that it’s sad and such a missed opportunity.
  • I tried out a co-working space in Glasgow this week (Collabor8te) and it was great. I was actually dreading the commute again (I took the train), and don’t want to be doing it every day, but I could feel a difference in my energy gained through different surroundings and being around real people (not just Slack people). Good stuff.
  • I went out on a solo hike in the Campsie’s. Will share more on this in a separate post. There were no views and everything was wet, but it was still worth it.
  • My wife and I celebrated the fact that 10 years ago we went on our first date! TBT ❤️

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

Comments welcome!