Here are the posts that have had the greatest influence on me so far:
What Your Priorities Are
I agree with Paul that every decision you make has a huge impact on your life. But it doesn't stop there. Every decision you DO NOT make has the same impact. How often does the average person think about the choices he's making in life?
Most people don't go to college because they have a passion to learn or because they need their degree. Instead they do it because that's what everyone else is doing. They just go with the flow, and take the default option in any given situation.
Isn't that crazy?
We're talking about four years and debt, but most people don't even question if that's what they really should do. That's how I ended up in college. It took me three years to realize that.
But most people never come to this conclusion. They don't think about the big choices in life. They just get a job, get married, buy a house, and have two children. Because that's what they're supposed to do. That's what everyone else is doing. Instead of following their own dreams, they follow the American Dream.
Following the advice of the best living copywriter John Carlton, I decided to write a letter to myself one year from now. This letter describes my goals and aspirations when they have already come through one year later.
Could there be a better way to publicly humiliate myself than to publish it? I don't think so. But if it helps me take it more seriously, I don't have a problem with that. Without further ado, here is the letter I wrote to myself one year from now.
“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.” Lily Tomlin
We signed up for a race, but we can’t seem to find the finish line. However, when we’re fresh out of college, we can picture it at least...
LEARN TO BE HAPPY WITH LESS (Minimalism)
If you're striking off on your own, thousands forces outside of your control will conspire against you. You'll have to deal with politics, egos, deals falling throughs, markets shifting and crashing, competitors who do a variety of actions ranging from brilliant to insane to innovative to unethical... you'll deal with clients who are demanding or flaky, you'll see forces outside your control like breakups and divorces screwing up very good partnerships and employee/employer relationships...
...the list of things you'll have to deal with is legion. Quite frankly, in a way, you're somewhat insane for grabbing the reigns and trying to build the world of your own accord.
With many of the forces working against you, they're outside your control. But of the things inside your control, there's one that leads to winning and losing more than anything else, so remember --
Refuse to be outworked.
You might be outsmarted by people more brilliant than you, outmaneuvered by people more politically connected than you, out-executed by someone who cracks the nut faster than you, but if you refuse to be outworked you're almost guaranteed to be successful on some level and to live a meaningful life.