Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984. Guy’s advice …
“Remember these ten things: if just one of them helps you, this speech will have been a success:
10. Live off your parents as long as possible.
9. Pursue joy, not happiness.
8. Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
7. Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
6. Continue to learn.
5. Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
4. Don’t get married too soon.
3. Play to win and win to play.
2. Obey the absolutes.
1. Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.”
Link to speech Guy has given six times at commencements, graduations and baccalaureates.
The full quote from Chris Mathews speech to the 2006 graduating class of Fordham University …
“Today’s Rule One: Get Yourself In The Game!
Ever watch a little kid standing alone courtside while the big kids play basketball? When a ball goes out of bounds, he runs for it and passes it back in. And as time goes on, when an older kid has to get home for dinner, somebody yells, “Hey punk, wanna play?”
That’s the heart of it there: If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in.
Things happen when you get in the game”
From the a podcast titled “The Upside of Quitting” on Freakononmics.com …
“To help us understand quitting, we look at a couple of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost. Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard. Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.”
From a commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005 …
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
From a post titled The best advice I ever received by Bob Borson …
“This has everything to do with you making someone elses life easier. You manage to do that on a consistent basis, people come to rely on you and know that you can be counted on. Eventually, you move beyond being the first choice and become the only choice.
The caveat to this advice is if you can’t follow through, you need to let someone know the instant you realize it.”
From Dr. Phil’s book titled Life Strategies …
“Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results.
If you’re unwilling to acknowledge a thought, circumstance, problem, condition, behavior, or emotion–if you won’t take ownership of your role in a situation–then you cannot and will not change it.”
From Peter Bregman of the Havard Business Review Blog Network titled Arguing Is Pointless …
“Think about it. You and someone have an opposing view and you argue. You pretend to listen to what she’s saying but what you’re really doing is thinking about the weakness in her argument so you can disprove it. Or perhaps, if she’s debunked a previous point, you’re thinking of new counter-arguments. Or, maybe, you’ve made it personal: it’s not just her argument that’s the problem. It’s her. And everyone who agrees with her.
In some rare cases, you might think the argument has merit. What then? Do you change your mind? Probably not. Instead, you make a mental note that you need to investigate the issue more to uncover the right argument to prove the person wrong.”
From an article at SixWise.com called How to Most Effectively Pick Your Battles …
We’re all given a finite amount of time in a day, and it’s up to each of us to determine how to spend it. In relationships (with kids, with a spouse, and so on), we’re faced with many conflicts everyday, and you may be tempted to fight through each of these conflicts, to ensure you get your way, to prove that you’re “right,” or maybe just because you feel challenged. But most experts agree: choosing your battles wisely is a much better way of life than battling out every disagreement.
Although they may seem important at the time, most battles are NOT worth fighting.
According to Dr. Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff, “Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really that big a deal. We focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion.”
It’s up to us to choose to either make a big deal or simply let it go, and, according to Dr. Carlson, if you learn to choose your battles wisely, you’ll be far more effective in winning those battles that truly are important to you.
Posted as a comment by Jack at Morality and Ideology …
I have an operational rule that I use in my own life. “Often wrong, but never in doubt.” I don’t mean that as a joke. In order to accomplish anything, you have to execute with confidence and certainty. On the other hand, you have to recognize that you will often be wrong. That means you must be willing to change. I know it is a paradox in theory, but it works in practice.
A quote from Laura Karet, an executive from Giant Eagle supermarket chain on CNBC’s documentary Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine Laura Karet
“We’re very fond of the term ‘search and reapply’. And actually something my grandfather used to say … you don’t have to be smart, you just have to know who to copy.”
Advice is from Peter G. Peterson, Co-founder and Senior Chairman, Blackstone Group …
“Focus on those things you do better than others. That has been enormously helpful in defining our business strategies. For example, when we [Peterson and co-founder Steve Schwarzman] were setting up the Blackstone Group in 1985, many argued that Blackstone should invest in hostile LBO transactions. We felt that our advantage was that we were on friendly terms with many American CEOs and boards. So we took the contrarian position. We would only do strictly friendly investments. As a result, so-called corporate partnerships have become a major foundation – and a very profitable contribution – to our business.”
From the book 7 Keys to Success by Will Edwards …
” … we need to notice what is working and what is not; and be prepared to change our approach in order to get what we want – that is the essence of flexibility.
A wise person once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. That is a wonderfully true statement – in other words, if you continue doing exactly what you are now doing, then don’t be surprised when you don’t see any increase or change in your results.”
From a wonderful article at WomansHealth titled Mother Knows Best: 10 Tips from Mom …
“My mom always told me to walk into a place as if I owned it. By that she meant to walk in with your head up and high (with) confidence. I find that’s been excellent advice. If you act as if you’re not worthy (of the job, the man, the respect), others will prey on that. But if you act as if you’re really something, that attitude will be contagious and others will respond accordingly!”
