Tag Archive: tips

Five Guidelines for the New Year

Happy 2012!!!!

So, I wanted to kick off this year on a high note by chronicling some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

1. Know thyself.

Uttered by the famed sage Socrates as the definition of wisdom, knowing oneself is the key to why we are all here.  Life is a game in which you first figure out who you are, and then launch yourself into the equally daunting task of figuring out who you’re meant to be.   There is nothing to be gained in forcing yourself to be who you think you should be if you’re really not.  It seems like it would be an easy thing, but truth be told, there are some voices that are louder than our own, and tuning them out is not easy.

2. Good ideas are fleeting- start on them as soon as possible.

Paraphrased from the John C. Maxwell book in my bathroom, it bears notice that most good ideas never come to fruition simply because people never get around to following through on them.  It happened to da Vinci, it happened to Clinton, and it has happened to me.  If you have a great idea, take the first step immediately or plan a time to do it.  It may change your life, or someone else’s.

3. If it can be done in less than one minute, do it now.

This one is a real game changer when put into practice.  It is at least fifty percent of the literature available on time management.  This simple idea will revolutionize your home, organizational skills, relationships, finances—no kidding.  Try it.  It’s one of the best things I’ve EVER heard—I really can’t over-sell this one.

4. You can do anything for fifteen minutes/You can do anything fifteen minutes at a time.

Some people will not notice the difference between these two ideas.  The first one means that anything in this world that is not fatal can be tolerated for a set amount of time.  The second is more poignant.  Anything in this world can be broken up and managed in fifteen minute intervals.  You want to find the secret to anything you want in life?  Anything impossible or overwhelming is insultingly easy once broken into fifteen minute bites.

5.  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

This one is near and dear to my heart—as a perfectionist, I have actually sacrificed getting things done at all for the sake of doing them perfectly.  I have accomplished a fraction of what I deserve or could have achieved because of fear and timing—which is all perfectionism really is.  But I recognize that at this point in my life, bigger and bigger opportunities are slipping away because I am afraid of not pursing them the right way.  The fact is, in life, the only way to pursue anything is by laying it all out there—by not being afraid to look stupid and embracing the fact that you could completely fudge it all up.

These are the things that I’m keeping in mind as I launch into my 2012.  I am going to take chances, make changes, stop being perfect, fuck stuff up, be a little irresponsible, and basically, enjoy what it is to be twenty-two in New York City.  I’ve always loved the fact that people saw me as responsible—and I am.  I know that there’s only so far from that I will go.  But I want to start enjoying my life and stop trying to be everything to everyone.  I want to let my hair down and take chances, and most of all, stop giving a crap what everyone thinks of me.  And you know what?  I think that in doing so, I would actually be happier and ultimately more likeable.

So this year, I chase my own dreams, and my own happiness.  Even if I make a little mess along the way.

Photo courtesy of MusicThinkTank.com.


The Gift That Keeps On Giving

In the spirit of the holidays, I would like to pose a little brain bender to all of you. Close your eyes – ideally, after you read this – and imagine.

It’s Christmas Eve, a magical night where anything can happen, where an overweight man in a red suit travels the globe at the speed of light. It’s 9:30 pm, and all around the world, millions of children have already tucked into their beds, eagerly awaiting the gifts and love and golden memories that the next day will bring.

You are eating at a beautiful little restaurant in the heart of the city, safely away from the chill night air, surrounded by the people that you love. You sip a delicious, full-bodied red wine, and enjoy a hearty holiday feast.

Suddenly, your chest is tight, and your eyes are bulging. Someone screams, and you know you are choking.

It all happens so quickly, and as your life flashes in front of your teary eyes, you wonder if this restaurant, these people, will be the last things you ever see.

But without warning, you feel a pair of arms locking around your stomach. They jerk upwards into your belly once, twice, and you can suddenly breathe again. When your heart stops racing, you glance behind you and see your waiter, looking back at you with concern.

The ambulance finally arrives, but you’re fine now, thanks to your waiter. You return to your meal and your family, a bit dazed and still a little shaken.

Now imagine all of these things, and tell me:

How much do you tip someone after they save your life?