Movie theater dilemma

You pay for a ticket to go to the movies. Turns out half way through the movie, it isn’t very good. The money you spent is gone and you can never get it back.

So now you’re torn: do you stick it through to get your money’s worth or do you leave?

Turns out most of us will stick through a bad movie. Although the logical choice is to leave and rescue what’s left of our time, we make the illogical choice to stick it out (and subsequently sink more of our finite resources).

Why? Because by leaving you will have to admit that you wasted money on a bad movie. You have to admit that this was a poor decision.

The ego doesn’t like this.

This is how we begin to be okay with sub-par work. Because we are afraid to admit that it wasn’t a good idea but since we are already down this road we can’t quit now.

Somehow we can justify and talk ourselves into saying that the movie (or project) wasn’t that bad. But deep down we all know the truth: we should of quit while we were ahead.

The unfortunate truth for all organizations is that they can’t afford bad ideas. They can’t admit that they bought a ticket for a bad movie. So they do what they can to polish and package something that is below the standards we are seeking.

When our heArt is running too fast

Life can change on a dime.

You’re going on one path with a plan. You’re doing everything you are supposed to be doing. You are making steps towards your dreams and goals.

And suddenly life changes. You were one person before and you are never the same person again.

We spend all our time measuring and accumulating in an effort for predicting what will happen next.

And that’s the point: you never really know what is going to happen.

We spend a significant amount of time trying to get our ducks in a row, making a future safer that we have no control over to begin with. Instead, we should be spending more time focusing on what we now have and enjoy it while it lasts. You never know when it will be gone. (We miss what we have lost.)

Approval

When you ask for approval are you prepared to follow through with the answer you are given?

If not, maybe it’s better to do what it is you think is best and accept the consequences that follow.

If you are unsure about something, that should be a trigger for an opportunity. An opportunity to lead. It’s good practice to make decisions on things that might not work especially when failure won’t crush you.

(Really, what’s the worst that could happen?)

Yeah, you might get laughed at. You might get publicly shamed for trying something on your own. Forget about explaining yourself if this happens. Smile and know that there was a possibility of it not working (that’s what made it so great). You learned how something doesn’t work and you are now one step closer to finding something that does.

Over time, you’ll find when you try to make these types of decisions, it will be hard to go back to seeking approval. You’ll actually find that most people appreciate the initiative.

Anything you want

You can have anything you want, just not everything you want.

All of us need to choose what we are going to focus on, decide what is important, act on the things that matter.

But we can’t do it all.

You can’t read every book the world has to offer but you may be able to become an avid reader or expert on a few particular areas like marketing or leadership.

It’s important to choose something that you can become the best in the world at.

Not the entire world of course. Your world. The world around you. The geographic area of where you work and live. If you want to start the best comic book store in the world, do it. Be the best comic book store in the area. Make it so good that the people in the world around you will have no choice but to go to your store to buy a comic book. That is the best in the world. Because people will only go so far for a comic book.

And maybe if it is weird enough others will travel a little further to visit something remarkable: Jolly Green GiantJimmy Carter Peanut StatueCadillac Ranch

The crux is overcoming distractions that get in the way of becoming the best in the world. Never forget someone out there is getting better each day.

Gutenburg’s law: no job is safe

Before the Printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenburg in 1440, books were written by scribes. With this invention, the professional (and tedious work) of scribes became obsolete and shifted the power to the hands of amateurs – who were faster, cheaper, and more accurate (book production rose from a few million to a billion in Europe over the next 400 years).

550 years after the Printing Press we are seeing the same shift. The internet has moved the work of music and movie producers, television and newspaper reporters, book publishers, lawyers, CPA’s, even doctors, mechanics (and so on) from professionals to amateurs.

Thanks to the internet, smart phones, cameras, social media everyone now has a voice and a way to connect with each other.

What does this all mean?

The status-quo is no longer decided by producers, reporters, publishers, lawyers, CPA, doctors, mechanics but by you and me. Because the content is no longer being filtered by them, now we can decide what is relevant.

What the scribes failed to do 550 years ago, was embrace that the world had changed forever and it was never going to be the same ever again. They held on to the old believe, until they were no longer useful or relevant. You can’t be a professional without being useful or relevant.

So we need to evolve and embrace what is coming. If you think it’s always going to stay the same and that your job will be secure 20 years from now (10 years? 5?), you may be mistaken. 65% of today’s students will be employed in job’s that don’t even exist yet.

Change is coming and if you’re not on board, you may become obsolete.

Superman

A superhero cannot be a superhero all the time. When you are feeling down about your job, remember that this is the place for you to be Clark Kent: the shy, clumsy, passive, introvert.

It’s not who you are though. You are in disguise. You put on the suit, tie, and glasses to temporarily fit in. It’s the place for you to observe and be closer to the people. To interact with the market. To find out what is important to the people you serve.

It’s easy for Superman to forget who he is living a double life. It’s easy for him to trick himself into thinking he is Clark Kent. He’s not. And he shouldn’t try to be. That’s the problem though. Even Superman wants to fit in. What a waste if he just chose to be Clark Kent, never to reach his full potentialBut he has a choice. So do you.

1+1=3

Looking at the formula our first reaction is to say that it’s wrong.

But when one male and one female have one baby, you get one plus one to equal three.

We make our decisions based on past assumptions and experiences that we believe to be true. Sometimes those past truths lock us into a designated way of thinking. Not good nor bad, just shuts us out from the possibility of something new.