I have to do this

Are you a “high achiever”? A “go-getter”?

Do you have to-do lists longer than The Pan-American Highway?

Heavy eyelids?

The self-talk usually goes something like, “I want this so bad. I have to do this.”

Most people quit at this point. But you won’t. You’re an animal. You’re a machine! You’ll never quit!!

You just set the track record for the first lap of the 1600m run.

Though, hmm, nobody ever won the gold because of a fast ‘Lap 1’. Now what?

How do you follow-through on goals or drag on when you’re exhausted? Perspective always helps.

I don’t need to give you stories of the rampant poverty all over our planet.

You don’t HAVE-TO-DO anything.

You GET-TO-DO it.

That alone could be the elixir to your anxiety.

This should apply to some 90+% of Americans, as we are majorly above the poverty level in comparison to most human beings on earth.

Be the GET-TO-DO type of person.

Now, go. Do.


 

***As always, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read this. I only hope that I can positively impact your life in some small way.

Please, share.

As most of you know, the best way to support writing is to spread the work and engage in the wise conversations.

“Y’all” are the best. 

I love you,

Jakob

 

10,000 Spectacular Stories

Patience, resilience, and frequent engagement. That, and several years of working at it, are what it takes to be great at your craft.

Take a great writer, for example (not me).

To become a master writer, one has to write. Over. And over. And over.

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they paint a lot.”  – Macklemore

A writer might need to write 10,000 spectacular stories before some 100 of them connect, which might be good enough to gather, organize, and form into a book.

Like the ivy on Stone Row at Bard College, your craft must both engulf, and symbiotically make beautiful, your entire existence. If your work is not a reflection of you, it is not your work.

10,000 of your worth-being-told stories before you get 1 book.

Total immersion.

Start writing.

Get it in writing

Your boss says you might get a promotion.

A new business partnership is on the horizon.

The admissions department rep thinks you’ll get accepted to Harvard.

They can all be agreed upon, and exciting to anticipate or daydream about, but they carry no validity or value until written and signed.

Gotta get it in writing.

Getting your thoughts locked permanently into existence, and written down on paper, is as important to your life as any deal or letter of acceptance.

A great idea at 3am is meaningless if you’ve forgotten it by 8.

I cannot under-sell you on the importance of getting enough sleep, but sometimes, even when you’re laying in bed ready to fall asleep, or tossing and turning at 3:34, you’ve got to get up and grab a pen.

Got an idea?

Get it in writing.

3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR: a New Years resolution plan that sticks

Most New Years resolutions don’t stick.

Here we are, 17 days in.

If you’re struggling, it’s not too late to take a different approach. The cultural fortune and blessings, associated with proclaiming your resolutions aloud during the final countdown on December 31st, are lost. You get a 0-score for style/tradition points if you abandon your initial resolutions.

“No TRUE New Years resolution can start on January 17th!”

“Ok” [confidently brush your shoulders off].

Alas, this is a fact: a practice that works, started January 17th, is far greater than a resolution that started hot on January 1st and falls dead by January 22nd. 

Author and success expert, Carol S. Dweck, has a chapter in one of her books that talks about fulfilling your potential. In it, she writes, “Genius is not enough; we need to get the job done.” Liken that to your New Years Resolutions, and you might realize that the genius behind your initial plan is only as meaningful as the actions that (do not) ensue.

“Genius is not enough; we need to get the job done.” – Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success).

There is no cure-all, but let me offer an idea that has helped me tremendously. Spoiler alert: this will be the only time that I downplay “taking action”.

I began this at the beginning of the 2017 year, and applied it again this year. It works. Here it is:

3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR

At the beginning of each new year, pick 3 thoughts, or topics.

WRITE THEM EVERYWHERE – walls, post it notes, desk drawers, phone background, desktop, bathroom stalls… you get the point.

They need to be extremely valuable for the upcoming year, but NOT ACTIONABLE (this seems counterintuitive, but is very important. I will explain shortly). Specifically, if it will help you most from Jan-Apr, then strongly consider it. I am a believer that the way you start dramatically influences your end results. If my 3 thoughts help me begin the year with 4 amazing months consecutively, then odds are that the last 8 won’t be too shabby either.

The purpose of these thoughts is not to formulate a one-size-fits-all action plan. The purpose is to change your overall approach. Consider it ‘mindset training’.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FAIL BECAUSE YOU PICK SPECIFIC ACTIONABLE TASKS ON DECEMBER 31st THAT ARE NO LONGER EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 17th.

