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Outta my mind ("Friday5" newsletter, 5/23/21)

Have you ever considered writing a bunch or short stories about your life? Joan Didion did...

Trends come and go, but good etiquette never goes out of style, right? The True Gentleman reminds us of what's possible....even when it comes to first impressions....

And a lesson learned from the the guy who invented Post-it Notes, who died recently. None of us are going to get out alive, but it doesn't hurt to watch Survivorman anyway...


As we all get social again, let's get back to basics when it comes to civility and etiquette. One of my favorite bits of prose is The True Gentleman composed by John Walter Wayland in 1899. Words to live by, gentlemen--and ladies.


I've just finished Let Me Tell You What I Mean, a collection of essays by Joan Didion. Didion is known for her novels, non-fiction and now her cool Netflix series (video trailer above), but I enjoyed these short-form articles, on her visit to San Simeon, a meeting with Nancy Reagan, an Ernest Hemingway piece from 1998, and an essay on Martha Stewart from 2000.


I've been digging the old Survivorman series on YouTube. Les Stroud's show was the precursor to the popular, Man vs. Wild, featuring Bear Grylls. Stroud and his show are low key (and low quality) by comparison, but it's fascinating to see him survive in the wilderness for seven days without food or water. Les even does all his own camera work. Slow your roll and check it out.


Spencer Silver, the man who invented Post-it Notes, has died. Silver's 3M team was looking for "bigger, stronger, tougher adhesives." Post-it notes were none of these. In 1968, the scientist discovered an adhesive that wouldn't leave a residue when pulled apart, but the end product wasn't conceived until 1974.

Why were the first Post-it Notes sold in canary yellow? It was a coincidence. The scientists borrowed paper from another lab and it was the only color available. (I use giant Post it Notes in this sales training preso to explain the four main personality styles.)

Impressing For many, it's time to get out there and make first impressions again. Get tips in this leadership presentation I did for a team in Iowa. It's on how to make the most of "the first 15 seconds."

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