Monday, June 29, 2020

Don't let your ambition become counterproductive

"As a leader, you should want those around you to be eager to rise up and take on more responsibility, as long as dreaming about the job they want doesn't distract them from the job they have. You can't let ambition get too far ahead of opportunity. I've seen a lot of people who had their sights set on a particular job or project, but the opportunity to actually get that thing was so slim. Their focus on the small thing in the distance became a problem. They grew impatient with where they were. They didn't tend enough to the responsibilities they did have, because they were longing so much for something else, and so their ambition became counterproductive. It's important to know how to find the balance - do the job you have well; be patient; look for opportunities to pitch in and expand and grow; and make yourself one of the people, through attitude and energy and focus, that your bosses feel they have to turn to when an opportunity arises. Conversely, if you're a boss, these are the people to nurture - not the ones who are clamoring for promotions and complaining about not being utilized enough but the ones who are proving themselves to be indispensable day in and day out."
 - Bob Iger

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Next Person You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

I recently re-read The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom because I was preparing to read the sequel, The Next Person You Meet In Heaven, which was published 15 years after his initial award winning book.

In reading the first book again, I was able to appreciate the life lessons learned in through the imagination of what an afterlife might look like. Simply written, easily read, but powerful impact.

Last night, I started to read the 224 page sequel. And I could not put it down. It took me 2 hours to take it all in. The Next Person was just as captivating as the original. And it was written similarly - a developing backstory that evokes as much emotion as the on-going encounters in the foreground.

The Next Person You Meet In Heaven has a new set of life lessons. And similar to the first Five, the Next is deeply relatable.

My suggestion is to read these two in tandem.

GoodReads | Amazon

GoodReads Amazon

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Big Data & Human Stupidity

Excerpts from today's reading from the tail end of Chapter 3 of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

"The danger is that if we invest too much in developing AI and too little in developing human consciousness, the very sophisticated artificial intelligence of computers might only serve to empower the natural stupidity of humans."


"To avoid such outcomes, for every dollar and every minute we invest in improving artificial intelligence, it would be wise to invest a dollar and a minute in advancing human consciousness. Unfortunately, at present we are not doing much in the way of research into human consciousness and ways to develop it. We are researching and developing human abilities mainly according to the immediate needs of the economic and political system, rather than according to our own long-term needs as conscious beings."


"We are now creating tame human that produce enormous amounts of data and function as very efficient chips in a huge data-processing mechanism, but these data-cows hardly maximize human potential. Indeed, we have no idea what our full human potential is, because we know so little about the human mind. And yet we don't invest much in exploring the human mind, instead focusing on increase the speed of our internet connections and the efficiency of our Big Data algorithms. If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and the world."


"But just as Big Data algorithms might extinguish liberty, they might simultaneously create the most unequal societies that ever existed. All wealth and power might be concentrated in the hand of a tiny elite, while most people will suffer not from exploitation but from something far worse - irrelevance."

Big Data Knows Everything

Monday, June 15, 2020

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein

Learning about Warren Buffet and his meteoric rise as an investor over the course of a lifetime through Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. as a vehicle was so insightful. Roger Lowenstein wrote this biography in a way that keeps your interest intensely. The details of Buffet's formative years provided evidence and support that make his strategies and investments so logical and elementary. Buffet's fundamentals never left him and he's been able to adapt to the times. Despite the turmoils of the markets, economies, and politics the way Buffet kept his footing and continues to stand on the foundation of his success is proof that the basics are important and that you have to always ground yourself in discipline. Like every genius and successful person, his quirks gave him character and that made for a more colorful story. 

If you're an investor or looking to dabble in investing, this biography is certain to intrigue you. Learning about the G.O.A.T. of all investors and capitalists should be atop your to-do list.

Check it out on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon

Thursday, June 4, 2020

What are we talking about? Practice?

"Practice makes perfect!"

You hear it all the time, but it's yet another quote that I have disagreements with. But let me be clear, I'm not saying we shouldn't practice. We should practice as much as possible. But, does practice makes perfect? NO.

Practice makes each person who practices better at their craft. Better at understanding. Better at listening. Better at adjusting and adapting. Better at negotiating and navigating. Better at producing. Better. It just makes you better. Because no one is perfect.

Think about it. Doctors have a practice. Lawyers have a practice. Advisors are practitioners.

Are they perfect? NO. They have a practice because every patient they examine, every client they take, every consultation they sit for makes them better. They continue to educate themselves about the world around them. Their intake improves their output and that improves their next round. Have doctors fixed every medical issue they've encountered? No. Have lawyers won every case? No. Are advisors always right? No.

They practice to become better, not to become perfect.

Can greatness still be achieved? YES. But greatness is different from perfection. 


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

"Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It's about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It's even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there's a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life, and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen." - Brené Brown

Vulnerability is an allowance. It's when you allow others to see your true self. Sadly, in our society, it's perceived as a weakness because of the reaction one might have to a specific type of response sometimes received, shaming. To me, vulnerability is part of communication. It's being fearless in the face of what other's might think of your M.O. But because of our society, being vulnerable is daring greatly. Whereas without the whole shaming aspect, the term vulnerability would not even exist and it would just be plain old communication - sharing your truest self with others. 

But this is the way our world has evolved. So we must dare greatly to overcome those who make us feel shame. We must take risks and venture chance that our fears will not manifest. And we have to learn that being vulnerable is the way develop courage, become positive, remain radically candid and gritty, and live proud of who we are internally and externally. 

Check it out on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Work Smarter AND Harder

I am not fond of the quote “work smarter, not harder.

For a person who is constantly trying to learn, develop, share, educate, improve, and create this motto represents only half of the credo necessary to be successful.

The quote is really only applicable to individual tasks, but on the whole of one's work-life this only helps you achieve partial results. For me, you need to work smarter for everything, and harder for the things you need to improve on. If you don't work harder, how can you become smarter?

Working smarter and not harder is a busted circle. There's a gap that needs filling.

But when you complete the loop, you become a better person.

Work it harder
Make it better
Do it faster
Makes us stronger
More than ever
Hour after
Our work is
Never over

Monday, June 1, 2020

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

"One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life an answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible. Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence." - Viktor Frankl

For now and for the future, I believe I’ve found a meaning in my life - one of many I'm sure. I’ve looked back, and this is something that I enjoy doing consistently. I’ve been doing this all these years already. And I don't foresee any change to this M.O.

I like to teach. I like the share what I know, what I’ve learned, how and why anything is the way it is. I like to give my opinion and share facts.

I remember thinking on multiple occasions throughout my life that I'd enjoy being a teacher. I think realistically that's not the career path for me. But I already consider myself somewhat of a "teacher." Whomever I have the opportunity to educate or share ideas/facts/opinions with may already be learning from me. I will also never stop being a student. Perpetual learning is something that I've always believed in, regardless of age. And in my own education, I can pass that along as a "teacher" for others. Knowledge, like communication, is a two-way street.

My recent ponderings have stemmed from finishing this book, and so I'm sharing:

"According to logotherapy, we can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering."

Have you given thought to the meaning of your life?

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