Health: Physically and mentally, this has been the most I’ve ever focused on health. A better diet, a constant exercise routine, daily meditating, two years with no alcohol, and weekly Cross Church services have collectively kept my health as sharp as ever. I still feel like I’m just getting started, though, and I’m excited about where I’m going.
Less: In each area of my life, there’s only a few things needed. Just the essentials in each category. The more I understand what those essentials are, the more my quality of life increases.
Important: I’ve gotten better at understanding what’s important and what’s not. A hierarchy. Not everything is significant, and not everything deserves the same amount of attention, energy and emotion.1
Control: I’ve learned to focus on what I can control, and find peace with what I can’t. Before, I would dwell on things that weren’t up to me. Now, I understand my limitations. I can’t do or fix everything, so that gives me a liberating feeling to put the right amount of energy towards the things I can control.
Change: I’ve learned to embrace the different seasons in life. New job, new interests, new relationships, and new obstacles—It’s all part of the growth for the following season. What protects us in the winter, hurts us in the summer, so don’t avoid the changes, just flow with them.
Life is filled with scare-tactics, and if we’re not careful, something minor can seem severe, and something that’s insignificant can become a barrier in the way of the things we really want. This is an area of my life that continues to improve each year.↩
12 years ago, for Mother’s Day, I released this song. I’ve released hundreds of songs since then, but this is the one she continues to show her friends.
The older me tells the younger me that his talent will develop tremendously after this song. But the younger me replies to the older me, “Talent doesn’t trump time, and your mom considers this song timeless.”
This email is a new structure for me that fits my style of writing a lot more (Ulysses sheets, separated on my end, and then connected on your end when they arrive in your inbox). I’m hoping these little details are welcomed. Let me know what you think, and as always, reply to this email to say hello.
Collect. Process. Plan. Do.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” — Albert Einstein
Write down everything on your mind, decide what to do with each item, plan out your week with what’s most important each day, then start doing them. Repeat.
A friend of mine told me she wants to ‘do more and not settle’, so I wrote something to help her.
I started a new job recently, I discussed it, and the end of retail here. I attended the Louisiana Labor Summit last month, and took a bunch of pictures while I was there. I’ll also be traveling to Indianapolis in May, and Galveston in June, so expect more photoblogs for those.
I went hiking last weekend, and I took some pictures of our trip. I have three more trips planned in the next few weeks, so expect pictures from those too.
I made a page for all of my favorite things to watch, broken down by each year. I kept the page as simple as possible: I didn’t explain where the show is playing, or a link to get to it—just a simple list of my favorites. Highly recommend these.
I’ve slowly been removing social networks from my life, so if you’re subscribed to my mailing list, congrats! You’ve just received a one-time complimentary upgrade. This (the email and my blog) is simple compared to the alternatives. It’s the most personal and direct way for me to reach out to you, and I’m constantly thinking about how to include you in the process.
I blog daily, but not everything needs to be brought to your attention (unless you directly visit nashp.com).
Social networks feel like a dumpster fire now (or a burning house), and we’re all on the outside looking in, roasting marshmallows that’s attached to coat hangers, wondering where our friends will end up next.
If you’re fed up with whatever social book you’re on, maybe you should have a little blog too. Let me know by picking a date on my schedule, and I’ll help you set up one in no time. We all deserve our own little space on the internet, nothing too big or loud, but it’s ours.
As most of you know, I’ve followed Chris Paul since the beginning of his career—with New Orleans, with the Clippers, and now with the Rockets. This has been by far the best team he’s been on, thanks to James Harden and the innovative system that coach Mike D’Antoni has implemented.
Before the season started, I shared my thoughts about them as a team, and just recently, I concluded my thoughts for the season. They’re now the favorites to make it to the finals, even though many predict them to still lose to the Warriors. Basically, this could finally be the year for Chris Paul to win a championship.
“You only really learn when you’re surprised. Unless you’re surprised, everything is fitting into your existing thought patterns. So to get smarter, you need to get surprised, think in new ways, and deeply understand different perspectives.” — Derek Sivers
J.Cole just released his new album, titled KOD (Apple Music). What I like most about his last few projects is how tight they feel. They’re focused, and they don’t waste the listener’s time. It’s what I loved about Forest Hills Drive, and this one is no different.
