☝️ Upwarding #43: Snowflakes, Seinfeld, Routines, and the Problem with being “Helpful”

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Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


As of February 4, we are officially halfway through winter! I hope you are enjoying the snow. Take a moment to look at a snowflake – they really are stunning.

I particularly like this photographer’s work.


Jerry Seinfeld meditates at least twice per day.  In this amazing interview (one of the best podcasts I’ve ever heard), he says he can solve anyone’s problems with a combination of weightlifting and transcendental meditation.


This app feels very “of the times”.  Future gives you a personal trainer who you work with remotely for $5/day.


I just updated my post "High Yield Savings, Cds, Money Markets and More: 7 Conservative Investments That Yield up To 1.1%. (1h2021 Edition) on “ultra-conservative investments”, meaning investments that protect the nominal value of your money.

More than ever, I am reminded how we make horrible decisions to avoid a nominal loss (“If I invest $100 I will never end up with less than $100”), even though we lose what really matters – the ability of our money to buy what we need.  That $100 might only buy you $98 of goods a year from now, so rather than protecting your downside, you are guaranteeing it.  Consider the ULP instead.

Random Thoughts

More from the Seinfeld podcast.  In it Seinfeld states that he’s happier when he’s in a routine.  I believe the value of routines varies dramatically by person: some people thrive on it, others feel constrained by it.

My experience is that routines help me reduce decision fatigue, and hit a minimum standard in most areas of my life without much effort.  For example, by the end of my morning routine, I have checked many boxes for the day around diet (protein shake), exercise (workout), mindfulness (meditation), kindness (bring my wife coffee), and more.

However, I tend to learn the most and have the most memorable experiences when I break my routine (drive to the beach instead of watching TV).  My prescription: add a routine, and then one time in the next couple of weeks break it to get a new and different experience.  Reflect on the difference.


For years I prided myself on being “helpful”.  But I’ve since transitioned that to “supportive” and it has improved my life.  Inspiration from Jordan Peterson who says:

“How do you know that your attempts to pull someone up won’t instead bring them—or you—further down?”

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