Weekend Coffee Talk: Mind, Body, Books & Business (#7)

Happy Weekend! Short and sweet with the intro this morning as I’m off to attend day 2 of The Work Revolution Summit.

Yesterday was full of inspiration AND brass-tacks (Melissa and I dove deep into a solopreneur strategy session for 2014), including an absolutely kick-ass keynote from Seth Godin on the importance of doing the hard work of today’s world: emotional work. Connection work. Art. Making meaning. Failing. Over and over again.

A picture of the awesome notes, from artist and conference scribe Kelly Kingman:

Seth Godin - Work Revolution Conference Speech


“Here’s the distilled method: I learned by doing small project after project that I was very passionate about slightly outside of my skill-set; with each iteration I grew slightly more knowledgeable in the domain, but also had enough prior information to proceed without giving up, knowing I was close enough to succeed if only I learned a little on my own.

It’s a little hard to choose projects that fit this exact description, but you have to select projects at a certain point along the continuum. You’ll know when you’ve found a project that fits this description.You’ll be so excited you begin work immediately.

—Zain Shah, How I Learned to Code



“Some social psychologists attribute it to our inability to create psychological distance and cite construal level theory (CLT) as the explanation why. According to CLT, making a decision for ourselves versus deciding for others involves different cognitive processes. And these processes lead us to divergent preferences and decisions.

Psychologists say that the clarity we have around offering advice to others is a result of our ability to focus on just the most important factors. When we think about our own choices however, we are masters of making everything much more complex. We consider every possible variable, we take on every emotion and those emotions stick to us like crazy glue throughout the decision making process.”

—Melani Ward, Why We’re Terrible at Taking Advice


Just for Fun

  • What’s your Harry Potter MBTI sign? I’m The Teacher (ENFJ) — not much surprise there. Hat tip to my mom for sending this! Funny, she’s been Stanford University’s Landscape Architect / Campus Planner for 16+ years . . . her Myers Briggs is crazy-accurate, describing her as “The Architect.” The question we discussed yesterday: can your job actually shape and train you to your type over time, just as your type may shape your interests in the first place?
  • While we’re on the topic of MBTI, check out what your type does under stress (via Melani Ward)
  • Hah! Would you respond to this? Interstate Dating – Single Entrepreneur Uses Highway Billboard to Find Love (If I were his dating consultant, I would champion the courage . . . but ask him to choose a different photo 🙂

I’ve got to rescind my earlier standing ovation and spend it entirely on Louis C.K., who makes the case on Conan for why cell phones are so detrimental to our emotional capacity for connection:

You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away — the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Underneath everything in your life, there’s that thing — that forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re alone….the sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it.

[Instead of reaching for the phone] just be sad. Stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments. When you let yourself feel sad, your body has happiness — like antibodies — that come rushing in to meet the sadness. Because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with our phone. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kind of satisfied with your product, then you die.”

—Louis C.K.

  • Great list, as always, Jenny! L-o-v-e the Louis C.K.!

    As for the article on the corporate jump to teaching yoga–HA! I take back everything I wrote you in my email. You win! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Ando! Haha, glad you liked that one 🙂 I never did see an email….when did you send it?

      • Hi, Jenny! I didn’t want to clutter up your comments, so I mouthed off about something yoga-related on your Contact page about two weeks ago. Maybe it got marked as Spam…or maybe Fate decided it wasn’t worth your time and deleted it for you. Either way, I can take a hint! 🙂

        (Feel free to delete this!)

  • Melani

    I just got through all of the articles. Some great gems but this might be my favorite. From “How to Get National Press with No Budget”.

    The author says, “Feel good about the win for twenty-four hours, and then get your mind off it and think about next week. Same goes for losses, too. But I especially don’t want to dwell on past accomplishments, and I recommend the same for my portfolio companies.

    Complacency, especially in this industry, is toxic.”

    Great advice!

    Thanks as always for the roundup.

    • YES — loved that line too!! Your posts of this 30-day series have been so awesome — the blogging every day thing looks real good on you 🙂 I particularly appreciate your personal stories, vulnerability, and telling-it-like-it-is-ness that’s coming through. I never want it to end!

  • jadecraven

    This is one of my favourite roundups, and I read a lot 🙂 Thank you so much

    • Aw, thank you Jade – that means a lot to me since I know how much you do read! Honored to make the top of your list 🙂