(a note to myself, reviewed daily.)
(a note to myself, reviewed daily.)
Remember the power of your word, in all contexts.
Use your word to convey trust, commitment, and follow through. As you demonstrate consistency, you’ll establish yourself as someone that others know they can count on in every relationship.
Additionally, use your words to positively influence, inspire, and improve those around you. Use words to compliment, acknowledge, and express gratitude with great consistency. However, remember that you also have a responsibility to speak with candor and transparency always, and it’s equally important to use your word to correct behavior, suggest improvements, to apologize, to forgive, to admit when you’re wrong, and to stand up for yourself when you believe you’re right. Radical truth is likely most important in the situations in which it’s more difficult.
Remember to never withhold a kind thought.
Some may aspire to become the “best” but you strive to become “better.”
Life, projects, and relationships should be viewed as a never ending journey in which the goal is to simply become a little bit better every single day.
Embrace the times you fall short and fail, the times of great difficulty and discomfort, because those are the greatest opportunities to learn, grow, build relationships and your reputation as you share your learnings with humility and grace.
Aim for Progress, not Perfection.
Every project, meeting, and relationship brings an opportunity for you to share and give to benefit the lives of others. Regardless of your role, always leave every situation better than you found it. Lead at every level, and become indispensable by giving more than you take.
You have a unique ability to recognize the things that make people and projects special. Always invest your time and effort to use this gift to uncover + highlight the positive.
When life presents challenges, recognize them with gratitude, having confidence that as you endure and overcome them, your life will be blessed with new learning and growth.
Additionally, let this positive outlook shine not only as it relates to specific projects or events, but as a part of your character and demeanor in all you do. You will never be in alignment with those who dislike your positive demeanor and try to tear you down, so don’t change to please them. They need not be in your life anyway.
Every journey is easier with clear directions and a map to follow.
But you weren’t made to follow the clear paths to a destination on a map drawn by someone else.
Instead, you were meant to live a life in which you imagine, design and follow your own map. Remember that you must first determine your destination, and then create your map to get there. Your use of milestones along the way is important. Learn to set, achieve, and celebrate them regularly to keep yourself heading in the right direction.
As you continuously create and follow your map, be ruthless as you challenge the status quo and relentless to remain your unique and true self always. Stand out for good. Document your progress and process along the way, so that you might remember your own learnings in the future, but more importantly so that you can share with others.
Your life will be blessed with happiness, meaning, and fulfillment as you create, follow, and share your map with others. Find joy in the journey always.
I finished writing my personal mission statement and core values during a very challenging period of my life. It was a season of failure, learning, and growth. A time of transition, closing one chapter and beginning another. I experienced heartbreak as relationships and people I had prioritized let me down, while at the same time finding clarity and meaning in other relationships and opportunities I had been missing out on.
This period of life was particularly helpful for me to learn a lot about myself. As I worked through challenges and discomfort with a commitment to learning, I experienced growth. I put problems under a microscope to find solutions and root causes. I drew from data and intense introspection to discover patterns and review mistakes.
It was also a time of exhaustive study and research. Books like Built to Last helped me learn about remarkable, timeless corporations and the foundations upon which they were built. Ray Dalio's Principles was particularly inspiring as it aligned with my goals to create my own set of guiding values and principles, by which I could make decisions and approach my relationships, both in a personal and professional capacity.
The core values above are what I've identified as the most important and relevant for my life. I drafted them in a way that reads as a note to self. I don't know why exactly, but that's just how it naturally came out and I kinda liked it. It's a helpful reminder for me to review daily so I can make sure my actions are aligned with the type of man I'm ever aspiring to be.
It turns out the result of failure and doing a lot of things the wrong way, when combined with a commitment to learning and soul searching, can ultimately become a whole lot of clarity about what's most important in life - the what, the why, and the who - if not specifically, then at least the attributes and qualities of those things.. and the kind of people you want to do them with.
things i'm proud of.
things i'm proud of.
At some point in all of my experiments and adjustments of my personal system for productivity and setting goals, I landed on a concept that stuck.
Most people that know me are familiar with a phrase I use to start sentences when I have an idea or imagine something different about the world.. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”
For a while, I’d jot those things down on a notepad, or in my phone, or on the computer somewhere. Now, I have dedicated a “vision board” where those things go. I have them grouped by the larger area they relate to and that’s largely become the reference point for how I’m spending my time. Twice per year, I do a large scale review and try to pick the items I’ll be spending time working towards throughout the next 6 months - on my birthday (July 3rd), and my half-birthday (January 3rd). In between, I constantly add, review, prioritize, and shuffle around, but mostly, I’m trying to spend as much of my time as possible taking something FROM my Vision Board and adding it TO my Accomplishments Board. I’ve learned that most of the things I want to accomplish in life can be preceded by that phrase - “Wouldn’t it be cool if..?”
Until now that’s been a completely private part of my workflow, but in line with my 2017 annual focus (“Share more with others”), I’ve decided to try another experiment to make it public.
Why? For starters, because I have a bad habit of only ever thinking about how to add more things to that list of Accomplishments, and I really suck at remembering to take time to celebrate those wins along the way. Second, I think knowing it’s public may keep me more accountable. I want to keep adding things to that board because of my intrinsic desire to create and do things, but a little external motivation never hurts, and knowing the whole world could look and see me being a slacker is enough to make me want to keep these columns full! Last, and perhaps most important, is that I hope it may inspire someone to go out and chase a dream, to add something to their own list of Accomplishments. I am an absolutely average human, full of flaws and without any major differentiating qualities or attributes. I’m just like you - if I can do it, so can you.
All it takes is figuring out what’s most important - what you really want to do in life - and then some intention and some discipline to invest a little of your time every day to get there. Spend even a *little* time, every day, and you’ll be amazed at what you can add to your own Accomplishments Board.