VRB’s weekly list of things to read, watch, listen to, and try that have helped us live better and be better. Brought to you this week by VRB Co-founder Chase Hobby.
Right now, I'm listening to Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy”. It's just a jam. It is super down and dirty blues music, and it is more American than freakin’ apple pie. It is awesome. I'm learning to play it on the guitar. So, I'm jamming out a lot to that. It's mandatory American music.
I recommend you go watch “Top Gun: Maverick”. It's a very nerdy thing to say as a former Navy guy. They took a lot of creative licenses, as you might imagine. But in terms of trying to tell the story of naval aviation, they did a pretty good job of giving the public a feel for the problem sets, the guys in the cockpit are solving for and the cockpit footage was incredible.
Anyway, nerd alert, I've seen it twice. I saw it once in a theater with a bunch of Navy guys and I saw it again with a good buddy of mine, that I used to fly with back in the day, at IMAX in San Diego.
I just finished “Endurance”, the story of Ernest Shackleton and his failed attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. This is the craziest story of leadership, and adventure, and people being incredible.
I mean, talk about a really sh*tty deal. This guy, Ernest Shackleton, is essentially marooned on the moon with no hope of being rescued. Whatever hope you have is to figure out how to get out of this problem. And the probability is that you will not figure it out and you will die in place where you are. Then, compound that with being the leader. Everybody is desperate and doesn't know what to do and then all eyes turn to you. This is beyond a varsity leadership problem. As I was reading this, it was inspiring to try to jump into his mind and figure out how he thought about it, how he acted, and what he did to not only inspire hope, but also to figure out how to organize the men to do job number one, which is stay alive right now, and then keep the hope alive and actually execute on figuring out how they're going to get out of this fix they're in.
They lived and operated as a unit in Antarctica for over a year before jumping in a rickety, tiny boat and essentially trying to find a needle in a haystack by jumping in the boat and then heading to try to get to a whaling station nearly a thousand miles away.
This is an inspiring book for anybody who is a leader, or who would like to become a leader, jumping into these problem sets and really try to put yourself in this person's shoes and say: What if I was in this situation, how would I act? I think there's a lot of goodness to be mined from this book. This is not the last time I will read this book.
I recommend using the Ink+Volt Goal Planner. This planner allows you to work top-down with your objectives, your goals, and your desires for the year. Then you can execute that annual plan by breaking it down across months, weeks, and days, into discrete, quantifiable action.
On a monthly basis, you're prompted to think about what you are going to get done. You look at your annual goals and see what makes sense to try to accomplish this month.And then on a weekly basis, you’re prompted to refresh yourself on what you said that you were going to do this year and think what you can do this week to make those goals happen and write that down on a daily basis.
If you are a person like me who is a glutton for punishment and just wants to jam 10 pounds into a 5-pound bag, this is a smart way to do it. It can keep you organized and keep you on task in such a way that you will find yourself at the end of the year having accomplished almost everything. I've been using this planner for probably seven or eight years now. And this is the one thing that I carry with me wherever I go.