Yesterday’s post included uncommon advice from Scott Adams. He makes a point of considering the credentials of whomever is giving you that advice.

I’ll be posting notes from other books and want to be clear that I’ll include only what resonates with me, either through personal experience, or because other people I respect have observed something similar.

For example:

  • Goals are for losers (already discussed)
  • Your mind is a moist computer you can programme (see Pragmatic Thinking and Learning
  • Luck can be managed, sort of (“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity” – Seneca the Younger 4 BC – AD 65)

Do This

Derek Sivers says Do This, which is an article I return to occasionally for a reminder. He’s built and sold a company. And written a book about it.

You are reponsible for your own experience, though.

Others can give you advice, but mostly it’s an approximation. Only you can decide what applies to you, and take action to make it happen. And keep going.

As Randy Pausch says, in his Last Lecture

“… the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

Also watch: Time Management.

Attending the altMBA I learned the value of asking good questions. Instead of giving answers our coaches, Emily and Max, encouraged us to find the answers for ourselves. When given a framing question, we are the best person to decide what’s right for us.

Relevant anecdote: The last assignment was to produce a video. I’m duty bound not to reveal details of the prompt. However I had an idea of what I wanted to say, and practised it multiple times. The more I practised the less spontaneous it became. So I asked Max for feedback. He replied “Do you think it’s good enough?”. I said I wasn’t sure, and wanted to know what he thought. His reply was: “I look forward to seeing it when you decide it’s ready”.

By doing that he made sure that it was my decision on what was good enough, rather than allowing somebody else to decide for me. In a creative act we can seek others’ validation when we should be self-validating and deciding for ourselves when what we create is good enough.

For more on asking good questions, read The Coaching Habit. And I’d love to hear from you about anything I’ve written.