From a post titled Get Ready for Promotion – Showing what you can do . Communicate your desire. Here are some steps you can take to make your wishes known:
- Identify a role or position toward which you want to work.
- Using your knowledge of the organization, find out what experience and skills are needed to get that job.
- Work with your boss to set performance objectives so that you can achieve the necessary skills and experience.
- Network with people in the company. Let as many people as appropriate know what type of role interests you. Seek advice on how to prepare for that role.
- Ask for the promotion when it becomes available. If you aren’t ready yet, use this as an opportunity to develop the skills you need.
Uplifting post from Lori Deschene titled 10 Reasons It’s Awesome Life’s Not Fair
“You may say life’s not fair—and I think you’d be right. But how does it serve us to dwell on that idea? Who benefits when we indulge bitterness, frustration, or anger? Or perhaps a better question is: who suffers?
I say we see we take this unavoidable truth and appreciate it for the possibilities it provides. Life isn’t fair, but that’s awesome because:
9. It encourages you to ask yourself the question: “Do I want to be a victim?” Every day we have countless opportunities to blame other people for situations in our lives. We can curse everyone from the mailman to the president for somehow screwing up our day. Or we can commit to taking responsibility for our future, and learn to repeatedly assess how we can accept and improve our life.
8. It reminds to appreciate what you have when you have it. It’s a harsh reality that you can lose anything at any time. Your boss could lay you off after a decade of loyal service; your husband could walk out the door even though you’ve been a faithful, loving wife. This tells me we need to cherish what we have at all times. And really, any reality that forces you to be present and grateful is a gift.
2. It allows you to experience really interesting situations (by Dani of Positively Present). Imagine if everything always went smoothly. You got everything you wanted, never struggled or dealt with hardships. Wouldn’t life be pretty boring? The “unfairness” we perceive in the world pushes us into unknown territory which makes everything more exciting, and gives us opportunities to stretch ourselves.”
Link to all 10 reasons
According to the Harvard Business Review, “The number one criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively”
In the book ‘Everyone Communicates, Few Connect’, John C Maxwell writes “the ability to communicate and connect with others is a major determining factor in reaching you potential”. He defines “connecting” as the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.
The above quote comes from Leanna F. from a Linkedin post. More on the topic from an article written by Pat Ferdinandi titled What Are Your Strengths? …
“Why is this so important? Life is too short to be miserable for any length of time. You want to be useful and productive to your family, coworkers, and business. You want to be appreciated for your efforts. You are appreciated more if you find positions and companies that believe in your strengths.”
Advice is from Michael Hyatt to the Owen Graduate School of Management students and an inspiring response by Lindsey Nobles…
“What I love about these two simple sentences is that they get to the heart of the two things that have the ability to limit my success in life, and in leadership.
Pride And Fear.
I NEED to be reminded that I don’t know as much as I think I know. I need to approach my days with humility. I need to learn the art of listening with an open heart, and an open mind. And I NEED to be reminded that I am capable of more than I can would ever dare to imagine.
My fear limits my possibilities, my dreams, and my faith.”
From the web site Paul’s Tips…
“In many cases it’s true that you shouldn’t give up too early. But at the same time, it’s a wise person who realizes when their efforts are futile.
The idea that those who keep sailing ahead despite all odds and “damn the torpedoes” are the most successful is a seductive one, and it has a certain element of truth to it. But at the same time, successful people also know when the best path is to quit. It’s simply not true that being a “quitter” is synonymous with being a “loser” in every single case. It’s time that myth was shattered.”
From a post titled Is there something you want? Why not ask for it
“One of the big differences that I’ve noticed between those who get what they want and those who don’t comes down to one simple behavior – whether they’re willing to ask for it.
Having the courage to ask for what you want can help decide whether you’ll have a successful life or not.
Whether it’s for a date, a raise, a new job, a friendship or simply a discount on something you buy – asking for what you want is a very powerful thing.”
From David Maister’s informative blog, Perspective on Careers …
- The cold, hard, truth is that you’ve got to look after yourself.
- You can’t assume that anyone is really looking out for your best interests (in spite of what they may say.)
- There may be a human resources department in your firm, managers, coaches and a mentoring system. But don’t get fooled. Your career is up to you and you alone.
- No one will tell you what experience you should be obtaining, let alone help you get it.
- If you want a specific experience, ask for it.
- Better yet, just go grab it.
- Do not expect that you will be promoted because you deserve it – it is unlikely that anyone is really keeping track.
- If you want to be promoted, ask to be promoted.
- Generally, things do not come to those who do not ask for them.
- None of this means you should be rude, disrespectful to others, or fail to be a team player. It just means don’t be naïve.
- In spite of what they may say, it’s up to you. You’re on your own, kid.
- Manage your own career. No one else will.
