• Most people don’t know what to do with their lives. And that’s okay.

    Jeff Goins interviewed hundreds of people, trying to figure out what common themes you can see in the lives of people who have discovered what they were meant to do.

    He as summarised the lessons he learned in the article When Your Calling Seems Vague and Unclear, You’re on the Right Track

    Three takeaways

    We all want clarity before we’re willing to take action, but more often than not clarity comes with action.

    Takeaway: Clarity comes with action.

    Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you should quit

    Takeaway: You become what you practice.

    Commit, but be prepared to pivot

    Takeaway: When in doubt, commit.

  • Video calls without anything new to say

    In these times, a whole world is working from home. Our family time is spent over digital tools such as iMessage groups, FaceTime and Skype. And for me, that has also changed. The purpose of video calls has widened and become something more.

    Video calls are becoming accepted as a place we can do stuff together rather than just have small conversations or sharing PowerPoint slides.

    We, humans, need togetherness, and just now, we need to find it via digital channels. Beyond a computer screen and PowerPoint presentations. What would happen if Apple TV got support for a FaceTime app and an external webcam?

    Matt Webb has interesting thoughts on this and has written the article Video calls, doing stuff together, and the TV room

    Read it and dream away. What needs to change in today’s video call software so that we can include it more into our everyday life?

  • Change and transformation

    We enjoy our routines and what we are used to. We can challenge ourself and grow. But in a pace that feels good. That we can control.

    What we experience as good, is comfortable, as long as we have control over the situation.

    Blooming out when we are outside our comfort zone is much more difficult. It requires completely different abilities, such as curiosity, openness to the unknown, and courage, among other things.

  • Elon Musk at Air Force Space Pitch Day

    Finally took some time and went through my inbox and found this interesting piece. The interview is from the first day of U.S. Air Force Space Pitch Day, November 5, 2019.

    The sound quality is poor, but it’s an interview I appreciate. He makes me want to be a better person. Work harder, keep going, and help create good in the world. Elon is not a perfect person, but he shares his flaws and it allows for the acceptance of flaws within ourselves.

    A quote

    Elon was asked “Is it better to contract work out or do it internally?” He said SpaceX started out by outsourcing, but that didn’t work out.

    In space, the supply chain is not great. Limited suppliers and legacy ‘supplies’ have their own limitations. So SpaceX makes 90%+ of its rockets. If you want something revolutionary, you can’t do catalogue engineering.

    Some tidbits from the interview:

    • Groups should step on each others toes
    • Organizational flaws show up in the product
    • Everyone should have a good (overall) understanding of the product link
    • Management in small vs big companies link
    • Top engineers want to keep working on cool things
    • Assume you’re always at least partially wrong link
    • Setting up the company’s employee reward structure to incentivize risk-taking link 1 link 2
  • Short on growth hacking

    I’m not a big fan of the term “growth hacker”. Growth, yes but hack, no. True growth doesn’t come from a hack.

    Growth

    If you do growth right you’re building a system of understanding how growth happens, or rather, why it doesn’t happen. Getting insights, finding opportunities and iteratively executing and doing (small) wins.

  • Short note on distractions

    Distractions are frustrating and harm productivity, this is something I experienced as a developer and many engineering tasks do require complex thought.

    Which is covered in this post: You don’t understand your software engineers

    The article has a tech niche but applies to every single (creative) job where you need to combine two or more ideas or concepts into something new.

  • System and goals

    With goals, especially goals related to personal growth can be hard to achieve and fulfill. Easy to feel overwhelmed and triggering us into habits that are less than productive instead of moving us forward.

    Choosing a goal puts a huge burden on your shoulders.

    Really like how James Clear puts it…

    Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.

    Source: Forget about setting goals, focus on this instead

  • Smartphone nearby

    Interesting read about mobile use, a smartphone nearby hinder you in your thinking.

    The results were striking: individuals who completed these tasks while their phones were in another room performed the best, followed by those who left their phones in their pockets. In last place were those whose phones were on their desks.

    Source: Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking

  • Schedule time to think

    I use to say that carving out time to think is a pretty new thing for me. For many, many years I was a production junkie, and still is, but I also realized that carve out time for reflection is essential.

    That’s one of the reasons for this blog.

    To think and write. You could say it’s my window for reflection.

    I’m not always thinking about a problem I’m wrestling with, most of the time thinking about things I already know or, more correctly, stuff I think I know.

    A scheduled time to think.

  • Attitude vs intelligence

    People with a fixed mindset document their intelligence and talents rather than working to develop and improve them.

    Alternatively, in a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience.

    • I’m in elementary school up until high school => fixed mindset
    • I’m in college and since then => growth mindset

    What happens when people believe they can get smarter and they realize that their effort affects their success?

    They will put in extra time, which leads to higher achievement.

    Read more on this topic via Why your attitude is more important than your intelligence →

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