This is my first blog post in…forever. I don’t even know when I stopped writing. I suppose at the time, life just got so intense I was really spending all my time trying to stay above water. But after the fire and the flood, seated on this metaphoric mountain looking out on the landscape…I have gained a new perspective…or maybe these are old ideas, just freshly ingrained. As the new year gets to a running start today, I reflect on the ideas that have been swirling around in my head lately…lessons hard won from the year past.
- No-one has the answers: This was a particularly important mental shift to hit me in 2015. No one has the answers. Everyone is winging it. I used to follow people, look to people for guidance, especially in the area of business. I was looking for the formula to business. But no one has it. Maybe they have it for them, but no one has my answers. There’s a lot to learn by watching other people and by listening to them. At the end of the day though, I must provide my answers, I must propose my strategy and my solutions. It’s up to me, no one else to create what I think is possible. I must take the wheel and steer the ship.
- Saying no: As an extension of the last point – a lot of people are going to come at me with ideas and plans and dreams and requests on my time. I would have to decline though. I cannot afford to invest my time in things that would not add value or bring value. I have to say no to things I don’t really want so I can focus on that which I really do. I must steadily and consistently take action towards the things that are important to me.
- Know what’s real: This idea is the most recent and most pervasive one right now. So much so, It has caused me to lose a lot more interest in media – social and otherwise. I’ve been deeply drawn to the core of things. I like to gaze through the noise so to speak and try to grasp the one core central truth of the situation. I’ve been thinking a lot about my life at this point in time and the future…where to go, what to do next, how to jump to the next level, the long term effects of my past actions and how to course correct some of them. I also look around at all the noise around, the gurus, the advertisers, the media, the society, social media – all the white noise of ideas telling us what we should do and who we should be. It is incredibly easy to get lost in the chaos. To craft an effective strategy, I must have a clear picture of what really matters. I don’t have to impress anyone, because I am okay as I am as a human being, no one is higher than me (regardless of who they are or what they have). But I do have a responsibility to explore my potential and gifts and exhaust that as much as possible. I have a responsibility to contribute to the world in a true authentic way. It’s okay if I don’t have the latest thing yet, even though its all good and great to have it. That’s because the source of true happiness (The thing we are all seeking anyway) is in the smallest, realest of things – genuine friendship, nature, stillness, engagement. As long as you cover those basics and are not hypnotized by the bullshit the world tries to feed you every day, you will have true success and true happiness. Know what’s real with people. Know what issues are really at play when you are dealing with stakeholders. Know who’s really there and who isn’t. Take care of the most important ones, the ones close to you, the ones that matter.
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Question: How can we distill such into daily habits to keep them front and center in our lives?
Answer: I think it starts off as a general framework. No one has the answers (know yourself, create a strategic plan that is yours, refer to it weekly, execute it and keep tweaking). Saying no (you really need to track and analyse your time usage every week – how much time are you spending on the most important actions, and how much is lost to pointless activities or getting wrapped up in the wrong work. Have a not-to-do list, do the important things first, etc). Know whats real (be mindful, meditate, be critical, don’t chase illusions, remember the lifestyle costs of chasing certain opportunities, take care of the basics – health, relationships, learning, work)