Idea Surplus Disorder #59

Idea Surplus Disorder #59

Happy Monday, and thanks for letting me take a week off for the eclipse last Monday.

In this edition, preambles, interestingness, climbing career walls, the perils of keeping up, Hitchens' razor, flashtags, eclipses (of the heart), and more.

I'm Matt Homann and I'm glad you're here!

SuperCollider is May 3rd

After a small pilot on April 5th, the first public SuperCollider is Friday, May 3rd, in Cortex.

SuperCollider is a team-focused experience that combines learning, co-working, collaboration, and giving back.

You can sign up here.

Ideas + Insights

Got something important to write? Begin with a preamble just for yourself:

I recommend writing a preamble, just for your own use, on everything you write. Take a few minutes and consider what you’re trying to say. What is your main point? Who are you writing for? Then actually write this information down at the top of your document (or notebook, or cafe napkin) so it’s there staring you in the face as you work. As you write, and as you edit, you can compare what you have on the page to what you set out to do.

This is important advice to remember: don't delegate your interestingness to AI:

Use the tools if you must. But a better use of your extra energy — such as it is — is to live the gap between human and AI. Can an AI gather, synthesize, calculate, and even speculate faster than we can? Yes. Can it do all those things better than we can? Maybe. Can it be more interesting, unexpected, artful, or meaningful? Well that’s just a matter of taste.

Can't seem to "keep up" with everything your friends and coworkers read? Let go of keeping up:

Give yourself space. Step away from the internet. Ignore the websites that want you to rate and review art like it’s a toothbrush or a new pair of sneakers. Don’t even keep a list of books read, if you don’t want to. What we get from reading is not quantifiable, not a statistic to earn or an item to collect. It’s an experience, a process, an education, a gift. You will get something out of it whether you read 10 books a year or 100. And no one has to know, either way.

Your career should be a climbing wall, not a ladder.

Don't aim to be the best, on being the only:

You want to be the only. You want to — and that’s a very high bar because it requires a tremendous amount of self-knowledge and awareness to get to that point, to really understand what it is that you do better than anybody else in the world.
And for most of us, it takes all our lives to figure that out. And we also, by the way, need family, friends, colleagues, customers, clients, everyone around us to help us understand what it is that we do better than anybody else because we can’t really get there by yourself. You can’t do thinkism, you can’t figure your way there, you have to try and live it out.
And that’s why most people’s remarkable lives are full of detours and dead ends and right turns because it’s a very high bar. But if you can get there — you don’t need a resume, there’s no competition. And it’s easy for you because you’re doing it. You’re not looking over your shoulder, you’re just right there. So don’t aim to be the best. Be the only.

I'm thinking about this insight from James Clear:

If you feel resistance before you begin, it's usually procrastination and you need to get started.
If you feel resistance after you begin, it's usually feedback and you need to make adjustments.

You're only as good as your worst day:

You’re only as good as your worst day. Not because what you do for the rest of the time doesn’t matter. Not because you should be expected to be perfect under immense stress or to behave according to plan when everything goes awry. But because what you do on your worst day is impossible to fake.
Your plans and preparation (or lack thereof) show how much you care about the people who depend on you. You get to build and strengthen bonds in ways that will last a lifetime, or you risk destroying relationships in moments. You get to build trust and respect or you might break what you have irreparably.

Looking for a response to a suggestion you make at work? Hubspot uses these four "flashtags" to convey the amount of feedback desired:

  • “#fyi” indicates a passing idea without expecting a response
  • “#suggestion” offers advice to be considered but doesn’t require action
  • “#recommendation” implies a well-thought-out proposal that deserves attention and a reasoned response
  • “#plea” demands compliance or at least discussion of the option

Hitchen's Razor:

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

Fifteen methods to master your time as a one-page infographic.

Here's another fun (yet mostly accurate) infographic: Should I post on LinkedIn?

Host a PowerPoint night with your friends to explain what each of you do for work all day. Or, just talk with them.

Todd Henry suggests some great questions for your next 1:1 with your direct reports:

How challenged by your work do you feel right now? What do you think might help you increase your sense of challenge? Is there any work that you wish you could do but that isn’t a part of your normal workload? Why? Are there any skills that you’ve always wanted to develop but don’t have the chance to in the course of your normal work? When do you feel most engaged in your work, and why? How can I help you do more of that kind of work?

Fun Finds

Words Of Wisdom

“I would love to live Like a river flows, Carried by the surprise Of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue
"Abstraction is the luxury of the expert. If you’ve got to teach an idea to a room full of people, and you aren’t certain what they know, concreteness is the only safe language." – Chip & Dan Heath
"If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day." – Naval Ravikant
"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm." — Publilius Syrus
"A lot of pessimism is fueled by the fact that it often looks like we haven’t innovated in years—but that’s usually because it takes years to notice a new innovation." – Morgan Housel
"When you lose people for doing the right thing, then you lost the right people." – Leta McCollough Seletzky
“Humor is a way to show you’re smart without bragging.” – Mark Twain
"No one will remember it was on time. Everyone will remember it was bad." – Michael Beirut
"Make your eulogy better than your resume." – Peter Attia

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