The person who is consistent outperforms the person who is intermittent every time. While inconsistent effort works for some things, for the things that really matter you need to be consistent. If you want to be consistent, you need strategies to keep you going when things are hard.
The key to doing something you know you should do when you don’t feel like doing it is telling yourself that you can quit tomorrow but not today.
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” — George Bernard Shaw
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“To me, ‘busy’ implies that the person is out of control of their life.” — Derek Sivers
In order to be simple, you must remove everything that is non-essential.
Thinking in decades avoids a lot of bad behavior.
If you think about relationships lasting decades, you’ll often handle the current moment differently. This works for co-workers, partners, suppliers, customers, friends, etc.
Think twice before you interrupt time.
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
“The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration, then more practice and more concentration.”
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias
“Learning is necessary for our success and personal growth. But we can’t maximize the time we spend learning because our feelings about what we ‘should’ be doing get in the way.”
“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.” — Mae West
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.”
“It is good to come to a country you know practically nothing about. Your thoughts grow still, useless. … In a country you know nothing about, there is no reference point. You struggle to associate colors, smells, dim memories. You live a little like a child, or an animal.” — Andrzej Stasiuk
“Truth is not as straightforward as it seems. There are different ways to speak truth, not all of them honest. On most issues, there are multiple truths we can choose to communicate. Our choice of truth will influence how those around us perceive an issue and react to it. We can select truths that engage people and inspire action, or we can deploy truths that deliberately mislead. Truth comes in many forms, and experienced communicators can exploit its variability to shape our impression of reality.”
The best way to improve your ability to think is to spend time thinking.
One way to force yourself to slow down and think is to write. Good writing requires good thinking.
Clear writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide, making a lack of understanding visible.
Don’t get offended by what others say. When you do, you’re subconsciously telling other people not to tell you the truth, which leads to bigger problems in the long-term.
Don’t choose what to read based on what was published recently. People have been writing for hundreds of years. Unless you need to for work, why prioritize the past 24 hours?
Don’t look for people without vices. Instead, look for people who are up-front about them. Everybody has a dark side, and people are much more trustworthy when you know their weaknesses.
Music is the closest thing to social programming that exists. Choose what you listen to wisely. If you don’t, most of what you listen to will push you towards Faustian one-night stands and spending money on pointless stuff.
“Always do your very best. Even when no one else is looking, you always are. Don’t disappoint yourself.”
- Colin Powell
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
“We should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.”
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”
“If you read what everyone else reads, you’ll think like everyone else thinks.”
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
- Rosa Parks
“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness