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Business Life & Philosophy

Do you love the work or the idea of it?

motivational penguin

Do what you love. Love what you do. These cliches, however, are missing important pieces: Do the work and be good at what you do.

People think they can write a book, but they never set aside the time to work on it. People want to get in shape, but they never hit the gym. People aspire to be an artist, but they never go to the studio to paint.

“Everything is work,” writes Brianna Wiest. She continues:

“People usually can’t differentiate what they really love and what they love the idea of.”

Instead of doing what you think you love, do something you’re already good at and that other people find useful. Never underestimate your innate talents. “Do what you have to give,” Briana implores.

Briana’s advice is the opposite of a book I read this summer entitled Grit by Angela Duckworth. In it, the author praises the ethics of pertinacity. The book’s message is trite but true, assuming the person succeeds. Other times, it might be wiser for people to quit and move on.

But there’s also a third way to look at careerism. Instead of accepting your God-given skills or striving for success, you try new opportunities that come your way so you can grow your mindset/skillset. You decide to challenge yourself, fail, and learn quickly which takes a lot of courage.

People that excel at their job still need to be tested. Skills get you places. But so does curiosity and reflection. Remember Steve’s wisdom, “don’t settle.”

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Side Projects (Part 2)

Side projects rule the world. They can essentially be defined as anything you enjoy doing in your free time with or without the intention of making money.

This blog started as a side project. It’s my canvass for exploring new ideas and thoughts. Gmail and Nasty Gal also started as passion projects. Both are viable businesses today.

The great thing about side projects is that there’s no pressure to make them work, at least in the beginning. You take a side project on for fun and because you think it’ll add some value to other people, even if it’s just a friend.

But I think everyone needs a side project. Today’s reality requires everyone to be an entrepreneur on the side. The economy is forever unpredictable and machines are taking away human jobs. Start a blog, write a book, sell some art on Etsy, make a rap album, or go to the extreme and build a rocket ship or modern car like Elon Musk.

Creativity can’t be automated. It takes the complexity and effort of the human brain to come up with new ideas that are essentially subjective mashups of interests, experiences, and access.

It turns that if you really love doing something and enriching other people’s lives a career may meet you half-way. But there’s no rush to monetize a side-project, just start because you love it first and then capitalize on the opportunities to grow it even further.

For more, read “Side Projects” part 1

Categories
Culture Productivity & Work

Hello, World

via giphy

Introductions require a greeting, your name, and if you’re at work maybe a little bit about what you do.

But really all you need is the greeting. As soon as you pronounce your name and your title people start judging you.

Sometimes you’re better off giving the world a simple ‘hello’ and leaving everything else to the imagination.

Identification undermines the mystery of understanding. What you see is what you get.

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The Robots Are Here

The rise of intelligent machines will spawn new ideologies along with the new economy it is creating. Think of it as a kind of digital social Darwinism, with clear winners and losers: Those with the talent and skills to work seamlessly with technology and compete in the global marketplace are increasingly rewarded, while those whose jobs can just as easily be done by foreigners, robots or a few thousand lines of code suffer accordingly. This split is already evident in the data: The median male salary in the United States was higher in 1969 than it is today. Middle-class manufacturing jobs have been going away due to a mix of automation and trade, and they are not being replaced. The most lucrative college majors are in the technical fields, such as engineering. The winners are doing much better than ever before, but many others are standing still or even seeing wage declines.

Technology, know how to use it or you’ll lose out to it. 

Automation.

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People once defined themselves by their job, church, nation and family. But in these secular, jobless, globalised times when ever more of us live alone, we are no longer very sure who we are.

Simon Kuper explores today’s identity crisis for the middle class.

My 2 cents: A job may be part of your identity but never let a job define who you are.

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Productivity & Work

‘Paperwork is horrendous.’

"Paperwork is horrendous."

Paperwork is an impediment. It’s the reason we avoid applying to school, to jobs, getting a new car or signing off on a business deal.

But it also saves our rears. All that verbiage in the paperwork is a litmus test for your own pertinacity. If you really want it, you’ll go through the painstaking effort to complete the paperwork.

Lawyers look dead tired because they live in paperwork. So do the people that handle IPOs and acquisitions. But that’s how they wanted with their lives and they get paid handsomely for it.

Paperwork sucks. But so does the alternative, doing nothing. You do it by doing the work.

This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. How? This second, we can sit down and do our work.

Steven Pressfield