September 2019 Links and Review

Every week, my newsletter subscribers get links to some of the goodies that I’ve come across on the internets.

Here were the goodies that my peeps got their learn on in September.

If you want to get a copy of my weekend learning goodies every Friday, fill out the form below.  That way you can brag to all your friends about the cool things you’ve learned over the weekend.

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Becoming more present – Biggest Lesson of the Month

I developed a new addiction. Escape rooms.

Sadly, Lucy and I have yet to win one 🙁

For those who don’t know what an escape room is. You are basically put in a carefully crafted room in which you must solve puzzles in a certain amount of time to win the game.

Aside from being uber competitive and a completionist, what I found most rewarding with escape rooms is how these games force you to be present in the moment. Cell phones aren’t allowed. It’s just you, the clock, the room, and your team, trying to escape as quickly as possible.

We live in a world where there are an infinite number of distractions that can take you away from this moment here and now, and for the first time in a long time, I felt all those tugs being knocked away. I felt present. I felt focused.

I felt amazing.

It made me reflect on how I could recreate this feeling more in my life, and I struggle. I think if I get better at meditation, I could see this happening, but that is still a work in progress.

What I have found gets me the closest to being as present as I am in this game is spending time with people I care about, as I am less prone to being on my cell. The other time is if I schedule a task in my calendar, but figuring out how to be more in the moment is something that these rooms have made me realize I need to focus on more.

Or I just need to do more escape rooms. Either way 😉

But if you don’t have access to these rooms, I think there are certain principles built within these games that cultivate being in the moment, and we can apply these to our everyday lives.

  • A singular goal

The goal is to escape the room, but we can have goals for everything we do on a daily basis. I’m going to focus on understanding how hydration works. I’m going to pay attention to how my muscles feel when I do these bicep curls. I’m going to give my spouse my undivided attention. Having these goals in mind with what you do may enhance being present.

  • Time constraints

We can only maintain attention for so long. Thus, having a temporal component to the task at hand may help you focus more on the here and now. If you know after 45 minutes of studying this material you can reward yourself with 10 minutes of selfies on the gram, you might be able to stay more focus

  • Distractions are eliminated

The no cell phones allowed rule is a policy I think we (me included) need to enact more. I try to keep my cell on do not disturb as much as possible, especially when I am writing or studying. Rarely will I pull out my phone when I’m with friends and loved ones. Now if I could just figure out how to shut out Youtube, I’d be crushing it.

If you apply these three principles to most of your life, you ought to be more present, and you definitely ought to be in bidness!

How do you stay present? Comment below and let the fam know!


Does Pavlov’s dog hurt?

When you read stuff on pain, you either hear about things like peripheral or central sensitization, but can pain be learned response? Can pain become associated with nonpainful stimuli? This systematic review explores the links between classical conditioning and pain.

Do invasive procedures work?

Sometimes, surgery is warranted, but what about things like nerve ablations or knee scopes? Do these types of procedures help people in persistent pain? If you are wondering, then you’ll love this systematic review.

Here, they explore many different studies that compare sham procedures to conventional, and the results can be quite astounding.

Why you must build out your model

Few have influenced me to the degree that Daddy-O Pops Bill Hartman has, and you’ll understand why with this podcast he did with my dear friend Robbie Bourke.

In it, you’ll get the fundamentals behind Bill’s model, thoughts on variability, loading vs propulsion, and so much more. It is a must listen.

Can you predict injuries?

Uh, no. And it’s probably a waste of time to do so, as evident by the 14 points mentioned in this infographic.

Here, Yann Le Meur goes into detail with many of the misconceptions and misinformation regarding current injury prediction research, and it’s quite fascinating.

Good luck predicting anything when 300 pound dudes are coming after you (Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash)

Hamstring Tendinopathy in a distance runner

It’s nice to see Doug Kechijian back on the blogosphere, this time posting a great case study he did with a distance runner who had hamstring tendinopathy. I think you’ll get some great insight in terms of how intensity is used to get this person back competing at a high level.

