Thirty Things I’ve Learned

August 7, 2014

Nick Crocker talks about the thirty things he has learned. A few of them stood out to me:

Remember you will die. Maybe even today. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget to be thankful for your health. For the ability to walk. For the time you get to spend with the person you love. For your siblings. For whatever it is that you have today. It’s not yours, it can be stolen away at any moment. So while you have it on loan, cherish it.

Exercise, almost every day. Maybe this is just me. But if I’m not active, I can’t trust myself. I can’t trust my emotions, my reactions, my thinking. Regular exercise resets me.

Always take the stairs. There’ll be plenty of days where you can’t, so accept the opportunity to take the stairs as a gift and make a deposit into your Future Health account.

Put yourself in places that make you nervous. Nerves are really the only way to know that you’re being stretched. If there hasn’t been a moment of nerves in your life for a month, it might be worthwhile asking if you’re pushing hard enough.

Talk it out. When it comes to humans, there’s no other way. You have to talk things out. Sometimes it will take years. For the right people, that time is worthwhile. The unsaid will go unsolved.

The greatest reflection of your priorities is your time. Whatever you say about what matters to you, the true test is where you place your time. So if you say your priorities are your partner or your kids or your family or your health, that statement will only be true if your calendar reflects it.

Everything is mediocre. Most jobs are mediocre. Most people’s work is mediocre. Most products and experiences are mediocre. Most lives drift to mediocre. When you rise above the mediocrity, people will notice.

It’s really, really hard to make something great. The inertia of mediocrity makes it hard to do great work. Most people want most things to stay mostly the same. To do great things, you have to go unrecognized, be under-appreciated and push to unreasonable lengths. That’s why #11 stays true.

Don’t get disheartened. If you get disheartened, it’s over. Don’t ever underestimate the value of enthusiasm. Sometimes it’ll be all you have.

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