Intentions and behavior

Most of us tend to judge others by their actions, but judge ourselves based on our intentions.

One without the other is impure.  Let’s look for opportunities to let other peoples’ actions slide, and occasionally seek out (or even assume) that they have good intentions.  After all, we’re doing that with ourselves.

Breaking the ice

Every culture has unwritten rituals, many of which apply to meeting people for the first time.  Your culture influences what you see as “normal”.

It’s possible to choose perspectives that serve us even better than the ones we were given at birth.  When we first meet people it’s common to feel the need to “break the ice”, the metaphorical wall that separates us.

What if we chose to act as if there were no ice in the first place?

Investing in your future self

There are many ways to make frequent, incremental changes that yield meaningful long-term results.

Investing a portion of the money you earn is wise and practical, but need not apply only to finances.  Every small action you take today that advances ‘future you’ is beneficial.

This means everything from getting your running clothes out for the morning, or writing down tomorrow’s priorities before bed tonight, to spending ten minutes per day doing that thing you want to become an expert in.

Important but non-urgent tasks determines future you.

Are you a chef or a cook?

‘Chef’ and ‘cook’ are incorrectly used as synonyms.  Cooks excel when they can implement recipes created by others, perhaps with their own added flare.

Chefs invent recipes.  They use first principles as ingredients, and achieve outcomes using creative means, sometimes constructing something never seen before.

Copy or create?  Conventional wisdom or new design?  Neither is superior.  There is a wise place for each.  Food is just a metaphor here.  It’s valuable to reflect on whether you’re operating as one or the other in each important area of your life.

 

You are not your thoughts

It’s funny how we say ‘I am angry’ but no one would think to say ‘I am a broken arm.’  We know that we are not equal to our emotions, we only experience them (for a much shorter time than an injury).  Just because you feel, think, or even say something out loud, doesn’t mean it has to define you forever.

You are not your thoughts.

An important distinction of mindfulness is remembering that you don’t have to believe everything you think.

Don’t wait to be picked

We live in a time where there are fewer gatekeepers.  If you want to be an artist, an actor, a business person, a singer…you don’t have to wait for the studios, agents, TV stations, or record labels to “discover” you.

People who claim they’re working for their “piece of the pie” don’t understand that we live in the world’s most amazing kitchen.  You can make your own pie.

You no longer need permission.  You don’t need to wait to be picked.  Choose yourself.

How to apologize effectively

It’s surprising that our education system doesn’t stress effective ways to collaborate and verbally communicate with other humans, given that whatever careers we choose or lives we have will require these skills.

One simple but important “recipe” I often refer back to is the three steps to an effective apology:

  1. Say you’re sorry
  2. Acknowledge how your action affected someone else
  3. Identify what you’ll do to right the wrong, and ensure it won’t happen again