Torrey’s 1st Unteachable Principle of Self-Made Success

A while ago I wrote Deploy Seven Unteachable Principles to Survive You CUBICLE. Embedded in the post was a list of seven principles. I’ve added ‘Resourcefulness’ to the list. My eight unteachable principles of self-made success are:
1. Clarity
2. Common Sense
3. Discipline
4. Energy
5. Integrity
6. Resourcefulness
7. Self-awareness
8. Sense of Urgency

I have to try to teach the unteachable, starting with clarity.

Continue reading

Test post please ignore…

I failed to write this week, even though I am committed to publish every Sunday.

I reflected on why this happened, while reading Ryan Holiday’s Perennial Seller, and masterminding on John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. I realized most of my favorite writing works are born from engaging conversations. Those conversations are where I feel deeply connected to another human being. Everything else I write is ‘journalism’ or born of a conversation with myself.

I personally think the journalistic works are excellent. My best work! Those are written to myself. They fail to connect with others because they are not written with others in mind. It doesn’t matter what the creator enjoys creating. All that matters is how it connects with the audience. As Maxwell says, connecting is all about others.

This whole thing might seem hypocritical, because this short blurb is a ‘note to self’. Anyway, note to self: have more amazing conversations with more diverse groups of people. Write and tell those stories to connect directly with those people and their tribes.

Learning how to value time and not half-ass your work

At 11 years old, the boy went to work at his father’s small-town West Virginia service station. “There was a standard of excellence, a perfection.” If any car he washed ended up with water streaks, the boy was demanded to start over from the beginning and wash it again. The standard of excellent taught him how to do things correctly the first time. To value time. To not half-ass. To do his best. To pay attention to detail.

Later in life the boy became an extraordinary college football coach. The discipline his father drilled into him was drilled into his players year after year. His team became one of the most winning teams in college football. His college football teams have won 205 games (with only 61 losses) and 5 national championships. His name is Nick Saban, and his team is Alabama’s Crimson Tide. 

Time is the most valuable resource. You can’t get more of it. Once it’s gone it’s gone. Half-assing work wastes time because you’ll be soon re-doing it. Instead, solve a problem thoroughly so it stays solved for the foreseeable future.


Thanks for reading! Together we build a world free of fear.

What would you do if you were not afraid?

Be Legendary

 

Ready for takeoff! Torrey.blog

Thank you for giving me more attention than I deserve. Thank you for taking the time to visit. The just broke its record best.

Check it out:

Legendary! In July the blog had 71 unique guests! You may think these numbers are tiny. To me, this is huge. The very first blog post was published on January 1st, 2015. Over two and a half years, there were many weeks with 0 guests. Those two and half years have been a non-stop struggle and non-stop learning.

Celebrate diversity!

In July, the blog served guests from 9 different countries.


Thank you for reading!

Together we build a world free of fear. What would you do if you were not afraid?

Be Legendary

The library of traveling books – What if books could walk and talk?

I am seeking partners to execute this idea; I don’t much enjoy solo projects. Would you like to join me on this venture?

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut, famously said: “You promised me Mars colonies. Instead I got Facebook”. For the past 20 years or so, the human race has been really busy exploring cyber-space. We took a detour from the real world, which I call meat-space. I am fascinated by cyber-space ideas that enhance meat-space. The idea I describe below is one such idea which combines elements of book-love and the sharing economy.

The idea is driven by two questions:

  1. What if books had legs?
  2. What if books could talk?

By pondering these two questions I ended up at: we could build the world’s most distributed library, and it would enable books to walk and talk. What if you could give away a hundred books and follow their travels?

How would it work?

We need a few technology elements to execute on The Library of Traveling Books. We need a website and we need stick-on labels.

The website would be the hub of our library. It provides guest books for all of the traveling books. It provides educational material, instructions for how to contribute to the community by adding new books to the library. The website must also encourage new guests to keep the books traveling.

The labels are crucial for educating new guests and connecting books to their unique guest book. Each book in the library requires a unique label, with a unique URL, and a unique QR-style barcode. The labels are the gateway, and they need to concisely explain and encourage new guests to make their way to the website.

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a 2 dimensional barcode. QR codes are great for connecting meat-space objects to their digital identities.

This is an example of a QR-code. When scanned, it leads you to this blog.

QR code for torrey.blog

The Fun Bits – We Love Books

As book lovers, curation of the library is exciting! Which books would be selected for traveling? Would we choose only classics? Books that change lives? Hardcovers only with protective covers?
How will this invention help book-lover community and connect like-minded people? Make the world a bigger place, spread gratitude and love?

The Problems – What could go wrong?

Of course, there are pitfalls to this approach. Problems make it more interesting! It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.
Books may end up on the trash

Books may sit on a shelf for a really long time.

Books get wet and books get damaged

How do we make super-durable books? Library-grade books, battle-hardened books. Books that will last forever.

Celebrate the Winners

While acknowledging problems will be run into, we will celebrate the successes. Celebrate the books that keep traveling. The books that are so remarkable that the reader insists on passing it to a friend, or giving it back to the universe, sending it on it’s traveling way.
What will be the longest book journey?

