7 Things I Learned in May 2020

Examining what you learned is a good way to consolidate those learnings. So here are 7 of my biggest takeaways from last month.

7 things I learned in May 2020:

  1. Most professional podcasters have pretty extensive and involved workflows. Even the simplest workflow I came across during my research had at least (record the main content + edit + join/create finished podcast audio + finalise + publish). My workflow seems a bit too simple in comparison. That caused me to consider adding some steps as that would potentially improve the quality of the audio – but after some soul searching I decided against it. Yes, my workflow is incredibly simple, but that works for me. From experience, I know that I will lose interest in processes that take up a lot of time and energy. I hate complexity. Currently, I do one take podcasts. That can and does mean that my podcast episodes sometimes (often!) contain errors and bloopers, but I’m ok with it. The key for me is to provide value, and as long as I’m doing that I’m sure my listeners can get over the human errors. The desire to seek perfection is a continuous struggle, but I continue to get better at prioritising progress over perfection. Keeping things simple help, as does my increased self-awareness level.
  2. Self-awareness is valuable and is a continuous journey. This carries on from the first point. How I do things now is very different from how I used to do things even a few years ago. In a good way. The more I learn about myself, the better I get, especially since the insights help me to design strategies and do things in ways that leverage my strengths, and weaknesses.
  3. Not all chilli powder is the same. Chilli powder is chilli powder, right? That’s what you’d normally think. But if you did, you’d be wrong, as I learned recently. Being a big fan of spicy food, chilli powder is a staple in my groceries. The last time I was in Malaysia I got a big packet of their local Chilli powder, which I was excited to try. I usually add chilli powder to my coffee (the result of one of my food experiments last year). But adding the Malay chilli powder did not work out very well – it tasted very umami! This experience has made me realise that their chilli powder isn’t just chilli powder. That or their chilli has a different flavour profile. Either way, that umami flavour doesn’t pair well with coffee.  Tip: By the way, if you are a fellow spicy food lover, here’s a tip for you – next time you make got chocolate/cocoa, add a bit of chilli powder. It’ll take the drink to a whole different level!
  4. Applying a cold pack to the base of your neck helps you cool down faster. Very useful during summer.
  5. Practice does make you better. I came across my first podcast episode the other day and had a listen of it while considering putting it on YouTube. I’ve been podcasting for nearly 2 months now, and have over 10 episodes. Even though that’s not a lot or a long period of time, I can already hear the difference. My first podcast episode wasn’t that great. My latest episodes are much better. Yes there’s still a lot more for me to learn, I am pretty new to Podcasting still, but this is encouraging. The more you do something, the better you get. It’s a fact.
  6. Nutmeg works nicely in bread. Most of you probably know this about me by now – I love food. It’s one of my biggest passions. This doesn’t just involve trying things and cooking from scratch, but also includes experimentation. One such food experiment involved putting nutmeg Inn the flour while baking bread. The result is very promising. Bread flavoured with nutmeg works well, especially when paired with something sweet.
  7. It’s not a bad idea to stock up on essentials during times of panic. The Coronavirus lockdown caused a lot of stockpiling. I wasn’t too keen on that but realized later the problem with that notion. Stocks now are running low and prices are going up. My views have changed a bit now – stocking up on essentials during an impending crisis isn’t a bad idea after all. It’s not about following the crowd and panic buying, or overreacting, but rather about realising that panic creates self-fulfilling prophecies, like the grocery shortage that most places are experiencing right now thanks to the extended lockdown. As such, being prepared and stocking up isn’t a bad idea. Lesson learned for next time (hopefully there will be no next time, but it’s smart to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best).

It is a huge shortcut to learn from other people’s experiences, and mistakes – that is common knowledge. Hopefully, you will learn something useful from my learnings.

Now, here is a question for you – what did you learn in May?

Post them in the comments section below.

The thing about innovation and creativity

Creativity and innovation are like conjoined twins…
You can’t have one without the other.

You want to be innovative?
You need to be creative.
And if you’re creative, you will be innovative.
See how that works?

What they both require is the ability to think outside the box.

Can you think outside the box?
If not, work on developing that skill.
If you want to be creative and innovative that is.

You can develop your creative side.
It is a skill, like any other.
The more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it.

Practice does make better… 👍

Different is good

Too often we get hung up over things like race, religion, sexuality, and so on.

The differences separate.
They create segregation instead of the integration that humanity as a whole needs.

People get hung up over their identities as defined by the colour of their skin, the place they were born in, their sexual orientation, the religion they follow, etc.
Which is fine, as long as they are not used those as excuses to look down on people who are different.

Differences aren’t a bad thing.
On the contrary, they provides us an opportunity to learn, and grow, and see things from a different (often better) perspective.
They enable us to broaden our horizons.

More importantly, when you dig deep, there are more similarities than differences.
There are more reasons to unite, and collaborate, than to segregate and separate.

Thankfully things have gotten much better, and people have become smarter and more open minded.
But there’s still much to be done.

Do your bit.
Open your mind.
Embrace the differences, and celebrate them.

Question for thrill seekers and adventure junkies

The pursuit of peril is big business these days.
Like when people pay for climbing impossible cliffs and mountains, or to get on the most dangerous rides, or to have the most dangerous food…
The risk is the thrill.

Very few things are as thrilling as knowing that you could die at any minute.
To a hard core logician like me it all seems a bit bizarre, but I’m fascinated nonetheless.

Are you an adventure junkie?
What’s the hairiest experience you’ve had?
What made you want to do it, and how did it feel?

Let me know in the comments.
I’m curious to learn!

Happy Friday!