My very good friend Marina, who I plan to conquer the world with, added me to a “Personal Development” Facebook group. Anyone who is in a Facebook group already knows that those messages are a nightmare, inundation to the max. However, the other night I thought I’d catch up on all my missed messaged and (without surprise) knew Marina added me for a reason.
Sometimes matters of life are common sense. Most of the time, we need to be reminded of such matters. I wanted to share some of what I learned by catching up on the conversations in this group that would be helpful for all mankind, no matter the religion. I encourage others to join too.
1. Write thank you cards
This is the single-most, best thing you can do to tell people how you feel and to form lasting impressions. For a great link on how to write one well, go to ArtofManliness.com. It wouldn’t hurt to spend a night writing one to those who have impacted your life and, while you’re at it, write one to yourself.
2. Do it before you’re told to
This one comes from author Cal Newport. The Single Most Useful Lesson I learned as a Student: Start things earlier than you think you need to, aim to finish them well before they are due. (Note: Getting ahead really is a super amazing tip. When I follow this rule, life is 10 million times more joyous.)
3. Nobody’s going to help you, and that’s awesome
This one comes from Jeff Atwood. I thought this was brilliant because this day and age we rely/hope/beg/pay/pray for everyone else to do the work for us. I think this statement alone is empowering. If we want to accomplish anything in life, especially that really big goal we have, we have to do it ourselves. We are the only ones who can make our dreams come true.
4. Everyone gets rejected. Carry on.
Take a look at some of these famous author rejection letters!
E.g. Sylvia Plath: There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.
Chicken Soup for the Soul rejected 134 times! Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting before getting a poem accepted! Enough said. You get the point. If you believe in your art, then keep believing it and make it work. Channel Jay-Z who, after getting rejected from every major label, went ahead and started his own record label. You go.
5. No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.
This one comes from Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want.
The point is rather obvious, but it’s just one of those things that I — who can be awfully wishy-washy and maybe’d – needs to commit to. Commit to the things that you are absolutely meant for you and say no to the rest. (You might be thinking, well what about responsibility, prayer, doing kind things not for your own benefit, etc.) That’s not what I mean exactly. How many of us get caught up in all the little tasks of the day that don’t add any benefit to our lives? Or take that job because you think you should, not because it will bring you satisfaction? That’s what I think of when I hear this. Do things fully. Do one thing really well. I know firsthand that doing twenty things a little well does not bring us, or the world, as much joy as doing that thing you are good at and that makes you want to get up an hour early every morning to get started on.
Be true to who you are and go with your gut, your heart, and your G-d. Someone else will be excited about the things you say no to. Give them the pleasure of doing that work.
There are so many more great resources I found on this group. Feel free to request to join and add inspirational links of your own. Feel free to add some life tips to the comments below, as well.