Taking Action

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The first rule of any game

You won’t win a game you don’t know you’re in. If you don’t know you’re in a game you’re won’t be familiar with the rules and you won’t be paying attention to the trends and nuances that spell opportunity for veteran player.

Here’s an example: In high school my older friends would tell me that I should learn “understand the system” and “recognize that it’s all a game.” At first, I thought this sounded great, but I really didn’t understand what it meant so I continued to follow the conventional advice, “just work hard.” …

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Commit to make it play

The problem with always trying to “make things work” is, well… it starts to feel like work — and who wants that? If we label the process as work from the outset we may be unknowingly hindering our enthusiasm and creativity to accomplish the goal.

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The unschedule

I like to set goals and achieve them. Making progress simply feels good. But I can’t say the process has always worked in my favor. Sometimes I get so focused on achieving my goals that I physically and emotionally wear myself out. Recently I’ve thought a lot about why this happens and I’ve realized something simple, but yet very profound…

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Progress is a barbed arrow

Unless you were born into your ideal life (highly improbable), then we know that we must keep moving to improve our circumstances and quality-of-life. Most of us like to label this “moving” as progress. However, let’s be specific… because it matters a lot here. Moving is not progress unless we are moving in the right direction…

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I travel to make sure life does not escape me

Today marks the beginning of another one of my 90 day travel blitzes, starting with New York City (I love this place).

While it’s strange to live out of a suitcase, it genuinely rejuvenates me. There is something about living with only a few items and seeing your environment change everyday as you experience new cultural undertones and meet completely new people.

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Life is not always straight forward

Life may always take the exact flight course we anticipate, but if we keep our spirits high and our ambitions alive, we’ll continue to fly in a desirable direction. And sometimes, to keep our peace of mind amidst the turbulence, we just need to be reminded this simple by liberating idea — hence this drawing.

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Canabalize your ideas

It’s not wording that paints the best mental picture, I know (maybe the unassuming Pac-Man imagery will soften the edge), but it is a notion that ultimately leads to a better outcome. The idea for this post struck me while reading Walter Isaacson’s biography about Steve Jobs. The relationship he had with ideas — even his own, was uncommon. When he came up with an idea he was never afraid to start attacking it — even if the idea has costly short term implications. A well-known example was…

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There is no “ish” in finish

Is there really anything left to say? By nature of the word, finishing means taking something through to the end. It means going the full distance. It means making a full commitment because a half effort won’t get you the full reward.

Greatness, mastery, and success are the counter-culture of “ish.”

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Squeeze more life out of time

There’s no mystery here. It’s simply a matter of the physics of time. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a year. Time is a standard metric for everyone (at least until time machines are invented).

But the greatest defining factor of productivity and fulfillment is how we spend the limited time we have. No, this is not a matter of living life in “top gear” 100% of the time; it’s a matter living life “engaged” as much as possible. Quite simply, this means maximizing time spent doing things that make you feel alive. It’s been said many times before: life is too short and too long to spend it doing too many things you don’t like to do.

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Ditch the commencement baggage

This is a tribute image to a post I did this time last year, which you can read here on The Uncommon Life.

The message is simple: You can’t make progress if you’re holding on to thoughts, sentiments, and out-dated beliefs about what can and can’t be done…

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