Something “bad” happens. A metaphorical fire has started. As humans, we have the ability to choose how/if we react.
So the question is: will you respond with gasoline or water? A useful heuristic for children and adults alike.
Gary Vaynerchuck has an insightful book called “Jab, jab, jab, right hook”, the premise of which is to engage your audience/fans/clients by giving three times before asking or requesting anything. Josh Spector has a creative idea challenging us to make one out of every three social media posts highlight and praise other people.
Imagine a world where the ratio was skewed more in favor of “how can I elevate and support you?” than “what can you do for me?”
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 I read through business contracts, health care benefits explanations, and even news stories, I wonder if there’s a way to adopt a concept that seeks to radically simplify what is being presented, perhaps in a way that any could quickly comprehend the most honest yet consequential portion of what we’re explaining.
TLDR; Let’s use as few words as possible to convey information responsibly and with (radical) simplicity.
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.
Our never-give-up culture motivates us to continue doing things that don’t serve us lest we feel like quitters. But it’s wise to stop doing what isn’t working.
One focusing question when you consider stopping something is: knowing what I now know if I had the choice to start this today from scratch (hire this person, make this investment, choose this partner, obtain an advanced degree…) would I do it?
If the answer is a clear no, don’t fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy – the idea that because you “invested” time in something you should see it through.
“We’d worry so much less about what people thought of us if we realized how seldom they do.” This quote is attributed to many people, and as cliche as it sounds, it’s worth checking in with yourself and asking: Am I living in a way that serves me, or in a way that is consistent with what I believe others expect of me?
It’s hard to overstate the value of a useful perspective or piece of advice that comes at the right time. If I read an entire book, listen to a podcast, or even attend a seminar, and all I glean is one great nugget of wisdom, I consider it a worthwhile investment.
It may be easy to scoff at the time-cost of a three-hour book reading session that only delivers one great idea. Until you find that one idea has you starting a new side business (or deciding to bail on the one you have), saves your company money, or stops you from going into a career or Master’s program that you would have regretted.