KAIZEN CH.81 - Why You Should Share Your Story (even if you're just average)

Thoughts on sharing your story, intentionality and writing

Hey friend 👋,

Welcome to the 81st edition of the Kaizen Newsletter ⛩, a weekly newsletter where I share my thoughts, new ideas I learn and make weird connections between self-improvement, productivity, product, tech, sports, anime.

Nothing much to announce this week, except that I'm now halfway through the Ship30for30 challenge! So let's get straight to the newsletter.

(if you got referred to this page by a friend or are simply visiting you can subscribe here👇)

At the beginning of the year, I received a DM that said (and I'm paraphrasing): "I'd like to write about my personal stories, but I'm afraid that nobody would be interested because I'm just an average dude and I don't have any special qualities. Why would people read my stuff?"

And this is my response (but a bit more polished):

I'm honestly just an average dude as well.

But even if I'm just average, there's one thing that nobody can take away from me that makes me unique. And that's my personal experiences.\

It's true that I won't be able to share how to build a 100M dollar company, but what I can share are the lessons that I learned.

And the reason why people love personal stories is that they're relatable. Everyone has had their heart-broken at least once. Everyone has failed at something.

Storytelling is not about a roller-coaster ride of excitement. It's about bridging the gap between you and another by creating a space of authenticity, vulnerability, and universal truth. - Matthew Dicks

So if you want to write about personal growth and share your stories, then use your “averageness” to make them super relatable.

I feel that the best way to write is to write about the stuff that you find interesting. Not what you think others will like.

And if you’re tired of wanting to be average, well you can definitely change that also, but that’s for another story.

🤔 Thoughts

🧠 Thoughts on Intentionality

What's bad about social media is that it created this habit of doom-scrolling. This means whenever you're on Instagram/FB/Twitter/TikTok it becomes very easy to just scroll for the sake of it and not even because you enjoy it. And it becomes almost like an automated response.

To counter it, there has been this movement pushed by Anne-Laure Le Cunff called mindful productivity.

Mindful productivity can be defined as being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, in conjunction with managing your mental and emotional states. - Anne-Laure

This is also why she also makes the distinction between note-taking and note-making.

The big difference is that you have to be more intentional when making notes. It takes more time because you deliberately re-word the author’s ideas using your words. But you’re rewarded in the end because these ideas are then better internalized than if you would just be doing note-taking, which has less thoughtful meaning.

Another popular internet writer, Nat Eliason, has realized the same thing and recently discussed it through his article called Intentional Laptoping. In it, he realizes that unless he has a clear reason for why he's using his laptop, he'll often create unnecessary work for himself.

I'll try new productivity apps I don't need. I'll respond to emails I could have ignored. I'll whittle away at projects that aren't at the top of my most-important-work list. - Nat Eliason

More and more people are realizing how distracting and unproductive social media has become and I believe that adding intentionality and meaning to your actions is a good way to counter it.

✍️ Thoughts on Writing

Morgan Housel, author of the Psychology of Money, recently wrote an article on his thoughts on writing. Here are some of my favourites as well as some quick commentary on each:

You have five seconds to get people’s attention.

That's why it's so important to spend time on having a good title and a good hook.

Difficulty is a quality signal, and writer’s block usually indicates more about your ideas than your writing.

Writer's block doesn't mean that your writing is bad, it just means that your ideas aren't good enough to be written about. This means that you either have to consume more info to make your ideas better or maybe they just haven't been properly internalized (see below).

Good ideas can’t be scheduled. They come randomly, usually after you read something that connects the dots to an unrelated thing.

This is the reason why most of your good ideas come from when you're not doing anything (ex: doing the dishes or when you're taking a shower). You want to grapple with your ideas, but then take a break for the ideas to be properly internalized.

No one wants a lecture. Everyone wants a story.

If content is king, then story is queen. Ideally, you want to have both to really attract the reader.

Read More

🐦 Tweets

I think it’s the same for passion. You become passionate because you’ve dedicated a certain amount of time to something and became good at it.

LOVE this energy. Don’t be afraid to shoot yo shot 🏀.

Now THIS is how you apply for a job. The production is crazy and the easter eggs are amazing. Would not be surprised if he gets to work for Mr. Beast in the near future.

🙏 Shoutout

Shoutout to Austin for the amazing convo we had! Talked about all things productivity, copywriting and ship30for30.

👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

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See ya next Tuesday,

Alexander ✌️