Quitter by Jon Acuff (Part 2)

Falling in Like With a Job You Don’t Love. In the past, I was obsessed over quitting my job. Later on, people encouraged me to quit because of my dreams. Quitting your day job is not fulfilling the American dream. People assume your dream is more lucrative. However, writing doesn’t pay well. Dreams rarely pay well at the start. Your dream needs time to incubate. It takes very long indeed. Without incubation time, it will die. Keeping at a day job allowed my dream to have incubation time. What you do in one area of your life will affect the other areas too. Your work attitude tends to follow you home too. Remember why you work. I work to support my family. When you chase your dreams, sometimes you become selfish in your ways. Look for parallels. Starbucks is going to teach you accounting, marketing etc. You can learn from any job you have. Learn to start small and work from there. Look for purpose. Ask how can your day job benefit your dream job and vice versa. How can your chase for your dream job positively affect your day job? People was my purpose. Every dream involves people. You can definitely find purpose in your day job. Do not ever steal from work. This means working on your personal goals while at work. You are supposed to do work in your job description. One way to overcome this is to work very hard in your weekday evenings on your dream so you won’t feel pressed for time. Another way is to take on more assignments at work. Your employers didn’t pay you to work on your dream during working hours. Be honest and diligent with your day job hours. Think of your job as your adversary, not your advocate is a screwed up way of thinking. Protect the way you look at your boss and your company. The next wrong way is to demand that your job meet the needs of your dream. You are not entitled to anything.

The truth is, we need to learn to fall in like with a job we don’t live because it’s actually the best way to set up your dream for success. – Jon Acuff

Bad employees make horrible dreamers. You can’t loaf on your day job all week and then expect to magically throw the switch on the weekend and hustle on your dream. The things you do on your day job tend to follow you home. – Jon Acuff

We get really focused on our own stuff and our own dreams and we lose sight of the many, many reasons it is critical that you do great work at your day job. – Jon Acuff

The romantic way too look at it is that my dream job bled over into my day job. The candid way to look at it is that I was stealing from work. When you do your dream on work time, that’s stealing from your employer. – Jon Acuff

Wait on the Main Stage. We have to get on the main stage. It can be very nervous to speak on the main stage. To many, speaking at a lab is a failure. However, we all need to speak on the side before moving to the main stage. Plans are important, however, do not plan too much. Plans always change and they are fluid. The problem are that plans are too vague and no detailed steps are necessary. It’s like soccer, you can’t plan for everything as every moment is different. There are too many variables in life. You will not be able to script every detail. You do not need a plan. You need passion to drive you forward. The second thing you need is practice. You must show up every day and make it a habit. Just keep practising and practising. The conditions of your dream will change all the time. We like to see the underdog defeat the best. It is like David and Goliath. When you are small, nobody likes and respects you. Developing our dream job is more about hard work rather than grand moments in life. Start small and go along the way. We all need the gift of invisibility at the start. It’s harder to take risks when many people are watching you. Anonymity is the best because you have nothing to lose. You are a free man. Cherish it while it is still around.

Focus on your passion first. Your passion will always fuel your plan. Rarely will a plan fuel a passion. It will contribute. It will shape it. It will most certainly help it. – Jon Acuff

There Will Be Hustle. I have never taken blogging seriously. Things worked out because I hustled. Our desire to complicate matters is because we are lazy and fearful. Hustle is not hard. Sometimes, you will have to do the things you don’t enjoy. Dreams start in the morning. When you wake up, this is the best time to hustle. You don’t have excuses in the morning. One tends to have less excuses in the morning. When you start on your dreams in the morning, it will leave you happier throughout the day. As you grow older, you waste less time. It will force you to prioritize. The clue is to do more of the things you love and less of the things you like. Chasing your dreams isn’t all rosy and shit. The more you practice, the better you become. There is a lot of practice involved. Put quantity before quality. You have to learn 3 things about people. They won’t pay for what they can get for free. You will have to differentiate the product before they will pay. You have to weigh the long-term benefits of doing something for free. If there is a bigger gain from you not charging at speaking events, then don’t charge. Free pays dividends towards expertise. Doing stuff for free improves your exposure. Competition can be a big motivator but it is not a good measurement tool. If you feel you are better than your competitor, then you will get complacent. If you realize how much your opponent is better than you, you will get discouraged. Try not to measure your dream against someone else’s dream. Blog stats could be one potential measure. Your message must stay true to yourself. The best measure is the amount of work you have put in. This is the factor which you can control. Measure the number of days which you woke up early.