This has had a greater impact on my life than any diet, habit, or gym membership. Why? It’s about the attitude that you approach each day with. It always is. Your plan has to be able to ADAPT to looming adversity and a sporadic schedule. Your standards, however, don’t have to change.

Carry these THOUGHTS or THEMES with you everywhere, and use them the way that people use W.W.J.D. bracelets. Use these thoughts as a lens through which you see the world. Let them be a filter for your tough decisions.

Carry these THOUGHTS or THEMES with you everywhere, and use them the way that people use W.W.J.D. bracelets.

You will still be tasked with making good choices that contribute to your well-being, that is non-negotiable. The difference? You can adapt your daily action plan to your surroundings as needed. You can fail daily. You can succeed daily. But no failure or success will dictate the following day’s approach, which will change dramatically, but always contain with it, your 3 thoughts.

Reward and punishment system based on preset expectations for action, exit.

Enter, 3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR that influence your EVERY move. It becomes ok to fall down on a diet or meal plan from time to time if the goal is to “improve your Nutritional Education” rather than to “eat 100% Paleo Approved foods”. Thus, taking failure frustrations and lack of motivation out of the equation, and narrowing your focus on how to address each issue/choice individually. More simply, change 3 ways that you think about your day.

Best wishes. Love you all.

 

Here are the thoughts that I chose last year. They served me well. 

2017 – Autonomy, Nutritional Education, Fearless

Here are the thoughts that I chose for 2018. So far, so good.

2018 – Critical Path, Composure, Blue-Chip


Thanks for reading, I know this was a long post. If this helps you in any way, please, share it with your friends. Talk about your 3 words. Link them to this article as backing. The more you discuss it, the more accountability you build for yourself.

I’d love to hear stories about your resolutions, both positive and negative. Maybe I will even share some on my SM or VLOG.

Blue, White, Mark Zuckerberg

New era.

No collar.

Wearing a collar to work used to carry with it implications that you were prepared, committed, focused, professional, etc.

Now, you look at some of the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet, and they wear white t-shirts to work, grow big beards, and take lots of silly selfies for instagram (Mark Zuckerberg).

Do they not care? Are they not committed? Is there a cap on their potential?

Some financial moguls have minimized their closet to single color t-shirts and pants in an attempt to make the daily dress-up routine even more efficient.

It’s clear that style has taken a back seat to productivity. Do not take that for granted. Especially in America, we reward outcomes, critical path thinking, and taking action over a person’s general appearance.

Everyone can LOOK the part, but can you PLAY the part?

Appearance can get you a seat at the table, but results are what gives you the credibility to speak up, and maybe even get invited back.

Whether you are a “blue-collar” or “white-collar” worker, just remember, it’s more about the quality of your work than it is about how you look while doing it. Sure, you have to meet standards when it comes to physical appearance at various jobs, but don’t let that become the identity and focal point of your career and work.

One Inch

Inches matter.

Take a single step.

Write down a late night thought.

Phone an old friend.

Read 2 pages in a book.

Drink 1 less beer.

Go to sleep 1 hour earlier.

If you can’t run a mile, run down the street and back.

If you can’t be joyful to everyone you interact with, just be joyful to 1 person each day.

Do not be intimidated by your ideals. Like a building is a culmination of bricks, your progress is a culmination of small choices. From where you are now, to the future you desire, is just a series of progressional inches.

It is easier to be consistent (which matters) when you don’t expect too much of yourself.

MANY INCHES > ZERO MILES

Inches matter.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years go. The second best time is now.”

– Chinese Proverb

Love you all.

Jakob

 

New Years: Effective Frame of Mind

What are you asking yourself in 2018?

Some people make resolutions. Lists. Some commit to a diet, or a workout plan, or a shift in values.

Those are wonderful.

They’re usually averagely effective, however, without the proper mindset.

It is only minimally correlated to the plans made or the goals set.

It is about whether or not you are prepared to make changes at all.

Where is your head at?

Are you willing to sacrifice?

Are you willing to humbly address your short-comings?

Are you willing to make changes?

This year, focus your lens on those questions first, and make sure that you can answer them, before you “go Paleo” or buy a gym membership.

——

Oh, by the way, it is the year 2 0 1 8 .

Take a moment to think about what it means to be alive right now, at this time.

Be awesome in 2018. I love you all.

Jakob