10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“Mental toughness is doing what’s in the best interest of the team when it isn’t in the best interest of you.” — Bill Belichick

Love him or hate him, there’s lessons to be learned from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

I learned one of them from a story this week about how he approaches the draft and evaluates players.

Unlike most teams who assess players’ abilities and try to figure out which are the most talented, the Patriots approach it from the “inside out.”

They decide what attributes they want at each position to fit their system, and then layer that outline over each player and see how well they match. It’s not about how talented a player is, but how well he fits into their system.

They don’t approach the draft with the goal of “finding” talented players, they approach it with the goal of “eliminating” them based on who fits or doesn’t fit the characteristics they desire.

It’s an interesting approach and something you may want to keep in mind the next time you hire somebody, put together a team, or launch a collaborative project.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. NINE SIMPLE WAYS TO REINVENT YOUR LIFE IN A WEEK

“Sometimes we need to break our patterns to discover new ones.”

Changing your life doesn’t have to be complicated. In this post I share some simple, things you can do to reinvent your routine in a week including to start saying yes instead of no and to self-impose a ban on the “regular” spots you frequent.

2. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU LOST!

“Losing sucks. Then the good stuff starts.”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, losing is often the best thing that can happen to you.

This Sara Benincasa post praises losing and explains how losing is often the beginning of something rather than the end.

3. WHAT YOU LEARN IN STANFORD’S “DESIGNING YOUR LIFE” CLASS

“The foundational idea behind the principles given in the class center around understanding yourself and what truly gives you energy. Once you identify this, you have a framework for taking action to focus on activities that provide energy, and to minimize the impact of the activities that drain you.”

Stanford’s most popular class is designed to give students the tools to build happy lives and this Elle Kaplan post shares some of the hacks they teach to do so.

Specifically, the teachers suggest keeping a personal “Good Time Journal,” through which you analyze the your most joyful moments each day and optimize your life around them.

4. A SMARTER WAY TO DO CONTENT MARKETING

“The quality of your content has an exponentially greater impact than its quantity. This means you likely need far less content to achieve your goals than you think.”

If you do anything with social media, content production, or marketing, you’ll want to read this. It spells out an approach to content marketing that enables you to get more value out of less content.

In the post, Janessa Lantz makes the case for getting off the content treadmilland replacing it with a “barbell content strategy.” That strategy involves creating one big piece of content and then extracting more value from it by breaking it into smaller pieces or repurposing it in other formats.

5. HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO LIKE YOU

“Listening isn’t shutting up. Listening is having nothing to say. There’s a difference there. If you just shut up, it means you’re still thinking about what you wanted to say. You’re just not saying it.”

This Eric Barker post breaks down 7 ways to get someone to like you, based on suggestions from an FBI behavior expert.

The list includes everything from asking people about the challenges they face, to body language tips, to learning how to talk to people with non-judgmental validation.

6. BE KIND TO FUTURE YOU

“Whenever you can, do something kind for Future You.”

Here’s a great way to motivate yourself to do things you know are in your best interest, but you might otherwise avoid.

Wil Wheaton shares a simple mindset trick he uses where you take advantage of every opportunity you have to do something nice for Future You.

It might even convince me to make my bed tomorrow morning (which would be quite a trick indeed).

7. THERE’S MORE GOOD NEWS IN THE WORLD THAN YOU REALIZE

“I wonder if those of us in journalism and the humanitarian worlds don’t err by focusing so much on human misery that we leave the public with the misperception that everything is always getting worse.”

Since 1981, the percentage of the world living in extreme poverty has dropped from 44% to less than 10%.

Until the 1960s, the majority of the world was illiterate. Now, 85% of adults worldwide are literate.

Despite what’s happening in America, global economic inequality is actually on the decline.

This New York Times piece points out there are a lot of reasons to feel our world is improving and things are not as dire as they sometimes seem.

8. THE CASE FOR LESS

“Something should only be as long as it needs to be to do its job.”

It may be a cliche, but I firmly believe that less is usually more.

Jann Sabin agrees and in this post she shares a list of things that tend to be improved with less — including things like meetings, Twitter, data, and parties.

9. BEWARE OF INSPIRATION

“Don’t be influenced too much. Be aware of what’s great, but don’t get other people’s work too deep in your head or you’ll be doing their work, not yours.”

I love inspirational stuff — I consume, share, and create it.

But, this Jason Fried post offers a valid caution for those of us who seek inspiration and warns too much inspiration can get in the way of creating original, unique work.

10. THERE’S NO RUSH — EXCEPT TO GET AWAY FROM WHAT YOU HATE

“As long as you’re not doing stuff you hate you’re moving in roughly the right direction and each step you take away from lameness is a step towards greatness, even though greatness remains undefined.”

If you don’t quite know yet what you want to pursue in your life or career, that’s ok — take your time.

But if you’re doing something you hate and you know it, run away from it.

As Isaac Morehouse explains in this post, “Rush to escape bad. Don’t rush to create perfect. Let it emerge through interesting.”

I ASKED, YOU ANSWERED

Last week I asked what’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from a person you never met.

Here are a few answers that stood out:

“Mistakes often feel like they will destroy our world, but in the grand scheme of things, our little mistake will pass and life will go on.” — Scott Szymanski

“You never know who you’re dealing with. You never know.” — Keith Ross Nelson

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” (Dalai Lama) — Sue Luxon