The Curious Letter — Issue #12

Happy Monday!

Welcome to the twelfth issue of The Curious Letter – an occasional collection of fascinating things worth your time – books, podcasts, articles, videos, and more.

If you missed the previous issue, you can find it here.

Today I have for you a Japanese take on how to live a better life,  the CEO whisperer interview, a step-by-step roadmap to building wealth, a glimpse into the mind of the Earth’s richest man, and a few curious links.


? A Book I’m Enjoying

Japonisme: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-Sabi, and More

I’ve picked up this book at the Dubai airport five minutes before the gate was closing. And I’m glad I did.

In this gorgeous little book, half British, half Japanese lifestyle blogger Erin Niimi Longhurst exploring the Japanese art of living a happier, healthier, more thoughtful life. In her own words, she “wants to inspire and provide guidance on ways to enrich and complement your lifestyle through a new lens.”

It’s broken down into three sections:
— Kokoro 心 – the heart and the mind, which includes the concepts of Ikigai (our purpose, what drives us to do what we do), Wabi-Sabi (the beauty of impermanence), and Kintsugi (finding beauty in imperfection);
— Karada 体 – the body, how we nourish it, how we engage with our surroundings, and how we stimulate our minds. It includes the concepts of Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), Ikebana, Tabemono, Ocha, Onsen, Caligraphy, and the Japanese home.
— Shukanka 習慣化 — developing the habit.

The book is filled with gorgeous illustrations by Ryo Takemasa, pictures by the author, and beautifully designed Japanese proverbs, which makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing books I’ve ever owned.

If you are curious about Japanese culture, or a Japanophile like yours truly, or even looking for a gift for someone who is, Japonisme would be a great choice.

? A Podcast Episode Worth Listening

What Got You There with Sean DeLaney — #165 Jerry Colonna – The CEO Whisperer

(Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify)

Jerry Colonna is the founder and CEO of Reboot, one of the world’s most in-demand executive coaches, and the author of the book “Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up“, which I highly recommend.

In this episode, Sean and Jerry talk about Jerry’s routines, his journaling process (he’s been journaling daily for 44 years), how he’s able to deal with chaotic situations, what he’s viewing as the most important pillars of his life, what phrase he uses to guide each day, how he deals with anxiety, and much, much more.

A couple of quotes that caught my attention:

Our job as parents is to leave the world with adults. Our job as leaders is to leave the company with leaders. That’s good work done well for the right reasons.

We believe that there’s a magical land out there where nobody is suffering. And as long as we hold on to that belief, we actually suffer.

What do I believe to be true about being an adult? If you’d have to journal that, and then come back and journal that question a year later, I guarantee you that the answer will be different. And that difference is what’s interesting. Because that’s growth.

? An Article Worth Reading

The ladders of wealth creation: a step-by-step roadmap to building wealth by Nathan Barry

Nathan Barry (@nathanbarry) is the founder of ConvertKit, and one of the most fascinating people I know.

This essay is the one that I wish every person on earth would read.

Nathan takes on a complex subject of wealth creation and boils it down to a series of ladders where the potential earnings increase the higher up each ladder you climb. And since the difficulty increases with each move, each step requires that you learn new skills to overcome new challenges.

The interesting thing is that a lot of people are simply unaware of this concept, and they either don’t understand where to start or jump through a few steps (or even ladders) without the necessary skills that they should’ve learned on the previous ladder.

Nathan believes that building wealth is a skill. A skill anyone can master given enough time and a relentless desire to learn and work hard.

? A Video Worth Watching

Jeff Bezos: The electricity metaphor

This relatively short TED talk from 2003 by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is fascinating not only because of its subject – the comparison of the internet to the early days of electricity and the Gold Rush – but also because it gives us a glimpse into Bezos’ mind long before he became the richest person of the planet.

✨ Random Curious Stuff

  • The oldest company in the world that’s still in business today is over 1,400 years old — Kongo Gumi is a Japanese construction firm that has specialized in building temples since 578 AD – Fast Company
  • Twitter: In this thread, James Clear is asking about the most important ideas or concepts for daily life. And there are dozens of great replies.
  • David McCandless, a data-journalist, and information designer created this infographic that dispels over 50 often-repeated myths.
  • “If we do the right things we’ll make money damn near automatic.” Absolutely love these early Nike principles from a 40-year-old internal memo by Nike’s first director of marketing, Rob Strasser.

As always, feel free to reply with your questions and feedback, and if you liked this issue, please share “The Curious Letter” with a friend or two.
You can send them here to sign up and if you stumble upon anything interesting this week, let me know on Twitter!

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