Life and Focus
A) A life is measured in decades.
Too many people want happiness, love, money, connections, everything yesterday. Me too. I call it “the disease.” I feel often I can paint over a certain emptiness inside if only…if only…I have X.
But a good life is like the flame of a bonfire. It builds slowly, and because it’s slow and warm it caresses the heart instead of destroys it.
Story Aesops fable wind and sun to get mans coat off
B) A life is measured by what you did TODAY, even this moment.
This is the opposite of “A” but the same. You get success in decades by having success now.
That doesn’t mean money now. It means, “Are you doing your best today?”
Everyone worked at physical health, improving their friendships and connections with others, being creative, being grateful. Every day.
For those who didn’t, they quickly got sick, depressed, anxious, fearful. They had to change their lives. When they made that change, universally they all said to me, “that’s when it all started.”
C) Focus is not important, but Push is (reinvention).
But “the push” is the ability to get up every day, open up the shades, and push through all the things that make you want to go back to sleep.
D) Give without thinking of what you will receive.
I don’t think I spoke to a single person who believed in setting personal goals. But 100% of the people I spoke to wanted to solve a problem for the many.
It doesn’t matter how you give each day. It doesn’t even matter how much. But everyone wanted to give and eventually they were given back.
E) Solving hard problems is more important than overcoming failure.
The outside world is a mirror of what you have on the inside.
It’s how you view the life inside you that creates the life outside of you. Every day.
F) Art and success and love is about connecting all the dots.
Here are some dots: The very personal sadness sitting inside of you. The things you learn. The things you read about. The things you love. Connect the dots. Give it to someone.
Now you just gave birth to a legacy that will continue beyond you.
G) It’s not business, it’s personal.
Nobody succeeded with a great idea.
Everyone succeeded because they built networks within networks of connections, friends, colleagues all striving towards their own personal goals, all trusting each other, and working together to help each other succeed.
This is what happens only over time. This is why giving creates a bigger world because you can never predict what will happen years later.
The best way to create a great business over time: Every day send one thank you letter to someone from your past. People (me) often say you can’t look back at the past. But this is the one way you can. You create the future by thanking the past.
I) The same philosophy of life should work for an emperor and a slave.
Ryan Holiday told me that both Marcus Aurelius, an emperor, and Epictetus, a slave, both subscribed to the idea of stoicism. You can’t predict pleasure or pain. You can only strive for knowledge and giving and fairness and health each day.
Luck is certainly a component, but in chess there’s a saying (and this applies to anything) “it’s funny how always the best players seem to be lucky.”
J) The only correct path is the path correct for you.
Don’t let other people choose your careers. Don’t get locked in other people’s prisons they’ve set up just for you. Personal freedom starts from the inside but ultimately turns you into a giant, freeing you from the chains the little people spent years tying around you.
K) Many moments of small, positive, personal interactions build an extraordinary career.
Often people think that you have to fight your way to the top. But for everyone I spoke to it was small kindnesses over a long period of time that built the ladder to success
L) Taking care of yourself comes first.
Kamal Ravikant picked himself off a suicidal bottom by constantly repeating “I love you” to himself. Charlie Hoehn cured his anxiety by using every moment he could to play.
I’ve written before: The average kid laughs 300 times a day. The average adult…5.