3. SMILE: The Oatmeal’s Thoughts For People Who Make Stuff.
And here’s something for Guy Fieri — and the rest of us who make stuff — to keep in mind. The Internet is a wonderful place. It is also terrifying place. Navigating it isn’t easy. So The Oatmeal has some truly wise words for those of us who make things on the web.
So work’s getting hard this week? Consider this: We just achieved teleportation. Yeah, that’s right: TELEPORTATION. When you start complaining about your work, just remember: You didn’t have to solve the problem of freaking teleportation.
10. LISTEN: Steve Poltz’s ‘Stairway’/’Gilligan’ Mash-Up.
And then here’s something really weird: It’s a mash-up of Zeppelin and the “Gilligan’s Island” theme. Some of the best stuff doesn’t always seem like it goes together — but then you see/hear it together, and sure enough, it does. And here, Poltz pulls it off.
Now go out there and do some great work this month.
Inside this month’s Awesome File: Advice! Struggle! Hurricane photo porn! That dude from ‘Inception’ covering Lady Gaga!
1. LEARN: From Jack Donaghy.
If you’re a ’30 Rock’ fan, you already know that Jack Donaghy’s one of the best characters on TV. But it turns out that he’s also offered up some pretty good business advice over the years. These lessons in business management are pretty excellent.
2. REMEMBER: ‘Note to My 25-Year-Old Self.’
And here’s some advice from the real world. It’s from Evonne Benedict, a journalist out in Seattle. She’s got 15 pieces of advice for herself at age 25. I think no. 14 — “Listen. Ordinary people have extraordinary stories if you take the time to listen to them.” — is especially fantastic.
3. READ: ‘The Struggle.
But even if you’ve got that advice in mind, you’ll need to remember something else: It won’t be easy to do great work. Ben Horowitz, an entrepreneur and VC, explains why in this really excellent post, “The Struggle.”
4. WATCH: Derrick Rose Returns.
If you do fight through the struggle, remember that you’re going to get something in return: Your very own comeback story. Here’s Derrick Rose’s, for his return to the Chicago Bulls. It’s pretty epic.
5. CONSIDER: The Sabbatical.
People who do the work — you, included — work damn hard. You hustle. You push. You create.
But oftentimes, you don’t spend enough time stepping back from the work to consider the present — and the future.
And speaking of bad segues: Once you start working on that awesome new thing, you might have some other team members to work with. Consider using Speek for your conference calls. It’s awesome, it’s free and it’s ridiculously easy to use. It’s changed the way I think about conference calls.
-If You Don’t Care, No One Will
-You Can Only Control What You Do
-There Are All Kinds Of Thanksgivings
-Small Is Magnificent
Read it, and then read it again.
2. SMILE: Puppstream.me
This feels like a website that should have happened a long time ahead: Puppystream, an endless display of adorable photos of puppies. If you’re in a bad mood, go to this site and spend 20 seconds there. You’ll feel better.
Inside this month’s Awesome File: Reality checks! Great stories! Serendipity! And a guide to getting $15,000 in free travel!
1. READ: ‘Do Not Ask What Good We Do.’
I’ll start this month’s Awesome File with a fantastic, topical — but slightly depressing read. It’s called Do Not Ask What Good We Do, and it’s an inside look at the House of Representatives from 2010 to 2012. The reporting takes readers inside the screwed up world of Congress, where our elected officials are too busy fighting to actually get anything done. Read it and you’ll realize: Our political system really needs a kick in the pants.
2. CONSIDER: ‘Why You Can’t Be Anything You Want To Be’
We started to emphasize passion over discipline. Dreaming over doing. Positivity over pragmatism. And the end result was we became people convinced we get to do whatever we want, even if nobody wants it and even if we’re not particularly qualified to do it.
And then it goes on to explain what our priorities really should be. (A hint: Building and doing come first.) Read it and get inspired.
3. LEARN: ‘The Writing Class You Never Had’
This also might help. It’s a fantastic primer on how to write — the right way. When you’re doing it right, you’re starting too soon, you’re getting in over you’re head, and you’re figuring it out as you go. Great writing, you’ll learn, starts with screwing things up.
