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Month: July 2015

good marketing gives, bad marketing steals and the shortcuts are evil

Some years ago I was very skeptical of marketing and to some extent I still am.
But after reading Ogilvy “On Advertising” I discovered the many faces of marketing, the good one and the bad one.

Given the fact that the practical goal of marketing is to increase revenue (well, usually), it’s easy as a marketer to choose a shortcut that will boost the revenue in the short term.
Many people in the world do this and I don’t believe it’s only because of marketing.

The “shortcut” is something we see very often, think of politics.
It’s easy to say that we will stop doing war, we will lower taxes and give 1000$ to each unemployed.
Time will then come and show how this claim was impossible to realize in the given time.
Promotions like this are the same thing: shortcuts.

Shortcuts are at the essence of bad marketing and, if I think more widely, to bad behavior in general.
Shortcuts when used in conjunction with relationships might lead to “saying things without explaining”, leading to misinterpretation.
Shortcuts when used in any work might produce results, yes, but might not be sustainable in the long term.

I know…. not every shortcut is necessarily bad, but a shortcut is, by definition, “A means of saving time and effort”.
And while I recognize that saying “Shortcuts are evil” is an over-generalization, I truly believe that we are too much accustomed to bad marketing that we believe shortcuts are a necessary evil.

They are not, shortcuts often deprive us from the joy of learning and improving because you don’t allow learning do go deep into your thinking, you don’t materialize your learning into some actual thing you can apply.
You only know the shortcut, not the general rule.

Getting back to the topic of marketing, good marketing, yesterday I was pleased to see the video ad for google translate .
This is good marketing, it enlighten you, it gives you power, it shows you how you can do more and be more, removing the blocks you have in life.

triple backups and security

The more the internet is in my life, the more I feel giving control to the web might create some unforeseeable issue in the future.

Much like the issue behind the stealing of the “n” username in twitter, I feel like we can lose it all in a glimpse.
All of our web identity, code, power.
Just one click and it’s destroyed.

I am not so naïve to think that I can secure myself from this threats, but still I need some backup.
That’s why lately I started using the Two Factor auth for the most important parts of my “web-life”. It’s a great way to secure my identity.
But there’s a lot that can be improved since I could lost the access with one deletion.

To fix this, I decided to triple backup the code in 3 secure system.
I feel a bit paranoid, but since I once got locked out, I hope it will save my from incurring into the same issue twice 🙂

no complain day

There should really be a “No complain day”.
A day we’re not allowed to complain in any way( not even in our minds ).

What could be done in that day, how would your perception of the world shift?

No complaining doesn’t mean you shouldn’t state your opinion, it means to clear up ego and the information overload that ego adds to the conversation.

When you complain, you add useless information (that we, as human, think it’s really important information although it’s not), you add judgement, you add prejudice.

It’s hard to remove ego. I find myself thinking a lot about that. I am full of ego, full of useless information, and although I can’t call myself a “person who complains a lot”, I know that there’s lot to do, to learn, to improve.

No complain day might just be that: a start toward a better you, a better me, a better world.

you don’t need to say that you’re great

In the past I was sure that reinforce the value that we feel we have was a good idea.
Writing that we are good, that I am so good doing this or that, bla bla bla, could improve your self-esteem.

That’s right, and it’s usually well-documentent. You can find plenty of books that will give you this advice, like tricking your mind that you’re worth it.
And they work.

Right now, though, I don’t feel like they are a solution to the problem, or at least the countereffects might just grey-out all the benefits.

The main issue I have discovered with this approach is that the reinforcement doesn’t happen to let you grow in some cases.
In some cases you continue to trick yourself and this habit is not intended.
The trick yourself moment should disappear while letting a more honest impression of yourself outgrow it.

The thing is: when you truly go beyond this you don’t care and this is not something you can learn from the trick-yourself attitude.

Tricking yourself into giving you a higher value will always revolve around yourself, your ego, your personality.
While this is great, and effective, in the short term it’s not the same in the long term.

How this will work out in the long term depends on your character, on your unexpected life events and so on.
So, if I were to give myself an advice on learning how to improve self-esteem, trust in myself, and learn more, it would be:

_I thought it was important to value myself, but now I don’t care, and it’s way better. Choose to be yourself honestly, live through your value and respect them no matter what._
_This will make the difference in your life_

That’s it.
I now realize it’s not important to reinforce yourself. It might be needed, but it’s much more worth it to live through values, through ideals and through honesty.
If we are guided by great ideals, our value is untouched as long as we are true to ourselves.

we all have the impostor syndrome (and it sucks)

If you don’t know what the impostor syndrome is, well, check it out on wikipedia, but in any case the Impostor syndrome can be summarized by the fact that you can’t internalize accomplishment.

“I am not worthy of this” Is probably the phrase your mind uses.

As always, shit happens, and we feel impostor even though we fought for this accomplishment, even if you sacrificed for this accomplishment.

Lately I rediscovered this sensation, to have stole something that shouldn’t belong to me.
I then started writing this article, as I always do, trying to put on “paper” my thoughts.
One thing that was clear after the few lines is that I sacrificed, I fought.
I can recall all the items defining the base of this result that I know have, and all the effects, positive and negative.

