in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: February 3, 2023

No One Knows Who Their Local Influencers Are. Since I’ve been re-reading Jayber Crow these past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of local communities. I happened to come across this new study showing that most people these days can’t name a person in their local community who is “influential,” like local politicians, business people, and religious leaders. We’re pretty good at naming people who are influential on the national level, though, like celebrities, national politicians, or billionaire captains of industry. Probably doesn’t portend good things for the health of local communities. 

Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire. An upcoming podcast guest, Gloria Mark, mentioned this quiz in my interview with her (look for her episode on attention/focus to go up next week). It’s free and interesting to take and will tell you how much of an evening or morning person you are, when your natural bedtime is, and how to use light therapy (including the specific time you personally should employ it) to shift that bedtime.

The Success Equation. This is a book I think a lot about, even though I read it over seven years ago. It’s also a book I gift young men who are thinking about starting a business or exploring entrepreneurship. Success is a mixture of skill and luck. The trick is figuring out which part of your success you can attribute to either. It’s also where I learned about the “Paradox of Skill”: as your skill level increases, the importance of luck as an outcome in your success increases. Make sure to listen to our podcast with the author, Michael Mauboussin.

Huckberry’s Valentine’s Day Shop. If you’re wondering what to give your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, check out the well-curated selection of his and hers gifts Huckberry has put together in their V-Day Shop. Kate’s favorite item is this Patagonia hoody; mine is the Summit Slipper — I’m in need of a good lightweight camp shoe.

Restless Heart’s “Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right)” is an under-appreciated classic of 1980s country music. The music video for this ode to moral ambiguity is proof. It’s got everything: a catchy song with amazing harmonies, a keytar, pretty ladies giving sultry, searching looks into the camera, that late-1980s black-and-white artsy style, and a drummer who looks like 1980s Sam Elliott. Coming across this video several years ago helped push me over the edge in deciding to grow my hair out.

Quote of the Week

It takes two things to bowl over a tree — a heavy wind outside and decay inside. Much of the moral wreckage is caused by inner cynicism — a disgust with life’s futility, an inability to see sense in it. A person in that mood is an easy mark for the next high wind.

—Art Sisson

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