The Need To Be Alone

“By retreating into ourselves, it looks as if we are the enemies of others, but our solitary moments are in reality a homage to the richness of social existence. Unless we’ve had time alone, we can’t be who we would like to be around our fellow humans. We won’t have original opinions. We won’t have lively and authentic perspectives. We’ll be – in the wrong way – a bit like everyone else.”

The Need to be Alone

The Sum of Your Company’s Working Environment

Your company’s working environment is the sum of these three parts:

1. The character of your employees
2. The business’s priorities
3. How people actually get work done

Found in this FastCompany Article.

Transparency is a Spectrum

“At the end of the day, transparency is truly a positive force. When it does backfire or causes fallout, it’s often because a leader hasn’t often taken the time to consider these two things: Transparency requires context, and transparency is a spectrum.”

How transparent should you be as a leader? by Claire Lew

Cindy Gallop

“There is a formula for success in business, and it goes like this: You set out to find the very best talent in the marketplace, and then give them a compelling and inspirational vision of what you want them to achieve for you and the company. Then you empower them to achieve those goals using their own skills and talents in any way they choose. If, at the same time, you demonstrate how enormously you value them, not just through compensation, but also verbally, every single day, and if you enable that talent to share in the profit that they help create for you, you’ll be successful. It’s so simple, and virtually nobody does it, because it requires a high-trust working environment, and most business environments are low-trust. In order to own the future of your business, you have to design it around trust.”
– Cindy Gallop

The Most Provocative Woman in the World: Cindy Gallop

Why We Don’t Have Nice Things

“Every creator that desires to fly higher needs an audience willing to cheer them on and go for the ride as well. That’s our part of the deal.”

Why We Don’t Have Nice Things, by Seth Godin

Kindness Scales

“It scales better than competitiveness, frustration, pettiness, regret, revenge, merit (whatever that means) or apathy. Kindness ratchets up. It leads to more kindness. It can create trust and openness and truth and enthusiasm and patience and possibility.

Kindness, in one word, is a business model, an approach to strangers and a platform for growth.It might take more effort than you were hoping it would, but it’s worth it.”

Seth Godin

None Of Us Comes Fully Equipped

“Let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.”
Carl Sagan

Contribute To The Present Moment

“I don’t think it is possible to contribute to the present moment in any meaningful way while being wholly engulfed by it. It is only by stepping out of it, by taking a telescopic perspective, that we can then dip back in and do the work which our time asks of us.”

A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times, by Maria Popova

Love Your Customers

I was just reminded of this wonderful post by MailChimp co-founder Ben Chestnut from a few years back. I recommend you give it a read if you haven’t seen it yet.

Ownership Levels at Buffer

Level 1 — No ownership responsibility. Learning and being actively developed by others

Level 2 — Fully owns an area, channel, or discipline. Accountable for deliverables in that area.

Level 3 — Consistent record of very strong ownership for their area. Accountable for results in that area.

Level 4 — Exhibits ownership across the team, as it relates to the impact of their area. Accountable for executing on their area’s strategy.

Level 5 — Fully responsible for all aspects of their area. This person is rare. This takes an exceptional level of dedication to the craft and is a big jump from Level 4. Very few companies will have someone at this skill level.

This ownership/responsibility framework by Buffer made me think. They don’t consider it a ladder, meaning, they don’t expect that everyone will reach the highest level in the framework. Interesting! Read the full article: How Individuals Advance at Buffer, Without Becoming Managers, by Hailley Griffis

(via Erica)

7 Things Every Kids Needs To Hear

1. I love you
2. I’m proud of you
3. I’m sorry
4. I forgive you
5. I’m listening
6. This is your responsibility
7. You’ve got what it takes

Josh Shipp

Fake a Fun Mind-Set

“If you’re trying to get into a new community, just fake it till you make it. Don’t have a mind-set of, Oh, I’m the new guy. No one’s going to want to be my friend. Fake a fun mind-set until you can be that fun, cool person without a second thought.”

