Are you acting, or waiting? Steve Jobs once said “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
What is the first thing you do in the morning? The last thing you do at night? Your first action when taking on a new project? Your impulse when receiving good (or bad) news?
If you asked those questions to many highly productive creatives, they’ll have immediate answers. Not because they are micro-obsessive about their schedules, but because over time they’ve developed predictable rituals around key areas of their life and work.
Here are three career investments that I think every single creative should be making now, and should continue to make consistently. These are the three aspirations that you should be chasing in order to ensure that you won’t be left behind.
Any time you are attempting to learn a new skill, or experiment with a new means of doing your work, you will inevitably go through a season in which you risk coming across as incapable of performing well.
Feeling a bit stressed? Manage your energy and bring more of your best effort every day by establishing buffers between important meetings and tasks.
For creative pros – those charged with turning our thoughts into value every day – the promise of a quick path to successful work is alluring. If there were proven ways to avoid the uncertainty and pain of the process, they would be worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately, they don’t exist. Not really, anyway.
One of the things I (over-obsessively) keep my eye on is which passages are most-shared, and especially most re-tweeted. Several quotes have emerged as the “leading contenders”.
In my brand new book Die Empty, I examine the common places where bright, sharp, talented people eventually get stuck in their life and career. The goal, of course, is to get your best work out of you every day and to not leave it inside or take it to your grave with you like so many people do.
We’re just a few days from the launch of Die Empty this Thursday! There’s still time to take advantage of the pre-order gift offer if you order now.
Brilliant work is no accident. It’s forged daily by those willing to engage their work with urgency and diligence, and to empty themselves of whatever is burning within them.
You cannot pursue great work and comfort simultaneously. While you may experience comfort in the course of your work, or as a by-product of your work, great work and comfort are mutually exclusive objectives. Brilliant bodies of work are built as people choose over time to do the right thing, even when it’s the uncomfortable thing.
We each have danger zones we have to watch out for in the course of our work. They can be particular habits or patterns we fall into when we go into “coast mode” or areas or situations where we are likely to get irritated and short-circuit collaborative relationships.
To get attention for your work, regardless of what it is, requires effort and persistence. It also requires that you gain an understanding of how to approach those who might help you get the word out.
I’m about to launch the most personally significant project I’ve ever worked on. My new book Die Empty releases in just a little over a month, and I have to say that I can hardly mask my excitement.
Ever get inspired in the shower? Have a good idea while driving in the car? Of course you have. We all have. But why do our moments of greatest epiphany happen at the least opportune times?
While meetings can go bad in an endless variety of ways, one thing is common to all bad meetings: they’re a colossal waste of time. Sadly, if a typical month includes a number of meetings, this wasted time amounts to a massive chunk of our lives! We need a solution.
Discipline is sometimes perceived as a “dirty word” because it’s interpreted as pushing through the muck, doing the unenjoyable activities first, and forgoing the chocolate cake for the steamed broccoli. However, I think this is a gross misunderstanding of the word.
Ideally, you’ll have all three kinds of mentors (pathfinders, virtual, truth tellers) to turn to when you’re stuck or generally need advice.