/r/fountainpens is a guilty pleasure and also a delightful curse, in that it creates occasional wants that go against the path of minimalism I have set myself on.
In this case, spurred by the multiple beautiful posts of vintage fountain pens, mostly Western (American and European), I felt it unjust that the much celebrated East was not present more and when I happened upon a batch of vintage Chinese pens, I couldn’t resist.
That set me back 10 items in my desired to rid myself of net 10 possessions per month. Ouch.
Once again, one observation from Goodbye, Things, that you have to just start and things happen from there on, helped me reach a gross of 31 things I have gotten rid of, whether it was donating – the more valuable items – or throwing into the trashcan, for a net balance of 15 fewer possessions once February reached its end.
I read fewer books this month than in January, although none less valuable. On the business front I read/listened to 7 books, not all of which apply at this point and all of which were inspirational:
- finished Eric Ries’s “The Lean Startup”, one book I wish I had read early in my twenties, because its concept of “validated learning” and its Build-Measure-Learn loop could be applied to almost any task in life where there is a progression possible, whether it’s building a startup, a product, or even life’s little things like dating, career, or getting ahead;
- Chip and Dan Heath’s “Made To Stick”, about what makes ideas and concepts sticky, introduced me to the SUCCESs model: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, and Emotional Stories;
- Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to the Epiphany” is the precursor to “The Lean Startup” methodology;
- Tim Feriss’s “The Four Hour Work-week”, even if a bit outdated, needs little introduction;
- Ryan Holiday’s “Ego Is The Enemy” on the other hand feels like the modern-day’s stoic’s handbook.
March is happening tomorrow and it’s my last chance to wrap up the books that will help me pursue my goal of reducing dependency on a single big client and give it shape in creating a separate revenue stream that could provide me one day, soon I hope, with the financial freedom that I so seek.