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👋Hello friends, 

Welcome to The Strive Journal, a roundup of 1 - 5 cool things I found and learned this week.

This week, I wrote an article on the mental model of Local Inertia Wells: What they are, how to spot them in your life, and how to focus on things that matter (See #3 for more on this). 

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Let's begin.

1) 30 days of no caffeine

☕ My girlfriend and I are nearing the finish line of a 30-day caffeine-free challenge. It was surprising to me how strong the withdrawal was even though I usually only drink one coffee per day. The first 2 days I had headaches and the first 5 days I was incredibly tired all day. It felt like an elongated jet lag.

Since I passed the withdrawals, I've noticed some intriguing benefits though. It's much easier to fall asleep and my sleep feels deeper, at least I wake up feeling well-rested. Beyond this, my sleep schedule adjusts much quicker (It's much easier to get back to my normal nighttime schedule if I stay up late on the weekends). I noticed this especially if I drank and stayed up late on a weekend night, I wasn't tired for multiple days, recovery was rapid. The only negative has been that I've been missing the morning boost caffeine gives me. Normally, I feel most productive during my morning coffee and I enjoy the state of alertness and focus it offers.

A co-worker (& fellow coffee drinker) asked me today what the experience has been like and I summed up the experience with "At night I'm happy I'm not consuming caffeine, in the morning I wish I was".

Despite the nice boost a morning cup of joe brings, I don't think I'll be rushing back to a daily habit of it. I'll start with one on a Saturday morning and try to hold off until the next weekend. I'll report back if this produces a happy middle ground. The message here is not only about coffee! It's to remind you to ask questions like "What would my life be like without coffee?"

Sometimes we get so caught up in our routine and think it's the only way to go but in reality, we just don't like change. If we give a proper opportunity to a new way of living, we might get surprised. That's why I love 30-day challenges—small commitments to see what benefits might be on the other side. A 30-day challenge is fantastic for eliminating habits:

  • No caffeine
  • No TV
  • No social media
Or adding them:
  • Read 10 pages per day
  • Eat 1,500 calories daily
  • Do 100 pushups every day 

Our instincts will convince us to avoid change and never test potentially better ways of living but we can outsmart them by committing to big changes for small windows of time. Reply to this email if you'd like to give yourself a 30-day challenge and I'll hold you to it! 

2) A question to ponder...

🃏 What are 3 things you wish you enjoyed doing? And why?

4) Local inertia wells

🛢️ SpaceX's mission is to go to Mars.

But kerosene is the standard fuel used for launching rockets, and there is no kerosine on Mars so that forced SpaceX to ask a question no one had asked before, "what if we used methane gas to fuel the flight instead of kerosine?"

And they developed an engine that works on methane, a plentiful resource on Mars. It turns out methane is also a much cheaper resource on Earth, so it drastically reduced refueling costs. NASA would have never considered this because kerosine works, so why pour millions of dollars into creating an entirely new fuel system if the one you have works at achieving your goal? 

This missed opportunity by NASA occurred because they were in a local inertia well. It's when we focus too much on one result and miss out on a broader perspective that could bear much bigger fruit.

And there are wells everywhere. We get so fixated on singular missions and day-to-day performance that we miss out on bigger-picture improvements.

In this week's article, I'll explain exactly what local inertia wells are and how to avoid them.

4) The enduring mystery of Jack the Ripper

🔪 It's October, a perfect time to investigate some spooky stories. This is a one-hour documentary about the murders of Jack The Ripper in London, UK 1888. The video is by LEMMiNO, a fantastic Youtuber who's been consistently releasing better and better content as his experience and audience grow.
The entire channel is a gem but here are a few other mysteries worth a watch:
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