Fast Company just released a thought provoking article. As a productive part of a company, think about how you embody these qualities. As a leader, think about how you need to embody these qualities.
“If you’re like most people I work with in companies, the demands come at you from every angle, all day long, and you have to make difficult decisions without much time to think about them. What enduring principles can you rely on to make choices that reflect openness, integrity and authenticity?
Here are ten that work for me:
1. Always challenge certainty, especially your own. When you think you’re undeniably right, ask yourself “What might I be missing here?” If we could truly figure it all out, what else would there be left to do?
2. Excellence is an unrelenting struggle, but it’s also the surest route to enduring satisfaction. Amy Chua, the over-the-top “Tiger Mother,” was right that there’s no shortcut to excellence. Getting there requires practicing deliberately, delaying gratification, and forever challenging your current comfort zone.
3. Emotions are contagious, so it pays to know what you’re feeling. Think of the best boss you ever had. How did he or she make you feel? That’s the way you want to make others feel.
4. When in doubt, ask yourself, “How would I behave here at my best?” We know instinctively what it means to do the right thing, even when we’re inclined to do the opposite. If you find it impossible, in a challenging moment, to envision how you’d behave at your best, try imagining how someone you admire would respond.
5. If you do what you love, the money may or may not follow, but you’ll love what you do. It’s magical thinking to assume you’ll be rewarded with riches for following your heart. What it will give you is a richer life. If material riches don’t follow, and you decide they’re important, there’s always time for Plan B.
6. You need less than you think you do. All your life, you’ve been led to believe that more is better, and that whatever you have isn’t enough. It’s a prescription for disappointment. Instead ask yourself this: How much of what you already have truly adds value in your life? What could you do without?
7. Accept yourself exactly as you are but never stop trying to learn and grow.One without the other just doesn’t cut it. The first, by itself, leads to complacency, the second to self-flagellation. The paradoxical trick is to embrace these opposites, using self-acceptance as an antidote to fear and as a cushion in the face of setbacks.
8. Meaning isn’t something you discover, it’s something you create, one step at a time. Meaning is derived from finding a way to express your unique skills and passion in the service of something larger than yourself. Figuring out how best to contribute is a lifelong challenge, reborn every day.
9. You can’t change what you don’t notice and not noticing won’t make it go away. Each of us has an infinite capacity for self-deception. To avoid pain, we rationalize, minimize, deny, and go numb. The antidote is the willingness to look at yourself with unsparing honesty, and to hold yourself accountable to the person you want to be.
10. When in doubt, take responsibility. It’s called being a true adult.”
I especially like the last one. So simple, and at the same time, so difficult to find. Take a moment and think about your own performance personally and professionally. Do you innately or consciously embody these qualities? If not, go for the Ben Franklin approach and try them out one at a time. And if you do, how can you make your actions more targeted, efficient, and personally meaningful?
Leave your two cents in the People’s Perspective above! Thanks for listening! See you on the wire! V.V.V. out!
n. [Brit. wallesia] a condition characterized by scanning faces in a crowd looking for a specific person who would have no reason to be there, which is your brain’s way of checking to see whether they’re still in your life, subconsciously patting its emotional pockets before it leaves for the day.” —
If there is anything anyone should learn in this world it would be lessons from Fight Club. This post comes from Guerrilla Freelancing- a hilarious blog I stumbled upon online. Enjoy!
“I’m a firm believer in learning from unusual areas in your life so today we’re going to examine an area of life that most people overlook – movies. One movie in particular actually, Fight Club. And yes, before you jump up and scream “but it was a book first!”, I know that and actually mention the book below but we’re going to dissect some of the things that were said in the movie that I think freelancers can learn from.#1: “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
The most important thing you can learn from the movie Fight Club is this – your life is ending and you’ve only got a limited amount of time to do important shit, so quit wasting it playing angry birds. Steve Jobs also said something similar to this, so if you can’t get the picture by watching Fight Club, go watch the youtube video of Steve Jobs saying pretty much the exact same thing.
Here’s the problem with most of us (myself included), we think that the world’s going to be here forever, we put off things until tomorrow and we pretend that we’re not going to wake up one morning and look in the mirror only to see a shell of our former selves. So quit waiting to do the important shit – get out there and do it now.#2: “No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.”
