10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.” — Albert Einstein

What do you WANT to remember from 2016?

That question inspired me to share the story of my 2016 including the 12 moments I want to remember from the last 12 months.

It’s also a good question to have on our minds as we roll into the new year.

Because we have the opportunity to create the memories we WANT to have at this time next year — if we take the action to instigate them.

Some of us will, some of us won’t.

I hope you’re one of the ones who will.

Good luck, happy new year, and here’s to your next 12 great memories.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. THE PROBLEM WITH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

“If you’re watching this on December 23rd, you should make December 23rd resolutions. Waiting…until when the calendar flips to start making your life better is silly at best.”

Gary Vaynerchuk was recently asked whether people should make New Year’s resolutions and as usual his answer is direct, smart, and inspirational.

In this one-minute video, he explains why people struggle to maintain their New Year’s resolutions — because they treat them as a tactic instead of as religion.

2. WHY YOU SHOULD PLAN FOR 2018 INSTEAD OF 2017

“How often do you plan each year based on what you intend to do during the next year, or the one after that? Everything you do is positioning. Are you positioning yourself to do AMAZING things in 1, 3, or 5 years from now?”

I’m a big fan of long-term thinking so this Benjamin P. Hardy post struck a chord with me.

It suggests you plan your upcoming year not based on what you want to happen in 2017, but on what you want to happen in the years that follow it.

Doing so forces you to recognize the control and responsibility you have for your own future and increases the likelihood you’ll wind up where you want to be.

3. 30 INSIGHTS TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU LIVE, WORK, AND CREATE

“Every piece highlighted here truly changed the way I work.”

I link to Jocelyn K. Glei’s work all the time for good reason — she has a fantastic newsletter that I highly recommend.

In this post she’s featured the 30 favorite articles she’s featured in her newsletter this year and it’s a great collection of insights on everything from how to be more creative, to how to predict career success, to how to overcome worry.

4. SIX TIPS TO TURN YOUR CREATIVITY INTO YOUR CAREER

“So many talented creators don’t do what they love for a living because they either underestimate their value, or they don’t understand the mechanics of monetizing their talent.”

Making a living as a creative professional may seem complicated, but this video will make you realize it doesn’t have to be.

Julian Mitchell shares six tips to turn your creativity into your careerincluding to take inventory of your talents, turn casual activity into consistent action, turn platforms into storefronts, and more.

5. HOW AMAZON INNOVATES IN WAYS GOOGLE AND APPLE CAN’T

“Google’s approach — solve the hard technical problems first, worry about the business model later — is rooted in the engineering background of Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In contrast, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spent almost a decade working for several Wall Street firms before starting Amazon — a background that gives him a more pragmatic outlook that’s more focused on developing products customers will actually want to pay for.”

There’s no shortage of innovation to go around at Amazon, Google, and Apple.

But this Vox article offers an interesting analysis of how their approach to innovation differs, and why Amazon may be best positioned to dominate the next decade.

6. NINE BITS OF WISDOM FROM KURT VONNEGUT

“Any work of art is one half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you.”

I never thought of myself as a Kurt Vonnegut fan, but maybe I’m becoming one?

A couple months ago I featured his great take on storytelling in this newsletter and now I’m featuring him again. This week, it’s a Charles ChuCharles Chu post that features this great collection of Vonnegut’s wisdom on everything from art, to college, to writing.

It includes gems like this: “Most letters from a parent contain a parent’s own lost dreams disguised as good advice.”

7. HAPPY PEOPLE MAKE THEIR SPOUSES HEALTHIER

“People with a happy partner are 34% more likely to be healthy than those married to a downer.”

Proceed with caution when you read this one: I can only imagine the number of arguments this Time article will instigate among couples.

Basically, the next time your spouse is grumpy you can tell them they’re killing you and you might actually be right.

The article details a study that found happy people make their spouses healthier and attempts to explain why — including that you’re more likely to eat better and exercise more when you’ve got a happy spouse.

8. DON’T TRUST THE ADVICE OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

“If you only take the advice of the so-called successful people and ignore all the failures, you’re going to be left with a heavily distorted view of reality.”

This animated video offers a simple explanation of “survivorship bias,” which is what happens when we overestimate the advice of people who succeed while ignoring the failures of people who followed that same advice.

It suggests no one really knows what it takes to be successful and that there may be more to learn from studying failure than success.

9. HOW TO REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR NICHE

“Before I thought to reverse engineer, I figured I’d find my niche by asking the market what it needed. I put some feelers out in my networks, and unsurprisingly the answer was ‘everything.’”

Drew Thomas is an eCommerce expert who details exactly how he found his consulting niche by reverse engineering it.

It’s worth a read whether you’re a consultant or not, because it’s a detailed look at how you can start with a concrete goal and work your way backwards to discover how to find a niche that generates value for you.

10. MY 20 MOST POPULAR POSTS OF THE YEAR

To wrap up the year, here are the 20 most popular posts I’ve written in 2016.

In this list, you’ll find my thoughts on everything from how to improve your resume, to the five keys to a successful creative career, to how to make better decisions.

Thank you for all the attention you’ve given my writing this year and here’s to a great 2017!

FLASHBACK!

In the July 31st edition of this newsletter I shared ideas about how to improve your writing, why positive thinking holds you back, 50 life lessons from a 50-year-old, and more.

BTW, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?

A comedian published his own list of the world’s top 1,000 comedians in a really unique way.