The Friday Four—December 18, 2020

Dec 18, 2020 6:01 pm

Hi friend!

Here's your forever-free email I send at 7 am every Friday.

Each week, I send you something cool you can watch, read, use, and listen to.

If you dig it, or if you have any suggestions, reach out to me and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you hate it, cancel anytime. If you hate me, cancel me anytime.

Here's something for you to...

1) watch.

What REALLY motivates us?


By one of my favorite YouTubers, Ali Abdaal.

In this video, Ali gives a captivating and useful review of the book, The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson.

The book dives deep into the science behind why we actually make decisions. We often trick ourselves into thinking we do things for just and noble reasons, but there's always something more lurking behind what we do.

A small example:

The vast majority of people who become doctors do so because it's an incredibly lucrative and prestigious profession. But that's not a socially acceptable justification. So, most people say, "I want to dedicate my life to helping people."

Even if we have selfish motives–which we ALL do–I don't think that's a bad thing so long as it gets us to help others and provide the world with value. I wrote a blog about that very thing in the realm of friendship.

2) read.

This Hilarious Comic Strip Shows How Clients Ruin Web Design Projects


By cartoonist Matthew Inman.

You don't have to be a freelancer or a graphic artist to enjoy this short comic.



By daily blogger, Seth Godin.

This short post makes a case against whining and complaining about things which are out of one's control (one of my pet peeves, if done consistently).

"When whining becomes a habit, we need to continue it, so we begin to interpret events as opportunities to prove that our whining is justified.

And because over time, people hate being around a whiner."

3) use.



I have always been toying and tinkering to find my best possible workflow. After about three years of doing so, I've narrowed down my favorite method:

The Pomodoro Technique

In other words: 25 minutes of work, then a 5 minute break.

That's one Pomodoro. For every fourth one, it's a 10 or 20 minute break.

This technique is the best for getting me into a flow state during deep work–i.e. long periods of undistracted learning, creating or researching.

4) listen to.

Cheryl Strayed: What Success Really Looks Like (It’s Not What You Think)


A lovely little clip from an interview with Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild.

These four minutes of Cheryl discussing how people have a warped view of success and money...they're liberating.

I like to revisit this clip when I'm feeling doubt or uncertainty in what I have (and haven't) accomplished.

Creativity, Inc.


The first-person story of Pixar Animation Studios, by Ed Catmull (cofounder with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter).

I listened to the audiobook and I'm so glad I did. The reader was great. I listened on 2.5x speed and never had trouble following.

There's something in this story for everyone. Without simply repeating my GoodReads review, here's what you can expect:

• The captivating and inspiring journey of Pixar, from an idea to what it is now.

• Valuable and practical lessons on creativity and running a business.

• Methods for consistently improving what you do.

• Entertaining Steve Jobs stories.

• An in-depth look into the creators' processes for building the stories we know and love: Toy Story, Up, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, Bug's Life, and the rest.

What blew my mind the most was that the people who brought us all of these classics...they made a TON of mistakes.

What sets them apart? Their ability to be 100% open with those mistakes, their obsession with universal feedback and criticism, the ability for anyone to communicate with anyone (regardless of position or status), and the company's shared goal of always pursuing improvement over perfection.


Favorite blogs.

Put your phone down and look at me.

One of my favorite blogs I've ever written. It's about the value of our attention.

I experimented with images too. Let me know if you guys like or dislike the format.

Peeing my pants in a Sam's Club

What do you think it's about?

Stupid questions

My response to "There's no such thing as a stupid question."


“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

-Alan Kay

“It’s fun to say the perfect thing at the perfect time. Mic drop. The problem is that then you have to bend over and pick up the microphone. Conversations take more effort but tend to be worth it.”

-Seth Godin

“Craft is what we are expected to know. Art is the unexpected use of our craft.”

-Ed Catmull

Thank you as always for the support, friends! If you enjoyed this newsletter, I encourage you to forward it or invite your friends to subscribe. I hope you all are happy and healthy!

Much love.

Dill 💙