Remember you can’t take anything with you. All you have is how you feel about yourself. Avoid regret by seizing your opportunities. Eliminate guilt by treating people well, and making amends for any harm you cause. Avoid disappointment by doing your best, and be grateful for the good that’s come your way.
We get better by doing. So make something every day, no matter how small. As we get better at making we’re able to make greater things. We’ll never reach a point where it’s easy, but we’ll learn to face our fears and live with them. That’s critical, because we can’t create without uncertainty, rejection, and failure. Accept fear and push forward.
Buddhists point out that we don’t know when karma will ripen and we will reap its fruit (or poison). Everything we do, no matter how small, has an effect. It’s easy to forget this because we often aren’t around for the results of our actions. Just as one small drop can make a ripple, our actions as individuals can have far-reaching effects.
So take care in what you do. You don’t know when the details will matter.
Programmers have a saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” It means poor quality inputs produce poor quality results. It’s the same with our mind. What we fill our heads with influences our thoughts, creations, and solutions. Feed your brain junk and your thoughts will consist of junk.
Ask yourself if the podcast, book, news, or whatever is nutritious brain food. If not, go focus on something else.
It’s easy to ignore what’s right in front you when looking to apply yourself. But there’s so much value you can add today with what you already have, and what you’re already doing. Before seeking new frontiers invest in where you are. Have you done everything you can with your work? Your relationships? Yourself?
Everyone is doing it. But, whose everyone? It’s often those who listen to their heart instead of the crowd that end up changing everything. The crowd is loud and the heart is quiet, but we can learn to listen.
Anything worth doing is rarely easy. Whenever you’re thinking or being told something is easy, dig deeper. You’ll often find hidden assumptions and hubris. Sometimes we don’t know everything that’s involved. Sometimes we could be doing it better. And sometimes we’re in denial.
There are 6,000 tweets every second, hundreds of new TV shows and movies each year, and a practically endless catalog of books, articles, and blog posts. Everywhere we're inundated with people and businesses competing for our attention.
In the information age the only option is to ignore. What's remarkable and trustworthy is all that stands out. Whether making, saying, or selling it’s no longer enough to be the best. You must be remarkable. You don’t have to appeal to everyone, just the people that care. Be remarkable enough to become fashionable.
When beginning a new venture it's easy to be disheartened by those whose towers of success rise above the clouds. Standing at the bottom it's natural to feel small. But you have to remember, everything big was once just as tiny as you are now. Success is the sum of its parts. "Rome wasn't built in a day" as they say.
Celebrate being small. Small is nimble. Small is manageable. Small fits anywhere. And when things seem difficult, go smaller. Focus on your first customer, selling to one person instead of a whole market. If you can't break the project into steps, shrink the project. If you can't carry the weight, shed the load. Bite off something you can chew. Start small every day and you'll never need to go big.
Time is priceless. You only get one life (that you remember). If you had all the money in the world you wouldn’t have enough time to do everything. We tend to think about how we can accumulate more money, but it might be more valuable to think how you can accumulate more time. Time for the things that matter most.