The Recipe for Genius

• 3 min read
The Recipe for Genius

I’m re-designing bits of my website ( and moving my newsletter (to Now that all the framework is set up, I’m going to start transferring over emails towards the end of this week. So, please unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive any emails now. Otherwise, I will be transferring you over to the new site.

I know it’s the weirdest plea in all of newsletter history to ask for un-subscribes. But I want you to love my writing as much as I enjoy writing to you.

If you don’t like my writing, totally cool. Just pretend as we went on a few bad dates and unsubscribe. Don’t worry I’ll understand. It’s not you, it’s me.

If you are passionately in love with me, let’s keep the weekly dates going. Here’s a love letter from me to you:

Embrace Your Lazy

Quote of the Week:

When you look at the lives of people who've done great work, you see a consistent pattern. They often begin with a bus ticket collector's obsessive interest in something that would have seemed pointless to most of their contemporaries…
It's a mistake to think they were "laying the groundwork" for the discoveries they made later. There's too much intention in that metaphor. Like bus ticket collectors, they were doing it because they liked it. - Paul Graham, Bus Ticket Theory of Genius

Tip of the Week:

Question of the Week:

In what ways am I building emotional safety nets? How can I allow myself to feel disappointed?

This Week's Petri Dish

Seed 1:

A  on the brilliance of Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s somehow funny, entertaining, and insightful. If you are interested in telling better stories or just love Pirates check it out.

Seed 2:

A great youtube channel with 4-5 minute videos showing you beautiful cinematography from movies. Here’s the insanely beautiful video documenting cinematographer, Roger Deakins’ genius. I also have a crush on Ana de Armas, so that doesn’t hurt ;)

Seed 3:

A great article from the peerless Paul Graham about how the recipe for genius Spoiler: “If I had to put the recipe for genius into one sentence, that might be it: to have a disinterested obsession with something that matters.”

The incredibly influential and controversial pioneer of filmmaking D.W. Griffith once said, “What the modern movie lacks is beauty. The beauty of the moving wind in the trees.”

D.W. Griffith was trying to say the best movies aren’t just about plot.

He [Griffith] chose to film moments that weren’t strictly related to the story but filled in a kind of texture, making us feel the story rather than simply know it - Melissa Tamminga

I want my newsletters to you to help make your life better. To give you lazy productivity tips, help you become more creative, use philosophy and psychology to make you mentally stronger…all the things you came here for. But I also want to give you the texture.

Sometimes after I watch a great movie in a theater. I will sit silently for a second or two even after the credits are finished. I know everything is made up, but somehow the experience feels so real.

You must have felt this at one point in your life too.

If a friend asks, you can’t describe why it was so profound. You can tell them the plot, but that wouldn’t convey any of its beauty. Certain songs are like this too. The definition of the feeling you get when you listen to the song is the song itself. It’s unique and real in ways you can’t describe. You can’t describe the moving wind in the trees.

I want to show you the moving wind in the trees in my newsletters (and all my work).

I’m not sure if I can,

but I sure as hell am going to try.

Thanks for reading and as always hope you have a wonderful week my lazy,


← Learning How to See
We're All Edward Hopper Paintings Now →

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