Weekend Coffee Talk: Mind, Body, Books & Business (#7)

Happy Weekend! Short and sweet with the intro this morning as I'm off to attend day 2 of The Work Revolution Summit. Yesterday was full of inspiration AND brass-tacks (Melissa and I dove deep into a solopreneur strategy session for 2014), including an absolutely kick-ass keynote from Seth Godin on the importance of doing the hard work of today's world: emotional work. Connection work. Art. Making meaning. Failing. Over and over again.

A picture of the awesome notes, from artist and conference scribe Kelly Kingman:

Seth Godin - Work Revolution Conference Speech


"Here’s the distilled method: I learned by doing small project after project that I was very passionate about slightly outside of my skill-set; with each iteration I grew slightly more knowledgeable in the domain, but also had enough prior information to proceed without giving up, knowing I was close enough to succeed if only I learned a little on my own.

It’s a little hard to choose projects that fit this exact description, but you have to select projects at a certain point along the continuum. You’ll know when you’ve found a project that fits this description.You’ll be so excited you begin work immediately."

—Zain Shah, How I Learned to Code



"Some social psychologists attribute it to our inability to create psychological distance and cite construal level theory (CLT) as the explanation why. According to CLT, making a decision for ourselves versus deciding for others involves different cognitive processes. And these processes lead us to divergent preferences and decisions.

Psychologists say that the clarity we have around offering advice to others is a result of our ability to focus on just the most important factors. When we think about our own choices however, we are masters of making everything much more complex. We consider every possible variable, we take on every emotion and those emotions stick to us like crazy glue throughout the decision making process."

—Melani Ward, Why We're Terrible at Taking Advice


Just for Fun

  • What's your Harry Potter MBTI sign? I'm The Teacher (ENFJ) — not much surprise there. Hat tip to my mom for sending this! Funny, she's been Stanford University's Landscape Architect / Campus Planner for 16+ years . . . her Myers Briggs is crazy-accurate, describing her as "The Architect." The question we discussed yesterday: can your job actually shape and train you to your type over time, just as your type may shape your interests in the first place?
  • While we're on the topic of MBTI, check out what your type does under stress (via Melani Ward)
  • Hah! Would you respond to this? Interstate Dating – Single Entrepreneur Uses Highway Billboard to Find Love (If I were his dating consultant, I would champion the courage . . . but ask him to choose a different photo :)

I've got to rescind my earlier standing ovation and spend it entirely on Louis C.K., who makes the case on Conan for why cell phones are so detrimental to our emotional capacity for connection:

"You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away — the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Underneath everything in your life, there's that thing — that forever empty. That knowledge that it's all for nothing and you're alone....the sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it.

[Instead of reaching for the phone] just be sad. Stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck. Sadness is poetic. You're lucky to live sad moments. When you let yourself feel sad, your body has happiness — like antibodies — that come rushing in to meet the sadness. Because we don't want that first bit of sad, we push it away with our phone. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kind of satisfied with your product, then you die."

—Louis C.K.