Time-tested ideas work better than new hotness. Things which have worked for a lot of different people solving a lot of different problems are more likely to work for you now than something someone discovered yesterday, even if that person is really smart. Even if they’re super convincing.
I read an interesting idea today. People thought that a flood of participation trophies and unfailable schoolwork would lead to millennials becoming egomaniacs, convinced that their every dumbest thought was divinely inspired and that they were destined to succeed.
In high school I took a mandatory history class. We were assigned to write a series of two-page essays. I sat down to write the first one and put some thought, work and effort into it. It was graded at 60%.
Way back in the ancient days when houses were being sold in my city without getting ten offers over the asking price and negotiation was something you actually had to think about, I made an offer on a house. But before I offered, I employed a simple negotiation trick.
After you make something, step away, stop thinking about it, come back and look again. You’re a different person when you come back. Sometimes you need feedback from a different person and this is the easiest way to get ahold of one.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what people really mean. But sometimes, they tell you exactly what they mean, and you don’t listen to them. Or maybe you can’t believe them - maybe what they have to say is totally beyond your experience.
You know how when you throw a rope into a box, when you take it out it’s all tangled? Here’s a weird fact: nobody really understands why.
Hear that? The wind is blowing through the trees. It catches the leaves, and they stretch and rustle and tug on their branches. The trees flex and allow the wind to pass. The wind will blow itself out, and the trees will still be here in fifty years.
Okay that’s it, I am removing 90% of all items in my working space right now. I have long stretches where I get lazy about putting things into their proper place, and I have a lot of things where it’s not clear what their proper place is at all. So over the course of years, the space where I work tends to accumulate crap at a slow but significant pace, and before I know it, I’m surrounded by stuff I will never need again. If I ever really needed it in the first place.
When someone misunderstands you, what should you do?