10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” — Bruce Lee

When you try, you learn.

When you learn, you improve.

When you improve, you succeed.

When you succeed, you’re more willing to try something new.

And round and round it goes.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. DON’T LET “WORK” GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR WORK

“Valuable work doesn’t look like ‘work.’ The working world has changed, but few people and companies acknowledge this. Do you?”

The things people think of as being productive at work are often the things that prevent them from producing anything of real value.

In this post, I explain why you shouldn’t let “work” get in the way of your work, and how time spent experimenting and exploring can be infinitely more valuable than time spent doing “work.”

2. HOW TO LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT RIGHT NOW

“If you want to experience deep fulfillment in your work, you need to make time to practice your gifts and talents. The best way to do this is by reinvesting your free time.”

Most people are not living the life they want right now.

But Anthony Moore has put together some good suggestions on how to craft a life that 99% of people will envy including how to upgrade your relationship, make your work matter, and achieve financial independence.

3. HOW TO DEAL WITH CREATIVE PEOPLE

“Tell me the problem, not the solution.”

If you do creative work for clients, you may want to send this to them. If you hire creative people to do work for you, reading this may help you get better results from them.

Fast Company shares advice about how to deal with creative people from Bonnie Siegler, author of the book Dear Client.

Her tips include a handy list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to telling creative people what you’d like them to create and/or giving them feedback on their creations.

4. BRUCE LEE’S LETTERS TO HIMSELF REVEAL HIS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

“Among people, a great majority don’t feel comfortable at all with the unknown — that is anything foreign that threatens their protected daily mould — so for the sake of their security, they construct chosen patterns to justify.”

When he was 31-years-old, Bruce Lee wrote a series of handwritten letters to himself titled “In My Own Process.”

Brain Pickings shares these never before revealed letters in which Lee touches on everything from philosophy, to acting, to martial arts.

5. YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO SETH GODIN’S NEW PODCAST

“I’m supposed to pigeonhole it. Put it in a box, position it, tell you exactly what it’s going to be and tie a bow around it. But I can’t do that for you.”

A few weeks ago Seth Godin launched a new weekly podcast called Akimbo and it’s fantastic.

Each episode is about 20 minutes long and focused on a single topic (no interviews, it’s more like an audio blog post), followed by a little Q&A from the previous week’s episode.

It’s amazing. Go listen to it. You’ll love it.

6. RITUALS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN ROUTINES

“Routine is about function: the stuff we need to, or have to, get out of the way. Rituals, on the other hand, are informed by intent.”

In a world increasingly filled with infinite options, people and brands are using rituals as a way to capture attention and loyalty from consumers.

Gareth Kay looks at the difference between rituals and routines and points out how everything from Oreos and Starbucks, to Guinness and SoulCycle have used rituals to help them stand out from the crowd.

7. HOW TO CREATE A JOKE LIKE A LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST

“When you have to write over 100 topical jokes each day, there’s no time to wait for inspiration to strike. You need a reliable algorithm.”

Just because you’re not a talk show host doesn’t mean you can’t create jokes like one.

This three-minute Slate video breaks down how late night talk shows write jokes, revealing a process you can use to craft a joke based on just about any topical event.

8. HOW TO TELL STORIES LIKE ABRAHAM LINCOLN

“You need to spark people’s interest by starting with the context, then hold their attention because something happens that causes a change, then end with an outcome.”

Here’s a simple way to become a better storyteller.

Inc. breaks down how Abraham Lincoln told stories and points out he used a “clarity story” format which begins with a look back to the past, shifts to something that caused a problem or opportunity, describes the action needed to respond, and then looks ahead to a desired outcome.

9. A NEW WAY FOR ORGANIZATIONS TO DEVELOP AND MONETIZE THEIR AUDIENCE

“No matter who you are, whether a first time attendee, or repeat buyer, or new subscriber, or long time donor, or anywhere in between, we have a specific plan for you and a specific next step in mind, and everything we do points you toward that one next step and nothing else.”

Over the past three years, the California Symphony audience size and subscription revenue are both up over 70%, while the national trend for those categories are down 5% and 11%.

This Aubrey Bergauer / California Symphony post explains exactly how the California Symphony has succeeded by doing everything differently than the conventional wisdom.

Most notably, they created a plan to attract and cultivate their audience without bombarding every person they encounter with immediate requests for money.

10. HOW TO REWRITE THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE

“Every hero has an origin story, but it’s possible you’ve chosen the wrong story to define how you came to be the person you are.”

I first wrote this a couple years ago, but it’s just as relevant today and (I assume) many of you have never seen it.

I break down how to rewrite the story of your life including what happens when you change your villain, give yourself new powers, or change your origin story.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Creative Mornings, Storythings, the DO Lectures, and Jocelyn K. Glei — they’re awesome and worth your time.