This hasn’t removed the impostor syndrome from my mind, I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but it led me to understand that we have some tools up our sleeve that we can use, and recalling the things we sacrificed is one of them.

Not every success come easy.
Life is beautifully complex and so are its results.
Therefore you can find examples of the difficulties you found down the road to your success, you can list them.

That list will be your passport to the so called freedom from this syndrome.
It will be a small start, but the fact that you can prove to yourself that you’re innocent is one of the greatest gifts you could ever have from yourself.
Accept it.

mindfulness and the joy of living

I often think about the “things we do too fast”.
Like eating for example.

How many times did I ate something without tasting it? Too fast to understand its flavour, too fast to perceive its consistency?
Too many.
Two days ago the same thing happened to one of my friends and yesterday while I was preparing dinner, I was strangely present.
My mind didn’t have many thoughts and I was just enjoying the slow progression of actions of preparing dinner.

It was beautiful, but there wasn’t any specific beauty to it.
That clearness of thought, that concentration was the beauty itself.

So, today I realized that many things we experience in life might seem bad or not-worth-it just because our behavior towards them is uninterested.

We don’t pay attention, we move too fast to grasp the essence of every action we do.
It is strange, almost foolish, to think that in such small actions like cooking, reading, moving around the house or whatever you have in mind, is hidden some kind of happiness.
But, nonetheless, I must admit that it’s there, and until you experience this it’s impossible to explain.

This is why I think meditation and mindfulness are so important.

cheap or durable?

The more time it passes the more I’m inclined to buy “durable” things.
From clothing, to computer devices I started to see the benefits of something that will endure the test of time and will create less disposal and use less space.

I don’t think buying cheap things is bad, I still buy them in many cases, but I came to realize the value of “investing into good things”.
While the cheap things might seem convenient, they trick you into buying more and more and more, making your closet full of things you might wear once a year.

To me, this is not good. I realized I didn’t need that many things, and gave them away.
So, all in all, I believe we should always seek something that will last in every part of our life.

If you think about it, you can compare this also to relationship.
A long lasting relationship is surely different from a short one, it can let you grow in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Although it doesn’t make your closet empty 🙂

follow your dream

Life will change you, people will change you.
The only way you can stay true to yourself is not by trying to be a static character, but to learn and dive into these unsafe waters.

To do that you must follow your dream.

Yesterday I went talking with a person who reminded what the “follow your dream” was about.
It was not about ego, it was about trusting my gut.
My gut seemed to have figured it all, but I couldn’t follow it because I felt unsure.

She helped me realize what was it all along, the value in following our dreams.

fighting, hating, and the energy you lose

We all need energy, to move, to talk, to sleep.

We need it to ensure that our relationship are healthy, and although we know this, we tend to dissipate our energy from time to time.
Hating, fighting, etc.

Every time you hate or start a harsh discussion, you  lose energy, you lose control, you lose some good part of you.
This energy won’t come back to you instantly, but after hours or days or even weeks depending on how big was the discussion.

Try it, or just remember the last time you were hating.

We are tricked into this game.
We think it’s our right to protect what we think.
What we don’t think about is that we can express in other ways, using other words, for example.

We think that we are right.
What we don’t think about is that we might just be wrong.

We think it’s good, because sometimes you have to shake the foundation.
What we don’t think about is that, aside from bringing a negative emotion into other beings, that negative emotion starts being “normal” in our mind.
There are no controlled negative emotions, but your body and mind can start considering them “normal”, and therefore the more time it passes, the more difficult unwinding will be.

We think many things, I surely do.
Now, more than ever, I got to the point where I’m sure about one thing:
Negative emotions, expressions, reaction, are not an healthy thing and shouldn’t ever be considered good or even needed.

They are bad, as bad as their name.
They are viral.
They are contagious and we still don’t have a 100% working cure.

We should share the love, try to learn and listen from others, try to understand other’s point of view, try to be compassionate.
We should change the world with our smile, not with our rage, engaging with our friend and the people we meet every day with a deep desire to understand, to not let it out any bad emotion.

Not by controlling the good emotion, but by cultivating them, by threat them as special beings that could die anytime.
We shall be understanding and open, we shall be more human than this.

streaks and this blog

This blog started on december 28, 2014, mostly because I wanted to setup a new habit and because I wanted to improve my english writing.

It all started with the book “What to do when it’s your turn” by Seth Godin, and it started because there were many things to say.

Sometimes they were useless, sometimes they were complex thoughts that were staying in my head with no reason.
This blog is not a place where everything is interesting, but it’s a place where I want to continue my streak in writing.

It has been a while since I truly kept up with the streak. Many days are missing and I can see them from the monthly post count.
And the thing about streaks is that usually there isn’t a good reason for interrupting them.
You always do it for laziness, not for other important topics.

So I want to get back on track and continue pushing this blog forward, keeping my mind on and my words flowing.
Some of the thoughts are written here were unknown even to me, I couldn’t expect their birth, let alone writing them, this is why this streak is so important: it has helped me grow.

If you ever struggle improving a language, or putting down on paper what you think, starting a daily blog is one of the best thing you could do.