Productivity & Work

Accept compliments but do not inhale

loop exhale GIF-source
via giphy

When it comes to compliments, you accept them but you do not inhale.

Kudos is as ephemeral as a Facebook like. Congratulations acknowledge your existence and provide a dopamine boost. But they can also turn the ego into an enemy. Praise takes no responsibility for the passion and head work at play.

Like Darwin’s finches, we are always evolving. There is no constant, especially in a rapidly advancing world that imposes frequent variables.

Rather than seeking external validation, you should chase out your interests. Passion not only helps bring excitement to the job, but it also makes you antifragile — it’s impossible to beat someone who expects to keep going despite hosannas and hurdles.

“In the long run, we find what we expect. We shall be fortunate then if we expect great things.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Hold the exhale for as long as you can. It is in breathing out, you protect against the toxins that try to get in. Just remember to pace yourself as you breathe.

Life & Philosophy Poetry Politics & Society

Stuck in our own heads

Inattentive, we let the details slip right through our heads.

We are in a state of continuous partial attention, whipped around by facts, fake news, hyperbole, and reality.

The foreign invaders monopolize our “private” profiles and manipulate the entire public sphere into tribes that all think and see alike.

We turn a blind eye to the pleasant rhythm of dissent while also marching to the beat of our own drum.

To stop admiring our own words and lookalikes, and to start interrogating our own ideas.


The 5-3-2 rule of social media. In other words, create as much as you consume.
The 5-3-2 rule of social media. In other words, create as much as you consume.


Self-congratulatory Tweets as Link Bait

A tweet usually goes like this:

“Hey, I just read this great article and watched this captivating YouTube video and now you must see them too.” Tweet.

Your Tweet may even include a key quote or highlight from that piece of content. Same difference.

But unless you’re an influencer, the tweet is topical (based on a trending hashtag) or contextually relevant to your audience, no one is going to click the link. And that’s where provocative copy comes in.

The tweet has to have an engaging headline in order to get people to click. Naturally, this leads to a lot of link bait to shitty articles. Avid Twitter users know when to click and when to ignore certain Tweets. Link bait often leads to unfollows.

Twitter users are more wary than ever before of their streams. The perpetual influx of noise means they are judicious with the Tweets they actually engage with.

There’s nothing wrong in sharing something you think others would also find interesting. But do it because it’ll help shape their perspective, not to show off that you just completed your one article for the day. Try to share only the good stuff.


Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are

When everyone around us is “slammed,” it’s easy to feel guilty if we’re not slaving away on a never-ending treadmill of toil. By trying to compete about it, we’re only adding to that pool of water everyone seems to be constantly “treading” in. And all this complaining is having serious effects on our mental health.

Everyone is busy inside and outside the office at different times. We shouldn’t feel the need to make ourselves more busy and tired just so we can feel the same way.

You can answer emails and attend meetings all day along and still not get anywhere. We should celebrate time management and quality of work rather than living up to fatigue. We still need energy to enjoy life.


Moving Beyond Baseball

I played baseball as a kid. It was fun because I was good at it, not necessarily because I loved the sport.

As I got older, basketball and soccer became my main games. They were fast paced and less interruptive. There was just way more movement than baseball.

I attended the Yankees game last night merely to reconfirm my bias: baseball is boring.

Fred Wilson wrote an article this week observing the increased interest in soccer. He credited the growth to video games although I pointed out that it was much more than that.

I also think the pace of baseball doesn’t match up well with the speed at which we move now. The Internet sets the expectation for instant entertainment and delivery; something baseball fails to offer.

The baseball stadium tries hard to keep fans interested during games. They show trivia on the board and display dancing fans in their seats. Music plays in between batters, innings, and outs so you don’t fall asleep.

Baseball is truly America’s past time. It no longer stimulates widespread interest because it doesn’t move the way Americans move today. Cheaters like Alex Rodriguez certainly don’t help the game either.

Maybe I’m an army of one but baseball really fails to meet the current speed of entertainment. Football is getting bad as well with an ad every possession.

I don’t think soccer is ever going to take over America because it’s still carrying baggage as a European sport. America didn’t create it. Basketball, on the other hand which is virtually the hand version of soccer, will remain popular.

Maybe it’s just me because I’m getting older and looking for new interests (cricket or rugby any good?) or baseball does indeed just suck.