Don’t be un-intelligent

Intelligence is being able to accept new facts that contradict what you know to be reality (and adjusting said reality).

Being proud of not changing your mind on something is just plain stupid.

Going back to 2004, one of the things that really bothered me in the Bush v Kerry election was how Kerry was painted as a flip-flopper.

It always seemed such a stupid argument – would you not want to change your mind based on new information?

[obviously a harbinger of the stupidity that would be tolerated]

Via Bezos: “observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.”

Posted on December 10, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

Treat yo self (to a massage when traveling)

I’ve always been a fan of massages, but I’ve now been made aware of two key times to get one that I had not previously been using:

  1. Before/after a talk
  2. While traveling (especially during a layover)


Posted on November 28, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

Bring experts together and let them teach YOU.

One of the best things I ever came across was Da Vinci’s diary – turns out he spent most of his time going to *existing* experts to learn from them.

And that’s exactly what we did yesterday. We got four super-smart & successful people in ‘online coaching/training/courses’ to get together to surface their wisdom in a collective manner.

UJ then brought his light touch of facilitation, and I learned more in three hours than I would have spending 30 hours reading articles online.

Oh I should note – Danny flew in from Montreal just for this. It’s a fantastic example of seeing the value of spending time *learning* from other successful people in a focused manner.

Posted on October 20, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

9 quick tips to be a better speaker (via Heroic Public Speaking)

I’ve had a few days to think about #HPSLive, where Michael, Amy, and co dropped a metric-ton of knowledge.

I will say, it opened my eyes up to what great speaking truly is. A few things I’d like to note:

  1. Speaking is a craft, not a talent. I’ve always believed this, but I’ve hit a new level of appreciation. The little details add up quickly.
  2. Public speaking is a performance. When you come in with the mindset that you’re “performing” it helps you change your perspective on what you are precisely offering to your audience.
  3. How important the precision in movement is. Akin to dancing, it’s about smoothness and exactness any time you do move. And if you don’t need to move, don’t. Root yourself.
  4. Contrast is key. And the contrast isn’t just in your voice. It’s in your body movements. It’s in the structure of your talk (eg information vs story vs lists). The high-lows are what keep people riveted.
  5. People’s minds wander. That’s OK; by speaking with pauses that emphasize the key points, you let them catch up and stay with you.
  6. Rehearsal is important. If anything, a little rehearsal is dangerous as you’ll be trying to recall it while performing. Get your reps in so that you know exactly what to hit and when to hit it.
  7. You want people to feel your story. The contrasts, the body language, the text, the tone, and the pauses let people SEE what you’re talking about and help what you’re saying resonate with your audience.
  8. Q&A is non-ideal. The ideal is to have your talk, have a break, and then Q&A. If you do have a Q&A, make it 3/4th of the way through so that *you* control the ending.
  9. Have a superobjective to your talk. It’s like your North Star… without it, your speech will fail.

I fashioned myself as an above average speaker before, but I can now see 100+ things I need to improve to level this skill up.

Posted on October 04, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

There are small wins everywhere

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and he told me how his wife had her purse stolen. He then said that he never worries because he uses a fag bag.

I gently stopped him and said hey – not cool. Don’t call it that, call it a fanny pack.

He agreed, and then we continued to chat.

That’s a little win. A small hurtful word is no longer used. And I’ve learned there are small wins everywhere.

I also think back and I don’t think I would have said anything a few years ago. This is progress to me.

We need to choose to be better.

Little self-improvement comes publicly or at a large-scale. Most of it is tiny, quietly on the side, and done bit-by-bit.

You incrementally improve so you can look back at yourself from a few years ago and think “damn I cannot believe I thought/acted that way.”

And having friends who keep your ass in check makes it a lot easier.

Posted on August 29, 2018 | Comments | Permalink