The Kaizen Newsletter #43 (28/04/2020): Stop doing things for clout

Started working on an article, but wasn’t feeling it, so switched it up last minute. This is actually a short reminder to myself, but I hope that at least one of you gets something out of it. And if not, hey at least I did 🤷‍♂️.

A few years ago, I did an exercise with my life coach where we had to list out three values that really describe the person you aspire to be. The values that I chose for myself were kaizen (to always improve), to always be respectful and to always remain humble.

But, if I were honest with myself, I’d actually say that I’m not that humble. I try to be as humble as possible and portray myself as a humble person, but deep down, I know that I truly want to be successful and somewhat famous (in a smaller circle).

It’s a weird feeling because I know that it’s not what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to enjoy the process and grind and hustle.

But, I’ve come to the realization that no matter how hard I try to convince myself, it’s pretty useless to go against what I truly want and need to accept who I am.

Although I’ve come to peace with who I am as a person - being this way obviously brings some baggage.

This causes me to be impatient and wanting to have results RIGHT AWAY. I don’t actually seek to enjoy the process and want to find quick ways to get to the end so that I can get the recognition.

Even when I’m thinking about new projects, new ideas or new articles to write - I tend to think “Will this be liked by x, y, or z important person?” instead of “Will I enjoy doing this?”

This becomes bad because if I’m doing something solely for the results, then I’m never actually going to start doing it because I wouldn’t want to put all the effort it would take to get me there. This then brings me to the same negative cycle over and over again and I will never be happy.

That’s why I should remind myself to concentrate on doing things that I inherently enjoy doing and stop thinking of how this next thing will make me rich and famous.

And by actually doing things that I enjoy doing it and posting it in public again, and again, and again, will I eventually be able to get the “fame” or “recognition” that I actually want.

The two things that I really enjoy doing write now is just writing my own thoughts (kinda like I just did now) and playing around with Figma - so that’s what I have to remind myself to do whenever my next million-dollar idea or my next million follower tweet pops up in my head.

Now, on to the newsletter.

Weekly Favourites

📃 Article

  • Game Design, Not Gamification, for Great Products - Although I'm not a big gamer, I hugely believe in using game design to apply it to your products. But when people think of game design, they usually think of gamification - but that's not exactly it. The reason why gamification of a product (ex: adding points, levels, trophies, and badges) doesn't work is that it creates extrinsic motivation for the user and long-term, the user will just get bored and won't be motivated to use your product anymore. The reason why you want to rely on game design is to be able to change their intrinsic (internal) motivation which will lead them to start performing an action because the user finds it inherently satisfying and interesting. In this article, Rahul Vohra, founder of Superhuman, goes into detail about this and goes in-depth on what are the principles of game design and how you can apply them to your product.

  • Who is David Dobrik? - I'll admit, that I only discovered David Dobrik thanks to Nancy and initially didn't even like his videos that much, but over time, started to like them more and more and would consider myself a "fan". What I found the most interesting from this article is how David did things that weren't recommended or weren't popular to do at the time such as making your video less than 10 minutes (if your video is >10 min then you can monetize through ads) and instead opted for videos of 4 minutes and 20 seconds (yes for 420). My favourite quote from the article was this one that explains exactly why his vlogs are so successful.

Think of it like Friends, but for vloggers. Essentially, Dobrik created the first sitcom-vlog. There are musical transitions, a returning cast of characters that drive the story forward, and Dobrik’s laughter acts as a laugh track for viewers. We know when to laugh because Dobrik does, and it all has to do with his friends’ antics.

🗞 Newsletters

  • Blake Robbin's Newsletter - If you enjoyed the above article on David Dobrik, I'd highly recommend subscribing to Blake's newsletter as well. You might also enjoy this write-up on Mr.Beast that he did (I haven't read it yet though). on Twitter, he usually talks about content creators, the future of media and gaming.

🐦 Tweets

  • David Perell gives really solid advice on writing and this is another one of them.

  • I think anyone in tech would enjoy this tweet 😂

  • Naval on good habits to form

  • Really good reminder that you don't actually have to agree with everything people say to like them

🎧 Music

Playlists

  • Haikyuu!! OST - Best of Soundtrack - I'll be honest and say the main reason why I'm not listening to as many new songs/albums is because I've been playing this on repeat (yes, I might be addicted). Honestly, even if you don't watch the anime, it's still a pretty good soundtrack to have in the background while working. 12/10 would recommend.

Songs

🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to Nancy for reviewing and correcting 😅 my writing during the weekend. I usually ask for her input on stuff that I write since she has way better writing skills than I do.


👋 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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If you see any cool articles, links, tweets, stories or podcasts that you think are interesting, feel free to share as well at alex@alexhughsam.com