10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Don’t let other people tell you what you want.” — Pat Riley

We like quick.

Quick reads, quick retorts, and quick decisions.

While the things we’re capable of doing continue to expand exponentially, the time in our day remains constant.

This has made quick a more valuable quality than ever.

Maybe that’s why my first post this week is resonating so much with people.

It’s a quick one.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. TEN QUICK TIPS FOR CREATORS

“It’s better to be the one who tried than the one who wondered.”

The other night at midnight I had a bunch of ideas floating around my head about what it takes to succeed as a creator.

My collection of 10 tips for creators spells out those ideas in a post that will only take you a minute to read.

The ideas include to start by learning to finish, that people run toward simple and from complicated, and it’s important to remember everything you’re sure of may be wrong.

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

2. HOW TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE

“You can’t analyze the future. You can’t run the numbers on the future. You have to go actually create it.”

People pay a LOT of money to go to Stanford and take one of its most popular classes — a class about how to design your life.

But you can save a lot of time and money by watching this 18-minute Do Lectures video of a talk from one of the class professors, Dave Evans.

In it, he suggests the key to designing your life is to get curious, talk to people, try stuff, and tell your story.

RELATED: How to improve your life one experiment at a time.

3. STOP TRYING TO HAVE A PERFECT DAY

“Imagining a perfect day and actually striving for it has much of the same effect. It implies that the problem is your lack of control, the absence of order in your affairs, rather than your ability to function in multiple shifting states and environments.”

Trying to figure out what your perfect day looks like is more dangerous than it seems.

Matthew Sweet examines the tyranny of the perfect day and suggests trying to create the perfect circumstances for yourself can often create more problems and anxiety than it solves.

RELATED: Five reasons to embrace your imperfections.

4. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY

“Enjoy 10–15 minutes of quiet contemplation, and you’ll find that your memory of the facts you have just learnt is far better than if you had attempted to use that moment more productively.”

If you want to remember this article, take a break after reading it.

That’s because the BBC points to research that shows a key to improving your memory is to take a short break immediately after consuming the information you want to remember.

One study found a group of people who took a break after consuming a list of information remembered 50% of it compared to a group who didn’t take a break and remembered only 28%.

RELATED: Ten ways to improve your memory.

5. LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM ABRAHAM LINCOLN

“Leaders trying to accomplish a worthy mission have to cultivate the ability to identify the one, two, or three essential issues facing them at a given moment. It is never five or ten.”

One of the best ways to learn from Abraham Lincoln may be to read this collection of lessons other successful people have taken from studying him.

McKinsey & Company shares this series of leadership lessons from Abraham Lincoln including how he handled disappointment, dealt with loneliness, and guided transformational change.

RELATED: How to tell stories like Abraham Lincoln.

6. FORGET INFLUENCERS, BE INSPIRATIONAL

“You can’t buy influence. You can’t borrow someone’s influence. For an influencer to really connect with somebody, there has to be KLT — know, like and trust.”

Many marketers highly overrate the power of influencer marketing and fundamentally misunderstand how influence works.

In this 7-minute presentation, Saul Colt explains why you should forget influencers and be inspirational instead.

He suggests influence is immeasurable because there’s no such thing as influence without context and you can’t have universal influence.

RELATED: Everybody’s an influencer, so treat them like one.

7. FOUR HABITS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER PUBLIC SPEAKER

“When you spout facts and data that the audience doesn’t understand, you make them feel dumb. You want to do the opposite–your talk should make them feel smart.”

Whether you’re working on your own TED Talk, preparing to teach a class, or just planning a presentation for colleagues, this Fast Company article can help you improve it.

It breaks down four speaking habits to make you a better leader including to connect facts instead of just dumping data, speak from the heart instead of a script, and use simple language instead of jargon.

RELATED: How to stop saying “um,” “ah,” and “you know.”

8. CREATE CONTENT THE SAME WAY CODERS CREATE SOFTWARE

“Don’t think of a piece of content like a finished product. Think of a piece of content as a line of code.”

Don’t worry, you don’t need any technical expertise to understand the analogy at the heart of this post.

Steve Bryant points out products work best when they adapt to market feedback and the same is true for content.

He suggests you create content the same way coders create software — create feedback loops and use that feedback to iterate on and improve your work.

RELATED: Content isn’t a product, it’s a relationship.

9. WHY YOU SHOULD STOP TRYING TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LIFE

“Coming up with the perfect productivity system, the perfect to do list software — it’s not important. It’s procrastination on the things that are truly important.”

I share a lot of advice about how to optimize your life, so it may seem odd that I’m sharing something that suggests doing so is a mistake.

But this Leo Babauta post on the case against optimizing your life makes some great points about the danger of going too far with your urge to optimize.

His six reasons not to optimize include that the savings never get realized, optimizing is a trap of dissatisfaction, and it’s a good way to get things to break.

RELATED: You can’t care about everything.

10. SIX EXAMPLES OF SUCCESS ADVICE YOU SHOULD IGNORE

“People tell you to be professional, but what you need is to be unique. ‘Professional’ is too often code for ‘do things the way everybody else does them.’”

Success advice is everywhere, but most of it is wrong.

In this post, I share six examples of success advice you should ignore including to be patient, that failure is a good thing, and to do what you’re good at.

RELATED: How to see what successful people see.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Charles Chu, Postanly, and Further — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image created by Carolyn Tom.