I understand why we may have evolved to have the automatic, out-of-control feeling of embarrassed in some situations. But is it useful? Has being embarrassed ever helped you accomplish anything useful?
It's not between you and your boss, your critics, your editor, your competition, your spouse or some other outsider. The essential confrontation, of course, is with yourself. You are your own biggest critic.
You're not lucky to have this job, they're lucky to have you. Every day, you invest a little bit of yourself into your work, and one of the biggest choices available to you is where you'll be making that investment.
We armor ourselves against the cutting remark, the ad hominem attack, the person who just doesn't like our stuff. But all of this is the feedback we get when we touch a nerve and are doing work that matters enough to care about.
...is to assume that they are uninformed, and that once they know what you know, they will change their mind. (A marketing problem!)
The second easiest way to disagree is to assume that the other person is a dolt, a loon, a misguided zealot who refuses to see the truth. Their selfish desire to win interferes with their understanding of reality. (A political problem!)
If that's your path, there are three options: Work on keeping the boat going straight Bail water ever faster Find a new boat before it's too late We call the first one persistence and diligence. The second one—urgency.
Small children and dogs are certain that everything is aimed at, designed for, or in reaction to them. To quote Jim Holt, "Why does it rain in the spring? So the crops will grow!" Of course, things that happen often happen for no reason.
Thankfully, for many people in the privileged world, food scarcity is an ancestral memory. We don't have to scrounge over lunch so we'll have something to eat for dinner. Sandy reminded millions of people in the Northeast what scarcity felt like.
It's Groundhog Day, which means that January is over. January, of course, is official diet book month, the time of year that formerly young, formerly thin people buy books in the hopes that by osmosis, they will magically become post-holiday skinny.
Now that this madness is over, perhaps it's time to invest in something you can change: the way you think. Here are a bunch of books, ebooks and recordings that can help with that: Diet books for the mind.