I love the title Quitter but still think that a core element holding this entire book together is a need to hustle. To push harder than the other person. To dream further. To work longer and faster. – Jon Acuff

Hustle is not hard. If you write your blog every day, at the end of the year you will have more readers than when you started. If you get up early and work on your dream two hours more than somebody else, your dream will progress faster. – Jon Acuff

The reality is that when you get busy doing the things that matter to you, you actually have more time to do the things you love and less time to do the things you like. – Jon Acuff

Learn to Be Successful at Success. You do not become an overnight celebrity. Do not misinterpret what success looked like for a dream. Success is the Bermuda Triangle of dreams. There are challenges associated with success too. Another problem is that we get arrogant. Overconfidence is scary. Do not let success kill your dream. Learn to define what is ‘enough’. You can send future emails to yourself. Write yourself a letter in the future. Success will often tell you that it is never enough and that you should strive even more. Define your enough. It is important not to burn out. You must always invest in relationships or they will die. Burn your dream bright but do not burnout. Please understand that the land of later is a myth. Kids do not believe in later. There will always be trade-offs. It is important to spend time with your family and kids too. Don’t turn your platform into a prison. Learn to have multi-generation dreams. Build a legacy that is bigger than individuals’ lives and actions. If you have a dream, share it with others. Do not take on opportunities which are not linked to your dream. Avoid saying yes to the wrong things.

Quit Your Day Job. I left my day job. My boss expected it. How do you know you’re really ready to leave? Learn to fill up this scorecard. 1) You have worked hard on your dream for more than a month/ a few months. Please understand that not everyone needs to quit their day job. The author had 6 reasons for quitting his day job. They are 1) He had somewhere to land. Next, the opportunity fit our opportunity filter. The author tested the dream before he quit. It is important to practice what you want to do with your life. I had a support network. We could afford to move. God seemed cool with our dream. It is important to establish some important ground rules. Share the rules and others hold you accountable. Make a list of risks that might appear after you leave your day job. Friendships might take long to form. In addition, you might be required to travel more. Money could be an issue too. You might need to pay rent for a home. We really can’t have two different versions of ourselves ‘work me’ and ‘life me’. To some extent, your work defines you. You think your job just funds the rest of your life. This cheapens the value of work. Some people think work is never meant to be fulfilling. There will always be hard and difficult moments at work. However, you have to do things you don’t necessarily enjoy at times. However, work can be fun sometimes. A menial task has meaning too.

You can’t spend 40 hours a week doing something and think it won’t impact you. You can’t spend half of your waking hours somewhere and think it doesn’t affect you. You can’t make a perfectly clean break between your life inside and outside work. – Jon Acuff

You can fake that you love your job for months, maybe even years, convincing everyone you work with that you care about the company, the business or the job. But your apathy for a job always comes out eventually. – Jon Acuff

If you quit your job without understanding why you’re quitting, you’ll just jump from job to job to job. You’ll become a serial quitter like I was. The things you didn’t like at the job before will show up in your next job. And the next. The common denominator in every bad job you’ve quit is you. – Jon Acuff


Quitter by Jon Acuff (Part 1)

Closing the Gap between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job

Don’t Quit Your Day Job. I hated my day job and the feelings of Monday mornings. I felt that my dreams were crushed. I had 8 jobs in 8 years. Many employees are also looking out for new jobs. The average tenure of a job is only 3.1 years for the younger generation. Now, we converted from stayers to leavers. We hate our jobs and only see work as a means to pay money to fund our lifestyle. We often feel that work is miserable and that it is possible to separate our work from our personality outside of work. Quitting your job is one of the worst things you can do. It sucks when you have a lousy boss and the only person he can manage is you. We always assume things will be rosy once we quit. All your financial responsibilities will creep up on you. Your wife will start arguing with you. You will get scolded if you watch too much TV. Quitting your jobs might throw your relationship into chaos. You can get to your dream job, but that doesn’t involve you leaving your day job immediately. When you don’t have a job, you don’t have a good bargaining tool to get what you want. If you have a day job, you can still reject shitty offers. The cost of raising kids is very high nowadays. I got to earn some cash speaking in front of a crowd. You lose leverage if you quit without a job. At the heart of a dream is change. People do not like change in general. Financial commitments are tight and inflexible. Stay true to your dream and do not quit your day job. People with jobs have more creative freedom than those without jobs. Once I started a diet, I realized that other aspects of my life was improving as well. Discipline begets discipline. Men need to work and need a project/ need progress at all times. Money issues are very sensitive. Humans need to work. We need to learn to be successful at work. Having a day job will stabilize your marriage.

