The Middle Way
The Middle Way
🏎️The Challenge Persists, But We Get to Start From Our Pole Position🏎️

🏎️The Challenge Persists, But We Get to Start From Our Pole Position🏎️

🔥Welcome to Volume #00105!🔥

I’m Christian Champ. This is ☯️The Middle Way Newsletter ☯️. It is a place where I write, explore, share, and invite you along for the journey.

If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with your friends.

🏎️The Challenge Persists, But We Get to Start From Our Pole Position🏎️

Reading through my journals reminded me that our quests never end. 

The same themes emerge repeatedly:

We want to be grateful, loving and show up with good energy.

We want to be around people that bring out the best in us.

We want to make a difference.

We want to be present, cultivate the right habits, finding flow and deep embodiment. 

We want to make things better.

We reject envy, suffering, and making things worse. We don't want to ruminate or get caught up caring about things that don't matter. 

We don't want to chase material items, pyrrhic victories, or finite games. We strive for more of what we want and less of what we don’t.

Life presents us with recurring challenges, but the characters, stakes, desired outcomes, and environments change.

We prioritize different areas of focus at different times, acknowledging life's trade-offs.

Our cumulative efforts shape our journey, allowing us to start in Our Pole Position.

In Formula One racing, the pole position driver wins 40% of the time. This statistic reminds us that success is not guaranteed, even from the front.

However, being in the pole position significantly improves our odds of a favorable outcome.

One race's finish line bleeds into the next's starting line. Our efforts build and compound, regardless of outcomes.

Sitting in our pole position empowers us to focus on our own actions, independent of others. We make decisions about how to approach the first turn.

In our pole position, we compete primarily against ourselves. While other drivers can influence us, our most important race is with our own selves.

Life's challenges always differ. We may have pole position but face storms that limit our advantages. Sometimes our car underperforms, or we choose tough races where finishing is a victory.

Starting from our own pole position reminds us:

  1. We only compete against ourselves. We sit in front of any competition and decide who to compete against. 

  2. Our efforts accumulate. All our prior efforts pay dividends, as sitting in our pole position increases our odds of success. 

  3. Every race is unique. While winning is our initial goal, success can also mean finishing, achieving our best time, or learning a valuable lesson.

🧠Things to Think About🧠

The Huberman Effect by Deni Ellis Béchard of Standford Magazine

I thought about the “Huberman effect” when a buddy who lives in Costa Rica mentioned his podcast to me.

I started making I get at least ten minutes of outside light every morning from listening to his podcast. Like my buddy in Costa Rica, Huberman caused us to change our routines and lean towards healthier options.

“There were times over the years when I felt really alone and really lost, where people around me seemed to either do everything easily or be completely incapable of healthy living,” he says, “and in those times, having some sense of positive control over my mind and body in a way that would allow me to show up in the world again and again was everything.” These experiences have, in many ways, inspired him to share accessible tools and to research them in his lab. Though he frequently hears from listeners who are sleeping, eating, and exercising better, his favorite compliment is “I can’t believe this is free.”

Peter Limberg on No Zero Days

The concept of Zero Days really hits home. A zero day means no matter what we do the thing we want to do.

We can use this for gratitude and take a moment to note what we are grateful for. We can do it for movement, either training or taking a walk.

We go zero days without reading, exercising, eating well, or what ever our thing to be done is.

The meta-practice of having no zero days with one’s ecology of practices is a game changer. The path to expanding consciousness is the practice of being aware of all one’s practices, having a way of tracking them, and the ability to adjust when needed. I am always practicing something; the more choice I exercise with my practices, the more consciousness my life has. However, this meta-practice requires a certain level of intensity.

🎧Things to Listen, See, and Watch 🎧

Justin Mares Talks about the US Health Crisis

  • School lunches in the US can be a risk factor for childhood diabetes

  • Parents who eat junk food may increase their children's addiction to junk food

  • 25% of kids in the US have prediabetes and 45% are overweight/obese

  • The biggest question in the U.S. right now is what is going on with the health of our population and how over the last 50 years, has it taken such a nosedive and gotten to such a toxic place that I think is literally going to threaten the competitiveness of the country?

  • We are operating as a society in a space where our tools for sense-making, research studies, scientific method and the like are being weaponized and used against us to just muddle and create confusion and make it nearly impossible for one person who makes the USDA guidelines that go into kid's lunches for example, to clearly point to causality and go, this is bad and we're going to fix it.

