Thursday, 5 July 2012

Its the little things in life...

I have never been much of a materalistic person, I usually only want just enough to get by. To me, its the little things in life that mean a lot, such as your partner telling you everyday that they love you.

Love alone is one of the best presents you can get and its priceless! Worth infinity times more than any latest apple venture, latest designer dress or a car etc. These things don't matter. They can make life easier in some respects I will agree.

I was chatting with my mum a few nights ago now and we were just discussing how when she was my age around 35 years ago, she wore her work clothes to her nights out, she only had one pair of tights and if it ripped she had to buy a new pair a cut the leg off the new pair to make them last longer. And I was thinking to myself in todays society, people my age would never dream being caught dead on a night out wearing there work stuff!! But the thing we noticed as we were chatting, is yes "back in the day" they had very little in the way of possessions but they were alot happier, they didn't need these things cause everyone was pretty much in the same boat. Whereas today we have alot more of this meaningless stuff, which supposedly makes us happy but the truth is, I don't think it really does. Do you? Some are in constant competition with each other, who has the best clothes? who has the fanciest car? nicest house?

But in reality.... WHO CARES!

Its like all of these reality tv programmes, what is the point in them? Why watch others living there day to day lives, you should be out there living yours! Rather than sat on your arse watching some stranger live there life! I suppose apart of me finds it slightly creepy how obsessed people can become with these programmes. You only live once, so live your life, stop living life through someone else!

Experiences in life are worth living for! Get out there! Do things you have never tried before! Conquer your fears do something that scares the pants off you, but you will feel so proud once you have done it! Go swimming with sharks, go rock climbing, go paragliding and go on roller coasters as life is like one, it has its ups and downs but you have to make the most of it whilst your still here. Do not live to regret.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Made to Stick

I have also finished reading the book "Made to Stick" written by two brothers Chip and Dan Heath. This book takes you through a journey helping you to discover what makes ideas "Sticky".
It covers at great length the  6 principles of stickiness (SUCCES):
  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories
Once you achieve as many of these principles as you can, your idea might become sticky or stickier than it would of been if you did not apply them.
It comes across very clear in the book that simplicity to an idea is important you need to "find the core" as they say, strip the idea down completely.

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away."

Also every designer has found that in some point or another it is hard to get people to jump on your idea bandwagon:

"If we're trying to persuade a sceptical audience to believe a new message to believe a new message, the reality is we are fighting an uphill battle against a lifetime of personal learning and social relationships."

So how do we change this well...

"A reliable way of making people care is by invoking self interest."

I feel this statement speaks the truth in bucket loads given that most people only care about something if it is going to benefit them in some form or another, else they may think what's the point?

In order to do so, you will have to empower peoples desires (Maslows Pyramid):
    • Transcendence
    • Self Actualization
    • Aesthetic
    • Learning
    • Esteem
    • Belonging
    • Security
    • Physical
As many people will ask themselves in life, What's in it for me? (WIIFY) Basically it helps to fight your case if you are able to tick one or more of these boxes.
You may recognise this list from Maslows Pyramid however, research suggest:

"the hierarchial aspect of Maslow's theory is bogus-people pursue all of these needs simultaneously."

Many people try to bamboozle us with facts and stats to get us onside but does that really get through to us? Are we not going to forget all about that within a short time frame?

"Statistics are rarely meaningful, and of themselves statistics will and should almost always be used to illustrate a relationship. Its more important for people to remember the relationship rather than the number."

An interesting point is that once an idea has become "sticky" you cannot make it "unsticky" apart from trying to come up with another idea that is stickier than the last.
For example McDonald's fought off rumours about them putting earthworms into their burgers.
In 1978 they tried to put an end to the rumour by saying that this idea was "completely unfounded and unsubstantiated." Ask yourself, what idea would still stick in the minds of the public more? Of course it was still about the earthworms.
"By 1992, Ray Kroc, McDonald's most famous CEO, had come up with a better approach. He said, "We couldn't afford to grind worms into meat. Hamburgers cost a dollar and a half a pound and night time crawlers cost six dollars!"
Such a good example of fighting an already "sticky" concept with an even "stickier" one!

There are many insights in this book and examples of what they are talking about working when put into practise. Which makes what they are saying all the more credible advice, worth following.

I feel I have gained a lot out of reading this book a thoroughly and would recommend it to others who wish there concepts would stick.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Just completed reading the enlighting parable "Who Moved My Cheese?" written by DR Spencer Johnson.
Its an uplifting tale containing four protagonists who live in a maze who are always on the lookout for cheese to nourish them and make them feel happy.

"Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life- whether its a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health or spirtitual peace of mind"

The truths that are highlighted throughout this parable is all about how we deal with change in our lives:

  • Change Happens
  • Anticipate Change
  • Monitor Change
  • Adapt to Change Quickly
  • Change
  • Enjoy Change
  • Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again

Most of us, especially in adulthood when alot of people hate the concept of change. But that is where we are going wrong, instead of thinking of change as this big scarey, uncertain thing, we should try and embrace it.