Author Archive

Watch this to up your softball game

My co-ed softball got off to an 0-2 start this season, mainly because we were rusty as hell. That’s when I remembered those Tom Emanski instructional videos from the 90s. Got to love Fred McGriff’s acting and glowing endorsement.

My fave mother and son combo

There’s a reason why Lili and Kevin Hayes have become my favorite mother and son since 2015. They make me cry (laugh), respond to my silly questions on Instagram, and are a shining example of what I want to be like when I’m a bit older. Thankfully, Adobe Create Magazine put together a behind the scenes feature to learn more about their lives and laugh a little more.

Climate: A New Story [book review]

If someone were to proclaim that *anyone* over 150 lbs is unhealthy, you’d call that person crazy, right? What about adjusting it for age, height, body type? So when we talk about climate change, why do we only talk about carbon emissions? That’s what Charles Eisenstein examines in his book Climate: A New Story.

What’s the gist?

Conventional thinking on climate change focuses exclusively on carbon emissions. Eisenstein makes the case for broader thinking of the Earth as a living, interconnected system of which humans are part of. Our approach should consider the health of the rivers, forests, soils, and animals that also play a large role in climate. We must shift our focus on averting doomsday scenarios to take real, actionable steps that protect the planet.

Should I read this?

Yes. And to be fair, I wouldn’t bother reviewing this if I didn’t think so. I’m confident that the material will be thought-provoking for you. And if you’re into science, this book doesn’t shun that either. There’s a lot of interesting things people study that I never knew about. The kind of stuff I’m sure that mainstream media would ever tell us. Lastly, as you may have noticed, there’s a general media narrative of “we’re completely fucked” when it comes to climate change. This book takes a more optimistic viewpoint and shows us that the Earth is actually pretty resilient and able to regulate itself well if we work with it.

Notable quotes

“Healing on any level contributes to healing on every level.”

“I am not saying that there is never a time for a fight. I am warning, rather, of the habit of conditioned response of addressing all problems this way.”

“When we rely on metrics to make policy, it becomes biased toward the things that we choose to measure, and that are intrinsically amenable to measurement. Furthermore, what gets ignored often corresponds to cultural blindspots and prevailing social, material, and economic practices.”

“Conditions like ADHD, depression, and anxiety often improve or disappear entirely when the individual interacts regularly and meaningfully with the natural world. The healing of individuals, society, and the world go hand in hand.”

“People have a compelling desire to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of society and the planet, but that pressure to earn a living prevents them from doing so. Or they must struggle against economic pressure to do what the world needs most right now. This suggests a malfunction in our economic system, which, ideally, is supposed to encourage precisely those things that serve the world. Instead, it encourages those things that serve the program of growth, domination, and conquest, the Ascent of Humanity. These goals no longer confer meaning and fulfillment to most of the people who serve them.”

Buy on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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Be better at your job in 75 minutes

I’ll admit I was skeptical of the guy, but I absolutely recommend Justin Kerr’s How to Be Awesome at Your Job course on CreativeLive.

Justin shares golden rules that apply to anyone working in an office and teaches strategies to make life easier. Personally, I found the advice about 1:1s with your manager and getting credit for your work particularly useful, but there are also sections on how to deal with difficult coworkers, building a history of trust, and making a case for your next raise/promotion.

Sound good? Give yourself a break from Netflix and invest in yourself. It’s $49 (and you should totally expense it if possible), but the value far exceeds that. For more from Justin, check out his books.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work [book review]

“We don’t have to live that way.” It’s a plea from Sean Nelson’s Born Without A Heart, but also something I like to remember when I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. And it happens to sum up what Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Hansson remind us in It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work.

What’s the gist?
Fried and Hansson believe the modern workplace is a sick, vile, chaotic place. But it’s not beyond salvaging. You don’t have to work at a frenetic pace that creates anxiety and burns you out. Instead you can choose calm (and still be damn successful). They spend the book describing what a calm organization looks like and what they’ve learned through trial and error at Basecamp.

Should I read this?
If you’re interested in breaking the status quo of long workweeks, endless communications, unrealistic deadlines, and more — then yes. If the term “hustle” sounds like a basic buzzword to you — absolutely. While you may not be able to implement everything Basecamp does, I’d be shocked if you can’t do something that your organization and employees will benefit from. Also, if you prefer calm like I do, it’ll give you a nice rubric of what to look for in a future job search.

Notable quotes
Holy shit, lots of them. I went overboard, but…

“What’s worse is that long hours, excessive busyness, and lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for many people these days. Sustained exhaustion is not a badge of honor, it’s a mark of stupidity.”

“In almost every situation, the expectation of an immediate response is an unreasonable expectation. Yet with more and more real-time communication tools creeping into daily work—especially instant-messaging tools and group chat—the expectation of an immediate response has become the new normal. This is not progress.”

“Yes, it’s perfectly okay to have nothing to do. Or, better yet. nothing worth doing. If you’ve only got three hours of work to do on a given day, then stop. Don’t fill your day with five more just to stay busy or feel productive. Not doing something that isn’t worth doing is a wonderful way to spend your time.”

“Open-plan offices suck at providing an environment for calm, creative work done by professionals who need peace, quiet, privacy, and space to think and do their best.”

“We’ve found that nurturing untapped potential is far more exhilarating than finding someone who’s already at their peak. We hired many of our best people not because of who they were but because of who they could become.”

Buy it on:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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