Life Advice from Teen Experts

Rules for Working in a Studio

Don’t hide your work

Offer help

Ask for help

Tell the truth

Upgrade your tools

Don’t hide your mistakes

Add energy, don’t subtract it

Share

If you’re not proud of it, don’t ship it

Know the rules of your craft

Break the rules of your craft with intention

Make big promises

Keep them

Add positivity

Let others run, ever faster

Take responsibility

Learn something new

Offer credit

Criticize the work, not the artist

Power isn’t as important as productivity

Honor the schedule

You are not your work, embrace criticism

Go faster

Sign your work

Walk lightly

Change something

Obsess about appropriate quality, ignore perfection

A studio isn’t a factory. It’s when peers come together to do creative work, to amplify each other and to make change happen. That can happen in any organization, but it takes commitment.

Seth Godin

What Happened to New Media Design?

“Social media is not just personally unhealthy, it has become a threat to democracy. The tech companies that give us access to an infinity of information have become all-powerful and morally corrupt. And the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley fosters the development of products that idolize efficiency and greed, points us towards a dystopic future global monoculture. We don’t just hear all this, but we feel it, too. Something is profoundly wrong.”

What happened to new media design? by David Young

An Essay About a Teenager, Annotated by The Teenager

An essay about raising a teen that was then also annotated by the teen who the essay is about: Raising a Teenage Daughter.

I love the idea of this format and would love to see more of this, about other topics.

The Importance of Having a Breakdown

“A crisis represents an appetite for growth that hasn’t found another way of expressing itself. Many people, after a horrific few months or years of breakdown, will say: ‘I don’t know how I’d ever have gotten well if I hadn’t fallen ill’.”

The Importance of Having a Breakdown

Trust

“An ideal approach trusts others enough to not demand trust in return. It acknowledges the importance of trust without trying to commoditize it. It promotes good decisions, not fear.”

What’s your Uber rating, by Yancey Strickler.

100 Questions to Spark Conversation

Thank you Alexandra Franzen for these 100+ questions to ask your friends, family and dinner companions. She shared these because the U.S. is having Thanksgiving family gatherings coming up this week. These conversation starters come in handy anytime:

