Mondays can get you down. The weekend is behind us and a full week of work awaits us. What’s more, in these Winter months the temperatures drop and many of us feel the chill! In this article, I hope I can give you some food for thought, by providing my own commentary to a list of 15 insights for a life of acute brilliance.
The following article is an article originally written by Robin Sharma, the famous speaker and leadership expert. I have added my own thoughts after each insight from Robin. I would love to hear your opinions on Robin or my own points. I encourage you to add them at the bottom of the article!
1. The great call on our lives is to do our part to make other lives better
This is something that I feel strongly about. People often think that making other lives better involves a huge amount of time and effort, and while this is true in some cases, it can also be done in the way you live your life.
A simple example of this is in the way you treat employees in shops, restaurants, hospitals, hotels etc. I have worked in those environments, and I know the power a friendly customer has in making me feel a little better. Try to do it yourselves.
2. Get enough rest. It’s a key factor in high performance and longevity
I think this can go both ways. I know of people who can function perfectly well on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. Conversely, many people require 8 or 9 hours to really work as efficiently as they can.
The point is, find out how much sleep is enough sleep for you and stick to it. Working when you’re drained of energy is doable, but almost always results in work that is not quite up to scratch.
3. Focus on how far you’ve come versus how far you still have to go
Another insight that is very important. It’s so easy to forget what you’ve achieved in your past when you are faced with a challenge that requires time and effort. Always try to keep in mind your past achievements.
4. Make the time to thank those who have encouraged you along the way
The power in a thank-you is huge. This also links in with the first insight on this list. If you remember to thank the people that have encouraged you, that will then have a knock on effect in their lives.
It’s positive re-enforcement and it’s so easy to do. Like myself, many people have been encouraged by their families. So why not make a quick call to your mom, brother, aunt, whoever it was that encouraged you and just say thanks.
5. Remind yourself relentlessly that mastery comes from going to your edges rather than clinging to what’s known
Learning a skill is important. However, progression and mastery is important, too. Never rest on your laurels and what you know, because the world changes all the time, and we must make changes in what we know to adapt.
6. Do more things that make you happy
You must satisfy your wants and your needs, in order to work to the best of your abilities. Doing things that make you happy reminds you that hard work is important. A balance must be there. Remember the old saying ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
7. Practice removing complaint from your vocabulary
My feelings on this one are mixed. While complaining constantly will definitely negatively affect you, it’s also possible to instigate change on businesses or companies if many people can vent their frustrations.
What I take from Robin’s point here is to try to make changes via a different route rather than by complaining all the time.
8. See your work as your craft. And devote yourself to knowing more about what you do than anyone who has ever done what you do
Wow. This is perhaps the most difficult insight to apply to your life directly, but I fully agree nonetheless! Work and work hard at your craft. Always look for new skills within your craft that you can learn.
9. Remember that creativity and peak productivity are seasonal. There’s a time to plant and a time to harvest
This one is easy to forget. Time can frustrate us all. We want things to work immediately. Instant gratification is what almost everyone seeks, but it’s useless to work in that way. Plant a seed and it will grow. But don’t just sit back and watch it grow. Water it, feed it nutrients, give it access to sunlight etc. In other words, work at your project and it will eventually give you that gratification and end result, but on a larger scale.
10. Be kind to strangers. You might just save a life this way
Agree, agree, agree. Is there any point in being rude to a complete stranger!? No.
11. Regularly rewrite how you will have wished you will have lived on the last day of your life in your journal. This heightens your focus on doing what counts.
This is an entirely new concept for me personally. I have often been told that writing a journal is beneficial in so many ways and I have tried a few times to keep a journal but most times I become disinterested after a few weeks. Anyone with any tips for me about journal keeping? Please share in the comments below.
12. Read for an hour a day. This ritual opens up frontiers that will make you a better producer, a deeper thinker and a richer human
I love to read so Robin’s insight comes as no surprise to me. But I know many people who do not. Reading provides inspiration, relaxes, entertains, informs and so much more. Whatever your preferences for reading (mine’s science fiction), just be sure to read.
13. Walk into the situations that terrify you. This is how bravery grows. And the finest way I know of to take your power back
If it was possible to agree with a statement any more than 100%, this is the one. Before I moved to the amazing country of South Africa, I had been working for two years in a job that was fairly comfortable. Importantly, I disliked it immensely! It began to wear me down until I quit outright. I wanted a complete change of environment, but at the same time I was more than a little anxious about doing so. When I was given the opportunity to live and work in Cape Town, I almost turned it down due to my fears.
But I didn’t.
It was the best decision I have ever made. Now, your situations will be different from mine, but I encourage you to face those fears and make those choices that you are nervous about.
14. When you hurt, just feel the hurt
You need to live in the moment, whether that moment is positive, negative, or somewhere in between. If you are feeling hurt, make sure to learn something from that hurt.
15. When you love, just trust in it fully
If you have a vision, go through with it! Don’t compromise on the things you love because when you do, the outcome will never be what you envisioned.
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Original list by Robin Sharma.