Jul 25, 2012 - Musings    2 Comments

100 Tips About Life, People, and Happiness

1. True wisdom and insight is always free.

2. Give your power over to no one.

3. Going into the unknown is how you expand what is known.

4. Get a library card.

5. Spend more time around people that both challenge and respect you.

6. Remain skeptical forever.

7. Fight for what matters.

8. There is a method that works. Find it.

9. Join a movement.

10. Drink your coffee black.

11. Never let anyone photoshop a picture of you. It creates a false sense of self-confidence.

12. Read more. Especially things you disagree with.

13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth.

14. It’s easy for people to talk a good game, so watch how they behave instead.

15. Learn something from everyone.

16. Find things that inspire you and pursue them, even if there’s no money in it.

17. Starve if you have to, for as long as you need to.

18. Survive on a little just to prove you can do it.

19. Get one big success at an early age. It’ll help build your confidence for bigger things.

20. Do what you say you’ll do. No one is reliable anymore.

21. Be comfortable with abandonment, even of parts of your identity.

22. Learn a new language.

23. Eat more protein.

24. Keep people around you that will tell you the truth.

25. Genius gets you nowhere. Execution is everything.

26. If given the choice of equity or cash, always take cash.

27. Meet new people as often as possible. Offer to help them.

28. Don’t discriminate. Connect anyone in your network to anyone else.

29. If you can’t do a pull-up, you have a problem.

30. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

31. Get a passport. Fill it up with stamps no one has ever seen.

32. Quit your horrible job.

33. Read biographies. It’s like having access to the best mentors in history.

34. Go to bed, and wake up, early. No one will bother you, letting your best work emerge.

35. Scare yourself a little bit every day. It will expand your inner map.

36. Learn to climb trees.

37. Don’t buy a lot of stuff, and only buy the stuff you really love.

38. Be humble and curious.

39. Twitter followers don’t keep you warm at night.

40. Be as useful as you can in as many circumstances as possible.

41. Show up.

42. Repeat people’s names when you meet them.

43. Turn internet access off your phone. Wifi is fine.

44. Get a deck of Oblique Strategies cards. Use them.

45. Make your home a place where you feel safe.

46. Take people up on bets. Make more bets yourself.

47. Take cold showers. They’re better than coffee.

48. Learn to enjoy hunger.

49. Make everything either shorter, or longer, than it needs to be.

50. Always remember those who helped you. Deliver two or three times as much value back.

51. But also, help people who have never helped you, and can’t.

52. When you know that pain is temporary, it affects all of your decisions.

53. Get a tattoo. Don’t worry about regret.

54. Commit to things, regularly, that are far beyond your ability.

55. Meet with friends more often than you think you have to.

56. Learn to meditate. Go on a retreat if you have to.

57. Your stories are both more and less interesting than you think.

58. Learn to really listen.

59. Walk more.

60. Ugly is just a step on the way to beautiful.

61. Get to know your neighbours.

62. Don’t take anything personally, ever.

63. Consider avoiding school. Go to lots of conferences instead.

64. As soon as you can, buy some art.

65. Apologize more than you need to.

66. Find out if there will be food there.

67. A good haircut changes everything.

68. Read Man’s Search For Meaning.

69. Say no to projects you don’t care about.

70. Do things that are uncool. Later on, they usually end up becoming cool anyway.

71. Find your voice.

72. Have some manners.

73. Learn to play chess, go, and bridge. They’ll keep you from going senile.

74. Learn about the Tetrapharmakos.

75. Find ways to cheat the system– just don’t cheat people.

76. Be like Jesus, not like his followers. (This applies to all of them.)

77. At least once, date someone that’s out of your league.

78. Examine your jealousy. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.

79. Good connections are about people, not social networks.

80. Address small problems. They will become big problems.

81. Dress like a cooler version of yourself.

82. Yes, there is such a thing as bad press.

83. Add “adventurer” to your Twitter bio. Then, become one.

84. If the internet is the best thing in your life, you have a serious problem.

85. Give away your best work for free.

86. Find mentors. Just don’t call them that.

87. Actually write on your blog. Nobody cares if it’s hard.

88. Download Freedom. Use it for an hour every day.

89. Join a gym. Lift the heaviest you can. (This applies to girls too.)

90. Do some freewriting. It helps you think things through.

91. When you’re having supper with rich people, pick up the cheque.

92. Learn how to speak in public.

93. If you see someone who needs help, stop asking yourself if they need help. Instead, just help.

94. Bring a bottle of wine.

95. The best conversations are had side by side, not one in front of the other.

96. Protect your hearing. Trust me.

97. Do what’s most important first thing in the morning, before you check email.

98. Everyone feels like they’re not good enough. It’s not just you.

99. Courage is a learned skill.

100. Go to Iceland. It’s worth it.

 

