10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

How to improve your career, writing, passion project, and more.

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


“The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” — Mark Zuckerberg


What if you decided to do something once a week for the next year?

What if you stuck with it?

What would you learn? What could you build? Where might it take you?

It’s been a year since I first published this newsletter and while I can’t promise your commitment to do something for a year will turn out as well as mine has, I can guarantee you one thing.

If you do something for a year and stick with it, you won’t regret it.

It will be more than worth the time you put into it. Trust me.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT CAREER CHOICES

“Careers are not defined by jobs. Our career success is determined by our ability to develop assets and use them to acquire the value we seek. Jobs are simply transactions — mechanisms through which we exchange our assets for that which we value.”

Here’s a different way to think about your career — rather than plot your path based on a series of jobs, develop assets which can be exchanged for the things you value.

In this post I explain how to make the right choices in your career, and break down the four assets you need to develop (skills, knowledge, effort, and time).

I also point out that things like learning, opportunity, and experience can be every bit as valuable as money when it comes to what you get in exchange for your assets.

2. MARK ZUCKERBERG ON HOW WE CAN BUILD A BETTER WORLD

“I know you’re probably thinking, ‘I don’t know how to get a million people involved in anything.’ Well, let me tell you a secret: No one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sure sounds like a guy who might run for President in the not-too-distant future.

In Zuckerberg’s excellent Harvard commencement speech, he lays out a vision for where our world is headed and emphasizes the importance of helping people discover and connect to the purpose of their lives.

It’s an inspirational call-to-action for what our future can become.

3. HOW TO WRITE THINGS YOUR AUDIENCE WILL WANT TO SHARE

“Your job is not to write for an audience. Your job is to write for your audience’s audience.”

If you want something you’ve created to be seen by a lot of people, you need it to be shared — and this post can teach you how to make that happen.

Steve Bryant, who runs storytelling agency Dicks & Betties, shares some tips about how to create things that help themselves get shared.

His tips include to make things “easy to copy,” to speak to personal interest, to tell a story of change, and more.

4. HOW TO START A PASSION PROJECT ONE DAY AT A TIME

“The easiest way to start is to forget all the best practices, all the make-pretend to-dos and just do the thing, the actual activity, the crucial part of what makes a writer a writer, a singer a singer, and a stock analyst a stock analyst in the first place.”

You know that thing you’ve been thinking about doing for a while but haven’t gotten around to actually starting yet?

Read this and you will — or you’ll at least stop thinking about it.

Niklas Goeke shares a three step process for starting a passion project that will not only help you get going, but also help you determine if it’s something you really want to take on.

The tips include to figure out why you want to do this in the first place, figure out the first step to take, and figure out how to make it part of your daily routine.

5. THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE REMEMBERANCE OF HISTORY AND REVERANCE OF IT

“There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.”

Hours before workers removed a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered this powerful speech about the historic moment.

His speech about the removal of Confederate monuments tackles the complicated history of his city and America in general with a straight-forward, honest, and hopeful tone that’s heard too infrequently these days from our politicians.

6. FIVE BITS OF ADVICE FOR RECENT GRADUATES

“When you find something you really love — a painting, or a book, or a movie — spend as much time as you can studying it. Stand in front of a painting for 2 hours. Re-read a book several times. Freeze-frame a movie and study the composition of each scene.”

Austin Kleon, author of the excellent book Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, has put together a list of five tips for recent graduates that will help you even if you’re a not-so-recent graduate.

His suggestions include to study something you love in depth, talk to strangers, and pay attention to what you pay attention to.

That last one reminds me of some similar advice I’ve shared in the past.

7. FOUR SIGNS YOUR SELF-IMPROVEMENT HABIT IS BECOMING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE

“If your spiritual regimen includes a rewards system or punishment, it’s a bad sign. You shouldn’t have to meditate for an hour, practice yoga every day or eat 100% gluten-free and organic to earn that chocolate or get that pedicure you’ve been wanting. That’s not self-love or self-care.”

If you enjoy my newsletter, you’re probably interested in self-improvement which means you should also be aware that sometimes it can go too far.

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Danielle LaPorte, author of the new book White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another, and LaPorte offers some advice on how to keep your habits healthy.

She shares four signs your self-improvement is becoming self-destructive including a lack of boundaries, feelings of guilt, and embracing a one-size-fits-all spirituality.

8. DONALD TRUMP DIDN’T ALWAYS TALK LIKE HE DOES NOW

“The experts noted clear changes from Trump’s unscripted answers 30 years ago to those in 2017, in some cases stark enough to raise questions about his brain health. They noted, however, that the same sort of linguistic decline can also reflect stress, frustration, anger, or just plain fatigue.”

For a moment, let’s set aside the things Donald Trump says and instead focus on the way he says them.

This STAT article compares how Trump used to speak — especially when being asked difficult questions by reporters — to the way he speaks now and finds his linguistic patterns have radically changed.

The changes in Trump’s speech patterns are so dramatic that a group of linguistics experts and psychologists suggest he may suffer from cognitive decline due to aging and/or it’s a side effect of stress and frustration.

9. WHY VALEDICTORIANS DON’T BECOME BILLIONAIRES

“It seems that the traits that set one up for exceptional success in high school and college — ‘self-discipline, conscientiousness and the ability to comply with rules’ — are not the same traits that lead individuals to start disruptive companies or make shocking breakthroughs.”

If you know somebody that isn’t finishing in the top of their class this graduation season, here’s some good news you can share with them.

CNBC explains why valedictorians typically don’t go on to change the world and points out that a survey of 700 millionaires found that their average college GPA was only 2.9.

As the article states, “School has very clear rules, but life doesn’t. Life is messy.”

10. THE NEXT MOVE FOR RUSSIAN HACKERS

“The case could provide the clearest evidence yet that Russian hackers have evolved their tactics from merely releasing embarrassing true information to planting false leaks among those facts.”

Just as the world wakes up to the capabilities of Russia’s hacking operatives, WIRED reports on what may be the next evolution of those attacks.

Recent investigations have revealed Russian hackers are not only leaking documents, but starting to plant fake information within those documents as an extension to their disinformation campaign.

WANT A LITTLE MORE?

Here are three more ideas that didn’t quite make the cut for the newsletter, but are still really interesting.

(Hint: They’re about Google, Kanye West, Shakespeare, and reading in bed.)

PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD

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Thanks!

Josh