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You Can’t Make Just One Thing

March 17 2010 – 11:37am

I saw a talk by Jason Fried a couple of weeks ago, and there was one slide in his presentation that really resonated with me.

You can’t make just one thing.

When you saw a log down into boards, you not only make a board, but you make sawdust. You can then use that sawdust to reinforce concrete – or to clean up puke.

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Every day of your life, you are making things. And in making those things, you are making other things. If you go into the kitchen, and cook a meal you haven’t cooked before – even if you make it from a recipe – some new knowledge is being created. Nobody cooks that meal the way you do. Nobody experiences the same tastes you do.

But by virtue of being a human being, the things you do likely are relatable to other human beings. If cooking a meal is the example, it just so happens that all of us eat. So, if you share your unique perspective – this newfound knowledge – it’s likely that someone out there gives a shit. Maybe lots of people do.

If you share all of these byproducts of your experience, most things, very few people will care about. But eventually, a few things that many people do care about will emerge. And those things can serve as a compass to guide you on your journey to an integrated living, and an integrated life.

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This post is filed under Life Hacks.