20 observations about money

  1. Money doesn’t equal value, worth or approval.
  2. Money is a currency and a method of exchange.
  3. Others don’t have to lose in order for you to win.
  4. You don’t need to keep score with what you have compared to others.
  5. Money amplifies character.
  6. The never-ending wheel of accumulation is actually never-ending.
  7. Debt grows. Savings grow slower.
  8. When you pay for something, you are done. Fair and square. Even Steven.
  9. Money drives people apart while gifts bring us closer together.
  10. It’s not going to make you happy.
  11. The more you have the less you want, the less you have the more you want.
  12. There are no short cuts. Everyone is already on one. (What’s left are long cuts.)
  13. Those who save more have more.
  14. No one will care more about your money than you do.
  15. Debt predates money.
  16. Most lotto winners end up with the exact same money as they did before.
  17. In 1970, money was physical. In 1971, it became digital.
  18. You can’t take it with you.
  19. Money is a tool: Bricks can be thrown through a window or used to build a school.
  20. The most important thing to understand about money is that it is a story.

Who is responsible?

If you spoke your truth, shared with us your best insights and gave ample evidence why we should follow your lead, and management still says no; that’s on them.

But…

If you failed to give us your genius because you were afraid of being wrong, that’s on you.

People need a chance. We don’t know if they will take it if we fail to speak up and give them the opportunity.

How times have changed

In 1998, we were taught to avoid meeting people on the internet. And never to go into a stranger’s car.

Today, with a few clicks, we ask strangers on the internet if we can get a ride.

Oh, how we have underestimated the power of connection and how it has changed the entire makeup of our culture.

As goods, products and services become more streamlined, faster and cheaper; we are reaching the end of the industrial economy and seeing the connection economy fully taking over.

It has only been 10 years since the iPhone was invented. What happens next is really going to surprise us.

What are you saying no to?

By saying yes to this job, this activity, this deal, what are you saying no to?

Are you saying no to time with your wife or kids? Are you saying no to more money? Are you saying no to further opportunities or that project you always wanted to start? Are you saying no to a vacation you always wanted to take? Are you saying no to your happiness, your health or well-being?

If this thing brings you closer to the person you want to be, and the change you are seeking to make, by all means say yes.

If no, well, then you have your answer.

By saying yes to something, you have to say no somewhere else (and visa-versa).

Who noticed you today?

Who notices when we’re passing time, filling our days with more emails and Facebook messages? Who notices when we keep quiet and do what we are told? Who notices when we do the same things we did yesterday? Who notices when we are gone?

I think…

I think we notice those who speak up and stand out, who share their best insights. We notice those who take responsibility, who show up day in and day out. We notice the linchpins, the impresarios and the artists. We notice the torchbearer who is shining a new path. We notice work that is bold, daring and unexpected. We notice the steady contributions you are making. We notice those who are generous.

It is inherit in all us to fit in, to shrink, to fall in line, to do what you’re told, to not disrupt the status-quo because we are afraid.

We are afraid of shame, rejection and being responsible for our actions (far easier to leave that to someone else). We are afraid of being noticed for something that might not work.

The thing is compliance doesn’t lead to happiness. What we need from you is your best work. Yeah, it might not work but today, you contributed. You tried to make things better. Tomorrow, you can do it again. And then again. Until, one day, a body of work is built and we can’t help but notice the change you are seeking to make.

One tip to help anyone get back in shape

Move.

Just learn to take every opportunity to move.

Park your car a little further away. Take the stairs to the office. Bike to work. Jog to your girlfriend’s house. Walk your dog after dinner. Take that stand-up paddle boarding class you always wanted to do or try that new yoga studio your friend keeps bugging you about. Wake up an hour earlier to use the gym your office provides. Or use your lunch break to pump some iron (you don’t need a whole hour to eat a sandwich).

No need for tracking or quantifying. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, just decide to move with every possible chance you get.

Squeeze a few minute here and a few minutes there out of your day, and overtime the seemingly small and insignificant daily micro-decisions made are no longer small or insignificant.

[Objects in motion stay in motion.]

It’s not their story but ours

If we want things to get better, we are going to have to learn to do things differently.

By different, I mean trying something that has never been done before.

Big, audacious goals that change the course of human history because we owe it to our mothers and grandparents. Because we owe it to our sons and daughters. Because we want to live in a culture that we can all be proud of. Because we are dealing with new problems and old ones that have never been solved before.

There are 3 billion people living on less than $3 a day. There are a billion people who lack access to clean water. 40 million living with HIV/AIDS. Another billion who are illiterate. For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.

However, it’s easy to forget that people need our help when we seduce ourselves into doing the same things we did yesterday. Sustainability doesn’t have to mean sacrificing long-term progress for short-term gains. Business doesn’t have to be done this way.

By continuing to exploit opportunities instead of exploring new possibilities, we’re further pushing the consequences of our actions to tomorrow. Except, tomorrow is here today.

So, now what? Are we going to kick this can down the road again?

The way things are, isn’t the way things have to be.