Once upon a time, you had the chance to be brave. Your name was selected, your number was called. You were the chosen one, at least for this particular moment on planet Earth. All eyes were on you, and the stakes were high.It was a big moment. So what happened? Not to put too fine of a point on it, but what happened was ... you caved. At the critical moment, you turned your back on the task at hand. Read More
A while back I wrote about the idea of your life as a movie, with you as the director. When you go through your archives in post-production, you might stumble on a scene that feels particularly surreal.In those times, you may want to ask yourself, “Why did I put this scene in my movie?" With the benefit of perspective, I realize that some of the scenes in my movie are a little surreal. Looking back on those scenes, it's easy to wonder, “Did that really happen?” Read More
I’m heading out to speak at a tech conference this week. The conference will undoubtedly have many smart people in attendance. In fact, I don’t think it’s self-depreciating to assume that most of them are a lot smarter than me. It's just true.Continuing with the theme of “Is this really what it’s about in the world of productivity?”, a common question I get at these events is “Tell us about your productivity hacks.” This question usually comes from someone who’s not only smarter, but also most likely far more organized than me. Read More
During the Born for This tour, people would occasionally ask how you know when you have your dream job. It was an easy setup for a joke: “If you have to ask, ‘Am I happy?’ you probably aren’t.”
Still, even when you’re satisfied in your work, it’s nice to get reinforcement of that fact from time to time. There are several big and little signs that can provide that reinforcement:
- At the end of the day, you experience the feeling of knowing that today matters
- You work towards a long-term goal while still appreciating the present
- You generally look forward to the morning or whenever you begin your work
Here’s another one that I’ve been pondering lately. When you finish a task or project, do you experience a sense of accomplishment—or do you only feel relief?Read More
You always hear about the people who took a chance that paid off. You always hear the try, try again stories—those case studies of overcoming what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.
You know how the story goes: so-and-so encountered failure a dozen times, but on the thirteenth attempt, they made it!
Then so-and-so says, “Thanks, everyone. I’m so glad I kept going. Victory was never guaranteed, but look at me now."
Sometimes, though, you head into a situation knowing that there’s a high likelihood of failure. I'm not talking about the possibility of failure, I'm talking about odds that would make a free-wheeling Las Vegas roulette player back away from the table and head straight for the buffet.Read More
I heard someone say that recently. I don’t remember the context but I really liked the sentiment.
This whole concept of “giving back”—it kind of implies a certain arrogance. It suggests that everything we’ve received comes from our own hard work, and that we are deserving of whatever wealth or status we hold.Read More
Imagine your life as an epic, three-hour movie. In this saga there are numerous high points and low points, and both drama and comedy. There are coming-of-age moments and passages of growing older. There will likely be some real challenges, and maybe even a few moments when you think you won’t make it. The movie…Read More
When I check into a hotel room (something I do 100+ times a year), I immediately put the do-not-disturb sign on the door. I don’t want to be bothered while working or napping, and unless it’s a really nice hotel, I don’t care about turndown service. Over the years I’ve tried to follow a routine…Read More