In the way of it

For my youngest son, putting on his shoes is a BIG JOB. Catch him in the right mood, and he’ll get it done. But if there’s the slightest distraction in his path or in his mind, if he’s upset about something, if there’s an excuse, he’ll take forever to put them on, stropping all the way.

You are probably something of a professional when it comes to putting on your shoes.
Which things are you avoiding, putting off, getting distracted from?

Things get easier if you do them all the time. You know what to do, how to do it, where to find what you need to do it – and perhaps most importantly, that you can and will do it.

What’s your daily?

When you’re in the way of doing something you’ve develop the practical, mental and emotional muscle memory that makes it easy for you to get it done, which is not necessarily the same as it being easy to do.

When you’re in the way of something, you also have far more bandwidth to apply elsewhere. We often spend this bandwidth on other things (continuing a conversation, watching or listening to something), which is fine… but for important jobs, we can use that bandwidth to find ways to do them even better.

This is how to become a professional.

The new possible

My sister (let’s call her Sharky) bought me a book for Christmas.

Sharky lives in Argentina.

She bought the book from a shop in the UK.

I’m on holiday in a remote part of Indonesia.

She bought the book, told me about it, and I was reading it, in less than ten minutes.

This is the new reality – actually, not even that new anymore. Any information product (book, film, music, software, design) can go anywhere, in effectively no time.

The new possible consists of the things that this reality enables – not just instant access to information products, but information to go into products (3d printing designs, specifications) or for the delivery of products and services (your exact requirements or preferences, your real-time location, your purchase history, your credit rating).

What becomes possible in your field when the information is so relevant and so available, when the transaction becomes so fast, so frictionless?

AirBnB, and Uber are cannonical examples of the new possible, to which I’d add the fact that this year, Sharky bought me a Christmas present.

Seth Godin: Homeschooled (2)

There are choices that parents make all the time. They range from enlisting your kid in a team sport that’s based on compliance, instead of encouraging them to engage in an individual sport that’s based on establishing standards and then surpassing them.

Or perhaps it’s about setting a standard about what gets talked about at the dinner table. What tools are in your kids’ hands? Yes, you can afford that eighty-dollar tablet from amazon. Did it end up in your kids’ hands from the time they were two, eating chicken fingers in a restaurant and watching videos ’cause it’s more convenient?

How often are the kids in your family challenging the status quo of ideas and having intelligent conversations with you about what they think and why the think it?

How do we deal with failure?

How do we deal with challenges?

How old should a kid be before she publishes her first poem online?

Homeschooling kids in the afternoon, homeschooling kids at the weekend, doesn’t mean helping them get better at the test …

… we need to be significantly more overt in the culture we seek to create at home, and I don’t think we have to pull our kids out of school to do it. I think we have the chance to recognise they’re in school every time we’re with them.

Seth GodinAkimbo Connect the Dots

The last ten minutes…

…before you leave the house is not the time to start moving faster.

Strange things happen to time in the last ten, and the minutes go twice as fast.

Thrash early.

Start acting with last minute urgency with twenty minutes** to go and you’ll glide out of the door gracefully, and right on time.***

*See also: Thrash Now– and this

** Double this if you’ve got kids

***I’m leaving the house in 19 minutes****

****┬áIt’s inadvisable to include having a shower in your list of ‘last ten’ activities