One thing I love about the year-end holiday down time is the extra time to read for pleasure and leisure. Here are a few of my all-time favorite novels that I’ve read over summers and holidays past.
At my grandma’s funeral several years ago, I remember reading her short list of the things she tried to live by. They were these short phrases:
- Be the first to say hello.
- Compliment three people every day.
- Live beneath your means.
- Let the first thing you say brighten everyone’s day.
- Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.
- Always think the best of other people.
At the end of the day, a simple life is an inward reality with an outward lifestyle.
But… if it’s a lifestyle you seek — a simple life with less stuff and less hustle — you can work from the outside in. This is how it goes with many other disciplines: start with the outward expression and allow your behavior to guide your attitude. Begin with duty and move toward delight.
You and I only have so much willpower, decision-making ability, and/or creative imagination throughout the day. Try to reserve that energy for things like deep work, deep conversations, and big decisions.
The more you can automate the inconsequential areas of your life, the the more energy and strength you have for doing your most important work and building your most important relationships.
Lean on your daily habits to let things run “automatically” and thus giving yourself more energy for thinking, creating, and decision making.
Many business owners and creative professionals have moments where they feel something called impostor syndrome. It’s a feeling that your success is an accident and you do not deserve it. You fear people will soon find out “you are a fraud” and that you do not possess an ounce of real talent at all.
Adam Grant states that Imposter Syndrome is not a result of other people overestimating what you can do. Rather, it is a result of you underestimating your own potential and that it’s a normal response to internalizing impossibly high standards.
Today, you can get a limited-time, early bird pricing for the January cohort of Focus Academy.
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Someone with no financial margin — who lives paycheck to paycheck — cannot be extremely generous or philanthropic with their finances. No matter how much they want to.
When your life and schedule are completely overwhelming and out of control, you have no breathing room; no margin to spend with loved ones, respond to important requests, or to simply be present in the moment.
As you restore margin in your life, you will be able to better serve and love those around you. Margin enables healthier relationships and deeper interactions with your friends and family. Margin enables you to live out your values.
PS – Not only is “Fight for Margin” one of our core values for our team, it’s something we teach about in many of our courses. If you need someone in your corner helping you fight for margin consider joining our membership community.
If you want to use Notion to set up a Christmas List, here’s how to do it.
Way, way too many great items on this list. Can confirm that Root is a fantastic game and the Stagg EKG is the last kettle you’ll ever buy.
These are fantastic suggestions from Amir Salihefendić. It does take a bit more intention to maintain a good async culture, but the end-result and side benefits are worth it. My team is “partially async” in that we have an office space and have most of our meetings in person, but we treat all communication as if we were remote. (see also: Nathan Barry’s remote team tips.)
When you begin a new habit and you’ve started taking action, only commit to it for 30 days or so. And then commit for another 30 days. Then commit for 90 days. Then commit for 6 months.
At first it’ll be fun. But then it will be hard and mundane.
If you start out by committing to do something for the rest of your life you’ll never make it. And how many people can say they woke up at 5:00 am every day for their entire life? Seasons change, needs change, things change, you change. So your daily habits will change, too, and that’s okay.
Start with something you know you can do. And then do it again. And again. Not only is this more realistic, it also is a way to build up trust with yourself. You will feel confident deciding to get up early every day for the next six months because you already did it for 30-days in a row.
When you’re feeling the pain of overwhelm, first, pause and listen to it because there can be two reasons for the stress you feel.
- It may be that life is saying you need breathing room.
- Or, sometimes that feeling of overwhelm is because you’re in a season of transition — you’re close to a breakthrough.
When it’s the former, you need to dial down and create some margin. Make sure you’ve got some things in place so you can stay sane and healthy.
When it’s the latter and you’re on the verge of a breakthrough — you need help and the perseverance to press through.
There is a difference between worry and preparedness. You cannot be fully prepared for anything. So do your best to prepare and mitigate your risks, but then move on. Consider the risks and then live your life.
Successful people are quick to make a decision and slow to change their minds. (They get results and feedback before making new decisions.) Unsuccessful people never get traction because they are slow to make a decision and then quick to change their minds (often based on emotions).
Dual focus is trying to do two things at once and thereby limiting yourself from doing either well.
Here are a few ideas for how to avoid dual focus:
- Break a project down into smaller steps that feel manageable, then do one step at a time
- Use this Show Up Every Day Worksheet to set your focused intention.
- If you’re using a computer, close all the apps besides the ones you need for completing the task at hand.
- Time Block your day.
- If you feel stuck, ask yourself if you’re trying to tackle more than one task. If this is true, isolate the one that has the least complexity and start there.