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Brainstorms

The Myth of Well-Roundedness and Other Random Thoughts

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A few random-ish thoughts that could possibly be of use in running your business (or living your life):

  • Just about everything you learned in school about life is wrong, but the wrongest thing might very well be this: Being well-rounded is the secret to success. (Lesson: Do what you love. Hand off the rest. Or as much of the rest as possible, anyway.)
  • Dietary lesson: Guilt makes things taste worse. A feeling of virtue makes things taste better. Unless you overdo virtue — in which case, the opposite applies and guilt tastes delicious.
  • At the gym, for some reason, I excel at two machines — the abductor and the adductor. (The machine where you squeeze your legs together and the other where you push them apart.) On each machine, I can lift the whole stack 20 to 25 times. Why this machine? Why not bench presses? Why not pull-ups? This odd proficiency got me thinking that sometimes people’s talents may not be obvious or immediately classifiable. But they are there and, given time and opportunity, they will reveal themselves.
  • Quote from the late David Bowie, explaining why he hadn’t put out a record in so many years before 2013’s The Next Day. He wanted to wait until he had “something to say instead of something to sell.”
  • Wrapping up on a similarly musical note from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke: “I think what makes people ill a lot of the time is the belief that your thoughts are concrete and that you’re responsible for your thoughts. Whereas actually — the way I see it — your thoughts are what the wind blows through your mind.” Lesson: Don’t obsess about what’s banging around in your head; let the winds blow.

This article was originally published in May 2013.

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