“People’s ability to connect is the glue that holds our culture together. By thinning out our interactions and splintering our media landscape, the Internet has taken away the common ground we need to understand one another. Each of us is becoming more confident about our own world just as it drifts farther from the worlds of others. Empathy requires us to understand that even people who disagree with us have a lived experience as deep as our own. But in the fractured landscape of social media, we have little choice but to see the other side as obtuse, dishonest or both. Unless we reverse this trend and revive empathy, we have little chance of mending the tears in our social fabric.”
“It’s a rather simple question that quickly gets to the core of someone’s sense of well-being and legitimacy: did your childhood leave you feeling that you were – on balance – OK as you were? Or did you somewhere along the way derive an impression that you needed to be extraordinary in order to deserve a place on the earth?”
“We have to spend time with each other that is not digital. Civic organizations, libraries and social institutions that pre-date consumerism are all viable alternatives. If we reacquaint ourselves without digital crutches, I believe we’ll be less afraid of each other. Turn off the TV and go outside and start talking to people and then people who are inside will want to come out and see what’s going on. That is a type of influence that is sorely needed. It is peer-to-peer influence and it is an innately human social order.”
“Shift responses are a hallmark of conversational narcissism. They help you turn the focus constantly back to yourself. But a support response encourages the other person to continue their story. These days, I try to be more aware of my instinct to share stories and talk about myself. I try to ask questions that encourage the other person to continue. I’ve also made a conscious effort to listen more and talk less.”
Mary: I’m so busy right now.
Tim: Me too. I’m totally overwhelmed.
Mary: I’m so busy right now.
Tim: Why? What do you have to get done?
“Every opportunity is attached to a person. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you’re really looking for a person.”
— Ben Casnocha
“When my phone is in Brick™ Mode and I’m completely disconnected from the internet (at dinner with a friend, on a hike, or reading a book) anyone who texts me will get an automatic reply saying that I’m off my phone and I’ll get back to them when I’ve reconnected. This simple auto-reply relieves my “always on” pressure because I know that anyone who texts knows I haven’t seen the message yet.”
“What if every performance review began with a short thought about the importance of clear and open communication? If every time we worked on a spreadsheet someone else created for us, we paused to acknowledge the complexity of the work she did and the attention to detail she brought to it? If at the beginning of the day we paused to honor the work we are about to do and the people with whom we are about to do it?”
“When I was younger, I worried that every decision I made would send me down that path for LIFE. Every time I faced a choice of whether to accept a new job, move to a different city or stay in a relationship, I built it up as a definitive, forever-life-altering moment. And while that was true on some level — all the little choices do, in fact, add up to the life that you end up living — I wish I could go back in time and whisper in my own ear, ‘Let this decision just be this decision, not a loaded choice about the rest of your days on earth. You can always reroute.’”
— Ann Friedman
“Community is a feeling that you’re part of something that uplifts you and allows you to see eye-to-eye with different people from different backgrounds. A community holds you to a higher standard; it encourages you to focus on possibility, not fear.”
– Paul Jun
“Many of the people I admire lead lives that have a two-mountain shape.
If the first mountain is about building up the ego and defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition, the second mountain is about contribution.
Over the past few decades the individual, the self, has been at the center. The second-mountain people are leading us toward a culture that puts relationships at the center. They ask us to measure our lives by the quality of our attachments, to see that life is a qualitative endeavor, not a quantitative one. They ask us to see others at their full depths, and not just as a stereotype, and to have the courage to lead with vulnerability. These second-mountain people are leading us into a new culture. Culture change happens when a small group of people find a better way to live and the rest of us copy them. These second-mountain people have found it.”
This article by David Brooks took my breath away. Please take a few minutes to read.
One of my big goals for 2019 is to change my phone habits. I am an addict.
To help this problem, I am considering buying an Apple Watch, so that I can leave my phone behind, can still receive phone calls and texts from my kids and close family, but can’t get sucked into any apps. I have asked on Instagram story today if anyone had success with that method, and looks like a lot of folks did. (I know, it seems counter intuitive to solve a technology addiction problem with more technology.)
Do you have a healthy relationship with your phone? Do you have any advice?
“What is workism? It is the belief that work is not only necessary to economic production, but also the centerpiece of one’s identity and life’s purpose; and the belief that any policy to promote human welfare must always encourage more work.”
“A hobby is an activity undertaken purely for its own sake, but technology attempts to monetize it. A friend used to make beautiful earrings occasionally. Almost ritualistically, she would buy the beads, and carefully craft the small, colored jewels in a quiet workspace. Then came Etsy. Now she makes beautiful earrings and sells them, ships them and manages this business along with a full-time job and a family. What was leisure became labor.”
“If you’ve created something that will delight and astound 10% of the marketplace, there’s a 90% chance that the first person who encounters your work will dislike it. He might even hate it. In fact, if you do the math, you’ll see that there’s more than a 70% chance that the first THREE people will hate it. And if you give up then, you’ve just walked away from serving the people you set out to serve.”
“The big prediction for the coming century is that enormous opportunities will open up for businesses that can skilfully address our Flourishing Needs. Technology, the wealth of nations and the shift in public taste will make this very likely. A great many of the multi-billion dollar companies of the future will be those focused on the fulfilment of flourishing needs: our need for self-knowledge around love, our desire for a satisfying social life, or our need for resilience. Bits of the tech sector are already nibbling at the borderline between Comfort and Flourishing needs, a trend aided by the forthcoming development of Artificial Emotional Intelligence. This, rather than the economies of developing nations, are what constitute the truly ‘emerging markets’ of the future.”
“We have no goals. We have no revenue targets, no financial goals other than to be profitable, and no growth goals, no user growth. None of that stuff… We should be doing our best work anyway, so let’s just do that.”
“When I see people who don’t care about or don’t have pride in what they do, I need to get out of that building because I just can’t do it. So anyway, the next day, I went and spent £460 on floor paint, and the entire company painted the floor. And actually, that point was a really important point in the factory, and the team because actually, we all decided at that point, you know what, we didn’t want to be average, and the enemy was to be average. And actually, we all enjoyed painting the floor. And actually when we moved to the new building, a new factory, we’re all going to paint the floor again because I think that was the point where we became a team.”
This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative podcast is David Hieatt, entrepreneur, author, speaker and founder of The Do Lectures. A solid citizen and human I admire tremendously. Listen to the podcast here.