Just 3 links this week, because they’re each so rich with nuggets of wisdom.
Derek Sivers interviews Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Workweek, which turns out to be a must-read article for anyone who has something they’d like to be doing if they didn’t have to do anything. Here are some of my favorite bits (and there are so many).
Long life is not guaranteed, folks. It’s important to really question this deferred-life plan that saves all retirement for the end.
I heard this beautiful bit of advice once that said, “If you’ve got a list of 20 things you should be doing, pick the most important one or two and then just let go of the rest. You will never upload your music to every one of these sites. You will never contact every person. You will never enter every contest. Just take the one or two things that would make the biggest difference in your career, do those one or two, then stop. Turn your attention to the next one or two most important.”
Assume that income has no practical value without time, because income is renewable, while time is not. Time has no value without attention.
That’s a good point – recognizing you can’t fix an overwhelmed feeling with more work. Overwhelmed is not due to lack of time – it’s due to lack of priorities, right? Another flaw in most time management systems is they focus on filling your time – every minute of every day should be filled with a work vision of some kind. Or they don’t instruct you on how to minimize the work. Especially if you tend to wear over work ethic as some kind of badge of honor, which I know many artists do. Laziness is not less action. Laziness can mean blurred priorities and indiscriminate action. You can be very busy running around with a cell phone to your head 24 hours a day and still be very lazy because you’re not taking the time to prioritize.
As a student of the martial arts, I’ve been a big fan of Marc ‘Animal’ MacYoung’s writing for the longest time. From his No Nonsense Self Defense website, “growing up on the gang-infested streets of Los Angeles not only gave Marc MacYoung his street name ‘Animal,’ but also extensive firsthand experience about what does and does not work for self-defense.”
Now, you may not care much about learning self-defense, but you might be interested in learning how real-world leaders behave, especially in the tough situations on the streets. According to MacYoung’s Alpha Street Behavior, Alphas (leaders of the group) look out for the group, are trustworthy, communicate, have extra resources and allow others their place. Read the article to discover more.
Finally, Adrian Tan, who wrote The Teenage Textbook and The Teenage Workbook, was a childhood local writing hero of mine (together with Colin Goh of then Orchard Road fame). Mr. Wang’s published an inspiring speech Tan recently gave to a university convocation ceremony full of unexpected advice. Go read Life And How To Survive It.
Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.
You’re going to have a busy life. Thank goodness there’s no life expectancy.