Never let your business get weighed down by the unimportant things that come up. Yes, in the grand scheme of things your accounting is really important, but that won’t matter at all if you’re not bringing in sales. And you will not bring in sales unless you’re marketing your business and getting customers/clients.
Take some time and clean off your desk, remove unused icons from your desktop, delete old files you no longer have a need for and clean your house. By removing these unneeded distractions, you’ll free up space and give your mind more room to roam and create. Then,stop being afraid of being great and get out there and make your business grow to new heights you never even thought possible!#3: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.”
You’re a freelancer but that doesn’t mean it’s how you should define your entire life. Not only is that unhealthy, but it’s also limiting. I used to think that I had to fit within a certain group of people, dress a specific way and act just like they did but then I realized that being unique is much better for myself and for my business.
So now, instead of keeping the normal 9-5 hours, I work for around 16-18 hours a day, split up between morning and late at night when most people are sleeping, allowing me to talk with people from the US as well as around the world. Instead of wearing dress clothes, black rim glasses and weird hats, I wear loose fitting jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball cap.
What can you do that’s different than everyone else? How can you live your life so that you’re not defined by a simple title like “freelancer”?#4: “I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”
Learning is infinite, we do it every day. If we don’t evolve, we die. The same holds true for your freelance business. If you’re not learning new guerrilla marketing techniques and keeping up with the news and advancements in your industry, you’re going to be left behind.
Your business needs to be nurtured every day. It’s just like weight lifting for freelancers, you need to exercise and grow your muscles in order to get stronger, faster, better.#5: “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”
On the flip side of the above tip, you can do everything in your power to pretend to be a great business mind, killer designer or excellent copywriter but if you’re not able to perform, you’re just lying to yourself and others. You can dress the part (although as #3 mentions, I’d advise against it), you can learn the lingo and you can build up a front for yourself, but at the end of the day if you’re not performing like a true champion, you’ll never be able to wear the belt.”
Check out this guys blog at http://bit.ly/rVcyE2 where he talks more about freelancing and “Marketing Tips From Tyler Durden” (That’s got to be an interesting one, ain’t it?)
Thanks for listening! Leave your two cents above in the People’s Perspective! See you on the wire! V.V.V. signing off!
I stumbled upon this surfing the web. It’s amazing how some people always know the perfect way to articulate how we feel.
“Hello Person Who Has Their Life Figured Out,
Have you been sent to this planet to make me feel bad? I went to your apartment the other day and was overwhelmed by how grown up it felt. You had three candles burning and it smelled like stability — a scent that I can’t seem to find anywhere — and you offered me some tea (WHO DOES THAT?) and I noticed that you also had freshly cut hydrangeas on your coffee table. For the record, I also have hydrangeas on my coffee table. I bought them with a Dean & Deluca gift card I got for Christmas and I’ve found that their presence soothes me. The other day though, I knocked over the vase and water spilled everywhere. I couldn’t find a rag so I halfheartedly soaked it up with some paper towels. For some reason, I never refilled the vase so the flowers wilted and eventually died. My hydrangeas are dead. Yours are alive. They serve as a parable of my life lately, of where I’m going as a 25-year-old and where I’m not. The lesson is vague but there: I bought the hydrangeas. I couldn’t keep them alive.
You’re secretly crazy, right? Tell me you’re cray cray. Beneath the grown up apartment and copious supply of band-aids and hydrogen peroxide and the lemon water you keep in a pitcher in a fridge, you’re paying your bills late or your boyfriend is a jerk or you slept through your best friend’s birthday party, right? You’re losing it. When people ask how you’re doing, you say, “I baked fresh bread today and mopped the floors and sent an important work email. I also bought a spice rack. HAVE YOU SEEN MY SPICE RACK?” You stand there holding the spice rack motionless like it’s supposed to answer the question for me. “How do you think I’m doing? I own a freaking spice rack!”
I wish it were all a mirage, I wish this were BS posturing, but I don’t think it is. I think you’re a person who genuinely doesn’t have to worry about being on the right track and being where you’re supposed to be. It comes naturally to you. I bought the hydrangeas to be a grown up. You bought the hydrangeas because you thought they were pretty.
