Explore the freedom in limitations
There is a kind of freedom in doing work under limitations. You narrow your scope. You focus on the essentials, and use your resources – money, people, and time – carefully. You get creative.
When there’s not enough money, and not enough time, and few resources available, you cut out the excess, you move past the way things are usually done, and you do the unusual.
When you embrace the freedom to innovate, you make magic despite limitations.
You don’t have to be a genius to make genius. – Ryan Holiday
Every day you experience moments of brilliance. Moments you miss if you’re not paying attention. Moments easily obscured when you focus on the ordinary, when you let yourself become distracted.
Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t sit and dream about the time when genius might show up. It’s already there, already in and around you. Learn to be receptive.
Seize those fleeting moments and run with them. Probe them, ask questions of yourself and others. Test your ideas, push the envelope, and let those small moments build big momentum.
In a world consumed by distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.
When you’re with someone, be there. When you’re on a task, focus on it. Achievement is about prioritizing what you want to get done, and then getting it done.
You can’t straddle, and juggle, and dabble. You can’t have three conversations going on in your head at the same time. Engage the power of single-tasking and get things done.
Say what you mean
Dare to move beyond the verbal veneer. You have the right to be assertive with your thoughts and beliefs. You may be confronted by the politically correct crowd, the social justice warriors, the insolent, and those who just love to pick a fight. No matter. You know you can be assertive without being obnoxious, without being boorish..
Say what you mean, and know what you mean to say. Think first. Be deliberate. Remember: Thoughts can be incomplete. Words can be ambiguous and convey mixed messages. Intent can be misunderstood. People listen through their own filters, and everyone has an opinion. Make your message crisp and relevant.
Say what you mean, and believe in what you say. Speak thoughtfully and sparingly. Talk is cheaper than table salt, so wrap your words in value and love.
Recover from work
Unplug. Every day. Detach; create healthy boundaries. Resist the addiction.
Reduce the physical and psychological strain and stress that too much focus on work creates. It’s not sustainable. Too much work robs you of joyful life experiences, compromises relationships and leads to burn-out. At its worst, it can kill you.
Learn to do more in less time. Figure out what’s essential. Better to spend 5 hours in focused engagement – and get things done – than 10 hours in low-focus, distracted busyness.
Engage with your world. Find time. Create space. Grow and have fun doing it.
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.
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.
Live on your terms.
It’s not always about the money or the status or the Tesla or Ferrari in your driveway. It’s ultimately about living your life your way.
Not under someone else’s standards and rules and expectations. It’s living by your terms.
Freedom is priceless.
Dispute the reality of your fears.
They’re unwelcomed squatters.
Yet you feed and cultivate them daily.
You let them occupy a place in your life.
You listen to their advice as if they’re
smarter than you.
Why let fear compromise your joy?
Why let fear suck energy from your soul?
Why let fear build walls around your life,
so that you stay small?
Why not face your fears and do something?
Why not evict the squatters?
Why not start today?
Where’s your adjacent possible?
The good stuff exists beyond the obvious, beyond where you normally expect.
Look past the places where conventional wisdom tells you opportunity awaits.
Look past the places where the crowd wants you to go.
Discover new territory. Discover where you can expand your unique skills and capacities.
Discover all the tangential possibilities you can explore. They’re lurking along the edges.
The really good stuff is rarely front and center. You find the good stuff when you push to the edge.
Why not push to the edge?