☝️ Upwarding #2: Lizard face, Letting go, Consistency, Farmland, and execution vs. results

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter: Issue #2

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This photo has become a running joke in our marriage. Whenever I’m tempted to spend money on something with the promise it will make me look younger (wrinkles, bags, skin, etc), Michell simply says “lizard face”. We all want a sense that we can stall times effects on our looks. Really in the end we can’t.


Here’s a great meditation on letting go by Annemaree Rowley. It’s rated 4.85*, one of the highest I’ve ever seen and for good reason. Set to music, it’s a basic mindfulness breath practice ending with a poem about letting go. Bonus: if you catch the “letting go” bug, take an extra 4 minutes for this gem.


I find it’s easier to do something 100% of the time than 99% of the time. When you do something 100% of the time, it becomes part of your habits and identity, and you take no mental energy processing whether you should or shouldn’t do something.

My friend David decided to start running, every single day, for 15 minutes, no matter what. He lost 22 pounds in a year. Here’s my take on why it this 100% strategy was so successful for him.


Perhaps it was my brief period working for Ray Dalio, but I’m obsessed with the idea of having a bunch of uncorrelated income streams. In other words, income coming from a variety of investments that aren’t dragged up and down by the same external circumstances.

As part of this I’ve become interested in crowdfunding websites. One investment area I’m exploring is farmland, which claims long term returns as high as 12% per year! Two blog posts on the topic. First, how farmland “solves” some of the issues related to owning land. And second, how the hype around farmland returns has gone a little far. BTW, I still invested in an almond farm…

Random Thought

I am extremely impressed with the trainer I work with, Jonny Chai. In fact, I drive from my home in central Marin to San Francisco for 6am workouts with him 1-2 times per week.

Jonny lost 100 pounds through changing his mentality and actions. He helps others get amazing results. Like wildly amazing and inspiring. Check out the pictures on his website – I’ve seen these people in person. The results are real.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve got from Jonny is the risk of putting energy on
measuring results vs. focusing on execution. Here’s a quote from him:

"Don't set expectations on the outcomes or the results you want to see, in the
timeframes you want to see them. Instead, focus on your execution, which is entirely in your control."

Sometimes the scale doesn’t move. Sometimes the number of newsletter subscribers disappoints. Don’t get caught in the emotional whirlwind – just keep executing what you know will work, and the results will follow. Caveat: be sure what you are doing actually works.


“Certainty is the enemy of growth” – Mark Manson.

We are living in a world where it is easier and easier to consume media that agrees with exactly our point of view. The amount of shaming about opinions is reaching a troubling level. If you listen to your news on MSNBC or Fox, try switching it for a week, and keep your emotions in check. Or just speak calmly with someone who doesn’t agree with you. I promise you’ll grow from it…

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