4. WATCH: A Great Product Pitch
When you learn how to write well, you’ll start to tell great stories. And anyone can tell great stories. Here’s proof: This is the product video for Do, a new productivity app. It’s as good — and as funny — a story as you’ll see all day.
5. REINVENT: Reworking Your Resume
Great writing and storytelling can come in so many forms, I believe. It can come in the form of books or blogs or product videos — or even in the form of a great resume. 99U shows off a few highly original and unusual resumes that tell a great story. How do you get hired in this economy? Tell a great story and present it in a way that no employer can forget.
“‘What should I be doing now?’ is a question I get a lot from people in their 20s. The answer is that you should be respecting yourself as you learn about yourself. You should give yourself the space to do anything and then look closely to see what you enjoy. You do not need to get paid for what you enjoy, but you need to find a way to commit to what you enjoy, and then use that as a foundation to grow your adult life.”
4. APPLY: The New York Public Library’s Wikipedian-in-Chief opening
And while you’re thinking about work, here’s something you don’t see every day: A job opening involving Wikipedia. It’s unpaid, yes, but doesn’t the thought of putting the words “Wikipedian-In-Chief” on your resume make you want to apply just a little?
5. WATCH: Charlie LeDuff Golf Across Detroit
Great things start with baby steps, not big leaps. And here’s Charlie LeDuff proving that by golfing across Detroit. One man, 18 miles, 2,575 strokes — and one great story.
Here’s something I’ve been asking a lot lately: Why do we do things the way we’ve always done them? Mostly, this has involved me digging into a more specific question: Why do we tell stories the way we’ve always told stories?
7. READ: “Dear American Airlines,” by Jonathan Miles
On that note: You also probably haven’t seen a novel quite like this before. It’s called “Dear American Airlines: A Novel.” It’s the story of one man’s miserable trip through O’Hare International, and anyone who’s flown to Chicago knows what this guy’s talking about.
8. LOOK: National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest 2012
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know already: I’m a big fan of awesome work. But doing the work isn’t easy. It requires persistence, patience, luck, hustle — and a whole lot of inspiration.
I’d like to help connect you to some of the things on the web that inspire me. Maybe they’ll spark something in you, too.
Every month, I’m going to add to something I’m calling “The Awesome File.” Today’s your first filing.
So: Here are 10 completely awesome things that you should really make time for this month:
1. READ: Derek Sivers’ “Anything You Want
It’s only 90 pages, which means that you could finish the entire thing over a long lunch. But savor “Anything You Want.” It’s not as much a business book as a manifesto for creating things that matter. If you’re looking for the courage to take a small step, start here.
2. READ: “Waking Up Full of Awesome”
If you’re just looking for a swift kick in the pants, read “Waking Up Full of Awesome.” In 216 words, it’s a reminder to wake up tomorrow ready for everything the world has.
3. WATCH: “Her Morning Elegance” by Oren Lavie
As cool a stop-motion video as you’ll ever see. It’s all kinds of whimsy. What I love most is the story that gets told in the video. A friend once told me that we all love stories when we’re 6, and we all love stories when we’re 60. But sometimes as you get older, you need a reminder.
Let this serve as your reminder:
4. LISTEN: Daytrotter
I’ve been a huge fan of this site for years, and their recent transition to a subscription site has been superb. For $2 per month, you get (nearly) infinite live recordings from all sorts of bands, from the established (Counting Crows) to the up-and-coming (The Lumineers.) Five or six bands record new sessions for the site every single day. Make your earbuds happy and get yourself a subscription.
5. LOOK: Once Magazine
If you’ve got an iPad, get a copy of this into your hands. If Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz and National Geographic had a baby, it’d probably look a lot like this. It’s a magazine full of awesome stories presented beautifully.
7. SMILE: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Ben Rector
Ben Rector does a one-man cover of Whitney Houston’s classic. It is supremely catchy. You will enjoy it. You will almost certainly start dancing.
Stop reading and go click play:
8. CONSIDER: Alarm Clocks Are Evil
“The snooze button is a weapon in the battle between the selves we’d like to be and the selves we actually are.” This is an excellent read on alarm clocks — the enemy of hustle. This month, try to heed its warning.
9. LAUGH: Nick Thune.
Possibly the only comedy bit ever that includes jokes about both pregnancy and acute angles. Insanely clever and very funny: