LIFE’S LITTLE INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Compliment three people every day
  2. Remember other people’s birthdays
  3. Say “thank you” a lot
  4. Say “please” a lot
  5. Learn to play a musical instrument
  6. Sing in the shower
  7. Be the first to say “Hello”
  8. Live beneath your means
  9. Buy great books even if you never read them
  10. Be forgiving of yourself and others
  11. Wear polished shoes
  12. Floss your teeth
  13. Ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it
  14. Return all things you borrow
  15. Teach some kind of class
  16. Be a student in some kind of class
  17. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated
  18. Donate two pints of blood every year
  19. Show respect for teachers
  20. Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.
  21. Keep a tight rein on your temper
  22. Surprise loved ones with little unexpected gifts
  23. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life
  24. Save ten percent of what you earn
  25. Make the best of bad situations
  26. Always accept an outstretched hand
  27. Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you
  28. Admit your mistakes
  29. Ask someone to pick up your mail and daily paper when you’re out of town. Those are the first two things potential burglars look for
  30. Use your wit to amuse, not abuse
  31. Remember that all news is biased
  32. Don’t make the same mistake twice
  33. Demand excellence and be willing to pay for it
  34. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
  35. Hug children after you discipline them
  36. Learn to make something beautiful with your hands
  37. Give to charity all the clothes you haven’t worn during the past three years
  38. Don’t take good health for granted
  39. When someone wants to hire you, even if it’s for a job you have little interest in, talk to them. Neve close the door on an opportunity until you’ve had a chance to hear the offer in person.
  40. Don’t mess with drugs, and don’t associate with those who do.
  41. Avoid sarcastic remarks
  42. In business and in family relationships, remember that the most important thing is trust
  43. Forget the Joneses
  44. Never encourage anyone to become a lawyer
  45. Don’t smoke
  46. Even if you’re finally well-to-do, have your children earn and pay part of their college tuition.
  47. Even if you’re finally well-to-do, have your children earn and pay for all their automobile insurance.
  48. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come ninety percent of all your happiness or  misery
  49. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who’ll never find out
  50. Lend only those books you never care to see again
  51. Know how to type
  52. Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures
  53. Use credit cards only for convenience, never for credit
  54. Never cheat
  55. When dining with clients or business associates, never order more than one cocktail or one glass of wine. If no one else is drinking, don’t drink at all
  56. Never use profanity
  57. Don’t expect others to listen to your advice and ignore your example
  58. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly
  59. Remember people’s names
  60. Don’t buy cheap tools
  61. Keep your watch five minutes fast
  62. When negotiating your salary, think of what you want; then ask for ten percent more
  63. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have
  64. Give yourself an hour to cool off before resounding to someone who has provoked you. If it involves something really important, give yourself overnight
  65. Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage
  66. Be tough minded but tenderhearted
  67. Don’t waste time responding to your critics
  68. Avoid negative people
  69. Resist telling people how something should be done. Instead, tell them what needs to be done. They will often surprise you with creative solutions.
  70. Be original
  71. Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.
  72. Give people a second chance, but not a third
  73. Read carefully anything that requires your signature. Remember the big print giveth and the small print taketh away.
  74. Never take action when you’re angry
  75. Learn to recognize the inconsequential, then ignore it.
  76. Let people know what you stand for - and what you won’t stand for.
  77. Don’t quit a job until you’ve lined up another
  78. Never criticise the person who signs your paycheck. If you’re unhappy with your job, resign. 
  79. Be insatiably curious. Ask “why” a lot.
  80. Measure people by the size of their hearts, not the size of their bank accounts
  81. Have a good posture. Enter a room with purpose and confidence.
  82. Determine the quality of a neighborhood by the manners of the people living there
  83. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated
  84. Don’t carry a grudge
  85. Commit yourself to constant self-improvement
  86. See problems as opportunities for growth and self-mastery
  87. Don’t discuss business in elevators. You never know who may overhear you.
  88. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll buy too much.
  89. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret
  90. Be willing to lose a battle in order to win the war
  91. Don’t be deceived by first impressions
  92. Never buy something you don’t need just because it’s on sale
  93. Never cut what can be untied
  94. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose
  95. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years
  96. Never underestimate your power to change yourself
  97. Never overestimate your power to change others
  98. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly
  99. Don’t believe people when they ask you to be honest with them
  100. Watch for big problems. They disguise big opportunities

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The difference between where you are today & where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.

