Deep practice is built on a paradox struggling in certain targeted ways operating at the edges of your ability where you make mistakes makes you smarter

The Paradox of Work

hard work, A constant up hill battleIf you want something in life you have to work your ass off for it. Anything worth having is worth working for. So to be successful, to get what you want in life, you have to do an unhealthy amount of work for as long as humanly possible. Then you might have a fighting chance.

Whether it be your sports team, your health or your career, it’s difficult to see the results of hard work in the short term. But the only way to guarantee long-term success is to work unbelievably hard in the short-term. Sometimes it’ll feel like an endless upward climb going nowhere.

The harder the squeeze the better the juice.

Here’s the paradox.

When you’re done, when you ship, when it’s all over, no one will recognize the work you put in. No one cares about the amount of hours you’ve put in, the sleepless nights, the psychological battle, nobody cares about it. All we care about is the result.

It’s going to be up to you to determine if the juice is worth the squeeze.

Begin with the end in mind. You must shy away from busy work (this won’t get you anywhere). You can’t just do work for the sake of work and expect to get somewhere.

Doing the difficult work is a recipe for success, but when you get there don’t expect people to be patting you on the back and praising you for how long you’ve been working at it. All they care about is the result.

11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

Brain RulesThis blog post is based on John Medina’s book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. I loved this book, it’s a thought-provoking read. It teaches you about your brain in a way that’s actionable and easily remembered. At the end of every chapter he sums up what the important parts of the chapter were. Kind of like a coles notes of his own book. Atta boy John, good on you.

1. Exercise helps you think better.

 

Brain Rules Quotes - Alzheimer prevention

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How To Make Yourself Happy

Happy ElephantYou’re in a bad mood, you need to cheer yourself up. Some people go on a shopping spree, some people eat their feelings. If you think spending money on yourself is going to make you happier you’re wrong, kinda. The feeling you get after you spoil yourself with materialistic gifts is short lived and your long-term happiest isn’t affected at all.

So how do you make yourself happy?

It’s a remarkably easy solution.

Do something nice for someone else. Biologically we get more of a benefit from spending money on other than we do on ourselves. If you don’t believe it check out this article on how to buy happiness.

Here’s a video of me talking about how to make yourself a happier person.

If you want to learn more about the study on how to buy happiness here’s the Ted talk.

4 Ways to Get Facebook Shares (Part 2 of 2)

sshh2FB
As an add-on to my last post entitled “Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook” , here are the four reasons people share Facebook content:

1. To Make Their Life Easier
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Here are two great examples of people posting with the intent of making some aspect of their life easier. Taron needs music for a soundtrack and Laura needs a goalie to play for her team. Each post also has an element of helping others *foreshadowing*…

2. To Build Relationships
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If a nice pic of three great friends doesn’t strengthen their relationship, I don’t know what does. Seriously, though.

3. To Help Others
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A nice music suggestion makes me happy. Thanks Danny.

4. To Craft Their Identity
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We’re constantly posting pictures of things we like (maybe more so on Pinterest and Instagram these days), talking about issues that concern us, and stating our opinions on the absurd amount of people complaining about the weather these days. Originally, Facebook was all about crafting your identity when it was focused around actually listing your favourite bands and movies. Now, the ability to craft your identity lies in individual posts and the pages you like.

Now these are examples of people posting content that achieves these goals. For a business, create and post content that makes people’s lives easier, helps people forge relationships with you and others, is extremely helpful, and helps people craft their identity while identifying with you. And, of course, as illustrated below, make sure these posts fall in line with what people love about you. Discover this and get posting 2-5 times a week!

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Back to Part 1 (Time to consider what you’re sharing on Facebook)…

 

Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook (Part 1 of 2)

SSHHFB

Sssshhhh! It’s time to acknowledge that the days of simply asking questions, sharing quips, and doing giveaways on your business’s Facebook page are over.

