Hey Penguin: God and Lay's Kettle Cooked Potato Chips + Community, Humility + Cynical About Sitting + Tips For Effective Human Execution(???)
Hey Penguin Week of October 5
Image source: Same as last week. Oyasumi Punpun by Inio Asano.
Hey, It’s Paul, and here’s another edition of Hey Penguin.
Consider this newsletter as evidence that there is no magic lottery ticket.
There is only process.
Oh, right. This isn’t notion. My bad.
From the community
Favorite Reader Comments: Ben’s Gone Missing
“I’m much better at sleeping than I am at writing.”
Moments after I had that thought, this showed up on my Twitter feed.
I’m touched, really. And at the same time, confused as all hell.
For someone to consider my blog worth an expenditure of their attention means the world to me. For someone to direct their neural synapses over to my tiny slice of the 1 billion billion bytes of the internet, well, that’s either a sign of their good taste or a sign that I’m good at convincing people that my writing is worth reading. Does Ben have good taste in blogs? Am I really a good writer? Which one of these questions hides the kernel of truth? I’ve no idea.
Either way, thanks so much for this comment, Ben. It’s much appreciated.
Creativity + Self-Improvement
You’re worthy of this
You’re worthy of this goal. You have this goal, this task, because you’re ready for it.
You weren’t ready before. But now you are. Now the great taskmaster in the sky (God? Grandma?) is looking down at you, saying, in a rather biblical tone, “Thou set thy Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato chips [Salt and Vinegar Flavor] unto my Earth and do something with your wretched life!” (Fig 2.)
(Fig 2: God telling you to set thy Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato chips [Salt and Vinegar Flavor] unto my Earth and do something with your wretched life.)
Are you pursuing this goal late in life? Are you 44 years old, finally sure of your life’s purpose? Do you feel guilty about showing up late to the assignment of your life? Do you harbor guilt over the 43 years you spent floundering around like a fish out of water?
Because you weren’t ready before. But now you are. You didn’t have the psychological wherewithal for it. But now you do. You didn’t have the right kinds of friends, the kinds of friends that leap on any opportunity to assist you, to guide you when times get tough.
You have all of that now. You’re prepared. You’re ready for this. And, should you ever need them (and you will, a lot), you’ve got a good group of comrades to support you.
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
-Buddhist (I hope I have that right) Proverb
(Note: When the student isn’t ready, the teacher appears to be a real pain in the neck).
Not only is it up to you to prevent forest fires, it’s also up to you to prevent yourself from becoming a miserable, wretched ass. The surest way to to become a miserable, wretched ass is to decorate the tips of your fingers with bits of Lays Kettle Cooked Potato Chips (Salt and Vinegar Flavor), ignore God/Grandma, and thus make the world a far worse place than it already is (see: 2020).
You are worthy of this goal.
Cynical about Sitting: The Secret to Getting Stuff Done
The secret to getting stuff done is to move.
I went for 2 runs last week. The first one left me wishing I kept my butt on my Amazon Basics desk chair. But the second one left me with enough energy (or, productivity power) to write the first draft of my psychology research paper and the first draft of this newsletter.
Revelations. Epiphanies. Strokes of insight. The winds howl and the birds chirp to give human beings good ideas. But sitting? All chairs do is allow butts to produce bad ideas. Indeed, no good idea has ever spawned from a buttox resting upon an Amazon Basics chair (they’re actually quite comfortable).
Friedrich Nietzsche was cynical about a lot of lofty stuff like Stoicism and Christianity. But little does the world know that he was cynical about sitting.
“Sit as little as possible. Credit no thought not born in the open air, and while moving freely about.”
-Nietzsche (From Ecce Homo)
Walking is your brain’s way of digesting your thoughts and experiences. Your brain’s stomach is tucked away beneath the bones of your feet.
Person A experiences something.
Person B experiences something.
Both persons spawn a conclusion about the experience. The origins of this conclusion are far too lengthy to list in this one newsletter, but here’s a few.
Beliefs about themselves (both positive and negative)
Color of underwear
How you digest your experiences matter more than what you experience.
Walking is your brain’s way of digesting your thoughts and memories.
New From Paul: Penguin Latte Podcast Clips
Here’s some of clips of the podcast for you to enjoy. Treat these as an audio-visual appetizer before the main course. The full episodes range from 45 minutes long to nearly 2 and a half hours, like a buffet for the creative mind.
“Community is everything”
John Daub: “If you’re a director, if you’re a writer…community is everything. Community is not just there to take from you, it also gives back to you.”
Are you a content creator? Yeah, you are. Don’t argue with me. If you so much as send a text message to someone, you’re sending content. Okay, maybe it’s not that extreme. But a content creator is simply someone who makes stuff and uploads it to the Internet for all the world to see. And that last part, that’s the hardest part — making sure that the entire world (or at least six people) see what you made.
Here’s what John Daub has to say about community and why it’s so important to him.
Humility + Self-Awareness = Confidence
How you present yourself matters. People can pick up on a lack of confidence quicker than they can smell fresh cookies from Grandma’s kitchen.
But the line between confidence and narcissism is thin. Here’s some insight from Shelby Smith on being confident without coming across as an arrogant bastard.
Shelby Smith: “To be confident, we have to be honest with ourselves, first and foremost. The worst lies are the one’s we tell ourselves, right? It’s a combination of humility and confidence.”
From the upcoming Greg Frontiero MEGAEPISODE
This episode is for the crazies, the outliers, the edge-cases, the true fans and ne'er do-wells. It's an episode for the commute home on the way from quitting your 9-5.
It’s the longest episode yet, clocking in at 2:31:21. My goal with the podcast is to enlighten and entertain my guests by having all sorts of highly creative and ambitious people on the show. So bear with me: doing long-form, and sometimes extremely long-form, allows me the time I need to extract out the stories, lessons, and insights for you to apply in your own creative work. Greg Frontiero’s episode is an explosion of story, lesson, and insight. It’s an episode for the weekend, for the long walk on the beach contemplating your direction in life. This conversation changed me. It’s going to change you too, or your money back guarantee (if this was a paid podcast).
Here’s a preview of my upcoming, heavily caffeinated conversation with Greg Frontiero (@SfwGreg), founder of NooWave. I’m stoked to drop this episode and share Greg’s mission to promote optimal mental health and function. Greg wants to make the world a more beautiful place by sponsoring creative people, and to create products that promote wellness and creativity.
PS: Does The Penguin Latte Podcast remind you of the excitement of fresh presents on Christmas morning? If so, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/Itunes. It takes all of 60 seconds (or 120 seconds if you’re feeling extra spicy). By leaving a review, you’re making the podcast 1% better. So, if 500 of you leave reviews, the podcast gets 500% better (if I have my math right). Plus, I love reading all of your juicy comments. Thanks so much!
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