The unfortunate truth is the escaping the land of bad bosses is just a fantasyland. The second you quit your bad boss you get dozens of new bosses. And some are more demanding than the one you just left. – Jon Acuff

You effectively lose that option when you quit. You lose that freedom when you jump without a net. You lose the power of the walkout or the shredded contract. – Jon Acuff

When you keep your day job, all opportunities become surplus propositions rather than deficit remedies. You only have to take the ones that suit your dream best. – Jon Acuff

Discipline begets discipline. When you step up to a challenge before you, your ramped-up resources rub off on other areas of your life. You wouldn’t think eating less ‘fat’ would impact how closely you monitor your family’s financial budget, but it’s all tied together. – Jon Acuff

Quitting a job doesn’t jump-start a dream because dreams take planning, purpose and progress to succeed. That stuff has to happen before you quit your day job. Often it should occur months and even years before. – Jon Acuff

Removing the ‘I’m’ From Your ‘But’. It feels sexy to quit. We usually label quitters as winners. This is the “I’m, but’ generation. This means that ‘We don’t know what we want, but this isn’t it’. People seem to know what they want to do without even trying that thing. There are ways to find out what your dream job is. For instance, one could work on personality tests. The truth is that most of us don’t know what our dream job is. So ask yourself, so what do you want to do? We often think that what we want to do is going to be a revelation. The author believes that it is more a process of recovery. Somehow, you lost it along the way. Everyday distractions are bad and divert us away from our dreams. Being busy is an excuse. Do not simply discount your dream. You will always meet people in your life who dismiss your dreams, who think that you are not good enough. Nothing can’t hurt you. Nothing is comfortable. Nothing is normal. We are embarrassed to share our big dreams. Don’t believe that you have no gifts in life and you have nothing. It is difficult to answer the question what do I want to do with my life because is a discovery question. Learn to look for hinge problems. Mercedes Benz redesigned the SLR range to appeal to the rich. They added a hinge to the ignition. You needed to open the cover and then press the ignition button with your thumb. It was like launching a missile. That made a tremendous difference to the car’s outlook and appeal. The lamination of your text makes it seem like you are a true published author. My dad also sent my book for publishing and that was great. My dad believed in me, that was one of my hinge moments too. However, most hinges are difficult to recover. Ask yourself the following questions to figure out hinge moments. 1) What do I love enough to do for free? 2) What do I do that causes time to feel different? 3) What do I enjoy doing regardless of the opinions of the people? 4) If only your life changed, would that be enough? 5) Are there any patterns in the things you like doing?

If you recognize that, if you admit that there is a chance that you are good, perhaps even great at something, you should feel a little uncomfortable. Because if your gift is not nothing, that means it is something. – Jon Acuff

A hinge moment occurs when you are planning to do something standard and normal, and then seemingly out of nowhere, a small detail usually hinges you in a different direction. – Jon Acuff

What Lies Between a Day Job and a Dream Job. Every dream has risk associated with it. When you stare at risk, you tend to make irrational decisions. We will now examine 3 risks associated with a dream. They are ‘The Magnifying Glass’. We blow things out of proportion. The next is ‘The Kaleidoscope’. Your dream is also connected to every aspect of your life. This is basically overthinking and thinking of all the worst case scenarios. The last fear is ‘The Telescope’. This is the best as you view from a safe distance and see the big picture. Risk is holding us back from pursuing our dream. Perfection is a real problem. This is because it tends to make you procrastinate and not do anything. Get organized and get things in motion. Perfect is not possible. This does not mean you should write half-hearted work. It is still better to pursue your dreams rather than leave it not pursued. Once you decide, just do it. We often like to say I could be so-and-so if I really wanted to. This leads to apathy. We ask ourselves ‘What if I try and I fail and it turns out I’m not really a writer?’ Apathy is about being a fake somebody. The chance of you failing to get your dream job and then rotting away and going to waste are extremely slim. If you do not attempt your dreams, you fail 100% of the time. We often say that we are too busy to pursue our dreams. However, most of us are also busy. However, everyone can set aside time for time management. Instead of time, learn to focus on the amount of tasks at hand. Financial foolishness is different from being committed to your dream. Do not take drastic measures. Money can be a huge obstacle if you are not careful. I hate the words ‘by now’. We say this when it is too late to pursue our dream. What if I did the wrong thing? Your past career can still teach you valuable lessons. Do not keep saying things like ‘It would be easier if …’ For instance, people say ‘It would be easier if I didn’t have a full-time job’. Having a lot of money will not save your life. Do not blame your kids, marriage for not being able to pursue your dreams. This is simply outrageous.

