What I learned when I asked
In December I received an email from Ramit Sethi talking about honest feedback. Basically his observation is people say they want the truth but when the time comes most of us don’t really want to hear it (at least in relationships.)
I am always looking to increase my knowledge on various topics or ways to improve myself. Ramit provided a word-for-word script to do just that. It went like this:
I’m trying to come up with a really good New Year’s resolution for 2015 and I want your help. I know this might sound weird, but I would love your feedback on (1) one thing you think I do really well, and (2) one thing I could improve about _____.
I filled in the blank with “my social skills.”
The suggestion was to send it to three people. I sent it to seven. To date, I’ve received replies from five of the seven. The criteria for my selection was to choose people who I see out socially on a semi-regular basis and who seem to have some similar values. Wanting to become the best person they can be and improve themselves and their community were major considerations.
I am more of a don’t wait until the calendar changes, do it now, kind of guy. So while I don’t really “do” resolutions, the timing was a great excuse to get some insight about myself.
In the responses I’ve gotten there were definitely themes, both with what I do well and what needs improvement. The improvement item that was mentioned most often was to narrow my focus and execute on it. For me, this is applicable for more than just social situations.
Socially, it looks like being completely mindful in conversations, fully absorbing the moment. In business, it is taking an idea or product or goal, and executing on it fully or maybe it’s assembling the right team to do that. Personally, it is more like picking a hobby or interest and getting really good at it. It’s tough to learn guitar, German, Arabic, how to take better photos, remodel my home, read 52 books in a year, cultivate a consistent meditation practice all while planning my next European adventure. Focus.
This isn’t a new insight to me but it is a great reinforcer. Like with many lessons in life, we need to keep hearing something in different ways until it actually sinks in. Focus.
I’d like to thank all of the people who played along. If you’d like to participate, feel free to email your answers to me or leave them in the comments.
Did I really buy an entire book about broth? Yes, yes I did.
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Interesting post from PsyBlog.
“Now, a new study has uncovered how exercise protects the brain from stress-related depression.”
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This article is a good illustration of why finding a job that let’s you work remotely might be a smart move. Here’s what $1,500 per month can get you in 11 cities across the country.
Steve Jobs Introduces the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch
An interesting take on how Mr. Jobs may have announced the latest iPhone and Watch. via kottke.org
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An interesting look at how much you really get out of investing from Thornburg Investment Management via Business Insider via Lifehacker.
“Give the study a read for more info on the “real, real return” of your investments, and what you can do about it.”
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For the longest time I’ve has a slight fascination with the round houses Deltec produces. Occasionally I swing into log cabin thoughts, then maybe a extra-large tiny house. After seeing this Mashable post, I may be dreaming a little again. Location, location, location.