jerryking + worthiness   13

Looking Death in the Face -
DEC. 26, 2016 | The New York Times | by John Kaag and Clancy Martin.

Shelley’s poem, “Ozymandias,”, tells us, nothing remains of this pharaoh's works or of him, despite his status as the king of kings. All that remains is sand.

The poem’s message is perennial: All of this will be over soon, faster than you think. Fame has a shadow — inevitable decline. The year 2016 has delivered a string of deaths that serve as bracing reminders of this inevitability: Prince, Nancy Reagan, David Bowie, Elie Wiesel, Bill Cunningham, Muhammad Ali, Gordie Howe, Merle Haggard, Patty Duke, John Glenn....The year’s end is a time to take account of kingdoms built, but also the sheer rapidity of their destruction. It is a chance to come to terms with the existential fragility that is overlooked in most of our waking hours and that must be faced even by the greatest among us....the scariest thing about death: coming to die only to discover, in Thoreau’s words, that we haven’t lived....Dying, of course, corresponds exactly with what we prefer to call living. This is what Samuel Beckett meant when he observed that we “give birth astride the grave.” It is an existential realization that may seem to be the province of the very sick or very old. The elderly get to watch the young and oblivious squander their days, time that they now recognize as incredibly precious....The trick to dying for something is picking the right something, day after week after precious year. And this is incredibly hard and decidedly not inevitable....
dying  howto  Egyptian_Empire  history  worthiness  discernment  overlooked  perennial  timeless  poems  decline  mybestlife  deaths 
december 2016 by jerryking
Being John Ibbitson
August 1, 2006 | Ryerson Review of Journalism | Barry Hertz.

What his columns lack in personal detail, he makes up for in research. He is one of the few columnists who actually reports rather than simply sitting back and spouting his opinions. He noticed a weakness of his colleagues – too much analysis, not enough research – and began to emulate his favourite drama critic, Nathan Cohen. “He offered a good recipe for analyzing public policy as he did for theatre, which was just asking three questions,” explains Ibbitson. “What are you doing? How are you doing it? And, is it a good idea in the first place?”
John_Ibbitson  questions  worthiness  public_policy  columnists  discernment  think_threes  5_W’s 
april 2016 by jerryking
How to manage your time like a president - The Globe and Mail
COLLEEN FRANCIS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 22 2015

time is a non-renewable resource.

“The Eisenhower Matrix” – is that all business problems can be grouped into one of four categories:

Urgent and important: a very short list of items where you must act immediately;
Urgent but less important: a short list of tasks where you would be better served to delegate right away;
Non urgent but important: a longer list of tasks that you must act on, but later;
Non urgent and unimportant: matters that don’t require your attention.

The key to managing your time in the Eisenhower Matrix is to be merciless and choosy about what deserves your time and focus right away. That needs to remain a very short list of tasks. If it isn’t, you need to reevaluate how you and your organization makes a distinction between urgent and non-urgent issues.

Just as important, know the value of your time and outsource anything that can be done for less than your time is worth.

Doing this, you avoid the trap of being too reactive or overwhelmed by a relentless inbox demanding decisions from you on issues both large and small.
attention  attention_spans  discernment  Dwight_Eisenhower  focus  overreaction  overwhelmed  priorities  relentlessness  self-discipline  time-management  urgency  worthiness  mercilessness 
june 2015 by jerryking
The Enduring Hunt for Personal Value - NYTimes.com
MAY 1, 2015 | NYT |By TONY SCHWARTZ.

Once our basic needs are met, we human beings arguably crave value above all else. We each want desperately to matter, to feel a sense of worthiness. ...There is a problem in that we can so easily be seduced into believing that generating more external value – whether in the form of wealth, status or even achievement — leads to a greater sense of internal value. Each of these, pursued as a means to ensure our value, delivers diminishing returns over time.

Any single-minded pursuit, unmoored to a deeper purpose, has the potential to take on the characteristics of an addiction. More and more is required to obtain the same high, and the compulsion of the pursuit prompts a growing sense of the despair and unworthiness it is meant to solve.
values  self-respect  Tony_Schwartz  workplaces  diminishing_returns  addictions  worthiness 
may 2015 by jerryking
Bark with bite
January 30, 2012 | FT | By John Quelch.

Academics succeed if their names are linked to one important idea that outlives them. Professor Theodore Levitt’s name is linked to many. The first was a blockbuster. “Marketing myopia” was published by Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 1960, one year after Harvard Business School plucked Prof Levitt, the son of a German immigrant cobbler, from the University of North Dakota.