Jim Rohn

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Entrepreneurs hate the contentment an acquired skill brings. Entrepreneurs hate the comfort an achievement affords. Entrepreneurs see acquired skills as a foundation for acquiring more skills. Entrepreneurs see achievements as platforms for further achievement.
Entrepreneurs pay their dues, and they want to keep paying more dues. They look at themselves in the mirror and think, “OK… but what have you done for me lately?”

And then they go out and do more.

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OPPORTUNITY COST

believe that a day spent on doing something that does not align with your future goals is a day wasted. Several days combined that’s another week. Several weeks combined that’s another month. Several months combined that’s another year.

How much longer can you afford to waste another year of your life, doing something that fills your immediate needs while pushing off your future goals? 

Being caught up in the things you’re doing today in order to fulfil the immediate needs may hold you back forever from seeing the bigger picture - the real picture of where you want to go, where you want to be, and what you want to be doing five to ten to twenty years from now. 

It’s hard to ignore those itchy mosquito bites and try not to scratch them, but if only you knew that scratching them would only make them become even more itchy and would ruin your skin for months or years to come, then you wouldn’t have scratched them in the first place. 

Outsiders’ noise of those concerned can really sway you from focusing on the bigger picture. 

Security, being in a safe harbour, and comfort can really keep you hooked and cozy.

But remember,

  • Every day wasted on doing a job that doesn’t align with your future goals is a day wasted. 
  • Every day wasted on doing a job that doesn’t grow you intellectually, mentally, emotionally, or physically is a day wasted.
  • Every day wasted on doing something to kill time is a day wasted.
  • Every day wasted on being bored, complacent, or stagnant is a day wasted.
  • Because the day could have been used to develop amazing ideas.
  • Because the day could have been used to learn something new that becomes valuable for the rest of your life.
  • Because the day could have been used to build something that will be worth millions in years down the track.

The cost of not earning $200 a day could have been an opportunity cost worth $500K. 

Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

You know where you want to be. Gear all of your energy towards that. You’ll be surprised how fast you can fast track the route to your dream when your energy isn’t spread everywhere, but is directed at the big picture, and only the big picture. 

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Focus

Focus

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Don’t ask for permission. Go out there and do what you want to do. Approval will follow initiative.

Don’t wait to be selected. Successful people believe they can select themselves.

You can do almost anything you have the desire and skills and drive to do; you don’t need to wait for someone else to discover your talents. You get to discover yourself. The only thing holding you back is your willingness to take the leap and try.

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When you’re in it only for yourself, initial success is always finite and fleeting. When you’re in it for others, they succeed, and so do you

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9 Things People Just Don’t Get About Entrepreneurs

1. The voice in their heads is louder than every other voice they hear. 

Others may doubt. Others may criticize. Others may judge and disparage and disapprove.

You don’t care. You see all those opinions for what they are: not right, not wrong, just data. So you sift through that data for the actual nuggets you can use. The rest you ignore.

Why? You may respect the opinions of others but you believe in your ideas, your abilities, your will and perseverance and dedication. You believe in yourself. And that makes you want to live your life your way and not anyone else’s way.

2. They believe that how they play the game truly is more important than whether they win or lose. 

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’d rather fail on your own terms than succeed on someone else’s. You’d rather reach for your own future than have your future lie in someone else’s hands. You feel it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

Sure, you want to win. You’re driven to win. But you want to change the rules, create your own playing field, and win the game you want to play—because winning a game in a way you’re forced to play would still feel like losing.

3. They don’t make choices—they create choices. 

Most people simply choose from Column A or Column B. Entrepreneurs glance at A and B and then often create their own Column C.

As Jon Burgstone says:

Every time you want to make any important decision, there are two possible courses of action. You can look at the array of choices that present themselves, pick the best available option, and try to make it fit.

Or, you can do what the true entrepreneur does: Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available.

And that’s why they often accomplish the inconceivable—because to entrepreneurs, that word truly doesn’t mean what everyone else thinks it means.

4. They enjoy succeeding through others. 

Talent is obviously important, but the ability to work together, check egos at the door, and make individual sacrifices when necessary is the only way any team succeeds.

That spirit can only exist when it comes from the top.

