Everyone likes to think of memory as this thing that lets us vividly remember our childhoods or what we did last week. But memory is designed to help us make good decisions in the moment and, therefore, memory has to stay up-to-date. The information that is relevant right now can overwrite what was there to begin with.
—Joel Voss. “Your memory is no video camera: It edits the past with present experiences" via @hc
Until a year ago, I felt that I wasn’t fully able to perform my job as a kind of project leader for inspiration, because my time was not really my own. Like many people, I was hyper-scheduled, often in depressingly small chunks of time, at one meeting after another, with very little time in between. I remember one particular day when I had a different appointment or task every 10 minutes. My brain almost exploded.
Creative people thrive on serendipity, spontaneous interactions, moments of ribald humor, intense debate or just simple eye contact, and I felt as if I was losing myself. I decided that it was time to act. So I tried an experiment. I just stopped saying yes and started saying no to things.
Actually, there was a bit more method to my madness. I started a ritual that I still use today: I sit down and look at my calendar every Sunday night, pore through my coming week’s meetings and cancel a bunch of them — redundant ones where I don’t need to be “in the loop,” ones where there is an opportunity for someone else to make a decision, ones that don’t particularly inspire me, or ones where I can’t really add value. My overarching goal right now, wherever possible, is to give myself more time to simply be.
"It’s compassion. It’s humility. It’s saying thank you. It is always putting yourself in the other person’s position. I know it might sound weird, but empathy is one of the greatest creators of energy. It’s counterintuitive, because it’s selfless.” (!)
—Meet Angela Ahrendts, soon-to-be Apple’s Retail Chief. Her goal? Making Apple shine again.
Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.
Alain de Botton, who knows a thing or two about doing what you love, quoted by Megan McArdle, author of The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success.
Pair with Debbie Millman’s indispensable Fail Safe.
we begin a new job, we must not try to stop people and try to get them to abruptly change directions. We must fall in step with them for a while and walk along in the direction they are heading. Then, after we have established a little communication with them, we can suggest a change of direction. That way we are more likely to have a hearing and get a positive response.
Being normal is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. In today’s hyperactive marketing arena, I notice that unknown crutch of most marketers is the “jack of all traits” syndrome. Marketers that spread themselves too thin with good intentions and coincidentally never become a master of any.
If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.
The wake-up call is that so many of our published findings are not true.
—Steven Goodman. Stanford. “Scientific method: Statistical errors”
More often than not, game-changing innovation doesn’t come from one all-encompassing, ambitious strategy. It comes from persistent experimentation, which increases the odds that at least one effort will get you to the future first.
I know for certain that there are plenty of stories that get read, but not shared. I have seen the statistics on io9’s back end. But when we measure a story’s success by virality, which is what we must do in the age of social media, the content of our popular culture changes. We measure success by what people aren’t afraid to share with their neighbors, rather than what people will read on their own.
Goals are for losers - try a System: Something you do regularly that improves your odds and makes you more valuable (ideally)
Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough.
—Doma Publishing House
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic (and Biography) [Annotated]
(Via IbÿFDkÿFDn’IBK’ Jaiyeola)
Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich
(Via Fernanda Saboia)