The article famously asked: “What business are you in?” It critiqued railroads for “letting their customers get away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than the transportation business”. They were product-orientated rather than market-orientated....the importance of tangible evidence to reassure customers choosing among suppliers of intangible services (the impressive bank building, the authoritative logo)....I gave him a wide berth until it was time for feedback on my thesis proposal after three months of hard labour. The meeting lasted five minutes, barely long enough for Prof Levitt, whose mentoring style was more tough love than hand-holding, to dismiss me with: “Throw this out, start again and come back in a week with something important!” Fortunately, I did.

Prof Levitt’s advice was always to work on important problems that are important to important people in important companies. It spurred me to get out into the field, talk to business people, write case studies and understand the messy complexity of the world, rather than work behind my desk on mathematical models based on unrealistic assumptions.
advice  discernment  feedback  hand-holding  HBR  HBS  John_Quelch  marketing  market-orientated  messiness  myopic  primary_field_research  product-orientated  reminiscing  sophisticated  Theodore_Levitt  tough_love  worthiness  worthwhile_problems 
december 2013 by jerryking
History Doesn't Follow the Rules
200X | TIME | Jeff Greenfield
The world can change in a day, all right, but not always the way we think it will. LOOKING FOR A LESSON IN HUMILITY? STAND AT A MAJOR historical marker, and try drawing a perfectly reasonable, prudent conclusion about where that marker is pointing.

...revised views of history are what keep successive generations of historians in business, continuously updating where the latest dominoes have fallen. Eighty years from now, scholars will still be debating the meaning of what happened 80—or even 800—years ago. We journalists like to say that journalism is the first rough draft of history—a mere acknowledgment, perhaps that there is a Higher Authority in whose hands rests the final draft.
history  unpredictability  humility  seminal_moments  historians  worthiness  journalists  journalism 
august 2012 by jerryking
A Report to The Wall Street Journal's World-Wide Readers - WSJ.com
What Won't Change

That's what will change. Let me tell you what won't: We won't use color for color's sake, or merely to entertain you. That's not the Journal, and it never will be. Instead, we'll use color to convey more information, particularly in graphs, charts and tables, and to help you navigate your way more quickly and easily to and through those parts of the paper that matter most to you.

We won't "dumb down" The Wall Street Journal. This publication isn't for everybody, and we don't intend for it to be. Instead, it's written, edited and published for a broad community of women and men in business and seriously interested in the world of business -- and now, also, the "business of life." It's intended to be sophisticated and thoughtful and thought-provoking, and unapologetic about all of that. It's often clever, sometimes playful, but never shallow or silly. In a world sometimes overwhelmed with trivialities, our readers don't need any more trivia, and we don't intend to provide it to them.
wsj  9/11  newspapers  critical_thinking  sophisticated  worthiness  discernment  trivia 
august 2012 by jerryking
Deja Vu - WSJ.com
May 21, 2007 | WSJ | Cynthia Crossen

The toughest part of inventing isn't solving problems. It's figuring out which problems are worth the effort...If you made a list of the 2,100 inventions you thought were needed, you would also be painting a profile of yourself. "Invention is really a systematic form of criticism," Mr. Yates wrote, and people tend to criticize the things that annoy them in their daily lives. Mr. Yates, for example, seems to have found most commonplace devices excessively noisy....While Mr. Yates recorded most of his 2,100 inventions in no particular order, he did make a top-10 list that proves he wasn't a trivial thinker. His top-three needed inventions all concerned energy -- a way to transform energy into power with less waste, a more efficient way to store energy and better light bulbs.

Mr. Yates, a self-taught engineer, inventor and technical writer, tried to nudge other inventors in the right direction with his book, "2100 Needed Inventions." Published by Wilfred Funk Inc., Mr. Yates's book was a list of ways people could alleviate certain nuisances and defects of life and get rich for their trouble. "We often see clever and simple devices for sale which cause us to chastise ourselves with some such remark as, 'Why I could have thought of that years ago and made a lot of money with it!' Certainly you could have -- but you didn't."
inventors  inventions  criticism  problem_solving  critical_thinking  negative_space  worthiness  frictions  pain_points  discernment  unarticulated_desires  worthwhile_problems  personal_enrichment  systematic_approaches 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Rhino Principle
01.30.06 | Forbes.com | Paul Johnson
We can choose to lead quiet lives and get through them without achieving much. But if we want to do the big thing, if we hope to leave a record that will be admired and remembered, we must learn to distinguish between the peripheral and the essential. Then, having clearly established our central objective, we must charge at it again and again until the goal is achieved.

