Subtract

Derek Sivers, on how to improve life, not by adding things but by subtracting things:

The least successful people I know run in conflicting directions, are drawn to distractions, say yes to almost everything, and are chained to emotional obstacles.

The most successful people I know have a narrow focus, protect themselves against time-wasters, say no to almost everything, and have let go of old limiting beliefs.

It’s easy to think I need something else. It’s hard to look instead at what to remove.

Subtract →

Creating vs. Shipping

Creating is easy. Shipping is the hard part, and countless companies never quite figure it out. Sure, they might release their software, but that’s not the same as shipping. No company is perfect, but it makes a big difference when they genuinely care.

Shipping is about consistency. It’s regularly updated help documents. It’s responsive and helpful customer support. It’s useful release notes. It’s an informative status page. It’s a regularly updated blog and social media accounts. It’s all the little things.

— Garett Dimon, in his piece Creating vs. Shipping

Attention

Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, in an interview, answering a question on how his workspace is set up:

I’m a one-computer guy—a 12″ MacBook, so I can work from anywhere. Years ago I used multiple monitors and had multiple computers. Then I jettisoned multiple computers but kept the multiple monitor setup. And a few years ago I tossed out the second monitor and have been a single computer, single screen person since then. I go full screen on nearly every app. I also hide my dock. I don’t want anything pulling my attention away. When I’m curious I’ll look. Otherwise, I’m looking at what I want, not what someone else might want me to see.

Protect your attention like you protect your friends, family, money, etc. It’s among the most valuable things you have.

Being a unitasker (1 window, maximized) myself (yet with two screens): yes!

Also: who needs notifications?

L’esprit de l’escalier

Now this sounds familiar:

“L’esprit de l’escalier” is a French term used in English for the predicament of thinking of the perfect reply too late.

According to Wikipedia:

During a dinner at the home of statesman Jacques Necker, a remark was made to Denis Diderot which left him speechless at the time, because, he explains, “a sensitive man, such as myself, overwhelmed by the argument levelled against him, becomes confused and can only think clearly again [when he reaches] the bottom of the stairs”.

To have reached the bottom of the stairs, here, means to have left the gathering/conversation.

L’esprit de l’escalier →

Building a passion driven life

Having gone through quite a lot of changes on a personal level during the past two years, this quote by Jen Sutherland-Miller – taken from her blogpost F*ck Work-Life Balance – struck me as it’s exactly what I’ve been doing the last year:

I gave myself permission to say, “Yes,” to the things that inspire me and, “No,” to the things that no longer serve me.

It might give you a clue as to why I switched jobs, why I’m less active in Scouting than I used to be, why I’ve been following that many PADI Specialty Courses, and why I went on two diving holidays already this year, etc.