One of the more intriguing bits in Nilofer Merchant’s book about the care and feeding of wild ideas that can dent the world, THE POWER OF ONLYNESS, is the one about taking a closer and more considered look at “the question that you can’t answer but can’t stop thinking about.” That annoying question is like a bedraggled, adorable con-artist mutt that follows you around and accepts occasional handouts from you but warily stays out of reach. It hangs around.
I am fascinated by rules. I haven’t run across a rule yet that doesn’t make sense or have some relevance in a particular circumstance or situation. Rules are always relative. They depend on who you are, where you are, what you are doing, and how you want to do it. Rules are, I think, a fundamental part of every structure, every process, every game, and every lifestyle. Humans have used the power of rules to build religions and construct philosophies…
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You’ve heard it before and will almost certainly hear it again: You are the creator of the world you inhabit. You become what you think. Every motivational video and podcast producer focused on self-improvement is probably going to whack you upside the head with that one.
In 2001, a group of friends graduated from college and set out on a cross-country road trip to interview people who lived “lives centered around what was meaningful for them.” The boys acquired an RV, and wandered around countryside filming a documentary about their trip in which they brazenly approached all sorts of people who were doing what looked like interesting things and asked them a lot of personal questions about life-issues like, “How do you know that this thing…
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Among the treasure trove of ideas in Seth Godin’s book, POKE THE BOX, is this one: No one has influence, control, or confidence in their work (or any other area of their life) until they understand how to initiate change and predict how a thing will respond. The “box” Godin is talking about in his title is any complex bit of your life that you want to understand better with the goal of making your interaction with it more effective.