petek, 27. september 2013

Challenging ideas, challenging people

Even though the source newsarticle of the below quote doesn't have much to do with challenging oneself, it does provide an illustration. Of something I was reading about via Stephen Colbert, or rather, a scientific article, researching the mechanism behind the term he coined - truthiness (Google Scholar search). Another author, who gives some account of it, though briefly, is Carl Honoré in his recent book: The Slow fix, where he introduces it as confirmation bias.

From critiques of president Harding and how he wrote speeches:

"/.../ Such [people] do not want ideas — that is, new ideas, ideas that are unfamiliar, ideas that challenge their attention. What they want is simply a gaudy series of platitudes, of sonorous nonsense driven home with gestures."

By H. L. Mencken nearly a century ago about one of the most infamous orations of all time: the inaugural address of President Warren G. Harding. Source: here.

petek, 13. september 2013

What's Your Story?

The following I re-post in full, as it almost totally reflects my own thoughts. Stories fuel the world. Source below; read the rest, it's kinda cool.
What's your story?
Most people who build presentations forget that they are actually (or should be) telling a story. I like to think of business presentations as just story's for grown ups. Even though we are all very mature professional people (myself excluded) we do still love a good story. It's why we spend Billions on movies and cinema tickets every year. We love to be engaged with a story, and have done so since the stone age. This is something that in my opinion will never change for human beings. But the way in which we tell our stories will get more and more advanced.........Prezi, 3D movies, Holographics, and so on. This is extremely exciting, BUT no matter how advanced things get there will always need to be a good written story behind everything.
  Remember 'Content is and always will be king'.

četrtek, 12. september 2013

wait but why | 7 Ways To Be Insufferable On Facebook

Have you ever read those posts on Facebook that made no sense ("Off to feed the hamster") or induced some jealousy ("Off to Philippines with my sweetheart!")?

Here's a blog post about it, with some nice diagrams.
Exhibit A:
The thing that Daniel and most others haven't internalized is the fact that if they have 800 Facebook friends, only about 10 or 15 love them. For an especially lovable person, maybe it’s as high as 30. Between 1 and 4%. That means that between 96 and 99% of your Facebook friends DO NOT LOVE YOU.
  7 Ways To Be Insufferable on Facebook:
1) The Brag,
2) The Cryptic Cliffhanger,
3) The Literal Status Update,
4) The Inexplicably-Public Private Message,
5) The Out-Of-Nowhere Oscar Acceptance Speech,
6) The Incredibly Obvious Opinion,
7) The Step Toward Enlightenment.

While it does go on for quite some time, the post actually has some sense in it. I like the parts that hit me personally like an arrow and I just may be more respective of what I post on FB. (Though posting Dalai Lama quotes I might never do without.)
The best message I found in the whole excerpt was the following one:
Secondly—you know what inspires people? You achieving something incredible and letting it be an example and inspiration to others. 
For your words alone to be inspirational, you need to be a gifted speaker or writer who really has something original to say—and we both know that’s not you. So for you to consider yourself an inspirational character by simply posting trite quotes is, well, flagrantly narcissistic. You’re assuming that you, just by being you, are inspirational.

All found here - link.

Are you a Lucy, a GYPSY or something else?

A curious page attracted my attention today: link here.
Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy
Say hi to Lucy.
Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y. 
Only issue is this one thing:
Lucy's kind of unhappy.
To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:
Happiness= Reality - Expectations
 It's pretty straightforward—when the reality of someone's life is better than they had expected, they're happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they're unhappy.
To provide some context, let's start by bringing Lucy's parents into the discussion: /.../
Read more, here.

So that's why Lucy is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate.  In fact, she's probably started off her career perfectly well, but to her, it feels very disappointing.

Here's my advice for Lucy:

1) Stay wildly ambitious.  The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success.  The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you're special.  The fact is, right now, you're not special.  You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet.  You can become special by working really hard for a long time. 

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.

Read the whole thing with nice unicorn graphs and flowers and siht, here.

Here's another, rather more succint graphic to point out the matter (though from a different angle):
(See pic on the right. > Bigger version on the link above.)