Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Postscript to Education

30 October 2011, by A. Cedilla

A while back we posted the following entries:

  • Free Classes Online! (Or, Rethinking Education) – “Hard times do ease up, however, and while you can’t predict the future, you still decide your own fate. You do what you can to keep going, and if that means going for more education, you still have options.”
  • Taking Action (Rethinking Education 2) – “There’s no time better than the present to train yourself to being flexible and open to change. This is something you have to teach yourself, and no course or college can give it to you.”

While these articles touched on the various choices available today for people looking to continue their education, today’s discussion touches on a different aspect of the issue:

  • One, what does it mean “to be educated”?
  • And two, what will it mean to educate yourself?

What does it mean, to be “educated”?
This is a very old question, and one which has been hotly debated by the great minds of history, but for today, What Must An Educated Person Know? (The Personal MBA) is an excellent staring point.

Usually when people talk about “getting an education”, they’re talking about college, when in fact college is an institution that facilitates education but isn’t a guarantee of it (face it, we’ve met people with very nice degrees who can’t handle PowerPoint, or exhibit common street-sense).

In the article, things like majors, extra-curriculars and internships aren’t even touched on. According to Joshua Kaufman, being educated is all about skills acquisition and practice. Continue reading A Postscript to Education

Sometimes The Simplest Goals Can Demand The Most Commitment

21 October 2011, by A. Cedilla

Let’s start with something simple: There is something you want. You really really really want this something. This something may be an object, an event or a condition. For example: it may be a better job, a promotion, or better health.

Now: what are you doing to get it, or make it happen?

The gap between “wanting” and “having” is filled with taking action. You know about pipe dreams and castles in the air, but if you don’t act, you resign yourself to wanting from afar. If pining away is your thing, no one’s stopping you. But if pining is not your thing, then you’re the biggest factor in the way of getting what you want.

You want this, what do you do get it? A lot of that. The trick — which isn’t a short-cut or a trick at all — is to break down the lot of THAT into smaller to-do’s, then little just-did’s. That’s how success sneaks in — it disguises itself as hard work.

Another component to success is clarity: you have to be clear about what you really want, because if you’re vague about your desires, 1) how will you know if you’ve already got what you want? and 2) how sure are you that it’s what you really want? (Maybe it’s a substitute for something else?)

I want to get healthy. I want to make more money. I want a better life for my family and for myself, and I want to have more time to spend with them. I want I want I want want want.

 

You want. So? Continue reading Sometimes The Simplest Goals Can Demand The Most Commitment

Have You Heard Of The 20-80 Rule?

14 October 2011, by A. Cedilla

You know the 80/20 rule. You even know the formal designation for it: the Pareto principle.

“80 percent of the best results, or most meaningful changes, come from 20 percent of your actions,” and so on and so forth.

80/20. Eighty-twenty. 80/20. Eighty-twenty.80/20. 80/20. 80/20. 80/20. 80/20. Bored now?

You see 80/20, you get it instantly — then you move on. Just flipping the deal to 20/80 made you stop, didn’t it?

So by now you know that there hasn’t been any new discovery to the Pareto principle, only a restatement of the issue. In this case, restating a problem also re-frames it.

 

When you put the focus on the 20 percent, you put the weight on the actionable parts, not on their most probable outcomes. Yes, you also lay the groundwork towards getting “the most beneficial results,” etc. etc, but putting the onus on the acting gets things in motion. You look at what you’re going to do, the changes you’re going to make, and the things you’ll have to release to get the results you want. You don’t get the results without the action. 20/80 shifts the focus to just that. Continue reading Have You Heard Of The 20-80 Rule?

When Taking Action Threatens the Status Quo – Don’t Default

07 October 2011, by A. Cedilla

Status quo :

“The state of things; the way things are, as opposed to the way they could be; the existing state of affairs.”

“Status quo” is a different animal from “comfort zone”, although it’s very easy to take one for the other. You both get used to them, and they can help make you feel safe and stable. Just as you know the boundaries of your comfort zones, you know what keeps the status quo, and in both case your general approach is usually this: Don’t rock the boat. Just keep quo-ing.

You may have also heard this one quote about the definition of insanity : doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result. Repetition with the intent to change just isn’t possible; You give the same-old, same-old, you get the same-old, same-old. Period.

But if the status quo just isn’t doing it for you anymore and you’re desperate for a change, how do you get though without rocking the damn boat?

You don’t. Continue reading When Taking Action Threatens the Status Quo – Don’t Default