One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Aurelius’ book, “Meditations” – which, if you haven’t read it, please pick up a copy (the penguin version is a great translation and highly affordable).
A lot going on there! Implications?
So what do we do? Make YOU the best, most sturdy version possible. Become more patient, more trusting, more confident, more humble, more flexible, more worthwhile.
Be the YOU that you’d like to imagine your “future” self to be. Your “weapons of reason” are your smarts and your ability to adapt. Your ability to think of new ways of looking at things.
Go forth. Be bold, and mighty forces will rush to your aid. Shrink not from the daily scrabble of bramble brush and political quick sand. Grow large in your ability to love those around you and be confident in your ability to manifest awesomeness from your very fingertips.
Be bold. Worry not. Awe more. You know what to do, now go do it.
Brilliant quote here from the book “Damn Good Advice (for people with talent)” which spells out why trends are exactly what you think they are: Traps. Dead ends.
I declared a few weeks ago that “Keep Calm and… ” is the new “Got Milk?” for how ubiquitous and cliche’ it has become. It’s the Harlem Shake of typography.
Working in the Student Housing industry, everyone is seeking the next “cool thing” that we can plaster on shirts and flyers and swag we toss out like slop to hogs. Often times, we pick the safest route possible. Nothing daring – nothing truly cool or unique – just safe.
If I see one more flyer/ad/brochure that says something like “Live, Work. Play” I may just gag.
What’s new? What’s next level? What has gusto and verve and life behind it?
You know, maybe I should move forward with my idea for a “Tu-days of Tupac” festival. We would feature a day of performances of his poetry, followed by a movie marathon of his films, and then wrap it up with a karaoke night and look-alike contest. It’s so ridonk, it just might work.
It’s a learned behavior. Odds are you had mentors or bosses who were forever putting out metaphorical fires. You learned something implicitly: Busy = productive. Scratch that. Busy = valued.
It’s not true and odds are when you started out in your career you sensed it in your heart, if not your head. But the allure! Running around all crazy you couldn’t help but feel… important! Needed! This whole thing relied on you to keep those balls in the air or else they would fall and everyone would be let down.
Busy is often times, bullshit. Sure, you’ve got deadlines and reports, and big things in the works. Who doesn’t. If you’re running a restaurant, the kitchen had better be busy or you’re not making jack. But you’re not the sous chef for Chez Awesome, now are you? Didn’t think so.
To be effective you need to delegate your time and spend some much valued time planning so others can faithfully execute. Like a good point guard, yours isn’t to score all the points – it’s to distribute. And to do so in a way that allows your team an easy dunk.
If you sense yourself saying any of these things as a leader – check yourself, lest you wreck yourself:
- OMG! I’ve got so much to do!
- WTF! I’ve got 156 emails since lunch!
- IDK! Maybe I have 10 minutes next week, maybe!
- If I don’t send this TPS report by 3pm, I’m burning this whole thing down.
Also, it’s a good tip that if you find yourself speaking in “text talk” then you’ve likely got some big issues.
Busy isn’t beautiful – and it sure isn’t effective. Yes, at times, you’ve got to put the head down and scramble, but that’s not the ideal situation. The glory goes to being prepared. Toward having effective systems. Toward making the most of opportunities and marshaling resources into a mighty force for good.
So next time you have the inkling to put off your work till 5pm so you can stay until midnight and claim your gallantly selfless act, don’t do it. Leaders don’t engage in such sophistry. You’re better than that. I know you are.
Insert a bunch of quotes here on: not waiting till the last minute, being awesome, and having great commitment to rad internal systems in your winning organization.
Irreverence, Passion, Art, Poetry, Stories, Movies, Debate, LOVE, smelling my son’s hair when he hugs me goodbye in the morning, seeing my wife smile, closing a deal – a BIG deal. Leading. Seeing my team decimate anything in their way.
Facing Fear. Not conquering it so much – but just facing it. Holding my breath the whole time. Innovation. Making something incrementally better. A good tomato cream sauce. Pop Art. Jeanelle’s photos. Kaleel’s brisket rub. Hiser’s Jedi-mind stuff. Marshall’s heart. Tara’s ever-presence. Tracy’s Stories.
Shifting into fourth and really letting the engine have it. The surge of an RPM gauge as you pass some Tuesday Greg on his way to get his hair cut. Getting my hair cut. Drinking coffee like it comes in a red solo cup at a frat party because you know it’s powering exceptional stuff today.
Learning something new for the first time. Did you know that WD-40 stands for “Water displacement – 1940″ because I do. Metrics. Pouring over towers of data and making it stand up and tell a story. Cutting through BS because “aint nobody got time for that” Memes (Thanks Richard Dawkins)
Having great friends that push you. Pushing yourself to be something better and achieving it. Being the type of person you want to see others be – even if it’s not all the time. Caring. The one pistachio that’s really easy to pop open. The parking space that opens at ikea as you make your first approach.
Good design. Thoughtfulness. Being present. Winning – but not at the expense of others. Knowing nothing else beats human effort. 80′s movies, namely “Red Dawn.” Tumblr. SNL. Making something out of nothing – or even better – something better out of something OK Quotes. George C. Howell speaking as “Patton”
Making a sale. Looking at things sideways. Changing my mind in the face of superior information – and doing so without apology. Grammar. Teams. Exceptional oratory. A superior cut of meat, grilled to perfection. The feel of a crisp paper in the morning and the occasional cigar.
Belly laughs. The deep look of immediate recognition from an awkward puppy. A handful of darts, a blank slate, and a pitcher of beer with good friends. When my wife makes up words by combining two words and doesn’t even realize it – cutest thing in the world. A freshly starched shirt in the morning. A clean polo on the weekends. The unexpected summer breeze in late July. Making breakfast with my boys while they stand on chairs the moved into place.
I could do this all week…
Care to try your hand? What’s your joy? What do you believe in, virulently. What would you rest back and with a wide expressive spreading of hands say “Ohhhhhhh, this is amazing!”
Name it now, please.
Simon Sinek gives about the best description I’ve ever seen on the powerful effects of Trust.
I really don’t want to say too much here, best just to take a little while to listen to this while you’re typing and soak it in.