“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton
Transparency doesn’t always feel good.
It can be scary, difficult, and depressing. It can make us question things we thought we understood.
But transparency exposes truth and in doing so it creates opportunities.
Opportunities to improve. To correct. To progress.
The rising transparency of our world forces us to look in the mirror and see things we may not like.
But it also creates opportunities for us to become better.
I believe we can and we will.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. THE 3 MINUTES IT TAKES TO READ THIS WILL SIMPLIFY YOUR WORK FOREVER
“Work complications are often a direct result of attempts to spin stories around what we do. The truth is usually simple. It’s our embellishments and excuses that complicate things.”
Do you wish your work could be a little simpler? Well, it can.
In this post, I suggest five things you can do to simplify your work including to set specific goals, ignore the “rules,” and create constraints.
2. A REMINDER OF WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON
“It’s easy to put people in boxes. There’s us and there’s them.”
This commercial for a Danish TV station is going to make you feel better about the world no matter what your political views may be at the moment.
Titled “All That We Share,” it’s an inspirational reminder that despite our differences we have more in common than we realize.
3. NINE THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER IN LIFE AS MUCH AS YOU THINK THEY DO
“It’s nice to create impact that changes the world when you are no longer there. But maybe things matter in a different way than we think. Maybe everything matters because nothing matters.”
Do things like opinions, family, death, and permission matter as much as we act like they do?
James Altucher makes a case that they don’t in this post about nine things that don’t matter in life.
His observations include that it’s ok to feel hunger some times, that more work doesn’t really get you anything, and that negative emotions might have a purpose.
4. HOW TO GET YOUR CO-WORKERS TO TRUST YOU
“Sharing a little piece of information about yourself is key to cultivating warmth, a concept that’s widely misunderstood: Warmth is distinct from friendliness or cheeriness…it’s about how easily you can convey to another person that the two of you have something meaningful in common.”
It turns out the best way to get co-workers to trust you may have nothing to do with proving your competency on the job.
This New York Magazine article suggests that the best way to win the trust of your co-workers is actually to share a personal story with them. That goes a long way toward bonding them to you and develops their trust in you.
5. SEVEN THINGS YOU SHOULD DO EVERY DAY AFTER WORK
“For the next 30 days, devote just 60 minutes of your time after work to the best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions.”
The best opportunity to achieve what you want in life may be to take advantage of the time you have after each work day ends.
Thomas Oppong believes that to be the case and points out seven things you should do every day after work to make the most of that time.
His suggestions include to spend an hour a day learning about a specific topic, to reflect on what you learn by blogging, to re-think your evening routine, and more.
6. HOW FACEBOOK PERSONALITY QUIZZES MAY HAVE HELPED TRUMP WIN
“Our smartphone is a vast psychological questionnaire that we are constantly filling out, both consciously and unconsciously.”
If you only read one link in this newsletter, this one is the most eye-opening, terrifying, and important to read — regardless of your political leanings.
It tells the story of the data that turned the world upside down and influenced both the Brexit vote and U.S. presidential election.
It’s an amazing story of how an innocent 34-year-old psychologist’s research was combined with data from those stupid Facebook personality quizzes to help political campaign marketers influence the elections.
As somebody who has a lot of experience with Facebook marketing, I found this Vice article fascinating (and scary) — I can’t even imagine how mind-blowing it is if you’re not that familiar with how Facebook marketing works.
7. HOW TO MASTER YOUR LAUNDRY
“You should always wash your jeans inside-out, since washing and drying processes are abrasive and could cause them to fade.”
There’s a lot in this world we can’t control, so let’s take a moment to focus on something we can — our laundry.
This Apartment Therapy article features 10 tips to master your laundryincluding to sort clothes by more than just color, to figure out what temperature is best for which clothes, to choose the right cycle, and more.
8. WILLPOWER IS A DANGEROUS, OLD, FALSE IDEA
“Willpower may simply be a pre-scientific idea — one that was born from social attitudes and philosophical speculation rather than research, and enshrined before rigorous experimental evaluation of it became possible.”
You can stop beating yourself up for not having enough willpower now because psychologists are starting to question its existence.
This Nautilus article explores how many of the underlying ideas about willpower are incorrect and details the dangers of creating a society that believes too strongly in it.
9. FIVE WAYS BRANDS WILL CHANGE IN 2017
“Brands will be stripped down to their essential parts, their narratives made simpler and more transparent. Honesty will reign. Successful branding will have fewer tricks and more truth.”
As the world becomes more politically and culturally aware, brands are also going to need to change their approach to marketing.
Fast Company shares five ways branding will change in 2017, including that brands will stop trying to trick you, will be forced to examine their ethics, and will become more politically active.
10. WHY WE’VE GOT NO PROTEST MUSIC
“Everybody’s so busy struggling, they don’t want to take any steps that might hold them back.”
Will our current political climate lead to great new music? Industry observer Bob Lefsetz doesn’t think so.
In this post he explains why no great protest music has emerged yet, citing everything from artists who grew up influenced by Mariah Carey instead of Bob Dylan, to a hip hop culture that’s become more interested in lifestyle than speaking truth to power, to a music industry where most hits are crafted by Europeans, among other contributing factors.
A RECOMMENDED READ
Tim Wu’s The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires is based on a fascinating premise: Every era of information technology (phone, radio, TV, film, and internet) has followed the same pattern.
They begin as open, utopian, communication platforms and become monopolized and controlled by small cartels.
The book is an incredible look at the history of media and offers a lot to think about with regard to where the internet is headed.