“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” — Walt Disney
I’m in San Diego sitting at a hotel room desk on a mini-vacation, typing away on a Saturday night.
Because this newsletter is something I do.
When we decide something’s important enough to do, we have to actually do it.
That means not skipping a session, day, week, or month.
Doing it means doing it.
We can stop whenever we want. But once we do, it’s no longer a thing we do.
That’s the trade-off.
I choose to do and highly recommend it.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“I consume a LOT of content and this is where the best of it comes from.”
I was recently asked in our For The Interested Facebook Group how I find the things I feature in this newsletter and the answer is most of them are discovered through a series of other great newsletters I read.
In this post, I share 25 newsletters worth inviting into your inbox as well as descriptions of what each has to offer.
“We really underestimate the role that deliberation and reflection play in learning. To a degree we know it, this is why you think of things in the shower or right before you go to bed. You have these moments where you brain is thinking through the day, making connections, and what’s important, I think, for people who are trying to learn more effectively, is to make organized time for that.”
If you’re reading this newsletter you’re likely interested in learning and this Atlantic article has some suggestions for how to get better at doing so.
It’s an interview with education researcher Ulrich Boser, who wrote the book Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything.
Boser believes learning is about understanding the relationships between things and how they interact with each other, explains why re-reading and highlighting is ineffective, points out that people underestimate how much they forget, and more.
“Success in life, however you define it, is the result of how many tough conversations you are willing to have.”
We each have our own unique set of anxieties, but this list will probably check a few of your boxes.
“Too often, content aimed at entrepreneurs is reduced to repeating well-worn catchphrases and habit improvement techniques.”
We live in an amazing time when so much knowledge and expertise is available at our fingertips — if we know where to look.
Yoav Anaki can help with that as he’s put together a nice list of 12 YouTube channels for entrepreneurs that are packed with excellent advice. It includes channels from Y Combinator, Stanford Business School, How To Start A Startup and more.
“There really is something daunting about approaching a round-numbered birthday. Researchers looking at people who were 29, 39, 49, or 59 found that they were more likely to make a big life change — good or bad. They found that these ‘9-enders’ were overrepresented in groups of people seeking to have an affair, people killing themselves, and people running a marathon for the first time.”
Here’s a fun one based on cumulative research from a number of different studies.
Want to know the best age to learn a new language, be attractive to the opposite sex, run a marathon, make the most money, have the most brain processing power, or be satisfied with your life?
Then you’re going to want to read this breakdown of the ages you peak at everything in life.
“Your expectations shape your reality. They can change your life, emotionally and physically. You need to be extra careful about (and aware of) the expectations you harbor as the wrong ones make life unnecessarily difficult.”
Most unhappy people are unhappy for the same reason — they have faulty expectations.
Quartz breaks down eight expectations that lead to unhappiness including that everyone should like you, that opportunities will fall into your lap, that people know what you’re trying to say, and more.
“Countless schools are axing recess to make more time for test prep, as if childhood development is less important than test scores. Ironically, both suffer at the loss of recess.”
Recess time is dwindling for American students and The Best Schoolsmagazine makes a compelling case for that being a terrible thing.
This article points out that many schools are cutting recess in favor of more test prep and points out the impact of eliminating recess is rising obesity, over-medication of children, and even a negative impact on test scores.
“On average most people can only hold seven ‘items’ of information in their working memory at one time.”
Our working memory is basically the information we hold in our brain as we actively use it. It’s limited, powerful, a key to our ability to focus, and it can be improved.
Business Insider explains how working memory operates and suggests three ways to improve your working memory, including to reduce stress in your life, increase high-intensity exercise, and increase practice of a specific skill such as playing an instrument.
“If potential customers don’t care about you, they won’t care about your products or services. What people do care about is how you can help or entertain them.”
Marketing tactics can piss people off, but they certainly don’t have to if you learn to promote yourself or your product in the right way.
Growth Lab breaks down four mistakes bad marketers make including to talk about yourself, sell products instead of solutions, try to game the system, and try to be everywhere.
“There’s only two ways I know of to make money: bundling and unbundling.”
If you work in media or entertainment (or if you’re interested in how changes in those industries impact what gets created for you), this Ben Thompsonpresentation at the recent Recode conference is a must-watch.
In a 34-minute talk, he breaks down the current state of the media industryand how it’s adapting (or not) to changes driven by new technology.
He concludes we’re in the midst of a great unbundling…and a simultaneous rebundling.