I love stories of hope, stories of normal people getting extraordinary chances. Here’s a great one that I read this morning from one of my favorite jazz journalists, Ted Gioia. A group of local jazz musicians DC had a chance to play with Lester Young, one of the all time greats of tenor sax, during a week in December 1957. Luckily the pianist recorded it so we can all share in theire joy. Here’s the story: tedgioia.substack.com/p/my-favo…

Interested in listening to the music that came out of their week together in Washington? You can listed to all five volumes on this playlist. open.spotify.com/playlist/…

You never know when your chance to be part of something great will happen!

After waiting a long time (software is hard to make!) I finally got access to Readwise Reader. What a great app. Still rough around the edges, but it replaces my RSS reader and Instapaper. Already one of the most used apps on my iPad.

Pick up one new thing each day

One of the best books I’ve read in the last few years is Atomic Habits by James Clear. If there’s one overarching lesson to be learned from it, it’s that small progress (getting 1% better each day) compounds over time to result in big improvement. One of the ways I try and exercise this is through learning one new thing each day. It could be a new word in a foreign language I’m studying, a new strategy from a business article, a new thought from a book, or something interesting that I heard and wrote down.

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100 Days of Writing

The other day I saw an article which mentioned there are 100 days left in the year. What a great time to start a new habit and work towards a new goal. The goal for me is to publish some writing each day. I’m going to spread this out across various platforms. Some will be here on my website, some on LinkedIn, and some on another side project site that I’m not quite ready to talk about publicly (but will soon).

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In my family we’ve recently dealt with some health issues and decided to try eating a gluten-free diet. I can’t believe what a huge difference this makes to how I feel. Night and day. I sleep better and feel less hungry.

Side benefit: most crappy fast food is filled with wheat, so we’re eating at home and bonding over cooking and eating together. It takes some creativity to replace long time favorites, but has been very worth it so far.

Today on Astral Codex Ten there was an excellent post about turning negative statements, specifically Forer effect statements like astrologers and psychics use, into affirmations. Here’s a taste:

Forer statement: “You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations.”

Affirmation: “I’m not weird or ungrateful for feeling dissatisfaction about my life even if it’s going okay.”

The reason the Forer effect works so well on as all is that we assume we are strange or unusual because we have these feelings. Everyone does and they are nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

I was amazed how many of the negative statements I routinely say to myself. Having a grasp on why these negatives are so powerful (and so easy to stick the mind) helps. Having vocabulary to turn them around into a positive statement is even more powerful.

Worth a read!

Quote of the day from James Clear:

“Raise your ambitions. Lower your expectations.

The higher your ambitions, the bolder your actions.

The lower your expectations, the greater your satisfaction.

Achieve more and be happy along the way.”

In Praise of Microfiber Cloths

Yes, this is a silly thing to say, but I love these little cleaning powerhouses. I bought a cheap pack online and put one in each car, one in the front room by the TV, and have one at my work desk. Never have I seen so clearly through the windshield. Never have my glasses and sunglasses been so smudge free. Never have I enjoyed looking at my screens so much now that the dust and fingerprints are gone.

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Life is complicated and often unfair. It still amazes me how consistent happiness can come from doing little things consistently and with love.

Today is the spring equinox. This year feels different for me. Maybe it’s the hope of having some breathing room in the public health world. Maybe it’s the return of sunny, warm days. I feel great today. Grateful for that.