Lines of excellence

In a press conference just weeks before his death, President Kennedy was asked by a reporter if he liked his job. Kennedy’s response:

“Well, I find the work rewarding. Whether I am going to stay and what my intentions are and all the rest, it seems to me it is still a good many, many months away. But as far as the job of President goes, it is rewarding. And I have given before to this group the definition of happiness of the Greeks, and I will define it again: it is full use of your powers along lines of excellence. I find, therefore, the Presidency provides some happiness.”

The “full use of your powers along lines of excellence”.


I’m late to the Marvel Cinematic Universe party, and the last few films have had me wondering who many of the superheroes are and what exactly are their powers.

Well, what exactly are your powers? I’m not completely sure what mine are.

Whatever they are, I know I’m not putting them to their “full use”.

Passive mode prevails over active mode way too often and the easy distractions of this age make it even harder to muster the will, to fully tap into my powers.

The looming regret just around the corner will be that of unfulfilled potential and unlived life. Powers wasted, left dormant and unsummoned.

Snap out of it, this half-slumber that most of us are muddling through. Fully use your gifts. Make them true gifts that offer value beyond yourself.

And be awesome in the process. Aim for excellence. Be discontent with just good enough.

Full use of your powers along lines of excellence.

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” –Robert Louis Stevenson

Louis CK, the Carlin strategy, and inviting the awful

Plateaus happen. Regularly.

Years ago, in the midst of what was at that point an unremarkable career in stand-up comedy, Louis CK was frustrated with the creative rut he found himself in.

And then he learned the Carlin strategy, and everything changed.

It turns out that George Carlin would record a comedy special every year and then, the next day, throw out that material and start over from scratch.

Louis was stunned by that approach. He had worked long and hard to come up with the material for his show, and he had never imagined throwing it out and starting over.

But he was discontent with his work and the arc of his career, so he gave the Carlin strategy a try.

It was hard. Awful and hard at first.

But that void summoned better work eventually. And he kept doing it every year—scrapping his tried and true material and forcing himself to begin with a blank page once again.

And, in the process, Louis CK became Louis CK.

I do a version of the Carlin strategy with the presentations I give every year. I start over with new themes and slide designs and new ideas and stories.

It’s frustrating and a bit unsettling at first. I love the security of doing what I’m confident will work.

You have to sit with the awful for a while. Trick yourself if you have to by saying “I’m going to start by intentionally making this as awful as I can.”

Any action, even atrociously bad work, will at least propel you forward. You likely will surprise yourself, though, if you persist, and find that your awful starts getting better.

New ideas will appear that you would have never imagined if you had stuck to your old material.

Some of my best work came only after letting go of the good stuff I had been clinging to.

If you need a jolt in your creative life, consider the Carlin strategy. What if you started from scratch and created something completely new?

HT: Cal Newport — How Louis C.K. Became Funny and Why It Matters


Cal Newport on the power of “deep work”

I read this Cal Newport post today and was inspired to lock in for a session of what he calls “deep work”.

He suggests that when most of us think we are truly focused at work, we actually are far from it. We tend to work in tiny bursts that are regularly interrupted by distractions—checking email or browsing online or talking with colleagues. 

In fact, the distractions probably occupy more of our time than actual work. 

So, taking up his challenge, I closed my office door this morning and quit the apps on my Mac that are most likely to distract—Mail, Tweetbot, Reeder, Slack, and Chrome. 

I then spent close to an hour at my whiteboard thinking through and mapping out ideas for the keynote I’m scheduled to give on Friday. After a brief walk outside to stretch my legs and get fresh air, I shut myself back in my office for another hour, this time at my desk using the Keynote app to synthesize those ideas and design and tweak the slides. 

Two hours of focused, distraction-free, “deep” work made a huge difference in my day and in an important project.

