♖ Max Holzheu's Newsletter - Issue #11


Hello my friends! It’s been a while since you last heard of me. Apparently it takes a pandemic to take me out of my cave and start sharing again.

I hope you’re all taking care of your bodies by isolating, and taking care of your mind by practicing gratitude and taking a break from the news when it feels like it’s too much. Make time for escapist diversions like reading fiction, watching television, and whatever other leisure activities you can safely continue.

Lastly, if you feel we haven’t talked in a while, please reply to this email and say hi! I’d love to reconnect with you.


Quote(s) of the Day 🔑

Never let a crisis go to waste.

This week I’ve been let go. It didn’t take me by complete surprise (I worked for a startup in the hotel industry), but it still sucked.

In this time of quarantine, stress, and trigger events like these it’s tempting to fall into a spiral of negative thoughts.

Thankfully, I’ve been doing a lot of journaling and introspection over the last year, and I was quickly able to see what a massive opportunity I’ve been given: no financial pressure (🙏🏼), long periods of uninterrupted focus (quarantine), and now, lots of free time to do things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, such as learning to cook and sending this newsletter!

Along with every crisis comes a lot of opportunity. For me and people my age, this is the first time we’re experiencing a bear market, and it’s fascinating. I’m choosing to live through this period with curiosity- and fascination-colored glasses. Learn as much as possible, and hopefully be a part of the bull run back to normal once the storm washes over our collective heads.

What I'm reading 📖

Following the evolution of COVID-19 on Twitter for the past month or so has looked more or less like this:

image source: Stratechery

image source: Stratechery

During this time, I followed the developments pretty closely and tried to warn anyone who would listen. Today, information on Twitter looks more like this:

image source: Stratechery

image source: Stratechery

It’s become pretty much unusable for me. So I’m switching to other ways of calming my anxiety: books 🤗

Here’s what I’m reading:

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

You are losing your mind while sitting in your couch watching Netflix. These guys are stuck in the middle of Antarctica, 850 miles from the nearest civilization. Always remember it could be worse 😉

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are the main pillars of every cuisine. With this book I’m learning how to apply them to cook without recipes.

What I'm listening to 👂

The following two are focused mostly on the Coronavirus, but with very different, complementary approaches.

Jack Kornfield — How to Find Peace Amidst COVID-19, How to Cultivate Calm in Chaos – Tim Ferriss

“We have the opportunity, even in difficult times, to let our spirit shine.”— Jack Kornfield Jack Kornfield (@JackKornfield) trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, shortly thereafter becoming one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness…

If you’re overwhelmed, start here.

#78 Balaji Srinivasan: Exploring COVID-19

Balaji founded a large molecular diagnostics company, taught bioinformatics at Stanford, won an MIT TR35 for his work in genomics, and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford. With so much misinformation and mass hysteria surrounding the recent coronavirus pandemic, there’s nothing better than a Jack of All Trades to explain the situation.

Nerd rabbit hole here.

What I'm working on ❤️

I’m still trying to figure out how to best spend my time in the next few months. I plan on:

  • Learning the basics of cooking (by reading the fantastic “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat)

  • Learn about the capital markets, and start investing

  • Finishing up the migration of my Personal Knowledge Management system from Evernote into Roam.

  • If the previous bullet point didn’t make sense, I will be dedicating some of my future newsletters to expanding on it. I’m obsessed with the topic.

A quick teaser of my Roam database

A quick teaser of my Roam database

That's a wrap!

I feel really happy to bring this newsletter back to life. If you use Twitter, that’s where I’m most active. Find me at twitter.com/maxholzheu.

Thanks for reading!