Posts tagged Motivation
Do The Things You Don't Want To Do

I'm a big fan of to-do lists. I use them as an external memory bank, storing up all of those tasks that are important, but I'm unable to work on at that moment.

Need to make changes to my insurance plan in a few weeks? On the to-do list.

Need to call someone back when I'm not in a meeting? On the to-do list.

Need to change the cat's litter every week? On the to-do list.

It's super helpful to let something else remember everything that floats through my head. However, every few weeks a task is added to the to-do list and it just stays there forever. I look at it and think "I really don't want to do deal with that right now" and easily find something more appealing to do.

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The Number One Killer of Dreams

We all start out with dreams. Big ones and small ones. Maybe you wanted to become an astronaut. Maybe you wanted to cure cancer. Maybe you just wanted to make a nice dinner.

Those were my dreams, and growing up, if you asked me what I wanted to be I would rattle off the names of all of the professions: scientist, chemist, astronaut, dirt bike racer, chef, and a computer programmer (in that order).

And if you had met me early on in college, I would have told you that my goal was to cure cancer.

We all start out with dreams. But then they start to fade. Reality sets in, and the truth comes out that our dreams are just that: dreams.

But do you know what the biggest killer of dreams is?

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Can You Take A Hit?

We’ve all been there. Things are going well. The future looks promising, and even if you’re not 100% sure how your plans are going to work out, you’re pretty confident it’ll be ok.

And then it happens. It could be an illness, a missed opportunity, or failed test. Your world seems to crumble a little bit. What you were holding out for didn’t materialize and you’re left holding the pieces of your plans that now seem to be completely useless.

Now what?

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If You're Not Passionate, You're Missing Out

"New Year, New Me!"

A lot of people, myself included, like to take the time during the beginning of the new year to reflect on life and our choices for the next 365 days. I'm not big on resolutions, but if there's ever a good time to start working towards a new goal, now seems as good a time as any.

In addition to holiday fun and travel, I've had the chance to work on some really fun projects that I'll be sharing here shortly (almost done, but not quite). During that time, it became even more clear to me that if you're not passionate about what you're working on, you're missing out.

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The Constant Fight Against Being Overwhelmed

We're trying to do a lot here, in this life. Whether that's just to create the life we want for ourselves, to build a new company based on our passions, or to love those around us as much as they deserve. So we develop plans on how to make that happen.

The only problem is that our plan is five pages long.

It consists of building a place for ourselves to be seen, meeting people, networking, learning about our craft, all the while keeping ourselves as involved in our social circles as possible and working to make sure that we are keeping our bodies healthy.

Sounds like a tall order, so how do we keep ourselves sane? How do we deal with being overwhelmed?

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There Is No Perfect

In my last post, I referred to Will Smith's advice on building a wall, an analogy for accomplishing a huge task looming in front of us. I said take small perfect steps to accomplish your goals.

What do I mean by perfect?

Perfect is somewhat of a loaded word, because it implies that we can do something perfectly. It suggests that if we do something perfectly, if we write that perfect email, or land that perfect job interview, or we get that perfect opportunity, that everything will just work out.

The chances of us do anything perfectly is exactly nil, and even if we could do one thing perfectly, the rest is not going to just work out.

So what am I really saying? I'm saying to do the absolute best you can.

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Take One Perfect Step Today

"You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say 'I'm going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that's ever been built.' You don't start there. You say, 'I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.' You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall."

-- Will Smith

This is one of the quotes I live by, and I've thought about it almost every day since I heard it.

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Can Managers Help Keep Their Employees Passionate?

In previous posts, I've mostly focused on what we can do as employees to stay passionate about our work. We can look within our jobs to focus on aspects that satisfy us or we can move to other positions, companies, or even career paths to better align our day to day lives.

For some people, there's nothing an employer can do to make their responsibilities any more meaningful to them. But for others, even small changes can make a world of difference. Here are three steps managers can take to keep their employees passionate about their work, and producing high quality work.

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Where Passions Fit In Entrepreneurship

These days more and more people are looking to start off on their own and create something worthwhile. And for good reason. With the ease of information transfer, how can we not? We know about more than ever and we have unprecedented access to learn even greater things.

One of my favorite quotes about entrepreneurs is from the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say, the person who is often credited with coining the term "entrepreneur". He defined an entrepreneur as someone who "shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield." This is one of the oldest definition, and it touches on the heart of what entrepreneurship is about: making something society values.

However, it doesn't really talk about the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Anyone can say they started something or that they worked to bring more productivity to the world. But what about being a successful (however you define that) entrepreneur?

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Keep The Company Of The Passionate

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn has been quoted as saying that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. While I'm not quite sure what an "average of a person" is, I get that he is referring to the general habits and behaviors that we exhibit.

If you've ever seen someone spend time with an old friend and begin to act similar to them, you've see the influence we can have on each other.

While this can be easily seen as a downside (teenagers and their ill-behaved friends are a classic example), it can also be used for positive actions.

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Staying Committed To A Goal

When looking towards future goals (goals are often a side effect of discovering a passion), staying committed to them takes a bit of work. 

It will mean that you will have to work hard for quite some time, all the while, you'll have little to show for it but missed sleep, big dreams, and an unfinished project.

But that's the nature of hard work and dedication.

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