10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” — Orhan Pamuk

Few heroes get the recognition they deserve.

But every once in a while, something comes along to shine a light on them.

The just-released documentary film Searchdog is one such thing.

I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to consult with filmmaker Mary Healey Jamiel on the marketing of her film and am proud to help drive attention to a project so worthy of it.

The film chronicles how “unadoptable” dogs are rescued, trained, and turned into search and rescue dogs who save lives with the help of their handlers.

It will change how you think about dogs, search and rescue professionals, and life.

I highly recommend you check it out — it’s available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. YOUR AUDIENCE IS YOUR BRAND

“A brand doesn’t attract an audience, a brand IS its audience. No matter how flashy your logo, how your product performs, or what clever marketing tactics you employ, your brand will ultimately be determined not by what it is, but by WHO it attracts.”

I’m proud of what For The Interested has come to stand for, but the credit doesn’t go to me — it goes to you.

That’s because the people who consume your creations are the strongest reflection of its meaning, impact, and brand.

In this post I explain why your audience is your brand and point out your brand stands for what your audience stands for, your audience makes your brand’s first impression, and word of mouth about your brand is driven by the words your audience chooses.

RELATED: The biggest misconception creators have about building an audience.

2. COMMIT TO SOMETHING

“The most menacing dragons that stand in the way are the everyday boredom, and distraction, and uncertainty that can erode our ability to commit to anything for the long haul.”

If you’re the kind of person who loves to keep your options open (to a fault), you need to watch this video.

In a three-minute excerpt of a graduation speech, Harvard Law student Pete Davis will inspire you to commit to something and recognize the most radical act you can take is to “make a commitment to a particular thing, to a place, to a profession, to a cause, to a community, to a person — to show our love for something by working at it for a long time.”

RELATED: How to commit to doing something for 30 days.

3. IT ONLY TAKES 25% OF A GROUP TO CHANGE THE GROUP’S OPINION

“The knowledge that just 25 percent of a population can affect social change could be both encouraging and, well, slightly frightening. For social activists, this news is likely reassuring. They don’t need to convert an entire population to their view — 25 percent will do — and a single person really can make a difference.”

It’s easier to sway the opinions of a population than you may realize.

The World Economic Forum details new research that found it only takes 25% of a population to shift the opinion of an entire population.

The experiment shows there’s a definitive tipping point for ideas where minority or fringe beliefs can influence the mainstream and that sometimes the addition of a single person in a group of 30 can be enough to sway the group’s decisions.

RELATED: 18 ideas about how to create a hit from the book Hit Makers.

4. THERE IS NO RIGHT DECISION

“Choices can be well reasoned or poorly reasoned. Their results can be surprisingly beneficial or surprisingly damaging. But there’s no such thing as a categorically right course of action, just an array of possible ones — and for each, a sprawling, endless web of consequences.”

How often do you agonize over your decisions in an attempt to figure out what is the right choice?

Raptitude suggests this is a waste of time and mental energy because there is no right decision.

The post points out there are infinite possibilities around any choice we make and that while we can try to make wise choices, those aren’t the same as the right choice.

Ultimately, they are all just stories we tell ourselves about the decisions we make.

RELATED: Three things you can learn about making decisions from Jeff Bezos.

5. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SLEEP

“The waking brain is optimized for collecting external stimuli, the sleeping brain for consolidating the information that’s been collected. At night, that is, we switch from recording to editing, a change that can be measured on the molecular scale. We’re not just rotely filing our thoughts — the sleeping brain actively curates which memories to keep and which to toss.”

Everything you ever wanted to know about what happens when we sleep (and even some things you didn’t realize you wanted to know) can be found in this in-depth National Geographic piece.

You’ll get a complete breakdown of what happens in each stage of sleep, why it’s so important, and the impact technology and artificial light have on our sleep habits.

RELATED: 14 reasons you’re tired all the time.

6. STOP TRYING TO CHANGE YOURSELF

“We don’t know what change is because we don’t know what the hell we are. If I wake up tomorrow and do the exact opposite of everything I do today, am I a changed person? Or am I simply the same person who decided to try something different?”

Through this newsletter I share a lot of tips about how to become better at things, but rarely suggest you change who you are. This post makes me feel good about that.

Mark Manson recommends you stop trying to change yourself and says the idea of changing ourselves is problematic because it ties to our identity.

Instead, he suggests approaching life as a series of actions and decisions.

RELATED: 12 questions that will change your life.

7. MONEY IS FUEL

“The purpose of a car is to go somewhere and fuel helps you get there. The purpose of a company is to accomplish something, to advance a greater cause, to contribute to society. And money will help you get there.”

This one-minute video may change how you think about money and a company’s relationship to it.

Simon Sinek suggests companies don’t exist to make money — they use money as fuel to accomplish a bigger mission which is their true purpose.

RELATED: Simon Sinek explains why you gain when you learn to speak last.

8. THERE’S ONLY ONE THING THAT MATTERS IN BUSINESS

“No business ever failed to take off because they used Quickbooks instead of Xero, or because they chose the wrong free CRM or because they chose chose logo A instead of logo B. The reason your business is not taking off is because your product is not good enough. Period.”

This is a must-read for entrepreneurs, or anybody trying to build or create something.

Dan Norris explains why most of the things you worry about in your business don’t matter and says the only thing that does is making a better product for your customers.

RELATED: You are not your customer.

9. MIDDLE CHILDREN ARE BECOMING EXTINCT

“Families with two or fewer kids have become the norm for every demographic group. Middle children, the most populous birth-order demographic throughout most of human history, will soon be the tiniest.”

Here’s something I never considered before — since families have fewer children than they used to, middle children are becoming extinct.

The Cut explores the impact a drastic reduction of middle children will have on society and finds we may be losing just the kind of people we need most these days.

As middle children disappear, society also loses the valuable traits they possess including tendencies to be peacemakers, risk takers, loyalists, and people with expansive friend groups.

RELATED: The most successful kids have parents who do these nine things.

10. 50 BENEFITS OF FORCING YOURSELF TO THINK OF 50 IDEAS

“You become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

I dare you to come up with 50 ideas about something.

It’s one of the simplest exercises you can do and always leads to interesting revelations.

When I did it, I came up with with this breakdown of 50 benefits of forcing yourself to think of 50 ideas including that you surprise yourself when you push past the obvious, discover the value of bad ideas, and learn not to give up.

RELATED: How to start a creative project when you don’t know where to begin.

READY TO DEVELOP A NEW HABIT?

My 30 Days of Doin’ It program is now available.

If you’ve got something you want to accomplish in 30 days or a new habit you’d like to develop, I’d love to help you do it!

More details here.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Swiss Miss, Postanly, Jason Kottke, Loyal, The Lunch Read, and How It Actually Works — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Searchdog.