Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wisdom from the Skipper

One of the most impressive people I've ever come across was the CO at my old command. The guy just seemed to excel in everything -- intellectually, physically, logistically, etc. he had it down. I once asked him how he was able to keep up and these were two of the things I remember from his answer:

(1) Don't get caught up in the daily news cycle. If something really huge happens in the world, you'll hear about it. But staying glued to 24/7 cable news mostly means endless stories about the war on cholesterol and whether your child has the newly-discovered strain of Asperger's. It's mindless drivel, and your time is probably better spent delving into something that will actually make you think.

(2) Audiobooks. He mentioned that he got really into these during a period where he was working in DC while his wife and kids were in Hampton Roads. Naturally, he was spending many hours captive in his car traveling along I-95 and I-64, and used the time to listen to a lot of the books he had always wished he'd read but never had the time for. As he put it, "How many times can you listen to the same stupid songs over and over again?"

I wanted to pass this on to readers because I think it's outstanding advice. With the advent of iTunes and Podcasts on the web, it's easier and cheaper than ever to get the material you need to learn while stuck in the car -- no more fumbling around with CDs as you weave through traffic, either.

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