12/12/2016 – 3:46am

Don’t make people read your mind. They can’t even if they tried.

If you connect with people with energy, excitement, and frequency, they will want to work with you.

Practice inverse time-boxing. Tell people when you can start working on something. Stay focused on what you were doing until finished.

The proper response to any kind of feedback is ‘thank you’. At the moment, you may disagree, realize that there is something valuable in it. The feedback giver went out of their way to share the idea/criticism with you. Appreciate this kindness if nothing else.

Say the L Word

Soon You Will Notice a Difference in the Things That You’re Doing

     By Torrey Umland


I was sitting on a flight. The flight attendants were making their rounds for drink orders. That’s when I heard it. That’s when I heard that cheery voice say: “I would love a cup of tea”. Maybe that’s why they call it the ‘love’ airline.

A few minutes later, I was up. It was my turn. I gathered some courage. I awkwardly blurted out: “I would love a cup of coffee.” What I got back was a smile, and it made my day.

This story is stupid, but I learned something in that moment. I learned this: “show people you are excited and they will get excited, too.” Way too many people are just “fine” these days. Excitement stands out.

Try this. It’s simple. Next time your kids ask you to play, respond with “I would love to!”. Spouse asks for a massage? “I would love to rub your feet.” Doesn’t that feel great? This works. I don’t know why.

I think there’s something about raising your hand that connects with other humans. Your act of courage, of sticking your neck out, it makes you stand out.

Practice a simple habit. Add ‘love‘ to your vocabulary. You will notice a difference in the things that you’re doing.


       By Torrey Umland

The best way to succeed in your craft is to do your craft.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” — Zig Ziglar

You will never be 100% satisfied with the quality of your work. This is the nature of craft. The gap between work and vision is a driving force.

Ira Glass says it brilliantly:



I’m working on a different mental model. New mental models can be extremely powerful. An example mental model is first principles thinking. Elon Musk described first principles thinking applied to battery manufacturing. First principles is also used by physicists and mathematicians. They use it to better understand the freaking universe.

I like to think in streams. Streams is a different mental model than events. Goals are kinda like events. You do it once, you achieved the goal, your done. There’s no flow, just a point in time. The event model doesn’t work well everywhere. Sometimes you never get there. Sometimes you hit your goal and the desired impact never comes. 

# information

Information streams pass through me every day. If I lived 50 years ago I would read newspapers every morning. Each news source is a stream of incoming information. Some of these information streams converge at me and become an outgoing stream of ideas, conversations, and correspondence.

# communication

Communication works in streams. Sometimes you have almost the same conversations twice or thrice. You need to repeat a consistent message. You need to ask the same questions over and over. Don’t worry about repeating yourself. If you do, you’re thinking too much. What’s important is to broadcast out streams of communication. 

They probably didn’t hear you the first time. Say it again. Instead of thinking of it as a singular event, think of it as a stream of similar but different messages. Re-broadcast your values and ideas until they stick.

# value

You add value to people in various ways. You are rewarded for this value. Value streams out of you and back in. Sometimes value can be represented as a number. Your bank account. Sometimes it can’t. Value ebbs and flows.

# time

Time is more valuable than money. Time flows. Most people think it flows at a constant rate. You can jump forward in time. You want to be somewhere in five years. Find someone who’s already there and sleep on their couch for a week. See how 5 years condensed into 1 week. Time travel.

You give your time away to people and things. Time streams out. People give you their time. People take time to listen to what you have to say. Time streams in. Time flows in streams.

# Mixing 

Streams mix and interchange. Time is traded for money, and money traded for time. The same for information. You hold the levers and switches to control these flows. You control where your information, communication, value, and time flow. In and out. 

# Direction

Most people soak up streams. They don’t generate any of their own. They consume, but don’t produce. What if you pumped out as many ideas as you took in? You could even multiple the streams. Producing more value for more people eventually reflects back to you. It’s giant network where each mind is a node. Don’t be a terminal node, let the streams ebb and flow.

Keep the streams flowing!

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How can I make more mistakes today?

Powerful questions change the way we think. We learn from mistakes and turn them into laughable stories.

A favorite question is ‘how can I make more mistakes today?’ By asking the question we admit that we are not perfect. All of us make mistakes, big or small, every day. We must give ourselves permission to be imperfect.

The question helps us move forward. When putting ourselves out there and trying new things, mistakes tend to happen. We fail miserably. Then, we look back at what happened and find the joy of telling the story.

This thing happened to me! It was awful, I can’t believe it. This has never happened! Well … now you know.

What happens when we allow ourselves to make more mistakes? We learn faster. We get more stuff done. Why? because we spend less energy worrying and more energy doing. The best way to learn is immersive learning. It means do the thing you want to learn, immerse yourself. Live in Spain to learn Spanish.

Of course there are constraints. Failing the same way over and over goes nowhere. Dangerous mistakes kill.

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