This is one of my favorite plans from the book Rework
:Feel like you can’t proceed until you have a bulletproof plan in place? Replace “plan” with “guess” and take it easy. That’s all plans really are anyway: guesses. I think companies often over think, over do, and over devote to planning. So next time call a plan a guess and just get to work.
In my experience, I can get so hung up on a plan that I miss great opportunities that are right in front of me. If you're not aware of any great opportunities, it's likely you're too focused on your plans. Has you ever done something spontaneous and its made all the difference in your life? Or someone else's life?
Start calling plans guesses, keep your head clear, and be aware of the opportunities that pop up all around you.
Now don't miss this bear! I did my first time. I was so excited because I was able to keep track of all the white team's passes, but sadly I completely missed the moonwalking bear.
As you set your New Year's resolution to lose weight, here's a motivating story.
It was my 2011 resolution to drop 30 lbs. Being immersed in my MBA program at SUU for over a year took all my spare time that I would have used for exercise. I was up to 185 and I needed to get down to a healthy and comfortable 155 (160 would even do).
I'm a fan of Tim Ferriss so of course I was planning to read The 4-Hour Body
any way. The moment I downloaded the book on my Kindle for iPad app in January of this year, I noticed the Slow Carb Diet
and the promise of dropping 20 lbs in 30 days without any exercise. Sounded good to me!
Basically, here's what I did:
- I cut out all sweets, no candy, no soda (pop), juice etc.
- I said no to my favorite pastries, banana bread or bread of any kind. It was hard giving up the white carbs but I avoided them like the plague.
- I gave up potatoes and any potato products completely.
- My only exception was wheat tortillas.
- I only drank water, I cut my intake of milk down to a cup every 3 days or so.
- For Breakfast at 5-6am I ate 1/2 cup of spinach, 3-5 eggs, and 1/2 cup of black or refried beans with salsa along with 32oz of ice water.
- For Lunch around 1-2pm I'd eat a bowl of beans and whatever vegetables I had, usually green beans. Some days I would eat White Chicken Chili. Throughout the day I would drink at least another 32oz of water.
- For Dinner around 6-7pm I would eat grilled chicken breasts like they were going out of style. I'd include more water and 1-2 cups of vegetables and salad. Instead of dressing I'd supplement cottage cheese.
- After every meal I would do 30 squats and 30 tricep extensions...even at restaurants..
- Most nights and mornings I do 30 pushups, pull-ups and sit-ups. Just a habit from my late teens.
Through this diet change I fell in love with the eggs, spinach and beans combo and learned how to make the meal in several different forms. I had to add the cheese for flavor. Tim said it was Ok if it was just a pinch (I have pretty big pinches). Here's a picture of an omelet version:
This is how it usually looked before adding salsa, I prefer Jack's Salsa or the Kirkland Signature brand.
- I dropped down 30 lbs and was down to 155 by the end of March.
- I could have down it faster, but I was in no rush and some days I just needed to down a loaf of my wife's banana bread (binge days are Ok, I took one once every couple weeks).
- I could only do it with the support of my wonderful wife, she adjusted her cooking a lot for me. She even lost weight, not that she needed to.
- I fell in love with the breakfast and now it has become my morning tradition. Sure, some days I just want some crapes or waffles. But this is my staple.
- I've eased off the Lunch and Dinner meals but I weight myself everyday and if I notice I've gained some pounds from the big Sunday dinner the night before I just go back onto the Slow Carb Diet and the weight just sheds off.
- I've maintained a weight of 155-160 since March and I haven't even started running again...and I don't think I will, I prefer intense games of Dodgeball and hiking.
My friends and coworkers thought I was nuts but they all know it works. I know the breakfast looks gross, but it only works with spinach. I didn't like the idea at first but I would just tell people to try it for a week and see what happens. Everyone who tried it out lost weight. Whether they stuck with it or not, well that was up to their level of discipline.
I'm pretty much an expert on the Slow Carb Diet. If you ever have any questions about it, like Do's and Don't's etc. just ask me and I'd be ha ppy to advise you.
Google has recently announced some Spring Cleaning initiatives and is scrapping the following projects: Google Knol, Google Search Timeline, Google Gear, Google Friend Connect, Google Bookmarks Lists and Google Wave.
Learning of the projects Google was "quitting" reminded me of what I learned from Seth Godin's The Dip. I'm sure all these projects that Google started were cool, exciting and fun at first...then they got harder and not so fun. Once things weren't fun anymore, they got even harder to push through and were no longer fun at all.
When things aren't fun anymore the thought of quitting is on your mind often. You consider the goals you set in the beginning of the project, your business, or your job and ask yourself, "Should I keep going or just scrap this altogether?" Of course you don't want to feel like a failure, but it might be time to cut your losses.When is a good time to quit? Seth defines the Dip as "a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing." But be careful, you're either facing a Dip or a Cul-de-Sac. A Cul-de-Sac is "a situation which will never get better, no matter how hard you try."
It's up to you to determine where you stand. Google realized it was in a Cul-de-Sac. Weight the pros and cons. Do the math.
Like Google did with these projects, if you're faced with a Cul-de-Sac you'll win by quitting and moving onto a dip that is worth pushing through. Certainly there are plenty of other things to do, especially for Google.
To conclude, what really sets the remarkable apart from the mediocre is their ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really matters. Google's story of spring cleaning should not be one of failure, but one of triumph over the Cul-de-Sac.
