Digestable #3: Mouth breathers, Teenage daughters, The Elements of Style, and “That Will Never Work.”

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another edition of Digestable, the short, weekly email where I share information, ideas, and what’s new with me. This content was emailed to subscribers on February 6, 2021. Let’s jump in!

Here’s what’s on my mind this week:

  1. The Role of Outdoor Leadership Training in Creating a $250B Netflix. In this recent podcast interview with Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph, he describes how outdoor leadership training equipped him with the skills to start and build numerous companies, most notably, Netflix. Bonus: he addresses how he creates time for date nights with his wife, and hobbies like mountain biking, backcountry skiing, alpine climbing, and surfing. His new book has the best title: That Will Never Work, and I’m inspired to see Marc remains involved with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a board member.
  2. Have you recently developed an interest in outdoor leadership training? Great, I thought you might. The faith-based Explore Outdoor Leadership Program from Prairie College (of which I belong to the Class of 2000!) is running stronger than ever, right here in Alberta, with the outdoor skills being taught at Frontier Lodge. I can hardly think of a better adventure for a recent high school grad.
  3. No more mouth breathing. You probably think you know how to breathe. You’re probably wrong, and according to author and science journalist James Nestor, it is causing you somewhere between significant and severe harm. Snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, allergies, anxiety, even the shape of your face and alignment of your teeth is negatively influenced by poor breathing. I’ve managed my allergy-induced asthma without medication for years using a combination of 1. Deflecting Notley’s (my cat) attempts to cuddle me, 2. Coffee (caffeine helps), and 3. Slow nose-breathing patterns when my breathing is labored, such as: inhale-hold-exhale-hold for counts of 4-4-4-4, or 4-2-6-2.

    You’d be right if you think this sounds like the lead-up to a sales pitch for a new drug, but in this case, the cure is free. His book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art is well-suited to an audiobook format, or, if you’d like a long-form podcast interview to get the gist of it you can hear him on Joe Rogan here, or for an even shorter interview try the 45 minutes interview by Brett McKay. After you listen, you’ll learn the main reason I keep a roll of electrical tape on my bedside table.
  4. The Elements of Style – 1918 edition: Why are top tech companies handing out a 100-year old English textbook like candy? Check out my review of this outdated book that aims to make your writing readable.
  5. Photo I’m fawning over: You need to see this photo of my 13-year old daughter, Adia, shot by the creative Linda Treleaven.
  6. Quote I’m pondering: “There is no such thing as a good idea.” – Marc Randolph (see #1 above). This is a play on the better known phrase, there is no such thing as a bad idea, and the principle behind this twist is that you probably don’t know if an idea is good. Don’t spend too much time planning and analyzing, quickly collide the idea with reality and then refine it until it becomes good. A formula that emerges is: 1. Test the idea by executing the simplest version of it, 2. Make corrections based on the results of your test, 3. Iterate quickly, even at the risk of some sloppiness (gathering results faster is more important than perfect execution). This is the process that turned a mail order DVD sales business into the Netflix we now know.

Thanks again for following along. Should you come across anything interesting this week, please send it my way! If you are enjoying this newsletter, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two.

Yours truly,
Jeff

2 thoughts on “Digestable #3: Mouth breathers, Teenage daughters, The Elements of Style, and “That Will Never Work.”

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