It’s rumored that he made this project in only two weeks, and it shows: he had an idea for a great concept, and he ran with it. That concept: attack the mentality of addictions and escapism.
This concept hits home for me: through family addictions, through phone addiction, and through overcoming lifestyles that are normal to everyone else, but knowing that there’s better options out there.
It’s 12 songs, but—with intro, outro (which is actually the intro to his next album), and interludes—it’s much shorter than 12.
There’s so many things going on throughout these songs that he had to create an alter ego (kiLL edward: deeper pitch, slightly offbeat, and overall rougher around the edges) to help with some of the layers. That alter ego acts as the addict, as well as his own version of the new trendy rappers.
The two main things I instantly noticed was his confidence and his flow: both seem to be as comfortable and polished as ever. I was very impressed with this. It feels like he’s hitting his stride, and if this album was created in two weeks, it shows his growth as an artist, and how he’s developing an effortless skill.
The hooks are raw, both in good and bad ways. He handles all of the singing (him and his alter ego), which you’ll either love or hate. I tend to enjoy them. I’m glad he didn’t hand this job over to a professional, and instead, he kept the sound cohesive and continued with the concept of imperfection.
The verses are some of the best of his career, mostly because of that confidence I mentioned above. The rhyme patterns are rapid at times, and he’s riding the beat like he never has before, and it never seems forced. As far as pure rapping goes, this album has raised him in the ranks for me. He’s always been a good storyteller, but on KOD, he displays why he should be considered elite with rhyming.
This album is easy to listen to. The sequencing is flawless. There’s catchy moments, and there’s wisdom, intertwined together, with narration, and with an overall theme that covers the entire project. These are the type of albums that I continue to search for. And even though quality albums like these are now becoming rarer by the year, J.Cole is showing that he can disappear (without the social media, and without the noise that comes with a typical rapper), and then he’ll arrive, on his own time, at his own speed, with no singles, no promotion, and offer you a gift in the form of a potential classic.
ATM (Music Video)
This music video was released 12 hours after the album was released.
It was released on 4/20, to help with the concept.↩
Tonight is the launch of KOD, J.Cole’s new album, so I’m revisiting his discography to prepare for the new release.
I really like For Your Eyez Only, I reviewed it here. Forest Hills Drive is his best album (as much praise as it gets, it’s still underrated), and Born Sinner is my least favorite.
I’ve been thinking about why it’s my least favorite from him. I realized that it’s not a bad album, but it has too many filler songs. There’s 16 songs all together (21 on the deluxe), and if it was cut in half on both versions, it would be a more impressive album: I don’t start enjoying the album until the 6th song, and from there, it gets really good. 1
Here’s the songs I would keep:
Let Nas Down
These eight would remove any fluff that prevents this album from being great.
The first five songs have lyrics that make me cringe, two interludes, a pop-single, and a song that uses a classic Outkast song, but doesn’t do it justice.↩
With a background in music, copying is one of the least respected things to be known for. You’d be better off not even releasing anything at all. But with technology, it’s sweeped under the rug. These companies should be ashamed of their lack of originality.
The new ESPN App launches today with a completely re-imagined experience that includes the seamless integration of ESPN+, the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer premium subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group, in partnership with ESPN.
Hulu and Spotify unveiled a new subscription bundle for avid streaming fans Wednesday: The plan, “Spotify Premium, now with Hulu,” combines a full Spotify a la carte subscription with Hulu’s entry-level on-demand service for $12.99 per month.
This deal is tempting, and very smart. I currently have Netflix, Apple Music, and Prime, but Hulu has been something I’ve been thinking about a lot (Legion, Atlanta).
I just wanna live a life I love. I don’t like limits. I love my life. I’m grateful for it every day. I just want to do more and not settle.
The desire for more is something we all think of. We look at our life, and we think, “There has to be more.”
And there is.
