“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” — William James
Don’t forget how the failure felt when you succeed.
The struggle it took to get to the point where it became easy.
The doubt that preceded the certainty.
A destination’s more enjoyable when you remember what it took to get there.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. FOUR WAYS TO USE OPTIMISM TO CREATE YOUR BEST WORK
“It’s the belief something can be made better which fuels innovation, encourages the questioning of conventional wisdom, and ultimately helps us identify opportunities.”
Optimism is a skill. It’s also the secret to taking your work to the next level.
In this post I share four ways to use optimism to create your best work including to believe everything can be improved, take criticism as coaching, and treat failure as temporary.
RELATED: How to make decisions like an optimist.
2. THE PURSUIT OF INTERESTINGNESS
“Goals, incorrectly, assume that we already know what it is that we want. Interestingness is more humble. It makes up its mind as it moves, slowly blowing from one thing to another, until it eventually grasps something that lies beyond prediction.”
It’s great to have goals, but it can also be problematic because goals tend to be rooted in a series of assumptions about the future which may not be true for you.
Zat Rana suggests the least problematic goal in life is the pursuit of interestingness.
He explains that by making your goal to pursue things that interest you, you create a short feedback loop and give yourself more flexibility to adapt to life as you live it.
RELATED: The life-changing advice of 100 interesting people.
3. THE WORLD’S WORST BOSS IS YOU
“If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, they’d fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under.”
This one might sound negative, but it’s actually inspiring.
No matter who you are or what you do, you likely have more control over your situation than you realize. The problem is, you probably don’t manage yourself well.
Seth Godin explains why the world’s worst boss is you and points out people often choose to fail on their own as opposed to taking advantage of the opportunities in front of them.
RELATED: How to overcome your fear and get what you want.
4. HOW TO USE SKILL STACKING TO GROW YOUR CAREER
“You simply have more chance of career success if you have more skills. Think about it. If you’re a one-trick pony, your opportunities are limited. But if you have multiple skills, you’re simply more valuable.”
You don’t have to spend a lifetime honing a single skill in order to have a successful career. In fact, you may be better off accumulating a variety of skills as opposed to mastering just one.
Darius Foroux explores how to use skill stacking to grow your career and breaks down five valuable skills to develop including productivity, writing, and persuasion.
RELATED: The five most valuable skills you can develop for free.
5. THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL CONTENT CREATOR
“The content I’ve created is the most important thing I’ve done in my career. It’s attracted clients, landed me jobs, and been the way I’ve learned everything I know.”
Wendy Jacobson interviewed me for a new series of posts featuring conversations with professional content creators and it gave me an excuse to share my thoughts about how to produce successful content.
In the interview, I discuss how I approach creating content, what I get out of it, and the keys to creating valuable content.
RELATED: The two secrets to creating content people love.
6. HOW TO STOP WASTING TIME ON THE INTERNET
“‘Liking’ is something we should do with people, not with buttons.”
The internet is addictive, but you already know that.
Eric Barker goes a step further to help you figure out how to stop wasting time on the internet by employing tactics such as to focus on digital minimalism, manage technology like the Amish, and make Do Not Disturb your new default setting.
RELATED: How to configure your iPhone to work for you.
7. FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE TOO MANY IDEAS AND NEVER FINISH ANYTHING
“More choice often leads to less action. The more ideas and goals we pursue, the less likely we’ll follow through on any one of them. And vice versa.”
If you’re anything like me (and since you’re reading this I assume you are), you have a million different things you want to do at any given time.
Unfortunately, that’s not a recipe for success.
Mayo Oshin suggests five things to do when you have too many ideas and never finish anything including to create mini-deadlines, turn finishing into a habit, and practice quitting.
RELATED: How to decide which ideas to pursue.
8. A TEENAGE MUSICIAN ANSWERS THE SAME INTERVIEW QUESTIONS SHE FIRST ANSWERED A YEAR AGO
“I’m kind of jealous of Billie a year ago.”
Every 16-year-old’s life probably looks a lot different than it did a year earlier, but that’s especially true when the teenager in question becomes a huge music star during that year.
This 10-minute Vanity Fair video features an interview with Billie Eilish in which she answers the same questions she answered the previous year and reacts to seeing how her younger self originally answered them.
It’s a reminder fame, success, and growing up don’t come without a cost.
RELATED: What happens at internet celebrity summer camp.
9. LESSONS FROM A TWEET THAT GOT 17 MILLION VIEWS
“If you want to be successful, you need to think about how you can tell each story natively to the platform you’re publishing on.”
I love articles that break down specific social media tactics and this one certainly does that.
Buffer shares the story of how Aytekin Tank turned a Medium post into a tweet thread and then used ads to generate 17 million views for it at a cost of $24,000.
But you don’t have to spend that kind of money to reap the benefits of his experiment — what he learned about how to repurpose content on Twitter will help you even if you don’t spend a dime on ads promoting yours.
RELATED: What happens when you only follow 88 people on Twitter.
10. A 10-POST, FIVE-WEEK CONTENT PLAN TO GET YOUR WORK NOTICED
“The plan includes 10 content prompts you can use to inspire blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, or even social media status updates — it’s flexible enough to work on whatever platform you choose.”
If you read this, you’ll no longer be able to say you don’t know what to post on social media.
My 10-post, five week content plan offers specific post prompts you can use to create content for just about any platform.
The prompts include to talk about why you do what you do, explain how to do something, and write an open letter to somebody in your industry.
RELATED: How to create a social media post 100% of your followers will like.
WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I got some of this week’s ideas from Matt Ruby, Todd Henderson, Postanly, and Storythings — they’re awesome and worth checking out.
Image via WRDSMTH.