Micro Regression

‘Micro-mobility’ is a newer concept or term I have become aware of. It is all about the last few miles of the journey in an urban environment.

Under the current precedent, you might live in Los Angeles and head to work. You walk to the nearest bus stop, take the bus to the bus stop nearest to your work, then you would walk to work from there.

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Riding the bus can only go so fast. But walking to and from the bus is not a fixed time cost. You can now rent an electric scooter, ride it from your home, and drop it off at the bus stop. Then again after you get off the bus, you can rent another electric scooter and ride it to work. You would then drop it at work and now you’ve reduced your walk time by a significant amount.

Then again, you might be a bit more like me and you live in a small enough town and your commute by car. I drive less than two miles to get from home to work. I could replace my whole commute could by an electric scooter.

The scooter looks like one of those scooters that were popular when I was a kid, a razor scooter. The bicycle option is completely a regression. When I was a kid, I had no other means of transportation into my twenties. According to people studying the wear and tear on cars. According to people looking for more effective modes of transportation. Scooters and bicycles are far and away the best choice when it comes to finishing our commutes.

It may feel like a regression, but it is more effective for a commuter to use shared modes of commuting. In this scenario, regressing is more of a return to the right tool for the job and less of a regression of maturity. The biggest thing holding someone back from using one of our old tools would be pride or familiarity.

The best reason to use one of our old tools is taking part in progress and efficiency of life. (And the electric scooters are a lot of fun!)

What holds you back from trying new things? How do you react when someone is trying to get you to try something you feel like you have grown beyond? How do you continue to grow, even when you need to reuse an old idea? How are you optimizing and making the mundane parts of your life more effective to accomplish your goals?

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Letter Opener

The next time you get a piece of mail in an envelope. Put it up to some light, and look at the ends. One end is lighter than the other. It is empty.

There is nothing in it. The other end is full. Make sure you grab the empty end of the envelope.

Now tear the envelope open across the short and empty end you found. This is going to be a shallow rip across the end. You will likely only need to rip about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch off the envelope. And definitely I suggest ripping less than an inch.

Congratulations. You have now opened your mail more quickly, more succinctly, and more cleanly than any other method I have found. This is my preferred method of opening mail in envelopes. You did not need another tool to do so. And you don’t have a bunch of little rips and tears in the envelope.

I discovered this about five or six years ago and I have been opening my mail this way ever since. At times I might tap my mail on the table to make sure I get everything into the full end and give myself more space in the empty end. I tap them on the table much like you might do with a messy stack of papers to get them all in alignment.

Only once or twice have I ever ripped or torn the contents of an envelope and it was always in a non consequential way.

What other mundane tasks have you been doing for as long as you can remember? When was the last time you looked up another way to perform the mundane tasks in your life? Is there a better way to open a trash bag? When was the last time you discovered a new way to perform a mundane task? When was the last time you shared a novel way you perform mundane tasks?

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Internet Time Machine

Think about this. Once upon a time, so long ago, approximately during the 1990’s, I would have an idea, and then think about it for a while. My idea would ruminate inside my own head, then I would tell my friends about it.

On a good day, I would have several friends readily available to me the same day. It might have to be later that week before my friends would be available to talk. I would then tell my friends about the idea and they would weigh in. If they like the idea, they might tell some of their friends about it and get some feedback on my behalf. And then those friends would share with their friends, so on and so forth.

My friends and I would continue to talk about the idea on occasion. They might even remember to give me some of the feedback they received and share it back with me. I would be encouraged or discouraged to act on my idea. All in all, it might take a few weeks before I am really able to say whether or not my idea is going to take root.

Today, I can post on Facebook and Twitter, get the simultaneous feedback of everyone the algorithm allows within minutes.

I very-well might be able to get more feedback on more ideas faster than I can come up with ideas.

At this rate of ideation I could actually get more feedback on more ideas in a single day than I could have potentially gotten within a month during the 1990’s. And more feedback than I might have been able to get in a year in before the 1950’s.

Given the ability of so many people being able to weigh in so quickly. We are now able to iterate faster than ever before.

How are you using your friends and family connections on Facebook? What thoughts and ideas are you sharing on Twitter? How are you weighing in on the ideas you see others sharing on social media?

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Death & Taxes

Two guarantees in life.

Death & Taxes

Unless you are Santa Claus.

I mean, I have not heard of Santa’s elves filling out any 1099’s for their consulting. Filing any injury reports for elves who hurt themselves on the job. Or maybe there is an underperforming elf and, the organization decides to make a change and performance manage the poor little elf into a new life role outside of the Santa’s Workshop™.

What would you tax him on? Assuming he does not have an income and his toys are made from naturally occurring products at the North Pole, do we tax him on his gift output and assume he is interrupting the market because he is providing a free service on products that other companies charge for?

Or is Santa financed by playing the market and we should tax the capital gains of his investment portfolio and he uses the proceeds from his investment portfolio to finance Santa’s Workshop™.

How about death? Does Santa live forever?

This is a thought experiment, applying the mundane to the fantasy. What else can you experiment with today?

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Consistency

Posting so frequently I have to regularly be writing and producing posts. I am constantly observing to find more ideas. Many ideas. I have to come up with enough ideas that I can throw out the bad ideas and keep the good ones. Sometimes the bad make it through too.

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As much as I like the ideas I have, they all are not good ideas and not all of them turned into a post. My ideas page is full of ideas that will never be posted because I know the ideas are not worth the time it takes to post much less the time it would take to read it.

The idea is only the first step. After the idea I have to sit down and write it, workout an image I like. All of this take time and patience on my part because I want to be done after I come up with the idea.

The most difficult part of the process is the writing the post. I will regularly run into a phase where I do not want to write something, cannot write something, or just plain do not know how to address a topic. The only saving grace I have in this process is routine.

The more I go to the same place. In the same chair. With the same view. At the same time. The fewer and fewer issues I have. The words write themselves from the tips of my fingers when I am feeling truly inspired and they steadily drip out of my fingers when I have no motivation or at all.

Where are you stuck? What routine do you have to help you cross the hurdles in your life? Where are you so beholden to routine that you are sacrificing others for the sake of routine?

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Blank Canvas

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When you do something, do you look at it and ask how it should look or do you dig in and get started?

It is so hard to stop and make sure it is going to look the way it should. The way it should look does not have to be the way everyone else makes it look. But do you know what a success will look like when you get there?

Do you know what a failure will look like when you get there?

Developing a picture of where you are headed can decide how the process should go and how the process will look through the development of your ideas and projects.

Having a clear picture of the end result will keep you from being over run by the structure overseeing you.

Changing the picture of your final product based on new information is natural.

What is the picture of success for what you are working on? When was the last time you updated your picture of success? What new information have you gained to help you succeed?

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Flow

When you are inspired, it just flows. Everything comes out just like it needs to come out. The words flow. The art streams from your paint brush. The contracts write themselves. Job is practically done by the time you get to work.

The rest of the time, we show up and make it happen because we need it to happen. We force every character from our finger tips whether we like the words or not.

We drag the paint brush over the canvas like it is soaking up the paint faster than we can dab our brushes.

The contracts take ten times longer to write.

Work feels like it is work-ier today than it will ever be.

Doing the work anyways pays off when the next stroke of inspiration comes. It will also come sooner.

Sometimes inspiration comes from within. The rest of the time, it comes from practice and showing up.

What are you putting off? When is the next time you’re going to work on your project despite not feeling like it?

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