Pulling the trigger

Nonviolently. I believe we’re all blessed with the ability to create ideas. Seth Godin, in his interview with Tim Ferris, said that the way to have good ideas is to have bad ideas. “If you put enough bad ideas into the world, sooner or later your brain will wake up, and good ideas will come.”

So, the thing to do is to put your ideas into action.

I’ve sat on ideas. I’ve seen some come to market from other people. I’ve seen some never materialize. And I’ve even put a few into the world myself – this blog for instance.

This blog isn’t anything revolutionary. It’s just my ideas, flowing out into the world. The way to get the good ideas out is to get all the ideas out. Eventually, the one that is revolutionary will make its way to its audience. And that’s when the change can happen.

Another Friday

Well, it’s been a while since I listed things I was looking at or getting into. So, here it goes:

Book I’ve been reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I’d seen the Sean Connery film years ago, then devoted some time to its early chapters sitting in a Barnes & Noble circa 2003-2004. I didn’t buy the book, and at the time didn’t seem to fully grasp it. Now I’m giving it another chance.

What I’ve been listening to: Evita, the revival featuring Elena Roger and Ricky Martin. I’m a swing for a production of Evita right now (opening night is tonight) and I’ve been brushing up on my Argentinian.

What I’ve been watching: Lost Girl. It’s on Netflix, and had been sitting in the queue for some time (years? Hard to tell.). I do remember seeing ads for it on SyFy at some point. It’s good. A little formulaic, but I had actually been looking at differences in seelie/unseelie over the past two weeks, so starting this kind of came at a perfect time. (It’s a show about a bisexual succubus learning that there are courts of Fae in the world, and she must navigate the unique environments of faerie life.) Stars Anna Silk as Bo and Ksenia Solo as Kenzi (who was also on Turn: Washington’s Spies).

Other things of note:
Dorian almost came across Florida. Everyone knows that, but here’s a little bit of why forecasting hurricanes is hard.
Seth Godin writes an interesting post about what we own.
How to cook in a Donabe – the Japanese ceramic wonder pot.

A post a day?

I use my iPhone’s Notes app pretty religiously. Here’s a screen shot:

IMG_2338

So, this awkward little snapshot into my thought processes is embarrassing. But the one post a day idea I jotted down on March 11 came back up on April 1st, when I was listening to the first conversation Seth Godin and Tim Ferris had, back in early 2016.

Seth said, “The first thing I would say is everyone should blog, even if it’s not under their own name, every single day. If you are in public making predictions and noticing things, your life gets better.

Because you will find a discipline that can’t help but benefit you. If you want to do it in a diary, that’s fine. But the problem with diaries is because they’re private, you can start hiding. In public, in this blog, there it is. Six weeks ago you said this; 12 weeks ago you said that. Are you able, every day, to say one thing that’s new that you’re willing to stand behind? I think that’s just a huge, wonderful practice.”

Now, will I post every day? Who knows. But will I try? You betcha!

March Reading List

March, 2019

Books Bought:

  • The Essential Drucker – Peter Drucker
  • The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker
  • The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham
  • Kraken – China Mieville
  • This is Marketing – Seth Godin

Books Read:

  • This is Marketing – Seth Godin
  • Kraken – China Mieville (unfinished)
  • The Aspirational Investor – Ashvin B. Chhabra
  • Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss (unfinished)

For March, I didn’t get a whole lot done. Bought a few used books, read a little. March was a transitional month, one job shifting to the next. The last week in March was the first week of work, and it was a lot of hours in the new role.

This is Marketing – quintessential Godin. For whatever reason, any time I listen to him I generate ideas left and right. It’s motivational, and I enjoy everything about his work. I have The Icarus Deception around somewhere, and I may need to reread that as well soon.

Kraken, off to a strange start. The mystery grabbed me finally, about sixty pages in, but I don’t know if it will keep hold of me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out. It reminds me a bit of Christopher Moore, but with less humor. Maybe not less humor, but different humor. And I miss Leon already…

The Aspirational Investor came recommended, so I gave it a try. My money in the markets usually goes up and down, and I just put more in every month. At some point I may do more with it. That remains to be seen. This book was fine, but it wasn’t really new information. I did like the three-tier breakdown of risk, which I’ll likely use in my investments.

And then Ferriss, which I just pull from time to time. This month, reading about acroyoga has led me to further exploration of that activity.

April Fools’

I listened to Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin on the Tim Ferris podcast a few weeks ago. They spoke about Seth’s April fools’ joke of a few years prior. They discuss how, after emailing their lists that the blog would be coming to an end, they received angry notes from their followers. Followers that weren’t in on the joke, and how fear led them to respond.

The truth is, we mostly operate out of fear. It’s stepping away from our fears, and into that other that we find out what we’re here to do. That we’re not playing a zero-sum game, but rather a win-win infinite game – that’s just to be enjoyed.

Your joke:

A man goes to the barber and the barber asks, “How would you like your hair cut?”

The man answers, “In silence.”

Authenticity

“One must know what one wants to be,” the eighteenth-century French mathematician Émilie du Châtelet wrote in weighing the nature of genius. (From Brain Pickings).

Lots of smart people have spoken or written about being true to yourself. Why is that? What is so important about being your authentic self?

There are two elements to this. The first is: an authentic person is doing that thing which she was put here to do. The feeling of absolute joy that comes from being authentic is contagious, and that’s why authentic people are viewed as charismatic, agreeable, and engaging.

Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, ‘Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.'” (Oprah’s new book, The Path Made Clear).

The other element is the concern of authenticity preventing some from showing up. As Seth Godin puts it in his interview on the Tim Ferriss show, “Which means, and this is someplace I’ve gotten in trouble before, authenticity is totally overrated, totally. That I don’t want an authentic surgeon who says, ‘I don’t really feel like doing knee surgery today.’ I want a professional who shows up whatever they feel like, right?

While I view that as a valid point, and I greatly admire Seth Godin and all the work he’s done (I’ve read a number of his books, some multiple times), I believe that this example is more about a lazy authenticity, rather than it being authentic.

The surgeon in Godin’s example is (hopefully) being authentic in being a surgeon. That’s what fuels his life. If he come in and says he doesn’t feel like doing knee surgery today, then it’s not in line with his authentic self. Or, he didn’t want to be a knee surgeon to begin with.

Authenticity, in my view, is something that will give us energy.

Now I do believe that we may find ourselves aligned to our authenticity, while not fully being authentic. That’s why you see so many Generation X and Y switching careers, rather than staying in one for their whole life. (One of the reasons.) Because they are searching for authenticity. But in the job you’re doing – the one you’ve agreed to do for the time being – you still need to show up. To do your best.

What does this mean?

Half the time, I’m not sure of the results.

The other half of the time, I’m sure, but I’m wrong about results better than 50% when I am sure.

So, really, I know very little. I’m just winging it. But aren’t we all?

I don’t know what programs are going to be successful. I don’t know which blog posts are going to be read. I don’t know who tunes in to my radio broadcasts, or if anyone downloads the podcast.

But, all in all, it’s an easy way to put something out there.

Steven Pressfield would say it’s doing the work. Seth Godin would call it “shipping art”. Some may just call it product.

But that’s showing up.

And really, that is what it’s all about. Showing up. Because decisions are made by people who show up.