Finding Impact No.31💥

Accountability, content creators for social impact, annual reviews, book recommendations, personal websites, how to learn.

Happy New Year everyone!

How are you? Such a loaded question. I know. But I generally want to hear.

I've loved having 5pm serendipity chats with some of you and I'd love to do more. Reply now and let me know if you'd be up for it. Connection is important for all of us.

We're into another national lockdown in the UK. It was announced on the same day my son was having his first day at a new school. Now he's sitting next to me doing his maths. We all have similar stories. Life isn't easy right now. What's your frustration? Please send your vents my way!

Finally kickstarting my writing online

My journey of 'content creator for social impact' continues. I've joined the ship30for30 crowd to publish a 250 word essay every day for 30 days.

I wrote about it on day 5. Here's an excerpt:

10 days in and a couple of things stand out.

  • I'm getting alot more engagement and followers on Twitter. The algorithm likes regular content that keeps people on the platform (obviously🙄). So I guess my tweets are showing up in people's feeds more.

  • But also people are enjoying the regularity and routine. I don't expect any of these essays to be very good, but that's not the point. It's pushing me to create, and that's the first step in being a creator!

The magic is in the constraints. Each essay should be a maximum of 250 words, should take only one hour from start to finish (ahem, not always achieved.) and there should only be one idea per essay.

And of course accountability. I paid $99 for the pleasure of joining this group. There is a vibrant Slack community to get support and I can see what everyone else is publishing. And there's plenty of few resources to guide your workflow and distribution.

It feels that I'm being a prolific content creator again and it feels good.

The major benefit is that it suddenly becomes easier to sit down and write. I don't get freaked out when I stare at a blank page. I get familiar with the different stages of writing: the mad scramble to find something to write about; the free flow brainstorming to just get stuff out of my head; then the writing in full sentences, sharing personal experiences, reading aloud and final editing.

What's all this for?

I have a dream of inspiring content creators to create for good. That means documenting their wonderful work improving people's lives or their efforts to live more sustainably. Or anything in between.

Could that be you?

Doing social good is one of the strongest psychological motivations behind sharing content on the internet.

So if this interests you and you're up for a challenge to create content for good for 30 days starting Feb 1st, reply with a Hell Yeah! and let's get something started.

I've been in annual review mode

My first sprint of the year has been doing my annual review. It has been more comprehensive and fulfilling this year than ever before. Why? Because I kept a daily journal for the whole of 2020. I have 1000s of data-points from each one of the 366 days. It made for some wonderful reading.

I believe understanding oneself is one of the most worthwhile things you can do.

I followed a different framework this year (click link below). Basically, you develop a timeline of milestones and memories of your year, reflect and examine, then see where you are right now and where you want to be. Finally you decide what you want for the new year.

I highly recommend it, even for a slimmed down quick version.

How to Conduct an Annual Life Review That Will Catapult You into the New Year

Book I'm reading

I usually have one fiction and one non-fiction book on the go. My fiction book is Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. I love this genre! And there's plenty of books in the series. Does anyone have any recommendations for similar titles? Please let me know by replying to this email.

The resume Is dead and content killed it

A personal website shows an employer what you can do. A CV just tells them. Here's a brilliant explanation about why I recently created my personal site and am set on helping others build theirs.

"There are myriad ways content can offer value: by teaching someone something useful, showing them how to solve a problem (or how a product you built solves their problem), entertaining, helping someone discover a new perspective or way of thinking or bringing clarity to a confusing topic."

The Resume Is Dead. And Content Killed It.

I missed the class on how to learn

I'm interested in how we learn. It helps me become a better mentor, coach and trainer. But it also helps my own learning. I get frustrated when I don't understand writing in academic papers or books. Is it just me? Is everyone else getting this?

I realise reading isn't the best way to learn. We should be learning from a range of sources and methods. Andy Matuschak's blog is a valuable resource for this field - the study of metacognition.

I acknowledged earlier that of course, some people do absorb knowledge from books. Indeed, those are the people who really do think about what they’re reading. The process is often invisible. These readers’ inner monologues have sounds like: “This idea reminds me of…,” “This point conflicts with…,” “I don’t really understand how…,” etc. If they take some notes, they’re not simply transcribing the author’s words: they’re summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing.

Why Books Don't Work

And finally…

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Sorry it was a bit long! If you don't mind, please share it with a friend. And if this has been forwarded to you, subscribe here:

Have a good couple of weeks.