That is what the rhinoceros does. It may not be a model animal in most ways. But it does one thing very well. And that one thing we can learn: Charge!
historians  gtd  indispensable  worthiness  signals  noise  discernment  judgment  thinking_big 
june 2012 by jerryking
A First Draft of History? - WSJ.com
March 12, 2005 | WSJ | By BRET STEPHENS

The cliché is that journalism is the first draft of history. Yet a historian searching for clues about the origins of many of the great stories of recent decades--the collapse of the Soviet empire; the rise of Osama bin Laden; the declining American crime rate; the economic eclipse of Japan and Germany--would find most contemporary journalism useless. Perhaps a story here or there might, in retrospect, seem illuminating. But chances are it would have been nearly invisible at the time of publication: eight column inches, page A12.

The problem is not that journalists can't get their facts straight: They can and usually do. Nor is it that the facts are obscure: Often, the most essential facts are also the most obvious ones. The problem is that journalists have a difficult time distinguishing significant facts--facts with consequences--from insignificant ones. That, in turn, comes from not thinking very hard about just which stories are most worth telling....As for the media, it shouldn't be too difficult to do better. Look for the countervailing data. Broaden your list of sources. Beware of exoticizing your subject:
Bret_Stephens  journalism  journalists  critical_thinking  history  signals  noise  frictions  pain_points  worthiness  countervailing  storytelling  seminal_moments  wide-framing  discernment  origin_story  historians  consequential  clichés  worthwhile_problems 
may 2012 by jerryking
Stop Looking for Ideas, Look for Problems to Grow Your Business - India Chief Mentor - WSJ
April 19, 2010, | WSJ | By Gautam Gandhi. Stop looking for
good ideas. That’s right, you read this correctly. Please don’t speak of good ideas ever again. Instead tell me about good problems. They'll most likely bring a business opportunity, Where are the problems?

If you look around there are problems everywhere. Question things you
take for granted and think to yourself: Is there a better way? When you
have your next business meeting, whether it is with a client or
customer, ask them what their biggest problems are. You will be
surprised by what people tell you. Hopefully, you will start to notice
patterns and will soon identify a problem to solve. Better still, if it
is a problem that affects you directly.

When you think of the problem that you are going to solve, ensure that:

You are tackling it for a sizable market
People are willing to pay for your solution
You assess your rivals

The last one is important. Never think: “I don’t have any competition.”
growth  problem_solving  pattern_recognition  idea_generation  problems  challenges  worthiness  messiness  uncharted_problems  large_markets  competition  questions  ideas  assumptions  criteria  India  pain_points  discernment  curiosity  dissatisfaction  opportunities  inquisitiveness  Michael_McDerment  worthwhile_problems 
july 2011 by jerryking
Follow successful investment managers, you'll learn from them
August 13, 2005 | Globe & Mail ROB pg B7 | by Ira Gluskin.
"The first question that you should ask is why does anyone in the
investment industry want to be interviewed or quoted?...A tip to
facilitate your newspaper reading productivity... The most important
articles to read are by, or about successful investment managers.
Articles by or about investment executives and corporate executives come
next. Research analysts should be read afterwards. The last experts to
rely on are economists, with one notable exception. Jeffrey Rubin of
CIBC.".......Avoid all the articles interviewing Mr. and Mrs. Average Canadian who want to share their investment expertise with us. Certainly there are many astute investors out there in the real world, but the real world is full of experts on sports, movies and politics as well. However, the editors of these sections do not choose to air these amateur views like they do in the financial section. I repeat that I recognize that there are brilliant investors out there, but they don't have the discipline of achieving reported performance numbers like myself. This lack of discipline prevents the reader from knowing whether they are dealing with lucky or smart people.
Ira_Gluskin  investment_advice  in_the_real_world  Jeffrey_Rubin  Gluskin_Sheff  money_management  wealth_management  high_net_worth  Toronto  Bay_Street  reading  productivity  howto  economists  investment_research  equity_research  research_analysts  worthiness  discernment  smart_people  luck  investors  self-discipline 
october 2009 by jerryking
What are worthwhile problems: Feynman's moving letter
Posted on March 11, 2008 by Selva.

The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to. A problem is grand in science if it lies before us unsolved and we see some way for us to make some headway into it. I would advise you to take even simpler, or as you say, humbler, problems until you find some you can really solve easily, no matter how trivial. You will get the pleasure of success, and of helping your fellow man, even if it is only to answer a question in the mind of a colleague less able than you. You must not take away from yourself these pleasures because you have some erroneous idea of what is worthwhile.
problems  inspiration  creativity  advice  worthiness  uncharted_problems  discernment  Richard_Feynman  worthwhile_problems 
july 2009 by jerryking

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