Random Acts

"You're going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don't do. You don't get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take. That's it." ― Jordan B. Peterson

Random Acts
random beauty

What I love the most about having an anti-library is that it provides an endless source of random inspiration. There are weeks when I'll pick up a book I still need to read or finish, flip to a page, and read a chapter.

From the book "Be More Pirate":

"Pirates' acute focus on micro needs inadvertently creates macro solutions."


"Remember, pirates didn't set out to change the world, they just wanted to change their world. Pirates didn't intend to push forward democracy, they just wanted to make their own decisions. Pirates didn't mean to advance social policy, they just wanted to be treated fairly. Sometimes imagination compounds, and good ideas that are formed at the edges find their way to the center and change everything. They didn't just cause trouble, they caused good trouble."

Congressman and civil rights legend John Lewis understood the power of "good trouble". And while the simple idea I wanted to write about this week probably doesn't necessarily qualify as "good trouble," it isn't what I'd say is normal behavior. But it is one of those micro-needs that can cause macro-solutions.

Let's get to it: When was the last time you randomly wrote a co-worker (or their boss), friend, or spouse and told them that you appreciate them? That they did a good job, made a significant decision, or thanked them. Why do humans tend to rattle and create so much noise around all the bad shit that happens or only send emails when things go wrong? Flip that shit.

Think about how that simple act would make someone's day better if you sent a random show of appreciation to them.

Given the recent rash of layoffs, I don't even know if the "great resignation" (or "great re-evaluation") is even a thing in 2023. But the "quit rate" numbers always seem to revolve around people not feeling respected.

People want to feel recognized for the unique value they provide on a human level.

So, maybe turn things on their head this week and cause some "good trouble" - send a random "thank you" for no reason. I guarantee you'll feel good about it.

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Several years ago, I discovered the brilliant mind of Tim Urban. While I've referenced his posts through the years here, his TED Talk, Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, is still one of my favorites.

The main theme of this speech is that humans tend to procrastinate to gain instant-gratification. This procrastination typically leads to results because deadlines lead to rational thought and productivity, even if it is last minute. However, procrastination creates an even bigger problem when there aren’t deadlines, such as in achieving one’s goals in life.

I was more than excited to find out he has a new book titled "What's Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book for Societies" coming out next week, and yes, it's already on pre-order. :)

Brain Dump

Here are a few articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • What a great read this week on Google's problems, which, after reading, you'll recognize many similar problems in any company. Cultural problems are obscured by a single money maker (in Google's case, ads) that hides all other sins. — [via The maze is in the mouse]
  • I hadn't heard of "the arrival fallacy" before this post, but it's essentially a psychological idea that once you get to a certain place, things will change. The myth of "You'll Be Happy As Soon As You..." is often incorrect, as arriving rarely makes you as happy as you expect. A great read. — [via My Reliance On The Arrival Fallacy]
  • Is nothing sacred? Yes, the Wienermobile, the 27-foot-long bright yellow-and-red hotdog on wheels, had its catalytic converter stolen at the Super Bowl this past weekend. — [via Wienermobile in a pickle after falling victim to catalytic converter thieves]
  • What an awesome 'oblique strategy' that could be applied to many different things. Shatter the illusion of perfection by creating "one huge intentional fuck up creates space for me to practice without worrying.". LOVE IT. — [via Deliberately Ruin a Page of your New Notebook]
  • With everything going on in the world, it feels like I need to read more about 'hippo communication' which travels almost 1km — [via Hippos can recognize their friends' voices]
  • What a great view on having 'one-word resolutions,' a 'single meaningful word that will perfectly define my goals and intentions for the year.' Please read this one, and I won't spoil it for you. — [via 648 words about my one-word resolution]
  • Have a new idea? A fun checklist of things you should ask yourself to test that out. — [via Is This a Good Idea?]
  • Here's a great post around web developers, but it's spot on for how most things are in general with teams these days. "That's why we're all overwhelmed. Not because it's uniquely fast-paced but because it's unique in how it doesn't invest in people, training, or methodology. We don't teach people to ask the right questions.". — [via How to keep up with web development without falling into despair]
  • Chris Johnson is a friend and one of the best physical therapists I know. He has a great new article up in Outside Online on running injuries, but what I found especially fascinating is that if I shift the lens from his "running mistakes" to the differences between strong teams and teams that need help, there are incredible similarities. — [via The Seven Most Common Ways Runners Get Injured and How to Avoid Them]
  • Ooo.. maybe a new t-shirt design is in order: "Fuck It". What a great concept: it is a powerful mantra and a great general mindset to adopt. "In combination with the habit of actively identifying tasks you're avoiding, it's 10x more powerful." — [via The Fuck it Habit]
  • I enjoyed this post on the difference between explorers and leaders. Explorers, 'poke through the unknown, experimenting, trying many little dead-ends' and Leaders, 'describe the destination clearly and simply so it's easy to understand and repeat.' And more importantly, leaders simplify. — [via Explorers are bad leaders]
  • How very 2023: the lights on an IOT-controlled school are permanently stuck in the "on" position. — [via US school runs lights 24/7/365: The smart lights have been broken since 2021]

This Weeks Vibe

Well, thanks to the great Guardians of the Galaxy 3 trailer dropping during the Super Bowl, I've been listening to this all week long.

So in the night I stand beneath the backstreet light; I read the words that you sent to me; I can take the afternoon, the night time comes around too soon.
You can't know what you mean to me

Be well. ✌🏻