Write What You No

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Photo credits: mermaid99 on Flickr.com

On the back of your list of life goals, write what you No.

One side has the great stuff you’re going to do with your life, and the other has what you will stop doing.

See, this is all about focus, and focus is about saying no.  Think about that for a second.  It’s true, isn’t it?

And if you look on your life and the things you want to do and you ask yourself “Self, why haven’t I done any of these yet?”, the answer will come back, at least in part, “I don’t have time”.  BullllllshI don’t believe in “I don’t have time”.  IDHT means IDC, I don’t care.  You have plenty of time, and unless it’s all being taken up by far more pressing matters than you or I ever deal with on a daily basis, the time is there and it’s your job to take it.  You don’t find it; you manhandle it.

So where do you get all this time from?  That’s where the list of No comes in.  Choose things you will stop doing.  Cut out the fat from your life.  If you don’t, your dreams will fade like the muscle tone of a middle-aged cubicle tenant.

When Seth Godin– who runs the number one business blog in the world, has written more bestsellers than I have fingers, and responds to every e-mail he gets– is asked how he does it all, he says he doesn’t watch TV and he doesn’t go to meetings, so that’s already four to five hours more than most people have.

That’s some serious No right there!  It gives me the warm fuzzies to see someone so boldly cast from his life the trappings of the non-producer lifestyle.

I think you need to say No, and say it hard.  Don’t be– to borrow a term from Noah Kagan– a wantrepreneur.  You know– one of those two-beer bards waxing poetic about lost opportunities.  He is the sad, sad result of a lifetime of Yes.  Yes to every distraction, yes to every addiction, yes to every fashion.

Therefore, No.  Write down your rules.  We’ll start with Seth’s rules.

No TV.  No meetings.

You’re about to bust out complaining about how you have to go to meetings aren’t you?  If so, you’re missing the point.  Let’s go on. Read More

Stop Reading Books about Heaven

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Photo credit: Thomas Hawk (flickr: thomashawk)

A perhaps apocryphal New Yorker cartoon depicts a man looking confused standing before two doors.  One is labeled “Heaven” and the other is labelled “Books about Heaven”.

When I heard about this comic for the first time, it scared me just a bit– because my first reaction was “Ooh!  Books about heaven!”

There’s something wrong with that reaction.  If heaven is the place of ultimate happiness– the best possible experience you can have– what does it mean that some part of me deep down is more intrigued by words on a page describing this place?

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The Internet is a dangerous place.  It’s especially dangerous for those who want to do things with their life.  You can now pick almost any endeavor or accomplishment and read about it until you die.  Info porn.

You may notice that I’ve encouraged you to stop reading if you’re going to go do something awesome instead.  I stand by that.  The perfect situation: no one reads any of this because they’re too busy accomplishing their pacts with life.

In a way, reading about awesome things is a substitute for experiencing and doing awesome things.  And for me at least, I don’t want it to be that way.  That’s called white-collar failure and it needs to be fought.   Read More