What will the guests say about the books in the travel log?

What Ifs

What if you put money in the books to incentivize book hunting, like geocaching.

What if it took off and we formed a 501c3, accepting charitable donations to add more books?

What if we went for-profit and used the attention to market to book lovers.

What if we turn the library into a sort of “perennial bestsellers list” which authors aspire to land on. We could position the list as a higher honor than New York Times bestseller.

What if we get really techno-fancy, and embed some kind of low power computer into the books, making them “smart books”.


Summary

What would it take to implement this:

  •  A website
  •  A printer
  •  Labels
  •  A Books
  •  A person to take a book to an airport.

Iterate! Experiment! Learn! Adapt! Evolve!



Thanks for reading. Together we build a world free of fear. What would you do if you were not afraid? Be legendary.

Do smart phones make stupid humans?

I like to observe how people act and think about why. Smart phones have become pervasive enough to change human behavior. What are the consequences?


Do smart phones make stupid humans?

Have you ever wondered if smart phones make us stupid? Now we have an answer and we know how stupid they make us. “Even if you’re not using it, just having your smartphone on your desk reduces your working memory capacity by 10% and fluid intelligence by 5%.” Adam Grant shared this study via this LinkedIn post.

The solution is simple: keep it in your pants, out of sight. Leave your phone in another room.


If a smart phone sabotages it’ owner, what do they do to everyone else in the room?

Simon Sinek has something interested to say about this topic. Placing your smartphone on the table at a meeting sends a signal to everyone in the room “you’re just not that important to me.” When the phone is face up, every notification lights up the screen and draws attention. When it’s face down, notification vibrations trigger nearby attendees to check their devices.


Does social media get in the way of social bonding?

You might feel sad when you see a family at dinner staring at jeejahs and not engaged in conversation. Consider an alternate point of view from Gary Vaynerchuck: smartphones didn’t create this problem. The old way to endure failure-to-connect meant drowning in awkward silence. The option to stick the nose in social media means those silences suck a little less.


How can attention spans be lengthened?

There was a time when the hat rack was a symbol of transition from public to private space. When entering the private space, one was expected to hang up their hat. Now, imagine docking smartphones in the charging rack upon entering a pricate space.  This is a great way to remove a huge source of distraction from the meeting and keep everyone engaged.


I think we are all still learning ‘proper’ smartphone etiquette, as we must do for inventions that change the way we live and work. Slowly people settle on unspoken rules of when and where putting it on the table is appropriate or inappropriate.


Thank you for reading!

Together we build a world free of fear.  What would you do if you were not afraid?

Reading Roundup – Second Quarter 2017

In April, May, and June I read some great books. I want to take some time to share what I’ve learned. Enjoy!


Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl

Dr. Frankl practiced psycho-therapy and miraculously survived Nazi work camps. He studied himself and peers throughout the experience. Being in the camps is described as worse than nightmares. Accounts of atrocities committed in the camps are best not paraphrased. Go read it!

One insight taken away is: man finds meaning in love, work, and suffering. The author pulled himself through hell by frequently thinking about his wife, the love of his life.


Living with a Seal by Jesse Itzler

Jesse Itzler invited a Navy Seal to live with and train him for a month. The ensuing tale is hilarious.

Lessons learned: 

  • Mind over matter. You have more in you than you think (60% more).
  • Make big decisions by considering, after it plays out, how great telling the story will be.
  • Watch out for getting stuck on routines and call in outside help (e.g. Personal trainer) to get unstuck.
  • The human spirit is powerful, and the mind gives up before the body gives up (usually).

I discovered the book via this YouTube video.


Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sandberg abruptly lost her husband. She embarked on a journey to deal with own grief and in the process learned how to give better support to others overcoming tragedy.

Many of the stories in the book refer back to the three P’s of tragedy processing.

Personalization – I am the reason this happened. I failed to stop it from happening. It is my fault.

Pervasiveness – Because this happened, every part of my life is ruined.

Permanence – Life is going to be like this forever. It will never get better.

When consoling grief-stricken friends, try not to say things like “let me know if there is anything I can do”. The phrase pushes the burden of asking onto them. Instead, take action, show up at the door with a casserole. Help them through the three P’s: tragedy isn’t their fault, it won’t ruin everything, and the feelings are temporary.


Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson

The focus of Expert Secrets is how to create and sell information products, after becoming a subject matter expert. Expert Secrets has many nuggets, and I’ll share the few most memorable to me.

Status – Why People Buy Things
The reason people buy most things is to increase their status. Status means different things to different people. To some a luxury car is a status symbol, and to others a ten year old junker is a status symbol.

Big Domino Theory
Instead of trying to solve a hundred small problems, look for the biggest domino. The biggest domino, once knocked over, knocks over all the smaller ones.

The Heroes Two Journeys
Most stories follow the format of the heroes two journeys. The hero has an external goal and a more subtle internal struggle. The hero may never achieve the external goal, but while on the journey resolves the inner struggles and completes a transformation.


