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Universal Principles — Because some things never change

Surplus of energy

Make use of the moments when you have a surplus of energy to prepare for the times when you know you will be short on energy.

Truckload of novel plots, Robert Huffstutter

For example, pack your gym clothes for the next day before going to bed. Prepare dinner for next day while you’re cooking for today.

June 27, 2011   Comments Off

The proactive language challenge

A challange taken from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is something very simple, which you can do at anytime.

Challenge yourself. Please, Nicholas James Santiago

For a full day, listen to your language and to the language of the people around you. How often do you use and hear reactive phrases such as “If only”, “I can’t”, or “I have to”?

Now, go try it! Then think about what you could say instead.

June 23, 2011   Comments Off

Make up your mind

The 16th president of US, Abraham Lincoln, said:

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Have you made up your mind yet? What did you decide?

Make up your mind!, by Quinn Dombrowski

June 19, 2011   Comments Off

Creating yourself

Irish playwrite George Bernard Shaw, said:

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

No-one determines who you will be, but you. Go create!

One Hundred and Sixteen - To Create, by SimplyShutterbug

June 1, 2011   Comments Off

Trust your instincts

primal instincts, by By WinstonWong*Lately, I’ve been working on a small project at work. When it started I had to make some initial decisions, one of which was a choice between two very similar options. I didn’t fully understand the difference between them, so I just chose one and continued.

Somewhere, I felt that I probably should have taken a few moments to understand that difference, because it did feel rather important. But I felt rushed, so I didn’t.

Halfway into the project, we encountered a problem that forced me to redo most of the work. Guess what was the cause? That very uninformed choice, of course. Had I spent 10 minutes more up front, I’d saved myself several hours of of rework.

Moral of the story? Trust your instincts. Don’t ignore that uneasy feeling that something is not quite right.

May 28, 2011   2 Comments

Live or be lived

Again, from the great book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

People who exercise their embryonic freedom day after day will, little by little, expand that freedom. People who do not will find that it withers until they are literally “being lived”. They are acting out the scripts written by parents, associates, and society.

My Live Earth, by Noël Zia Lee

Are you living your life, or are you being lived?

May 24, 2011   Comments Off

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done, commonly abbreviated GTD, is a method to organize your life and be more productive. It is created by David Allen and first described in a book with the same name.

In this post, I don’t intend to describe the method in any detail (see diagram below, though). Instead, I simply want to urge you to give it a read! It’s not too long and a rather easy read. Best of all, I can almost guarantee that it will have a positive impact on your life.

As with virtually any method, very few follow it by the book all the time, but many of the principles are very powerful. Some of my favorites include:

Below is a diagram summarizing the method. (But do still read the book!) There are tons of programs and tools to help you follow GTD, of which Things for Mac, iPhone, and iPad is my favorite.

Getting Things Done, from petecodella.com

May 19, 2011   Comments Off

A bad day

From a seminar with the often thought-provoking economist Charlie Söderberg. (FTBM)

There is no such thing as a “bad day”. Why not have just a “bad minute” or even a “bad breath”, and be done with it?

Bad day -After-, by jasohill

May 17, 2011   Comments Off

Two simple steps

From the always great Seth Godin comes the simple two-step process.

Step one: Open all doors. Learn a little about a lot. Consider as many options as possible, then add more.

my bike on the snow, by adamscarroll

Step two: Relentlessly dismiss, prune and eliminate. Choose. Ship.

As Seth points out later in his post, the problem is that is easy not to go far enough in each direction.

May 13, 2011   Comments Off

Don’t make a second mistake

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

For those filled with regret, perhaps the most needful exercise of proactivity is that past mistakes are also out there in the Circle of Concern. We can’t recall them, we can’t undo them, we can’t control the consequences that came as a result.

Don’t make a second (bigger) mistake by not accepting that you made a mistake, or by constantly reiterating the mistake in your mind.

2nd Class Citizen, by JenWaller

May 9, 2011   Comments Off