Consuming vs. learning.

We consume new information and call it learning. We read a book, listen to a lecture, or watch a training video and tell ourselves we have learned something. However, consumption only makes us aware of new information. It does not make us learn it.

Learning requires putting the new information we consumed to practice. It’s uncomfortable because part of learning is doing something we are not yet good at doing. We have to repeatedly face the reality of our inadequacy and shortcomings while we are learning.

None of us want to feel inadequate, so we stop at consumption.

The good news is inadequacy is a lie. Our current skill level is not static. If we want to learn and grow, we have to stop putting a negative label on the discomfort we feel in the process.

We are only learning when we are putting new information into practice.


Low risk, high consequence.

I watched “Free Solo” last night. It’s about Alex Honnold’s historic climb of El Capitan without ropes. It’s riveting, and I highly recommend it.

There is one idea Alex talks about in the movie that stuck with me. Interviewers continually ask him about the danger of what he does, and he says something along the lines of this.

His sport has high consequences. A single mistake will end in death. But with preparation, he reduces the risks. So while the consequences are high, the risk of that consequence is actually low. Further, the elimination of the ropes increases focus which decreases the chances of making a mistake.

It’s a fascinating perspective on evaluating risk. We tend to look at risk in terms of consequences rather than the likelihood of those consequences actually occurring.

You can check out the movie on iTunes, Google Play Store, and Amazon.


Pick your obstacles.

People are attracted to the feeling of overcoming obstacles, but would rather live vicariously through the stories of other people who are actually going through it.

You want to start a business, but you read books about starting businesses.

You want to run a marathon, but you read articles about how to run marathons.

Maybe you want to be a film director, but you watch videos on YouTube.

Every time you choose to live vicariously through others, you subconsciously move your dream farther from your reality. You start thinking your dream is for them, not for you. You waste another day which you should have spent closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Pick your obstacles. Stop consuming and take action. I promise the feeling you will get from doing it yourself feels better than watching someone else live your dream.


The right thing.

There are two reasons to do the right thing.

The first is to avoid getting into trouble. You fear the consequence, so you follow the rules.

The second reason is to achieve the desired outcome. You know what you want to happen so you say yes to what will help and no to what will hinder.

Neither of these reasons is better than the other. Just choose one because doing the right thing is the right thing to do.


Feeling stuck?

It breaks my heart when people feel stuck. I know exactly how if feels. I also know how exhilarating it is to have a break-through.

It’s really interesting. People get stuck because they seek comfort in familiar situations and circumstances. But, staying where you are at will lead to discontent which is uncomfortable in itself.

Breaking through requires putting yourself into new situations and circumstances. You will fear what is on the other side of your decision because fear exaggerates the potential negatives and disregards the positives. You will find the reality is less scary than you expected and more rewarding than you can imagine.

The other thing you will have to get over is believing everything has to happen quickly. You can do almost anything you set out to do. It’s just probably going to take longer and require more work than your ego believes it will. I am speaking from experience here.

You can do almost anything you set out to do. It’s just probably going to take longer and require more work than your ego believes it will.

You have to think about the big picture and focus every day on the next small step. Take that step. Then, repeat this process, stopping to check your directions and refocus from time to time.

When you feel stuck, it’s because you are scared. You want better, but you aren’t doing anything to make it better. You are thinking about everything that is happening around you and to you. You are avoiding what you can do about it.

You’re stuck. What are you going to do about it?


Online security.

Last week, one of my employees called me because she received an email from me asking her to buy thirty $100 iTunes gift cards. Obviously, I employ highly intelligent people, and she was just letting me know someone was being shady.

In this case, nobody hacked my email. Instead, they used my name and tried to make it look like the request was coming from me. This email was not a mass scam sent to thousands. Someone figured out she worked for me and pretended to be me.

There is no way I am going to avoid a scam like this example happening again.

My point is you need to take your online security very seriously.

Use a password manager like 1Password, Dashlane, or RememBear. At a minimum use the built-in tools in password tools from Chrome or Safari.

Use suggested passwords from those services, Chrome, or Safari.

Download this Chrome plugin.

Don’t repeat your passwords.

Don’t click on links in emails asking you to reset your passwords.

Use 2-factor authentication.

Don’t trust people pretending to be your boss, asking you to buy $3,000 worth of gift cards.

The cost of taking shortcuts with online security is not worth the time you save.


Link: Are you being manipulated?

It is an unfortunate reality that this advice is necessary. Seth Godin gives some great advice on resisting impulse responses to being manipulated.

It might be something as simple as tricking you into clicking, or as expensive as signing away your house. It might be the daily news cycle or the relentless push to make people feel inadequate or unsafe.

— Seth Godin

You can read the full post here.


Consider the source.

I would love for this post to start a discussion. If you are reading online, please comment. If you are reading in an email, please reply. Let me know what you think.

I have a question, but first I want to give you some background information.

Every person experiences the world through a filter of temperament, personality, and world view.

Your temperament is how you are hardwired, and you will fall into a combination of four types: dominant (be in charge), influencer (fun/social), steady (relationships), compliant (perfectionist/rules).

Your personality is more fluid, a combination of temperament and life experiences. It is usually developed at a young age. However, your personality can change as a result of a life-changing experience or if your mental health strengthens or weakens.

Finally, you have your world-view which is what you learn from your environment, taught by your parents, school, culture, and life events.

Human beings are egoist and wired for survival. We surround ourselves with people who are like us and agree with us for at least two reasons (there are certainly more). First, we find strength in numbers. We are better prepared for an attack (physical or emotional) when we have a tribe of people to help us. Second, thinking burns calories, and we want to burn the fewest calories possible. Being open-minded is exhausting.

Most of the advice I see in the temperament/personality space goes like this:

Understand who you are so you can modify your behavior when you are interacting with people who are different than you.

Do you agree with this idea?


Accomplishment in three steps.

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish.

  2. Reverse engineer the steps it will take to get there.

  3. Work the plan every day.

It’s simple. The hard part is showing up every day.


Support and pressure.

My most significant times of growth comes when I have both a high amount of pressure on me and a high amount of support for me.

Pressure brings focus. When I have to succeed because the consequences of failure are tremendous, I will do what is necessary to avoid defeat. But pressure also comes with stress, self-doubt, and fatigue.

The negative consequences of pressure is why support is necessary. I need people in my life to encourage me because they believe in me. They can see through the obstacles I am facing and reinforce their belief that I will figure it out and succeed, that I have what it takes, and that I am loved even when I fail.

I will never be able to claim to be self-made. Too many people have helped me through the pressure they put on me, the support they gave to me, or both.