10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” — Ray Bradbury

I’ve got a simple question for you.

Go to the FTI Facebook page to answer it and see how the rest of The Interested answer it as well.

The process of doing so will likely prove valuable for you.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO DISAPPEAR DURING WORK DAYS

“The point is to make the disappearance — and by extension, yourself — a priority every bit as important as your work or clients.”

I’m not a magician, but I’ve learned how to make myself disappear and doing so has made me more productive, creative, and effective in my work.

In this post I explain how to disappear during work days and share what I’ve learned from disappearing twice a week for 90 minutes and using that time to do something I wouldn’t usually do in a place I wouldn’t usually be.

RELATED: How I stopped checking my phone and started using it with intention.

2. HOW TO LEAD AN AWESOME LIFE

“You’ve always got two choices. One: you can swirl and twirl and gloom and doom forever. Two: you can grieve and then face the future with newly sober eyes.”

Back in 2011, Neil Pasricha delivered an inspiring TED Talk about what he calls “The Three A’s of Awesome.”

In this 18-minute video, he breaks down how to lead an awesome life by understanding the importance of attitude, awareness, and authenticity.

RELATED: 101 books TED Talks speakers recommend.

3. JOHN HODGMAN’S ADVICE FOR WRITERS

“It’s not enough to write what you know — you have to know interesting things. So you have to put yourself into a world where you have experiences.”

In this two-minute video John Hodgman shares several thought-provoking ideas for writers or anybody pursuing a creative career.

His advice for writers includes to recognize the harsh truth that the odds are against you, but also remember perseverance in writing is a more likely determinant of success than raw talent.

RELATED: 10 writing tips from the founding editor of The Onion.

4. WHY A BORING BUSINESS IS BETTER THAN A BUSY ONE

“Busy is being reactive, and being constantly reactive doesn’t seem like the best way to run a business for the long term.”

Here’s a perspective on work worth considering.

Paul Jarvis explains why he likes having a boring business and suggests being “busy” is actually a reflection of failures of pace and scheduling.

He points out the differences between people who operate at a busy pace (frantic, last-minute, easily distracted) and those who better serve their customers and create better work by being “boring.”

RELATED: This should be posted on the wall of every business.

5. WHY YOU CAN’T TRUST ONLINE REVIEWS

“People who write online reviews are more likely to buy things in unusual sizes, make returns, be married, have more children, be younger and less wealthy, and have graduate degrees than the average consumer, according to Dr. Simester’s 2014 study. Online reviewers are also 50 percent more likely to shop sales, and they buy four times more products.”

It turns out the problems with online reviews go way beyond the fact that many of them are fake.

The New York Times breaks down why you can’t trust online reviews including that people are more likely to leave positive reviews than negative ones, we’re wired to pay more attention to negative ones than positive ones, and it’s a very specific type of consumer who takes the time to post a review in the first place which skews the results.

RELATED: Five things to do when somebody criticizes your work.

6. HOW TO TALK TO KIDS, ACCORDING TO MR. ROGERS

“He insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely, because he knew that children — the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience — tend to hear things literally.”

It’s possible nobody in history was better at communicating with children than Mr. Rogers.

This article from The Atlantic explains how he did it.

It features a set of nine rules Mr. Rogers had for communicating with kids on his show including to rephrase ideas in a positive manner, eliminate elements that may not apply to all children, and remove elements that express certainty.

RELATED: Mr. Rogers’ 1969 plea for PBS funding.

7. HOW BRANDS USE LADDERING TO GET AN EDGE ON THEIR COMPETITION

“It’s an attempt to de-position your competition by saying, ‘We’re this, and they’re this,’ and then figuring out what attribute you want to talk about that not only reflects you in a positive light, but just as importantly de-positions or sheds your competition in a negative light.”

Here’s a crash course in a powerful marketing tactic.

In this four-minute video, Scott Galloway explains how brands use laddering to get an edge on their competition and demonstrates how Apple is currently using the tactic against Facebook and Amazon.

RELATED: Why the four biggest tech companies should be broken up.

8. HOW TO READ BOOKS WITHOUT ACTUALLY READING BOOKS

“I finally let go of my own guilt when I did a deep dive into the reading habits of luminary entrepreneurs and informally surveyed my most successful friends. Most of them only read 20 to 40 percent of the books they purchase. Many of them were reading over 10 books at once.”

You’re either going to LOVE or HATE this one.

Michael Simmons makes the case for not reading (or at least not finishing) all those books you buy and offers six smart reading hacks to get value out of books without putting in the full time commitment necessary to read them.

His suggestions include to view books as an experiment, abandon good books for great books, and read books like magazines.

RELATED: How to retain more from the books you read.

9. A RECOMMENDED NEWSLETTER IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN BEHAVIOR CHANGE AND MAKING BETTER DECISIONS

“A digest of the best behavior change posts around the web that will challenge you to work better, think clearly and make better decisions in life and business.”

I’ve got another newsletter recommendation for you this week and it’s one that’s been a source of a LOT of the ideas I’ve shared in For The Interested over the years.

The Postanly Weekly newsletter is full of great original and curated articles, compiled by Thomas Oppong.

You can subscribe to Postanly Weekly here.

RELATED: 25 newsletters that inspire, educate, and entertain.

10. NINE HABITS THAT MAKE IT EASY TO COME UP WITH GREAT IDEAS

“Ideas come to us when THEY want to, not necessarily when WE want them to.”

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I’m a bit obsessed with ideas (and if you’re one of The Interested, then you probably are as well).

In this post I share what I’ve learned about how to come up with great ideas including to consider what you consume, speak your ideas, and study opposite takes on the same idea.

RELATED: What I learned from sharing 1,000 self-improvement ideas in 100 weeks.

MEANWHILE, ON THE FTI SOCIAL ACCOUNTS…

I share ideas on social media that aren’t featured in this newsletter. Here are some you may have missed:

• An incredible behind-the-scenes moment that got a movie greenlit.

• How the secret to the success of Seinfeld was its closed door policy.

• My answers to reader questions about career advice, networking, and newsletters.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Jay Acunzo, Startup Resources, Loyal, and Kyle Westaway — they’re awesome and worth your time.