#17: do it for you

What's on my mind

“This is the conversation I want to have, not the one you want to have.”

Says Tyler Cowen at the start of every podcast he hosts.

He prefers to talk about the things that interest him, rather than what might attract the mass audience.

When you’re creating, you can think what others will like.

Or you can focus on building something that makes you come alive.

Something that your future self will thank you for.

Before taking a shot at it, ask yourself, “what if it took off?”

Would you be satisfied to keep going? Would it bring you joy?

If the answer is no, change course:

Do it for you.

👋 Welcome to the 17th volume of Out of Curiosity, a weekly newsletter sharing ideas to help get 1% better everyday in work and life.

Every week, I go through nearly 100 pieces of content (from books, podcasts, newsletters, and other publications), and bring you the best 5 in this newsletter.

This week’s stories

📚 Book Notes: Meditations

Notes on living in the moment, creating value, and self love…

💭 For a man cannot lose either the past or the future: for what a man has not, how can anyone take this from him? For the present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if it is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose a thing if he has it not.

🎯 Let no act be done without a purpose. Understand that every man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busies himself.

💟 It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another. I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.

📈 7 career growth principles

Becoming great at any career is less about the specific set of tools at your disposal.

Here's what's more important:

Learning and adapting to emerging skills, frameworks and thought processes to help solve new problems, repeatedly.

How do you do this?

  • Be a generalist, specialized in a couple of areas

  • Choose what to work on

  • Stay in both familiar and challenging territories

  • Choose accomplishments over credentials

  • Build a platform

  • Get a coach

  • Be proactive

{14-min read}

📝 On building a personal brand

Remember any brand (including a personal brand) is a work in progress. You've never made it. You're always nurturing it.

Some ideas as you're establishing yourself into a space:

Own your edge

Your edge is your unique advantage: what you're relatively better at compared to others in your network.

Once you find your edge, lean into it. Let it be fully seen. Be present in places where your edge is rewarded.

Take responsibility

Taking on new responsibilities results in more opportunities.

Play the long game

Once you define your edge, stay in the game long enough to reap the rewards.

{2-min read}

🤔 17 questions that changed my life

Pause and reflect…

If you could only work 2 hours per week on you business, what would you do?

Do you need to make it back the way you lost it?

What if you could only subtract to solve problems?

Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?

{46-min listen}

💭 How to think

Thinking, by definition, means concentrating on one topic long enough to develop an idea about it.

To think effectively and critically, it's essential to drop multi-tasking and remove distractions.

Here's why: Developing a solid idea about something can't happen in 20-second bursts before you get distracted by an email or a video playing in the background.

My first thought is never my best thought. It's always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea.

Like with any skills, the best way to be a better thinker is to spend time thinking.

{4-min read}

Final Thought

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this issue.

You can reply to this email, message me on Twitter, or leave a comment 👇

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Feel free to also just say hello 👋

I loved hearing from Jade, Chris, Imran and Becca last week!

Till next time,

Reza 🍋


#14: being vs. doing

#15: as good as you make it

#16: stay in your comfort zone