Safe problem. Quality problem.
Have you heard about Fear-Setting?
You know that problem that’s been kicking around inside your head for the past 3+ months? C’mon… you know the one. It’s the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing in your head at night. Yea, that’s the one… that’s a Safe Problem.
Safe problems are lingering issues that are within our control such as: procrastination, hesitation, overeating, blaming others for your troubles, avoiding commitment to a relationship or avoiding making a decision.
On the other hand, a quality problem is much different - you’ve had plenty of those before as well.
Quality problems involve a risky forward-thinking decision such as: changing jobs, starting a business, committing to a relationship or leaving a relationship etc.,
When it comes to making big decisions that will have big consequences, we all get nervous. What happens if it doesn’t work? What happens if I fail? What happens if I can’t go back? These are all valid concerns and should be dealt with rather than avoided and left to ruminate in our heads.
There’s a great exercise by a bloggers named Tim Ferriss called Fear-Setting which he outlines in his Ted Talk below. Basically, it’s about breaking each fear into three steps:
DEFINE - state exactly what the fear is
PREVENT - outline how you could possibly prevent it from happening
REPAIR - describe how you could deal with it even if it did come to pass
Wait for the pushback
If you have the opportunity, a useful experiment is to ask some high performers a couple of questions.
- Do good ideas come to you when you're deeply engaged in work or when you're totally relaxed and doing something else?
- Do you actively (or inactively) use engagement and relaxation as ideation strategies? If not, why not?
Making the right choice
Before I explain an interesting exercise, I have to say that it only makes sense if you actually do it as you're reading this. Otherwise, you know the outcome but not your outcome. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you...
Here's the exercise: Put your hands together in front of your body in a prayer position as seen below. Then start to push with your right hand for 3 seconds. What happens?
Favourite quotes about money
What's the best thing to do? What's the ideal way to go?
'The more choice the better' - that's what we have been led to believe. If you are careful and choose which you prefer the most, you'll be happier - even if it's just a small improvement.
But that's not true. The reality is that we can suffer 'paralysis by analysis'.
Google's highly unlikely success story
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers
Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. – Alexander Dumas
Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. – Leo Rosten
It's nonsense to say money doesn't buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness. - Daniel Kahneman
Avoiding Peter’s principle
“Do you know what Google did?”.
You’ve heard it said before as if it’s describing some game-changing business strategy that nobody else thought of at the time. The reality was much different with a myriad of complicated factors involved, many of which were totally unpredictable. Apple is the other classic story that is presented as inevitably successful, after the fact of course. In reality, many occurrences were entirely dependent on fate, not faith - as Apple commentators would have you believe. The problem with the real success stories is that they are complicated to understand, not quite as inspiring, and seemingly impossible to reproduce.
5 Movies with awesome lessons about following dreams
In his book published in 1969, Laurence Peter proposes the Peter Principle: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
Many promotion decisions are beyond logic, such as promoting an engineer to a manager because they are an excellent engineer. The decision is made based on the employee’s performance in an engineering role, but engineering and management are completely different sets of skills and should be treated as such.
Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden, holds a gun to the head of a convenience store assistant while asking “WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE?”. Pitt’s character is obviously using a violent threat, but in an unusually encouraging way. He wants the assistant to follow his dreams so much so that he threatens to kill him for not following through. When the assistant eventually answers that he’d like to “veterinarian”, but that there’s “too much schooling”, Pitt’s character gives him an ultimatum to follow his dreams. Not the typical example of encouragement.