Skewed Perspective

"You guys playing cards?" - Flounder, Animal House

a city street with warped cards and things falling from the sky.
an AI generated view of a skewed perspective

It's been a long treadmill of a week filled with stuff that I had to get done, grinding through the to-do list, speaking at an all-hands, a bunch of work meetings, early mornings, not enough sleep, and slugging through general life stuff. Sometimes it can all feel like a never-ending escalator ride just checking off a task list - one after another - then you wake up, and it's already March.

A few weeks back, I talked about Forgetting What You Know and that:

Sometimes, it's better to drop all previous expectations and envision a different way of doing things. Most people can't see past what they already know...

One handy tool I often use (it sits prominently on my desk) to skew my perspective on something is called 'Oblique Strategies.' Known as 'Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas,' it's a 'card-based method for promoting creativity' created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt back in 1975. It turns out artists (such as Coldplay) still use them today in their studio sessions.

The idea is simple: if you get stuck or want to look at something differently, pull a random card from the deck, and it will provide you with a straightforward course of action to help generate new ideas.

The card reveals 'seed' ideas like (here's what I just randomly pulled):

  • Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them
  • Just carry on
  • Not building a wall, but making a brick
  • Go to the extreme, move back to a more comfortable place
  • Voice nagging suspicions

While these prompts don't give you the answer to a new path overtly, they're great concepts to apply to your situation and noodle on. Often, they lead me to a different place than I had initially expected.

You can purchase your deck here at the EnoShop, which I would recommend over the over-priced version on Amazon.

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Slow Tech

I was a bit shocked at how popular the "Own Your Shit" shirt ended up, so I decided to keep playing with new ideas.

"Own Your Shit" will now be a limited edition and only be available until Friday, March 10th. I'm sure it'll return at some point, but if you want it, order today!

Rooted in the philosophy of "Say NO to Protect the YES", I'm happy to present the next Makoism shirt, available immediately from Cotton Bureau in White, Heather Tri-Blend, Black and Navy.

Order your statement against doing "all the things" today.

Brain Dump

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

  • In keeping with this week's new tee-shirt launch, I'm leading off with a great tool to determine the difference between delegation and saying no using the Eisenhower Matrix. It's a fairly simple technique and incredibly useful. — [via When to delegate, When to say no]
  • Easily my favorite quote of the week: 'without data you're just another person with an opinion.' — [via Without data you're just another person with an opinion]
  • A wonderfully thought-provoking read on letting go of ideas about ourselves and others and how liberating that can be. — [via The Practice of Letting Go of Mental Constructs]
  • This is a fantastic idea - instead of keeping lists and lists of things as outstanding tasks, you should shift your mental model to a done list. It completely turns the mindset into what you have achieved versus what you have left to do — [via Not A Task List, A Done List]
  • Just filing this one into the list of wacky shit that happens, especially the last few years. There are 1,000 moai statues on Easter Island, and recently a new moai, smaller than most, was found in a dried-up lakebed. — [via A New Statue Suddenly Appeared on Easter Island. That Doesn't Make Sense.]
  • A fun TedX talk that explores a 'data-backed mindset for life gamification' and how it impacts the 'ways he helps (or tricks) his viewers into learning science, engineering, and design.' — [via The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More]
  • When someone compliments you, there's a way to say thank you. 'You want it to come off like the compliment was genuinely meaningful, like you were aching somewhere inside, and the compliment remedied that private, solitary pain.' — [via How to Take a Compliment]
  • A powerful read from Mark Manson this week. 'If you have to ask if you feel happy, then you probably don't.' lens in on a simple remedy if you have an area in your life where you aren't progressing. And that is, stop trying. Food for thought. — [via Don't Try]
  • What started as me simply asking a question on a bottle of water I bought at a hotel, turned into a crazy forward (via Riccardo Mori) on the complete debacle that Dasani had trying to sell bottled water in Great Britain. Fascinating watch. — [via Why you can't buy Dasani water in Britain]
  • I recently learned of the musical instrument known as the 'blaster beam.' You've heard it in movies (and recently, the Boba Fett seismic charge), but it's 'strung with numerous tensed wires, under which are mounted magnetic and piezoelectric pickups. Sound exciters can be slid to alter the sounds produced. The instrument is played by striking, rubbing, slamming, and plucking the strings with fingers, sticks, pipes, and even large shell casings.' — [via Blaster Beam]

For Your Enjoyment

This week I ran across a cognitive bias known as The Dunning-Kruger Effect. Use this insight as you need.

The Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when a person's lack of knowledge and skills in a certain area cause them to overestimate their own competence. By contrast, this effect also causes those who excel in a given area to think the task is simple for everyone, and underestimate their relative abilities as well.

Here to explain it in more detail, is the fantastic John Cleese.

Be well. ✌🏻

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Jamie Larson