If you’ve continued to rely on these tactics, I’m sure you’ve noticed plateaus or stagnant engagement.
If you haven’t and things are still rolling smoothly, think of just how much more effective you could be with some smarter posting.
We all know it was Steve Jobs who said, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
This is a case of staying hungry and looking for ways to constantly improve but staying intelligent while doing so.
Here’s how:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 12.39.06 PM1. Discover what people love about you: Perhaps you already know exactly what people love about you. Perhaps you THINK you know what people love about you but it’s time to find out again. Even still, what people love about you in real life might not directly translate to what they like about you on Facebook. If there’s a disconnect, reel them back in to what’s truly great about your product or service by offering this info up in a way that adds value to them.

2. Recognize what people are likely to share: The average post is seen by 16% of those connected to your page. In order to increase this, you’re going to want to focus on the virality of your posts (shoot for 1-2% for post). Virality depends on people sharing your content. Pay close attention to what people have shared from your page in the past and focus on how your posts appear on the News Feed NOT on your own page. The News Feed is where people are most likely to see your post.

Part 2: The Four Main Reasons People Share and Like Facebook Content (via HooteSuite)

“I’m Too Busy”

When you say I’m too busy you’re making an excuse. You’re prioritizing in your mind, you’re telling yourself you couldn’t possibly do one more thing. It’d be too much, you couldn’t handle doing any more.

You’re telling yourself a story to justify how busy you are. It’s a defense mechanism of the lizard brain to protect our primal self from the uncertain outcome of whatever it is you’re too busy to do.

99% of the time this is not a good thing. Making excuses to do less is not going to help you get ahead in life. But we all do it. Have you ever said no to going out when a friend asked because you were too busy? Have you said no to a special volunteer project at work because you were too busy? Do you not get involved, help, volunteer, draw, sing, play guitar, write or dance anymore because you’re too busy?

Sorry to burst your bubble but everyone is busy, you’re not special. I’m not saying I’m immune, I’m saying this is something we all need to desperately work on, our success depends upon it.

The only difference between really successful people (who weren’t just lucky) and regular people is that successful people have figured out a way to do more. They work harder than the rest. They regularly commit to things beyond their capabilities. They stretch their personal boundaries enough to be out of their comfort zone a lot, that’s where the major learning lies.

On the contrary what if you weren’t too busy? What if you started trying to say yes more(it worked out well for Jim Carrey) What if you started doing things more efficiently to give yourself more time*? What if you committed to something beyond what you think you’re capable of? What if you made a goal to not say “I’m too busy” anymore?

The easiest way to help yourself is by helping other people.

The next time someone asks you to do, join, or be a part of something and you want to say “I’m too busy” ask yourself if you really are too busy.

* – In an 8 hour day performing 8 tasks within that day, at a rate of 10% faster than usual(8 hours=480 minutes 480×10%=48 minutes). You’d have an extra 48 minutes in your day to do whatever you want with.

 

The Greatest Myth About Creativity…

is that it just happens. Creativity is an art form, an unquantifiable, an intangible quality. It’s easy to claim “I am creative” then hide behind “but I have writers block” and not do anything, you’re not creative, you’re lazy.

Creativity does not just happen.  It doesn’t come out of no where at random. Creativity comes from discipline. Creativity only exists within constraints. Once you define the limits of your thinking, then and only then can you explore how far within those limits you can go.

People don’t just “become inspired”, you get inspired when you wake up every morning and create something. When you have a religious discipline for the creative process.  You have bad days and good days, brilliantly creative days and horribly useless days. The most important part isn’t the act of being creative, it’s the fact that no matter what happens the day before, you get up the next day and try again. Creativity is a habit of the relentlessly disciplined.

7 Ways to be an Awesome Person to Work With

1. Be excited to work with other people.cute-smiling-cat

If you’re always more excited to work/meet with the other person, they’re sure to have a great time meeting/working with you. When you go to a restaurant and a server is happy, it’s contagious, the same goes for when you meet with someone. If you’re happy and have a positive outlook on things, it’s difficult for others not to have the same view. As the song goes… don’t worry, be happy.

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