What I’m Reading
Fuck It Therapy – The Profane Way To Profound Happiness – John C. Parkin.
Combining ideas from Buddhism, nihilism, stoicism, Taoism, and minimalism, “Fuck It Therapy” reads like a version of Fight Club Lite, minus the fisticuffs. Parkin, a former London marketing executive argues that the complexity of life and our accompanying thoughts, routines and goals creates our own unique prisons. Saying ‘fuck it” and surrendering to the path of least resistance is a profound, simple and liberating alternative to freeing ourselves from that which does not serve our greater purpose and fulfilment. Over the past few weeks of saying “fuck it”, I’ve found that it really works. Saying fuck it takes the pressure off and puts the small stuff in perspective. Recommended irreverent existentialism for the modern age and a good synthesis of ideas from a spectrum of philosophies and disciplines.
Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business – Gene Simmons
At the opposite end of the self-improvement-genre spectrum is Gene Simmons’ “Me Inc”. I’ve enjoyed Simmons’ previous books, “Kiss and Makeup” and “Sex, Money, Kiss” and enjoy Gene’s conversational writing style and rock-star exploits. He’s amassed a fortune through good old fashioned hard work, determination and marketing savvy. His success speaks for itself. The fact that Simmons is s a former elementary school teacher and never touched drugs or alcohol also resonates with me. The guy pretty much epitomises the American Dream and is the very image of the self-made-man.
This book however treads the same old biographical ground already well covered numerous times in his previous books, speeches and interviews. Simmons blueprint for success is generic, cliched and mired in a mindset more relevant to an era of bell bottom flares and 8-tracks. It’s very much a squeeze every penny, work your ass off 25 hours a day, live at home, forgo the finer things of life, sacrifice your youth, never travel, don’t take vacations, repeatedly try and fail, follow your dreams and maybe, one day, if you’re lucky and lightning strikes you, you might get as rich as Gene too. No thanks. A fun read overall, but nothing we haven’t had already from the already numerous celebrities and gurus selling their personal “secrets” to success.
What I’m Watching
The Odd Angry Shot
With most of the Vietnam War films from the 70s and 80s dealing with darker themes concerning a war many Americans would rather forget, It’s difficult to describe this quirky film about the exploits of Australian soldiers fighting with the SAS in the same Vietnam conflict.
The often repeated cliche about war mostly being “long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror” is the theme writ large in this movie. Most of the film focuses on the day to day monotony of soldiers keeping themselves entertained during the lulls of action and the prevailing camaraderie and shared experience that binds the platoon together. In other words it’s basically a bunch of guys sitting around drinking huge amounts of piss and playing practical jokes on each other while killing the occasional Viet-Cong.
It’s definitely dated when viewed alongside classics like the Deer Hunter, Platoon, Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket, but it’s an interesting look at the famed Australian capacity for maintaining humour in the most dire situations.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Jiro, an octogenarian sushi master, runs one of the most world famous sushi bars in Tokyo. He has committed most of his waking hours to mastering the craft of preparing the perfect sushi. This is a film about mastery. It’s about finding what you’re good at and dedicating your life to perfecting it. As anachronistic a concept as craftsmanship seems in this day and age, the principles and messages contained in this documentary make this compulsory viewing.
What I’m Listening To
Sigma Nutrition Radio Podcast – Danny Lennon
Stumbled upon an amazing podcast called “Sigma Nutrition Radio” run by Danny Lennon. and I’ve been binge listening the fantastic archive of interviews from a range of notable names in the industry. Lennon’s interviews are some of the best I’ve listened to. His questions dig deep, his reflections never meander and there’s a tonne of extractable information that is succinct and on-point. He transcribes all his podcasts, so you can check out the helpful notes contained on his site. It’s seriously one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in a long while and if you’re a coach or serious athlete, do yourself a favour and check it out here – Sigma Nutrition Podcast
Quote Of The Week
“Fitbits are like contemporary tamagotchis where the pet is you.” – some random Reddit thread.
Pic Of The Week
When we used to purchase our music on large vinyl records, the cover art was often every bit as interesting and well thought out as the music. This week’s pics is an homage to the bodybuilders who graced the covers of music from a bygone era.