Congratulations. What you learned yesterday is largely irrelevant.
No one cares how smart you were yesterday. What matters is the progress you’re making today.
It’s time to move forward. Otherwise you’re losing ground. What you learned yesterday is meaningful to the extent that you build on it and move beyond it today.
Data gets us the Kardashians (from Seth Godin)
I have nothing against the Kardashians. I applaud their pluck, their entrepreneurship, their ability to print money by doing little more than showing up.
But if you’re focused on the number of friends and hits and views. if you’re focused on the number of opens and clickthroughs. If you’re focused on the metrics of social media, you’re on a race to the bottom.
Those who seek to add value, to challenge the status quo, to add value to the lives of themselves and others. Those who create art. Those who seek to make a difference in the lives of others are the ones committed to the longer view, committed to changing their world.
You don’t need more data. You need more content. That’s how you change the world.
Don’t be a prisoner of your source
Every source of information contains some degree of bias. Don’t become a victim of bias. Mix it up.
If you’re not rotating your regular sources of information, you’re at risk. You’re at risk of deluding yourself. You’re at risk of filling your head with just one point of view. You’re at risk of misdirecting your critical thinking.
It doesn’t matter whether your sources are online, or in print, or on the media. All contain biases, all have – and sometimes push – their own point of view.
You want more. You want your own point of view. If you regularly depend on CNN, flick the channel, get out of the rut – try FOX once in a while. If the NY Times is your go-to authority, why not try the Wall Street Journal, or some other source, for a different point of view?
Expand the sources that flow into your head. Your world is too big and too wide for narrow thinking.
You don’t need to be good
You need to be you. You need to be all the person you know you are, the person you know you can be.
When you decide to be the authentic you, and let go of who you pretend to be. When you connect with who you really are, and what you can do, and where you want to go. When you choose to reveal and release that genuine giant inside: Everything changes.
Quit trying to be good. Be you.
Pick up the phone
When something needs to be done, do it. Doing it is what separates you from most people. It drives your success.
Don’t play passive. Don’t start the job, and then walk away. Don’t just leave a voicemail, or email or text, and convince yourself you at least tried. Trying is a start, not an excuse. You have to get things done. You have to accomplish, to make the connection, and fulfill.
Win the battle that no one sees, and too few attempt. Complete the cycle. Finish what you set out to do.
Choose what you love, but….
It takes as much effort to do the work you hate, as to do the work you love.
The challenge is that what you love to do needs to get better – every day. You need to get better and more capable so that you can follow what love, and let go of what you hate. Otherwise, it’s just a pleasant distraction, not a life pursuit.
Becoming excellent at what you love to do grows that passion, engages your heart and mind, and turns a job or career into a calling.
Every day, you choose. Choose what you love, but only if you’re willing to grow it, only if you’re willing to let it consume you and change your life.
Nobody benefits from the fake version of you
Not you, nor anyone else.
Let go of that crafted version of you; that projected veneer that does not give long term benefit to you and those around you. It’s a game. It creates in others the wrong expectations. It makes promises you can’t fulfill. It distorts the greater genius you have inside.
You’re not fake, so don’t pretend. People see through it eventually. They want to engage with the real you.
And, today, if you don’t particularly like the real version of you, is it time to do some home improvement?
Start each day with a task completed
How you show up for your day is the spark that drives how your day will go. Everything cascades from how you start.
Why not start with an accomplishment, a task completed? It could be as simple as making your bed. Or reading that one chapter in the book that’s sitting on your table. Or filling that blank page in your journal. Something to get done, to get the ball rolling, to create momentum for the rest of your day.
In the dark moments
Be your best in the dark moments. When something crushes your spirit and leaves you doubting. When you feel you’re drowning in obligations and unfinished business. When it seems too hard, and you’re tempted to quit.
Reach inside, find the strength, and be your best. You will rise above your fears, doubts and fatigue, and take the next step.
Because you can.
Don’t fear the circus
We hang on the edge of insanity and brilliance. Sometimes the circus comes to town, and we’re on the list to perform. We experience enormous struggles, not quite sure why we stepped into the arena in the first place, and why it has to be so hard.
But when we move beyond our doubts, when we hang tough despite failures, when we keep going, we adapt. We become stronger, resilient, and confident. We reveal our brilliance.
We can’t avoid the circus. At some point we’re all on the list; at some point we all step into the arena. The deal is to not fear the circus; the deal is to prevail.