Don’t look for easy

Environment matters

Where you plant yourself is where you grow – or where you wither.

Put yourself in an environment where you can thrive.  Where there is good energy, good people, challenge and encouragement. 

Find the place that enables you to become more, to do more, to add greater value.  

Don’t look for easy.  Look for possibility.

This is not Plan B

Two is one, and one is none.  (Navy SEALs)

Know the single points of failure that can happen in your plans, and make sure you have contingencies.

Don’t get screwed because you didn’t have a backup plan when something goes wrong.  Because something can and will go wrong – particularly when you’ve bet everything on the situation being flawless.

Be ready.  Bring two, so you always have one.

This is not Plan B. It’s the failsafe for Plan A.

It’s time to move on

Blessings in excess

When do blessings create a curse?

We walk the thin line between scarcity and abundance.  Help becomes a hindrance.  Riches become a burden.  Not enough becomes too much.

Life is about finding the golden mean (thank you, Aristotle).    That middle ground between the two poles of excess.  The mean never stays the same; and we shouldn’t either.  We have to find what works for our own lives, and keep adjusting, keep making course corrections.

Every day, we have to get back to basics.  Every day, we have to discover what excess we possess is preventing new great things from happening.  When blessings become a burden, it’s time to move on.

Quit the habit

Sitting is the new smoking. – Dr. James Levine

Bad for your health, bad for your head, trouble for your wallet.

From the sofa, to the office chair, to just sitting in traffic.  Sitting wreaks havoc on our bodies, dulls our imagination, deadens our spirit.

Minimize the risk.  Lose the mindless habit of just plopping down.  Sit when it makes sense, when it’s useful or necessary.  Take time out to stand and mingle.  Saunter a while.  Walk to the store.  Exercise, engage in a sport, go bowling.

Do something – anything.  Just quit the habit of staying stuck on your butt.

Life without regrets

Savor impermanence

Because nothing is permanent.  Everything is in a cycle of change – including you.  Your physical body will die, mine will too.  The world will continue to change in ways we can’t control.

You cannot fully live in the moment, or fully enjoy today until you embrace impermanence.   The desire for permanence is founded on fear, and thrives on scarcity.  The acknowledgement of impermanence creates the cultivation of gratitude, and the appreciation of the abundance that arrives with each new day.

Let go. Loosen your grip. Impermanence is inevitable.  You cannot avoid it, but you can use it to push yourself to squeeze the most out of every moment.  You can let it motivate you to use what time you have thoughtfully.

Life without regrets is life that savors impermanence.

There is so much more…

You cannot learn that which you think you already know.  (from Epictetus).

Let go of the obsession with ego porn.  The fake news that headlines how smart you are.  You’re not.

Let go of the arrogance that accompanies ego.  It gets in the way of listening and learning.

Let go of what you think you know.  Acquire humility.  Appreciate what you have, but open your mind to more.

Open your mind to more because there is so much more you don’t know and need to learn.

Anticipate

Prepare

For the times you’ll be tempted and tested.  For the times situations and forces try to draw you in a direction you know is not in your best interest.

It’s too late to wait until the situation shows up.  Be situationally saavy. Be ready with choices outlined in your mind.  Have the script prepared.

Think critically.  Anticipate.  Proactively prepare how you will respond to circumstance, and you’ll be ready to make the right decision, to take the right action.

Read the news

An instant away

A bad choice or wrong action can mess up your life in an instant.   Errors in judgment, repeated day after day, can lead to disaster.

Read the news.  Every day some poor soul has learned the hard way that the downhill slide happens fast.  That hard won reputation, the trust, the prized relationships and measures of success can evaporate quickly.

The good news is that you can improve your self-awareness. You can learn to think more clearly, make better choices, and understand the consequences of decisions and actions considered.

The good news too is that if you do screw up, you can emerge from the mess; you can reinvent yourself.  You can’t hide from the consequences of your decisions and actions, but you can move on, and move up.

Plenty of work ahead

Make progress, not perfection

You’re not as good as you think.  You don’t have it all figured out.  There’s plenty of work ahead for you to get better.

Our mind can be a very convincing liar.  We all have blind spots.  It takes higher self-awareness to see ourselves as we really are.  It takes courage to step up and make changes.

Accept this.  Make peace with this.  Know that there is more right with you than wrong with you. Then focus on making progress rather than perfection.

Change is a challenge to everyone

Expect poor treatment

When you are moving fast, when you are breaking barriers and gaining ground, expect poor treatment and abuse from the entrenched.  Expect everything from indifference to outright sabotage.

When you move up, you become a threat to those already there.  You threaten the fragile psyche of those desperately clinging to the ground you are now taking.    Be ready.  Plan accordingly.  And don’t forget to embrace all the good mojo that may also show up from people welcoming you to join the club.

Recognize that change is not only a challenge for you as you move up, but for those already there.  Be ready to reframe expectations, plan your next steps, and navigate the obstacles.