The Best Way To Stay Present

While in the process of writing the second draft of a guest post about my thoughts on my spiritual journey in relation to the film ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ I caught myself before getting fully lost in my own thoughts: ‘Wow…I’m not thinking of any other thing at the moment. I’m totally immersed!’

 

Whether that means that I might drop off the time spent on making music….I don’t know. I do know that music is still a bit part of my life. I recently felt my heart swell a tad while listening to an arrangement of Adele’s ‘Hello’ by an orchestra (I couldn’t find the version I saw on SBS though this one sounds similar to that arrangement).

 

Could that mean that I’ll be more of a listener (maybe the music discovery project might take the front seat more?)? For now, I think what I’m supposed to do with that reminder is to keep track of those moments when I am able to easily be present in what I’m doing

 

It’s one thing to find out that I need solitude to recharge, and another to find out what kind of ‘activities in solitude’ helps the most. It may turn out to be a combination of G rated clips from The Graham Norton Show and running through my to-do list (particularly the ones that have me working with specific constraints: may it be addressing notes from an editor or trying to mesh two ideas together to birth a unique one)

 

 

 

 

 


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Would You Rather…?

A £200m trust fund that came with a parent that didn’t really think you were good enough? Or look after teens (13-25) for 15 hours a day for the rest of your life?

 

Whether it be a difficult choice or easy, I find that playing this particular game could be connected to a person’s state of envy. It would be quite easy for me to think that Alain de Botton has been set for life because of his hefty financial cushion. Though noticing the key phrase (“untouched £200m trust fund“) could lay the key to understanding Alain a bit (would he choose the second option?).

 

Here’s something you can use as a spring board to come up with five of your own (Rating M: Some swearing). Quite handy to get to know someone a bit deeper, and help you decide if they are part of your fifteen. 🙂

 

 

 

 


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What Is A Hero?

I like how the more I ponder on something, the more likely I’d understand it.

 

As I was listening to Clay Scroggins’ talk, a thought came to me. Then I found myself wondering who’d I consider a hero.

 

It would be someone who is:

  • Able to hold back their biting comment — and wait for the right time to share it (maybe after arranging it as a ‘not so biting’ comment so the recipient wouldn’t be so defensive)
  • Alert to their surroundings, so much that they are able to notice when someone is not okay — and take the time to ask.
  • Taking an hour out of their day to report unhelpful comments on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram (you’ll be surprised how much inappropriate posts there are on popular tags)
  • Intentional in creating margin — so if they spot someone in need they can just stop. And not worry about being late to the next thing on their calendar.
  • Mature enough to redirect their energy when it is being used wastefully (like complaining and plotting ways to ‘get even’) and find ways to lift up someone in their circle.

 

 

 

 


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The Best Thing For Today And Tomorrow

Do I want to spend two hours and be heard by 5 people or 300?

 

I would have thought my daily choices point to the latter (thereby leveraging my time). But after a quick audit of my activities, I still have a tendency to pick broadcasting to 5 over 300.

 

While watching a documentary earlier today…I got a stark reminder that I am one of those drivers Danny Kahneman was talking about. The scenario was that even if Taxi Drivers know that they get more passengers during rainy days vs sunny days, they don’t make it a point to work more hours on rainy days (and take a day off during sunny days). What’s worse, is the Taxi Drivers stop working once they hit their daily goal (which is the same during sunny days) even when there are tons more earning opportunities.

 

So, in addition to my daily time tracking sheets — I am aiming to pause every few hours to ask the question: ‘Should I continue? Or do I need to pivot?’

 

I know it’s a different scenario for the Notes of Encouragement (which is personalised…and I aim to send each an every one of them myself). But for the Q&A and building the mailing list. There’s an option of guest posting, rather than spending my time on Twitter interacting with individual tweets that are amusing or engaging.

 

Put in another way by Charles Duhigg: “Productivity is not about doing things unthinkingly. Productivity is about pushing yourself to think more about the things that matter…We know that the people who are most productive tend to spend more time thinking about what their priorities ought to be. Instead of getting into their office and just automatically answering emails, and then working on their expenses, and then returning phone calls. Instead of going on auto-pilot….What the most productive people do is they sit down and they say: ‘Okay look, I know I did that yesterday, but is that the best use of my time today?’

 

 

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

Note: The Battle In Your Mind is available for purchase if you’re looking for viewing for your conference attendees.

 


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The Zone and Flow

I was reminded of one of the optimal ways I can get myself to that place where not only do I have the ideas flowing, I also have the motivation to carry me through the activity (however many of them).

 

Surprisingly, it’s using a REALLY old tablet (until I figure out how to root it so I can ‘up’ the system storage), which due to its age…I only am able to keep a limited amount of apps. One I use often is Opera Mini (somehow even less resource exhaustive than the native browser app) to collect posts that would remind me when it is time to create content (either for public consumption — or for clients).

 

Maybe it’s while having a meal (I’m okay eating near phones or tablets — but not a laptop of desktop…) or while cooking.

 

Does one activity come to mind that just gets you there?

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Systems vs Goals

One takeaway I got from Scott’s chat with Srini was the idea of setting up systems rather than goals.

For me it makes sense, because I do believe that we have no idea where a project could lead to. So as Scott shares how he just started blogging, which ended up helping him write his book (as well as write for publications like The Wall Street Journal), which in turn helped him get speaking gigs.