I really enjoyed reading JFK's 1963 Address at Mormon Tabernacle
in Salt Lake City. He praised the Mormons for their perseverance, dedication to education, and persistence.
Here's an excerpt I found inspiring:"Let us remember that the Mormons of a century ago were a persecuted and prosecuted minority, harried from place to place, the victims of violence and occasional murder, while today in the short space of 100 years, their faith and works are known and respected the world around, and their voices heard in the highest councils of this country. As the Mormons succeeded, so can America succeed, if we will not give up or turn back."
-John F. Kennedy, 1963
We all struggle through learning curves because they’re really
hard at first. In The Dip
, Seth Godin will help you determine whether you should keep trudging through the difficult process or quit it altogether.
If you decide to stick with whatever you’re learning, whether it’s a musical instrument, calculus, programming, cooking, chemistry, or baseball,
it’s important to understand that natural genius
is a myth
Recent scientific findings
support the notion that success is the product of disciplined practice – not an uncontainable natural genius
. I realized this simple principle after reading Talent is Overrated
by Geoff Colvin. The examples of the work ethic in Mozart and Michael Jordan were very inspiring. They were not born with their amazing abilities; they were driven to the point where they wanted to practice music and basketball all day long, every single day. It was only after long periods of deliberate practice that they became incredibly skilled.
In his book, Outliers
, Malcom Gladwell writes about the 10,000 Rule. He explains that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a given field, to actually master the subject.
One of my favorite examples is that of legendary slugger Ted Williams. He is believed to be the most gifted
hitter of his era (the last man to hit over .400). Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr said, ”Ted just had that natural ability." It was also said that Ted had laser-like eyesight
, which allowed him to decipher the spin of a ball as it left the pitcher's fingers. Ty Cobb once said, "Ted Williams sees more of the ball than any man alive." I even heard Ted Williams could leap tall buildings in a single step! Sounds like some guys are just born with it, right?
Wrong, scientific tests showed Ted’s eyesight to be well within ordinary
human range. The true story of Ted Williams’ talent was nothing more than a phantasmagorical work ethic that began when he was five years old and continued until he retired from the game. He grew up poor, yet paid his friends to shag balls. He denied entertainment, social activities, and other sports to focus on baseball. As a rookie, he practiced long after practice was over, he hit balls until they disintegrated, and swung bats until they splintered.
Drive is an acquired trait. Talent is a process
, not a natural gift.
What are you passionate about?
I never had the opportunity to be a traditional student - living the college life with a safety net and credit card from my parents.
I was fortunate enough to juggle full-time school with full-time work. As I look back, I wouldn't have had it any other way, the exhausting experience was well worth it because it pointed me in the right direction and helped me realize what I like and don't like.
College to me was about: work, productivity, advancement, intense study
- real painful learning curves!
But in the end you triumph and grow with confidence to take on your future and make the most of it
However, as a return on investment, is college really worth it? I guess that depends on what you can do with it. I was privileged enough to get scholarships for both my degrees, so the ROI for me was great. But would I pay $90,000 for a bachelor's degree for my son? Then another $120,000+ for a graduate or professional degree?
This Fast Company article
analyzes several reports that suggest college graduates experience a 35-85% increase in income after graduating from college, nevertheless it really just depends on what your field of study is.
Engineers and business majors are at the top of the salary pyramid, while psychology and graduates in education and social work are begging for the table scraps. So given the right major, college is worth it…right?
Seth Godin points out that student debt
in the United States is approaching a trillion dollars (five times
what it was ten years ago).
He poses the question, “Are those in debt buying more education or are they seeking better branding in the form of coveted diplomas?”
The underlying question here is, “Does a $40,000 a year education that comes with an elite degree deliver ten times
the education of a cheaper but no less rigorous self-generated approach assembled from less-famous institutions and free or inexpensive resources?”
If it does not, then what you're paying for are the connections, the doors it will open and the jobs it will snatch up. So then, it’s really a marketing strategy, and if it works then that expensive piece of paper will pay for itself rather quickly.
In my opinion, a marketing strategy could shift the dial, but that does not mean it's always
worth the money.
So, is spending a trillion dollars on degrees the best way for individuals to go about marketing themselves? I wonder what the economy, and society, would be like if people spent this money on building up their work history? What if it was spent on just becoming smarter, more creative, resourceful and self-sufficient?
Would young, creative people with fresh ideas be more willing to take on greater amounts of risk because they owe less money?
Today, there’s definitely a shortfall of intelligent, bootstrapping, and motivated people in our organizations. I don’t believe we need better labeled or more certified people. We just need them to be motivated enough to solve problems and actually care about what they are doing.
My suggestion is this: take a little longer in college, couple it with work experience in your field of study and apply the things you learn in the classroom every single day. Then your job becomes more like a lab rather than just a job. In this scenario, you build a work history, create contacts, and get that ever-important piece of paper that says you're worth more than you really are.
I've been enjoying my free Kindle edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous essay Self-Reliance
. Seth Godin's Domino Project and Ibex
, a very nifty outdoorwear company, have recently teamed up to reintroduce the world to Emerson and are sponsoring a free Kindle edition
. Get your free copy here
Here's one of my favorite quotes (I've heard it many times, but never knew it came from Ralph):That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.
Reminds me of another quote I'm rather fond of:
Stick to your task till it sticks to you;
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honour, power, place, and praise
Will come, in time, to the one who stays.
Stick to your task till it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life's victories, after awhile.
I refer to both of these quotes when I feel like giving up on something that is difficult and taxing, because I know that I should stick with it and persist because it will make me better.