Quest for Pragmatism

What are you searching for?

Are you looking for an answer?

I believe everyone is looking for something! Human existence revolves around finding progress somewhere in our life. The human mind doesn’t allow anyone to remain stagnant, or satisfied…for that matter. Our 2,000+ year old brain is always searching. We used to search for food, now we search to solve problems.

You may be searching for: better physical shape, searching to quit a habit, a bigger income, a MUCH bigger income, more freedom at the office, a better relationship, another job entirely, a better business, and the list goes on forever.

Here’s the thing…I’m looking too. Every day!

Insert pragmatism. The answer to what we’re all looking for is simple. It ALWAYS is. The reason it’s simple, there is nearly a 100% chance, what you’re looking to do or solve for, someone else has already done it.

That said, the effort may not be EASY, but that doesn’t change the answer does it?

Answers are simple. Action tends to be the hard part.

Here is a rundown, a short list, of what millions are looking for at this very moment…and pragmatic answers to each challenge.

  1. Lose Weight – stop eating shit and get to a gym 4-5x a week. Simple
  2. Quit Smoking – Commit to NOT lighting the next cigarette. Simple. Yet millions have proven…not easy.
  3. A New Job – Get serious about letting people know your value and get committed on finding something new, or somewhere new. AKA – commit and try. Simple.
  4. More Money – Get a second Job. Whoa… you mean more work?  Answer is simple isn’t it?
  5. More Money at my “current” job – tell your boss. What do you want, and how do you intend to deliver the value to cash the check back to your employer?  I’d also associate a timeline. Raises NEVER come at the expense of the employer. Not an employer planning to stay in business.

Just because you don’t like the answer, or it isn’t comfortable, doesn’t mean the answer gets to change. Feelings take a back seat to a truly pragmatic view. It’s commitment and RESULTS we’re after.

Less think. More do.

I learned this practice a great deal from previous owners I worked for (thank you if you’re reading this) and most recently from my partners.

If you’re not getting what you want, in anything, you MUST change it…or suffer the consequences. The consequences will likely hurt much more in the long run if you delay.

Lastly, the pragmatic and the popular don’t often coincide. I feel as though they’re almost opposite sides of a magnet pushing against one another resisting connection.

As I continue to read, listen to, and digest the best and brightest leaders, entrepreneurs and thinkers of yesterday and today, most, if not ALL are ruthlessly pragmatic.

Read: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Reflective. Simple. Authentic. Action-oriented.

ACTION ITEM: A shift toward the pragmatic. Simple answers…not easily achieved. In the end, it is up to you. It always has been. Maybe you just needed to cut through the bullshit.

 

I’m Baaaaaack

For those of you asking…where did you go?

Here I am. Back on the blog.

I took a few months off to evaluate the direction of a few things in my life and this blog was one of them. To be completely candid with any of you readers, I wanted to know if it would be missed. Spending 50+ hours a week running a national media agency, trying to be a good dad & husband, time with friends, etc. All hours need to be evaluated.

Again, would the blog be missed?

If it wasn’t, or no one brought it up in 90 days, I knew a couple things. One of them was I wasn’t really impacting the lives of my tribe. In all reality, there wasn’t really a tribe if there was no appetite for consuming the content. Removing emotion from these findings was going to be key.  My Ego wanted the work to continue, but we all know Ego can be quite the adversary.

Secondly, I needed to recommit. Commit to continued ideation and thought sharing. Commit to pushing myself into new thoughts/ideas/strategies. Commit to sharing the ideas and impacting lives of my readers. In the end, that’s what it is about. Impact. Even if it is just one person.

I have this fear deeply ingrained in our office culture. We are a tight knit group, and If we part ways with a team member, or visa versa, my biggest fear is the following day…everyone moves on. They’re not missed. You need a team, a culture, a product that if removed…there is a void.  Otherwise, you didn’t have anything to begin with and the end is near.

On another related topic, I had a friend tell me I should start A Keen Mind podcast. Can you imagine listening to episodes of my boyish voice?!? Still evaluating that idea. To be totally honest…I’m really in love with it, because i think my talents are better suited for audio and storytelling than writing. That, and one of my favorite “jobs” would be sports talk radio host. Why not do it on my won, with the format I choose?

I actually considered turning the primary driver of the blog into podcast form. However, as I’ve said before in learnings from Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby), if it isn’t a “HELL YES”, then the answer is “No.” I’m still evaluating.

PS – If any of you have strong feelings on this topic, please share honestly with me. Good or bad.

In the downtime I also took the time to consume some new content. A couple pieces specifically impacting my current mindset are:

  • As a Man Thinketh (audiobook) – 55 minutes of simple, yet, deep thinking
  • The Joe Rogan Experience – This guy’s commitment to his show, his craft, and the litany of guests/topics is energizing. I’m listening every morning to 5-10 minutes. Here is a link to some of his simple genius
  • All things Chris Sacca. If you don’t know who he is, get introduced on this Tim Ferriss Show episode.

Trusted old partners I continue to consume on a daily basis are still in play. Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, we haven’t met yet (YET!), but you continue to mentor and mold my day-to-day thoughts and actions. I also continue to listen to Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph about 1-2x per week as well.

A phrase you’ll hear me use around the office frequently with our team is “PLAY OFFENSE” – take the fight to the enemy. That’s what I’m here to do with A Keen Mind.

Play offense.

~Zac