May 1, 2008

What Do You Do in a World of Too Much Noise?

published this at 7:08 am

Seth and Dave Are Right

relationships button

Last night a trackback didn’t make it here. I saw the link in the list at the broken Technorati index. Dave Olson was asking, “Is it getting really noisy in here?” Dave mentioned that Seth feels it too.

On the other hand… it also seems to be getting harder and harder to find original content. Seth Godin noted that yesterday. Too much noise… not enough signal.

Brings up an interesting phenomenon I think. When given too many choices, people often opt out of the whole decision.

I’ve been thinking about the same thing for some time. As I look back at what I’ve been doing my answer seems to be how I always respond to too many voices shouting at the same time.

I’ve backed away to get some perspective. I’ve tried to sort the messages into meaningful chunks. I’ve gone outside. I’ve talked to people who don’t listen. I’ve listened to people who don’t talk at all.

Now I talk to one person at a time and when I do, I talk as softly as I might.

It’s easier to listen to what folks are saying if we don’t shout back to be heard. It’s easier to hear whether their noisy words have meaning when they are away from the crowd. It’s far easier to know whether the crowd’s talking wisdom when we check in with the world on the ground.

Maybe our circle has become too focused on the people inside.

Dave’s blog post ends with “What do you do?”

I finely tune my personal frequency — that value I most admire. I adjust my signal to a low decibel and broadcast my strongest message as clearly and as often I can.

Head, heart, and meaning are important.
Head, heart, and meaning are the keys to life.

What do you do in a world of too much noise?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
SOBCon08 is May 2,3,4 in Chicago. I’m checking in the hotel today!

Filed under Motivation, Successful Blog | 26 Comments »

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26 Comments to “What Do You Do in a World of Too Much Noise?”

  1. May 1st, 2008 at 8:05 am
    Mark said

    Ear Plugs…


  2. May 1st, 2008 at 8:09 am
    Karin H. said

    LOL Mark

    Hi Liz

    Depends on the noise I think, I love some type of noise(s?) so I seek those out and try to ‘earplug’ the others.

    Doesn’t always work like that of course, but I manage somehow and listen/learn from the beautiful noise I let through to my head/heart.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  3. May 1st, 2008 at 8:40 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    You’re the best!

  4. May 1st, 2008 at 8:41 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    Ah, isn’t beautiful noise called music?

  5. May 1st, 2008 at 8:44 am
    Karin H. said

    Well Liz, sometimes it’s also called ‘painting with words’ 😉

  6. May 1st, 2008 at 8:49 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Painting with words –huh?
    I like the sound of that. :)

  7. May 1st, 2008 at 8:51 am
    Karin H. said

    Music to your ears?

  8. May 1st, 2008 at 9:13 am
    SpaceAgeSage said

    rhe·o·stat, n. A continuously variable electrical resistor used to regulate current.

  9. May 1st, 2008 at 1:17 pm
    DaveOlson said

    Hey Liz,

    Thanks for not adding to the noise. There’s always something intelligible here. :-) (gotta get those trackbacks fixed)

  10. May 1st, 2008 at 2:30 pm
    Abby said

    Liz I love your blog. I found it via your article today on the Freelance blog.

    I live in a world that is “noisy” all the time. Too many choices everywhere you go! Coffee shops (lattes, mochas, regulars and oh, a scone to go with that?), bookstores (overwhelming choice), clients.

    It’s hard to escape all the stimulation that is out there today.

  11. May 1st, 2008 at 6:42 pm
    Howard Cox said


    Thanks for the post. This challenge is definitely something we need to learn to deal with efficiently and effectively. I do not believe life andor business is going to be getting less noisy any time soon or maybe ever. As you point out, the trend is that it is actually getting worse.

    My suggestion is a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century problem; proactively schedule Covey Quadrant II quiet meditation, contemplation, study and planning time. When I say, proactive, I mean PROACTIVE. You have to block out time with recurring appointments on outlook to protect those blocks of time out to infinity. This time can’t be penciled in or even written in ink. It needs to be written in blood.

    The amount of Quadrant II time you need to block out depends on you and your roles and responsibilities. My suggestion for starters is usually 20% of your work week. This is just using the rule of thumb from Pareto’s Law. This 20% of your time will yield you 80% of your long-term results.

    This is the time you use to separate the noise from a real signal to borrow Seth’s metaphor.

    Thanks again for all of the time you devote to your blog.


  12. May 2nd, 2008 at 3:42 am
    Bobby said

    I Agree with karin H.

  13. May 2nd, 2008 at 8:55 pm
    blogcoach said

    I also appreciate your refreshing perspective.

  14. May 3rd, 2008 at 8:09 pm
    dave davison said

    I caught Seth’s blog post and was prompted to post this Thoughts Illustrated: Noise Creep?

    Filtering signals you want from noise you can’t stand is a killer application that so are as I know doesn’t yet exist. If you know of one broadcast it so we can all begin to tune out the noise.

  15. May 5th, 2008 at 12:36 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Sage!
    Thanks for the clarification!

  16. May 5th, 2008 at 12:39 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Thank you, Dave!
    You suffer from the same lack of noise. :)

  17. May 5th, 2008 at 12:40 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Abby,
    I know exactly what you’re talking about. The other day, in a restaurant, someone asked where I’d like to sit and answered that I’d really appreciate it if she made that decision. :)

  18. May 5th, 2008 at 12:42 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Howard,
    Thanks for your insights. I’ve been doing more reflective thinking myself. I’m on a quest to become less and less plugged in.

  19. May 5th, 2008 at 12:43 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Thanks Bobby and Blogcoach.

  20. May 5th, 2008 at 12:44 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hiya Dave!
    The killer application is self-realization that most of what we do is unnecessary and adds no meaning to our lives. :)

  21. May 5th, 2008 at 4:12 pm
    dave davison said

    Whoa now! this quote is pretty grim:

    “self-realization that most of what we do is unnecessary and adds no meaning to our lives.”

    That’s not a “killer app” that’s the statement of the dilemma we all face — I think finding meaning in the world requires engaging in observation, learning and conversation to enrich and enhance one’s own meaning quotient – and it starts for me with stating one’s purpose and seeking ways to achieve it.

    As David Weinberger says in his very thoughtful book “Everything is Miscellaneous” in the face if the myriad of stuff on the web and in the digital and “real” world, David suggests that we “filter on the way out”Thoughts Illustrated: “filtering on the way out”- David Weinberger

  22. May 5th, 2008 at 7:32 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Dave,
    Yeah, you’re right. I think I needed a nap. I’ve had one now.

    What I meant was that we’re often looking in the wrong direction and not paying attention to what means most to us.

    Thank you, thank you. Words count. :)

  23. May 8th, 2008 at 8:33 am
    Somerset Business Success Strategies » Blog Archive » Growth Tool #7, Filter Out the Noise with Covey Quadrant II Planning Time said
  24. May 14th, 2008 at 2:57 pm
    Marketing Delights... Seth Returns | The Marketing Caddy said

    […] What Do You Do in a World of Too Much Noise? [via Zemanta] […]

  25. December 24th, 2009 at 4:51 pm
    Strengthening My Signal. « A.J. Bingham said

    […] the context of Godin’s post, and the others (here and here ) I found, signal-to-noise refers to the collective din of blogs, tweets, and other media, […]

  26. October 16th, 2013 at 2:30 am
    Overwhelmed said

    […] articlesSignal to noise [via Zemanta]David Allen: The Curse Of The Eternally Urgent [via Zemanta]What Do You Do in a World of Too Much Noise? [via Zemanta] Get Updates Via […]

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