A good apology

We all are on a mission.

This mission is to take make our lives better.

Nobody can make one’s life better without taking 100% personal responsibility for their life.

Let’s start with apologies.

Here’s an interesting article I just read about apologies: Making an Effective Apology from the Berkley. They advise these steps:

  1. Acknowledge the offense
  2. Provide an explanation
  3. Express remorse
  4. Make amend

Dr. Randy Pausch had an even simpler method for making an apology:

  1. I’m sorry
  2. It was my fault
  3. How do I make it right?

Additionally, you can watch a good TED talk about the power of the apology:

Never stop sharing

The secret of an excellent network of contacts is in generosity.

You must be willing to freely share your own experiences and knowledge. At the beginning of a career, when you have a small experience, it’s not easy. But still share what you can: time, ideas, interesting links. This will give your contacts an understanding: you will always come to the rescue, if necessary.

Do not worship the technical skills. You shouldn’t know everything about your business. The best way to promote your career from the very beginning is to work on networking as part of your usual work even before you get it.

Banning Small Talk

Wounded Amazon is thinking about small talks. 1st–2nd century A.D. Roman

On the Wired I found the cool idea for the party. Kristen Berman and Dan Ariely fed up with small talks and came up with the idea: at the party, you can not talk about any garbage, just about important. Thus, any small talk is banned. Though, you can talk on “What are you afraid of?”, “What do you think about religion?”, “Do we live in a simulation?”, etc.

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How I trained myself to get up early

I want to learn and write. I can do this only in the morning or at night. At night, I have to be with family and try to figure out how to be the best dad ever. In the morning I have difficulties to get up. I’ll tell you how I learned to get up early.

Eros sleeping, Rogers Fund, Jegornagel.com

Eros sleeping, Rogers Fund, 1943

First minute after waking up

  1. Turn off the alarm
  2. Woke up, opened eyes, immediately got out of bed
  3. Went to the bathroom to take a shower

Explaining about the last two.

Understanding that the sincere desires of our body are not always the sincere desires of our body has turned my worldview. It dawned upon me that even the deepest habits, which are at the level of instincts and the experience of generations are not that important and can be changed. Sleeping habit falls here.

Sleep and brain

The problem is that brain can’t get out of sleep in a second. It’s not a laptop. It needs some time. That’s why some minutes after waking up should be filled with habitual routine: get up, go to take a shower, listen to the music.

Getting out of bed one millisecond after waking up helps not to fall back on the pillow. I used to have multiple alarms set for 5:10, 5:13. 5:20… and so on. That won’t help. I learned that I just have to get out of my warmy-sweetie bed as soon as possible and do a routine: take a shower.

Sleep and shower

Why shower? Because:

  1. It’s automatic. I don’t have to think about how to take it. My brain has 20 more minutes to relax and understand that it’s already morning, and we have to work.
  2. It’s ideas generating. Ever heard of Shower Thoughts? Science has proof. Reddit even has the separate topic on ideas from showers from all over the world.
  3. It’s all about chemistry. A lot of dopamine is released in our brains during warm showers. We’re more likely to turn attention inwards, able to make insightful connections.
  4. It’s great. I love watering myself, because it gives me a fresh feeling and energy boost just from the morning.

After that I usually make tea and cereal for breakfast, meditate for 15 minutes and get back to work: learning, writing, reading or what’s on the plan for today.

How to spend less on impulsive purchases

I used to have a habit to buy spontaneously. Anytime when I went to the store I might like something and bought it without much consideration. Money was spent on bullshit, large amounts flew to an unknown destination. I did not like it. I decided to spend less on impulsive purchases.

To prevent this from happening again, I made a list in Evernote. To be exact, I made two lists: for stuff to buy and educational stuff to buy. Anytime I see something worthy or cool, the inner voice whispers: “let’s buy”, the brain in turn says: “stop, put it on the list.” Then I’m putting a thing on the list.

When I want to please myself, I open the list and choose a gift. The system works flawlessly.

Organizing stuff to buy in Evernote

My “to buy” educational stuff list in Evernote

And the moral is this: if you want to buy something, put it on the list and wait.

Essentials of  Success by Octavia Butler

journal of Octavia Butler

Notes from journal of Octavia Butler.

A sober list of the essentials of success and other affirmations from the journal of Octavia Butler. Read them as the necessary juxtapositions they are.

Essentials of  Success:

  • Persistence and determination
  • Self-discipline
  • Imagination + creativity
  • Excellence
  • Specific goals
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Adaptability
  • Responsibility
  • Cooperation
  • Self-reliance
  • Mental rehersal
  • Time management
  • Concentrated, sustained attention

You must be social

You must learn to communicate with people.

If you are enough introverted as I am, then a simple talk with another human is a great loss of energy, which has to be recharged sitting in a corner with a book.

Whatever you do, you have to talk. Even if you are a super skilled programmer, that girl is not going to go with you to a cafe, if you won’t talk to her.

Being socially dysfunctional man is largely inexcusable.

In 21st century, you have everything to learn those soft skills: speaking, presenting, bullshit generating, sense of humor, etiquette, sociability, collaboration, and many more. Open a No Excuse List, pick up a course and learn it for free.

Introvert bear dies alone in a cave.

You have no excuse.

Learn how to sell

We’re all selling something. Ideas. Plans. Time. Skills. Ourselves.

Posting to your social media, putting on clothes, talking, working, walking.

Making up your profile on Fb as a way to show you’re an expert.

Putting on trendy clothes to show you’re on a wave.

Taking to show you know something.

Working to show that you can make money.

Walking as a badass to show your superiority.

Everything in life is selling.

Time for money. Sex for a ring. Knowledge for happiness. Religion for mind.

You’d better learn to sell yourself as fast as you can.

Learn to overcome that feeling of uncertainty and insolvency. Learn to convince people to buy what you have. Learn to speak sweet words to sell bitter things.

Don’t think that every successful man is born a jerk with extraordinary selling set of skills. He had to learn hard, make tons of mistakes and sell, sell, sell.

Life is commission-based. You don’t sell, you don’t eat.

Prepare or die

Always be prepared.

I failed many times because I am wasn’t ready for challenges. I was relaxed and didn’t expect any threat.

It was just a general meeting for general task with an everyday goal. I knew what to do and how.

But I failed. The meeting was Ineffectual. The team was mixed-up.

Because I wasn’t prepared.

And here’s the lesson:

Always be prepared. It’s the difference between an amateur and a pro.

No matter how small is the meeting, you should be ready to any challenge.

To start with, prepare for these 4 things:

  1. Length — It’s just that simple, yeah. How long is the meeting going to be? 3 hours? Then think about some drink. Visit a restroom. Informing people who might need you that you’re unavailable during the meeting.
  2. Participants — Who is going to the meeting? Learn about them and how they can impact on the meeting. Believe me, this will save you one day.
  3. Topic — At first, never accept an invitation to the meeting with vague topic. Make sure it consists at least one active verb. You must insist that every meeting has a clear goal. Without setting one you’re doomed to discontent, as everybody would expect different things from you, but you can’t hit multiple goals at once.
  4. Do your homework — Homework, seriously, again? Yes. If you had a preparation task for the meeting, you must do it as if you’re presenting it for approval to the CEO. Homework is not just a shitty work to be done. It’s the point of your investment into the team.

No matter how small your assignment is, be prepared.