If you believe in the so-called Law of Attraction, then you believe that you attract whatever your dominant thoughts are. This is difficult since we don’t consciously know our dominant thoughts. They happen below the level of conscious thought.
The first step in attracting the desired things, people, and events in our lives is taking inventory of invisible scripts. Things like: “I’m not worthy of…,” “I’m not very good at…” and turning them into scripts that serve you, like: “I deserve to be happy,” and “I learn quickly.”
Changing our dialogue is difficult when our energy is focused on what’s wrong. Life improves when we focus on, believe in, and conjure up the way we want to “feel” when the improvement is made. The same law works against us when we focus on and feel the thing(s) we’re unhappy about.
In her moving Ted Talk, Susan Cain outlines how social interactions by default tend to be structured by and for extroverts and why it’s important to respect and value the many introverts.
A humble brag about my sister, who initiated new “normal” activities for elementary school children who felt left out at recess for not embracing sports as their mode of play. Now, groups of people can work on art, read, or do other activities of their choice, either in relative isolation or quietly within a group.
We should know by now that leveraging people’s natural strengths and preferences produces more creativity, motivation, and, best of all, more fulfilled humans.
Our society praises talented people, but there’s an attribute even more valuable for making progress, personally, professionally, and as a society: an attitude of determination.
As Paul Graham points out: “One sign that determination matters more than talent: there are lots of talented people who never achieve anything, but not that many determined people who don’t.”
It’s common to hear people brag about the expertise of their teachers/coaches, but the real way to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and coaches is by assessing the skill of their students or mentees.
The best teachers show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.
If you’re in a leadership role, make sure you create the conditions that allow people to flourish. The best way to do that is to produce an environment where the learning reveals itself.
Most people spend their lives being dutiful descendants instead of remarkable ancestors. Each generation has the choice to aim to please their predecessors or improve things for their offspring. Many people who were the most positive influences on humanity did not blindly follow in their parent’s footsteps.
In the words of Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the old. Seek what they sought.”
You can strive to make previous generations proud, or endeavor to make the world better for the next.
As appealing and status-raising as it may seem, you will never look good for making someone else look bad. The opposite is also true.
Incidentally, one of the most flattering ways to compliment someone is by saying sincere, favorable things about them to other people.
Care more than most think is wise.
Risk more than most think is safe.
Dream more than most think is practical.
Expect more than most believe is possible.
Most of the media we’re exposed to in a 24-hour news cycle is not positive. Everyone knows that fueling outrage will obtain far more clicks than the human interest story of a stranger who did something kind for one of her 7 billion neighbors.
Because negative news is more pervasive, it’s easy to think that destructive things and people are the norm.
You probably won’t make the news by doing kind things for strangers with no regard for what they may get in return, but you will help instill faith in humanity and cancel out some of the damaging behavior of others.
One useful way to prompt intrinsic motivation is to think like an athlete. Set aside time for focused, deep work, either creating something valuable or “sharpening the saw “so that we are better creators.
At the highest level of athletics, professionals train hard in “sprints”, then rest, then reassess based on their performance on the battlefield. In our business lives, we tend to just plug away as though 10 hours of “work” is equal to 10 hours of output or value.
For many of us who are used to trading our time for money, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like our time is intrinsically valuable, but it’s only as valuable as what it enables you to create, become, or deliver on the battlefield.
We tend to think of freedom in terms of the options we have. This is “freedom to…” While we may not have all the resources that give us freedom TO do all we desire, we can recognize the opposite side of the coin, which is “freedom from”: any of the pressures, stresses, or life-deranging things that don’t plague us at this moment.
As you contemplate all you have the freedom to do, give thanks and perhaps give yourself credit for the harmful and even traumatic things that you have freedom from.