  • Americans are sicker, fatter, more depressed, infertile, and worse than we ever had been before. And the kids that are growing up today are in the worst position of any generation of American kids have ever been from a health standpoint

  • USDA says 40-50% of calories needs to come from fruits and veggies, but 80%+ of spending is on corn, soy and wheat with .45% going towards fruits and vegetables.

  • Mental health is extremely tightly coupled with physical health.

  • And what don't we know about what is causing chronic disease, obesity and overweight in 73% of the population today?

  • The ability for a Coke to be cheaper than water in many parts of the U.S. is purely because Coke externalizes the negative health outcomes of that Coca-Cola onto the U.S. taxpayer via the health care system.

Jim Rutt talks with Raf Kelly about Self Esteem and Natural Movement

  • Self worth esteeming is a self that is skillful and has the ability to donate to a community.

  • People are deeply diluted about the idea that the self is fully self-contained.

  • An individual's identity is always in a fluid social negotiation with the people around them.

  • Updating one's self-image according to changing perceptions is necessary for social harmony.

Raf: And so what I've thought a lot about is how, but we have a self-esteem problem, right? People don't have self-esteem. So we think if you just tell them, love yourself as you are, and this is going to work. And what we seem to have created is just narcissistic people.

Jim: Yeah. I like to say the old advice be, be your real self. Well, suppose you're an asshole or a serial killer, right? You know, you probably don't want to actually

Raf: want them to be themselves. Also, I think that the idea that you have some inherent authentic self that is, that is totally internal is another illusion, this individualist mindset. Like,

Jim: that's a very important point. Yeah. And I think that's a very bad attractor for people that they're somehow an inherent self, that is this wonderful thing. When in reality, yourself is nothing but the compounding of all your experiences, right? Your skills, your knowledge, your network, there's some genetic aspects that have to do with your personality temperament, how you deal with stress and some other things. But that's just a container for the things that were put into it. And if you if you weren't raised with good virtues and values, for instance, then you don't have that aspect of your personhood. If you haven't, if you don't have some skills, if you're just a skillless person, of which is more and more in the world, as you know, right, then, you know, why should you, frankly, have a whole lot of self respect? You know, let you should build the contents of your container such that it is respectable.

Alice Cohen talking to Scott Berry Kaufman about The Journey of Leadership and Accelearting Growth and Development


Where are you, where are you going, and how are you going to get there? When you think about that, there's you can do that in a personal context, and then you can also do that in a work context. So I do that with leaders and with executives. That's why it's executive coaching. But the process is helping someone by asking the right questions and also sharing my own expertise over time, helping someone be able to shortcut the process that it would have taken them to do it by themselves. So hopefully, we together accelerate a process of growth and development and achievement and accomplishment that helps them move forward faster.

💣Words of Wisdom💣

"Here is    a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t." (Richard Bach, Illusions)

This is a storytelling task. You have to repeatedly tell both your own story, and the story of your environment, at all scales, and maintain a constant, live sense of how you’re part of a bigger story." (Venkatesh Rao, Grace Witherell, and Jenna Dixon, The Art of Gig, Volume 1)

"The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this, we will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world." (Sam Harris, Waking Up)

"It’s possible that a not-so-smart person who can communicate well can do much better than a super-smart person who can’t communicate well. That is good news because it is much easier to improve your communication skills than your intelligence." (Kev"Humans love to become superior: to win. Researchers find groups tend to prefer the simple fact of winning against other groups even if it means fewer benefits for its players." (Will Storr, The Status Game)in Kelly, Excellent Advice)

"Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding." (David Bayles, Ted Orland, Art & Fear)

"Learning when to do something is far more difficult than learning how to do that same thing, if only because we must always learn how first." (Jim McKelvey, The Innovation Stack)

"That is to say, at some point we turn from the role of Explorer to take on that of Guide." (Peter Turchi, Maps of the Imagination)

"Generally my feeling is towards less: less shopping, less eating, less drinking, less wasting, less playing by the rules and recipes. All of that I want in favour of more thinking on the feet, more improvising, more surprises, more laughs." (Brian Eno)

"Finding the right balance between freedom and structure is the key to creating a fertile environment for creative learning." (Mitchel Resnick, Ken Robinson, Lifelong Kindergarten)

🙏Thanks for Reading🙏

How do you want to drive once you realize you are in your pole position?