By Lindsay Bell-Wheeler
Welcome to the 48th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and yours truly, Lindsay Bell.
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
This week we look at the stress of trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses,’ technology and human response times, and the love a dog can bring to your life – even a bad dog.
Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives In Hometown
Michael on Success. While recording an upcoming episode of the Mikes on Mics podcast with Todd Henry, he shared this week’s “thing.” It was the perfect complement to the point he was making about the pressure we put on ourselves when it comes to finding success. Often times, we’re pretty darn happy with our lot in life, but can’t seem to relax and enjoy our lives. We look at the possibilities, we see the success of others, and we convince ourselves that we just aren’t doing enough. Even though we’re happy, we see the impressive feats of others and decide we have to do more.
Sometimes, this is true. We’re settling for a life we fell into rather than one we chose, but just as often we’re listening to the pressure of the outside world more than we are to our own desires. I often find myself struggling here. I see what many of my heroes have accomplished and feel like I’m falling short. That said, when I’m facing myself in the mirror at 3 a.m., when I look at my kids, when I come home from a good day of work, I’m pretty darn happy.
Now this may seem like a fairly unusual build when suggesting an article from The Onion, but the satire here is not only pitch perfect, it’s a poignant reminder for those of us who struggle to be satisfied. It’s also a nice smack upside the head for those who are killing themselves for success at the cost of their own happiness.
Abrupt Rise of New Machine Ecology Beyond Human Response Time
Howie on The Rise of the Machines. I know this is a very technical article. You don’t need to read it all to understand it. There has been an arms race, especially in finance, to make decisions faster and faster. If you can react faster to information this gives you an edge. Now, the reaction time is faster than what humans can do naturally. What floored me was a Chess Grand Master needs only ONE second after an opponent’s move to know they are screwed. It would take me at least 2 secs…or maybe 10 minutes? Has me wondering as we connect more and more to the internet: What if one day the Terminator comes true? What if we all wake up one day to find the machines made a decision to take over…and we couldn’t react fast enough?
Lindsay on Pet Ownership. Those of you who know me, know I adopted my first dog back in February. Hank is a Viszla/Foxhound cross, a big boy (75 pounds at eight months already!), and full of boundless energy. He’s always been a handful, and I’m quite sure I had at least three nervous breakdowns the first month we had him (Liz Scherer can attest to this, as she graciously talked me off the ledge during one of them!). In fact, puppy ownership threw me back 14 years ago, to when my son was an infant – a trying time for most parents, to say the least, and one with some difficult memories, in my case.
Due to the nature of my work (I work from home), I’ve become the primary caregiver. I ‘deal’ with him for hours on end, alone, five days out of seven. To this day I can’t go to the bathroom alone. They don’t call Viszlas ‘velcro dogs’ for nothing. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a wonderful pup. Loving and fun and goofy. But he’s also a rebel – getting into things when left alone – even for an hour (what dog chews on lightbulbs…!?). He’s going through his teenage phase right now, arrogant and mischievous, and driving our family bonkers. Sometimes, you stumble across an article *just* at the right time, when you need it most. That’s what I felt when I found this piece. It made me cry. It made me feel less alone. And it made me realize just how powerful my love is for this big lug of a dog.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?