“Don’t be afraid of shitty first drafts.”

“Don’t be afraid of shitty first drafts.”

—Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog

Bird by Bird is considered by many the bible of writing guides. It has sold non-stop since it was published in the 1990s. Today’s quote is a poignant nugget of Anne Lamott’s wisdom, gleaned from her many years of trial and error to give voice to her calling to write well.

The subtitle, Instructions on Writing and Life, points to the iterative nature of both. Capturing one’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings in words and deeds can often be pretty messy, especially during the early stages.

EXERCISE:

Where are you afraid that your initial drafts on some worthy goal or project are pretty awful?

How can and will you continue to develop second, third, and perhaps many more drafts, to fully express yourself throughout the rest of your life?

 

“Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.”

“Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.”

—Ziad K. Abdelnour, Lebanese-American Activist

Image from Unsplash by Langa Hlatshwayo

Using our head and our heart to make wise decisions and navigate life is good counsel. How often do you use this dynamic duo to evaluate the options and opportunities that present themselves at home and at work?

If you are fortunate to have achieved significant levels of personal and professional success, where may you have experienced a heightened sense of importance and a bit of a swelled head?

Alternatively, where have you experienced setbacks, stumbles, or thwarted intentions? Where have these difficulties penetrated to your heart, leaving you with doubts and disappointments?

EXERCISE:

Please take a listen to the Tim McGraw song, “Humble and Kind.” Let me know what you think or how it makes you feel by replying to this post.

Friday Review: Ability

FRIDAY REVIEW: ABILITY

Are you living up to your fullest abilities? Here are a few ability-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves.”

 

 

 

 

“Like an oyster cultivating a pearl, cultivate something that is special to you.”

 

 

 

 

“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”

 

 

 

 

“Set a daily quota of fun. Positive activities act as a happiness supplement.”

“Set a daily quota of fun. Positive activities act as a happiness supplement.”

—Mo Gawdat, Author of Solve for Happy

Image from Unsplash by Mindspace Studio

Where do you use metrics, milestones, scoreboards and quotas to measure your achievements and level of success?

Examine both your professional and personal life. What activities produce these results, and how many of them do you consider fun and a source of happiness?

What are some of the fun activities that come to mind that seem to be reserved for weekends, vacations, or other special occasions? Examining how you feel on Friday and Sunday evenings can be one way to see if your work has the positive elements of fun you look forward to.

EXERCISE:

What activities can and will you add to your days or begin doing to score more fun in your life?

What activities can you do less of or stop entirely to make room for these happiness supplements?

 

“Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul.”

“Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul.”

—Shaikh Saadi, 13th century Persian Poet

Image from Unsplash by Matthew TenBruggencate

Most nations are members of the United Nations, and send diplomats to the headquarters to hold meetings and make decisions about global issues.

The goals of the UN are:

  • To keep world peace
  • To help countries get along
  • To improve living conditions for people all over the world
  • To make the world a better place

Today’s quote can be found in the UN general assembly hall as a reminder to all people and all nations for unity.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways are you and others in your various communities playing your part in this fundamental mission?

What additional steps can and will you take to bring greater unity to the world?

 

“Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.”

“Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Keli Stirrett

What did you dream about as a child? How did your dreams evolve or change as you entered adolescence and your early adult years?

If you are a bit older, what did your dreams include in your 30s, 40s, 50s….?

Where did the dreams take you, and what did you learn along the way?

What vision, mission, and goals do you have for yourself today?

How mindful are you about picking up the lessons along each step of your path?

EXERCISE:

Motivational Speaker Les Brown and a few others authors suggest we keep shooting for the moon, because even if you miss, you will land among the stars.

“Ignore the cup and just enjoy the coffee.”

“Ignore the cup and just enjoy the coffee.”

—Mo Gawdat, Author of Solve for Happy

Image from Unsplash by Jordan @suspct

Product packaging is big business. In so many product categories, it can make the difference between super success and a big fat flop.

Long gone are the days when packaging was meant to only protect and preserve what was inside. Now, the container must scream BUY ME! I’M SPECIAL! I WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER!

How often does selling the sizzle actually meet your expectations, or better yet, exceed them?

Where, too often, is the added price of the cup not really worth the premium price to get the coffee?

EXERCISE:

If you enjoy a good cup of coffee check Google for the brands that have the highest rating with the lowest per ounce price.

Where and with whom in your worlds would looking closer at what’s on the inside make the biggest difference?

Friday Review: Influence

FRIDAY REVIEW: INFLUENCE

How do and can you use the influence you have over others for positive results? Here are a few influence-related posts you may have missed.

 

“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”

 

 

 

“No one agrees with other people’s opinion. They merely agree with their own opinions expressed by somebody else.”

 

 

 

“The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.”

 

 

 

 

 

“The best leaders see themselves as CROs: Chief Reminder Officers.”

“The best leaders see themselves as CROs: Chief Reminder Officers.”

—Patrick Lencioni, author of The Motive

Image from Unsplash by Volodymyr Hryschchenko

What do the following have in common?
• The Ten Commandments
• The Pledge of Allegiance
• A catchy campaign slogan
• A vision or mission statement
• Mom’s reminder to wash your hands and brush your teeth as a child

They are all examples of leadership in that they remind us of things we value and believe in.

When most effective, these reminders are not only remembered, but can also be seen coming from those of us engendered by their messages. In this way, leaders create more leaders to share their messages.

EXERCISE:

Who are the Chief Reminder Officers in your world, and what are their key messages?

Where are or can you be a CRO for others in your personal and professional communities?

 

“There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.”

“There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.”

—Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money

Image from Unsplash by Gabriel Meinert

This quote made me think of a recent passage I read on greed, by Mark Nepo. A few of his nuggets include:

“The wanting to experience more than one person can…”

“We race through life with one eye on what we have and one eye on what we don’t.”

“Greed is not restricted to money. It can work its appetite on things such as love, success, and travel.”

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently risking what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need?

Where is enough more than enough to fully appreciate the richness in your life?