What’s your legacy?
You aren’t what you do
What you do is important. Aside from being the act that provides food, shelter, cars and shoes, it provides money. But money is just a resource. A scarce good. Something that allows us to do things, procure things, help others, provide for others, and hopefully — make a difference.
What we do is also important because for many of us it defines how we spend a material amount of our time. Whether in an office at the top of a fifty story building or a subway train 50 feet below the city streets, what we choose to do is critical because no one wants to be miserable — most of the time.
And in this day and age, most of us work — most of the time.
But what we do doesn’t define us. It isn’t our essence. What we do — is what we do. Nothing more, nothing less. For others to be impressed, or not impressed. The answer is irrelevant. What we do is a vessel. A vessel to procure resources (and for those of us who are lucky) to help our fellow human.
You are what you eat
Whether food, books, movies, or Facebook, we are a product of the experiences to which we expose ourselves. Good food leads to workouts, Spin, Soul Cycle, strength training, or whatever it is you do. Books on finance and strategy lead to a mind rich in concepts, principles, and enduring truths that make companies more valuable. Businesses more competitive. Teams stronger.
Movies inspire us. Entertain us. Enable us to escape. Documentaries transport us to places we’ve never been. Comedies take us to places we need to go.
Whatever experience you choose — fill it with purpose. Sometimes we forget the best purpose is to sit back, relax, and just breathe. That can be as rewarding, fulfilling, and productive as 10 hours in the office.
You are defined by your relationships
Who you love. Who you hate. Who you admire. Who is your arch enemy?
Our relationships define us. Do you bring people together? Do you know someone who would benefit from helping someone else in your network. Can you make a helpful email introduction to a colleague?
Just send them to have coffee together.
It’s not about landing someone a client, a customer, a new vendor. Sometimes it’s just introducing someone to somebody that they SHOULD know. For whatever reason. Maybe they’re complimentary referral partners. Maybe they are two talented professionals who share similar mindsets.
Even better — maybe there’s no super-clear reason why these people need to be connected. But your gut tells you do make the intro. Just do it.
Trust your gut. Sometimes it’s the best friend you’ve got.
You aren’t predetermined to succeed or fail
It never ceases to amaze me how many people look around them, observe their present situation, and believe it to be permanent reality. Where we are at this moment is entirely fleeting. We have the power to change the place that we live, the people in our lives, the job that we do, the things we believe.
Change is a simple act.
Once sparked, the idea of change takes fire. Kindled from merely a notion, the idea of change must grow into motivation. Motivation begets action. Through action, we achieve change. Dare to think. Dare to sit back and clear your mind. Where do you see yourself tomorrow. Where do you see yourself in a year. Five.
Now compare that to where are you now.
What has to happen to transform you to what you just envisioned? Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. But regardless of the effort, growth, and heartache, nothing is accomplished without that first step.
Dare to change. Dare to act.
Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Those who value you show it.
Those who love you — tell you.
We aren’t perfect creatures. But we are perfect enough to know those who love us, care for us — prioritize us.
Not everyone will. Not everyone will all the time.
But we can strive to spend every waking moment of our lives with those who value and love us in life, business, and everything in between.
At the end of the day, the powerful thing about life is that my experience can be entirely different than yours. And yours, mine. Life it seems — is a bit too short to waste it with people who aren’t on the same page.
You are loved
You are. Someone loves you. Somewhere.
And in the end, that’s all that really matters.
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Whenever someone says they want to “manage” something, I cringe.
I immediately ask myself, is there a better word? After all, words matter. The words we chose carry deep significance, not just because of their inherent meaning, but because they give insight into our actions. They cast light on our motivations.
So when people tell me they’re going to manage something (or even worse, manage-through something), I immediately try and discern whether they’re setting themselves up for failure.
After all, ownership breeds success. Management reeks of passivity.read more
Americans are obsessed with weight loss.
Our culture is fixated on it. Everywhere you turn you see diet books, commercials for weight loss products. There are entire television series devoted to it. It seems like everyone at Trader Joe’s is infatuated with kale.
Even Weight Watchers can’t seem to go wrong. Call it the Oprah effect.read more
Walking along Ocean Beach, I couldn’t help but gaze at the jaw dropping distance between where surf hit the sand and the waterline marking high tide from the night before.
A mere nine hours earlier, waves were crashing at a distance that would take a full 90 seconds to walk. To think that the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun are entirely responsible for these changes is astounding.read more
Everybody’s talking about it. It’s hot. And it’s only April. Mission Dolores Park was overrun with Millennials (and those who wish they were Millennials) escaping the suffocating heat of their rent-control apartments.
The beaches were packed. The screen on your iPhone was hot enough to cause second-degree burns. We just had two of (hopefully) ten nights this year when San Franciscans wish they had air conditioning. Almost no one does.read more
The other day, I was sitting in traffic trying to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. I needed to get to the North Bay to meet an important networking colleague and referral partner. It was a meeting that easily could have been a “catch up session” over the phone. But seeing as it was springtime, we aimed to meet at a favorite spot that has a fantastic reputation for sunny sidewalk seating, great Italian food, and rich espresso.read more