You don’t need a life plan. You don’t need motivation, self-confidence, peer support or even luck. All you need is the willingness to take the next most obvious step – then repeat the process again and again, regardless of how you feel. Try it. Happiness comes from seeing the results of your efforts. You don’t need it before you start. – Adrian Savage
Ramit Sethi has called this the “Briefcase Technique,”saying that the best job applicants wait for a moment right after the pleasantries have ended and the basic information about the position has been explained. It is here, after they have answered just enough questions to establish comfort and trust, that they reveal how much research they have done prior to showing up, by explaining all the things they’ve learned about the business, how they intend to improve it and exactly why they’re the right person for the job. This move, done politely but confidently, immediately separates them from all the other potential hires.
The case for everyday practical numeracy has never been more urgent. Statistical claims fill our newspapers and social media feeds, unfiltered by expert judgment and often designed as a political weapon. We do not necessarily trust the experts — or more precisely, we may have our own distinctive view of who counts as an expert and who does not. Nor are we passive consumers of statistical propaganda; we are the medium through which the propaganda spreads. We are arbiters of what others will see: what we retweet, like or share online determines whether a claim goes viral or vanishes. If we fall for lies, we become unwittingly complicit in deceiving others.
here are some principles that come from Antifragile:
- Stick to simple rules
- Build in redundancy and layers (no single point of failure)
- Resist the urge to suppress randomness
- Make sure that you have your soul in the game
- Experiment and tinker — take lots of small risks
- Avoid risks that, if lost, would wipe you out completely
- Don’t get consumed by data
- Keep your options open
- Focus more on avoiding things that don’t work than trying to find out what does work
- Respect the old — look for habits and rules that have been around for a long time
Note-taking is not just a method for remembering. It is a way a writer tells himself, or herself, a story – and this becomes a process of life, a mode of being.
if you don’t fully trust your personal systems, you are likely to be dedicating inappropriate and unnecessary mental attention to details and content, often with a resultant negative emotional component. You’ll feel pulled, overwhelmed, and often like you’re close to losing control
But instead of protecting them from the evil Internet, teach them to read, write, draw, paint, ask and think. Teach them researching, blogging, FTP. The challenge when you are in is to not become passive. To change from consumer to maker, following to self-thinking, quoter to commentator, liker to publisher, but mostly, from getting angry about headlines of articles you haven’t read to reading precisely, asking questions, researching, fact-checking, thinking clearly and writing carefully.
A writer’s brain is like a magician’s hat. If you’re going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in first.
This neatly explains why you need to read in order to write.
Writing for friends and yourself can clear your thoughts, help you plan and invite the discovery of new ideas. Writing with the intention to put your thoughts out there leads to real writing. Writing gets real when it is read. Before that, it is a dream in letters. Writing to get read makes you careful, responsible, and considerate. It forces you to think as simply, clearly and understandably as possible. It forces you to think about how what you say may look and feel from the outside.
The above post is one of the best ones I’ve read this year. I made at least a dozen highlights and finished it with a head full of ideas about how to improve my blog.
H/T to Patrick Rhone for sharing it on his feed.
An unwelcome consequence of living in a world where everything is “easy” is that the only skill that matters is the ability to multitask. At the extreme, we don’t actually do anything; we only arrange what will be done, which is a flimsy basis for a life.
We need to consciously embrace the inconvenient — not always, but more of the time. Nowadays individuality has come to reside in making at least some inconvenient choices. You need not churn your own butter or hunt your own meat, but if you want to be someone, you cannot allow convenience to be the value that transcends all others. Struggle is not always a problem. Sometimes struggle is a solution. It can be the solution to the question of who you are.
A good life is not always an easy life.
In short, stop optimizing for today or tomorrow and start playing the long game. That means being less efficient in the short term but more effective in the long term.
[…] if you play the long game you stop optimizing and start thinking ahead to the second order consequences of your decisions.
Why, you may ask, is it so important to limit our digital lives? “Without open spaces and downtime, the nervous system never shuts down — it’s in constant fight-or-flight mode,” Ms. Colier said in an interview. “We’re wired and tired all the time. Even computers reboot, but we’re not doing it.”
In her enlightening new book, “The Power of Off,” Nancy Colier observes that “we are spending far too much of our time doing things that **don’t really matter** to us.” Both in and outside her practice, she has encountered many people who have become “disconnected from what really matters, from what makes us feel nourished and grounded as human beings.”
Frustration is simply a reminder a fresh plan is needed.
I really like this framework for doing things that you love:
– LIST EVERYTHING you were passionate about from ages 7–20. These aren’t your “true passions”.
That’s a made up phrase. These were simply the things you loved doing as a kid.
– COMBINE THEM. If you loved computers and movies, maybe you will write stories for virtual reality experiences.
If you loved art and being a reporter, call up all of your favorite artists and do a podcast.
– AGE THEM. If you loved games, what do adults who are into games do for money (they make them, they blog about them, they review them, they invest in stocks, they advise investors on startups for games, they use games to improve brain health, and yes, they have fun still playing games).
– FUTURE THEM. If you loved electrical engineering and fast cars, I just saw a help-wanted ad for a “self driving car engineer”.
How can you see the future? You can’t. But that’s what writing down ten ideas a day helps.