Someone to lean on

There are 7.4 billion citizens of the world. That’s more people occupying this planet than ever before in history. Yet, people still feel alone. (Maybe now more than ever.)

We all yearn for the same thing. And that is a connection. A connection with someone we can trust. Someone who loves us for who we are.

The culture would have us believe we’re alone. But there’s a difference between alone and lonely. Most of us don’t know what it’s actually like be alone anymore. We’re not trapped on deserted islands. No, we are more connected than any generation that has ever come before us. On the other hand, lonely, the feeling we get when no one see us, that’s a universal, rampant feeling.

We would like to think that if we spend more time turning stones and more time updating our pages or checking our email, we will find the connection we are all so desperately seeking to make. But that’s not hope. It’s an expectation. And we will always fall short when we’re looking for a tweet to touch us.

What we need to do is learn to see. To see the world for what it is. Chances are what you’re looking for has been right in front of you this whole time. But the choice is yours: You can look up and see the endless amount of possibilties that the world has to offer or you can keep your head down, turning over rocks, hoping expecting to find something different.

[“If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar]

[If you’re fortunate enough to have a friend to lean on, you should cherish them. It’s rare to have someone who can truly prop you up when your feeling low.]

Professionals don’t seek credit

You should go above and beyond what you normally would do today and tomorrow and the next day.

Be extremely generous and genuine with your work and words.

Go make something happen that you’ve been putting off.

Leap first.

Make a ruckus.

Don’t worry about the credit.

Credit and motivation are for amateurs.

You’re a professional.

[Professionals don’t first seek credit or money. No, first they seek to do the work. They seek to earn your trust and attention. Even when they don’t feel like it. They show up. Again and again. Day in and day out. Getting better with every interaction. Generosity doesn’t go unnoticed. So we give you something in exchange for more work. For more of your art.]

It’s a stretch

The internet has destroyed the perfect and enabled the impossible.

There are no more edges.

No edges means no shape.

So you can mold yourself into whatever it is you want to be.

The problem isn’t access or time. It’s whether you’re willing to decide.

You have more opportunities than anyone ever in history.

We won’t know what it’s going to look like in the end.

But we can be assured that when we stretch others will want to emulate.

Retain your brightness

Culture wants to tear people’s dreams apart. It wants you and me to be average, mediocre, to not stand out, and, of course, it wants us all to fit in. Average products for average people.

Culture amplifies mistakes and minimizes leaps. We point to an outside force called luck instead of celebrating the 20 years of day in and day out labor. We call people an overnight success so we can reinforce the search for a short cut. But overnight success isn’t by accident and it isn’t overnight. Culture downplays the years of generosity—people who freely give their gifts expecting nothing in return—because deep down inside we know we can do better.

Find a way to retain your brightness. What makes you that special snowflake. That thing that makes you you. Your talents. Your gifts. Your art. Because we now live in a world where there is a culture activily seeking for us to be ordinary.

Formalities in an informal world

The world is becoming more and more informal.

Communication, for instance, has progressively become more informal. Since Alexander Bell created the Telephone a hundred fifty years ago, we’ve seen communication go from face to face verbal conversation to letters on a screen.

But there’s still a place for formalities in an informal world.

The ones that are going to produce remarkable products, goods, and services in the future will be the ones who figure out how to make formal experiences for there customers. We live in a culture where it’s constantly get pushed on us to be average. People don’t want that. They are wanting more substance.

[That’s why marriage is so highly valued. It’s a formal, unique experience that isn’t replicated anywhere else in the culture.]

Management vs leadership

Managers tell people to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. Making the status-quo exhausting to maintain. So, you quit.

On the other hand, leadership is finding a common goal, aligning your views, and getting out-of-the-way. That last part is important.

You won’t find great leaders doing a lot of pushing or pulling—but I think the good ones are masters at persuasion (not manipulation).