If you’ve spent any time on my personal site, there’s one page I’d like you to think about replicating on your own, either publicly or privately, and it’s the quotes page.
Well, the idea for the quotes page came from the father of one of my teachers, the late Ira Hayes, motivational speaker. His son, Stephen K. Hayes, found among his belongings a page of punchlines that he kept as a crib sheet for speaking. What’s funny is that Ira didn’t write down the actual jokes, just the punchlines, so unless you attended his speeches back in the day, no one is really sure what the actual jokes are. Ira just collected the punchlines together over time as he spoke and developed new material.
The quotes page on this site isn’t quite punchlines, but it is stuff I’ve collected over time that I find personally significant. Little expressions of things that made me think, things that are worth remembering.
Why do this? There’s more content than ever today. More blogging, more tweeting, more everything, and it’s so tempting to get into the easy, lazy habit of assuming that Google will remember for us what we’ve experienced that we just turn our brains off. Hear a funny speech? Someone probably recorded it, right? Read a funny quote on Twitter? Google will have it, right?
Don’t bet on it. If it’s important, don’t bet on it. In my Advanced Social Media class, I admonish my students that the live sessions may or may not be recorded, but they should act and work as if the sessions will NOT be recorded, so that they train their brains to capture useful information, rather than rely on a third party.
I encourage you to do something similar for yourself. It doesn’t have to be public like my quotes page is, but make a habit out of saving and storing valuable information, useful information, in a compact form. If you speak publicly, obviously this is a practice that has an immediate use for you, but even if you don’t, it’s still a good habit to get into for tuning up your brain.
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