“It’s extremely powerful to say no.” — Bill Murray
You love Bill Murray.
I know you do, because everybody does. He’s funny, talented, and has a huge heart.
But there’s a reason we love him more than others who share those characteristics.
We love Bill Murray because he has the courage to live life on his own terms. To do what he wants, when he wants, how he wants, and with who he wants.
We may not want to live his life, but we want to live life the way he lives his.
And we can. Just as soon as we decide that we will.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“Success is not the key to developing confidence. Failure is. One of the best ways to develop confidence is to suffer a failure and recognize you survived it.”
People tell me I’m confident, but I’ve found there are a lot of misunderstandings about key components of confidence and how it works.
In this post, I break down nine things I’ve learned about confidence, including that confidence isn’t the absence of fear and that your confidence can’t be dependent on the praise of others.
“Ironically, for all the hate that older generations heap on young people for being self-obsessed and attention seeking, it’s the older generations who seem to be sharing far more of themselves online — on Facebook at least. Young people are still constantly online, but we’re selective about where we gather because we’re savvy about the consequences.”
I’ve read a lot about how young people have fled Facebook, but this article from The Vocal may be the best I’ve read on the topic.
It explains why young people think Facebook is too public and suggests their understanding of the potential impact public social media use can have on their future leads them to avoid the world’s biggest social network.
“Decide what’s important right now because in five, 10, or 15 years you will be more disappointed by what you have not done, rather than what you have done.”
Here’s a nice collection of simple life hacks you can employ immediately to improve your life.
The list, compiled by software developer Joey Tawadrous, includes tips like using as few tools as possible to get tasks done, to ship your work often, and to recognize that pressure can be a good thing.
“Find the accounts — brands, people, newspapers — that your target audience follows and incorporate them into your content. Stroke their ego. If you only have 30 days, you need to be hunting whales. Then message them on Facebook. This tends to get you directly to their social media manager.”
This SumoMe post is a great collection of advice if you’re looking to drive more traffic to your content or website.
It features 35 digital marketing influencers explaining how they would attract 10,000 visitors to a new website in 30 days. Each has their own unique take on the challenge, but common themes include creating uniquely valuable content that addresses the concerns of a specific audience and a blend of paid and organic promotion.
“This helps explain why pain and indignation are sweeping through prosperous countries. The problem is not a lack of material riches. It is the growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer one with their societies.”
Pretty sure this is the first time I’ve included an article from the Dalai Lama in this newsletter.
In a New York Times editorial, the Dalai Lama outlines our need to feel needed and suggests many of the problems we currently face are a result of societal changes that have made many people feel as if they’re not needed.
He also references an interesting stat: Senior citizens who don’t feel useful to others are three times as likely to die prematurely compared to those who do.
“A new study of 1,000 knowledge workers found that employees spent an average of four hours a day on email (and that was not counting their personal email).”
Jocelyn K. Glei has literally written the book on email — it’s called Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distraction, and Get Real Work Done.
“The guy with a crew cut is not always the best for the job. Sometimes you need some weirdos on your team to get things done.”
As our country continues to evolve, our all-volunteer military has also been forced to consider changes in its recruiting and admissions policies.
This Los Angeles Times article explores how the military is adjusting to cultural changes including the legalization of marijuana and rising obesity rates.
“For years, technologists and other utopians have argued that online news would be a boon to democracy. That has not been the case.”
Here’s a mind-blowing and depressing stat: 81 percent of people disagree about “basic facts.”
It shouldn’t come as a shock if you’ve been paying attention to this year’s election, but the “truth” has somehow become open for debate these days.
In this New York Times column, Farhad Manjoo examines the role the internet has played in loosening our grip on the truth.
“If you’re offering rewards for a specific action from your customer, do you reward them sooner, or later? The answer is almost always going to be sooner.”
The Goal Gradient Hypothesis is the idea that the closer you place rewards to an action, the more likely people are to take that action.
This Farnam Street article explains the origin of the hypothesis and how you can use it to improve your business and life.
“Writing about values has been shown to boost GPAs, reduce doctor visits, improve mental health, and help with everything from weight loss to quitting smoking and reducing drinking.”
This might be the simplest thing you can do to improve your life.
Numerous studies have shown if you take a moment each day to write in a journal about your personal values and how the events of that day connect to those values, all kinds of good things happen.
This James Clear article breaks down the evidence that writing about how our day-to-day actions match up with our values can also improve our ability to deal with stress.