Iron Sharpens Iron

A year of growth — A New Year of Action

Just about 3 months ago I set out on another journey abroad. It was at a time when things were in a strange flux for me personally. Work had been the best it’s ever been. Conversely, the personal life was chaos personified.

I looked at my time ahead as an escape to recharge, regroup, re-think, and many other “RE”s I can’t think of at the moment. Physically I felt like I was falling apart. I probably was but we are resilient if anything, right?

In my head it was a good idea to spend my time recapturing my spark. (Reread the “RE’s” above). I had been feeling like I was just going through motions and had brilliant moments of clarity every few days while talking to colleagues, talking with friends or just working on projects.

Now while I’ve been on Medium for a long time. I’ve not actually written anything. My journey over the almost three months till now has respawned a drive that is unwavering. The holiday is a time of reflection and recalibration for me.

See the theme building here?

That said, I have some points that that can help 2017 be the year of personal action and success. This trip, while not how I imagined it going, has been a blessing.

Take what works for you and discard what doesn’t. Yes, you may know this and may see others saying it. I’m not saying anything groundbreaking here. But it’s worth mentioning.

1: You can only control yourself and what you do.

I’ve spent too much time obsessing over what I cannot control in the world. This is an exercise in futility. A pure waste of time. Some may mistake a neutral repsonse as being careless but work on finding that middle ground where you ingest what you’re dealing with and think it through first.

You are only accountable for your own actions, your own behavior, etc. I often wish some would see the world the way I do! Yes, I’m guilty and I do talk about it at times. But you set your example by how you conduct yourself. Period.

2: Be honest with yourself. (Know thy self)

“Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.” -Seth Godin

When I have sit down meetings with new clients or even candid conversations with friends. I often ask them what they want out of what they’re doing. Not just business but also pertaining to life and where they’re at, at the moment.

That’s a hard one to answer. A really hard one to be honest with yourself and not say something you think the other person listening to you will be impressed with hearing.

My advice, sit and consider things. Why lie and convince ourselves of things we don’t want or don’t really care to do often. I know it may sound strange to someone who hasn’t really thought of it.

My point is, once you strip away all the internal noise and get down to brass tacks. You will be able to consider your path. Where you are currently and perhaps some steps to get where you prefer to be.

You may find people don’t agree with your path. So what. It’s yours for a reason.

3: No permission, no problem.

“You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.” -Les Brown

This one affected me for a long time. Social validation. Circle validation. It’s tiring. Ultimately you’re not in tune with who you are if you’re always seeking approval.

Not everyone will get your ideas or goals! So who cares? If you want to do it, go for it. No better time than now.

On the other side of the coin. There is a social echo chamber of “experts” and “gurus”. I believe there’s a place for these things but if it’s keeping you from taking action then you need to step away from the media right away.

Stop waiting for a permission slip. Go and do.

4: Excuses? We have a problem.

“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.” -Donny Miller

This drives me nuts. We all have excuses at some point. But in this day and age where we can find various resources on almost any topic around? Get your head out of the sand!

“I don’t know that”… “I can’t because I never learned that”… “I don’t know”… etc.

“I don’t have time!”… BS

Gary Vaynerchuk wants you to get on your side hustle and so do I!

Udemy, Udacity, Creative Live, Codecademy, Linda and so on and so on.

I learned how to change my brakes and brake lights on YouTube!

Now if your excuses aren’t around not knowing something or not enough time but beacause you’re judt tired or a fear of failure then just know. You’re not alone. I suggest taking a hard look at what’s important and what will help you get where you want to be. Do the personal audit which I eluded to in #2 Be honest with yourself.

5: Learn to solve problems by solving your own first.

It may seem obvious here but world problems aren’t going to get solved by anyone that cannot tend to themselves first. Be patient. Life is not a race and the long game is where it’s at!

6: Surround yourself with various people who are driven

“Great minds think for themselves” -Immanuel Kant

No brainer, right? Well, we always hear that you should surround yourself with likeminded people. Yes there’s truth in that to a point.

I’ve learned over the last 10 years that we should be open to friendships with various people at different points in their lives. People to learn from and people to teach. It’s enrichment at it’s best!

I’ve met some very cool people over the past few years simply through some online platforms and I am grateful for that. I’ve gotten professional opportunities, mentors, and even mentored others. Iron sharpens iron.

Go figure!


In Closing…

These simple points all lead to personal growth. They lead to more confidence and new perspective on your own life.

Ultimately, to action.

I have more to share and discuss but I will do that with more posts this year, a new podcast, new products and new projects.

I’m raising my voice and taking action.

Feel free to share how you’re taking action in 2017.

~Mike

P.S. The image at the top of the post is part of a new project that I’ve started to make happen over the last few months. It’s a side project but I’m excited about the possibilities.

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