Your Facebook makes me feel bad about myself. I have over a thousand friends on that damn website and yet, somehow, your status updates rise to the top like a diamond rising from a sea of crap. They say a variety of different things but I read them all the same way: “Today I went important places because I’m a person who has their life figured out. I’m going to get married, have a job and be someone’s parent. Go me!” It’s so easy to make fun of someone who goes the conventional route in life. You feel almost bad for them because it might appear as if they’re just following a script. These aren’t things they necessarily want to do but they feel like they should. But you know why I can’t make fun of you, Person Who Has Their Life Figured Out? Because you’re genuinely happy. These are your choices, these are your own desires, and they just so happen to be very vanilla. You’re not struggling. You aren’t a struggler. Must feel nice.
Are you aware of any of this? Do you know that you could be a person who kills the flowers, who doesn’t burn candles, who doesn’t have a healthy lover? The thing that’s so fascinating about people who have their life figured out is that they’re rarely aware of the alternative. The right choices are effortless to make. They don’t know any different.
One day I’ll be someone who has band-aids in their medicine cabinet and has a dog and bakes bread for fun and LOLs. But that day isn’t today. I guess the one good thing about being someone who doesn’t have it all figured out is that you’re able to see real growth. The changes are palpable. You see yourself evolving, which can often be a beautiful process. I don’t have it figured out but I know more than I did yesterday. It must be boring to always know.”
Check out more of Ryan O’Connell’s work at http://bit.ly/sjHW5T
I completely admit that I talk about Vanguard way too much on this blog. But lately, writing one of the 8 million college essays I so eagerly look forward to spending many a late night gauging my eye out with a spork- I have poked and prodded at why I believe in the power of media and its affect on the masses.
It’s real simple. It’s cool. Just like anything else we all would pour our hearts into. So when asked “Who influences you?” this was my answer; this was how I chase cool.
“Cool is that inherent drive to be in a state of constant forward motion. Cool allows us to step beyond the lines of the status quo. To those who are cool, it is a mindset necessary to survival.
Secretly, I have always wanted to be Indiana Jones. He has a cool hat, a cool whip, and goes on cool adventures to the ends of the earth with cool companions. He fights for social justice, knowledge, and the girl too, by putting his life on the line, and winning, every single time. I grew up with Indy, and his adventures molded my childhood image of what cool really stands for.
I have seen the modern day Indiana Jones and her name is Mariana Van Zeller. She’s Current TV’s documentary series, Vanguard’s, lead investigative correspondent and the new definition of cool. Where Indy is a genius professor at the nation’s best schools, Mariana has overcome obstacles, refused rejection and persevered to attend leading institutions. Where Indy illuminates stories of ancient lost histories to the academic world, Mariana relates the most pertinent and controversial events to an audience that she inspires to take action. Just as Indy fights to educate and discover, Mariana challenges the assumptions and ideals behind every story she investigates. By being cool she inspires me and in the end, isn’t that one of the best byproducts of cool?
Her inspiration and Indy’s curiosity drove me to become the youngest member of my educational gap year team. At 16 years old I needed special permission since everyone else was 18 years or older. But I couldn’t contain my curiosity. I needed to explore the world. So I took the initiative, got accepted to the program, explored the world with sixteen other students for eight months, and started my own cool adventure.
That adventure continued as we returned since our final leg gave us the opportunity to speak in front of a variety of audiences. I needed to find a cool way to connect with people. Finding a topic that detailed some personal truth forced me to look inside, stay authentic and discover a core idea that resonated with others. That internal journey created my speech on self Image. Delving into that topic brought me into the uncharted waters of vulnerability by publicly illuminating very personal stories. That adventure continues with my blog which allows my voice the freedom to continue exploring. I hear from my audience that my ideas inspire them and allow me to create my very own cool byproduct.
The last year has shown me that cool can be spread through education. Cool can begin with one influential person encouraging another. Cool can be incited in the masses. Cool can change the world.
So while I can’t fulfill my childhood dream of becoming Indiana Jones or Mariana Van Zeller, I still strive to explore- for my restless teenage curiosity, for my hunger for adventure, and my never-ending epic quest of chasing cool.”
I love feedback. So share your two cents! Worship it like God on Sunday or rip it a new one. Your opinions are valuable (strictly speaking for those who have a brain- that’s a biggie), so let the world know what you think in the People’s Perspective above. Thanks for listening! See you on the wire! V.V.V. signing off!