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Words I Live By
My Personal Guidelines
The guidelines and biases listed below provide a framework through which I can make big decisions. I also use it recalibrate top priorities.
Sharing them publicly scares me because they’re so meaningful and personal. So I’m stepping into the fear (Principle #4) and doing it anyway.
My hope is to inspire one person in the world to create their own guidelines or claim their own biases.
My personal guidelines
• Create art.
• Connect with others.
• Learn new things.
• Play sports.
"There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best." — Joe DiMaggio
• Financial independence.
1. Family comes first.
2. Focus on “the one thing”.
3. Read to understand.
4. Step into the fear.
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action” — Herbert Spencer
• Go on quests.
• Level up.
• Help people.
• Train for the win.
• Play the long game.
“I’m just about that action, boss…I ain’t never seen no talking winning nothing. Been like that since I was little. I was raised like that…I’m gonna get it. Don’t need to talk about it.” — Marshawn Lynch, Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day interview with Deon Sanders
• Make something that’s going to last forever.
“The goal is to make forever music. You try to make music of the time, music of the moment. That works and people enjoy it. But when creating, the goal is to make something that’s going to last forever.” — Jay-Z, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
Claiming my biases
I am an essentialist.
I know that I can do anything, but not everything. So I choose the essential; the vital few; the things that matter to me.
I am not in a hurry.
“I don’t want to hurry it. That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude. When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and you want to get on to other things. I just want to get at it slowly, but carefully and thoroughly…” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
I am a slow thinker.
“I’m a disappointing person to try to debate or attack. I just have nothing to say in the moment, except maybe, ‘Good point.’ Then a few days later, after thinking about it a lot, I have a response.
This probably makes me look stupid in the moment, but I don’t mind. I’m not trying to win any debates.” — Derek Sivers, Hell Yeah or No
I am an artist.
“Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.
An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.” — Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
A version of this was originally posted on Medium on November 27, 2018