One New Skill You Learned That Might Damn You More Often Than Help You

Written on:September 2, 2013
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Julien Smith

In one of our books, Julien Smith (founder of Breather) wrote about this concept where he said, “Should you be a hallway or a room?” He went on to explain the concept, which immediately somehow vanished from my head. I threw it into a quick mental bucket that’s labeled: “Julien being smart.” Which, of course, he is.

That “DISCARD” action is something we all tend to do in this new world. We have to do it. Why? Because we’re consuming so much information that we have to just chuck things that aren’t “useful” or we’ll reach a mental “buffer overflow” which slows down everything else we’re doing.


If it doesn’t make sense instantly, we chuck it into a “forget it” or “later” bucket and forget about it. And that’s dangerous.

Reconsider How You Label Your “Discards”

In the above example, I came to realize the brilliance of Julien’s concept. Do I want something that’s an end destination, but has only one use, or do I want something that launches me into a myriad of opportunities? The answer, most often, is that we want a hallway, or we want to be a hallway. We want to open up more opportunities, instead of land on something that ends up being an ending. (Believe me, if it still doesn’t make sense, it only took me a year or two after the Impact Equation came out.)

But I pretty much threw this information out.

Instead, I should’ve considered putting it into some kind of “think about this once every month or two” bucket, maybe even set a reminder in my calendar to rethink it. Because now, when I’m thinking through what it’s going to take to wow you with my business magazine, I am going through this exercise and learning what it means to be a hallway.

Relabel your “discards” to “reconsider later,” and set up a way for “later” to really happen.

Make sense? Are you discarding too much too quickly in your world? What could you do differently?

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