This week’s Fantastic Friday comes to you from the Colorado Front Range. My wife and boys and I have been out here for the past week enjoying the unexpected warm weather and spending time with family.
And so, appropriately, this week’s four fantastic links are articles (and a video) straight from the best of my recent Instapaper queue. Enjoy.
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What a review. What a camera.
I believe that in hindsight — and I realize this sounds kind of crazy, as if I’ve binge-inhaled all of the Leica Kool-Aid at once — the Leica Q will be seen as one of the greatest fixed-prime-lens travel photography kits of all time.
Cal Newport, of course:
I find that the occasions when I most despair about the tattered state of my schedule are almost always the result of the accumulation of a dozen yeses that each made perfect sense in isolation.
Though I don’t have a formal attention charter, having some pre-defined limits for external requests on my time and attention is something I’ve done since 2008.
In my days as a marketing and creative director for an in-house design team, I received constant requests for meetings. And so, I simply had on my schedule “open meeting time” twice a week. When someone needed to meet with me, I’d let them know of my next available time. Not only did this remove a ton of mental energy to “find a spot in my schedule” but it also kept my unexpected meetings to a minimum.
These days, I have some similar limits. For example, I only accept speaking gigs to events I want to attend anyway (and, this year, at least, I’m keeping my speaking to just 2 events). I also flat-out ignore almost all incoming requests for product reviews across all of our websites — I have no doubt that we get some awesome pitches, but most of the time they are bulk email requests, and so I don’t try to separate the wheat from the chaff.
If I were giving a motivational speech, I’d say that, if you want to be successful and make a real contribution to the world, you have to be intrinsically motivated by the work you do, and you have to feel good about spending your days on it. Love might grow — and it’s a wonderful thing if it does — but you don’t need it up front. You can succeed just by wanting something to exist that doesn’t already.
Related viewing: This 99U talk by Cal Newport about why it’s bad advice to follow your passion, and this Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode with president Obama.
This is an absolutely amazing video from Jeremy Cowart. My wife and I had the privilege of seeing Jeremy perform this live last fall and, along with probably everyone in the room, we were deeply moved.