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Make it up on volume with the island of misfit toys

Happy New Year! We couldn’t wait for 2016 to end even though 2017, let’s be honest, is not going to fare better.

To say that 2016 sucked is a gross understatement. My father passed away on April 10 while I was 7,447 miles away. I still haven’t processed this. I am working up to it while being slowly eaten empty by guilt and regret.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I mean, I am very good at making them, I am just horrible at keeping them. My best record I believe was one week for keeping a journal. Journals are in general a bad idea: the thing about secrets is that as soon as they leave your mind, they stop being secrets. I did make one resolution for 2017 however: Read more real books instead of trying to read every single article saved to Pocket.

I’ve reached a, what should I call it other than a cliche, crossroad in my professional (and personal, though I am in deep denial on this one) life. So for the first time, I picked up one of the 10,372,763 recommended “this year’s best business books to teach you how not to jump in front of a moving train on your commute home every evening”, called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, chosen out of, yes, self-aggrandizement. Adam Grant made an interesting point on quantity vs. quality:

It’s widely assumed that there’s a tradeoff between quantity and quality—if you want to do better work, you have to do less of it—but this turns out to be false. In fact, when it comes to idea generation, quantity is the most predictable path to quality… On average, creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality.

I’m taking this as a permission to crank out as many streams of consciousness as my mind can dictate.

“…the most important possible thing you could do,” says Ira Glass, the producer of This American Life and the podcast Serial, “is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.”

Make it up on volume. Sorry Internet. Blame it on Ira.

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