Marcus’ Interesting Things #3

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last. I had a business trip visiting customers in Chicago and Jacksonville, FL, that kept me busy from morning till night and I didn’t consume much interesting content other than some airplane movies.


Thoughts on Chicago
This was my 4th or 5th time in Chicago, but my first time having a friend who’s a local share more about the city. I met several people this trip that just absolutely swear by the city and love it, which really opened my mind to the possibility that it’s a great city. Some things that make it great …
Great restaurants – I didn’t realize how few good restaurants Vancouver had, until I compared how many good restaurants that Chicago had.
Good burgers – similar to above, but the number of good burgers that can be found in Chicago is just insane. My friend told me that he can think of 20 places that have seriously good burgers. In Vancouver, I can think of Pourhouse, and Uli’s in White Rock. That’s probably it.
Summer – I’m told the summer is just amazing in Chicago. I’ve been there a couple of times during the summer but didn’t notice so much.
Big city, without the cost – It’s one of America’s major metropolitans, but it is still affordable, with great wages, and didn’t seem like people were killing themselves working. Seems like quite a decent place to settle down if you were young, where there is lots of opportunities.

So with that preamble … let me share some interesting things …

  1. The most important truth about hard work, and also reading, that you can find by Tyler Cowen. Which is really just a long quote. But I feel like it is one of the most important lessons in life, which is using compound interest. Compound interest is insanely powerful not only in finances, but lends itself to knowledge, friendships and relationships, career, skill building, it’s a model that can be applied in many aspects of life.
  2. Stop Doing Low-Value Work — a quick reminder, that doing high value work is not only more rewarding, but is necessary for career growth and future career stability and opportunities. Always focus on doing the hard things, and learning new skills, that have high leverage and give you high accountability.
  3. Finding Time to Invest in Yourself — pairs well with the above article. If you’ve never heard of Naval Ravikant, he has some awesome ideas, and some of the best podcast episodes out there. I loved his Tim Ferriss one, while others like the ones he’s on with Joe Rogen, or The Knowledge Project. He also has a super popular podcast series that’s all compiled here on How To Get Rich. For a quicker read, his most popular tweet storm on How to Get Rich.
  4. An Elite Athlete’s Real Life Training Plan — The contents of this article are not what you would expect from the title. Learn how on mother of two daughters, husband, and an author fit’s training for an ultramarathon.
  5. Table Stakes — by, which is a cool fund ran by Brent Beshore, that from what I can tell is trying to be the next Warren Buffett. The fund exists to invest in private businesses, for the long term, where the businesses require an influx of capital, are stable businesses that they understand. The article describes how to unlock growth in a business, in the order of 5 buckets.
  6. Love what you do in front of your kids — If you haven’t noticed, Austin Kleon is one of my favorite inspirations. Being passionate in life, is one of my top, most important “parenting rules”. I think setting an example of a passionate life, that’s worth living, and making that your children’s “normal” is one of the best gift’s you can pass to your children. And you’re making your own life better and more worth living at the same time.
  7. “Here’s the point that I tried to convey to my students: As wealth grows, diversification—and rebalancing—are critical. Don’t get caught up in the herd mentality and invest in what’s being talked about, such as Japanese stocks in the late 1980s or gold in the current century’s first decade. Instead, draw up your own investment policy statement and have a plan to build wealth over time, while still being flexible to whatever life throws at you.” — Mike Zaccardi via If Only. This is a really timely and important quote for me, as I’m figuring out what is my long term investment strategy. I’ll share what my investment system looks like sometime in the future.
  8. How Will You Measure Your Life — this week, a notable business scholar passed, Clay Christiansen. Though I’ve never studied any of his work, this one has always been on my list and it certainly was well worth the short read. I’ll certainly keep it as one of the most important essays to read, and re-read during my life.
  9. Study links 1 type of extreme exercise to reverse aging in the heart — I’m not gonna lie, this article is making me re-think running as a sport, which I’m heavily considering picking up.
  10. Booksmart — Hilarious, great acting, soundtrack was poppin’, and actually really well filmed. Certain sequences were shot really well, my favorite was probably the underwater pool scene. Also, a directional debut by Olivia Wilde. I give it a really solid A-.

Marcus’ Interesting Things #2 – Parents Corner

I’ve read plenty about parenting that has been inspiring my own practices lately. To be more specific though, it’s more about not parenting while parenting … let kids be, make sure their basics are well covered, healthy food, good sleep, plenty of exercise and stimulation, interesting activities, and then generally allowing them to do anything unless it jeopardizes their safety/livelihood.

Letting our daughter jump over these cracks from a height was terrifying as a parent, but she was having the time of her life.
  1. Austin Kleon shares a nice little morsel:

Most parents conceive of themselves as teachers when they would be much better off thinking of themselves as librarians who provide their children with the time, space, materials, and resources to grow into whatever they want to become.

2. Abandon Parenting, and Just Be a Parent
Authors argue to just allow children to explore the world through play and observation. There’s no need for us adults to impose our notions of the world that are largely built on experiences of failure, poor parenting, heart break, hurts, etc. We bring all sorts of baggage from falling, getting hurt, fear of being judged, insecurities about our children’s wellbeing and safety, that we can over-parent or hover over our children, when what really helps them thrive is figuring things out on their own.

3. Kids who engage in the arts feel better about themselves
In The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2019, one of the points is about how kids have more self confidence when they engage regularly in art. Both drawing/painting, but also from reading. This article, in combination of Austin Kleon’s time, space, materials post, has inspired me over the past month to invest way more into all sorts of materials for my daughter to play with. From new blocks, new duplo, paints, markers, the amount of materials and mediums for kids to engage in are endless, and have great benefits for their development.

4. Purchase I’m happy about
Check out Duplo blocks on Ebay if you are a parent looking for a set of blocks. I found all the sets on Amazon are pre-made structures and things, rather than just the generic set of blocks that allow kids to imagine and build whatever they want without instructions. I got 100 blocks for $40 shipped, which is probably double the amount of blocks for the same price as I would get from an Amazon set.

5. New site to order toys from …. has some really awesome toys. I’ve ordered this awesome marble run duplo set (not genuine duplo of course, but great reviews), to add to our duplo collection.

6. This picture from Austin Kleon again, really sums up parenting really well. Yelling, bossing around, and lecturing are not effective ways to speak to your child (Joanna Faber’s book is excellent for alternative methods of communicating). Giving kids choices is a great way to help them develop their own decision making skills, and experience the negative emotions with choosing poorly.

7. Children need to play outside
If you read parenting articles, you will have read tons about how europeans and nordics parent their children (seeing as they are amongst the happiest, and academically strongest in the world). Finland has a different view of what kids should be doing in school, and that includes plenty of outdoor play, even if it’s cold outside. I remember as a child, playing outside, jumping on rocks or ledges, climbing trees, rolling in grass, all of this is physical learning and motor development that also helps how you see the world. I do my best to model and practice going outside with our daughter, often.

8. When is it too cold for toddlers to play outside?
Pairs well with the wall street journal article above.

9. Not limiting screen time for children
First off, to get out of the way, there is no scientific studies that show that there is some sort of optimum screen time. Obviously there are always going to be better ways of spending time, such as playing, or being creative, I think that as parents, we would do a lot better monitoring our own screen time and being a good model of healthy screen use while also being happy and productive without it.