Being passionate

Categories Thoughts

Being passionate about something means being able to talk about it for hours and possibly annoy less interested people in the process. Some people just won’t be able to keep up. It also means attention to detail. Subtle things become big things. What makes so-and-so a better artist than so-and-so? What are the differences between these directors? What’s the big deal with Picasso/Abraham Lincoln/The Beatles?

Those answers come quick to the people passionate about the topic.

Fact check for our sake

Categories Thoughts

Its come to my awareness that social media has opened the floodgates of things that just aren’t true and a lot of us buy into it – hard. When we spread the word that there’s something online saying “they found the cure for x” and “x is being suppressed by yada-yada” and it turns out not to be even remotely true, we’re diminishing our credibility out of pure laziness. Anyone can make a website now and put out blog posts. Also, just because there’s two sources on a subject doesn’t make them equal.

A quick Google search will often result in credible, peer-reviewed sources on the subject.

Why is talking in person preferable?

Categories Thoughts

Talking in person is always preferable because, over email and phone, we have less to read off of in terms of what the other person is expressing. Email allows you to understand their words, phone enables you understand their words and tone, and in person presents their body language, facial expressions, tone, etc. Way more to work off of and less to be uncertain about. That’s what we like, more certainty. The more sure we are, the better for us.

Extroverts win more

Categories Thoughts

In the short term, I believe our society prioritizes communication over actual ability. Ability has the opportunity to win over the long term but there are opportunity costs. Almost none of us start out where our goal is and are goal almost always relies on other people. The most efficient way of getting from Pittsburgh to NYC is by plane. The most efficient way to pull resources and get to where your goal is happens to be through other people. And that’s true whether you’re looking to raise capital for your company or work an engineering job at Google.

So extroverts win more frequently. Introverts, and part introverts/extroverts like myself, we can play to our strengths or we can adapt to the environment to achieve our bigger goals.

Caring largely determines our success

Categories Thoughts

Opportunity comes up more often than not and our ability to care and accept responsibility is correlated with how far we move – anywhere. The more you care, the more you notice. The more you notice, the more you can choose to do. The more action you take, the more opportunity is presented. Caring is the solution.

Documenting

Categories Thoughts

I think such a key part to succeeding with our work is to make sure it’s

  1. Documented and,
  2. Visible

Because if you do it and no one ever gets to see it, how important is it? It may seem unimportant now – and that creating is the only important job – but documenting always takes on an underrated significance later.

Eat That Frog

Categories Thoughts

I’m currently re-listening to “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy, who gave a talk I’ve summarized recently on my blog. This, however, is an audio program on time management and it’s filled with a lot of good material to think about.

He calls it “eat that frog,” because if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can rest assured that it will probably be the worst thing you do that day. The reasoning is, you should knock out the hard stuff first and everything else will be comparatively easier, allowing you to get more done.

I made a list of things to do today to challenge myself to accomplish more. I’ve done this before – on and off – and for the times I’ve stuck with it, things worked out pretty well. But I’m looking to get more on track, to set higher goals and see them through. I’ll update you guys and let you know if I’m accomplishing more with this method or not. Sometimes, it’s one idea or book that pushes you in the place you’re looking to be.

“Your most powerful thinking tool for your success is your ability to discriminate between one priority and another.” – Brian Tracy.

We cling to certainty

Categories Thoughts

We don’t always see the connection between today and tomorrow. All of our experiences are connected in a way that isn’t obvious and we cling to certainty – that’s probably why the idea of getting a degree, even going into an unnecessary amount of debt for it – is appealing. You go to this school, get these grades, obtain this degree. Finally, you *should* be able to land a job. Why, the map is already laid out for you. Everyone is doing it. Just follow the path.

If you compare this to starting a business or doing your own thing, things are much more uncertain and there’s no one there to give you a piece of paper telling you that you’ve done a good job and have completed the laid out course.

We cling to certainty. When you take that away, things become less clear and we become fearful. Most of us are risk-averse even though society doesn’t necessarily reward us for it.

Accepting what “just is”

Categories Thoughts

To be human is to accept a lot of what “just is.”

For instance, we laugh at a lot of funny things. If I were to ask you why we laugh or what funny things are, I’d be looking for an answer I don’t actually expect to come. In fact, we think it’s weird to think about stuff we do everyday but don’t question. Often, it makes us uncomfortable.

So we accept that it “just is” and that’s OK.