Those That Can…

If you can only teach me how to do something, then you do not truly understand the subject enough to claim expertise in it.

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Yes! Maybe! Go Away!

Draw two concentric circles. In the inner circle write down in one or two words all the things you want to achieve right now. In the outer circle write down all of the things you want to achieve “real soon.” When someone pitches you an opportunity, figure out if it fits in the inner circle,…

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Voicing An Opinion

T-Mobile tried to sell me “visual voicemail” where an automated service transcribes my voicemail in to email. I don’t see the point personally as I just delete voicemail without listening to them. It saves a huge amount of time.

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Unappreciative audience

The only thing that holds us back from dancing is our audience. Whether we can dance or not is irrelevant. Sometimes our audience is other people. But most of the time our audience is just ourselves.

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Lots more where that came from

Promotions give you… Power. Privilege. Responsibility. If you ever find yourself chasing a promotion simply because of the power it gives you or the privileges it conveys, you are going to be sorely disappointed when you get a heaped helping of one of the three things promotions do give you and the one that is…

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Formal Rejection

A friend pointed out, after reading a few emails I was sending, that I accept a request for help eagerly and informally. But when rejecting a request for help or an opportunity, I am very formal and direct. I thought about why I do this. Over the years I have had to learn to write…

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Productivity Heckling

Long rambling voicemail from someone I have never met and don’t even connect with on LinkedIn, which said, in summary “Hey there Justin, just wanted to catch up. From your social media updates I see you’ve been super productive and busy. I just don’t know how you manage it. Give me a call back when…

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Use embiggened words

“Ideas above your station.” “That life wasn’t meant for people like us.” “You can’t say things like that.” “You’re white, you can’t say that word.” The number of people and groups wanting to control what you say is increasing every day. When a group wants to ban the use of a word, either universally or…

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Rewarded just for showing up

Show up work is rarely profitable. Work where you get remunerated just for being there, just for showing up. Show up work is what fungible donkeys perform. Anybody can do it. And anybody can be taught to do it. Risk work changes the world. Risk work is when there is a chance to fail, to…

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Aiming to play

If you aren’t going to learn anything from winning, you are at the point in your personal development where it is more important that you play the game.

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Adventures!

Let’s go on an adventure! They are painful, boring, and make you late for dinner. But you will never regret having taken the adventure.

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Do corporations dream of wired sheeple?

I have a dream to walk the Machu Pichu trail. Are your unachieved dreams your own? Or did a corporation somewhere, that is in business to make money, sell you the dream? My dream isn’t a package tour with a 30 minute stop at the strategically placed gift shop on the way out.

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Critiqued Mass

Listen to your critics, just don’t bother listening to what they have to say. A critic means you have achieved something.

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The Code Not Written

Artur Rubinstein said, “Ahh, the secret is how I play the silences between the notes.” As an experienced engineer, the secret to what I can do is in the code that I don’t write rather than the code that I do write.

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Bravely Fearful

Fear holds us back from doing so many things that would make us brave.

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Freely Offended

I have noticed over the span of my career that no matter how politely you decline the opportunity to work for someone for free, invariably they will be offended that you had the audacity to reject their generous offer.

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Secret Shortcuts That We Aren’t Telling

People confuse “secret” and “shortcut” all the time. “What is the secret to losing weight?” “What is the secret to being successful?” “What is the secret to getting published?” “What is the secret to breaking in to the industry?” What they are really asking is “What is the shortcut?” And we all know the answer…

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Measured Cutting

A good rule of thumb to live by is measure everything you are about to cut at least twice. This is the old saw (pun intended) that you hear in woodworking. But it applies equally well to almost every other worthwhile endeavour you will undertake from software development to cooking. Any act that consumes a…

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Foster or adopt?

If you have the ability, adopting the position of “I need a job, I just don’t need THIS job” and that you have other options and limited patience, use it. Do it politely, of course. That said I told a recruiter at Disney after a month of being yanked around “You either need to shit,…

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