Here is the latest installment of my discussion on the various media items I am consuming.
What am I reading?
I continue to mix and match my Fiction and Non-Fiction reading. I have recently been enjoying several Fiction series and find those as a nice outlet to the everyday grind. I have, however, also continued to sprinkle in Non-Fiction books that I encounter through various blogs, podcasts or recommendations from people that I respect. This month’s entry is one of those Non-Fiction books. I recently completed a book that has been on my list for quite some time. That book is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. This is a book that comes up quite often in interviews that I have either read or listened to. The idea of Grit is not a new one, but the author does a very good job of showing how such “stick-to-it” principles are often what separate success from failure. While reading this book, I could not help but analyze the teachings through the lens of a coach. I have personally coached various youth sports teams and have often marveled at the characteristics that prove one participant to be more successful, even when faced with obvious differing levels of talent. This book helped put those things into perspective. My own son has had mixed results as a youth wrestler. He gets very frustrated when he does not have success, but I have also noticed that his interests are wide and varied and while he wants to excel at whatever task he is performing at the moment, that drive does not often carry over beyond the event itself. He doesn’t seem to have the Grit to put in the extra work and motivate himself when not being pushed by a coach. I have designed programs for him with exercises and drills that he can perform outside of the structured season, but I have not yet been able to find a program that he will stick with consistently. When he reaches an age where a book such as this may be appropriate for his reading level, I may have to have him read it and see if it has any impact on his Grit level.
What am I listening to?
As I mentioned last month, my podcast list is quite long and needs to be trimmed a bit. With this in mind, this month I am highlighting one that I believe I will be trimming and discuss some of the reasons why. One podcast that I have listened to for a while is Journey to Launch hosted by Jamila Souffrant.
I first heard of this podcast after the host was a guest on ChooseFI, another podcast that I listen to regularly. I enjoyed Jamila’s enthusiasm and felt that her background as a certified financial education instructor offered a different perspective on the usual personal finance topics. I quickly went to the beginning and have listened to every episode she has produced. I enjoyed the content and especially her story of trying to build up this blogging and podcasting business on the side while still working a full-time job and raising a family. Her spirit is hard to ignore. Not too long ago, she decided to go all-in on her side business and left full-time employment. This was done at a time when her side business was gaining some momentum. At roughly this same time, however, she seems to have found her voice as a representative of a certain community. In particular she has a strong focus on promoting the stories of Women and Women of Color in particular. Her podcasts have veered more and more away from specific personal finance advice and more toward celebrating members of this particular community. I applaud this and understand that direction but as I am not a member of this particular community, this podcast doesn’t seem to meet my needs any longer. I have continued to subscribe and listen in hopes that it would revert to its roots but at this point, I think I am going to pull the plug. I may check back in at a later date to see if things have changed.
Podcasting (and blogging) is a personal endeavor. A mentor once told me that even though there are many different outlets promoting similar content, your particular voice may speak to someone in a way that others will not. At this point, Jamila’s voice is not quite connecting with me.
What am I watching?
I do not watch much television at all these days. With an extremely busy work schedule followed up by taxiing two very active kids around every evening, there just isn’t much time. I found that once we actually sat down and turned on the television, we would simply default to re-runs of older sitcoms. With this in mind, recently I went about searching for a new show. The entry criteria are that I had to find a show that was at least in it’s second season. I have been burned by investing in a new show only to have it cancelled … (I am still salty about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip being cancelled). Doing a quick search of the various streaming options I have; I came across Scorpion. This was a show that sounded interesting to me when it first came out, but I never watched it and never really thought much about it after that. Then recently, I listened to an interview of Walter O’Brien on the The Tim Ferris Show podcast. Walter O’Brien is a real-life genius who runs a company called Scorpion Computer services, which the show is based on. The interview was excellent and piqued my interest so when I came upon the show, I decided to give it a shot. To date, I have only watched a few episodes of the first season, but I am really enjoying it. I recommend that readers give both the Tim Ferris interview and the show itself a shot.
As always, let me know what you are reading, listening to or watching in the comments. It gives me great ideas on things to add to my future consumption list. I would love to hear from you.