90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head. – Jon Acuff

Money will become a high-walled border around your dream if you don’t control it. It will limit what you can do and when you can do it, like a barbed-wire fence at a prison. If you can control it though, money can be a strong, stable place to jump from. – Jon Acuff

I know sometimes it’s scary to think that you might do the wrong thing. But let me assure you, nothing you do will be wasted. Every decision you make, every path you take, has the ability to contribute something you need to succeed at your dream. – Jon Acuff

We always assume that more free time will equal more productivity but often that isn’t true. I personally tend to get more done when I am busy. – Jon Acuff


Timekeepers by Simon Garfield (Part 2)

Roger Bannister Goes Round and Round. He was the first man who ran a sub-four-minute mile. His was an outstanding and timeless run. I had the honour to meet him. He trained 2 years for that moment. Everyone was inspired by his story. Beating the 4 min mark was psychological too. Later, many other people could beat the mark. In 1999, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj ran 3:43. Better nutrition and training has improved the timing. Limits are surpassed year after year and it is outstanding prove of the human condition. Later, his running shoes were auctioned off for sale. It fetched over 266 thousand pounds. After track, he devoted himself to medicine. He worked on nerves and brain disorders. He also studied Parkinson’s disease. Roger was proud of his record as it inspired younger people to think that nothing was impossible. Running and timing had the ability to inspire others.

Vietnam. Napalm. Girl. The photo of the Vietnam Napalm Girl is famous. It happened on 8 June 1972. The photographer captured the napalm from the plane. The photographer accomplished an injured girl to the hospital. Later, she died. Some of the photos captured were iconic as it captured the pain of those who were suffering. However, as she was naked, some people found it offensive. The image reminded people of the horrors of war and that the Vietnam War needed to end soon. Nick Ut was the photographer. Everyone gathered to celebrate the technological advance for the machinery and the development of the camera. Leica was the brand of his camera. The Leica story shows that it is important for a photographer to be at the right place at the right time in the first place. Henri Cartier-Bresson used his Leica and treated like his weapon, the reflex of the shutter like the reflex of a gun.

Horology Part 2: How to Sell the Time. I bought a Timex for 60 bucks. It was a quartz and had no other functions. I did not need other features like illuminated features etc. Blame it on the watches’ marketing departments. Advertisements are very attractive and catch readers’ attention. These advertisements overreach to try to appeal to us. Harry Winston Opus 3 took 2 years just to form a prototype. It was a masterpiece that costs $1 million pounds. People buy watches because you have the chance to wear something historic. For instance, your watch is made from a dinosaur bone. Bremont is a British company. Advertisements often like to play on heritage. Product placement is really important nowadays. Baselworld is the biggest watch fair in town. Accuracy on your wrist is not so important as you have your cell phone with you. Baselworld is filled with jubilation and wealth. You can express your personality from the watch you wear. The wristwatch is a sign that humans have mastered the time. It was a magnificent feat of engineering. Watches have ambassadors, like Jose Mourinho. I went to the Baselworld just to look at the marketing, and not buy anything as I couldn’t afford them. Most of the watches are set to 10:10 as it makes the watch appear to be smiling. The key setting is 10.09:36. Alternatively, one could set the time at 8:19. Watch demand came down in 2014 and it hurt the Swiss watch industry. Quartz watches have been present since the 1920s. The Swiss managed to fight the quartz crisis in the 1970s and 1980s by producing the Swatch, which was colourful etc. Patek Philippe has great workmanship and tradition. You never actually own one, you merely look after it for the next generation. It was a very famous line of marketing. It was a perfect line of marketing. The man who created it was Tim Delaney. The author spoke to Delaney. Patek wasn’t owned by the conglomerates, but was still family-owned. Delaney also analysed why certain previous campaigns worked and why some didn’t. Delaney wears an Aquanaut. To him, only the Patek campaigns have been outstanding. Omega’s Speedmaster went to the Moon and was NASA’s timekeeper of choice. It was the Moonwatch and that was a hugely attractive USP. There are many variants of the Speedmaster. Omega is under the Swatch Group.

