Welcome back to Pursuing Progress.
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Greetings from St. Louis, Missouri.
This past week I sat at my desk, blankly staring at the monitor in front of me. There was so much information waiting to be consumed, but I could feel the wheels of my brain slowing down. The monitor was a chaotic mess of financial rules, methods, and numbers that carried no meaning. Looking for an escape, I scrolled through Twitter before I slapped myself back to reality.
There was no other choice.
I had to study.
I had to put my head down.
I had to do the unsexy work.
Midterm season is the busiest time of year for any college student. Alongside other schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and hobbies, the pressure of earning a high score weighs heavily on our shoulders.
As I scribbled in my notebook and went through practice problem after practice problem, I was reminded of a quote from a thread I wrote:
“Sexy is the product of consistent unsexy work.”
As a student-athlete, I’m programmed to do the grunt work. The dirty work. The necessary work. All with hopes that maybe, just maybe, the work will culminate into one sexy moment.
All it took was a reminder from myself to power through the study session.
After 2 weeks, 5 exams, and too many hours spent studying, I finally concluded my last midterm season.
I tell you this story to demonstrate that much of the internet’s beauty is a facade. Beautiful products, strong communities, well-crafted newsletters, are all the result of consistent, hard work behind the scenes.
If you’re in school: reviewing material and asking questions will put you in a great position for an A+.
If you’re an entrepreneur: creating fast feedback loops will spark ideation and iteration.
If you’re an athlete: getting an extra workout in will place you above your teammates.
Make discomfort your default mode. Turn pain into fuel. Do what you know is right, not what is easy.
That is how you pursue progress.
1. Performative Speaking
For those following the inaugural cohort of Performative Speaking, here are some updates:
We’ve completed 3 weeks of classes and will be starting week 4 tomorrow.
The average increase in speaking score over the first half of the course is an astounding 24% (!!!)
2. “You are a slave to everything you can’t say no to.”
I read this quote the other day and it stuck with me. Probably because of my addictive personality. If there’s something I like, I’ll pursue it until I get it.
Some addictions are better than others.
Working out is better than drinking. Writing a newsletter is better than smoking weed.
It’s a gentle reminder to be in control of your life.
Are you the puppet master of your life?
Or are you just another puppet in your master’s collection?
If you are just another puppet, ask yourself: What is my master, and how will I break free?
There’s always a way out. And I’m here to help.
I’ll be going back home for the first time in 2020. Tokyo has been in my heart for the entire year and I can’t wait to be home very soon.
I know many of you have never been to Japan. So I wanted to gauge your guys’ interest of what you’d like to see from me as I spend 8 weeks in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Reply directly to this newsletter or DM me on Twitter with questions on:
I’d love to share a piece of me with you.
In case you missed it:
Remember: You are in control of your life. Be the puppet master of your decisions. Do the hard work, but the necessary work. You’ll crush it.
Send me your questions about Tokyo!
Thanks for spending your Sunday with me. If you’re enjoying this, please share this with a friend.
See you next week.
All the best.