Give a Shit
It's easy to not to give a shit about something you don't want to do or something that's not one hundred percent enthralling, but being passionate about things that require attention and dedication is what sets people apart. Care about what you do. Commit yourself to what you want to do. Apply yourself to the things you have to do; even if you're not in love with doing them.
Keep It Simple
This goes without saying, but still needs to be said: Keep it simple, stupid. The greatest ideas are the simplest. If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it fully. Confusion and clutter are attributes of failure. Ideas work best when they are simple and easy to understand.
Keep Learning & Remain Teachable
Seek out new experiences, read more, take additional courses, earn certifications, talk to experts in other areas, etc. Even the smartest, most successful people in the world stand by this advice. Continue learning and remain teachable — they're two of the best things you can do for yourself.
Talk Less & Listen More
If you're continually anticipating what you want to say, you won't have time to listen and you won't be engaging in meaningful conversation. Stop focusing on what you're going to say next and, instead, focus on listening intently to others.
There's a big difference between a reactive response and engaging in the process of making a slow, methodical, balanced decision. Slow down, turn off auto-pilot mode, gather more information, view things through a different lens, seek out an alternative perspective, take more time to process things. You'll be surprised what comes up when you think slow(er).
Part of human nature is to follow the path of least resistance, but if you're presented with an opportunity to take on something new or intimidating — something that takes you outside of your comfort zone — accept the challenge and push yourself to run uphill. You'll be better for it, you'll learn along the way, and you'll be one of the few people at the top when all is said and done.
Eat Your Vegetables & Do Your Homework
Sometimes you'll need to put in extra effort and hours, but by being prepared you'll be ready to hit the gas when the light turns green. Anything worth doing takes time, patience, focus, work, dedication, practice, practice, and practice. When opportunity comes knocking, you'll be ready to answer.
Collect & Connect More Dots
Steve Jobs said: "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people." Make it a personal goal to experience new things, collect new pieces of information, process everything, brainstorm new ideas — then start to connect the dots.
Instead of trying to eliminate boredom, embrace it. Boredom can be a meaningful experience, one that propels us to states of deeper thoughtfulness and creativity. By keeping yourself perpetually occupied you may be missing out on the benefits that boredom can bring about. Boredom can spark creativity when you let your mind wander, daydream, and connect your experiential dots. Next time you're bored, lean into it instead of trying to squash it.
Keep your chin up in failure and keep your head down in success. Success and failure are both learning opportunities; don't let success go to your head or failure get to your heart.
Enough With the Fluff
The world has enough bullshit in it; you don't need to add to it. If you're trying to approach a sensitive subject that needs addressing, sometimes you just need to get to the heart of it. The polite phrase for this is “practicing radical candor,” it's a combination of caring about something personally and challenging something directly. Enough with the fluff: Cut through the bullshit whenever possible.
Find People Who Disagree With You
Everyone has heard the advice, “Surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you.” Another sage piece of advice is to find people who disagree with you on certain subjects because doing so guarantees a new perspective, a different point of view, a new piece information, and a fresh look at things you may not have considered. Stop patting yourself on the back and find people who will disagree with you.
Anything. Write something. Paint something. Draw something. Code something. Develop something. Play something. Creating things makes you feel alive. Don't let the fear of imperfection in creation cripple you; just start creating. David Foster Wallace said: “Perfectionism is very dangerous ... if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.” Create something — anything. And as time goes on, you'll be able to look back at how far you've come.
Build a House Brick by Brick
Ambitious goals, creations, projects and experiments can seem insurmountable until you break them down into smaller elements and start to attack them piece by piece. Start building something little by little each day and the incremental gains will start to compound into something larger.
Stop Waiting Around & Stop Standing in Line
Everyone has their own life to live, everyone has a lot going on, and everyone has things they care about. Take the initiative to put your ideas into action whenever you have the chance, because no one else is going to do things for you. If you don’t like the path in front of you, forge your own path, build your own future, design your own life. Stop waiting around, stop standing in line.