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Three Best Ideas – 2/27/17

Here are the three best ideas I found today:

I consume a lot of information every day. I read a lot, I watch videos, I listen to podcasts. I’ve gotten better at jotting down ideas as I come across them. The problem though is that the ideas usually sit in my drafts folder and they stay there.

I been thinking about how to make ideas actionable.

I had an idea today to take the three top ideas and discuss them a little more in depth at the end of the day. I’m doing this for two reasons. One, as a way to organize my thoughts in a consistent way. Two, as a way to create linkages between ideas before I lose them in a file somewhere.

Children and their Larger Narrative

I watched a TED Talk today by Bruce Feiler called Agile Programming – for your family. He talked about some interesting research from Emory University. He said that researchers found that kids who know information about their relatives such as when their grandparents were married have better life outcomes. The reasoning is that when kids know they are part of a larger narrative they have something that grounds them.

From Agile Programming – for your family:

Another great way to tell your story is to tell your children where they came from. Researchers at Emory gave children a simple “what do you know” test. Do you know where your grandparents were born? Do you know where your parents went to high school? Do you know anybody in your family who had a difficult situation, an illness, and they overcame it? The children who scored highest on this “do you know” scale had the highest self-esteem and a greater sense they could control their lives. The “do you know” test was the single biggest predictor of emotional health and happiness. As the author of the study told me, children who have a sense of ā€” they’re part of a larger narrative have greater self-confidence.So my final plank is, tell your story. Spend time retelling the story of your family’s positive moments and how you overcame the negative ones. If you give children this happy narrative, you give them the tools to make themselves happier.

I started journaling this year and one of the prompts of my journal is to tell my sons something about myself that I want them to know. After watching this talk I came to realize that I should share stories about my whole family with them. Like Feiler recommended stories of their extended family overcoming obstacles and how they did it. I’ll also get the added benefit of reliving some great memories. In the future post I’ll share my journaling system that has taken me from never journaling to an everyday practitioner.

Just as Much Energy

One of my favorite podcasts is The Moment with Brian Koppelman. Today I listened to an episode where he interviewed Michael Chiklis. Chiklis is an actor most famous for his role in The Shield. Those old enough to remember also know him from The Commish. I don’t think any actor has had two roles as different except maybe Bryan Cranston.
Early in the show Koppelman thanked Chiklis for being so nice to him when he was younger. Chiklis was already a famous actor and Koppelman remembers him being a great guy when he was just some nobody who lived in the same building.

Chiklis said he has always felt that it takes just as much energy to be a nice person as a jerk. So why not be a nice person and make people’s day better because they interacted with you.

I thought that was a great way to look at life.

Making Interviews Cake

I just restarted my journey to learn how to code. One podcast that I started listening to is Learn to Code With Me. I listened to an episode today with the founder of Interview Cake, Parker Phinney.

Interview Cake is a site that helps people prepare for technical interviews. Just to be clear, Iā€™m light years away from being in a position to have a technical interview.

He did have some strategies that I can start thinking about today for when that day comes.

You should learn to write down your coding answers. Coding is usually done on the computer, but in a coding interview you can get asked to write down your answers on a white board or a piece of paper. This can trip people up, especially if they are early in the interview process.

He also recommended that you talk out loud when explaining your thought process in solving a problem. This will prepare you when you have to do it in an interview.

I also like his idea that job searchers use non-technical people to help them with their interview skills. Just having someone ask you those questions and working through them on dry runs can help when the real thing arrives.

There you go, the three best ideas I found today. I hope all of them (or even one) gave you an idea you can use.

Published in Today I Learned

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