“The greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
I visited Congress this week and the above statue caught my eye.
It resides in the Capitol building and depicts Clio, the Muse of History, riding in the chariot of Time and recording events in the chamber below.
It’s intended to provide a reminder to America’s elected officials that history is watching them and their actions will be judged by future generations.
Something tells me our legislators don’t look at it enough.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. FIVE EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN TRY TODAY TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
“Each of the following costs no money, requires little time, and delivers valuable lessons you can use to optimize your life.”
I’m on vacation this week so I didn’t write a new post, but I thought I’d share an old one you probably haven’t seen before.
It features five experiments that can improve your life today including to offer unsolicited help to another person, live a day like a person you admire, and switch up how you answer the question, “What do you do?”
RELATED: How to create a more and less monthly challenge.
2. HOW TO IDENTIFY AND TELL YOUR MOST POWERFUL STORIES
“Telling a personal story from a place of conviction is the most powerful communication device you have. That’s what the greatest and most beloved communicators do.”
We’ve all got a story to tell, but it can be hard to find it and even harder to figure out the best way to tell it.
This Harvard Business Review post from presentation expert Nancy Duartecan help.
She breaks down how to identify and tell your most powerful storiesincluding tips about how to trigger stories through memory recall, catalog your stories, and choose stories with your audience in mind.
RELATED: The most confident phrase you can say in a presentation.
3. HOW TO BUILD A BUSINESS THAT LASTS
“Rather than thinking about how much you need to make to cover your costs, think about how little you need to help you survive as long as you want.”
Instead of thinking about how you’re going to beat your competition, what if the key to business success is to focus on how to outlast them?
Jason Fried breaks down how to build a business that lasts and offers some suggestions of the best way to do so.
RELATED: Look outside your industry to find inspiration.
4. CIRCLES OF CONCERN VS. CIRCLES OF CONTROL
“Circles of Concern are the things that you often waste time and energy worrying about, but that you have little to no control over. Meanwhile, Circles of Control are the things that you can influence in your daily life.”
Take a minute to think about the information you consume and the information you allow to occupy your mind — how many are actually things you can control or influence?
James Clear breaks down the difference between circles of concern and circles of control and explains why it’s important to be intentional about the information you consume and make it actionable.
RELATED: Your systems are more important than your goals.
5. MOST MARKETING IS WASTED
“There’s a whole bunch of marketing that doesn’t make a difference. If you ask the right questions, you can focus on the marketing that does.”
As somebody who works in marketing, I completely agree with this one.
Eric Karjaluoto points out 80% of marketing efforts are wasted because the companies investing in them haven’t thought through why they’re doing them.
He points out most companies have no idea why they’re telling employees to do things like build websites, print posters, or strive for more engaging Facebook posts.
RELATED: Read this before you hire a social media expert.
6. WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM TRACKING EVERY 15 MINUTES OF YOUR WEEK
“When I know I have to account for my time, even if only to myself, I find myself making wiser decisions. I plan my days more carefully.”
In order to better manage your time, you first have to understand how you spend it.
To do that, Chris Guillebeau tracked every 15 minutes of his time for a weekand learned a few valuable lessons in the process.
His observations include that the mere act of tracking time makes him more intentional and that he didn’t feel guilty about intentional time that wasn’t spent productively.
RELATED: Five ways to figure out how you waste your time.
7. HOW TO TURN YOUR QUIRKY EXPERTISE INTO A REVENUE-GENERATING PRODUCT
“When things change rapidly, the concept of expertise gets disrupted itself. Degrees or published manuscripts will not be the secret sauce that helps you better understand a nascent industry…the opportunity to seize the mantle of ‘expert’ is available to all.”
It’s never been easier to monetize your expertise. (Note: “easier,” not “easy.”)
Rad Reads offers suggestions on how to monetize your quirky expertiseincluding to start with interactive immersion, offer it as a service, and get a paying client even if it’s a barter.
RELATED: Six must-reads about pricing a product.
8. HOW TO CURATE CONTENT
“With so much content at our fingertips, we could go in a million directions. Where to begin? With a point of view.”
If you’re reading this newsletter, you know I take curation seriously.
So too does the team over at Flipboard, who took a moment to share their thoughts on how to curate content.
Their tips include to decide what you want to convey, set up your systems, and always be curating.
For more tips about curating content as relates to newsletters, join my Newsletter Creators Facebook group.
RELATED: Lessons from 10 years of professional blogging.
9. WHERE JOY HIDES AND HOW TO FIND IT
“The physical world can be a powerful resource to us in creating happier, healthier lives.”
Ingrid Fetell Lee spent a decade studying what joy is and how you can find itwhich led to this 14-minute TED Talk.
She points out how our obsession with the pursuit of happiness can lead us to overlook the availability of joy.
RELATED: The one way money can buy happiness.
10. HOW TO DECIDE WHICH IDEAS TO PURSUE
“We must avoid the trap of pursuing an idea solely because we recognize the opportunity in it.”
We can’t do it all.
In this post I share advice on how to decide which ideas to pursue including to choose ideas that are both unique and familiar, ideas that have you excited for the work as opposed to just the potential result, and ideas you can explain.
RELATED: How Malcolm Gladwell comes up with ideas.
WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Christopher Penn, Jocelyn K. Glei, Further, and Kyle Westaway — they’re awesome and worth your time.