 

Systems:

  • Writing a joke a day
  • Posting on your blog every week (even if you’re inspired or not).
  • Starting conversations with 10 people a day (Say you’re hoping to find a friend…who’s closer than a 4 hour drive!)

 

Goals:

  • I want to perform at the Late Show (not really a goal of mine! I just thought of Jerry’s one joke a day as an example — so this would be a related goal!)
  • I would like 100,000 views per month on my blog
  • Finding 5 new friends

 

The biggest upside of having a system (or at least focusing daily actions broken down from your goal) is that I can easily focus on what I have control over. I mean I can’t control the number of people who visit my site, and I also can’t control where a conversation leads. Though I can schedule to write every week and publish on specific days, and find a way to start up a conversation with someone who’s carrying a copy of Creativity Inc!

 

 

A supporting theory was mentioned during his chat with James about no one knowing what a good idea is (so don’t be too discouraged if someone tells you something is a bad idea — unless well…it’s a bad idea…like what Jimmy cooked up during Season 1 Episode 1 of ‘Better Call Saul’ to get the Kettlemans to sign with him).

 

 

 

 


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Tribes

People who inspire your work.

People who are inspired by your work.

People who make you see other perspectives.

People who make you laugh.

People who get your sense of humour.

People who inspire your journey.

People who are inspired by your journey.

People who think about working with you when they start their next project.

People who you think about working with when you start your next project.

People who help you get out of ruts.

People who you can help get out of a rut.

People who you can’t forget.

People who can’t forget about you.

 

I’d say this is an extension of these three posts: here, here, and here.

Thinking about the number of people in that list (if I limit one line to 5 people), it’s quite within the tolerance of 120 (or 150) of the number of people believed that we can carry social ties with.

 

If you notice the number of people I follow on Twitter increase and decrease at certain times — chances are, I’m in the process of doing a review of the people who I’d like to focus 85% of my time on…while on the platform.

 

It also makes me see future connections differently (before I hit follow) — and it certainly makes me pay more attention to their feed and the people they also follow when the number is less than 150.

 

Additional Reading:

 

P.S. Your right in thinking that with the correct chord progression — these sentences could morph into a song like this. (TBA for link once that day comes!)

 

 

 


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The Gain

I just realised that I’ve let myself fall for the Sunk Cost Fallacy, after noticing that I spend more time than I should (not more than a second!) holding on to specific connections.

 

…human beings—even rational ones—have a limited capacity to remember the original reasoning behind their decisions. If that capacity is exceeded, the information could be lost—so we need a mental placeholder that can remind us of why we decided something…” – K Podcast

 

 

Two things seem to be the root of ‘my hope’ of getting back the time I’ve invested in each person:

  • I would finally figure out what kind of value I can bring – 10% likely
  • Might end up as part of my five – 3% likely

 

It took a conversation with a fellow Elementary viewer to jolt a reminder (yes like an indirect accountability partner!) effective enough to make me take notice that I am focusing on the pain (I’ve already invested hours in getting to know the person and you want me to just throw it away!?) rather than the gain (thinking of what I’ve learned from the failed connections so I can best serve the right people, by spending 0 seconds on the wrong people).

 

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

 


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First Things First

I stuffed up.

 

Big time.

 

Of course I still can bounce back…

 

It’s just…

 

I should know better! (Though painful reminders like this should keep the conversationalist in me in check!)

 

Well…I lost the opportunity to connect two people: an entrepreneur who was keen to hear about an organisation, and open to know more how he could add value — and another who is a high-level contact from that organisation.

 

Why did I stuff up? After knowing this important information (one person has something to offer, and I can connect him to someone who needs it)?

 

You see…instead of just holding off chatter…until I found the detail I needed. I got distracted while reading information on his about page (to figure out how I could suggest on how he could add value to the organisation)…and I started to ask questions that would have been best done at a later time (like after I passed on the information I was looking for first!).

 

was about to type in the information I found…and pitch to the entrepreneur one way I could connect him to the organisation…as I had the epiphany I was waiting for!

 

 

Next thing I knew….I was blocked. 😦 Agh…so close!

 

 

Reminder heard…loud and clear. Thanks life. 🙂

 

 

 


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Avoiding The Ignore Bin

I’m a firm believer that assumptions can be dangerous.

 

Particularly, assuming someone is interested in what you are offering (ideas, services, products). You wouldn’t do it to your friend, so why do it to someone else?

 

Though I hadn’t been always awesome in this area, I can proudly say, that each end every time (even the painful ones!), I have learned how to improve my approaches (both offline and online).

 

I think that constant learning mindset (reviewing what has happened and finding ways how to improve) has paid off a lot, and helped me avoid the ignore bin when reaching out to ‘Marketing Over Coffee‘ when suggesting a guest.

 

I received a reply from one of the hosts (John Wall)  saying that he appreciated me asking (which is a different approach from the majority of pitches they get). And similar to what Simon Sinek shared about approaching ‘asks’ (ask first then catch-up…or add additional information).

 

The upside of asking first is you’ll likely get more information before your pitch! When I received John’s response, it included the kind of guests they’d be keen to have and the kind of guests that aren’t a fit.

 

 

Notes:

  • Yes, I did get John’s blessing to share this entry. 🙂
  • If you’d like me to send you the structure of the email I sent John, just reach out to me directly.
  • Like me to keep you in mind when I pitch to contacts? Okay. As long as you’ve done your research. Pitch me! 😀

 

 


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