If you stop, STOP

Don’t half-ass it.

When you stop, it’s an opportunity.

When you get out of “grind mode” you have the opportunity to:

  • Assess
  • Rest
  • Analyze

These are all actions that support and nurture your vision.

When you half-ass them, you rob yourself of the opportunity to pick a better direction. This action, one often coming from a selfish place, affects the people around you.

The reason why I say that act is selfish come from wanting to look a certain way. It speaks to our vanity. We want to be known as a hustler, someone who is on the front lines all the time.

Well, good work doesn’t work that way, and neither does good rest.

Far too often, the “guilt” of rest pushes us back to action too quickly.  

That “guilt” is in our heads, and while it may feel real to us, your team would rather have you at 100%.

Don’t rob them of that opportunity.

Art Means Focus

Art isn’t easy

The sharpest art strikes the viewer.

It’s a slap in the face.

“DAMN!”

And then you sit, staring, wondering how a stranger can do that? How can they make you feel that way?

Creating something that penetrates consciousness requires sharp definition. One idea attacked like hell.

That’s hard. You have to tell people no, that word that you hear you can’t say yet.

Well, the bad news is if you wait for someone to tell you to say “No,”you’ll never make art.

The good news is you’ll be off the hook.

If you want to avoid trouble, don’t focus.

If you want the hell of standing out, get simple.

 

Keep It light Sometimes

You don’t have to know everything

Enjoy being unaware if the topic doesn’t matter. Being shallow is fine for most of the conversations you have during the day.

When you are dealing with things that you aren’t that curious about, Jeopardy Knowledge is a strength.

Who cares how much Courtney Lee scored when the Knicks won? Unless you work for ESPN or you’re developing a scheme for a basketball rival, it doesn’t matter.

It’s just something to talk about over dinner.

Then it’s time to get back to work.

Save your energy for impact, not being a “know it all.”

Travel Through Trepidation

If you wait for trepidation to fade, you won’t ship

You are going to feel some trepidation.

There is no perfect project.

No perfect work environment.

No elixir keeps you free from fear.

As a leader, you have to get comfortable with dancing with that gut feeling that “nothing is going to work.” Trepidation comes when we do something, and it hurts because it might not work.

Something eventually does work.

Then another thing, and another thing.

You have to show up, traverse trepidation and get to ship.

No one hires your fear. They seek, and rely on, you and your deliverables.

Get to work.

Whatever it Takes To Turn it In, Do the Work

Sometimes, the ends do justify the means. Get to work.

I have apps like freedom on my phone that block out the entire internet because I know I don’t have the self-control just to sit and type.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to work.

The work I turn out because of that app doesn’t have a unique mark on it. You don’t get any bonus points for making things hard on yourself.

I don’t care if you:

  • Have to squeal
  • Listen to comedy albums out loud
  • Take an afternoon nap

You do whatever it takes to get the work done.

Taste Requires Self-Investment

Do you want good taste? Get vulnerable

Getting good taste requires a lot of things.

However, if you did those things without self-investment, then you aren’t doing much at all. You can’t invest without vulnerability.

When you invest in yourself, you are vulnerable. You have to care.

The thing is, you’re better if you go for it, even if it’s painful.

Show Your Work – We Are Bad at Guessing

It’s tempting not to share your work

The world seems to value “easy” when it comes to creative work.

So, you tell yourself that it isn’t worth showing the hard work you did.

  • The restless nights you spent answering emails instead of getting more shuteye.
  • The time spent away from loved ones while you answered one more phone call.
  • As a result of all these, you tell your boss that you’ve taken care of things and you are rewarded with more project assignments and less praise.

As a result, you tell your boss that you’ve taken care of it and your reward is often, more projects with less praise.

This result doesn’t make for a healthy work environment.

However, don’t take it as malicious.

Human beings do a horrible job at estimating the amount of work someone else did.

When you don’t show off what it takes, we assume it’s easy.

Take the time to mark down how long these things take. They help your boss understand how to manage and help you understand how to estimate (because we often misjudge time and estimates ourselves)

Know your worth, show your work.