Getting straight A’s is a horrible trap

Seth Godin is kind of like the modern day King Solomon of business and marketing (referring more to the Book of Proverbs than the Song of Songs).  He has tremendous insight and wisdom, but produces so much content it’s hard to keep up.

For the last couple years I haven’t read any of his books or many of his blog posts, but I really enjoyed a recent EntreLeadership podcast with him.

A couple of quotes that stood out to me:

Getting straight A’s is a horrible trap and if you are pushing and rewarding your kid to engage in compliance and to prove that they can compile, you are starting a pattern that will last their whole life. And I am way more interested in the kid who has learned to solve interesting problems and has learned how to lead.

A widening chasm between curious, interested people who are learning a lot and leading and masses of people who have been seduced into watching more television and are falling ever further behind.

401k Leakage

On average, about 30% to 40% of people leaving jobs elect to cash out their accounts and pay taxes and often penalties rather than leave the money or transfer it to another tax-advantaged retirement plan, according to recordkeepers and economists.

The Rising Retirement Perils of 401(k) ‘Leakage’ – Wall Street Journal

Fortunately, I haven’t had any major emergencies that required me to take a loan from a retirement account, but reading this article does remind me that I need to consolidate all of my retirements accounts.

Goodbye Twitter

I stopped using Twitter about three months ago.  For a few years I was an active consumer of Twitter content, but never tweeted much.  I would religiously log into Tweetbot (both macOS and iOS) and view all the new tweets in my timeline.

Over the last year or so, it became more like a chore.  It was sort of like another inbox.  And the U.S. presidential campaign was exhausting, so I started muting a lot of keywords.

Now that I’ve been away, I don’t miss it.  I sort of miss seeing links to interesting articles, but not enough to lure me back.

Possibly the biggest benefit of mostly avoiding Twitter is that I no longer need to endure inane April Fool’s Day jokes and pranks.

The second biggest benefit is that I no longer need to be involved in the Twitter outrage machine. It’s easy to get caught up with one side or the other, but on Twitter there’s no nuance, so everything is polarizing.

And lastly, it’s nice to have an extra 30+ minutes per day to devote to other activities. Like writing a short blog post…

Goodbye Twitter.

Dylan’s Best Songs

Paste magazine listed the top 42 Bob Dylan songs. Top X lists are pretty silly, but they do make a great headline and are generally entertaining to read.

They left out some of my favorites, so it made me consider which songs are really my favorite songs. Instead of trying to rank his songs, here are my ten eleven favorite in no particular order:

  • Song to Woody
  • It Ain’t Me Babe
  • Tangled Up In Blue
  • Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
  • Workingman’s Blues #2
  • Blowin’ in the Wind
  • Masters of War
  • Like A Rolling Stone
  • The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
  • Desolation Row

Subject to change the next time I listen to a Dylan album.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

A few years ago, I read some blog posts on  The Minimalists, so I was familiar with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, and the minimalist movement in general.

I haven’t paid much attention to the movement for a couple years, but was curious when I saw Josh and Ryan in a trailer for Minimalism.


The documentary is interesting and I enjoyed it, but I still don’t like the term minimalism.

Instead of focusing on minimalism, which seems like a path to rules and dogmatism, I think learning contentedness is more important.  If you’re content with what you have, it’s easier to focus on the important areas of life and end the cycle of excessive consumption.




Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon the documentary Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror created by Murray Lerner.

The film shows footage of Dylan playing at the Newport Folk Festival over the course of the three years during his infamous transition from folk to rock.

It’s a sparse documentary.  There’s no interviews or voice overs.  It’s all concert footage, but the video and sound quality are great considering the age.

I enjoyed it but I don’t really recommend it unless you’re a big fan of Bob Dylan. Otherwise, if you’re interested in Dylan’s story, I highly recommend Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home.