And that’s why entrepreneurs focus on the individual rather than the position, the team rather than the hierarchy, and most important, from gaining happiness and success from the happiness and success of others.

5. They don’t need to be disciplined, because they can’t wait to do all the things that bring them closer to achieving their goals. 

Discipline often boils down to finding a way to do the things you need to do. Entrepreneurs can’t wait to do the things they need to do. They have goals and dreams, and they know every task they complete takes them one step closer to achieving those goals and dreams.

That’s why entrepreneurs can have fun performing even the most mundane tasks. When there’s a clear line of sight between what you do and where you want to go, work is no longer just work.

Work is exciting. Work is fulfilling. Work, when it’s meaningful and fulfilling, is living. And that’s why.

6. They don’t want to simply gain a skill and then live a routine. 

Some people work to gain a skill or achieve a position so they can relax, comfortable in their abilities and knowledge. They’ve worked hard and are content. (That’s not a bad thing; everyone’s definition of success should be different.)

Entrepreneurs hate the contentment an acquired skill brings. Entrepreneurs hate the comfort an achievement affords. Entrepreneurs see acquired skills as a foundation for acquiring more skills. Entrepreneurs see achievements as platforms for further achievement.

Entrepreneurs pay their dues, and they want to keep paying more dues. They look at themselves in the mirror and think, “OK…but what have you done for me lately?

And then they go out and do more.

7. They’re fans of other entrepreneurs. 

Working for a corporation is often a zero-sum game, because personal success usually comes at the expense of others. If you get promoted, someone else does not. If you get an opportunity, someone else does not.

That’s why, in a corporate setting, it’s really hard not to begrudge the success of others—it’s hard to be genuinely happy for a co-worker when you’re really disappointed.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, love when others succeed. They know the pie is big enough for everyone. (Forget the current pie; they’re out there trying to make new pies.)

Entrepreneurs see the success of other entrepreneurs as exciting and inspirational and as validation that creativity and hard work do pay off.

8. They’re willing to start a movement of one. 

We all like to belong, to feel we’re kindred spirits, and that’s why some ideas quickly gain a following and why great ideas can become movements.

Joining a crowd is awesome. But every movement starts with one person who dares to stand up, alone, unprotected, and vulnerable, and be different: to say what others aren’t saying, to do what others aren’t doing—to take a chance and accept the consequences.

What makes entrepreneurs willing to take that risk?

9. They think, Why not me? 

Regardless of the pursuit, success is difficult to achieve. That’s why we all fail sometimes. And when we do, it’s easy to decide events were outside our control. It’s easy to feel depressed and wonder, Why don’t I ever get the opportunities other people get? or Why aren’t my friends more supportive? or Why can’t I catch a break?

In short, it’s easy to think: Why me?

Entrepreneurs ask a different question: Why not me?

That’s why entrepreneurs will open a restaurant in the same location where other restaurants have failed: They didn’t succeed, but why not me? Entrepreneurs will start a software company with nothing but an idea: They may have deeper pockets and a major market share, but why not me?

Entrepreneurs don’t assume successful people possess special talents or a gift from the startup gods. They see successful people and think, That’s awesome, and if she can do that, why not me?

Good question: Why not you?

If you think about it, there is no real answer, because when you’re truly willing to not just dream big but also to try incredibly hard, there are no reasons you can’t succeed—at least none that matter to you.

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As an entrepreneur, we’d rather fail on our own terms than succeed on someone else’s. We’d rather reach for our own future than have our future lie in someone else’s hands. We feel it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

Sure, we want to win. But more importantly, we want to change the rules, create our own playing field, and win the game we want to play because winning a game in a way we’re forced to play would still feel like losing.

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The Growth Mindset

People with growth mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that a person’s true potential is unknown and unknowable, that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.

The belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning.

  • Why wasting time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?
  • Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them?
  • Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow?

  • Why seem out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?

The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

- Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, Dr. Carol Dweck

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Some people live in the moment. Some people live in the past. But what is most exciting is when what we do today, at this moment, is planting seeds to create a beautiful botanical garden…when each brick we’re laying is to build something that could potentially become Rome. To me, this is what makes life worth living for.

BrandMentalist

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When you’re up in life, your friends get to know who you are. When you’re down in life, you get to know who your friends are.

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Fred Wilson: 10 Ways to Be Your Own Boss

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