Every morning I sit down and hand write notes to myself. I fill up a full page; it’s a way to set the tone for my day, so I aim for them to be positive or shape my day in some beneficial way.
Usually they center around the pursuit of excellence idea. This morning I was thinking about lessons learned over the past 40 years that have stood the test of time. I wrote out the things that have been invariably true, if sometimes tough to live by.
These struck me as worth sharing, so I figured we'd make a blog post out of 'em and I sent the typed-up version to our graphic designer, Virgen.
She usually illustrates my blog posts, but this time Virgen thought it might be neat to shoot a video with Lee & I about it. We cut out some of 'em in order to make it short and digestible for those of you with the attention span of a cricket.
For those of you who like to read, here they are!
Rules For Excellence
Do the work. Be self-aware. Drive hard, rest easy.
Take the gifts when they come and accept them gracefully—just don’t go looking for them.
Seek out challenge that forces growth. Turn towards the thing you fear and face it. Be loving. Do not tell others what to do, only direct yourself. Seek to understand.
Know that many of your failures are the bedrock of your success. Neither failure or success matters in the material world; aim for success but do not pin your happiness on it.
Know the difference between what matters and what doesn’t.
Always be curious.
Test your ideas—be rigorous in your analysis and ruthless in releasing ideas that don’t work. Pursue excellence — it is almost always the best path.
Tell your loves that you love them — family, friends, dogs, anything you love. Appreciate and be vocal about it. Be the best example of what you want in the world.
Enjoy the physical — food, sex, hot water, sunshine, your dogs.
When you err, admit it and fix it at any cost. Know it won’t always be fixable, and you’ll have to live with your mistake. Take growth from failure.
Think your actions through—examine your life and make sure you follow your own advice. Wisdom is less helpful when it’s known but not used.
An extra minute of thinking or observing can save hours of needless work. Look for what your attention slid past and re-examine it.
Too much reading...
How about dessert?