Sequencing

Perhaps everything is an enumerated collection of objects in which repetitions are allowed and order matters?

Even when it all connects, discovering how endless sequences relate is impossible for even the most methodic mind. Be it system thinking, design thinking, meta-synthesis, neural networking, or whatever mindset you choose, the intensity of such complexity makes it hard to see how a few things connect, let alone immeasurable members in infinite streams.

Machines can add computed awareness, but the squishy nature of each member within a sequence feels like it will remain a futile enigma that will forever transform based on if, who, what, when, where, why, and how something is being observed.

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Nerd alert, but hopefully you’re smiling because that first sentence and many of the terms I’ve sprinkled in, is how a sequence is defined in mathematics.

The processing power required to source the root connection(s) of every moment would paralyze your thoughts. One reason our brain is awesome, is its ability to deduce answers with limited real-time input, but even the way our brain works is like a sequence of positioned memories that provide reasonable assumptions toward what’s next. This saves time and helps us avoid insanity, but it’s interesting how this type of internal sequencing actually mutes the depth of each sequence.

Enjoy the moment and be a serendipitist, but keep a hint on how each member fits into the length of sequenced sequences (not a typo, haha). This mindfulness brews awareness, appreciation, and understandings from the past. It also adds a lightness to each moment, thanks to the liberation of future elements that are yet to arrive down string/stream.

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Merry Holidays! This year-end tour of seven 1MC communities in just four days, was wonderfully wild. As I shared in our Roasted Reflections Discord server, we’ll also be minting the last 5 tokens in the Roasted Reflections NFT Collection, we’re hosting a nationwide holiday party for active 1MC organizers today, and I’m looking forward to crafting the year-end Twitter thread (example) to highlight my second full year of writing every single week! Whoa, cheers to sequencing, eh

Not to Lose

I’ve been around soccer the majority of my life.

Whether it was traveling with the college team my dad coached as a kid, playing club soccer at an early age, focusing on the sport in high school, playing all through college, or being the product of my first entrepreneurial venture, soccer was a part of my identity for over 20 years. This team sport helped me push to be my best, but the sense of belonging is what made it special.

As I’ve enjoyed the World Cup in Qatar, I’m reminded how easy it can be to get ahead in a match, before slipping into a dangerous trap. Instead of staying sharp by maintaining the offensive pressure that earned an early lead, it’s tempting to start playing not to lose.

In soccer, this often means a team sinks back into an overly defensive formation. Less variety invites frantic desperation and the added pressure often leads to an equalizing goal being scored by the opposing squad. Even if the need for another goal shifts your team back into a more balanced attack, the momentum has shifted.

When applied to business, getting ahead and then playing not to lose can be seen all over the map. For instance, snagging a few early adopters, then assuming customer discovery is over. Hiring new talent, then hoping everyone can work together without initiative. Launching a new product with existing customers, then not supporting them through the chasm of change. Securing product-market fit, then avoiding innovation due to a misguided sense of risk. Finding generous mentors, then forgetting to nurture relationships. Those are just a few, but many leaders are lulled into this trap that’s defined by a sense of scarcity.

Tactics to stay ahead differ based on situational factors, but when in doubt, trust that uncertainty is certain. Be strategic to avoid recklessness, then stay on the offensive by leaning into the pain. As you find fresh ways to serve customers, continue celebrating milestones and stay ahead with initiative to keep building beyond the fear of losing.

Intrinsic

We all have bad days. When they string together, the stress gets heavy. This mental weight becomes especially unwieldy when the cause is unclear. After a couple down days, I went searching for the origin of my cloudy mood.

Along with insight on entrepreneurship, venture capital, and community building, Brad Feld talks a lot about mental fitness. The entrepreneurial lifestyle is a lonely roller coaster and I’m thankful for leaders like Brad (and many others), who have helped destigmatize the complex circuitry between leadership and mental health.

