There's a story about the time Warren Buffett gave some career advice to his personal airplane pilot, a guy named Mike Flint. "Make a list of your top 25 career goals," he told Flint. When that was done, he had Flint circle his 5 most important goals. Those, Buffett said, are the goals you're going to pour all your energy into.

"What about the ones I didn't circle?" Flint asked.

"They just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list," Buffett replied. 

I'm wrestling with this a bit right now. Because on the one hand, I read The One Thing during a night of insomnia over Christmas break and I'm like, "YES! ONLY ONE THING FROM NOW ON!" On the other hand, if I were Mike Flint, I would never have been able to circle my top 5 career goals in the first place.  

This week I'm speaking at a boot camp for elected officials in Indiana about what I think is probably the best way to make the most residents happy. (Hint: Improving quality of place.) But I totally get that there will be people there who disagree with me. They have other One Things. 

Then maybe you do what the author Rainbow Rowell recommends: "So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” 

One Thing or a pile of good things? Either way, there are good things happening. That's good enough.
Shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter: My essay on Slate—about what a terrible mom I am for refusing to let my daughter go into college debt—kind of blew up, so that was fun. I also did a few podcast interviews with people I really like: Bad with Money with Gaby DunnNonfiction 4 Life, and Leading Saints. Go have a listen! And while I'm forcing you to do things, go follow me on Instagram too.
7 items of interest
  1. "It’s not more services or offerings as much as it is everyone feeling they are part of the offering: a meal, a ride, a bit of compassion, and help piecing life together when everything falls apart." How a UK program to combat loneliness also dropped hospital admissions. (Why is the UK so far ahead of America in even admitting that loneliness is a thing?)
  2. This guy built a stick library at the dog park and my heart melted.
  3. Why fewer Americans are moving than ever before—and what it means for struggling places. Speaking of which, go sign a petition to help my friend Lexxi's very cool but struggling Indiana town.  
  4. Want to connect with your neighbors? Ditch your headphones.
  5. I adore how the people in this small Quebec town reacted when workers from Mexico started moving in. (Hint: It did not involve a wall.)
  6. My favorite Instagram for small-scale placemaking projects—and how to make them work for everyone.
  7. The couple who sells places. "They regard their line of work as a kind of psychology: counselling for countries, therapy for towns."
xoxo, Melody
P.S.—As always, random bonus material for reading this far: I'm obsessed with this BBC detective show featuring three complex, smartly written female leads (and miraculously written and directed mostly by ladies too). I eat this kind of popcorn literally every single day (the yellow bag is my fave). I found the Scottish word I never knew existed for "hesitating while introducing someone because you've forgotten their name" (tartle; love it). I guess we'll be counting down the days till we're happy again. My friend's spot-on movie review made me laugh. Fantastic thrift-store paintings. 2020 goal: Read at least one book from this list (I've only read 6 so far). Advice I needed. Sorry for the delayed response.
Copyright © 2020 Melody Warnick, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Melody Warnick · 1006 Kentwood Dr · Blacksburg, VA 24060 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp