10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Only the ideas that we really live have value.” — Hermann Hesse

You’d be surprised how many ideas I find each week worthy of inclusion in this newsletter.

But I don’t have room for all of them, so I wind up with a lot of valuable ideas sitting in my notes file.

If you want to see them, I’m now sharing them in our FTI Facebook group — join here to check them out.

This past week I posted “bonus ideas” in the group about why humans need stories, how to automate your personal finances, the difference between social media and the social internet, and more.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO TELL THE EXCUSES THAT HOLD YOU BACK TO F- OFF

“We can counter our excuses with arguments, poke holes in our negativity, and overcome our fears with reason, optimism, and tenacity. We can talk ourselves into achieving our dreams as easily as we’ve talked ourselves out of them.”

The biggest challenge in life is to get out of our own way.

To help you do that, I wrote this post which explains how to tell the 11 excuses that hold you back to F- off.

It includes advice on what to tell yourself when you think you don’t have enough time, resources, or help to do what you want to do.

2. EVERYTHING YOU MAKE IS AN ENGINE

“Anything you make — a podcast, a book, a TV show, a business, really any endeavor that you undertake — is not just the thing it is, but it’s also an engine that powers, directly or indirectly, other things and other people. And that’s more true the more success you have.”

As a guy who recently celebrated the 100th issue of this newsletter, this one really resonated with me.

Linda Holmes suggests everything you make is an engine and explains how the success of your work creates opportunities to help and empower others.

In my own experience, the success of this newsletter has turned it into an engine which can drive attention and exposure to the ideas of others. This post will make you think twice about the opportunities your creative work can create for others.

3. HOW TO REFRAME YOUR NERVOUSNESS AS EXCITEMENT

“The reason the journalists said, ‘Were you nervous?,’ is because they would be nervous. Athletes would never say that to each other.”

Did you know our physical response to being nervous is the same as our response to being excited?

In this two-minute video, Simon Sinek explains how to reframe your nervousness as excitement by doing something simple when you feel nervous.

Take a moment to tell yourself what you’re feeling is excitement and explain to yourself why this thing would make you excited. He’s found it effective in dealing with nerves around everything from airplane turbulence to public speaking.

4. 10 MAC TRICKS YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF

“If you hold down shift, option, and then click your volume keys you can move the volume slider in increments of one quarter.”

If you’ve got a Mac, I bet you find at least one of the tips in this 10-minute video to be helpful.

Snazzy Labs shares 10 Mac tricks you’ve probably never heard of including how to batch edit file names, remotely share screens with somebody across the world, and organize multiple windows on your monitor.

5. THE MISTAKE AMATEURS MAKE THAT PROS DON’T

“When amateurs meet, they don’t edge each other out by being slightly more skillful. Instead, it’s a contest of who makes the fewest huge, gaping blunders. Amateurs constantly make egregious point- and game-losing mistakes, of the sort that pros no longer make. The outcome is decided by who makes the fewest — or least catastrophic — such mistakes.”

It turns out a 1970s book about how to get better at tennis includes a brilliant observation about what separates amateurs from pros in all things.

The book points out success among amateurs is determined by who makes the least mistakes, but pros have eliminated basic mistakes so success is determined by a slight edge one pro has over another.

Raptitude explores what this means when applied to other pursuits and suggests the key to becoming a pro is to focus on eliminating simple mistakes as opposed looking for an edge.

6. HOW TO QUIT YOUR JOB AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE

“Every one of you can forge a life so idiosyncratic that it’d be silly to compare yourself to someone else.”

Khe Hy “retired” from his career in finance at 35-years-old and in this nine-minute video he explains what he’s learned about how to quit your job and change your life.

It’s filled with thought-provoking ideas, but what resonated with me was the suggestion to break free from the existing categories of work and embrace the opportunity to create your own.

7. HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR RESISTANCE TO COMMITTING TO A SINGLE NICHE

“Being top 20% in 3 different areas, make you top 1% in the combination. But, that’s true for any combination of 3 skills. So, show me that there’s a demand for that combination.”

There’s a lot of value in focusing your business or creations on a single specific niche — but it’s not easy to do if you’ve got a varied interests and abilities.

Tijmen Rümke explains how to overcome your resistance to committing to a single niche through a letter he’s written to himself.

In it, he suggests the hesitancy to focus is rooted in fears of instability, the unknown, and failure and offers thoughts on how to move past those.

8. A 10-STEP SYSTEM TO LEARN ANYTHING

“Acquiring information is not learning. You can’t learn to write novels, ride a bike, wrestle, fill out spreadsheets, or write Java code by reading textbooks. Textbooks can help, but they only work when combined with practice.”

You know that thing you want to learn? This post can help you do it.

Charles Chu breaks down a 10-step system to learn anything known as the Sonmez System.

The system is separated into two phases. The first is the research phase in which you do things like find resources and determine scope, and the second is the learning loop in which you do things like play around and learn to do something useful.

9. THE FOUR KINDS OF SIDE BUSINESSES YOU CAN START

“The biggest key to successful side hustles that I’ve seen? Understanding that you’re not starting a startup. Get this idea out of your head.”

Side projects are fun, valuable, and occasionally even make you some money — but only if you do them right.

Justin Mares breaks down the four kinds of side businesses you can start including to buy an existing asset, launch a product or marketplace with existing demand, or launch a unique product in a market where you can buy customers via paid acquisition.

10. THE FIVE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE CAREER

“Focus. Clarity. Process. The ability to generate opportunities, identify and grow your audience. These are the keys to your success — and they can be learned.”

Almost two years ago I wrote this post to share what I believe are the five keys to a successful creative career and in the time since I wrote it I’ve only become more confident in these suggestions.

In the post I explain why the ability to focus, clarify who you are and what you do, and develop your process are among the keys to creative success.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Khe Hy, Charles Chu, Storythings, and Jocelyn K. Glei — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Ashes Sitoula.