10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects is still the secret of great creative people.” — Leo Burnett

How do you find what you’re not looking for?

I discovered one of the main reasons people value this newsletter is because its eclectic nature exposes them to ideas they didn’t know they wanted.

It’s made me realize that’s much harder to do than it used to be.

While it’s never been easier to find information about things we search out, the filter bubbles of our social media feeds and onslaught of stuff competing for our attention makes it harder than ever to stumble into things we didn’t know we needed to see.

I’m glad For The Interested has become a way to solve that problem for so many of you.

It has for me too.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. YOU CAN’T CARE ABOUT EVERYTHING

“Your time, effort, and resources are limited — they can never scale to address the number of things you care about.”

Everywhere you look, there’s something to care about. But let’s be real — you can’t improve, change, or fix everything.

In this post I explain why you can’t care about everything and point out it’s important to determine what you’re willing to not care about.

For starters, I suggest you stop caring about everybody’s opinion, every potential customer, and every little detail of your projects.

2. WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED IN SCHOOL BUT NEVER DID

“We’re moving towards a portfolio model of careers, a world in which kids growing up today will probably have five jobs at the same time. But the current model of education is preparing them for a future that doesn’t exist.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a classroom, but I’m sure we’re not teaching kids the things they need to know to succeed in the modern world.

Srinivas Rao agrees and he’s put together this list of things we should have learned in school but never did including how to manage your psychology, how to understand your relationship to money, and how to interact with the opposite sex.

Speaking of things that should be taught in school, I still believe every high school should teach a social media class.

3. MOST OF WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO READ TODAY IS POINTLESS

“Most of what you read online today is pointless. It’s not important to your life. It’s not going to help you make better decisions. It’s not going to help you understand the world. It’s not going to help you develop deep and meaningful connections with the people around you. The only thing it’s really doing is altering your mood and perhaps your behavior.”

We tend to think consuming news every day is a good thing, but we might be wrong.

Shane Parrish makes a compelling argument that most of what you’re going to read today is pointless and suggests you significantly reduce the time you spend consuming news.

As it says in the post, “To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.”

4. HOW TO TURN PEOPLE INTO CUSTOMERS

“If you want to increase your conversions, you’ve got to stop using the same message to the same people.”

Derek Halpern is an expert on using psychology to drive sales and this video features a helpful presentation he gave to a group of fitness entrepreneurs.

In it, he breaks down how to turn people into customers and explains how he made $500,000 from one blog post.

His tips are relevant no matter what you sell or how you sell it, because he explains exactly how to better understand who your customers are and speak to them in ways that resonate.

5. PEOPLE WHO START THINGS KNOW THIS IS TRUE

“You start a thing. You don’t know what it will become. You don’t know if anyone will like it. You don’t even know if you will like it. But you start it anyway.”

I originally posted this on the For The Interested Facebook page and it really seemed to click with people so I thought I’d share it here as well.

It’s a quick story about what people who start things know is true and what people who procrastinate are missing out on.

6. WHY IT FEELS LIKE LIFE SPEEDS UP AS YOU GET OLDER

“The acceleration of time is the result of our increasing tendency through life to package distinct experiences into bigger ‘chunks.’ For example, for a child, a walk in the park can involve so many new experiences — their first sighting of flowers covered in snow, perhaps, or of a scary dog — that each are remembered as distinct individual events. For the adult accompanying that child, if nothing novel happens, all the varied sensations and impressions associated with that walk may be collapsed — or ‘chunked’ — into a single memory of ‘a walk in the park.’”

It seems like time moves faster every year, but research has found there may be a reason for that — and something we can do to slow down the sensation.

The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest shares the results of recent research which found our tendency to ‘chunk’ experiences explains why life speeds up.

It turns out people who make an effort to live in the moment and avoid grouping experiences such as their “commute,” “work,” or “family time” together in their own mind tend to experience the passage of time more slowly than those that don’t.

7. HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE REMEMBER YOUR BRAND

“We capture a tiny fraction of what happens to us. Since our memory comprises a selection of moments, there’s the possibility of an event being remembered very differently dependent on which precise moments stick in our memory.”

Most of the work companies do to create memorable brand experiences isn’t necessary — because it’s forgotten.

Marketing Week points to research that shows people tend to only remember the final moments of an experience and the most (or least) enjoyable part of it.

This is called the peak-end rule and can be applied to just about anything to influence the way consumers experience your product or brand.

8. LESSONS FROM 10 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL BLOGGING

“Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning.”

As somebody who’s also blogged for more than a decade, I completely agree with just about every observation in this post.

Andrew Chen breaks down what he’s learned from 10 years of professional blogging including that writing is the most scalable professional networking activity, that you should focus more on writing frequency than audience size, and that an email subscriber is worth 100x as much as a social media follower.

Speaking of email subscribers, if you haven’t yet subscribed to this newsletter — go make that happen here!

9. HOW COMPLAINING REWIRES YOUR BRAIN FOR NEGATIVITY

“Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.”

The more you complain, the more you will find to complain about.

Travis Bradberry explains how complaining rewires your brain for negativity and suggests you counteract that by learning to implement solution-oriented complaining.

If you feel the need to complain about something, he suggests you complain with a purpose, be specific, and start and end on a positive.

10. MOST MANAGERS ARE SCARED TO TALK TO THEIR EMPLOYEES

“A full 69% of respondents said that they found ‘communicating in general’ to be the hardest part about communicating with employees.”

It’s no surprise most companies have internal communication problems, but you likely will be surprised to find out most managers dread even talking to their employees.

Quartz shares the results of a recent survey which found 69% of managers are scared to talk to their employees.

When asked what was the hardest part of communicating with employees, 37% of managers said giving them negative feedback, 20% struggled to share their own vulnerability, and another 20% disliked being the messenger for company policies.

This week’s header image comes from Jamie McCaffrey.