Quora Saturday: How to be like Steve Jobs, leading versus following, unrequited love, burpees, and weight loss

September 24, 2016 by Joshua
in Quora

Continuing my Saturday series on posting my answers to questions from Quora, here are my next questions answered:


Q: What habits can I develop to improve my speaking style and communicate more like Steve Jobs?

A: One habit dominates over all others in every performance field:

Practice, practice, practice

Public speaking is performance. Think of every type of performer: actor, musician, singer, athlete, improv, etc. They all practice and rehearse. The more they practice, the better they do. The more their authentic voice emerges. The more spontaneous they become.

Make a habit of speaking in public every chance you can. You can give toasts at dinners, take improv or acting classes, organize events, and so on.

After you start practicing, then you’ll find there’s lots of advice to follow, but I recommend practicing first, learning theory second.


Q: Are you a leader or a follower?

A: If following someone else achieves my goals best, I follow. If leading others does, I lead. What I want to do determines the best way to do it.

I summarize this: The problem determines the solution.

I don’t see any value in identifying someone intrinsically as a leader or follower, like to say they have blue eyes or are six feet tall. They may lead or follow in a given situation.

I find it helps to develop leadership and teamwork skills since you never know when circumstances might need them.


Q: How should I stop loving someone who does not love me?

A: This old post of mine seems relevant. It says that stopping an emotion doesn’t work as well as starting others, which crowd out the old one.

Crowding out beats letting go

I have a friend who says he can voluntarily let go of emotions he doesn’t want to hold on to anymore. I’ve let go of many things, but never in the moment from conscious intent. He sounds sincere, but frankly I doubt him.

Like telling an angry person to calm down, suggesting someone let go of something is counterproductive advice. Trying to let go of something voluntarily focuses your mind on it, often achieving the opposite of your goal.

Whenever I’ve let go of something important, I’ve always noticed it after the fact. One day I realize I haven’t been thinking about some girl or dwelling on a past event for a while. I can’t identify the time of letting go.

To let go of something, I find filling my mind with new stuff and crowding out the old stuff is more effective. If I have an itch I don’t want to scratch, my best way for it not to bother me is to occupy my mind on something else. Thinking about the itch only makes it worse.


Q: Is burpee the fastest weight loss exercise?

A: I’ve done a lot of burpees, and they’re a great exercise that works most of the body, but exercise in general isn’t nearly as effective for losing weight as changing what you eat.

If you want to burn calories, rowing, swimming, and cross-country skiing can get you to burn a lot of calories per hour. Burpees do too, but it’s hard to keep them up for twenty minutes or more.

Just saying burpees alone doesn’t say enough to answer your question anyway. You’d have to say how many you’re doing, what variety, how often, your weight, for how long, and so on.


Q: Aside from running, what is the best form of Cardio for fat loss that doesn’t require equipment?

A: If your goal is to reduce fat, almost no exercise can compete with eating more healthily and not drinking anything with calories. Substituting empty calories with vegetables, fruit, and legumes takes no equipment or time. In my experience it saves money.

Also, I don’t know if you count a pool as equipment, but if you don’t swimming takes no equipment.

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