Finished reading Paul Jarvis' Everything I Know. Such a good read for a light book. It opened my mind to new perspectives that I had never thought of.
I like to think myself as a maker and the process of making itself is a sort of creative endeavour. You create things using your imagination. Paul, the author himself is a creator – a prolific and profitable one at that, and that's rare. He has created very profitable online courses and a software product that allows him to live the life he wants to lead. That kind of life is shaped by the very same perspectives he writes about in the book.
Note that these are my interpretations of what I took away from the book. It may not be what the author is trying to convey.
Start Now; Perfection is your enemy
don't overthink and try to make your creations perfect. Perfection doesn't come overnight. You have to keep making mistakes to become better at your craft. When you become better at your craft, that is when you start to have more “hits” with the things you create.
“There’s no path if you aren't moving. It's just a single point in the road. The view might be great, but stasis never changed the world (or bought a yacht). The only way to see if your work might have traction is to do it and put it out there ... Start now. No excuses.”
“Perfection is a myth, so practice can never make perfect. In fact, all that striving for perfection can actually lead you away from launching anything. The path to perfection makes it almost impossible to get your work out the door, because nothing will ever be perfect. Focus instead on great enough to launch and perfect enough for your audience to enjoy.”
Don't love your inner critic
“Fall out of love with your inner critic immediately. Kill its voice before it kills you.”
“Courage doesn’t come from an absence of fear; it comes from being afraid and moving forward anyway.”
Making your own choices is your best bet at living a meaningful life
I “can only live a meaningful life if I keep making choices and moving forward, pushing past my fears and testing my limits.”
Be successful by being yourself
“It’s interesting how we often want to emulate others’ successes but not emulate the fact that they probably achieved this success by being themselves. Their uniqueness is thought of as visionary or as radiating charisma – as if what makes them them was just a brilliant marketing strategy (think: Richard Branson).”
Push yourself and Overcome your obstacles
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. – Gautama Buddha”
“experimenting with fear is important, because it makes us present and accountable to ourselves, and it ensures we live meaningful lives by learning how much we’re capable of accomplishing”
Conquer your fears; If Paul can do it, so can you
“I start small at first, with small pushes. I know that being afraid and moving forward don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I work up to medium pushes. Fear still can't do anything if I don’t give it any power. Then I push harder. Don't worry; fear can take it, and fear can't fight back. push, Push, PUSH.”
I have more tidbits to share for sure. Leave me a comment and I'll reach out to you for a chat to share more about what I took away from this book. Within the next few days, I'll add some extra personal notes on top of these takeaways.
My entire morning was spent listening to a Visual Analytics lecture. The professor talked about the background and importance of R Language. After about an 1.5 hours, he started going through an In-class Exercise on how to use RStudio to produce something like the following:
After I was done with lunch, I worked on the assignment for this module that's due this sunday at 11:59PM.
I barely started on this and my classmate was telling me how tedious doing these visualizations are. Sure, maybe there is some use to learning how to spend hours creating my own fancy wiki page, screenshots with step-by-step guides on how to use a Tableau and some visualizations to deliver insights on a given dataset.
But probably only less than 35 people would ever read this wiki page and find any use in it – the professor, myself and my class of 30 plus other students.
I'm trying not to hate how I could be putting better use of this time working on open source projects out there. Why must the current educational system be so rigid? Why can't we be allowed to focus on learning what we find important to our personal narratives, goals and dreams? Why do we have to spend months learning something we might never use again?
I refuse to believe that education has to be this way. I hope to one day be able to work on solutions that will fix this problem, if not at the very least, alleviate the issue of how the present state of education is very much like cookie cutter moulds. All it's doing is churning out students who are great at following instructions just to please professsors and score an A.
Some possible questions to think about:
What do you think about the book takeaways?
What are you working on now? Do you empathise with the takeaways?
What other things you might want to add on top of these takeaways?
What do you think about the current state of education?