“Everything we have today that’s cool comes from someone wanting more of something they loved in the past.” — Patton Oswalt
People want your attention and are willing to do bad things to get it.
They’ll yell, threaten, interrupt, and use guilt to get you to notice them.
They do that because those triggers work.
But never forget what you do with your attention is a choice.
Don’t outsource it to people who don’t deserve it just because they’re loud.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. 20 THINGS YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO TOMORROW
“We live in a stressful, pressure-packed, anxious time in which everything is judged and little ever seems to be enough for ourselves or others. But there’s an antidote you can give yourself tomorrow.”
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed these days with all the things you’re “supposed” to do to get the success and happiness you want in life.
But here’s a secret: You don’t actually have to do those things.
In this post I suggest 20 things you don’t have to do tomorrow including to have a productive morning, make excuses, and take the same route you usually take to your work or home.
RELATED: How to have a great day tomorrow.
2. SEVEN WAYS TO GET BETTER AT MAKING SMALL TALK
“The fallback for a lot of people is like the newscast ‘hourly update’ — traffic, sports, weather and so on. Drill this into your head: It is a horrible icebreaker.”
When it comes to small talk, you can do a lot better than just asking, “How are you?”
Gary Burnison shares seven ways to make better small talk including to open your eyes before you open your mouth, share news that actually happened to you, and ask follow up questions.
RELATED: How to ask better questions and have more interesting conversations.
3. HOW TO BE MORE AMBITIOUS
“Ambition is more likely to result once you’ve already put in some time and gotten good enough at something that you start to get better opportunities.”
It’s one thing to struggle to figure out how to achieve your ambitions, but what if you don’t feel that ambitious to begin with?
Scott H. Young explores how to be more ambitious and suggests the best way to do so is to widen the scope of your ambitions, get on a positive feedback loop, and not wait to feel ambitious before getting started.
RELATED: The technique ambitious people use to get what they want.
4. FRED ROGERS’ 1997 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD SPEECH
“All of us have special ones who loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are, those who cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life.”
In 1997, Fred Rogers (aka “Mr. Rogers”) was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Emmys.
In this video of his speech, you can see him lead the audience in a powerful moment of silence to acknowledge the people in their lives who helped them get where they are.
It’s worth a watch — and a great way to use 10 seconds of your time today.
RELATED: Mr. Rogers’ 1969 plea for PBS funding.
5. HOW TO KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO STOP RESEARCHING AND MAKE A DECISION
“We think that rational decision-making means exhaustively enumerating our options, weighing each carefully, and then selecting the best. In practice, when the clock — or the ticker — is ticking, few aspects of decision-making, or of thinking more generally, are so important as one: when to stop.”
When making decisions it’s helpful to research your options…as long as you don’t spend too much time doing so.
Brian Christian breaks down the concept of optimal stopping and explains how to know when it’s time to stop researching and start to act.
He examines how the principle of optimal stopping impacts our decisions about everything from who to marry to where to park.
RELATED: Make decisions before you have to.
6. THREE WAYS TO BREAK OUT OF A BUSYNESS LOOP
“Action addiction is an advanced sort of laziness. It keeps us busily occupied with tasks. The busier we keep ourselves, the more we avoid being confronted with questions of life and death.”
Are you busy because you have to be or because you choose to be?
Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter suggest it’s often the latter and offer three ways to break out of a busyness loop including to take an awareness break and halt your action addiction.
RELATED: How to avoid the busy trap.
7. HOW TO EARN MONEY ON MEDIUM
“Some people have a lot of fear about publishing often because they think it will make readers sick of their work. But I think the only way that can happen is if you write about issues you don’t genuinely care about, or if your writing never gets better. And perhaps, if you’re never vulnerable.”
Shannon Ashley started blogging on Medium about a year ago.
She had no following at the time, but is now earning about $2,000 a week through their partner program.
In this post she explains how to earn money on Medium based on her experience which includes to publish often, be vulnerable in your writing, and celebrate every little win along the way.
By the way, if you’re a Medium user, you can connect with me on the platform here or follow the For The Interested Medium publication.
RELATED: How to go from zero to 14,000 followers on Medium.
8. A KNOWLEDGE PROCESSING SYSTEM FOR CREATORS
“PKM is a systems approach to dealing with the firehose of fragmented information that bombards our headspace daily. Processes that help to efficiently gather, classify, store, search, and retrieve information that supports work activities and creative knowledge work (idea generation, insights, breakthroughs, big ideas, etc.).”
If you’re somebody who consumes a lot of information in order to create things (and I’m guessing you are), you’re going to find this useful.
Andre Chaperon explains what a knowledge processing system is and shares how you can use one to catalog, archive, and access all the various bits of interesting information you comes across in your travels.
RELATED: How to access breakthrough knowledge and minimize noise.
9. GREAT ART DOESN’T HAVE TO COME OUT OF DARKNESS
“I don’t believe that true creativeness comes out of misery and insanity.”
The stereotypical myth of the tortured artist is a lie.
In this four-minute video, Patton Oswalt talks about how he’s learned great art doesn’t have to come out of darkness and shares a story about Vincent Van Gogh that reveals a side of the legendary artist which is often overlooked.
RELATED: How to be an artist.
10. HOW TO GET MEANINGFUL ATTENTION FOR YOUR WORK
“In an increasingly cluttered media landscape, we need attention that moves the needle and not just our ego.”
Most publicity these days is meaningless.
In this post I explain how to get meaningful attention for your work including to tell shareable stories, measure metrics that matter, and focus on a key demo.
RELATED: How to tell stories on social media that capture people’s attention.
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WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I got some of this week’s ideas from Jocelyn K. Glei, Thomas Oppong, Maxwell Anderson, Media REDEF, and Rob Walker — they’re awesome and worth checking out.
Image via Ramona Rosales.