Simple and concise advice from Rebecca …
“Which is to say, nearly every task seems more difficult in anticipation than execution. Discipline is easy once you have momentum. Going to the gym is hard when you have to plan on going to the gym, and easy when it is simply what you always do on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Make a habit of doing rather than not doing.”
See the ten things that keep us from getting started at a post titled Whats Stopping you from Getting Started by Dustin Wax.
Maureen Dowd is credited with this quote. Informative article written by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD titled Don’t Settle …
“Settling is about not embracing what is best for you, and accepting what you really don’t want. When you settle, you accept less than you deserve. Settling becomes a habit and a way of life, but it doesn’t have to be.
People settle every day in every way. They settle for unsatisfying jobs, boring lives, and stale relationships. People settle in part because they don’t realize they can have better, or even that they deserve better. People also settle because of fear. Fear holds us back from embracing what we really want. According to Bo Bennett, “Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living, or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness.”
The only way to truly embrace your greatness is to stop settling. You have to stop settling for a job that isn’t challenging, a life that isn’t fulfilling, and relationships that are uninspiring. Life is way too short to settle.”
read more …
From one of the best business minds ever … Tom Peters. I’m a huge fan of Tom Peters but I never have followed this advice. Not because I don’t trust or admire his judgement – but because I’m bored by the notion of “underpromising”.
The “Underpromise and overdeliver” principle suggests it’s better not to promise something to your customer that you cannot keep than to under promise and to surprise your customer with good service.
I’ll admit, I’m torn on this advice but I tend to agree with this post by Chris Reaburn Service Rant: Underpromise, Overdeliver …
“Underpromise / overdeliver originated as a way for managers to advise their reports to manage expectations as an internal CYA, ensuring neither they nor their bosses would ever have to face the embarrassment of a missed commitment – a self-protective, “how to fulfill what is asked without failing / casting a negative light on our silo.”
The problem is that the first part of the equation gets fulfilled. Under committing is easy – it just means that you don’t promise to do as much as you know you’re capable of. But faced with someone not complaining about the level of care they receive, they forget to over deliver. Conserve resources. Get satisfied (lazy) delivering what is “good enough”. Ride the self-created perception of satisfaction rather than putting forth the extra effort to delight & surpass what the customer is expecting.”
Link to post …
By Richard Templar Rule 4 of Work: Carve Out a Niche For Yourself and appeared in the Financial Times …
“The easiest way to get noticed at work (at least in the positive sense) is to find some specific way in which you are uniquely talented and use it to your advantage. Exceptional ability in a specific area will help you stand out more to the people who can promote you.”
“Carving out a niche means spotting a useful area that no one else has spotted. It might be as simple as being great at spreadsheets or report writing. It might be, like Mike, knowing something no one else does. It might be being brilliant with scheduling or budgets or understanding the system.”
Link to article …
Career advice from Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO …
“The most important thing to get right when selecting a job is how quickly the company is growing. Growth creates numerous opportunities for anyone who is contributing to the company’s success, whereas when companies stop growing, the careers of everyone, including very talented people, face severe challenges.”
Debbe Kennedy, President and Founder of Global Dialogue Center and Leadership Solutions Companies, one of her colleagues offered this advice.
“He mentioned that jobs, missions, titles, and organizations would come and go. He advised her not to focus her goals toward any of these, but instead learn to master the skills that will allow you to work anywhere. He was talking about four skills:
1. The ability to develop an idea.
2. Effectively plan for its implementation.
3. Execute second-to-none.
4. Achieve superior results time after time.
So, forget what others do; work to be known for delivering excellence. It speaks for itself and it opens doors.”
Again, there are many variations on this advice. We grouped these together because they all share a similar theme and tone.
This quote normally includes the phrase “Work like you don’t need the money”. Which sounds nice, but we don’t see the value of working like we don’t need the money? We like the positive message behind “Love like you’ve never been hurt”. The “Dance” & “Sing” parts are very similar and encourage stepping outside of our comfort zones. But the best piece of advice is “Live like there’s no tomorrow”.
There are a couple variations on this but this advice clearly makes our “Life’s Best Advice” top ten. We’re not sure whom to credit but “Confucius” seems to be a popular choice on the internet.
We also like this related quote from Steve Jobs of Apple Computer …
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
And one more from Eric A. Raymond with a slightly different spin …
“You can not motivate the best people with money. Money is just a way to keep score. The best people in any field are motivated by passion.”
Comment from Monique Mazejka Marketing Manager at http://www.alanrosenspan.com/newsletters/issue_39.html …
“The best career advice I ever received was: No matter what you choose to do in life, always make sure you are creating value.”
This quote is commonly attributed to Ronald Reagan (appearently Reagan had a sign on his desk in the Oval Office with this advice) but our research suggests Harry S Truman deserves the credit.
We also like this related advice from Indira Gandhi …
“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”
Our take-away is … 1) focus on results and not recognition. 2) people around you are more likely to help you work toward your goals if they feel their efforts will be recognized in the end.