VRB’s weekly list of things to read, watch, listen to, and try that have helped us live better and be better.
Listen to It Ain't Fair by Aretha Franklin and Duane Allman. What happens when you put the Queen of Soul and a rock legend in the same studio? Pretty good stuff it turns out.
These are two unique Americans singing uniquely American Music. The combination of classic soul with southern rock is like driving west through Mussle Shoals with the windows down. It just feels good.
Watch Inception. I just went back and watched this for probably the 10th time. And every time I revisit this movie, I notice new things that I didn't before. In addition to the complex theme of understanding the mind, dreams, and the nature of reality this movie is visually compelling with incredible cinematography.
At the very least, watch the movie and ask yourself at the end if you really get it. Cue head explosion.
Read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, a book about a young Ernest Hemingway's time living in Paris after the First World War. This book would be incredibly interesting if it only gave you a glimpse into the mind of Hemingway in his younger, beardless, years. This book is legendary because it does not only that but also features his famous contemporaries who were living in Paris at the same time: F, Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and numerous others.
This book sheds light on the fact that Ernest Hemingway was just an incredibly interesting person who led an interesting and full life. And I think that's why partially why he was able to write such compelling stories is because he really lived a truly interesting life.
Try the shot clock technique with work this week. You've heard the Pomodoro technique - Here's my take on it.
Work in 30-minute chunks. Set a clock, a timer for for 30 minutes and work for 30 straight minutes. No checking emails. No checking the phone. Stay focused on the task at hand and literally nothing else. Turn your WIFI off if you have to. At the end of the 30-minute period take a 10-minute break to take a walk around the block or otherwise move your body – preferably outside.
Rinse and repeat until the job is done or up to 4 times through. From there, take a 30-minute rest and start the process over again. You’ll be amazed by how much you’re able to get done in a day when you cut out all the noise.