Care About Something to Stand Out

One of the easiest ways to stand out anywhere is to care. It works exceptionally well because so few people truly care.

Care about what you do. Care about what you say. Care about your customers, coworkers, and your company. Care about the next person in line, the person serving you, and the person behind you.

It will make a world of difference for you and everyone around you.

And by the way, pretending to care is not enough. It won’t work. You have to actually care.

On Patience

Patience is one of the most universal and useful skills you can develop.

You can practice it at home with your family, at work with your colleagues and customers, on social media with strangers, in a store with (likely) underpaid workers, in traffic with people in a hurry or essentially anywhere.

And just as well, it is useful anywhere.

Whatever it is you do, patience will help you get further by encouraging you to focus on the long run and a big picture.

It’s difficult to even imagine a situation where more patience is not better than less, so when in doubt, be more patient.

Inaction & Injustice

Overlooking or ignoring injustice can be just as bad as the injustice itself.

It communicates that you’re OK with it and lowers the bar. It desensitizes you and sets you up to ignore even bigger injustice next time.

When you don’t agree with something it’s up to you to act upon it and let everyone involved know that you’re raising the bar and that we all need to move in the right direction, even if it’s in small, baby steps.

(Baby steps are not nearly enough right now—what we really need are huge leaps—but some people, unfortunately, can only start the change with baby steps.)

On Free Software

Free almost always comes with a cost. A cost that probably isn’t apparent or clear at first, but a real cost nonetheless.

It can occur in the form of privacy, reliability, security, customer support, or long-term development. A good example is a number of apps that end up selling your personal info or go away entirely without any kind of warning.

If you find a product or service useful and want it to exist beyond a few years, insist on paying for it.

It will help improve it, give its owner more incentive to make it better for you (as opposed to worrying about making it profitable or breaking even), and you probably won’t have to worry about your privacy or finding reliable alternatives.

And if you’re not prepared to pay for it, do you actually even need it?

PS. Seth Godin & Anselm Hannemann give more insight into the subject.

Stop Chasing Perfection

I will no longer chase perfection. Not only it’s impossible to achieve it, but it’s also entirely counterproductive.

Nothing ever gets finished when you want perfection. And that’s a damned shame; imperfect art is much more impressive and influential than nonexistent art.

Stop hiding in the shadows. Show us your best good enough work.

I know I will.

What Do You Do When No One Is Looking?

You can easily gauge your environment, your productivity, and your happiness by noticing your behavior when no one is around.

  • Are you just as productive as when the manager is standing behind your back?
  • Do you take a break and relax for a bit?
  • Do you start browsing the web aimlessly?
  • Do you buckle down and push the envelope because there’s no one there to distract you?
  • Do you focus on the stuff that matters, even though no one will notice?

Do you want easy or meaningful? It’s your choice.

How far are you prepared to go…

…to enforce your opinion?
…to make the customer happy?
…to understand a different point of view?
…to get a promotion or a raise?
…to satisfy the stakeholders?
…to delight your customers?
…to be with your family every evening?
…to get that idea off the ground?
…to make a sale?

And finally, how far are you prepared to go to learn what you need to learn to answer these questions better?

First Steps

Firsts steps (whether you’re studying a new language, mastering a new art, changing your profession, or simply learning to walk) are always the hardest. 

They’re scary and dangerous; you might fall, you might fail, and even scarier, you might succeed, which could change everything. 

But your first steps don’t have to be perfect. If you fall, you’ll pick yourself up again. Just like when you learned to walk.

Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying, keep failing, and eventually, you’ll be confident to take one step at the time.

And each step will take you closer to your goals.