The Pursuit of Excellence Practical steps toward happiness


Give Yourself a Break

Being awesome is hard work.

I don’t pretend to speak from experience, but I do watch people closely.  Nothing good comes easy, except to lottery winners and that one jerk at the office.  Exceptional humans work hard.


Better than a six pack

You want a six pack? Be willing to spend six hours a week at the gym for months and to give up your Baconators.  Want to make a million dollars?  Goodbye Saturday night benders.

You already know this, so let’s move on.

Great people do something else: they give themselves a break.  If they miss a guitar practice session, or fail to study for 10 hours like they promised, they don’t punish themselves (much.)

I know many highly motivated people–brimming with potential–who torment themselves because they aren’t financially independent at 30.  That torment is not helpful.  Piling on stress and self-doubt because you fell short of your goal is devastating to your motivation.

The successful fail all the time.  They understand that failure is just a learning tool, and not a reflection on their being.  When they fail, they don’t waste time with guilt or sorrow.

They DO comb the wreckage for valuable lessons, then tweak their behaviour.  Sometimes, they even laugh it off.

So how can we laugh it off, instead of whipping ourselves for our imperfections?


We 'aint found shit

1) Consciously relax before you start a project.  You’ll have fun from the beginning, instead of stressed until you achieve the ‘perfect outcome.’

2) Be grateful.  It’s a popular tip lately, but it works.  When you are thankful, you’ll realize that YOU are creating at least some of the good in your life, and your perceived shortcomings will matter less.

3) Spend less time thinking about the future.  Living in the past can lead to depression, the same way that living in the future can lead to anxiety.  Let go of the outcome, and enjoy the journey.

Being awesome is compatible with being good to yourself.  So be good.

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