First, it starts with perspective. Changing the way we look at our everyday life. It’s easy to get sucked into the motions of a day. Bouncing around from one mundane task to the next. That same exact day that you’re mindlessly going through could be filled with so much more, just by understanding that our mind controls it all.
Second, creating white space. Buffers. Those mundane task that have to get done, don’t let your schedule stick together so much, where there’s no white space in between. Leave space between everything in your day, where there’s no rushing, where there’s room to be creative, room to think, and room to breathe. Leave room for life to happen.
Third, be intentional. Think about it this way: if you could wake up every day, with a complete blank canvas, to do anything in the world that you want, what would you do? What kind of person would you be if you had more time? What would you accomplish?
Now, through perspective, through white space, and through being intentional, the world is yours, with no limits. Whatever you want to do, do it.
Mark Bittman and doctor David L. Katz patiently answer pretty much every question we could think of about healthy food.
I want to lose weight. Is diet really more important than exercise? Yes. It is much easier to outeat running than to outrun all of the tempting calories that modern marketing encourages us to cram in. Both diet and exercise are important to health, and exercise is important in weight maintenance. But to lose weight, the preferential focus needs to be on controlling calories in, more than calories out.
If I want to lose weight, should I eat less? And if I eat less, will my metabolism really slow down? If you starve yourself, yes. And if you lose weight, yes, because a smaller body burns fewer calories than a larger one. The effects tend to be modest, however, unless the weight loss is extreme. You can compensate with exercise, and building some muscle, both of which increase your metabolic rate.
What about intermittent fasting? Is that actually effective for better gut health and energy levels? It’s “effective” relative to doing nothing.
I can eat how I want and then just occasionally fast to “reset” my diet? No. Fasting is not more effective than limiting calorie intake every day. Fasting is a way to control average, daily food intake — but not the only way. If it works for you, it’s a reasonable option, but it does not involve any magic.
Can I just eat the same thing every day? Yes, that’s quite reasonable. Variety over time is important to the quality of a diet, but that can be concentrated at dinner if you prefer. So, for instance, how about whole grains (hot or cold), mixed fruits, and nuts for breakfast — every day? Then, how about a salad, soup, or stew of mixed vegetables and beans or lentils for lunch? And then for dinner, a wholesome variety of choices.
While we’re on the subject of Wonder Woman: What’s the best thing to eat before and after working out to lose weight and build muscle? If your diet is wholesome and balanced overall, it almost certainly doesn’t matter. That said, for extremely long or intense workouts, there may be advantages to carbohydrate and protein prior, concentrated antioxidants after to help with muscle recovery. But none of this is relevant for a trip to the gym; this is for the Tour de France or a marathon. Otherwise, eat well over the course of each day, and distribute that eating around your workouts any way you like.
Passed through a severe tornado warning.Location sharing always helps.Preparing our routeTheir first hiking tripNash and BraydenEnjoying the waterIn actionFamily pictureRachel, Bentley, and GummiesBraydenKayakingA bridgeRachel and NickBrothersDystopian TreesCrossingNickHeather and BentleyNashKids playingThe finale group picture
If the regular season doesn’t matter, then there would be no Houston Rockets. It was because of this entire regular season that this Rockets team was born. Going into the season, everyone said that the Paul and Harden pairing wouldn’t work, and yet they ended the season with the best record in the league. (Nobody is talking about that now, though, as if they all predicted them to be this good.)
They dominated most of their opponents on a nightly basis, despite having key players miss large chunks of games. Because of this, the regular season showed their depth. With 15 different starting lineups throughout the year, they never missed a beat.
Those that say the regular season doesn’t matter are the same ones that said it was just the Warriors going forward, and no one else. A regular season later, the Warriors look vulnerable, as they work on getting healthy.
For those of you who are just tuning in, who have been absent since the previous NBA Finals, welcome. Just so you know, this isn’t last year’s Raptors, Cavs, Warriors, or Rockets, but you’d only know that because of the regular season.
Why should you add structure and plan out your day and your week? Because otherwise you are too much at the mercy of the winds of change, reacting to what comes your way instead of deciding what’s important and what you really want to accomplish. Take control of your day, instead of letting the needs and wants and priorities of others control it for you.