Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Competitive Edge

From 30,000 feet, creating looks like art. From ground level, it’s a to-do list. -- Ben Arment

Your competitive edge comes when you keep doing the work others have given up on or rolled their eyes at. Doing the work can be tedious and unglamorous, which is why most people throw in the towel too soon.

Your to-do list puts the foundation under your dreams. Let others have their "I'm too busy" and the "I don't understand it so it must not matter" and the "Who has the time to..." avoidance mantras. Keep doing the work.

Originally published September 2012

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Consistent Acts of Kindness

Consistent acts of kindness trump random acts of kindness. When you dig beyond the surface, what "random acts of kindness" really means is "I'm okay with being selfish most of the time, but I'm randomly going to be nice and then go back to focusing on myself." Loving randomly rather than consistently is selfish. It is still a "me first" attitude.

Random acts of kindness are the easy out. Consistent acts of kindness are tough because they require choosing to be selfless over selfish on an ongoing basis. If I've learned anything in life it's that the tougher route is almost always the better route and the one worth taking.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On Big Ideas

A big idea will change you. Your friends may love you, but they may not want you to change. If you change, then their dynamic with you also changes.

With business colleagues it's even worse. They're used to dealing with you in a certain way. They're used to having a certain level of control over the relationship. And they want whatever makes them more prosperous. Sure, they might prefer if you prosper as well, but that's not their top priority.

Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That is why good ideas are always initially resisted. Good ideas come with a heavy burden, which is why so few people execute them. So few people can handle it.

-- Hugh MacLeod

Monday, August 18, 2014

On Loyalty

Too many people confuse loyal people with those who only give 100% positive feedback.

The problem with sycophants is that as soon as popular opinion changes, so does their "loyalty."

The people who are there for you through thick and thin, who push you to be better, who speak the truth in love even if it's not what you want to hear, those are the ones worth listening to.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sitting On The Answers

Taking the posture of a learner is necessary if one wants to lead a rich, full life. At times, though, we allow our endless quest for new knowledge to paralyze us. We become workshop and conference junkies, read every new book on the bestseller list and are always looking for the next epiphany that will make us better people or push us into more success.

The posture of a learner quickly turns into the posture of an impatient know-it-all:

"Yes, yes, I already know all that, what else do you have for me?"

Okay, but have you tried it? Do you live it? Is it part of your workflow?

Sometimes our search for new answers remains fruitless because we've done nothing with the ones we've already been given.

Originally published March 2013