People often ask my advice on whether they should pursue additional degrees or education.
Two important questions to ask yourself when considering ANY significant investment of time and resources:
1) What are my intended outcomes?
2) What are alternative ways I could achieve them?
The goals of starting an MBA program may be: knowledge; credibility; networking. One alternative is to work free of charge, shadowing people running a real business and achieve all three outcomes. Of course, you may decide after conducting this thought experiment that an MBA is best for you.
The wisest people are not the ones with the best answers, they’re the ones with the best questions.
Eulogies would be so much more valuable if we gave them while people were still alive.
Science confirms that expressing gratitude makes us and the object of our gratitude feel measurably better (Not that we needed science to confirm this).
Since no one obtains any kind of success without support from our parents, spouses, friends, old bosses who took a chance on us, 3rd grade teachers…make time to focus your energy on each person. Do it for them and you.
Who can you thank today?
I’ve read lots of books devoted to skill acquisition. There’s some useful info, backed by impressive data revealing habits, practices, and routines of world-class performers.
One of the most important commonalities is that most world-class performers had a coach/teacher who made the activity fun early on.
Interest precedes talent development, and even if Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory is correct, most of us won’t devote the second hour to something that doesn’t seem fun.
Exposing children (or adults for that matter) to someone who can make an activity interesting or fun may be the most important first step. That goes for tennis, violin, or coding.
I believe that the ultimate goal of wisdom is to have the same clarity you’ll have on your deathbed, but long before that so you can still act on it.
From that perspective, it seems absurd that we would ever:
– Feel bad for not fitting in with certain groups
– Believe that others are hyper-aware of our minor flaws, like your unmatched shoelaces or tiny scar
– Thoughtlessly allow other people’s beliefs, opinions or fears to become our own
– Connect with, date, or befriend toxic people out of obligation or fear of the alternative
– Blame others for our circumstances
– Judge others for anything other than their character
– EVER take the most important people in our lives for granted
The exact life you have right now is a reflection of your standards, or, put simply, exactly what you are willing to TOLERATE. This includes your finances, how you’re treated by others, your relationships, etc.
The common approach to personal growth is to exert more effort. Try harder. Tenacity and grit are useful, but upgrading your environment works better and faster.
If your home, social or work life feel antithetical to your goals, they probably are. Your standards reflect your reality. Want to change the quality of your life? Three words: raise your standards.
I stopped making specific resolutions, and started doing an 80/20 analysis of my year instead. There is a much more sophisticated version of this, but here is the practice from 10,000 feet:
- Evaluate the last 12 months on your calendar thru the lens of: the 20% of people and activities that produced 80% of your positive / negative emotions
- Commit to scheduling activities and appointments with people that bring you the positive 20%. This involves planning and paying for trips, planning meetings, get-togethers, and events now – or as early as possible.
- Create a NOT-to-do list which includes people and activities you’ll avoid, as they represent the negative side of the list.
The quality of your “free time” plummets when your mental software is focused on the negativity that just happened, or the stressful events that might occur. Time loses value when we aren’t able to be present in the current time.
People always say that time is our most valuable asset. But time without attention is insignificant.