Last month, I posted about an exercise that asks about the advice you would give yourself twenty years ago. I offered Part One of my own version, which I called A Guide for the Ride. Here’s Part Two.
Know the Rules of the Game
Rules–written or unspoken–govern the environment, the physical world and people’s behaviors. Taking the time to learn, understand, modify and upgrade them allow you to better anticipate events, and better control what happens.
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”
Create the Conditions for Success
In the linear world, we can tend to focus on outcomes as goals and make a direct path towards them. In the natural world, we can create conditions for success whereby positive outcomes are the by-products of success, not simply its goal. It’s a subtle but big difference!
“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.”
Pick Your Poison
Whatever brings us pleasure is also the root of our anxiety, fear and pain. Our work, friends, hobbies, pastimes, family, homes and communities can be the cause of our greatest joys as well as our greatest frustrations. There will always be highs and lows in whatever you choose. So, pick what is worth it and pick wisely.
“Pick your poison. What consumes your mind, controls your life.”
There is Always Someone Worse Off
A quick look at the news reveals that however bad you think things are, someone is always worse off than you. Our drive to succeed in our own lives can sometimes blind us to that truth. Aspire to live with humility and gratitude every day.
“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”
—Steven Wright (comedian)
Be Like Water
Bruce Lee once spoke about the idea of being like water. Hard and soft. Firm, deep and powerful. It’s also important to be able to adjust to your surroundings, to persistently wear away obstacles or at times, simply move around them. We are 70% water, so we should act accordingly!
“Water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone”
You Already Have Everything You Need
Change is about bridging gaps. What you want versus what you have. What you can do versus what you can’t. What works versus what doesn’t. Waiting until you have reached a magical level of competence or perceived status of accomplishment before you open up to change is a limited approach. If you enter the experience with an experimental and open mind, you will always be ready.
“The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.”