Problems vs. opportunities

It turns out, we spend an enormous amount of time putting out fires. Some of which we start. And once we put one out, two more spark in its place.

Think about it. When is the last time your inbox was zero? Or didn’t have something else to do on our checklists.

Not very often, if ever anymore.

Great work isn’t in the absence of the banal. It’s in sync with it. Never without.

Don’t spend your time-solving problems. Instead, invest in better opportunities.

Observations from buying a home

We recently bought our first home. It’s a major fixer-upper.

Couple observations:

Before we bought, I had my friend who was a General Contractor for 30+ years look at it. In his words, “You can’t even call this craftmanship.” Another friend who does a lot of remodeling said, “One of the worst fixer-uppers I have ever seen.” I also spoke with some neighbors and they all said the same thing. The previous owners had worked really hard to fix it up but it still looked awful.

How come no one had the courage to say stop? Where was the friend with the guts to say, “Don’t keep doing this.”?

Indeed, having a friend like this is rare.

The second thing I’ve noticed is this. By all accounts, the owners had put a lot of sweat equity to “fix up the place” before selling. They were upset when they weren’t getting the price they wanted from potential buyers.

Our expectations don’t match reality. Our realities don’t match other people’s expectations.

About resiliency

Resiliency is the ability to stand up eight times after being knocked down seven.

All highly resilient people have one common trait. And that is the ability to say, “The story I am telling myself is…”

When we take adversity, turn it into a learning experience, our quality of life improves.

Who’s it for?

One of the critical reviews of David Lynch’s Lost Highway got two thumbs down.

To which Lynch replied that this would be a good reason to go see it.

At the time, many considered it to be one of Lynch’s worst movies. Since then, it has developed a cult following and still receives mixed reviews today.

It wasn’t for everybody. It’s not a blockbuster hit. It’s not universally loved. It wasn’t perfect or polished.


If you want to see a different movie then this one was for you.

They say everyone is a critic. What we need to understand is that it’s easy to be critical of things that we don’t understand. At some point, we have to stop and ask, “Is this for me?”

This isn’t a fairy tale

Prince Charming isn’t coming to rescue you. The Tooth Fairy isn’t coming with a pile of cash.

It’s just you.

No one is going to rescue you from this mess. And no one is going to make the path you’ve chosen any easier either.

Don’t sit around and wait.


When everything is at your disposal

The next Michael Bay movie will have every resource available.

Unlimited money, unlimited studio time, every writer at hand, pretty much any actor he wants…

The question is Will we remember it?

Will we remember another Transformers movie?

I doubt it.

Formulated, polished products are hardly worth remembering.

When everything is available to you, that may also be the problem.

Constraints define lines, not shrink them.

McDonald’s makes a perfect hamburger

At least, for a burger that costs a dollar, it’s perfect.

Perfect as in it’s made according to spec. Every time.

Perfect as in it tastes the same whether you are in Clevland or Los Angeles.

Perfect because it’s the same today and tomorrow.

Of course, no one ever remembers eating a McDonald’s hamburger.

You know what another word for perfect is?


Perfect is boring.

Be memorable and do something that breaks the mold.

But why?

If you ask a three-year-old to do something, it’s likely they’ll respond with, “Why?”

The answer isn’t to keep asking then explaining but to explain and then ask.

Of course, this strategy doesn’t just work with kids but also adults too.

So much of the conflicts we have can be avoided by taking the time to explain our thought processes behind our words.

Picking a practice

When you publish something every day at first it’s hard to follow through.

But over time, behaviors turn into a habit. Habits turn into action.

You don’t sit there and wonder if you are going to write something today. No, the decision has already been made. The question is what are you going to publish?

Everyone needs practice like this. Something to follow through on, every day, no matter who’s watching.

“Why can’t I catch a break”

You have. At least every once in a while. Someone may run a red light and just miss you. Maybe you bomb a presentation but your boss is in Cabo. Either way, it’s likely you are focused on the wrong thing.

If you study behavioral economics, we know that a loss hurts more than the pleasure of a gain.

As a result, we end up spending our time playing defense.

The question is are you playing the game to lose or are you playing for the win?