Louis' Learnings 42 - Real-Life Characters, New Communities, and My Awesome Wagon
A $100 Purchase I Should Have Made 3 Years Ago
Happy Monday from Nashville, TN 🤠
I’ve settled in nicely to my new place in Midtown, Nashville near Vanderbilt’s campus.
Initial impressions are very positive. The city has an overwhelming amount of activity and entertainment options. So far, I’m having a great time here.
Onto the newsletter!
1) On Remembering Names
I moved to Nashville with a relatively small initial friendgroup. My roommate, a few podcast guests who happen to live here, and some scattered bama alumni represent my entire local network. Because of this, I’ve been aggressively trying to meet new people and build a new social life from scratch.
A friend of mine has been tackling the same challenge in NYC. He recently sent me a 200 person iCloud Note of all of the fascinating characters he met from spending his afternoons socializing in Washington Square Park. A few months in the making, his list captured an epic variety of personalities that instantly made me jealous and motivated to follow in his footsteps.
While I haven’t found my WSP yet, I’ve located a few places for high volume socializing: a Jiu Jitsu gym (more on this in a moment), my apartment building’s community coffee machine, and my roommate’s company events.
As someone without natural name memory skills, keeping a list of the people I’m meeting with basic identifiers and context has been massively helpful. The habit is extremely low effort and is already yielding benefits.
First of all, I’m doing a much better job of remembering names. The list is serving its stated purpose.
Second, and unexpected, it has been really helpful for making social plans. I think we all have a habit of forgetting how many people we actually know or could reach out to.
It is the same phenomenon as opening a stocked refrigerator and feeling like we have nothing to eat. We have a full address book, but since its not separated by location, we scroll the full list and end up home alone.
For both the refrigerator and the rolodex, the contents aren’t organized in a way that catalyzes action.
Because of my “who do I know here” document, I have everyone in one place, and can start reaching out down the list to put some plans together.
For the sake of making an arbitrary challenge out of it, set the goal of meeting 50 new people. Use the list to document. Stop forgetting names.
2) Hesitating On Life Improving Purchases
I lived in a 4th floor apartment for all of college and always threatened to buy a wagon for hauling groceries. After any especially large grocery run, I’d wonder why I never followed through on the idea as I struggled up the stairs with strangled fingers and aching shoulders.
After moving in to yet another high-floor unit, I decided it was time to solve the problem once and for all.
This beautiful wagon set me back about $110. I couldn’t be happier.
Do you see that broken bag? The wagon doesn’t care.
Do you see how many bags there are? Wagon DOESN’T care!
One trip. Painless. Can’t believe it took me that long to get out of my own way.
If an item been on the list over a month (let alone 4 years), if you’ve had the idea dozens of times, just buy the damn thing.
Use extra money to solve problems. That’s what it is there for.
Related Recent Great Purchases: Adjustable standing desk, glass tuperware, high-end spatulas, and an abundance of clean sponges.
In writing this, I’m realizing a robo-vacuum/mop is next on the list to be conquered. Updates to come (probably).
3) Starting Jiu-Jitsu
As mentioned earlier, I started training BJJ when I arrived in Nashville.
This pic from my 1st class coincidentally made the gym’s Instagram for social proof.
This is my first foray into the martial arts and it is very quickly revealing how little I know. It is extremely humbling to be a complete beginner, and it is extremely fun because of how many new skills you learn immediately.
Besides cultivating a new athletic/mental challenge, there's one other big lesson here.
Don’t wait for a drastic change in circumstances to catalyze starting.
I’ve been wanting to start BJJ since January but never got around to it.
No excuses, I just didn’t get to it.
There are PLENTY of gyms in Tuscaloosa and Las Vegas where I spent the year up until now. After my first two weeks of training, my only thought was “why did it take me this long to finally start?” While I’m very glad my blank-slate circumstances in Nashville motivated me to join a gym, I’m frustrated that it took that degree of novelty to make a change.
Blank-slate, complete resets in circumstance are too rare of an occurrence to be reliant on as your primary mechanism of personal change. If there’s some desired activity you’ve been putting off for too long, don’t wait for the new environment.
Start immediately. Use an accountability device. Someday might never come.
Content I Humbly Recommend
(1) A Book 📚: Breathe, Autobiography of Rickson Gracie (BJJ Legend)
Binged. Great read. Description from Amazon, “..a riveting, insightful memoir that weaves together the story of Gracie’s stunning career with the larger history of the Gracie family dynasty and the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship…”
(2) A Useful Article 📰 : Wealthfront Career Launching Companies List
Wealthfront annually produces a list of the highest growth privately held tech companies that are early enough stage where new hires will still make a big impact.
Tom Merrick (The Bodyweight Warrior) on nutrition and calisthenics.
Tylah McConnell on midwifery and self-abandonment.
Matt Redler on founding Panther HR and raising $4M.
Thank You For Reading!
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
Until next time,
Photo of the week - El Salvador Edition Launch Party
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch party for the next print issue of Bitcoin Magazine this past weekend.
It was a great way to meet many of the best writers in Bitcoin and learn about important developments in the industry. Look for the magazine in Barnes & Noble!