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This week we are discussing why it's important to take time every once in awhile to make sure your efforts are well-spent.
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Hard work is a necessary prerequisite to success, no matter what field you find yourself in. If you're not willing to work hard, or you never put in more effort than your peers, you will never find yourself ahead on the scoreboard. This can quickly lead to a trap that may not be as readily apparent: spending too much time working on the wrong things.
Those with a strong work ethic can spend a great deal of time and effort trying to make progress, only to realize they've been pushing against a stone wall. If you push and push without ever picking your head up, much of that effort can be wasted.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." You can spend six hours swinging a blunt axe at the tree and hoping for the best, or you can work on the right problem (in this case sharpening the axe first) to ensure your hard work is effective.
Reflection is critical for long-term success, and it becomes necessary to analyze whether your efforts have been put to good use. Are you spinning your wheels, getting nowhere despite blood, sweat, and tears? Or are you aligning meaningful action with intense effort to get where you need to go?
The adage of "work smarter, not harder" is often tossed around, but the reality is you can't have one without the other. Even if you're working on the "right stuff," lack of effort will get you nowhere. On the flip side, all the effort in the world won't matter if you aren't aligning that effort with the right actions. If you want to truly get ahead and make progress, take a step back on occasion. Make sure that you're engaging in high-leverage tasks and not just doing hard work for hard work's sake.
The most interesting things I've read, heard, or encountered this week:
For more of the above: The Pareto Principle on Asana
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of results come from roughly 20% of actions. In relation to being effective with your efforts, it's worth analyzing your actions through this lens often. Out of all the things you are regularly doing, which 20% are leading to the largest results? Aim to increase the amount of time spent on these activities and reduce time spent elsewhere.
What I'm reading: Will by Will Smith
This book was recommended to me by a number of people, and I picked up the hardcover edition over the kindle edition because of the incredible covert art. Long story short, this is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Will Smith has a unique perspective on life and success bred from a childhood with its fair share of challenges.
What I wrote: Meaningful Discussion thread on Twitter
Most of you have likely heard of the Joe Rogan podcast controversy surrounding some of his recent guests, and the concern of misinformation being spread. Whatever side of the aisle you find yourself on, we have collectively lost our ability as a society to have meaningful discussion and debate at large. This thread is my take on how this divisiveness happens, and how it's fueled by modern media.
An interesting article: One easy way to get moving again on CNN Health
Fitness trackers, wearables, and apps are making the average person who uses them more healthy. It seems that just being aware of how often you're moving has a large impact on your desire to move. In this vein, what else in your life can you make more visible and thus easier to do?
A quote I'm pondering:
"The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave." - Anthony de Mello
That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered more? Less? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!
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