In many cases, the answers we seek are pretty simple.

April 6th, 2007

I like this quote from a March 2003 article in Harvard Business Review:

“What have you been doing to move your career forward? Has that been working for you? Why not? What else could you do?”

If you’re anything like me, honest answers to questions as simple as these would revolutionize your career.

Seth Godin offered timeless advice in an April 2003 Fast Company column. (Can you tell I’ve been clearing out my files?)

Sure, you’re working long, but “long” and “hard” are now two different things. In the old days, we could measure how much grain someone harvested or how many pieces of steel he made. Hard work meant more work. But the past doesn’t lead to the future. The future is not about time at all. The future is about work that’s really and truly hard, not time-consuming. It’s about the kind of work that requires us to push ourselves, not just punch the clock. Hard work is where our job security, our financial profit, and our future joy lie.

Merlin Mann has more suggestions for “cringe-busting” your to-do list — which is another way of working through your fears.

Per cringe item, think honestly about why you’re freaked out about it. Seriously. What’s the hang-up? (Fear of failure? Dreading bad news? Angry you’re already way overdue?)

Somewhere else Mann has written about reducing your sense of overwhelm by slicing everything you need to do down to ten-minute segments. You can build an empire in ten-minute increments, if you’ll just keep at it.

Remember that actions speak louder than words — most of all to yourself. Don’t say you’re going to do things differently; take action to do things differently, now.

Now is all you’ve got.

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