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Letter #2 from a Learn-it-all

4 min

Join my journey to becoming a lifelong learner

Hello fellow learner,

Here is the second letter from a learn-it-all!

My intent is to offer you value by curating content that I learn through writing, reading, listening and watching. The reason I am sharing is to challenge myself to think in different ways, facilitate learning, and inspire ideas for you. I promise that I will consistently strive to be better than I was before. Sign up below, if you haven’t already.

Each week I will include what I have learned, blog posts that I wrote, a quote to think about, and a question to ponder. Enjoy!

Life update

I decided to keep up my training and run my 10k despite the official race being postponed. The entirety of my running career, I have used this app called Nike Run Club. My run today has been the longest distance since a Turkey Trot I competed in 8 years ago. It’s a process where consistency to keep showing up is crucial. You have to start somewhere.

On my run, I noticed a bunch of things that made me love the sense of community:

  1. There was chalk on the sidewalk with encouraging statements, like to “be strong” and “thank you to everyone in the hospitals”.
  2. I received some much-appreciated cheering from a stranger as I jogged by that I really needed at the halfway mark.
  3. Smiling and waving at a stranger to spread positivity is simple and rewarding :-)

A few things that I have been very grateful lately are springtime sunny weather, fresh fruit, and my family’s support.

Some things I’ve learned through...


I wrote about the context of communication. With the constant intake of new information, we need to remember to take a step back at what we are consuming and whether we fully understand it.


I watched You Choose Whether This Time Just Passes or Is Productive with Ryan Holiday. He shares this concept of dead time vs. alive time initially from Robert Greene. It’s about how we choose to respond to what happens to us in life and making the most of it.


I listened to John Maxwell get interviewed by  Shane Parrish on the Knowledge Project. Maxwell explains how an evaluated experience is the best teacher because it leads to improvement and learning. Reflection turns experience into insight. Through his research on successful people, he found they do the following four things:

  1. Relationships. They are good with people and connecting with them. People won’t go along with you if they don’t get along.
  2. Equipping Teams. They have the ability to form teams, equip them, and empower them .
  3. Attitude Tenacity. This is needed to overcome adversity. Attitude only shows up during bad times so it is the difference-maker.
  4. Influence Others. They know how to lead.

—> All 4 of these concepts are choices that we can make.

There are 2 different types of confidence:

  1. Affirmation: helps to get started and build self-confidence
  2. Accomplishment:  creates consistency among efforts; allows to become gritty through rolling off of small wins to build momentum


I decided to take my own advice and switch from reading nonfiction to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A few of my favorite passages are:

Everyone has his or her own way of learning things. His way [the Englishman’s] isn’t the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we’re both in search of our Personal Legends and I respect him for that.

The context around this passage is after reading omens, they switch how they paid attention to what they learned. The Englishman gave the boy his alchemy books and the Englishman aimlessly pondered the caravan and desert to experience what was going on. This experiment didn’t set either of them up for success.

I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.

The camel driver on the caravan traveling across the desert in Egypt was teaching the boy about being meditative. The boy was afraid of the near future where they may be caught in a raid. This is out of their control, so it is better not to focus attention on it.

When we strive to be become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

Word to define

Social Distance (n) the avoidance of close contact with other people during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection.

Quote to inspire

“Sometimes the failure in the moment is not really a failure, it’s a step on the path to success.” — Mike Posner

Question to ponder

Think about the different identities of hats you wear in the world.  Can you draw from your strengths in one area of your life to apply to another?

I appreciate you reading this and would love it if you contacted me directly via my email or Twitter @JenVermet.

Until next week,


PS- here is a picture of my fluffy cat Smudge who is blissfully unaware of the chaos going on in the world.

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