Who’s standing next to you?

“You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with.”

When you find yourself falling short, when you see yourself missing the mark, look around.  Who are those standing next to you?

Are those surrounding you inspiring you, mentoring you, sharing important knowledge and skills?   Are they challenging you to get stronger, to move higher and go faster?    Do they care, or, perhaps, are they stuck in their own world of  concerns and complacency?

Remember: You become the average of the people you spend the most time with.

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What’s your focus?

“What you focus on you create more of.”  – Jen Sincero

You never paid attention to something until you finally discovered it, acquired it, or used it.   And now that you focus on it, you seem to see it everywhere.  It was always there, just out of focus.

What do want more of in your life?   Do you focus on it?   Do you focus on it from a positive and receptive perspective?   You do, after all, choose your perspective on what you want.   Take, for instance, money.  You can look at money with worry (a perspective of lack), or you can look at money with grateful anticipation (a perspective of abundance).

Life at a higher level is about how you focus, as well as what you focus on.   What’s your focus? What’s your perspective?

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No regrets

“Anything worth doing will cost you your life.” – Hugh MacLeod

You can get a job.  You can start a career.  Or you can find a calling.

Jobs and careers are an economic exchange.  You work, you get paid, and the exchange can lead to a rewarding lifestyle.  Yet neither compare with a calling – where your work and your authentic self intertwine; where what what you do, and how you create, are tightly woven into the fabric of who you are.

It’s perfectly fine to pursue a job and career – and most people do.  But know that if you choose to discover and cultivate a calling, if you choose to become part of something larger than yourself, you will forfeit your old life, and in the process create an extraordinary life.

No regrets.

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Only you know you

“You can’t get anything done trying to absorb and neutralize everyone else’s criticisms.” – Brian Grazer

Move on.  Move beyond the confusing noise, the discordant sounds of those who, even with best intentions, try to manage your life.

Pay attention to feedback.  Stay self-aware. But resist self-doubt, resist being sucked into the vortex of someone else’s plan.  Know where you are going, know that only you know you.

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What’s your quest?

“Climb your own Everest.”

Create a quest.  Your own personal quest.  Become your own hero.

Most people don’t.  They get busy with the inconsequential, day to day mundanities of life, and fail to notice the summit in view.  They fail to take on the challenge of the climb and forfeit the experience of the breathtaking vista that was there to behold.

What is your quest?  It can be any goal that in its pursuit leads you to reach your higher self – to discover the hero in you.

When you eventually leave this world, go out with the knowledge that you managed to play your best game.

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When you least expect it…

“The best way to get approval is to not need it.” – Hugh MacLeod

Affirmation, approval and applause are not the ingredients of excellence, nor the requirements for success.  They are feedback, they are outcomes that may, or may not, motivate you.

Motivate yourself.  Become a fan of you.  Become a fan of others too.

Today, why not make someone’s day? Send some positive, enabling fan mail.  Be ready to show appreciation without expecting anything in return.  Who knows what will happen?   The return route of good karma shows up when you least expect it.

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Build the blueprint

“We do not get better without structure.” – Marshall Goldsmith

When you create structure, you get focused.  The roadmaps, the blueprints, the habits and routines you design keep you on course.  They purposefully limit your options, they enable you to more precisely target and pursue what you want.

Chefs follow recipes. Physicians follow protocols. Builders follow blueprints.  You too, must create your roadmap, your design, your series of repeatable processes that lead you toward your goals.

Goals alone won’t get you there.   Get structure and get better.

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Push, probe, explore

“When you know more, you can do more.”

Choose to end today knowing more than you did yesterday.   Don’t just float through the day.

Learn from the day.  Ask questions.  Push.  Probe.  Explore.

Open a book.  Attend a seminar.  Get excited about growing your mind.  When you know more, you do more with your wonderful life.

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The art of persistence

“The first draft of anything is sh*t.” – Ernest Hemingway

You finally get bold enough to attempt.  You finally do it.  Yet the result is underwhelming.

Get over it.   The path to excellence, the path to remarkable, the path to singular achievement is littered with the debris of initial starts that were merely average, insufficient, failing to align with the dream.

And that’s why persistence matters.  That’s why Hemingway, in a 1958 interview with the Paris Review, shared that he rewrote the ending to his wartime masterpiece “A Farewell to Arms” 39 times before he got it right.  Research of his papers after his death showed the number was more like 47.

The art of achievement is largely the art of persistence.  Hang in there!

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Ask the questions

“Life isn’t about finding the answers.  It’s about asking the questions.” – Brian Grazer

Curiosity pulls you into life at a deeper level.  Into the unfolding details – too often obscured – of your own life.  Into the unseen, unknown details of others. Into the unfolding wonders of the universe.

Ask the questions.  Get interested, and in the process become more interesting.  Ask the questions, and in the process connect with others at a more intimate level.  Ask the questions, and in the process discover your humanity.

Know that the beauty of curiosity is more about the incredible, winding, circuitous journey of personal discovery and growth,  and less about reaching some final answer.

Get seriously curious, and in the process become a better you.

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We've been working on a new website! Whenever we read these posts, we're inspired to write our own private thoughts. Now you can write your own private thoughts at 130words.com. It's easy. It's private. It's free. Try it! Let us know what you think!

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