Hi Friends. On this first Thursday in May, I’d like to share with everyone a small “project” I’ve been keeping up with. A few months back, I started talking with a friend about all of the trivial nonsense information that is more prevalent today than ever before. Our Facebook timelines and our Twitterfeeds are flooded with useless pop culture and internet memes. In other words, we’re exposing ourselves to “information” that has little to no value, and it doesn’t seem like anybody seems to mind. In all the time we read yet another Buzzfeed article or “learn” the 21 reasons why Kim and Kanye are the greatest couple of all time, we could be using that time to actually educate ourselves. We can use that time to actually learn something, something of value, with long term benefits.
So what I have below are called Eric Notes. Whenever I come across something interesting or read a compelling quote, I write it down. At the end of each month, I’ll write a few sentences on each, just expressing my thoughts, why I think it’s captivating, etc. I’ll send them over to my buddy at which point he’ll further contribute to what I said or, better yet, counter it with an alternative perspective. We spark thought-provoking conversation, an invaluable intangible that seems to be absent from so many of our lives. We live in a time where information is readily available within seconds. Anything we want to learn, we can. And we can do so from any device in any place at any time. Rather than having that motivation to better ourselves and SHARE OUR KNOWLEDGE with others, too many people are too busy retweeting a parody account that recycles the same tweets about coffee and naps. Amidst all of the viral articles and pictures spreading across our social media platforms, it would be great to generate some kind of balance and throw in stimulating material that you find interesting and REWARDING.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins
The easy way out is the road too often taken; instead of putting forth a little extra effort, it’s much easier to make an excuse as to why a change was not made or why an action was not taken. Every action has a reaction, and every decision has an impact in one way or another. All of the choices we make today can make a profound impact on our futures. Decision is the ultimate power. As millennials we have the whole world to our exposure. As a lot of us venture into full time jobs, living on our own, making and spending our own money, it is now that we decide where we want our lives to go. Not to say that your first job is going to be your last job, but we now have the responsibility (and the power) to make important decisions that can have a serious impact on our futures.
If you don’t have a goal, you won’t have anything to achieve.
It’s kinda vague, but it’s straightforward and transparent. You need to have something to work towards in everything that you do. If you set short term and long term goals, you’ll keep yourself motivated and on track to attain that end goal. Doing something just to do something serves no real benefit. Going to work because you have to go to work is the wrong mentality to have. Going to work because you’re saving up to buy that new car or get your own apartment is a legitimate goal and something to work towards. And once you get there, it will all have been worth it plus more.
“Words of encouragement fan the spark of genius into the flame of achievement.” – Wilfred A. Peterson
Positive encouragement can go a long way. Getting behind someone to give them that extra push could be the difference between success and failure. And once the ball gets rolling, it’s tough to stop that downhill momentum. At my old job (pre-retirement), there was a time where I thought I was going to be fired. My boss sat me down and straight up told me that if I didn’t step up my work ethic I was gonna be canned. A co-worker of mine with no knowledge of that conversation, noticed that I was kinda down on my self and took it upon themselves to motivate me and get me back on track. Had that not happened, my retirement would have undeniably commenced far sooner.
There’s no traffic jam on the extra mile.
Lots of people have the ideas to do great or be great, but so few have that tenacity and discipline to achieve that greatness. Hard work is not a guarantee of success, but lack of hard work is almost a certainty that disappointment and frustration will prevail.
“You can’t get much done in life by working only on the days you feel good.”
“The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.” – Alexander Paterson
These two kind of go hand in hand, and they relate back to some of the earlier notes as well. The one who succeeds is the one who works when everyone else takes a day off. Setting goals and stopping at nothing to reach them is the mentality it takes to rise a step above the rest of the pack. Getting up and going to the gym everyday is far from easy, I can attest to that. Sticking to a strict diet is also no easy feat. But maintaining that inherent motivation to lose weight or get in shape will be the basis of the journey. The workouts and the diet (the discipline), “will take care of itself”.
The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
To measure your success by comparing it to someone else’s is a recipe for disaster. There is no person in the same exact situation as you, so how would it be fair to pit yourself against someone else? You’ll never be the person you’re comparing yourself against, so rather set your own bar with your own checkpoints and targets to hit. I wake up every day with some sort of plan or schedule, and within that is at least one thing productive. It could be me reading, writing, or getting to the gym, but there’s always something that will make me better than yesterday on some level. Sure I have bigger goals to work towards and people that I strive to be like, but I’m well aware that I need to take care of myself one day at a time to get to the level of success I aim to achieve.
This last quote really sums up why I even write down these notes. We should be constantly trying to better ourselves. There’s nothing stopping any person from growing as a person on any level, whether it be physical, intellectual, etc. All it takes is a few minor changes in how we go about our day, how we attack our daily occurrences, and how we view things and view ourselves.