Self-Realisation

Making it political

The difference between an actual discussion (where we seek the right answer) and a political one is simple:

In a political discussion, people don’t care about what’s correct or effective or true. Facts aren’t the point.

The honest answer to, “if it could be demonstrated that there’s a more effective or just solution to this problem, would you change your mind?” is, for a political question, “no.”

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the the local water tower, the death penalty, labor unions, euthanasia, fair trade, organic food, the EPA or carbon. In political discussions, we don’t have enrollment in the scientific method. We’re not open to effectiveness or proof. We’re engaged in a tribal conflict.

The problem with the fencing in of one topic after another as political is that it gives us less and less space to learn and grow and understand.

Think tanks in DC call themselves non-partisan. But of course, that’s not true, because they’ve already made up their minds. They’re not thinking at all. Merely arguing.

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

An audience of one

More than ever, people, lots of people, hordes of anonymous people, can watch what you do.

They can see your photos, like your posts, friend your digital avatar.

An essentially infinite collection of strangers are in the audience, scoring you, ranking you, deciding whether or not you’re succeeding.

If you let them.

The alternative is to focus on the audience you care about, interacting with the person who matters to you. Your audience, your choice. One person, ten people, the people who need you.

Everyone else is merely a bystander.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The flip is elusive

For a generation after people realized that smoking would kill them, many smart, informed people still smoked. Then, many of them stopped.

After discovering that an expensive luxury good is made out of the same materials as a cheaper alternative, many people stick with the expensive one. And then they gradually stop going out of their way to pay more.

After a technology breakthrough makes it clear that a new approach is faster, cheaper and more reliable, many people stick with the old way. Until they don’t.

And inevitably, it doesn’t matter how much people discover about their favorite candidate, they seem impervious to revelations, facts and the opinions of others. For a while, sometimes a very long while. But then, they assert that all along they knew something was amiss and find a new person to align with.

Computers don’t work this way. Cats don’t have a relationship like this with hot stoves. Imaginary logical detectives always get the message the first time.

For the rest of us, though, the flip isn’t something that happens at the first glance or encounter with new evidence.

This doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t matter.

It means that we’re bad at admitting we were wrong.

Bad at giving up one view of the world to embrace the other.

Mostly, we’re bad at abandoning our peers, our habits and our view of ourselves.

If you want to change people’s minds, you need more than evidence. You need persistence. And empathy. And mostly, you need the resources to keep showing up, peeling off one person after another, surrounding a cultural problem with a cultural solution.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Using Video well

The web was built on words.

And words, of course, are available to anyone who can type. They’re cheap, easy to edit and incredibly powerful when used well.

Today’s internet, though, is built on video. Much more difficult to create well, far more impactful when it works.

My friends at Graydin, for example, needed only 140 seconds to make their case about their practice.

Because video costs more, is more difficult to edit and takes a different sort of talent to create, we often avoid it. Or worse, we cut corners and fail to do ourselves justice by posting something mediocre.

When copy exploded across the web, the professional copywriter felt threatened. Anyone could write, and anyone did.

When photography was added to the mix, the professional photographer felt threatened. Everyone had a camera, after all.

And now, the same thing is happening to video.

In each case, the professional has something to add, something significant, but she has to change her posture from scarce bottleneck to extraordinary contributor.

Great video doesn’t change the rules. A great video on your site isn’t enough. You still need permission, still need to seek remarkability, still need to create something that matters. What video represents is the chance—if you invest in it—to tell your story in a way that sticks.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Travel

Who is this for?

Is it for people who are interested, or those just driving by?

For the informed, intelligent, educated part of your audience? For those with an urgent need?

Is it designed to please the lowest common denominator?

If you’re trying to delight the people who are standing on one foot, reading their email and about to buy from a competitor because he’s cheaper than you, what compromises will you need to make? Are they worth it?

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Questions checklist for reviewing your new marketing materials…

For that new video, or that new brochure, or anything you create that you’re hoping will change minds (and spread):

What’s it for?
When it works, will we be able to tell? What’s it supposed to do?

Who is it for?
What specific group or tribe or worldview is this designed to resonate with?

What does this remind you of?
Who has used this vernacular before? Is it as well done as the previous one was?

What’s the call to action?
Is there a moment when you are clearly asking people to do something?

Show this to ten strangers. Don’t say anything. What do they ask you?
Now, ask them what the material is asking them to do.

What is the urgency?
Why now?

Your job is not to answer every question, your job is not to close the sale. The purpose of this work is to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your idea to the people who need to hear it, at the same time that you build trust.

You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you’ve earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

A practical definition of reputation

Reputation is what people expect us to do next. It’s their expectation of the quality and character of the next thing we produce or say or do.

We control our actions (even when it feels like we don’t) and our actions over time (especially when we think no one is looking) earn our reputation.