Compiled by Julien Smith

 

Jul 25, 2012 - Musings    3 Comments

Motivation Tips

Motivation Tips

Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started. Here are a few:

  1. Go Back to “Why” – Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing. If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.
  2. Go for Five – Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.
  3. Move Around – Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude, but it works.
  4. Find the Next Step – It’s impossible to work on a project. All you can do is focus on the next immediate step. Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable.
  5. Find Your Itch – What is keeping you from working. Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem. Are you unmotivated because your tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry. Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet.
  6. Deconstruct Your Fears – I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed. Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident you can handle the worst case scenario.
  7. Get a Partner – Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.
  8. Kickstart Your Day – Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.
  9. Read Books – Not just self-help or motivational books, but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion, so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.
  10. Get the Right Tools – Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation. Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.
  11. There are No Small Problems – The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones, or they will kill any drive you have.
  12. Develop a Mantra – Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster, or just a few words to tell you what to do. If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is, “Do it now!”
  13. Build on Success – Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut. There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.
Jun 2, 2012 - Musings    2 Comments

True Business 101

The ‘market’ is not the Stock Market.  The Stock Market is not the ‘economy’ or the best indicator of what products and services are creating the highest social value. It is a win/lose game that preys on hope and re-directs investments to non-productive processes.

The money invested in the stock market does not go to the companies. No R&D or product/service improvements are created by buying the stock of a company as none of the money invested is received by the company.  The money is traded between brokers and stock account holders.  No product or service is ever created.

Without the influence of the stock holders the leaders of a company are responsible for managing their business in way that creates profits.  Profits result from efficiently managing costs and sales of products/services that are purchased by customers.  When the products/services increase their social value, as perceived by the customers, profits rise.  Profits that are re-invested in products/services improvement that are appreciated by customers generally increase.  Guiding this process is the job of responsible leaders.

Now, more than ever, we require courageous responsible ‘real market’ leaders – in our businesses and our governments. Not stock holder controlled businesses or governments who focus primarily on increased share price and not improved products.

Leaders should be catalysts focused on innovation and energy release. Responsible leaders should be facilitating inspiring conveners stimulating changing conditions for potential progress.  Conditions change because we do.  Conditions get better because we do.

Especially our government leaders must become aware that they don’t have all of the right answers.  They must start again and ask better questions.

May 31, 2012 - Musings    2 Comments

Irrational Complacency

In the late 1990’s Alan Greenspan cautioned us of the condition of ‘Irrational Exuberance”.  I suggest that we must now aggressively combat the disease of ‘Irrational Complacency’.  As a proud American I feel that too often our nation is  being inoculated into inactivity with continual doses of the refrains, “We are the greatest nation, We are the greatest innovators. We are the greatest  ____”.  These refrains may have had more truth for the ‘Greatest Generation.’ Today their effect is to lull too many persons into complacency which breeds resistance to change – to progress.

While many doddle in America the world has changed – has progressed through ‘globalization’, world-around ‘connectivity’, highly-skilled comparatively low-pay workers, people elsewhere willing to save, sacrifice, and work ever harder for a perceived better tomorrow.  At this same time, too many Americans have been cajoled into believing that we are in a temporary economic dip and that the former ‘good times’ will return so no change in regulations, policies, attitudes, or actions are required.

Isn’t this what the entrenched enriched benefactors of past practices are preaching?  “Don’t panic, don’t change, we like it as it is.” – for it has greatly benefitted us, the recipients of inordinate societal wealth.  Many have exchanged no social value.

I contend that change is absolutely necessary.  Change in the mindsets of the general public and especially our leaders.  We must recognize that there has been a ‘paradigm shift’ in where and how sustainable comprehensive social wealth will be created in North America and Western Europe.  We can’t expect this to be promoted by the current rich in Western societies.  When kings fell it was the royal court who suffered.

As the virtual ‘royals’ largely control public messaging it is important to pierce the veil of their pretended social conscientiousness, reveal the impact of narrow self-aggrandizing public and business policies, and let free markets instruct us as to what is wanted and needed for expanded economic opportunity for the general public.