Health and Wellness

Hot baths before bed?

Does a hot bath help your sleep game get on fleek? Check out this infographic to show all the surprising benefits that a 10 minute bath before bed can do.


Can’t recover from exercise? Maybe lay off the mouthwash?!?

I found this fascinating study that looked at how important the oral microbiome is to your recovery. They looked at post-exercise blood pressure and compared what happens when you use mouthwash vs not.

Now, it’s doubtful using mouthwash in the morning is going to kill your gains, but it is fascinating to show the interconnectedness of our bodies.

Personal Development

Get stuff done by getting things done

One of my early productivity influences was David Allen, who wrote the phenomenal book: Getting Things done. You’ll find out just how useful this model is by checking out this podcast he did with Tim Ferriss, where he discusses how he built his model, important productivity tips, and so much more. I admire the simplicity of what he has put into place.

My favorite quote from the podcast: “Your head is for having ideas, not holding them.”

Control or worry?

If you watch the news, there are tons of tragedies, unfortunate events, and so much going on daily, what is someone to do? The answer? Ask yourself what you can control by looking at your circle of control.

Don’t know what that is, then you might want to check out this post by Mr. Money Mustache that outlines the difference between concerns and control, and why you should focus on the latter.

Coffee always helps worrying though (Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash)

A financial must-read for millennials

You know the simple financial rules right? Take on good debt, buy a house, live the American Dream. If you are a millennial, think again. This article (thanks, Aline!) shows how these tried and true financial rules may not be the best bet for my generation.

All is not lost though, the author also discusses what millennials can still do to amass a positive net worth. Get ready to invest 🙂

Don’t have a budget? You do now!

One thing I’ve been sorely neglecting is putting a budget together because it’s hella tedious. In an effort to be lazy, I found Personal Capital to solve many of my budget woes.

This software links up with your bank accounts, tracks your spending, and gives you savings goals. There’s also offers of some pretty solid checking and savings accounts. The best part? It’s free. Definitely check it out.

Becoming more productive with attitude!

I absolutely love this no-holds barred book by Dan Kennedy on all things productivity. It’s called No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs, and the tips in this book have really enhanced my productivity and made me WAY less stressed.

While there are specific things he recommends doing (e.g. get a fax machine, you’ll love it), perhaps the most impactful were the simple things you need to do savagely well. I’m talking being punctual and decicive; things we take for granted yet make a big difference in being a worthy professional.

Music and Miscellaneous

Far from Common

So I don’t know if you know this, but Common is easily in my top 5 rappers out there, and may be number 1 after releasing his newest album, Let Love.

What I love (ha) the most about this cat is he has kept being himself on all his albums, rhyming about what’s important to him, storytelling like few in the game, and his creativity is unparalled. Wait until you hear him creatively employ many famous rapper’s names in HER Love (Dilla produced doesn’t hurt any).

Will words really hurt you?

In a time that is super heavy on the politically correct side, it was refreshing to watch Dave Chappelle’s polarizing Sticks and Stones comedy special. I love Dave because he delivery is impeccable and often insightful, and no one is off limits in his content; himself included. Controversial, yet effective.

Ghostface to the rescue

It’s official. The Wu-Tang Clan still ain’t nothin’ to f*uck with, and Ghostface Killah’s new album is evident. One of the best storytellers in hip hop, Ghost pours immense lyricism over some absolute fire beats.

Given Conditioning, Party Over Here, and Waffles & Ice Cream a listen.

Rapsody spittin’ that fire

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Rapsody’s new album, Eve, which showcases her underrated lyrical prowess. A concept album with every song based off an important black woman in our most recent history, I think you’ll be thoroughly impressed if you haven’t messed with her before.

My two absolute favorites are Cleo and Ibtihag.