What began as a pendulum and evolved into an escapement has now become a tiny, light and elegant contraption to regulate a frantic world. – Simon Garfield

More significantly, why does anyone living in the 21st century ever need to buy another watch of any sort ever again? – Simon Garfield

I bought a watch, and so will millions of others, purely because of marketing: we are sold the need to keep and display time at every turn, and the more we don’t need to buy a watch, the more pervasive the sell. – Simon Garfield

Advertisements tell principally of wonder and adventure, often in the form of humankind against the elements or humankind achieving ultimate goals – a watch to wear when competing in the America’s Cup, a timepiece to wear when you’ve won 7 Grand Slams. – Simon Garfield

Because some men want jangly stuff to define their status, and have done since the time of Henry VIII. Suited and moneyed men don’t get away with wearing much jewellery these days, not least when they are posing up mountain and beneath lake, so a watch solves all desires and expectations. – Simon Garfield

Tradition and craftsmanship still counted for a lot in the pixelated world; wearing a mechanical watch simply makes us more human, and that is something we may always like to feel. – Simon Garfield

Time Tactics that Work. The Berry Season. I do not have time to read all the self-improvement books. There are many books to help with time management. Most books suggest the same thing, which is to save mornings for real work, stop multi-tasking, do one thing well etc. Some argue against making to-do lists. One should keep a well maintained and rigorous calendar. Being busy makes us feel important. Delegation is important and it helps you save time. Delegation means less stress and negative emotions on yourself. Some tactics are to turn off social media and don’t go out in the evenings. Schedule ‘me time’. You can also learn on developing a holistic work-life balance in your life. Remember that the berry season is short. Divide your time into weekly time grids. Strike off a grid when you do something. Most people exercise flexibility in their daily life. Working hours might not an indication of productivity. White collar workers tend to inflate their hours in order to compete with the guy next door. Learn to adapt the lean email simple system. Stephen Covey emphasizes on time management. Divide your tasks into the following: 1) urgent and important; 2) not urgent but important; 3) urgent and not important; 4) not urgent and not important. Urgent doesn’t mean important. Learn to focus on Quadrant II. The key is to do important things first. Arnold Bennett’s guidance was original and insightful. Sleep is for slackers and for those who are bored. He suggested poetry was a good way to fill time. Respect your daily schedule. Do not be enslaved by your schedule though. Do not be a prig. Thoreau wrote Walden, a book about living simply. It was a re-think of the soul. Can things be rushed? Is there such a thing as a quick fix to time management problems? You must have time for the long haul. Split things into smaller parts.

The supply of time is truly a daily miracle. An affair genuinely astonish when one examines it. You wake up in the morning and lo! Your purse is magically filled with 24 hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the Universe of your life. – Arnold Bennett

Slowing Down the World. A Place where Time Stands Still. Prince Charles had a plan for the community. The place was big. It was called Poundbury. It combined an English lifestyle with the Internet age. It was a novel place and looked like a dream. It was a new urban movement. There were many facilities and amenities around. Poundbury was self-contained and because could take life at a slower pace. To me, it is still an admirable place. However, the purists still criticize the place. Living them forces you to re-think about life and practise mindfulness. It is way of living which is potentially more meaningful. The goal is care and patience. Slow living could also be more environmentally friendly and help to save the planet. Chez Panisse is a restaurant which is respectful to the French. Slow food was about eating with integrity. It is traditional food. He encouraged people to savour their food. The world has been infested by the virus of fast life. People had lost pleasure from dining at the table. Rushed and bland food could have the effects of insulting a culture. Along with fast food comes a lot of environmental concerns. One important factor of food is good communication. The issue with modern people is that they are in a hurry. Fast food contains a lot of sugar and salt. Tech is now playing a bigger part in food. Rhinehart invented Soylent, which is a food replacement drink. It took just 10 seconds to drink. It didn’t taste too bad as well. The problem was that there was no variety in taste. The new food was utility over pleasure. Soylent is full of different vitamins and minerals. It can free up time because it can be consumed really quickly. The popularity for Soylent appears to be increasing.

Slow living is less of a style and more of a deeply personal mentality… Slow living isn’t about determining how little we can live with – it’s about working out what we can’t live without. – Nathan Williams

Using Soylent as a resource means that you can take the time you would normally spend preparing, eating and cleaning up after meals, and put that time into other areas of your life. Soylent gives you the freedom to live life the way you want to live. – Soylent advertisement

Epilogue. Humility Watch. I am going to buy a watch made in 1957 which has a rich history. The watch loses 72 seconds a day. You can measure the accuracy using the multifunction timegrapher. I bought a vintage watch. There is such a thing as ‘the humility watch’ and the ‘stress watch’. There is also the discretion watch and other type of interesting watches available. It would be cool to have a watch without a minute hand but only an hour hand.

Most technologies that are 10 years old look incredibly outdated, so that if I use a phone from 10 years ago it’s almost a provocation, and it makes me look massively eccentric. But you’re wearing your wristwatch from the 1950s and it doesn’t seem extraordinary. – Simon Garfield

With watches, you can weave in a lot of interesting stories and remap the concepts of how we think about time. – Simon Garfield