“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” — Jonas Salk
More saying no.
That’s how you’ll get more of what you want next year.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. MY 20 MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2018
“I appreciate your attention, feedback, and generosity more than you know.”
This post has been a year in the making.
I’ve published 52 posts this year (not counting all these newsletters) and you’ve been nice enough to read and share many of them.
The ones that most resonated with readers I’ve pulled together into this list of my 20 most popular posts of the year.
From the 100x method to the five most valuable skills you can develop for free and everything in between, you can find the best of the best here in case you missed any of them or want to revisit them.
Thanks for being one of The Interested and making this a record-breaking year!
RELATED: My 20 most popular posts of 2017.
2. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A JOB, HOBBY, CAREER, AND VOCATION
“If you’re in a career right now that you hate, that’s terrible. If you’re in a job that you hate, that’s OK — it doesn’t matter.”
This 9-minute video is a must-watch if you struggle to figure out how to align what you’re passionate about with what you need to pay the bills.
Elizabeth Gilbert breaks down the difference between a job, hobby, career, and vocation and points out common misconceptions such as the idea that you need your work to reflect your passion and that a job and career are the same thing.
RELATED: Career advice for The Interested.
3. HOW TO AVOID LAZY THINKING
“You say you want your team to think harder and stop just doing exactly what you say. But every time they have a question, you just answer it. Or worse, you give them a wrist slap for bringing you a new idea.”
Not all ways of thinking are created equal.
Wes Kao breaks down how to employ rigorous thinking instead of lazy thinking by pushing yourself and your team to dig deeper into a problem before presenting or landing on a solution.
She suggests a number of specific questions designed to prompt rigorous thinking including to ask what would success look like, what’s the hard part, and what constraints you’re working within.
RELATED: How to solve problems using the five whys process.
4. FOUR MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUILDING AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
“Your goal should be for a ‘network effect’ to take hold in your community. The value of your product should increase exponentially with each user, and this usually requires a manual process that you can’t scale immediately.”
Just about any goal you hope to achieve will benefit from the establishment of a community around it. That’s why learning how to develop a community is a vital skill for any creator or business.
Ryan Paugh can point you in the right direction with these four mistakes to avoid when building an online community including to make sure you don’t neglect operational excellence, think about scale too early, or fail to monetize.
RELATED: What makes a community?
5. ATTENTION IS NOT A RESOURCE, IT’S AN EXPERIENCE
“Conceiving of attention as a resource misses the fact that attention is not just useful. It’s more fundamental than that: attention is what joins us with the outside world.”
We tend to think of attention as a resource we assign to specific tasks, but that overlooks one of the most valuable elements of attention — its ability to fuel exploration.
Dan Nixon suggests attention is not a resource, it’s an experience and that when used in an exploratory way it connects us to our deepest sense of purpose.
RELATED: Nine daily practices to increase your attention span.
6. THREE TRICKS TO GET PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO YOUR PRESENTATIONS
“Skip the introduction and purpose. Everyone already knows why they are at the meeting. There is no need to introduce yourself or give the reason you’re there. It’s not the first day of school.”
Most presentations are a waste of time in large part because most people who give them aren’t great at doing so.
But that doesn’t have to be the case for you.
Stacey Hanke shares three tricks to get people to listen to your presentations including to captivate your audience from the start, stop talking to your slides, and create a memorable takeaway.
RELATED: The most confident phrase you can say in a presentation.
7. IT’S NOT ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE, IT’S ABOUT WORK-LIFE ENABLEMENT
“Once we accept that work powers lifestyle, then moderate our consumption of each, we find the harder we work, the more life we live.”
There’s no shortage of ideas out there about how to strike a balance between your work and life or how to integrate the two.
But Ryan Kulp offers a different take and suggests work-life enablement is more important than work-life balance.
He points out it’s not a simple breakdown of how you spend your time that matters, but rather that the effort you put into your work enables you to live a fuller life.
RELATED: 15 truths about work-life balance that just might help you find it.
8. HOW TO USE THE 70% RULE TO STOP PROCRASTINATING
“You are the common denominator of all the drama in your life. You haven’t had 5 crappy jobs or 3 crappy relationships in a row. They did not happen to you. You happened to them. You are crappy at your job or you are crappy at your relationships.”
Most of us are raised (and largely taught by schools) that 70% isn’t enough to succeed — you certainly didn’t get an A on a quiz for only getting 70% of the answers right.
Taylor Pearson suggests that belief has spilled over into our adult lives and causes us to procrastinate with any task we feel unsure about.
To overcome this he suggests using the 70% rule to stop procrastinating, which basically means to make a decision and start whenever you have 70% of the necessary information to do so.
RELATED: Tricks Tim Ferriss uses to conquer procrastination.
9. HOW TO DISGUISE YOURSELF LIKE A CIA AGENT
“You want to be the person that gets on the elevator, and then gets off, and nobody really remembers that you were even there.”
It’s unlikely you’re in the market for a disguise at the moment (and if you are, I’d love to know why), but this 9-minute video is interesting even if you’re not gearing up for an undercover mission.
Jonna Mendez, a former CIA disguise chief (who knew that was a thing?), breaks down how to disguise yourself like a CIA agent and points out several small details that are giveaways that a person is American including how they use utensils, stand, or hold a cigarette.
RELATED: How to remember information without writing it down — like a spy does.
10. FOUR WAYS TO CREATE YOUR BEST SOCIAL MEDIA POST EVER
“The key to social media success is to craft posts that provide value to your audience.”
I’ve helped a wide variety of clients accomplish a wide variety of goals through social media and in the process have figured out a lot of different ways to craft powerful social media content.
In this post I share four ways to create your best social media post ever based on those templates including to say things your audience wishes somebody would say, share your process, and share a relevant historical story.
RELATED: A 10-post, five week content plan to get your work noticed.
WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I got some of this week’s ideas from Andre Chaperon, DO Lectures, Further, Rob Walker, and Rahim Hirji — they’re awesome and worth checking out.
Image via Adrian Balea.