10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know too well.” — Rodney Dangerfield

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“How do you find this stuff?”

That’s what everybody asks me when they read this newsletter.

The answer is I find much of it from other curators who I follow and starting with this issue I’m going to consistently spread the word about their great work.

At the bottom of the newsletter each week, you’ll see who helped me help you.

If you ever come across something you think is For The Interested-worthy, tweet me a link to it (or email me if you’re a Twitter hater) and I’ll credit you if it makes the cut.

Plus, one more announcement!

I’ve created a new Facebook group for Newsletter Creators — if you have a newsletter and would like to connect us to share tips, ask questions, etc., then please join us here.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. WHAT I LEARNED FROM WRITING DOWN GREAT THINGS IN MY LIFE EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH

“It’s not about meditation, a gratitude journal, or how a morning routine will change your life. It’s about how paying attention to your life enables you to to bend it toward that which makes you happy.”

For the past 34 days, I took 10 minutes each day to write down things that were, are, or will be great in my life. The experiment’s had a surprising impact on my life.

In this post, I explain how to conduct your own Great List experiment and what you will get out of it including that it drives action, provides a valuable way to measure work-life balance, and helps you discover surprising patterns in your life.

It’s been the most impactful life experiment I’ve come up with since my 10 rules to improve my phone habits.

2. YOUR SYSTEMS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR GOALS

“Goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.”

I’m a big believer in the importance of setting goals, but reading this made me realize I might be an even bigger proponent of systems.

James Clear breaks down why systems will help you more than goals and suggests goals reduce your current happiness, are at odds with long-term progress, and suggest you can control things you have no control over.

Systems, however, do the opposite.

3. HOW TO GIVE LIFE MEANING, ACCORDING TO TERMINALLY ILL CHILDREN

“Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them. These are the things these kids wished they could’ve done more. The rest is details.”

Alastair McAlpine is a doctor who treats terminally ill children and recently posted an inspiring Twitter thread.

He asked his patients what they enjoy in life and what gives it meaning and noticed several trends including that none wished they’d watched more TV or spent more time on Facebook, many mentioned their pets, and all of them loved ice cream.

4. HOW TO USE GAME THEORY TO WIN A NEGOTIATION

“If you’re trying to win in a negotiation you want to try and find ways to make it so that you are more patient than the other person — that is you have less to lose from letting the negotiation drag out than does the person you’re negotiating with.”

One of the keys to getting what you want in a negotiation is patience, and it turns out game theory can help you figure out how to use it to your advantage.

This Big Think video features game theorist Kevin Zollman sharing two ways to use game theory to control a negotiation including to be the more patient negotiator and to get yourself in a place where you can make a take it or leave it offer.

5. A GREAT REASON TO GIVE HUGE TIPS

“If you want to send a message it has to be meaningful. It can’t be some half step.”

This one might inspire you to leave a 50% tip on your next restaurant bill.

Marketwatch profiles Russ Johnson, who it describes as “the most generous tipper in America” because he regularly leaves tips of 30%-50% on just about everything.

Johnson decided to do so because he believes handing out large tips to hardworking people is a better charitable act than donating that same money to charities where a lot of those dollars would go to cover overhead.

This way, he puts his money directly in the hands of people who need it and gets the added benefit of being able to see first hand the impact his generosity has on others.

6. THE MOST CONFIDENT PHRASE YOU CAN SAY IN A PRESENTATION

“No one has all the answers, and pretending you do doesn’t make you look confident, it makes you look a fool.”

The most confident and important phrase you can use when giving a presentation may be that last one you’d expect.

Mike Monteiro explains why you shouldn’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” when asked a tough question during a presentation and points out how doing so displays a confidence that draws people toward you and your work.

7. NINE LIFE LESSONS FROM TIM MINCHIN

“Be aware the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery, which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out of the corner of your eye.”

This video of a college graduation speech from comedian Tim Minchin will give you a lot to think about (and be inspired by) in six minutes.

He shares nine life lessons including you don’t have to have a dream, don’t seek happiness, and be hard on your opinions.

8. 14 REASONS YOU’RE TIRED ALL THE TIME

“A cluttered desk mentally exhausts you by restricting your ability to focus and limits your brain’s ability to process information.”

I know you’re tired if you’re reading this one so I’ll keep it quick.

Time magazine breaks down 14 reasons you’re tired all the time including that you’re a perfectionist, have trouble saying no, and have a cluttered office.

9. WE NEED MORE DIALOGUE AND LESS DEBATE

“Dialogue reveals assumptions for reevaluation. Debate defends assumptions as truth.”

Way back in 1993, the Newsletter of the Study Circles Resource Center (whatever that is) published this breakdown of the difference between dialogue and debate.

Now, Intellitics has resurfaced it and it’s incredibly relevant in our modern era of everybody shouting at each other and nobody having an actual dialogue.

10. THE STORY OF RODNEY DANGERFIELD

“Imagine having no talent. Imagine being no good at all at something and doing it anyway. Then, after nine years, failing at it and giving it up in disgust and moving to Englewood, N.J., and selling aluminum siding. And then, years later, trying the thing again, though it wrecks your marriage, and failing again. And eventually making a meticulous study of the thing and figuring out that, by eliminating every extraneous element, you could isolate what makes it work and just do that. And then, after becoming better at it than anyone who had ever done it, realizing that maybe you didn’t need the talent.”

If you don’t know comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s story, you should. And here’s your chance.

The New York Times Magazine shares this great essay about Dangerfield that reveals who he was, why he matters, and what you can learn from him to apply to your own life.

It’s a nice bit of respect for a guy who famously got none.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from following Austin Kleon, Next Draft, and Tina Roth Eisenberg — they’re all awesome and worth your time.