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#16 Life's Rhythm
#harmony #communication #priority #product-management
👋 Hello and welcome to this week's edition of Pursuit. In a world where we are drowning in information but starving for wisdom, I spend over 10 hours each week learning about living a fulfilling life, productivity, and building great products. I feel grateful to bring the highlights of my findings to you, saving you time in your search for wisdom. So go ahead, give it a try, and subscribe now if you haven’t already.
This week’s discovery:
🌊 Life's Rhythm - #harmony
✂️ Hedging in Language Might Work Against You - #communication
🎓 Asking for Advice Makes People Look More Competent, Not Less - #communication
🙅🏼♂️ How to Say No - #priority
😻 Optimizes for Feelings rather than Metrics - #product-management
⭐ A quote and music tracks…
🌊 Life's Rhythm
Life has its own rhythm and you cannot impose your own structure upon it, you have to listen to what it tells you. It’s not earth that you move with a tractor...life is not like that. Life is more like earth that you learn about and plant seeds in… It’s something you have to have a relationship with in order to experience. You can’t mold it, you can’t control it. Everything in the world has its reasons for doing what it does… all we can do is go with those things. As we take them in, we survive, and deepen.
✂️ Hedging in Language Might Work Against You
If you want to persuade people, you need to speak with confidence. Avoid using hedges or hedging language, such as "might," "could," "probably," or "possibly," because they suggest uncertainty and undermine your impact. Research shows that the more you hedge, the less likely people are to listen to you. Use words that convey certainty and speak as if something is obvious and definitely going to happen. Even if you're uncertain about something, you can still own the uncertainty by calling it out and stating what needs to be done to make it work.
🎓 Asking for Advice Makes People Look More Competent, Not Less
When you're faced with a tough problem, don't be afraid to ask for advice. It's a common mistake to think that others will perceive us negatively if we ask for help. But in reality, asking for advice can make us look more competent and intelligent. People tend to think highly of themselves and their opinions, so when someone asks for their advice, they feel flattered and view the asker as smart and wise. By taking advantage of this egocentrism, we can not only gather useful insights but also enhance our own reputation. So remember, asking for advice is a sign of strength, not weakness.
🙅🏼♂️ How to Say No
Saying no shouldn’t have to be hard, especially when it gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you are prioritizing in your life. Don’t over-think it — you‘re saying no so that you can say yes to something else that you value. That’s not an excuse. That’s a reason anyone can understand.
Here’s a general strategy for how to say no:
Be honest and direct. A no is a no, and that should be communicated in the first or second sentence and not something that needs to be read between the lines.
Talk about what you are prioritizing instead. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but it should be true. Few things are ever no in a vacuum, so it tends to be about the tradeoffs, and people get that.
If you’re even the slightest bit interested in the opportunity but can’t pursue it at the moment, mention that the no is for right now. In the future, who knows? Don’t prematurely rule out possibilities if you think things might change.
😻 Optimizes for Feelings rather than Metrics
Josh Miller (CEO of the Browser Company): If you're building a product, don't get caught up in the obsession with numbers and metrics that dominates Silicon Valley. While it may be effective in achieving certain outcomes, optimizing for metrics leaves a lot on the table and misses a lot. Instead, focus on optimizing feelings. Think about how your software can make someone feel on the other end. Do you want to make them feel joy, fast, organized, or focused? Consider what your favorite products or product companies and brands have done to create a deep connection with you. They likely optimized for feelings, not just metrics. Use metrics as a tool to keep you honest, but don't forget that fundamentally, you're there to make people feel something.
Browser Company’s product is Arc, the browser that is going to revolutionize your day.
⭐ A quote and music tracks…
🎧 You’ll find mostly Ethnotronica, Organic House, World, and Organic Electronic here:
Previously on Pursuit: