Discover more from The Comma Project by Devin Baker
💡🧐 Curiosities | Round 3
On life's work, compounding, and more
Howdy to the 95 of us, up from 92 last time. I’m so glad you’re here.
I’m back with round 3 of Curiosities - a digestible download of ideas and stories for leaders.
Comma is all about helping fuel leaders along their path - to pull you forward, further, faster.
It’s a space to explore the questions that matter of life, leadership, and connection
Here, I unearth gems of insight on the art of seeking, becoming, and building a life of significance.
Curiosity is our compass, and these gems are our fuel.
I hope you enjoy - and if if you do, I’d be grateful if you shared this with a few people you think would also enjoy it.
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Rick Burhman and Paul Buser on Invest Like the Best, talking compounding & the good life
Find your X, nurture your N…The N is irrelevant unless you find the X first. You have to find the thing.
We talk about Life’s Work…that’s the X.
This conversation deeply resonated with me. These two (Rick & Paul) have an approach to life and work that is deeply soulful.
The conversation dives deep on the good life, and how compounding (the eighth wonder of the world) serves us in all parts of our life, personal and professional.
So much of the language they use as they discuss why they do the work they do and how they do it is the same language I find myself coming to.
Sure, they’re investors, but investing just happens to be the mechanism for their approach to the good life - their why.
I highly recommend the listen, regardless of the work you do.
Listening = inviting the other person to contribute, to say more: "Tell me. How? In what way? What was that like?"
On why recording the audio book was the most challenging performance of his life: "I've already told you why. I'm being myself...It just destroyed me."
An incredibly rich conversation with an incredible man, looking back on his 70 years of life and acting.
They touch on all things creativity, family, relationships, pain and loss, and so much more.
I am so deeply moved by David Whyte’s poetry. Yes, for its beauty, but more-so for what feels to me like truth.
He has this magical way of describing the nooks and crannies of life that just feels right.
I listened to his oration of this poem the other day on a walk, and I’ve included some of the portions that stood out to me.
One of my favorite books is a collection of his work called Consolations, where each poem explores a single word. Even the subtitle itself is stunningly beautiful. “The solace, nourishment, and underlying meaning of everyday words.”
What is worthy of a life’s dedication does not want to be known by us in ways that diminish its actual sense of presence.
Everything true to itself has its own secret language and an internal intentionality with a secret, surprising flow, even to the person who supposedly puts it all in motion.
But a true vocation calls us out beyond ourselves, breaks our heart in the process, and then humbles, simplifies, and enlightens us about the hidden core nature of the work that enticed us in the first place.
A calling is a conversation. A conversation between our physical bodies, our work, our intellects and imaginations, and a new world that is itself the territory we seek.
A vocation always includes the specific, heartrending way we will fail at our attempt to live our lives fully. A true vocation always metamorphoses both ambition and failure into compassion and understanding for others.
Ambition is natural to the first steps of youth who must experience its essential falsity to know the larger reality that stands behind it. But held onto too long, and especially in eldership, it always comes to lack surprise, turns the last years of the ambitious into a second childhood, and makes the once successful into an object of pity.
The authentic watermark running through the background of a life’s work is an arrival at generosity.
I came across this piece in the bathroom at Joseph Leonard in the West Village, NYC.
They have this framed above the toilet. Apparently it gets stolen (frame and all) all the time, even though they offer free copies from behind the bar.
Everything in that bathroom at Joseph Leonard has been stolen. The best is we have a letter written by Roland Bartels (the grandfather of Brian Bartels - my friend, former bartender at Joseph Leonard, current GM and partner at Fedora). It is a great essay on why he likes to write. It is introspective and beautiful. The best part is we have a sticker on the frame that says "Copies Available at the Bar" because so many people have asked for copies. Yet none-the-less we have had it stolen (frame and all) on multiple occasions. It is ridiculous.
Good is no longer an option.
Great is no longer an option.
Different is all that's left. Being unique is not a 'branding decision,' or a 'strategy,' or a 'unique style' you find on Pinterest.
It's a relentless, consuming, torturous pursuit.
Of searching for what makes you you, and, after finding it, turning it into something for everyone else.
Zach has struck a chord with his exploration of obsession.
I recommend taking a look at his stuff. He explores creativity, storytelling, and life’s work, but through a personal lens.
He believes, like I do, that work worth doing is an expression of our authentic selves, not an imposition on it.
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