I found this entrepreneurship & mental health series from Techstars helpful, then wove in this 2015 interview to translate my temporary despair. Brad talked about how he’s gone through serious bouts with depression and through those challenging times, he’s been able to identify one of his intrinsic motivations to be perpetual learning. He went on to describe how even when he was busy and perceived to be successful, if boredom began to set in, an isolating absent of joy may soon follow.

This gave me clarity. I realized that one layer of my own intrinsic motivation is also learning. I like being in situations where I’m exposed to new things, thinking about fresh ideas, solving interesting problems, hearing stories from different people, and building into things I really care about. When there’s a lull in the action, it’s easy to think the ride is over. While this thought is misguided and untrue, it’s still disheartening. Mental fitness means something different for everyone, but here are a few exercises I plan to maintain within my practice.

  • Link learning with teaching.
  • Recognize that the storm will pass.
  • Find trusted peers to release tension.
  • Use this stimuli of stress to focus.

Adam Grant reminds us that strength does not come from ignoring pain. It stems from knowing that your past self has hurt and your future self will heal. Within the crucible of entrepreneurship, hardship is inevitable. Radical self inquiry keeps leaders aware of their mental fortitude. Such awareness then helps us maintain and uncover new stepping stones that illuminate our own path to thrive beyond momentary setbacks.

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Calm is one of my favorite apps. The guided meditations and sleep stories are a healthy aspect of my daily routine. Here are 10 ways to boost your mental fitness, a mental fitness training guide, and free mindfulness resources from these focused friends.

Replicants

A friendly futurist and DAO developer within our web3dsm community shared this Ray Kurzweil interview that triggered my continued curiosity toward our neon future.

One tangent they take is interacting with replicants. There’s no single definition for what a replicant might be, but I imagine my replicant to be an artificially intelligent, bioengineered entity that has consciousness rooted in the human (or machine) it originated from. This humanoid would index everything I ever created, map the complexity of my network, understand the difference between internalized vs. externalized thoughts, have empathy for how I matured over time, and gain contextual insight from storytelling to form a foundational identity. This identity would support an operating system with core characteristics, essential rules, and different permission levels to guide autonomous growth.

With seemingly limitless advances in technology, interactions with different versions of our past and future self seem inevitable. We’re already speaking to holocaust surviving holograms, watching monkeys play video games with their brain, growing synthetic realities, and experimenting with nanorobotics. As the bandwidth of technology reaches escape velocity, what’s stopping us from pressing the record button to store every angle from every moment? At that speed, how can the linear evolution of humanity’s intelligence fuse with the exponential trajectory of machine learning? Even when it’s possible, do humans want to extend our lifespan?

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Days feel long, but years fly by.

There are more questions to ask and variables to consider, but as we think about futuristic interactions, how might we reconsider the way we spend our time? Would you live your life differently knowing future generations may interact with your own replicant? I have to think our thoughts and actions would be less careless with such a forward-focused mindset. It would also seem that staying in the moment would be more natural when every byte counts.

With a future that gives humans an opportunity to merge with machines, let’s avoid the numbness of endless distractions as we collectively consider ways to transcend time with purpose.

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“…if tomorrow I wake up and I’m sixty years old,I hope when I look in the mirror and ask have you lived,I look right back and say, “shiiit, you tell me!” -Machine Gun Kelly

Feng Shui

Welcoming the unpredictable forces of life, provides ease and creates space for energizing adaptation. Peace awaits those who appreciate all that is, without worrying so much about all that is not. That said, we know this doesn’t mean everything just falls into place. It takes initiative, consistency, awareness, and sacrifice to find your own version of equanimity.

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It’s not a rainy day. It’s free water.

As I felt the warm wind of this sunset cruise on a glass lake, Kid Cudi mentioned feng shui and got me thinking about this week’s writing. Similar to how one may setup the space of a home to harmonize with nature, we can connect elements of our own career portfolio to feel the universal benefits of feng shui.

The places you visit, the people you’re with, and the art you generously create all connect through you. Over a lifetime, you become an environment for others, and this becomes your legacy. If there’s passion, diversity, intellectual humility, and overall harmony within your environment, your impact on the universe can be serendipitous and my hope is that the way you spend your time, will add up in the end.