Are there any household chores you secretly enjoy? Which ones — and why?
Are there any laws or social rules that completely baffle you?
Are you a starter or a finisher?
Are you afraid of flying in airplanes? (How come?)
Are you living your life purpose — or still searching?
Are you useful in a crisis?
Can you tell when someone is lying?
Can you tell when someone is telling the truth?
Do you believe in magic? When have you felt it?
Do you believe that everyone deserves forgiveness?
Do you believe that people deserve to be happy?
Do you ever hunt for answers or omens in dreams?
Do you ever yearn for your life, before Facebook?
Do you have a morning ritual?
Do you have any habits you wish you could erase?
Do you have any irrational fears?
Do you have any personal rituals for the end of the year?
Do you have any physical features that you try to cloak or hide? How come?
Do you like to be saved — or do the saving?
Do you secretly miss Polaroid cameras?
Do you think everyone has the capacity to be a leader?
Do you think we should live like we’re dying?
Do you think we’re designed for monogamy? (Why or why not?)
Do you think you’re currently operating at 100% capacity?
Ever fantasize about being in a rock band? What would your group be called?
Has a teacher ever changed your life? How so?
Have you ever (actually) kept a New Year’s Resolution?
Have you ever been genuinely afraid for your physical safety?
Have you ever dreamed about starting a business? (Or if you’ve already got one — a new business?)
Have you ever fantasized about changing your first name? To what?
Have you ever fantasized about writing an advice column? What’s the first question you’d like to answer?
Have you ever had a psychic reading? Did you believe it? Was it accurate?
Have you ever had to make a public apology? (How come?)
Have you ever met one of your heroes?
Have you ever met someone who was genuinely evil?
Have you ever pushed your body further than you dreamed possible?
Have you ever screamed at someone? (How come?)
Have you ever set two friends up on a date? (How did it go?)
Have you ever stolen anything? (Money, candy, hearts, time?)
Have you ever unplugged from the Internet for more than a week?
Have you ever won an award? What was it for?
How do you engage with panhandlers on the street?
How do you reign in self-critical voices?
How long can you go without checking your emails or texts?
How would you fix the economy?
If a mysterious benefactor wrote you a check for $5,000 and said, “Help me solve a problem — any problem!” … what would you do with him or her?
If social media didn’t exist, how would your life be different?
If you could choose your own life obstacles, would you keep the ones you have?
If you could custom blend a perfume or cologne, what would it include?
If you could enroll in a PhD program, with your tuition paid in full by a mysterious benefactor, what would you study — and why?
If you could have tea with one fictional character, who would it be?
If you could master any instrument on earth, what would it be?
If you could save one endangered species from extinction, which would you choose?
If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her?
If you had an extra $100 to spend on yourself every week, what would you do?
If you were heading out on a road trip right this minute, what would you pack?
If you were searching through an online dating website, what’s the #1 quality / trait that would attract you to someone’s profile?
If you were to die three hours from now, what would you regret most?
If you wrote romance novels or erotic fiction, what would your “pen name” be?
Is there something that people consistently ask you for help with? What is it?
Is war a necessary evil?
What are you an expert on? Is it because of training, lived experience, or both?
What are you bored of?
What are you devoted to creating, in the New Year?
What are you freakishly good at?
What are you starving for?
What do you value most: free time, recognition, or money?
What is your spirit animal?
What was the best kiss of your entire life?
What was the best part of your day, so far?
What was the most agonizing hour of your life?
What was your proudest moment from the past twelve months?
What was your very first job?
What was your worst haircut / hairstyle of all time?
What’s going to be carved on your (hypothetical) tombstone?
What’s in your fridge, right this moment?
What’s in your pocket (or purse, or man-purse) right now?
What’s one dream that you’ve tucked away for the moment? How come?
What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating)?
What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé?
What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again?
What’s the best birthday cake you ever ate?
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
What’s the hardest thing you ever had to write — and why?
What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down?
What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made?
What’s the strangest date you’ve ever been on?
What’s the title of your future memoir?
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
What’s your definition of an ideal houseguest?
What’s your guiltiest of guilty pleasures?
What’s your most urgent priority for the rest of the year?
What’s your personal anthem or theme song?
What’s your recipe for recuperating from extreme heartbreak?
When was the last time you astonished yourself?
When was the last time you got stuck in a rut? How did you get out of it?
When was the last time you saw an animal in the wild?
When you see peers / competitors getting things you want, how do you react?
Where & when do you get your best ideas?
Who is the last person that deeply disappointed you? (What happened?)
Would you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
Would you like to write a book? (About what?)
Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
Would you rather have a live-in massage therapist, or a live-in chef?
Would you rather have an extra $200 a day, or an extra 2 hours a day?
And of course…
What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?

40 Ways To Live A Full Life

I usually don’t like posts with lists but this one by Ryan Holiday resonated: 40 Ways To Live A Full Life. Bookmarked.

Advice for Design Students

“The greatest output of your careers will be relationships”

From 10 things I wish every design student knew, by Cameron Moll. A great read.

(via Chris)

Critical Edit Checks Before You Hit Publish

This article by Barry Davret is helpful if you do editing work: 10 Unusual But Critical Edit Checks Before You Hit Publish

(via)

Defining Authenticity

“…We call a brand or a person authentic when they’re consistent, when they act the same way whether or not someone is looking. Someone is authentic when their actions are in alignment with what they promise.

Showing up as a pro.

Keeping promises.

Even when you don’t feel like it.

Especially when you don’t.”

– Seth Godin

Read the full post defining authenticity.

Culture

“A single change can happen overnight, but nothing is going to suddenly transform culture. Culture is cumulative—it’s composed of all previous decisions made by a group of people. Bit by bit, a company can make different trade-offs, and over time, this is how culture turns around.”

Greg McKeown in this article.

(via Bailey)

How Emotions Are Made

“Utka Eskimos have no concept of “Anger.” The Tahitians have no concept of “Sadness.” This last item is very difficult for Westerners to accept… life without sadness? Really? When Tahitians are in a situation that a Westerner would describe as sad, they feel ill, troubled, fatigued, or unenthusiastic, all of which are covered by their broader term pe’ape’a.”

From How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, via an article on New Neuroscience Reveals 3 Secrets That Will Make You Emotionally Intelligent