10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“To be a good investor, you have to believe in the future.”

Each week I share 10 ideas with my For The Interested newsletter subscribers. Following is this week’s newsletter — sign up here to get future issues.


“To be a good investor, you have to believe in the future.” — Sam Altman


It’s one thing to be interested, it’s another to be INVESTED.

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Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO HAVE A GREAT DAY TOMORROW

“A bad day is often the result of bad choices we make about what we invite into our day. The better we choose our ‘inputs,’ the better our days become.”

While we can never guarantee tomorrow will be a good day, we can certainly stack the deck in our favor.

In this post I explain how to have a great day tomorrow by making seven choices about what you let influence your day.

These choices include to use your calendar as an asset instead of a liability, to do the thing you love most, and to interact with positive people.

2. HOW TO FEEL PROGRESS

“Even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously. Many of the progress events our research participants reported represented only minor steps forward. Yet they often evoked outsize positive reactions.”

Research has found the most powerful way to boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday is for you to feel you’re making progress in meaningful work.

Jocelyn K. Glei, author of Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done, breaks down three simple ways you can track your progress so that you benefit from feeling it.

Her suggestions include to make a post-it grid of your tasks, track metrics on a daily calendar, and write in a diary for five minutes a day.

Glei also shares her personal “roadmap” which she uses to track her own progress on projects.

3. HOW TO RESPOND TO AN INSULT LIKE STEVE JOBS

“The first thing Jobs does is probably the hardest. He takes a pause, sits in silence…and thinks. In what seems like an eternity to the audience (and in reality lasted about 10 seconds), Jobs takes a sip of water and reflects on both the criticism and the question.”

Twenty years ago, shortly after he returned to Apple, Steve Jobs faced a tough, insulting question from a crowd member at an Apple developer conference. His response is a master class in how to handle a situation like that.

Inc. shares video footage of the exchange and breaks it down into six things to do when you respond to an insult including to agree with the accuser, help everyone see the big picture, and use vulnerability to your advantage.

4. STOP GOING TO MEETINGS THAT DON’T HAVE AGENDAS

“Providing an agenda before the meeting makes people feel like there’s a good reason for them to attend. But giving people the agenda before the meeting also gives people the chance to opt out if they don’t feel they can provide or extract value.”

It seems obvious that every meeting should have an agenda and yet…most meetings don’t.

Cameron Herold, author of Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable, suggests you stop going to meetings that don’t have agendas and explains the five benefits of having an agenda.

They include that time is maximized, only essential employees participate, and your team comes prepared.

5. HAVE SMARTPHONES DESTROYED A GENERATION?

“The allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.”

It looks like shrinking attention spans may be the least of the problems smartphones have caused for the post-Millennial generation.

The Atlantic offers a fascinating look at how smartphones impacted a generation of teenagers — they’ve become much safer physically and more damaged mentally.

It points out today’s teens spend less time hanging out with friends, dating, drinking, working, and having sex than previous generations but are more likely to be depressed and less likely to get enough sleep.

6. DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP OF BEING AN “EXPERT” BEFORE YOU ARE

“Being industry famous should be the result of some contribution to the world that the industry respects and wishes to learn from. Or insights unique and useful that it genuinely makes people’s lives better.”

These days it seems everybody’s an expert — or at least they pretend to be.

99U editor Sean Blanda warns about the dangers of pretending to be an expert when you’re not and breaks down what he sees as the creative world’s “Bullshit Industrial Complex.”

He points out how things like TEDx and Medium are great, but have also spawned a culture where too many creative people spend more time trying to become known than they do working on actual meaningful projects.

7. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER’S FACEBOOK FEED

“The people who populate our unique social media worlds set the bar for what we may perceive as ‘common’ or ‘normal.’ They make up our networked information universe. The majority of Americans who are online — 62% of them — receive news from social media platforms. Of all American adults who are on Facebook, 76% use the platform on a daily basis.”

Sometimes, the best way to understand a broad concept is to zoom in on a narrow example — that proves true in this article.

Buzzfeed analyzed the Facebook news feeds of a mother and daughter from different sides of the political and geographic spectrum to break down how the filter bubble affected their views.

It’s an interesting look at how the pages they follow, posts they interact with, and friends they engage with has presented two members of the same family with a completely different outlook on the world.

8. WHY SIDE PROJECTS ARE A GOOD USE OF YOUR TIME

“My mistake was thinking the time I spent on side projects had been wasted. It was, and is, in fact, the most valuable time I’ve ever owned — the jewels in a lucky, joyful writing life.”

I’m a huge believer in the power of side projects and think often times the best work evolves out of them.

Author Amber Sparks agrees and in this essay she explains why you shouldn’t sleep on side projects.

She suggests side projects can be a crucial part of the creative process, can break you out of your own feedback loop, and can be a source of valuable community building and relationships.

9. HOW TO BE A BETTER COMMUNICATOR ONLINE AND OFF

“Part of why online conversations can’t really get deep enough is that they’re missing two of the three pillars of analog human communication: facial expression and body language.”

As so much of our communication has moved online, it’s easy to forget there are certain elements of communication that can only truly be effective face to face.

Thrive Global interviews conversation expert Celeste Headlee about what it takes to be a better communicator and highlights three tips to become better at face-to-face communication including to understand what constitutes a good conversation, to realize small talk isn’t a waste of time, and to learn how to end a conversation.

10. HOW WORK CHANGED TO MAKE US ALL PASSIONATE ABOUT QUITTING

“Good jobs used to be ones with a good salary, benefits, location, hours, boss, co-workers, and a clear path towards promotion. Now, a good job is one that prepares you for your next job, almost always with another company.”

Jobs aren’t what they used to be and neither are career paths.

Aeon takes a deep dive into how we became a quitting economy — both the factors that led us to this place and the impact it’s had on people, companies, and more.

It’s an interesting look at what happens when “a job becomes a good job if it will lead to another job, likely with another company or organization [and] you start choosing a job for how good it will be for you to quit it.”

INTERESTING THINGS THE INTERESTED ARE DOING…

Here are some interesting things our readers (aka The Interested, aka YOU) have created.

• College student Tommy Cestare is documenting the lessons he learns about entrepreneurship on The Cestare Blog.

Becca Bycott is blogging about how people reclaim their autonomy following a major life change through her Bride in Reverse blog. Check out her post about what it’s like to change your name on social media after a divorce.

Have you created or done something you’d like to share with The Interested? Reply to this newsletter and let me know.

PLEASE SHARE THIS IF YOU ENJOYED IT

If you know somebody who will enjoy this newsletter, please share it with them — I appreciate it.

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BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

If you like these ideas, you can find a whole lot more of them in the following places:

The FTI Facebook page

The FTI readers Facebook group

The FTI Twitter account

The FTI Instagram account

Thanks for reading!

Josh

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