A Philosophy on Anxiety, A Great Film on Netflix, MMA in the Olympics, a Quote and a Question – The Patterson Post #7

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Ross Blog weekly newsletter, now called “The Patterson Post”. 

I got some feedback that Friday night may not be the best time to send out the newsletter, so I’m trying Saturday morning’s for the next few weeks. 

For newsletter #7, I’ve got a Netflix recommendation, an interesting angle on anxiety from Mr Seth Godin, some exciting MMA news, a quote to ponder and a question to consider. Enjoy!

Midnight in Paris 

Last weekend, we sat down as a family sat down to watch “Midnight in Paris”. Written and directed by Woody Allen, it’s well worth your time.

Owen Wilson is a writer on holiday in the City of Love. He goes for a walk one night after a couple of wines, and is transported back in time to the 1920’s. I know that sounds kind of lame, but it works really well. He goes on to meet some of the best writers and artists from the 20’s, including F. Scott Fitzgerald (played by Tom Hiddleston) and Ernest Hemmingway.

It’s a beautifully simple film. Owen Wilson is, as always, so damn likeable. The dialoge between the characters is so sharp and funny. At one point, Hemmingway is obviously reciting prose from one of his books and it’s absolutely hilarious. 

It scores 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, got 3 Oscar “nods”, and is well worth a watch.

If you’re looking for something on Netflix, look no further than “Midnight in Paris.”

An Interesting Angle on Anxiety 

I finished “Linchpin” by Seth Godin this week, and wanted to share a passage which I’ve thought a lot about since first reading. 

Godin writes one of the most popular blogs on the internet and is a multi-time, New York Times best-selling author. So definitely a voice to respect and listen to. 

Linchpin in written in an unusual format – almost like hundreds of blog posts, one after the other, but with a consistent theme. Here’s the passage I’d like you to think about: 

Anxiety Is Practicing Failure in Advance

Anxiety is needless and imaginary. It’s fear about fear, fear that means nothing. 

The difference between fear and anxiety: Anxiety is diffuse and focuses on possibilities in an unknown future, not a real and present threat. The resistance is 100 percent about anxiety, because humans have developed other emotions and warnings to help us avoid actual threats. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an internal construct with no relation to the outside world. “Needless anxiety” is redundant, because anxiety is always needless. Anxiety doesn’t protect you from danger, but from doing great things. It keeps you awake at night and foretells a future that’s not going to happen. 

On the other hand, fear is about staying alive, avoiding snakes, feeding your family, and getting the right to play again tomorrow. Fear should be paid careful attention. There’s not a lot of genuine fear here in our world, so when it appears, it’s worth noting. 

Anxiety, on the other hand, is dangerous paralysis. Anxiety is the exaggeration of the worst possible what-if, accompanied by self-talk that leads to the relentless minimization of the actual odds of success. 

Anxiety makes it impossible to do art, because it feeds the resistance, giving the lizard brain insane power over us. It’s impossible to be a linchpin if you agree to feed your anxiety. 

You’ll notice that throughout this book I’ve often used the word “fear” when I really meant anxiety. That’s because we do it all the time, confusing the two. A bad habit.

I’ve written a lenghtier analysis of this passage in a blog post here if you’re interested. Otherwise, have a think a about what he’s saying. It’s maybe a little controversial, but his ideas make sense.

MMA in the Olympics

One of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of all time, Khabib Nurmagomedov, retired in October. 

At the peak of his career, in his athletic prime, he walked off into to sunset, leaving the MMA community devastated, yet grateful, to have witnessed him grace the octagon.

This week, he announced he’s going to be focusing on making MMA an Olympic sport. 

Just when I thought I couldn’t like the guy any more, he manages to take it to the next-level. 

Mixed Martial Arts belongs in the Olympics. At the moment, boxing, wrestling (Greco-Roman and Freestyle), Judo and Taekwondo are all Olympic sports. It makes sense to put the sport that blends and transcends them all in too. 

In ancient Greece, MMA (or Pankration) was the most popular game. It’s thought it was first featured in 648 BC, so it’s been around for a while. 

It would be a great thing for MMA as a sport. At the moment, it’s still a kind of show. The UFC is an entertainment business, which sometimes does it a disservice. You’ll see guys who trash-talk undeservingly secure bigger fights than those who don’t, which can be frustrating. The best should fight the best, regardless of whether they have a big personality or not. 

We also currently use the boxing scoring system, which often leads to terrible decisions and the wrong winner being announced. If MMA were inducted into the Olympics, they’d have to create an MMA judging system, which athletic commissions around the world would likely use going forward, thus improving judging. 

Olympic MMA would fully legitimise the sport. It would lead to a much higher quality of Marital arts around the world, and to more people getting involved,  which has to be a good thing. 

Thanks Khabib, go smesh it. 

A Quote to Ponder 

“The Quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.”

Tony Robbins

So a Question For You to Think About

Which habit of yours most improves your life? 


Thanks again for reading my weekly newsletter. I’m quite happy with the new name. You’ll now have “The Patterson Post” dropping into your inbox every Saturday morning, instead of Friday night. 

Please keep your feedback and insights coming. After all, ideas are meant to be shared. 

Much love, and bring on the vaccine!!! 


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