Every day just doing that thing you do

Emerson had this idea that everyone should make their own bible.

He said, select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.

As someone who has literally written my own bible, I can attest to this exercise’s profound spiritual implications. It was almost like starting my own religion, but without all the goofy hats.

But the project of making your own bible is also useful in the professional world. After all, a bible is simply a book of texts and writings that are sacred to the person who wrote it. Doesn’t have to be religious, it just has to be yours.

Emerson, if he were alive today, would agree that everyone should develop their own theory of learning, thinking and working. Everyone should build their personal framework for acquiring and encoding and exploiting knowledge.

First of all, the metacognition of learning how you learn not only accelerates your progress, but it also educates the people around you on the one thing nobody else has, which is your unique way of approaching problems.

Secondly, having a working vocabulary around the numerous ways you create value makes it easier for you to continue creating it. By uncovering the architecture around how you think about things, deconstructing what you do rather intuitively and abstractly, you will be able to replicate it more exactly and practically.

This metacognitive ability comes in handy when you’re on the job search. Because whether you’re a freelancer, or hoping to join a company full time, you have to be as convincing as you are talented. People who engage with you should walk out of that meeting thinking to themselves, wow, we need to get you in here to start doing that thing you do.

Back when my tech startup employer fired our entire department and gave us all three months paid vacation, I took that as the perfect opportunity to deepen this capacity. Reflecting back on my various projects from the previous year, I was able to drill down on several of my unique philosophies and approaches to working on a marketing team.

All of which became part of my professional lexicon, got added to my resume, and ultimately helped me secure a better job the following year. 

Perhaps it’s time for you to create your own language to capture the nuance you’re seeing that makes you good at what you do.

You don’t have to write an entire bible if you don’t want to, but if you don’t learn to blast that trumpet, nobody is going to do it for you. 

Have you developed your own unique theory of working?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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