Writing requires courage, audacity. I’m not suggesting that there is something heroic about writing but I do believe that to commit words and ideas to the page demands something of the writer. Whether fiction or nonfiction, most writers are baring some part of themselves. They are making themselves vulnerable because the writing demands it.
Roxane Gay in "What Zadie Smith Taught Roxane Gay: Identity Is Drag" (via britticisms)
We can empathize in two ways. One is more self-reflective, in that we empathize with another person in terms of how we might feel in their situation or how it makes us feel. The other form of empathy is being open to how the other person feels, with substantially less self-referral in the process. The latter is a truer form of being open to another person and caring about them.
If I think about work through the same lens I think about yoga — with a constant focus on my practice — I believe that living and listening with full openness is my biggest current area of growth.
Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”
And indeed, that IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.
I confessed to Buster a thought that’s been holding me back for awhile,
"I worry I’m not creating enough value".
Is what I want to do enough? Should I be doing something better?
Buster said he used to think about that a lot too, he used to worry about creating something meaningful for the world. But creating value is such a nebulous thing: what is valuable? Does it count if you help someone else create value? What if you create a lot of value but no one knows you were the driving force? Or what if you never fully understand the value you create?
He said people try to save the world, but to some extent that’s an insecure desire. You want to create meaning for the world to prove to others that your life was meaningful; that you deserved to be here.
That will stick with me for a long time.
Discover who you are and what you love, then spend your life investing in yourself and the things you care about.
It’s tough work to figure out who you are, what you believe, who you love, and what you do.
But if you have the courage to figure it out, you’ll live an authentic life. That, as my conversation with Buster revealed, seems like the best way to live.
I got full-body chills when I read that post on 52 Cups of Coffee, and still do every time I re-read it. Her worry is my worry — and his answer might help me start to crack open the nut on mine.
It reinforces a tiny seed of an idea I keep coming back to: the world needs more people who’ve come alive.
If you’re tired of hearing marketers talk about storytelling and brand experiences and customer loyalty and social media marketing strategies, please stop what you’re doing and watch this video from Kathy Sierra immediately.
She’s serving up a healthy dose of reality: businesses are only successful if they’re making their customers’ lives easier — not through bribing users, gamifying/manipulating their behavior, or through making the most glossy app interface ever. (Which ties in beautifully to what I’ve been reading in Nir Eyal’s Hooked, particularly in the What Are You Going To Do With This chapter) Because at the end of the day, it’s not about being perceived as awesome — it’s making your users awesome, even if it’s unsexy for you.
So how can you orient your offerings around making a consumer — not you — more badass? How can you create something that makes them want to talk about their experience? How do you delight your clients?