People who change the world

11/24/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

The difference between someone who changes the world and someone who happily lives in a world that’s shaped by others is illustrated by their reaction to the status quo.

The former might say something like, “I wonder if…” and follow that curiosity (or frustration/rage, if that’s their baseline temperament) all the way down the rabbit hole, whereas the latter says, “That’s just the way things are, I guess.”

I’m trying to surround myself with the former.

The power of focus

11/22/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

There is a notable difference between my ability to complete an engineering task when properly focused as opposed to when I’m in a rush. If my focus is on clearing out my inbox and responding to as many messages as possible in a short period of time, the attention devoted to the tasks that I touch will inevitably be compromised.

And the simple posture shift that’s exhibited by saying, “Okay, let’s really dig in here and see what’s going on” instead of, “Okay, I’ve got a million other things to do today so let’s figure this out quickly” is significant. The amusing bit is that I don’t necessarily need to work at a slower pace, just a more deliberate one.

The work is the work, not getting through the work.

The President being introspective

11/03/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

“When I get a question,” he said, “I go right to the logical.” You ask me a question about health care. There’s a problem, and there’s a response. Here’s what my opponent might say about it, so I’m going to counteract that. Okay, we’re gonna talk about immigration. Here’s what I’d like to say—but I can’t say that. Think about what that means. I know what I want to say, I know where my mind takes me, but I have to tell myself, No, no, don’t do that—do this other thing.

It’s against my instincts just to perform. It’s easy for me to slip back into what I know, which is basically to dissect arguments. I think when I talk. It can be halting. I start slow. It’s hard for me to just go into my answer. I’m having to teach my brain to function differently. I’m left-handed; this is like you’re asking me to start writing right-handed.”


Quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger

10/19/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.

Quote by Elbert Hubbard

10/05/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Quote by Joseph Campbell

09/23/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Quote by Norman Cousins

09/23/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.

Anything I can do for you?

09/22/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

Whenever I get off the phone with Chris, he asks if there’s anything he can do for me.

It’s not the “let me know if I can help with anything” lip service that people hope you never take them up on, it’s an “adding value to your life would bring me joy, and it would be my pleasure to assist” kinda thing. And Chris has an enviable network of prominent startup founders, CEOs, and artists so the offer is not insignificant.

Chris doesn’t need another action item added to his list, his business is rapidly growing and he doesn’t owe me any favors. He does it because that’s the kind of person he is. 99% of the time, I will politely decline and thank him for taking the time to ask (again).

In the world of what-can-you-do-for-me opportunism and selfish networking, leading with generosity speaks volumes.

Staying put

09/21/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

When I left my predictable suburban life in Atlanta a few years ago, I started changing locations much more frequently. I switched apartments, traveled for pleasure, and attended conferences regularly.

An interesting realization I had this weekend was that the most cringe-worthy client interactions and project failures to date all occurred when I was either traveling or in an irregular work routine.

I’ve historically rejected the idea of “settling down” in one place since my life for the last few years has been optimized for freedom rather than location or money, but perhaps it’s time I grow up and stop ruining my life with habits that undermine progress.

I guess that means I should invest in a proper coat for this coming winter in Boston.

Thoughtful obsolescence

09/21/2013 | Follow me on Twitterhere

I’ve been making a lot of updates to my site recently, and noticed that one of my go-to plugins—cbnet Ping Optimizer—was no longer needed. I found this out through the plugin’s information page in the WordPress Codex. The tagline currently reads:

Doesn’t do anything. Isn’t needed. Core WordPress handling of Pings is oh-so-fine!

The plugin was designed to prevent sites from being penalized by search engines for “pinging” them too frequently as a result of frequent edits that trigger the pings.

The functionality provided by the plugin is now built into the WordPress core, so there’s no need to install it anymore. But instead of abandoning the project like some authors do, Chip took the time to publish an informative explanation on the functionality, how it’s handled, and why it’s no longer needed.

That’s classy, and the mark of a true professional.