Techie

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The first rule of any game

You won’t win a game you don’t know you’re in. If you don’t know you’re in a game you’re won’t be familiar with the rules and you won’t be paying attention to the trends and nuances that spell opportunity for veteran player.

Here’s an example: In high school my older friends would tell me that I should learn “understand the system” and “recognize that it’s all a game.” At first, I thought this sounded great, but I really didn’t understand what it meant so I continued to follow the conventional advice, “just work hard.” …

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Progress is a barbed arrow

Unless you were born into your ideal life (highly improbable), then we know that we must keep moving to improve our circumstances and quality-of-life. Most of us like to label this “moving” as progress. However, let’s be specific… because it matters a lot here. Moving is not progress unless we are moving in the right direction…

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Life is not always straight forward

Life may always take the exact flight course we anticipate, but if we keep our spirits high and our ambitions alive, we’ll continue to fly in a desirable direction. And sometimes, to keep our peace of mind amidst the turbulence, we just need to be reminded this simple by liberating idea — hence this drawing.

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Canabalize your ideas

It’s not wording that paints the best mental picture, I know (maybe the unassuming Pac-Man imagery will soften the edge), but it is a notion that ultimately leads to a better outcome. The idea for this post struck me while reading Walter Isaacson’s biography about Steve Jobs. The relationship he had with ideas — even his own, was uncommon. When he came up with an idea he was never afraid to start attacking it — even if the idea has costly short term implications. A well-known example was…

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Mavericks stir things up

Innovation is very rarely a smooth and predictable process. In fact, if it is, innovation is likely not taking place at the full pace possible.

No matter the industry or the goal, when it comes to discussing strategy most leaders and business owners intent to seek and/or create calm seas. I often hear people say many iterations of how they are, “waiting for the dust to settle.” Why? So you can linger around for everyone else to do the same and then move with the herd? That’s not how great ideas and outcomes are birthed.

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The best answer may require…

How much time have you spent fixated on certain problems in life? If you’re human like me, it’s more than you’d care to admit. But I’ve noticed that when I get “hung up” or “stuck” on something it rarely has anything to do with “facts” or circumstances. Instead, it has everything to do with how I approach the problem.

The answer we need to hear (not always necessarily the one we’re seeking) is often very close — it merely responds to a different cue. That cue, is a different question…

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Depart from the ordinary.

I like heading the airport and following the departure signs. Not because I like sitting on planes, but because I like the idea of departing from the familiar and beginning a new adventure. Call me crazy, but I enjoy challenging predictable circumstances. It keeps life interesting and forces you to be mentally sharp and engaged. You certainly can’t live an “uncommon life” if your daily life becomes a common collection of routines…

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Ships weren’t built for harbors

Like a ship in a marina, many people live their professional lives in a cubicle, docked up, tuned out, and turned off. It’s not that the cubicle itself is bad — it’s that the culture of cubicle can eventually restrict our ability to act and think outside of our current role, position, and skill set.

Staying in a harbor — any metaphoric harbor — for too long can make the open seas appear too terrifying to consider. We should be sure that we’re challenging ourselves to sail out of our safe, comfortable, and predictable environments to test our current abilities, to develop new skills, and reveal our often hidden potential.

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The Maverick’s brain

We all know what a brain looks like. It’s an odd, wrinkly, lumpy collection of greyish-pink matter. For most people, this organ best serves as an auto-pilot device, helping them perform every-day functions.

To a Maverick, however, the brain is much more than that.

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When mediocrity is intolerable, success is…

Some people tell me they doubt that they have the drive to work towards extraordinary results. I think this can be addressed by re-framing the issue.

Instead of getting hung up on being ‘successful’ (which often involves a new self-concept that intimates many), we can also develop an intolerance for a half effort, for cutting corners, and for average results.

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Always test the rope

When elephants are being trained to stay in one place at a very young age the trainers drive a stake deep in the ground and use a rope or chain that the elephant cannot break. After a few failed attempts to break free in the elephant’s youth, the elephant stops trying and never tests the rope again.

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