Giving Up

You can’t tell how the show is going to end if you leave in the middle.

Same is true about life.

About relationships.

And careers where a total dead end perceived one day could mean unanticipated advancements the next day if given the time.

Giving up is shooting ourselves in the foot.

No matter how challenging, no matter how discouraging the one thing we never want to do is give up.

We may lose.

We may win.

But throwing in the towel means removing the outcome that could be positive before it has a chance to reward us.

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Turn a “To Do” List Into a “Success” List

The book One More Thing posits that by doing less, going small rather than big and focusing on one thing – the most important thing – outcomes turn out better.

Don’t focus on being busy. Focus on being productive.

Allow what matters most to drive your day. 

Whether you say “later” or “never,” the point is to say “not now” to anything else you could do until your most important work is done.

Don’t get trapped in the “check off” game.

The 80/20 rule still applies.

80% of our productivity comes from 20% of our effort.

Drill down deeper to the core activity that will bring you success.

In baseball everything comes down to the team that scores the most runs.

A one-hitter – not important if that one hit is a game winning home run and you lose.

How far you hit the ball, not important in the context of things. A bunt can win you a game, too.

If ball players focused on stealing bases, fewer strikeouts, the way the ballpark looked over scoring the most runs, they might be helping their efforts but not playing baseball.

In the end, every little thing essentially can be seen as mattering, but scoring the most runs is at the top of the list.

When we learn to think like this, we find a level of focus that makes us hard to beat.

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Enhancing Happiness by 25%

Recognizing that we are blessed and to be thankful for it increases happiness by 25%.

The feeling of gratitude has nothing to do with whether you are grateful for something big or small.

Saying you’re blessed is not as good as feeling it.

When someone does something for you without an agenda, it is selfless and something for which to be truly grateful.

We’re on constant lookout for bad things.

Be on the lookout for things that have been done for us by good people who have made an effort in a voluntary way and completely selfless is the definition of gratitude that we can feel.

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Dealing with Distractions

If you do two things at the same time, both things will suffer.

Email, texting, social media, managing tasks.

The average office worker gets interrupted every 11 minutes.

Yet it takes 25 minutes to return to the original task before the interruption.

In tests conducted by the University of California, interrupted groups answered questions correctly 20% less often.

It’s not just that multitasking is an addiction, but that it is adversely affecting our brainpower.

Prepare for distractions by consciously expecting them. 

Research shows you’ll actually outperform people who get no interruptions at all.

Expecting distractions but – and this is important – also being aware of that expectation constantly is one of the most effective ways to deal with distractions.

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Immediate Happiness

Do one or two things daily that will remind you of the child within yourself.

When we are children, we enjoy the wonder of being carefree.

As adults, we forget discovery, joy, impulsiveness, fun.

In other words, we forget how to be childlike when we take on adult responsibilities.

Wander off and explore something new today.

Do something just for the fun of it.

When the adult in us says maybe we’d not, say maybe we had better. 

No one taught us how to be children but being an adult often teaches us how to forget the benefits.

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