10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

Each week I share 10 ideas with my For The Interested newsletter subscribers. Following is this week’s newsletter — sign up here to get future issues.

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They’re like you.

Those people you think have it all figured out? They don’t.

They’re just as confused, insecure, and worried as you are.

Remember that the next time you think you’re not good enough.

Because the first step to becoming who you want to be is to believe you can.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. STOP WORKING ON YOUR PERSONAL BRAND — IT’S A WASTE OF TIME

“Stop trying to tell people who you are and start doing meaningful work that demonstrates it.”

It’s easy to obsess over your personal brand these days, but doing so is a total waste of time.

In this post I explain how your personal brand isn’t defined by you — it’s defined by your work — and suggest you should act accordingly.

Your brand will never be built on inspirational Instagram quotes or blog posts about how hard you hustle. It will be framed by the work you do to drive tangible results and create value for others.

2. THE REAL PROBLEM WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IS IT KEEPS US TRAPPED IN THE MOMENT

“If you asked me what the true danger about social media is, I’d say it’s much more subtle. It’s the problem of time — and becoming stuck in the present. It’s the relentless pressure of reverse chron.”

There’s no shortage of ideas out there about the dangers of social media, but this post makes a convincing argument that most people have overlooked the biggest problem with our platforms.

Clive Thompson argues that social media is keeping us stuck in the moment thanks to an emphasis on chronological news feeds.

He suggests a culture that’s stuck in the present can’t solve big problems and offers some interesting thoughts about ways social platforms could combat this if they wanted to (which they don’t).

3. HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF A MORE INTERESTING PERSON

“There are many roads to becoming an interesting person, but they all involve developing your curiosity and your desire to know and understand — yourself, others, the world around you.”

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re one of The Interested and likely a pretty interesting person yourself.

But just in case you’re not, this Austin Kleon post about how to become a more interesting person is worth a read.

He points out the root of becoming interesting is to be interested and wisely says, If you want to be the noun you have to do the verb.”

4. THE WAY YOU WRITE CHANGES THE WAY YOU THINK

“It isn’t really so much one being better than the other. It’s really which one is suited to what task.”

When was the last time you thought about your handwriting? Or the impact writing by hand might have on your work as opposed to typing on a keyboard?

Clive Thompson researched those questions and shares his findings in this video about how the way you write changes the way you think.

He discovered writing by hand helps you generate ideas, while writing by keyboard is more effective when it comes to explaining knowledge you want to transfer to other people.

5. THE MOST IMPACTFUL THINGS YOU CAN BUY FOR $100 OR LESS

“100+ world-class performers all answer the question, ‘What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?’”

Such a simple question, such a valuable post.

Tim Ferriss asked more than 100 world class performers to share their most impactful purchases for under $100 and the result is this list which you can use as your new holiday gift guide for others (or yourself).

The suggestions include things like a weighted blanket, phone bed, notebook, and reusable shopping bags.

6. WHY MOST PEOPLE WILL REMAIN MEDIOCRE

“Most people are overly concerned with “beating the other guy,” usually through manipulation and politics. As a result, they’re left fighting for scraps with the other 99%.

The reason most people don’t get what they want is because they’re not willing to do what it takes to get it.

Anthony Moore breaks down why most people remain in mediocrity and spells out what it takes to succeed at something.

He shares five things most people are unwilling to do including to fail and act like a winner before they become one.

7. HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST BOOK

Write 30 separate articles. Write about 30 things nobody has ever said. Staple them together. That’s your first draft. Rewrite at least ten times.”

James Altucher has written 18 books in the last 14 years.

His Ultimate Cheat Sheet To Writing Your First Book shares the 10 steps he’s used to make that happen.

His suggestions include that you write about the worst thing in your life, read every day, and give yourself permission to write poorly.

8. SIX WAYS TO PLAN YOUR 2018 BUSINESS STRATEGY

“I like doing a bucket list yearly because I find it more attainable.”

You don’t need a New Year’s resolution, you need a plan.

In this video, noah kagan shares six tips to plan out your 2018 business strategy including to do an analysis of the top and bottom three things you currently do and to choose one singular goal to align your business around in the coming year.

9. THE COMEDY BOOM IS ABOUT TO GO BUST — AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

“Much of comedy right now feels stagnant, dominated by the same handful of stars with a flood of talented young performers struggling to break out. When’s the last time a new stand-up superstar came along and changed the game?”

Remember the standup comedy boom of the 1980s which eventually resulted in an industry crash? Well, here we go again.

The New York Times’ Jason Zinoman offers a great overview of the booming state of the comedy business and why it may be headed for a big fall.

As he explains, “It’s hard for an emerging comic to make a splash in this changed landscape, but it might be even more difficult these days for a respected midlevel performer to make the leap to culture-shifting fame. Freshly minted stars are just not as big as they once were.”

10. WHY YOU SHOULD IGNORE FILM RATING WEBSITES

“Don’t be tricked into thinking that movie-ranking sites give some kind of objective rating on how good a film is. All three of the above sites are skewed pretty heavily towards the opinions of men.”

The next time you go to Rotten Tomatoes of IMDB to see if a movie is worth your time, you might want to keep this article in mind.

WIRED explains why you should ignore film rating sites and breaks down the degree to which those ratings are skewed by the demographics of the users who determine them.