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Don’t Google It

What are the hardest things for you not to do these days?

Maybe, given the not-so-mythical “Covid 15,” it’s not eating the rest of the pie (come on, you’re going to finish it sometime, right?).

Maybe it’s not sending that tweet at 2am that seems pretty funny to you now but won’t make any sense in the morning.

Maybe it’s not leaving your home. Just kidding. That one is easier than ever.

I’ll tell you a challenge I’ve been grappling with:

Not Googling something.

Have you ever tried not looking something up that you might be able to figure out?

Have you ever tried delaying gratification?

For me, not Googling something is much harder than not finishing the pie. And this is coming from someone who ALWAYS finishes the pie. (My favorite rationalization is that eating the whole thing now means I won’t have any left to tempt me later. Good one, right?)

This came up a few times recently when playing Nintendo Switch games with my kid. You may have seen her on a Zoom call. When I see her coming, I let others know my CEO is stopping by. Some people think this will be an actual corporate CEO until a rising first-grader stands on my office chair so that the camera on my standing desk captures her.

Some of the games we play require feats of memory, coordination, and spatial intelligence so challenging that they must be used in the last five questions on cognitive assessments given to US presidents. I try to keep up, and sometimes I’m making tables on dry erase boards mapping out which Pokemon we should battle with in what order to win championship matches. (I still can’t get over how effective Sudowoodo is against a Gigantamax Charizard.)

Much of my search history the past few months has been about Pokemon. Whenever I open Google on my phone, the suggested stories are either about Covid or Jigglypuff. Covid would have been a great name for a Pokemon if a deadly disease didn’t take it first.

Lately, I’ve been trying another angle with these Switch games.

Let’s not Google it.

If we need a simple fact, Google is fine.

But let’s not have Google give us all the answers.

Let’s take the time to figure it out.

Let’s work through things.

In the words of Ms. Frizzle, whose creator Joanna Cole sadly passed away this month, “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy.”

We need more of this. We need more room for this.

All the better to do it somewhere with low stakes, like a Pokemon game.

But it makes me wonder where I’m holding back myself. Where am I not taking chances that I could take?

Where am I sticking to a playbook instead of blowing it up?

Where am I proposing the idea that’s expected instead of one I love but fear could go awry?

It’s frustrating at first to try this. And then it’s liberating. Just giving yourself permission to not Google it, not look it up, not copy and paste — it can help you breathe a little better.

Find that moment where you can choose the shortcut or you can take time to work through what you’re dealing with. Take the time. See how it goes.

Have you grappled with this at all? Have you tried forgoing the shortcut? I’m curious to hear how that’s worked. And, as always, I’m curious to hear the answer to this question: What are you making of yourself?


PS: The next SpeedUp 1:1 networking event is July 30 at 4pm EDT. Join us on Upstream and meet some of my favorite marketers. It now works on Android.

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