I also really enjoyed these works by Derek Sivers

To hone your writing, hire a translator 

I think creating less noise is a measure of emotional maturity. Optimize for action instead of talk. Do work, not just press releases.

Parenting: Who is it really for? 

A long attention span is a super power when among highly distractible masses. This reminds me of Cal Newport’s Deep Work which says a blacksmith may work a single blade for seven hours uninterrupted.

Meaningful, quality work requires an above-average attention span.

Long attention span might be a key to success. It could require a decades long focus to turn vision into reality.


Thank you for reading!

Together we build a world free of fear.  What would you do if you were not afraid?


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The blog has a new domain name!

Hey folks, sorry it’s been a while. During April, May, June of 2017 I experimented by publishing nine posts only to Medium. 3,413 words constitute those posts. They were viewed 105 times total.

If you’re curious, you can find those 9 posts here:
What is Self-Awareness? – LeaderCraft – Medium
How to Eliminate ToDo List Stress And Move Towards Your Dreams
How to Start an Abundant Day without $1 Million in the Bank
Starting Out Writing Online – Torrey Umland – Medium
how to turn tiny problems into million $$ mindset – Torrey Umland – Medium
how to grow your mindfolio by 365% every year – Torrey Umland – Medium
Deploy Seven Unteachable Principles to Survive Your CUBICLE
How 30 Day Challenges Can Enrich Your Life – LeaderCraft – Medium
happiness comes from… – LeaderCraft – Medium

For the first time, I experimented with Quora. I answered about a dozen questions across multiple topics. I was most surprised by the reaction to my explanation of dead locks answering “what is a computer doing when it freezes?“. I often forget, to most people, software is like black magic.

In addition, some cool developments happened in May and June within our little Facebook community called “Being a Leader”. The group has finished two 30-day challenges. The first was ten+ pushups daily for thirty days. The second was ‘no complaining’ for thirty days. The group has grown to fifty members, and there is a waiting list of thirty people to join. Check it out here: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/beingaleader/)

The Medium experiment made me realize the joy in curation and customization. Ultimately I decided to return to WordPress. In the process of returning, I made some upgrades! I sprung for a custom domain and finally figured out how to set up email digests.

In the second half of June I focused on creating some new fitness and hygiene habits. Writing was put on hold. I lost five pounds, and I finally grew out my teenager-level flossing routine. Now, I am behind on sharing what I’ve learned. Recently I finished reading some great books including Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, and Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson. I’m ready to get back to the writing craft.

Thus, the blog is reborn as torrey.blog! Easy to remember, except almost no one outside of San Diego County can spell the name correctly. 😉


 

Thank you for reading.

Together we build a world free of fear.  What would you do if you were not afraid?


This website is an affiliate of Amazon.com. Referral commissions help cover a small fraction (near 0%) of the hosting fees.

99 Fears: Fear of Rejection

What drives us to not ask for help

My stupid self dropped my smartphone in the parking garage. In milliseconds, the glass was shattered. The model is 3 years old, and the device takes 5–10 minutes of struggle every day to get the phone to connect and charge. Yet, it took 24 hours to work up the courage to ask for an upgrade. If it takes me 24 hours to ask, others certainly never ask at all.

When I wake up with a head cold in the morning, my first reaction is: “I cannot stay home from work.” Then begins several minutes of internal struggle where I attempt to convince myself to get some rest and recovery. Eventually I convince myself and I send the obligatory email to my team and boss: ‘I’m taking a sick day.’ No turning back now, brace yourself for retaliation.

These stories are examples where I experience the fear of rejection. It seems silly, right? Why would you expect someone to say no and prolong your suffering? Somehow this irrational fear comes back every time. I’ve told similar stories in the past, and I keep relearning this lesson.

What I’ve (Re)learned

* Do not tolerate misery/discomfort/suffering. If it’s in your power to do something about it, *do it*.
* Don’t even waste brain cycles debating
* Do not hesitate to ask for help.
* Be concise in your request, explain the context, what you need, and what you’ve already tried.
* Remember that most people want to help you, even your enemies.
* The secret to success is: ASK!
* Articulate what you want to the people who can give you what you want.
* If you are authentic and diligent, rejection is unlikely
* The person you ask may not be able to help, but may help you connect with someone who can.

This is the coolest talk on the topic of rejection I have found:
[Jia Jiang: What I learned from 100 days of rejection | TED Talk | TED.com](https://www.ted.com/talks/jia_jiang_what_i_learned_from_100_days_of_rejection)

Really watch this TED talk!!


Together we build a world free of fear
What would you do if you were not afraid?

99 Fears: Fear of Exile

We hide our true self to fit in with our tribe

When you have a crazy idea,
You might hold back from sharing it.

You own mother might laugh at you.
Your friends might turn their backs.

You really believe in something,
But fear being alone in your belief.

Remember you can find the right people,
To get behind your movement.

Internet technology lets you connect
With almost anyone on the planet.

You can find your tribe.

A friend who passes judgment
Is no great friend at all


Together we build a world free of fear
What would you do if you were not afraid?