I want to personally invite you to a very special “Mentor Conference” I am holding in Hollywood, my hometown.
What’s even more exciting about this event is that Joel Salatin, my first mentor, will be my special VIP speaker at the event.
This is the first time in history he and I have done an event together.
You don’t want to miss out. You will hear the wit and wisdom of Joel – what has made him a 2 time TEDx speaker, author of 11 books, pioneer in health and grass-fed beef and pastured chicken/eggs, a business pioneer, and one of the most respected thinkers in the world.
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Today’s book-of-the-day is “Folks, This Ain’t Normal – A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World” by Joel Salatin, if you want to order this book from me click here.
When I was still a teenager my mentor Joel Salatin used to tell me, “Tai, nature always laughs last.”
For you to live the good life you’re going to have to understand nature and biology.
I don’t care if you live in a high-rise in Manhattan or one of the hundred million dollar condos I saw in London last month. The laws of nature still apply as much to you today as they did 10,000 years ago.
If you don’t know who Joel is (besides the fact that he was my first mentor), he’s a famous international speaker, who’s done two Ted talks, and has written 10 books.
But most importantly, he’s known for pioneering grass-fed beef and pastured eggs. His Virginia Polyface Farms has had everyone (from celebrities, presidents, even prime ministers) coming to learn from his wisdom.
I was actually just visiting Joel and his family for Thanksgiving last week and I recorded some special videos for you.
Enable your images to see me interview Joel Salatin
The point of his book, “Folks,This Ain’t Normal” is simple. You and I in the modern world are so far removed from biological reality that 80% of the problems we face have nothing to do with flaws in us, per se, but more to do with flaws in the system.
It’s like the Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman talks about in “The Story of the Human Body.” The quickest way to change your physical health (weight, waistline, etc.) is not to rely on willpower, but to change the system and environment in which you find yourself.
So what is Joel saying is wrong with our system?
Why Unconventional Works
1. We grow our food with pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones:
“Our animals don’t do drugs. Instead, we move them almost daily in a tightly choreographed ballet from pasture spot to pasture spot.”
Joel figured out that you don’t have to be locked into the conventional ways to grow food by using chemicals. For example, if you mimic natural systems with your beef cows by moving them around in rotated pastures not only do you get healthier cows but the fertility of the soil increases. That’s a true Pareto efficiency.
2. We’ve become detached from our food and the land that grows our food:
“A farmer friend of mine told me recently about a busload of middle school children who came to his farm for a tour. The first two boys off the bus asked, ‘Where is the salsa tree?’ They thought they could go pick salsa, like apples and peaches. Oh my. What do they put on SAT tests to measure this? Does anybody care? How little can a person know about food and still make educated decisions about it? Is this knowledge going to change before they enter the voting booth? Now that’s a scary thought.”
The average child hardly even realizes eggs don’t come from the grocery store. Or that Velveeta cheese doesn’t come from a can.
The only true path to food security is to know where your food comes from – have a relationship with the farmer who grows your food.
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In the modern world, you are surrounded by generalists.
Jack of all trades.
Being a generalist won’t get you far.
Stop being a generalist.
It’s like Steve Martin says to people who want to break into show business: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
Only when you have deep domain expertise will you be so good that even the haters will be forced to stop and pay attention.
If you remain a jack of all trades you’ll stay ignored.
In “Bounce”, today’s book-of-the-day, Matthew Syed talks about the myth of inborn talent.
I ran across this book several years ago and it’s made its way to my top 150 books that I read over and over again at least once a year.
For Thanksgiving, I visited the Amish and Joel Salatin’s farm in Virginia and I read “Bounce” again on the airplane and recorded a video for you out in the snow by the chickens and pigs.
This book will scare you.
This book will inspire you.
It all depends how you perceive it’s conclusions.
Here are some of the book’s main points:
1. It takes reps and sets: “It is the quality and quantity of practice, not genes, that is driving progress.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the same thing in his autobiography, “Total Recall”. It’s all about reps and sets when it comes to weights. There are a few shortcuts but you still need sheer volume of practice to get good at anything.
And it’s not just the body and weight lifting this applies to.
Ignore all the newfangled books that are being published about how you can bypass sheer volume of practice.
It’s not really about shortcuts, tricks, and the genetics you were born with.
It’s about practice.
2. Your passion quotient: “Every endeavor pursued with passion produces a successful outcome regardless of the result.”
This was the motto of one of the expert coaches that the author interviewed.
At different times in your life, you probably grappled with big decisions: which major you should pursue in college, which diet plan you should follow, which career you should pursue, which person you should date…
And you might’ve been paralyzed because you were concerned about making the right or wrong decision.
But forget that obsolete, black-and-white type thinking.
This book lays out a completely new way to think about those type of decisions.
What if the more important thing is rewiring the neural pathways of your brain?
The key factor is not whether one thing is right or wrong (it’s mathematically impossible to know if one decision was better than the other unless you could live in two alternate, parallel universes and then look back at both decisions outcome).
The key, instead, is that when you do something, do it with intense passion, even if it turns out to be the “wrong” thing in the long run.
At least you will have been training your brain to do something with massive focus, energy, and passion.
You can always pivot and do something else later.
Whatever you do don’t do things half-hearted because then you’re training your brain to be a generalist.
As Samuel Johnson said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
Live in a world where people struggle to really grab hold of anything and take ownership of it.
Warren Buffett was asked for his best career device and he said to do something with passion because: “The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs, you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it.”
A. Know yourself.
B. Select your industry and life’s focus and don’t deviate for a decade or more.
C. Develop deep domain expertise.
D. Reap the harvest and cash in and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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