I’m tired, I can’t write today.
I don’t feel like pushing the envelope right now.
I don’t think what I have to say matters.
What if I make a fool out of myself?
Oh but I know he’ll dismiss what I write.
I’m not important.
I’m really in over my head here…
All examples of statements that could be followed-up with a statement like “I have nothing to say.”
But the only way to stand out and make something that matters is to take a chance and speak up. Sure we might be wrong, there might be a backlash, there could be critics. Isn’t it funny though, how the naysayers are usually the ones who stand back, the ones who stay in the stands, the armchair coaches who decide to play it safe?
That doesn’t mean what you put out there is flawless, but it does mean that taking a chance is the only way to make something that matters.
The woman next to me on the train is reading up on SMART goals. I’ve read up on SMART goals and I’m sure you have too. Yet, are your goals smarter than they were before? Are we more productive and efficient?
SMART goals work, so do most efficiency and productivity hacks. They only have one design flaw…they need to be put in place to function as designed. Without implementation, there is no change, no new way. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to create and do work that matters, but every artist has her each way of creating and shipping.
I don’t think Dr. Maya Angelou, Beethoven or Hemingway spent their time reading up on how to create more art. They perfected the routines and rituals that worked for them.
What if, instead of chasing the latest hack, you focused on just shipping. Find the thing that drives the most impact and work on that.
I think Nike had it right all along: Just do it.
Generally, there are two ways to look at events and incidents. You can be gracious and grateful it happened or you can be bitter and angry.
Sometimes it’s black and white; it’s easier to be one than the other. It’s easy to be grateful with a promotion. It’s easy to be angry after being mugged. But other times, it’s unclear. A type of grey zone. The emotions creep in, slowly, unnoticed and I think that’s when they’re at their most dangerous.
You owe it to yourself to be on the lookout for the reactions that quietly drip in. Especially the negative. Walking around with the burden of resentment limits your creativity, your generosity and what you offer to the world.
Take the time to work on grace and being grateful, it will deliver and make all the difference.