Culture History

Watched The History of Super Mario Bros 3 100% World Records

Watched The History of Super Mario Bros 3 100% World Records from YouTube

I have no interest in video games but this oral history is told in such a compelling way I kept getting sucked in over what I was reading. For an hour and a half! The amount of research done is incredible. This is the type of cultural record that should be archived somewhere official, it’s that well done. And it’s made by some person funded by Patreon supporters — exactly what crowd funding is meant for, to create niche things like this that probably wouldn’t have been made otherwise.

Getting Shit Done Personal Growth Work

Read What Works

Read What Works: A Comprehensive Framework to Change the Way We Approach Goal-Setting by Tara McMullin

What Works: A Comprehensive Framework to Change the Way We Approach Goal-Setting is not really a book about goal-setting. It’s not a book about achieving anything. It’s a systematic deconstruction of the stories that keep us hustling, striving, and always looking for more. It’s also a guide for reconstructing an approach to personal growth, planning, and productivity once we’ve shed those stories.

Loved this! So much writing about work doesn’t acknowledge the pressures of the system we are in, and how those can influence our priorities and practices in ways that are unhealthy and unfulfilling. This was a full excoriation of the effects of toxic individualism, capitalism, and the Puritan work ethic on our approach to productivity and goal-setting. It offers a framework for digging into the psychological barriers to making progress on what really matters to us, and both recognizing and resisting the draw of conformity to these systems.

“I want to help give structure and meaning to growth based on curiosity instead of achievement.”

“Every day is an opportunity to practice satisfaction rather than striving.”

Comics Personal Growth

Say what you want

Liked 10 Steps to Becoming Annoyingly Capable by Jessica Hagy (This Week’s Top Ten)

Make your allies proud & your haters butthurt.

STEP 3: Talk about what you want. Don’t assume anybody knows what you’re after until you articulate it.

Good business and life advice: don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Say what it is you want.

IIRC We Should Get Together or Frientimacy talked about this in friendships specifically.

STEP 4: Leave what you know. There are no awesome gigs to take in The Shire.

A good reminder for me right now 😉

Getting Shit Done Lifestyle

Who do you give power over your time?

Bookmarked The Imperfectionist: Because the bell rings by Oliver Burkeman (

And so the risk is that a period with the potential to be absorbingly delightful…becomes something to “get through” instead – an obstacle one must get past before “real life” can resume, simply because it can’t be made to conform to how you think your days ought to go.

The more general… point here is that there’s often a deep tension between the desire many of us feel to exert control over our time – because we believe, if perhaps only subconsciously, that something will go very wrong if we don’t do so – and the possibility of actually being fully absorbed in that time. So it’s not really that the Christmas holiday gets in the way of real life. That would be absurd: Christmas is part of my real life, and a part I cherish. It’s my desire to control things that causes the real trouble.

Your family?

Your boss?

Your friends?

Your community?

Wanting to absolutely control our time conflicts with wanting to be part of community, and sharing experiences with others.

Burkeman discusses the conflict between community, efficiency and convenience in Four Thousand Weeks as well. Individualism puts our focus on ourselves and our personal productivity, but can lose us the experience of being part of a whole. When our own goals take precedence, it’s easy to distance ourselves through resentment of loss of control or treat activities as items on a checklist that must be done before we can get back to the real stuff.

(I say this also as someone who believes in setting boundaries with family and not doing things merely to placate others’ demands. So when you do agree to do something, it’s important to commit to the experience with intentionality.)

Entrepreneurship Getting Shit Done

Goal setting considerations

Watched Watch this before you set goals for 2023 ✨ from YouTube

Watch this before you set goals for 2023.

Appreciate this reminder to pace myself in goal setting, and to consider what lifestyle I want and how I want to feel about achieving goals.

Right now I am hoping I have waded through the years of ineffectualness and pushing myself without a break, that I can finally publish the book I’ve been working on for years. Her points about dealing with trauma and prioritizing mental health rings true for me too.

