Word of the Week

Fungible

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Ted Cruz and others used ‘fungible’ this week when talking about the money that was returned to Iran during the Obama administration. Someone asked Cruz whether he could prove that the money returned to Iran was used for terrorism and he said money’s fungible. Since cash goes into one pot that’s then used for various expenses no one can say this particular cash paid for this particular expense. It’s part of the total funds and some of those funds were used to fund terrorism.

Scott Adams praised Cruz for his answer this week, though he thought the word wasn’t used accurately.

Loserthink

loserthink

Dilbert creator, Scott Adam’s latest book Loserthink: How Untrained Brains are Ruining America, points out many of the irrational ways people think and shows us out of our muddle into the light of clear thinking. After you read Loserthink, with some disciple and practice you see when you fall back into the murk of confirmation bias, mind-reading, overly emotional thinking, couch lock or arrogance. By learning to think more like a leader, entrepreneur, historian and other experts, their methods will help you examine evidence and analyze it to think more effectively.

Adams writes with wit and includes plenty of examples from his own life. He humbly admits to having made every mistake in the book.

The book’s a fast read, but one I’ll return to as I check on my progress.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I loved the Joffrey Ballet’s new version of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. The classic music still plays in my head and I still envision the brilliant sets of 1892 Chicago and the World’s Fair. I’d love to go back next year.

In my head I’m also hearing Irish accents as I’m watching the sitcom Derry Girls, which is set in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.”  Who’d expect someone to set a hilarious comedy in a place that’s beset with bombings and violence? Yet Lisa McGee has done just that.

There is a lot of swearing, but if you can get past that, you’ll be treated to a fast-paced lampoon of teenage Catholic girls’ in 1990’s Londonderry.

I started working for the Census helping to recruit 1000 workers for this part of the county. Across the country, they’ll need 1,000,000 people to help finish the census. Something like 25% of people don’t complete the census so the government sends people out into the field to get everyone to finish it. My current position entails getting people to apply at 2020census.gov/jobs .

I’d also share the recipes I got at the Holiday Appetizer program at my library. Chef and instructor Susan Maddox returned with four recipes, which I’ll share soon.

I’ve started reading Scott Adams’ newest book Loserthink, which helps readers understand how slovenly thinking keeps you from seeing things clearly. We all have pet ways of looking at ideas or situations and some of those should be scrapped.

 

Meeting the President

Guess who met the President on Thursday.

Yep, Scott Adams and in this video he shares his narrative of the experience with no details as far as the content of their talk.

If you’re pressed for time, you just need to see the first half of this. Later, Adams answers questions and reiterates what was first said.

Scott Adams’ Analysis

A must-see video about how the world is changing. Better than Meet the Press or Face the Nation.

If you read Adams’ book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter you’ll understand his thinking even more.

How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 3.09.01 PMScott Adams’ book How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life feels like a friendly mentor sharing tips for success and life experiences. The tone is conversational and the content wise and helpful.

Adams describes how he formed habits that aided his success. He didn’t grow up with parents who had stellar professional careers. In fact, no one in his hometown did. He didn’t have a checklist of goals for year 5, 10, 15. Actually, Adams asserts that “goals are for losers.” Instead, he advocates systems. When you have a goal, most of the time you’re dissatisfied as you’re not there yet. For a short time you glory in achieving a goal or are bummed about failing. Then you’ll probably find a new goal and will return to feeling insufficient. Most of the time, you sure aren’t riding high.

With systems, like being active or learning as much as one can, most of the time you’re in the zone you want to be in. Eventually, this sort of broader challenge will result in the success a goal promises, but along the way, it’s easier to stay positive.

Adams did not have an easy way to the top. No nepotism was available and he wasn’t stellar at any of his corporate jobs. In fact, he admits, he isn’t an excellent artist or masterful writer, but he is good enough. He advises acquiring as many skills as you can because the more skills you have that put you in the competent range, the better. (You need to be able to do these things in a job, but you don’t have to be among the 1% of those in your field.)

I found Adams’ suggestions made sense and are something I’ll apply. Also, I thought the chapters where he chronicles how he had a rare voice condition that made conversation impossible and thereby hurt his speech-giving career, authentic and helpful as far as coping and searching for a solution to a problem that experts say has none was illustrative and heroic.

The book addresses diet and fitness as well as career success. If you’ve got no energy or are sick are you really that successful? Adams is clear that he’s not a doctor or dietician and that his approach to systems rather than goals worked for him. He doesn’t tell you what you should eat or what activities you need to do. Instead he offers new ways of thinking about your daily diet and fitness routines.

Whether you’re starting out or midway through your career, Scott Adam’s How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life is worth a read.