Every week I compile a short email with the best things I read, watched, and listened to that week along with my weekly stats (including income). The email is the only place I post those things.

Here’s an example of what it might look like (from Feb 7th, 2021)

Internal vs. External Locus of Control

Favorites of the Week:
  1. Read: Climbing the wrong hill – What hill are you climbing? Should you be climbing that hill? I am ambivalent towards his thoughts on “meandering,” but enjoyed the thought experiment.
  2. Watched: My Philosophy for a happy life | Sam Berns – A great story and a better philosophy, RIP Sam Berns (the inspiration for this week’s email).
  3. Listened To: thedrive Luke Bennet, M.D.: The emotional, cognitive, and physical demands that make Formula 1 a unique and special sport – From doctor to triathlete, to a Formula 1 coach, this guy is cool. I am not an “F1 guy,” but this was a really cool episode; what does it take to be a successful F1 driver?

Weekly Stats: YouTube Subscribers: 50,120 | Newsletter Subscribers: 421 | Weekly Income: $1,635

Hey all,

The growth continues; I am amazed by all of your support. This week:

  • Newsletter Subscribers went from 135 → 421
  • Weekly website users went from 600 → 6,500
  • YouTube Subscribers went from 9156 → 50,120!!

What a driven young man Sam Berns was. For those who didn’t watch, Sam Berns suffered from Progeria. Progeria affects about 1 in 6 million children (a .00002% chance) and has an average survival of 13.5 years. That is extremely unlucky. I think, for Sam, it would have been very easy to fall into, “woe is me,” and feel sorry for himself; to feel the world was against him.

He did not do that. In his 17-year life, Sam gave a TED talk, took part in a documentary, and started a research foundation.

Sam was, however, aware of his shortened life-span, “… it’s not that I ignore when I am feeling badly. I kind of accept it. I let it in. So I can acknowledge it and do what I need to do to move past it […] I don’t waste energy feeling bad for myself. I surround myself with people I want to be with, and I keep moving forward.”

Yes, he was dealt a bad hand, but Sam knew he was capable of so much. Knew he could do so much. Sam, I think, had an internal locus of control. What’s that?

  • Internal Locus of Control: Individuals believe events in their life are primarily a result of their own actions.
  • External Locus of Control: Individuals believe events in their life are primarily a result of outside factors which the person cannot influence.

Sam could have let the disease dictate his life, “the world is against me, there is nothing I can do, because of what the world has inflicted on me I can accomplish nothing,” but no, he knew he was responsible for what he could accomplish. He was responsible for his happiness. He was responsible for his life.

Students who have an internal locus of control score better on exams (source). Start-up founders with a stronger internal locus of control are more likely to be successful (as defined as still being in business at 3 years, source).

If Sam accomplished so much and, more importantly, stayed positive and grateful throughout the course of his disease, what do I have to complain about? I am responsible for how well I do in medical school. I am responsible for how much I accomplish. I am responsible for myself. I wonder what cool things I can do?

Have a fantastic week,