“As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better. Time unbounded is hard to handle.”
—May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton, 20th century novelist, poet, memoirist
Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler
To what degree do you experience deadlines in your personal and professional lives?
How do time constraints impact your engagement and performance?
Where do they help you step up your game, or act as negative stressors that crush your spirit?
How does having unbounded time impact your life?
Where is the sweet spot between eustress and distress as it relates to setting deadlines for yourself?
“Good things come to those who wait — and work, and sacrifice, and maybe even suffer.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, American social scientist, musician, and columnist
Image from Unsplash by Levi Meir Clancy
To what degree does today’s quote resonate with you? Consider taking a closer look into your experiences of waiting, working, sacrificing, and suffering.
How much good has come to you through these attributes? How have these aspects of life influenced your values and shaped your character?
To what extent did you recognize beforehand that much good was on the other side during these challenging times?
How, with this hindsight, can you view and experience current and future difficulties to glean the lessons and value they offer far sooner?
Where in your personal or professional worlds can you acknowledge and embrace that many of the best things in life are worth the squeeze?
“Approach every task as though it were the moment that will define you.”
—Jol Dantzig, one of the founders of Hamer Guitars
Image from dantzig.com
What’s your brand? How do you represent yourself to the world through your various efforts?
Jol Dantzig designs and builds guitars. Over the course of his career, he has designed instruments for many of the biggest names in music including John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles, three of the Rolling Stones, and members of the Pretenders, Def Leppard, and the Police.
His famous orange five-neck guitar—built in 1981 for Rick Nielsen of the band Cheap Trick—was exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and some of his other designs have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute.
What are some of your most important tasks? How can and will you more fully express your very best work at this moment to make the impact you desire?
A place to start may be to examine how pleased you are with your efforts. Seeking constructive feedback from trusted friends, colleagues, and family before you deliver can also help you stay on brand and provide remarkable, defining work.
“Could this life be one level in a larger game?”
Image from Unsplash by Leslie Lopez Holder
In physics, work is the energy to or from an object via the application of force along a displacement. For the sake of simplicity:
Work = Force x Displacement
How hard do you work? How much force do you put into your personal and professional activities? Where are you headed in your intended direction through your efforts?
How happy are you pursuing and pulling on the levers and ropes of your life?
What are your thoughts on Mo’s question regarding life being part of a larger game? Please consider replying to share your perspective.
“Works, not Words.”
—Seneca, ancient Roman Stoic philosopher
Image from BBC radio
Talk is cheap.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
After all is said and done, more is said than done.
What other cliches do you know that make a similar point?
How about alternative phrases such as:
Put up or shut up.
Actions speak louder than words.
Do something about it.
What is your body of work?
Take a massive baby step.
How can and will you embrace Seneca’s three words and turn them into works today?
“Work is the natural expression of human life.”
—The Rebbe, Menachem Mender Schneerson
Image from nationalgeographic.com
Who are Chip and Agnes Hailstone? What do they have in common with Sue Aikens, Andy Basic, Rico DeWild, and Jessie Holmes?
They’re the primary cast members of the National Geographic documentary series, Life Below Zero.
These hardy, hard-working people living in remote areas of Alaska find tremendous satisfaction through their challenging lifestyle, which often tests them to their limits.
How do you feel after a good day’s work or when you see the fruits of your labor after a job well done?
Alternatively, how do you feel when life includes too much down time and leisure?
Pick up a copy of Michael Bungay Stainer’s book, Do More Great Work.
Toward A Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson includes much more wisdom from the Rebbe’s long, hard working life. Please check it out.
“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”
—Sir Francis Bacon, 15th century British philosopher and statesman
Image from Unsplash by Marten Bjork
If time is the coin of life, how are you currently investing yours? A frequent coaching exercise for individuals who wish to master this elusive resource is a Time Log.
It begins by tracking professional and personal chunks of time in a log. The next step is evaluating not only where that time is spent, but also the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness experienced.
Sadly, statistics point to well over 50% and up to almost 70% of people experiencing reluctance and significant dissatisfaction in their vocational efforts. Perhaps we need to shift from the idea of “that’s why it’s called work,” to a far more enjoyable and engaging perspective.
To what extent do you wake up with an “I don’t want to ____” view of your current job or career? How would pursuing a vocation that far better suites your nature provide a stronger foundation for a richer and happier life?
“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”
—Frank Ocean, American singer/songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters
I hope you love your life. I hope all your personal and professional efforts are rewarding in themselves, and that there is no need to brag or boast to call attention to your successes. After all, tooting your own horn can often backfire in our world of considerable judgement.
Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current work efforts:
- How much impact, influence, and say do I have in my work?
- How much am I learning, growing, and bettering myself through my work?
- What difference, contribution, and purpose does my work provide to others in my various communities?
Take one minute tonight after you brush your teeth to look in a mirror and reflect on all your silent successes. You may notice how others in your world often toot your horn for you.