Do your work
There’s power in it. Work that may, or may not, be not found within your 9 to 5. Maybe it’s the things done purely from passion. Maybe it’s the extra effort you take within that extra window of time you make within your busy day. It’s what gives deeper meaning and larger purpose in your life.
Maybe it’s art, or a craft, or the act of giving back in some way to your world. You do it, and keep doing it. You do it even in those infrequent episodes when you’re not in the mood. It’s what drives and inspires and fulfills you.
There’s beauty and power in doing work you love. It’s your gift to yourself and your world. Keep doing your work, all the time.
How can I know what I think until I see what I say? (attributed to E.M. Forster)
Sometimes you have to figure things out as you go. Sometimes no amount of advance thinking and brainstorming can pull things together. Sometimes you have to experiment, just try something, and then choose your next step.
Life is sometimes like driving at night. You only see a hundred yards ahead, so you drive the first hundred, and then the next hundred, and then the next. Eventually you see where you’re headed. The road ahead becomes clearer at each new marker; the destination becomes visible as you get closer.
For most, if you wait for brilliant, innovative ideas and answers to first arrive, you’ll never start the journey.
How’s your timing?
Timing makes the difference between success and failure. Show up at 8:05 for an 8:00 flight and you’re going nowhere.
Every day, opportunities are lost because of a mistake in timing, a miscalculated priority, a lack of urgency.
When it’s important, let go of the excuse that you don’t have time. Let go of the excuse that you need more time. Let go of the excuse that someday you’ll find time.
Achievers know it’s not enough to just launch (an idea, a program, a product), you also have to ship. How’s your timing?
Think above the trivial
You grow big by thinking big. Getting stuck on the trivial is the path to becoming small.
Why be small? Why fall into the trap of lowering your sights? Why settle for lots of less?
Stretch your vision. See what can be, rather than just what is. Focus your attention on the bigger view of where you can and must go.
Get into the daily practice of asking yourself “How can I do more? How can I do better?” And then do more, and do better.
It starts by thinking above the trivial.
This is the year of you
Has your year started? Some got off to a false start. Some are repeating 2016. Worse, some are still stuck in 2010. Where are you?
It’s the year when your effort isn’t negotiable, your intentions uncompromising, your progress consistent. It’s the year of no excuses.
The year is still young. Have you started? If not, why not? Why not start today?
Start doing. There’s no greater waste of mental muscle than the endless dreaming of success.
Take action. Acquire knowledge. Gain mastery, and refine skills.
Develop the time-tested principles of winners – like focus, preparation and persistence. Accept the law of cause and effect, and quit blaming luck for what does or doesn’t show up in your life.
Most of all, invest your future time in getting things done. Do it because you know that success is an outcome, not a wish.
Remind yourself regularly: You’re better than you think. Even when you screw up, or run into a string of unlucky circumstances. Even if you have an average IQ, went to an average school, and got C’s.
You need not be a superhero or have a super-intellect or do everything flawlessly to succeed. Every day, ordinary people who believe in themselves change the world for the better in some way.
The best thing you can do is believe in yourself. Never sell yourself short.
Doing all you really want to do is hard
It has always been hard. It takes extreme focus, effort and mental discipline. That’s why so few get to do what they really want to do; why so few get what they really want from life. Most won’t go to the extreme. Most won’t push their limits. Most won’t exert the mental toughness it takes for exceptional achievement.
They won’t get up an hour earlier each morning. They won’t take the time to read, to write, to plan and prepare. They won’t pursue the mastery of needed skills. They just wing it.
Too bad. The remarkable life won’t show up by just winging it.
What went right?
We’re wired to pay attention to the red lights. We’re not aware of just how many green lights we pass through each day. We focus on the 3 things that went wrong, and miss the 30 things that went right.
You have to be thoughtful to be thankful. You have to step back and see the bigger picture – every day. The unwanted stuff that shows up – in balance – is far smaller than the blessings.
See with clearer eyes, do the arithmetic, and count your blessings.
Winter is coming
Just when we thought it was going, know that it’s coming back. Maybe sooner than we think.
We live within the seasons of life. The seasons are real; they’re also metaphors for our life experiences. If we’re diligent, we plant seeds in the spring, nourish crops in the summer, and enjoy the fruits of the harvest in the fall. We then hunker down and plan for the future during winter.
Winter is harsh and unforgiving. We will starve in the winter if we fail to first plant in the spring. Winter – no matter in what form it shows up in our lives – will be back.
Winter is coming. Are you ready?