The Wisdom Chronicle

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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon

  1. SLEEP “I started reading the research on the relationship between sleep deprivation and obesity about 10 years ago. At first the idea that sleeping less would cause you to gain weight didn’t make any sense to me. If you are sleeping less, then presumably you are more active because you are doing something. You aren’t sleeping. And almost any activity burns more calories than sleeping does. But it turns out that if kids or grown-ups are sleep-deprived, the hormones that regulate appetite get messed up, which confuses our brains in all kinds of bad ways. Your brain starts to say, I’m so tired, I deserve some potato chips / ice cream / candy / cookies / cake / and I need them right NOW.”

Excerpt From: Sax, Leonard. “The Collapse of Parenting.”

  1. WRITE IT “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

— B. Franklin

  1. YOUR TEAM UNLUCKY? “Psychologists have found that people too often attribute success to skill and failure to luck, a bias called self-attribution. We brag about the three stocks we bought that hit it big but dismiss as bad luck the seven that plummeted. We applaud our quick reflexes and driving skills when avoiding a gaping pothole, but when we hit it squarely, we curse the weather, other drivers, and the city (everyone but ourselves). In many aspects of life, we are quick to claim success and reluctant to admit failure. We do the same thing for our favorite team.”

Excerpt From: Tobias Moskowitz & L. Jon Wertheim. “Scorecasting.”

  1. GOOD PARENTING FOR COACH K “I knew I wanted to coach,” Krzyzewski said. “I can’t honestly remember not wanting to coach. I knew I wasn’t a good enough player to play pro ball, but I did think I could teach and I could lead and it was something I wanted to do. But when Coach Knight came to the house and talked about West Point and having a guaranteed job in the army for four years, my attitude was, ‘No way do I want to be in the army.’ ”

His parents felt differently. They thought the chance to go to college for free and then serve your country was about as good as it could possibly get for a teenager whose major aptitude seemed to be for playing a game.

“They would talk in the kitchen after dinner every night,” Krzyzewski remembered. “They knew I was in the next room listening. They would talk in Polish, but there are no words in Polish for ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb.’ I would hear a lot of Polish and then, ‘Mike—stupid’ or ‘Mike—dumb.’ It went on like that for a few nights. The message was clear: they couldn’t believe they had raised a son so stupid and so dumb that he didn’t want to go to a great college and be in the army. Nothing would make them more proud. Where could they have gone wrong?”

Krzyzewski laughed at the memory. “Nowadays, when I hear people say their child has to make up his or her own mind about where to go to college I say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’ If you know things your child doesn’t because you’re older and smarter, you owe it to them to let them know how you feel. If my parents hadn’t done that, I have no idea how my life would have turned out—but it wouldn’t have been like this.

“I knew exactly what they were doing—but it worked anyway. I finally got angry and I stalked in one night and said, ‘Okay, okay, I’ll go. If that’s what you want, I’ll go!’ They just looked at me, smiled, and said, ‘Good decision.’ ”

Excerpt From: Feinstein, John. “The Legends Club.”

  1. DIVERSITY? “Ac­cord­ing to data com-piled by the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Re­search In­sti­tute, only 12% of uni­ver­sity fac­ulty iden­tify as po­lit­i­cally right of cen­ter, and these are mainly pro­fes­sors in schools of en­gi­neer­ing and other pro­fes­sional schools. Only 5% of pro­fes­sors in the hu­man­i­ties and so­cial-sci­ence de­part­ments so iden­tify. A com­pre­hen­sive study by James Lind­gren of North­west-ern Uni­ver­sity Law School shows that in a coun­try fairly evenly di­vided be­tween De­mocrats and Re­pub­li­cans, only 13% of law pro­fes­sors iden­tify as Re­pub­li­can. And a re­cent study by Jonathan Haidt of New York Uni­ver­sity showed that 96% of so­cial psy­chol­o­gists iden­tify as left of cen­ter, 3.7% as centrist/mod­er­ate and only 0.03% as right of cen­ter. (WSJ 4-1-16)
  2. FINE TUNING! “If the Earth took more than twenty-four hours to rotate, temperatures on our planet would be too extreme between sunrise and sunset. If the rotation of the Earth were slightly shorter, wind would move at a dangerous velocity. If the oxygen level on our planet were slightly less, we would suffocate; if it were slightly more, spontaneous fires would erupt.”

Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind (15th anniversary repack).”

  1. RULE OF LAW? “America is a nation of judges and lawyers more than it is a nation of laws.” –Dennis Prager
  2. LIFE-LONG LEARNING “I believe the reason a graduation ceremony is called a commencement is because the process of learning begins—or commences—at that point. The schooling that went before simply provided the tools and the framework for the real lessons to come.”

Excerpt From: Stovall, Jim. “The Ultimate Gift.”

  1. GOALS “How would you like a job where, if you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” – Hockey goalie
  2. MONEY: GOOD OR BAD? “By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress and within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.

Rock stars, actors and actresses, lottery winners? The numbers are all similar. The National Endowment for Financial Education estimates that 70 percent of people who suddenly receive life-changing money are separated from it within three years.

Deeming money “good” personifies it, and the people in our lives simply can’t compete with our relationship with an inanimate object that silently promises to make all of our dreams come true.

Those who think money is inherently bad tend to manage it poorly, straining relationships. Those who “love money” and think it is inherently good tend to strain relationships, deprioritizing the people in their lives. And, by the way, straining relationships also tends to cost money—half of your money, typically.

Meanwhile, those who view money as a neutral tool tend to employ and attract it most effectively.”

Excerpt From: Maurer, Tim. “Simple Money.”

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