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What matters now — Universal Principles

Inspired by — What matters now

What matters now is a free e-book where seventy big thinkers, each shares an idea for you to think about.

Do what you’re good at

Marti Barletta, from her “Strengths” essay in What matters now.

I worked on my weaknesses for 40 years to little avail. Still “needs improvement,” as they say. Why? Easy. We hate doing things we’re not good at, so we avoid them. No practice makes perfect hard to attain.

I, for one, can live with just doing what I’m good at!

What do you call this?, by Ken K. Liu

February 15, 2010   1 Comment

Where your heart wants to be

(Unnamed), by Catherine Kennedy Garrett

From What matters now and the essay “Thought-mindedness” by Steven Pressfield.

There’s tremendous power in putting your ass where your heart wants to be.

Just do it, already.

February 10, 2010   1 Comment

Stop waiting, start acting

From the essay “Power” in What matters now, by Jeffrey Pfeffer.

Stop waiting around for bosses and companies to get better and complaining about how are you treated. Build the skills–and use them–that will permit you to create the environment in which you want to live.

It’s up to you — no-one is going to do it for you.

#41 Stranger: Unyoung, by Sean Young

January 26, 2010   Comments Off


From Mark Rovner’s essay “Timeless” in What matters now.

Simplicity – if you can’t tell your brand to a 9-year-old it’s no good.

Simplicity in the Mist, by Nate Marvin

Can you explain your company’s products? Your profession? Your life?

January 20, 2010   Comments Off

What is working, and how can we do more of it?

Moleskine Retro PDA Part1, by Stephen TicehurstIn the What matters now essay Change, Chip and Dan Heath provides the following story.

A troubled teenager named Bobby was sent to see his high-school counselor, John Murphy. Bobby had been in trouble so many times that he was in danger of being shipped off to a special facility for kids with behavioral problems.

Most counselors would have discussed Bobby’s problems with him, but Murphy didn’t.

MURPHY: Bobby, are there classes where you don’t get in trouble?

BOBBY: I don’t get in trouble much in Ms. Smith’s class.

MURPHY: What’s different about Ms. Smith’s class?

Soon Murphy had some concrete answers: 1. Ms. Smith greeted him at the door. 2. She checked to make sure he understood his assignments. 3. She gave him easier work to complete. (His other teachers did none of the three.)

Now Murphy had a roadmap for change. He advised Bobby’s other teachers to try these three techniques. And suddenly, Bobby started behaving better.

The moral of the story is, in their words:

You’re probably trying to change things at home or at work. Stop agonizing about what’s not working. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s working well, right now, and how can I do more of it?”

December 24, 2009   2 Comments

The greatest danger

Tom Peters, in his What matters now essay Excellence, provides the following quote from Michelangelo.

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Here's looking at you...HBW...Everybody..:O)), by Keven Law

December 23, 2009   1 Comment

The world will still need saving

Elizabeth Gilbert, in the essay Ease from What matters now, urging her readers to slow down.

I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow.

Photowalking 7, by Thomas Hawk

December 22, 2009   Comments Off