There are indeed no great men to their valets. But the laugh is on the valet. He sees, inevitably, all the traits that are not relevant, all the traits that have nothing to do with the specific task for which a man has been called on the stage of history. – Peter Drucker

the levels of problem solving

The Levels of Problem-solving:

Level 1 — You solve the problem.

Level 2 — You solve the problem that caused the problem.

Level 3 — You avoid the problem that caused the problem.

Level 3 is the most valuable but hardest to see.

Quality time vs garbage time

“I’m a believer in the ordinary and the mundane. These guys that talk about ‘quality time’ — I always find that a little sad when they say, ‘We have quality time.’ I don’t want quality time. I want the garbage time. That’s what I like. You just see them in their room reading a comic book and you get to kind of watch that for a minute, or [having] a bowl of Cheerios at 11 o’clock at night when they’re not even supposed to be up. The garbage, that’s what I love.”

When you realize there is no such thing as “quality time,” when you become okay with “garbage time,” you end up getting the best kind of time there is. You get the moment right in front of you.

https://forge.medium.com/theres-no-such-thing-as-quality-time-58db618c099d

instagram

New storefronts and restaurants were likewise optimized for the image. Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function. But maybe I had it backward. Maybe the point of a physical space was no longer to shelter physical people. Maybe a storefront was a marketing tool for a direct-to-consumer internet start-up, the way a website was once a marketing tool for a brick-and-mortar store. Glossier. Everlane. Warby Parker. The Sill. Walking into such places felt like walking into an app. They always looked smaller in person, like actors who are shorter in real life.

https://nplusonemag.com/issue-36/essays/my-instagram/

Quick way to get non-commercial search results

Problem: Oftentimes, when I’m using Google I’m searching for informational content that gives advice. What’s the best type of t-shirt to buy? How do I cook this steak? Why do lightbulbs flicker when they turn on? How much does a vanity cost?
Etc etc

The search results for a lot of these queries have been monetized to death. Instead of real recommendations, you get sponsored content from a shirt company, a cooking blog saturated with affiliate links, remarketed for lightbulbs, etc.

Soultion: The quick hack I’ve been using lately for queries like this is to add reddit to the end of the query. This restricts the results to anonymous posts on reddit that are far less likely to be monetized content. I’ve found you get better advice from real people this way. You hear from actual people who tried to find a substitute for cream cheese in a recipe, not from a content writer who is talking in hypotheticals.

Restricting to the search results to reposes by real people greatly improves signal to noise ratio for informational/advice queries.

The World’s Fastest Man

So what are the takeaways for a small business owner, middle manager or senior executive? C.C. is living proof that results can matter more than paradigms. You don’t need buzzwords to build. You don’t need inspirational posters to inspire. You need to work, and once you are known for that work, your personal brand, in turn, will bring even more work. It’s a virtuous cycle.

On the Cover: The World’s Fastest Man

The art of showing up

Not every day is created equal.  Not every day will feel great.  The energy & excitement won’t always be there.  You won’t always feel optimistic about your results.  The day’s outside stressors such as family, work, etc. oftentimes throw a wrench in your daily schedule.  It’s NEVER all the way right.  It usually falls somewhere in the middle between the two extremes.


Between the opposites you must learn to master the Art of Showing Up.  No matter where you fall on the spectrum, showing up produces a consistent feeling and result of achievement.

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There’s room to balance both ambition to do big things, and the simple practice of finding pennies.

You don’t have to be a crazy monk sitting in silence all day to enjoy your life. You should be able to enjoy it right now, with what’s around you.

Balancing seeing with being seen. Balancing striving with finding pennies. 

Applying love and understanding to ourselves and the people around us.

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The most damaging thing you learned in school wasn’t something you learned in any specific class. It was learning to get good grades.

When I was in college, a particularly earnest philosophy grad student once told me that he never cared what grade he got in a class, only what he learned in it. This stuck in my mind because it was the only time I ever heard anyone say such a thing.

http://paulgraham.com/lesson.html