Resistance to getting started and to staying engaged with this level of focus is strong. At the first sign of boredom or discomfort it’s easy to bail and go get a hit of pleasure from some less important activity. You rationalize by saying you need a break or you’re just staying on top of other tasks. And you don’t want to seem inaccessible to others or unresponsive to requests that might be coming to you.

But there’s a momentum that comes from staying with a task in depth and pushing through the temptation to let your mind wander elsewhere. Some ideas are shy and only show up when they trust you will have the patience to allow them to appear. The flow state may only come after a prolonged period of seemingly fruitless drudgery. 

If you’re looking to rejuvenate your work life as the year begins, consider regularly blocking off two to three distraction-free hours at a time to focus and plunge into deep work on things that matter most.

Coincidentally, after those two hours of deep work ended this afternoon, I saw that Newport’s new book on this topic, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, was released today. Purchased. 


Make something you like

Today was my first day back at work after a week off for the holidays. 

I had a long meeting in the middle of the day and, of course, spent some time catching up with colleagues.

I wasn’t very productive. 

But I did make this one slide for a keynote I’m giving on Friday night. 

Just one slide. 

But I like it, and it adds some visual punch to a key point I hope to make in my talk. 

If you can make just one thing you like, that’s not a lost day. 

I’m calling this day a modest success. 

Tomorrow, maybe I can make two things I like. 

Paul Graham on good procrastination

“Unless you’re working on the biggest thing you could be working on, you’re procrastinating.” –Paul Graham

via Mikael Cho


But, right on.

That quote is from a Paul Graham essay from ten years ago—Good and Bad Procrastination.

Graham makes a solid and sobering case that most people occupy their time with “small stuff” at the expense of work that really matters:

There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I’d argue, is good procrastination.

That’s the “absent-minded professor,” who forgets to shave, or eat, or even perhaps look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. His mind is absent from the everyday world because it’s hard at work in another.

That’s the sense in which the most impressive people I know are all procrastinators. They’re type-C procrastinators: they put off working on small stuff to work on big stuff.

What’s “small stuff?” Roughly, work that has zero chance of being mentioned in your obituary. [Emphasis added] It’s hard to say at the time what will turn out to be your best work (will it be your magnum opus on Sumerian temple architecture, or the detective thriller you wrote under a pseudonym?), but there’s a whole class of tasks you can safely rule out: shaving, doing your laundry, cleaning the house, writing thank-you notes—anything that might be called an errand.

Good procrastination is avoiding errands to do real work.

Would the work you spend most of your time on be something that merits a mention in your obituary or at your memorial service?

But, “small” doesn’t always mean “small”. Just being fully present with and kind to a colleague or friend or child or stranger is actually big stuff, and if those small moments shine throughout your life, they will indeed shine in your obituary.

However, most of us do spend our days focused on very small stuff. I know it’s satisfying to “get things done” and go to bed with a completed to-do list for the day. But a collection of checked off to-do lists doesn’t lead to a meaningful legacy if those to-do’s were just a lot of small stuff.

I keep putting off big stuff that I know I want to do eventually. The big stuff is the hardest stuff, with the most at stake and the potential for the most satisfaction and meaning. Yet there’s a fear factor that ratchets up the resistance when I try to tackle the big stuff—a fear of coming up short or revealing my inadequacy or just the fear of the pain that comes with doing hard things.

I regularly feel like I need a certain mood or the right conditions or a vast expanse of unscheduled time to get started on truly important work. That’s the resistance whispering to me, though. It’s sneaky clever like that. But just starting on something big, even if it’s a tiny action, can reveal the resistance as the hollow fraud it really is.

So, put off the superficial, inconsequential work. Procrastinate if you have to on things that ultimately matter least. Figure out what the big stuff is for you and then get busy taking action on what will matter most. 

Consume good stuff to make good stuff

Austin Kleon on what he does if he’s feeling blocked creatively:

“When I stall out, it’s time to start taking things in again: read more, re-read, watch movies, listen to music, go to art museums, travel, take people to lunch, etc. Just being open and alert and on the lookout for That Thing that will get me going again. Getting out the jumper cables and hunting down a battery.”

