Last Thursday I skipped town for a trip to Toronto for Craig Ballantyne’s Perfect Life Workshop.
… which was incredible! I highly recommend you go to one ASAP.
I was in town for less than 48 hours, yet was able to meet fantastic humans, forge relationships with badasses, and be reminded of life-dominating lessons.
That’s exactly what I want to share with you today—lessons that will allow you to conquer every single day.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard these lessons before, but I’ll bet you need a refresher. There’s likely something you’ve been slacking on and need to revisit, right?
So, without further ado, here are my life-dominating lessons:
1. Don’t be boring; being boring is a sin.
We’re bombarded with thousands of pieces of information and marketing messages every single day—dinging computers, vibrating phones, and push notifications for damn near everything.
The last thing you want to do is blend in. It’s critical that you’re able to stand out from all the noise.
Should you wear crazy clothes, light things on fire, and do obnoxious things just for the sake of being different?
Not so fast. Our society values entertainers, but backs away from too much crazy. It’s always been this way and it’s not changing any time soon. The best thing you can do is help your clients by offering them value in an entertaining and engaging way.
Think back to when you were in school. What made a good teacher a great teacher?
Was it better information? Or was it because they were able to convey the same message in an easy-to-understand way that was enjoyable, fun, and entertaining?
The entertaining teacher always won the day.
Use your personality, your skills, and your unique experiences to bring personality to your business and your life. People will love you for it.
2. All tasks expand to their allotted time, so block out your time.
Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion.
As America’s great Uncle Abe Lincoln says, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Another high school example: How many times did you wait until the last minute to write a paper or complete a project?
If you’re like most people, you did it more than once. You forgot about the assignment for a few days until your teacher reminded you that your paper was due the next day.
The night before the deadline, you probably spent four hours procrastinating, an hour-and-a-half slowly getting your ideas together, then the next three hours with the pedal to the metal finishing your project.
The point is: If you don’t block out time for something, it likely won’t be accomplished.
Schedule out every single day for the important tasks that will move your business and personal life forward. Just be reasonable with how much time you set aside.
3. It’s easy to give advice, but hard to follow. Learn to follow.
How many times have you listened to someone else’s business or personal struggles and easily helped them come up with a solution?
Countless times, I bet.
Often, the solutions you offer can easily be applied to solve your own problems. But it’s hard for us to see this for ourselves.
This phenomenon is something I call “Proximity Blindness.”
You’re too close to the decision-making process in your own life to be objective about right actions. Your biases, investments, and emotions often cripple you from making an easy decision that you know (objectively) will prove beneficial.
An outside eye from caring friends, coaches, and mentors who have been there is crucial to growth. Surround yourself with people who won’t hesitate to lend a helping hand or call you out when you screw up. And be willing to listen to their advice.
4. These TWO self-sabotaging words can destroy you. NEVER use them.
“I know” is one of the most self-sabotaging phrases you’ll ever say.
By saying this, you tell your brain to ignore another person’s advice, checking it off as “received, but unheard.”
This has long been as habit of mine and is something I still have to work on. Sure, there are plenty of times where I’ve heard the advice before, but am I really implementing it the best way I can? Am I really doing it right? Is there ANYTHING new I can take away from what this person just told me?
Saying “I know” discounts it all.
Instead, be open and grateful for all feedback given to you. Think outside the box, and let others’ words remind you of how best to move forward.
5. Take advantage of the potential others see in you.
Among the many works by celebrated author Neil Gaiman, there’s a personal story that stands out.
Neil spoke once about a casual conversation he had in the back of a room at a gathering of great people. He was speaking to another man named Neil.
The other Neil said to him, “I just look at all these people and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”
This man felt like his work was nothing special. He knew all too well his own mistakes and counted himself just an ordinary man. But to the rest of the world, he was the great Neil Armstrong—the first man to set foot on the moon.
People see you differently than you see yourself.
In most cases, they see more value, potential, and opportunity in you than you see in yourself. Without others’ perspectives, it’s hard to get out of your own way.
Surrounding yourself with people who push you to grow is an essential part of success.
6. Have difficult conversations. They’re important.
On a deep level, we’re all afraid to fail. And please, save me the “I’m not afraid of failure, that’s how I grow” lecture.
It’s not the act of failure in itself that haunts us; it’s what comes along with it: embarrassment, abandonment, mistrust, social exclusion, betrayal, powerlessness, etc.
The truth is, something in the past reframed this as a difficult conversation for us to have. We don’t talk about our failures with ease.
But if you continue to avoid the difficult conversations, you’re only cementing the fear. By facing the situation, you’re getting to the heart of that fear and learning its true nature—often an unfounded negative belief in your own ability. When you uncover the reality, then the fear disappears and you’re free to grow.
The truth is, if something is uncomfortable or awkward, it’s because you likely aren’t confident doing it. The only way to get better is to practice. Practice brings familiarity. Familiarity breeds confidence.
When it comes down to it, people who care less about failure, rejection, and others’ opinions will win.
But only you can decide what type of person you are going to be.
There you have it—the six lessons that help me dominate every single day. Life isn’t that hard; once you step back and put things in perspective (with the help and input of others), purpose and path become clear.
Comment below if this served as a reminder. How are you going to tackle your day using these life-changing lessons?
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