We all forget things often and risk losing good ideas. As soon as a brilliant idea comes to you, there are two things you can do to preserve it. First, you can record it – in writing, picture, drawing or video – and put it in a place where you will never lose it. The alternative, I’m afraid, is to let the idea linger in mental space and see if it can stand the test of time. The best ideas are not easily forgotten and won’t leave you alone. If you truly want to test the relative strength your idea, see whether you forget it after a while. If you fail to write it down and never forget it, chances are pretty good that your idea counts for something and isn’t going to run away from you.
It is extremely difficult to see straight when the world is crumbling around you. Emotions overwhelm, logistics tangle and solutions feel farther away than ever. Sometimes it is necessary to strip the humanity out of situations. Disregard feelings and look at the numbers. Treat prospective casualties and gains as data on a page. Sounds very cold, but every once in a while you need to find your footing to get through. To make hard decisions, it helps to break them down in front of you and see them clearly. Emotions do not translate well onto a page – but statistics, dollar amounts, time and body counts do. Get the situation out of your heart and out of your head. Only then will you be able to think straight and act diligently.
If you lose control of your situation or time, do what you can to live in the moment and make the situation fun. Look at the bright side, drink a glass half full and turn it into something you can appreciate and enjoy. At the very least, every moment in life has an embedded learning opportunity – it should not be too difficult to make everything that happens to you count. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of mindfulness and optimism. Crack jokes, puns or witty comments. Make faces if that’s your thing. Whatever it takes to polish a dull moment and give it to some shine. Those who cite you as unprofessional do not deserve your time.
It is a lot more fun, fulfilling and cost-effective to think your way out of a problem than throw money at it. Try to solve problems first before buying solutions. Take a really thorough, genuine crack at it before giving up and tossing cash away. Moreover, the effort behind solving a problem educates you around the situation and helps you appreciate a purchased solution more when you fail.
Vacations should only end after three things happen: 1) you feel rested, 2) you miss home, and 3) you actually want to get back to work. If those three things do not fall into place by the end of your sojourn, your vacation failed. That, or you 1) have health problems, 2) do not feel at home where you live or 3) hate the work you do. Vacations can help you distance yourself from your normal life enough to realize any one of these three issues and tackle problems accordingly.
Of all the seven deadly sins, gluttony is my favorite. We have no excuse to abuse our bodies with regular exorbitant consumption of any kind – but minor infractions cannot hurt every once in awhile. To celebrate, I do not mind eating five meals in a day or downing a hefty dose of alcohol. Mark the occasion as you please. You should not do it every night and you should not do it to pass time. But feel free to do it to bookmark a moment in your life as memorable. Gluttony all the time is not memorable. Gluttony on a rare occasion sticks with you for life. Make it count.
To be completely honest, I’m too far gone (tired, distracted, buzzed, relaxed) to write an insightful piece today. It’s Friday, it’s the Summer, it’s my vacation weekend. I encourage you to take one as soon as you can – it’s good for you. How’s that for daily wisdom? Love you. Be back soon.
Digitally going off grid to vacation has little value if you cannot mentally leave work behind. Turning off your phone is not enough. You need to shut your mind down, forget that work exists. Only when you rest your mind can you truly rest.
I can only imagine what extraterrestrials think of us:
Hey, you’re going to break it – give it back.
Share – for the love of god.
Clean your plate – or you won’t get dessert.
No, that toy is not yours – I paid for it.
I know the wrapping paper is cool, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
“I don’t know” does not explain why you are whining at me.
That pound of sugar is not good for you.
It was funny the first time. But not the tenth or the eleventh.
Stop trying to run. You keep falling on your face.
Put things away when you’re not using them.
For the record, that’s what a humanitarian allegory looks like on white wine and vacation.
Your job will not take care of you when you get sick. Work will not bail you out of jail. Friends and family will. Put them first in your life. When embarking on your career, building companies or engaging in a hobby, make people a priority as a general rule. Culture and the success of your work stem entirely from the health, attitude and relationships of people surrounding the job. Treat them very well, take care of them – and perhaps they will do the same for you. The risk of taking care of others without the guarantee of a returned favor far outshines the risk of working eighty hour weeks alone.