Her explanation of pushing towards goals no matter what makes me think of land nav: you can shoot an azimuth for the destination and scramble cross country on a straight line even though it means climbing straight up a mountain, or you can take the gradual trail that cuts around the slope and is a longer distance but less exhausting and less dangerous.

Self Care Society Work

Transforming ambition

Liked What Comes After Ambition? (

Hustle culture is dead. Did American women’s drive go away, or has it morphed into something new—and maybe better?

For every woman who is burned out after placing too much value on work as a key component of her identity, the task isn’t letting go of ambition altogether. It’s relocating those ambitions beyond the traditional markers of money, title, and professional recognition. Ambition does not have to be limited to a quest for power at the expense of yourself and others. It can also be a drive for a more just world, a healthier self, a stronger community.

Featured Getting Shit Done Meta Personal Growth Reflection

Meta Annual Planning

I’ve looked back through the past year of notes in this mind garden and collated all the advice and ideas from the books I’ve read and articles I’ve saved in three posts:

There are so many tools that are intended to help plan for the year ahead that it feels a bit overwhelming. A friend sent me the Year Compass and someone I follow made Find Your Word and a few years ago I made my own Craft Your Life Planner which I liked when I made it, but now have seen so many other ideas I somewhat suspect it needs to be updated… But that thought leads me to…

If what really works in goal-setting and habit change is being unambitious and changing one small thing at a time… maybe doing a full-life assessment and planning is not super useful? Maybe we should start with a pain point, or one little thing we’re able to do now? Frankly, don’t most of us already know what would make our lives better? (More exercise and more sleep for pretty much all of us 😎 More time with friends is probably the next step.)

Do people come up with dramatic lifestyle changes (that work) out of a long, in-depth self-assessment process? Picking one or two questions to ponder at a time could be a better approach. Maybe this is what I should work through with my health coach 🤔 I liked the question she asked when we met on Monday, how would I like to feel different at the end of the year compared to now, and what one thing could I focus on to help me move that way?

I find it funny that I’m feeling this since I have (Exhibit A) made myself a planner and (Exhibit B) do multiple reviews (albeit with less reflection) and a broad range of goal setting most years.

But, maybe we all do the big burst annual planning because that’s when we have the energy and inspiration for it 😉 And, maybe it’s useful to let ourselves dream? I can also see that the process of introspection can be challenging and emotional, so having a guide or a tool (and limiting it to once a year) can make the process more doable.

Activism Art and Design

Interrogate your motives for creative social justice activism

Bookmarked How to think differently about doing good as a creative person by Omayeli Arenyeka (

A guide to avoiding Creative Savior Complex when working on social impact projects, written by Omayeli Arenyeka and illustrated by Neta Bomani.

Getting Shit Done

Make Progress by Being Underambitious

Watched Why Most Resolutions Fail & How To Succeed by Veritasium from

Common pitfalls of New Year’s resolutions and how I plan to avoid them.

Set super small, unambitious targets so you can build your success. Heard before from Leo Baubata and James Clear but good to have a reminder.

Entrepreneurship Getting Shit Done Personal Growth

Read Hell Yeah or No

Read Hell Yeah or No by Derek Sivers

thoughts around what’s worth doing, fixing faulty thinking, and making things happen

I took my time reading this intentionally and unintentionally. I pre-ordered the ebook when it came out last summer and started reading a bit at a time, but Kindle hardware makes it really hard to access books you didn’t buy through Amazon’s website, so I forgot about it for a while. Then the hardcover came and I started reading it chunk by chunk with a pencil in hand.

Sivers writes these very concise essays that beautifully get to the point in a page, page and a half. That takes skill, to distill lessons and storytelling to such short clips, yet still have valuable things to say, not just aphorisms or repeating the same old thing.

I admire the philosophy behind the book: it is designed for maximum sharing. He sells it for a one-time content charge, then only charges cost on any future paper copies you buy. Each essay in the book includes a short URL so you can share individual essays.

I might have put some of the essays in a different order, myself, to keep similar topics directly adjacent, but many pieces did complement each other well.

Key messages to remember: