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Keep Going

James Whatley puts out a newsletter I dig called FIVE THINGS ON FRIDAY. In his most recent one he added a bit at the end that I thought was pretty cool.

Three mantras to take away with you this week. Each one I apply to different parts of my work/life, at various times. Each one, bizarrely, coming up this week in different conversations.

1. Try to move towards things, not away from things.

2. Try to make decisions on what you want to do tomorrow (not on what happened yesterday).

3. Pursue great work, with inspiring people.

If in doubt, ever, look around you – everyone else is getting on with their lives and focusing on their own thing. Focus on yours. Move forward.

And KEEP GOING.

With number one, I do try to move toward things in my life. I’ve been given some amazing opportunities and have tried to do my best to take advantage. Part of that is not looking backwards. The line also reminds me of a James Clear blog post entitled, Move Towards the Next Thing, Not Away From the Last Thing.

As for number two, I’m terrible at this. I worry about too much about past mistakes in decision making and not learning from them. It paralyzes me at times.

The goal for me in making better decisions is forget making the perfect decision and just make a choice. If it’s an error, correct as soon as possible.

One of the ideas is to unconsciously listen to yourself regarding a decision. Unfortunately, my intuition is wacked-out. My gut reactions are more often than not the wrong choice. I don’t think things through as clearly as I should. My wife calls this anticipatory thinking. She makes excellent decisions because she goes though the anticipated results of a variety of choices. She does this unconsciously and incredibly fast. I am in awe of her when she does this.

I’m also a worrier. Like, big time worrier. One of my goals in life is to let go of worry and just choose.

Inspiring people and pursuing great work sounds so aspirational as to be nearly wishful thinking. Still, I want to do great work. I want this bit of writing to be great. I’d like to think sharing the three mantras might inspire you, dear reader. I don’t know though and likely will never know unless you comment below.

Lastly, he talks about focus. One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve grown older and (hopefully) wiser is when people have lost focus. Actually, seeing people actively not giving their entire focus on a presentation, meeting, or one-on-one makes me angry.

I admire laser-like focus. It is a quality I see in a lot of successful people and one I hope to emulate on a regular basis.

These three mantras hit me at an important time in my life. I need to look forward, make good decisions, do great work, focus and keep going. If you’re reading this, I bet you do too.

Good luck.

Known Person

I have a ton of interests and would like to write on every topic, from sports to politics to Star Wars to our household dog. It might be better to just focus on one topic (like Daring Fireball for instance), but that seems boring and constricting.

 

No one is going to confuse me with an expert, but I like to know a little about a lot of things. I also think everyone is entitled to their informed opinion (like with facts and stuff). Do you get upset when Ted Nugent says horrific things about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton? What about when Leonardo DiCaprio talks about climate change? How about when the President complains about LeBron James on Twitter? Do you roll your eyes and think what do they know? These are “known people” and they get attacked for their positions and told to “stick to music/acting/sports/etc.”

 

Paul Jarvis argues that if you are on the internet publically sharing, you are a “known person.” His definition of a “known person” is  “…a person who publicly shares their knowledge, experience, and personality in articles, videos, social, etc. Big audience, small audience, it doesn’t matter. If you’re sharing, someone knows something about you and you are a known person.”

 

This idea has stuck with me. I don’t want to lose jobs or friends because of something I post on the internet, but we hear horror/righteous stories all the time. I have to think before I post anything because I’m a “known person” and what I say can affect my family, friends and livelihood.

 

Jarvis keenly understands this in his blog post. He features nine points that he’s noticed about known persons. This paragraph blew me away:

 

Known people can’t make mistakes, even small ones like typos, without being blasted for it. I received 100s of emails from people saying they don’t trust my writing because I made a spelling mistake or that I can’t be the expert I apparently said I was because an email of mine from years ago has a URL in it that’s now malfunctioning.

 

He’s right, of course. For me personally, I’m more concerned about losing work like James Gunn or Chuck Wendig because of some old tweet or blog post.

He goes on to say everyone has jobs to do, sometimes in a public arena or privately:

 

The point is that unless we’re independently wealthy (note: I’m not rich like me), we all have jobs to do. Some jobs can be done in private, where we get paid to do something that other folks don’t notice because there’s no need for them to. Some jobs require the work to be done in public, in order to pay enough to make a living and be sustainable long term.

 

I don’t have to write publically. I like doing it though and if it means I have to be more careful in my online interactions and social media, so be it.

 

Alphabetical Me

This is going around and I figured I might as well fill it out…

 

  • Available/Single?  No.
  • Best Friend?  Grant Chastain, unless you count my wife
  • Cake or Pie?  Probably pie.
  • Drink of Choice?  Water. I like to use Mio and flavored raspberry tea
  • Essential Item You Use Everyday?  My iPhone
  • Favorite Color?  I’m rather partial to navy, evergreen, and wine
  • Gummy Bears or Worms?  Probably bears, but these are not something I consume. At all.
  • Hometown?  Effingham, Illinois. The Heart of America.
  • Indulgence?  Steak N Shake Royale Steakburger
  • January or February?  January is winter without the holidays. February is the thaw. I prefer the thaw and Valentine’s Day
  • Kids and Their Names?  I have three (not counting the dog) and you aren’t getting their names.
  • Life is Incomplete Without?  The letter e?
  • Marriage Date?  Yes, I’m married. No, you aren’t getting the date. It’s sufficient that I know it and my wife knows it.
  • Number of Siblings?  I have a brother.
  • Oranges or Apples?  I don’t eat them anymore, but I liked apple slices more than orange slices.
  • Phobias/Fears?  Trump in 2020.
  • Quote You Like?   “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” — Linus Pauling
  • Reason to Smile?  Another day above ground is a good day.
  • Season?  Sweatshirts and shorts season. I think we had it for about five days this year and I’m severely disappointed
  • Tag Three or Four People?  I do not “tag” people. They do not want to be “tagged.”
  • Unknown Fact About Me?  I’ve never actually seen It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • Vegetable You Don’t Like?  I used to not like Brussel sprouts and then I had them cooked correctly and they were divine. I’ll eat anything.
  • Worst Habit?  Procrastination.
  • X-rays You’ve Had?  Have a hard time coming up with an X in your little alphabet game? I guess a lot of teeth X-rays?
  • Your Favorite Food?  Steak
  • Zodiac Sign?  Cancer. When I was much younger and stupider, I used to say, “I’m a Cancer, I grow on you.” Man, I was dumb.