The ability to persevere in the face of adversity, fear or hardship is a trait worth pursuing.
Our imagination runs wild envisioning all the ways things can go wrong, or how long this project is going to take, or why we couldn't possibly achieve that goal. Often these thoughts are crippling.
Keep in mind that a life is built action by action. All we can ever do is focus on completing the task at hand.
In a sports analogy, don't focus on winning the championship or even the game, make sure you make the next pass with perfection. Keep your focus on the next actionable goal.
In the overwhelming pressures of sport, as in life, process provides a way. A way to turn chaos and confusion and complexity into something clear and manageable and simple. The task at hand. The process. Whatever you want to call it, just remember that everything in life is built one small action at a time.
We tend to avoid those tasks that are uncomfortable or unpleasant; Putting off our responsibilities is easy. Complaining is easy. Both are as natural to us as breathing. But what good has either ever done for anyone in the long run?
Has procrastinating ever made your life less stressful and more efficient? I am willing to bet the answer is no!
Putting things off for later or never will never make your circumstance easier.
Epictetus once said that “every habit and capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running… therefore, if you want to do something, make a habit of it.” If you don’t want to do something, he said, make a habit of doing the opposite.
In a world where so much is out of our control creating habits and routines that we can control Will deliver a sense of power in our lives.
Without a disciplined schedule, procrastination inevitably moves in with all the chaos and complacency and confusion. What was I going to do? What do I wear? What should I eat? What should I do first? What should I do after that? What sort of work should I do? and so on…
The writer and runner Haruki Murakami talks about why he follows the same routine every day. “The repetition itself becomes the important thing,” he says, “it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.” Routine is antithetical to procrastination, to the Resistance. They feed on our uncertainty. Routine eliminates that uncertainty.
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“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
— Lao Tzu
This quote from Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism states that a little effort every day can have a greater impact. A series of co to buoys small steps will accomplish a large task in the long run.
Founded around 500 BC, Taoism is a Chinese philosophy that focuses on living in harmony with the world.
Taoism is all about floating effortlessly amid the different things happening in the world. It is a mindset that allows you to adapt to your changing environment and your shifting circumstances.
Lao Tzu is credited with writing the “Tao Te Ching”, the fundamental text of Taoism.
One of the most inspiring teachings from Lao Tzu I have come across is:
“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
— Lao Tzu
Learning about the world happens in paradoxical ways. In order to attain knowledge, you need to add things every day. You have to be constantly reading, writing, and discovering.
However to attain wisdom, you need to remove things every day. At first this might be hard to grasp, but you will get a picture of what this means once you look at some Zen stories.
In one such famous tale, an important man used to being in charge, came to a Zen master wanting to learn what it is all about.
Looking sternly at the master, he said: “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.”
The Zen master just smiled at him and said that they should discuss the matter over a cup of delicious tea.
The master then set a cup in front of the man and started pouring. The tea rose to the rim, but the master kept on pouring.
Soon, the tea was overflowing, spilling all over the table, until it started getting onto the important man’s clothes.
“Stop! Enough! Stop pouring! Can’t you see that the cup is full?” yelled the man.
This instantly brought a smile to the master’s face. He stopped pouring and said: “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty.”
When you attain wisdom, you will see that you need less, not more. You don’t need to chase after riches or fame. Life is about living simply.
Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...
Today’s workplaces are broken. Badly broken. With 85% of employees disengaged, 23% feeling burned out and 37% believing that their job makes no useful contribution to society, work as we know it today is simply not working.
This book gives direct evidence that you can make work enjoyable and rewarding, while boosting performance and success. The Underlying theme of this book is about seeking purpose and meaning through the work we do. These ideas are not just theories, they are well tested strategies practiced in over 100 progressive organisations around the world. The message is conveyed by various case studies and solid research demonstrating the 8 practical lessons:
This book focuses on examples and ideas on some new practices, it is not a “how to” book that sets out rules. I suggest you read this book as an inspirational guide to motivate your own change process within the organisations you work for.
The common myth about the purpose of work is:
“Work is just about making money?"
What if, instead of accepting this sort of situation, we spent our time on work that has a positive impact?
Likewise Profit is the lifeline of any organisation. However the sole pursuit of short term gains has driven many managers to earn swift return on investment, often at the expense of everything and everyone
“Profit is important, of course. It funds the pursuit of purpose, but should be the means, not the end. Revenue for a company is like oxygen for a human: necessary to stay alive, but not the reason for living.”
On the problem of too many meetings: “Imagine if bureaucracy was kept to the absolute minimum with no wasted days of boring, frustrating meetings.
Imagine how much more time you would have to do useful work and keep the client happy.”
Every trend they explore needs to be disrupted from the view point of today's common workplace. The Authors make suggestions on how to improve these age old misgivings and offer alternative approaches based on the experiences of the pioneering organisations they visited and researched.
The authors want to positively change our workplaces so that future generations can live happier, more inspired, and healthier lives. A great mission and a worthwhile pursuit. If you’re a rebel, even a closet rebel, read this book and get some ideas on how you can make changes, even if only small ones, that make lives better. A worthwhile pursuit indeed.
The 8 habits of companies you wished you worked for.
Corporate Rebels - 8 radical lesson and 5 practices for each trend
"Corporations need disrupting, and the business world needs the Corporate Rebels. They are a timely and very welcome wake up call for capitalism. A breath of fresh air in management thinking, the Rebels are on the Thinkers50 Radar for a very good reason. Their voices resonate for a new generation who are demanding a radically different approach to work and life."
Des Dearlove, co-founder of Thinkers50
About the authors
“Back in January 2016, we quit our corporate jobs. Like most people, we worked in outdated workplaces characterized by inertia, bureaucracy and a lack of motivation. We simply couldn’t accept that the world of work – for far too many – is a place full of misery and despair.”
Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree are the founders of Corporate Rebels - a global movement to make work more fun. They quit their frustrating, corporate jobs and set out to travel the world to visit the world’s most inspiring organizations. While checking off their renowned Bucket List they share everything they learn. The authors have been listed among the Top 30 Emergent Management Thinkers.