I create context. I also write blog posts:

Smarter, Not Better

Posted: January 2nd, 2012 | Author: | 4 Comments »

New years resolutions are a kind of gray area for me. On the one hand, I think rethinking things and recommitting yourself to something is important, especially because I know that when I get comfortable in something, I can go into auto-pilot mode. On the other hand, though, why wait for January 1? Why not keep rethinking and recommitting throughout the year?

So I don’t ordinarily make specific resolutions. Instead, I aim at more general areas I want to improve. Be more active, read more, cook something new every once in a while.

This year, I’m looking professionally, and I’m looking more specific. Having thought about it for the past few weeks, I finally yesterday came to a satisfying conclusion about the whole thing:

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“Better” has a lot of definitions. It’s relative. It means one thing today and another tomorrow. It’s emotional. It’s now, not later.

Smarter is well-planned, it sets the groundwork for the future, it’s logical.

For too long, I’ve been on auto-pilot. And auto-pilot dictated that I do things better, not smarter. There was more instant gratification in the decisions I made, less foresight. I don’t think I made poor decisions, but I think I did give in to what would make me feel “better” in the moment than down the road. That needs to stop.

What does that mean in my work? It means I’m not going to hold on to ideas beyond their usefulness, I’m not going to stake everything on one shot because I’m too attached to throw it out. More ideas, bigger ideas, smarter ideas. But not “better” ideas. Those don’t matter. Those don’t go anywhere. “Better” ideas aren’t definitive, because, by definition, they can still be even better…

Chasing the smart ideas, though, that’s where it’s at. Crafting smart campaigns, smart copy, and smart messaging… that’s where I want to be.

Smarter, not better.

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