When I’m in a creative lull, I usually find I’m in a reading lull as well.

I need to consume good stuff in order to make good stuff.

Don’t wait

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 3.55.56 PM


The best way to know something is to try to express it.

I’ve heard people say they don’t want to pursue a relationship until they figure themselves out first. There’s nothing like being in a relationship, though, to reveal yourself to yourself.

And don’t wait till you feel inspired to start creating. It’s the starting and the doing that summons the inspiration.

Have a bias for action, for doing and making, even when—especially when—you don’t think you know enough or feel it enough to get started. 

Just start. 

Showing my work: Analog color


I’m leading an educational session at a conference this week. It’s a first for this topic for me, and I don’t feel I’ve found my framework yet. It just hasn’t clicked.

I’ve floundered around with digital tools — Keynote, Mindnode, text editors — but the flow hasn’t come yet.

So, today I turned around to my desk, away from my Mac, and took my multi-colored pen to actual paper and mind-mapped my ideas. And they flowed better than at any time in my thinking on this topic.

Analog before digital. Why can’t I stick to that?

It’s still not there yet. I’m imagining people sitting in my session wondering why they chose it and what the heck I was trying to accomplish. But I’ve done this enough times to know that something at least partially intelligible and maybe even meaningful will come out of me.

Priming my creativity with a pen in hand, some color, and a big sheet of paper is a reliable way to force some flow. 

Now, I’ve got to gather up those thoughts and string them together in a way that sparks some kind of transformation in my audience. What’s the point otherwise?

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.” –John F. Kennedy

Be obsessed

Justine Musk (Elon Musk’s wife) had this as part of her response to a question on Quora about how to be as successful as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson:

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

If you’re not obsessed, then stop what you’re doing and find whatever does obsess you. […] Don’t pursue something because you “want to be great”. Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an insane work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.

Intrinsic rewards over extrinsic rewards.

Warren Buffett and the “avoid at all cost list”

Cal Newport shared this Warren Buffett story, which was passed on by someone else and may be only apocryphal. But the point of the story certainly seems in line with what we know of Buffett’s philosophy:

Buffett wanted to help his employee get ahead in his working life, so he suggested that the employee list the twenty-five most important things he wanted to accomplish in the next few years. He then had the employee circle the top five and told him to prioritize this smaller list.

All seemed well until the wise billionaire asked one more question: “What are you going to do with the other twenty things?”

The employee answered: “Well the top five are my primary focus but the other twenty come in at a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit as I’m getting through my top five. They are not as urgent but I still plan to give them dedicated effort.”

Buffett surprised him with his response: “No. You’ve got it wrong…Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list.’”

Focus. Do less, better.

“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” –Warren Buffett

Ordinary laziness

From the @AlanWattsDaily Twitter stream:

I’m torn between the desire to get big things done and make a dent in the universe and the inclination to chill out a lot more often, to just play and ponder.

Balance, right? The down times, the lazing about, can give fresh energy to the dent-making endeavors.

Most of us, though, lean hard away from, or at least try to appear to lean away from, the “pleasant mellowness” of ordinary laziness. Got to look busy, you know.

Elle Luna: The crossroads of should and must

This epic essay by Elle Luna was posted almost a year ago. I discovered it only today when Seth Godin linked to her new book that came from that essay.

The book looks beautiful. Purchased.

In this essay (and now in her book) Elle tells her story of finding her calling by resisting the path of Should and instead embracing the path of Must. Most of us are guided by what we think we should do while ignoring the call of our deepest desires and what we must do to be fully alive.

“What if who we are and what we do become one and the same? What if our work is so thoroughly autobiographical that we can’t parse the product from the person? What if our jobs are our careers and our callings?” –Elle Luna

I have struggled, though, with the notion that we have some innate passion we have to find and follow. Maybe it’s just semantics. What an authentic life needs is to be true to what you genuinely love and to make an art of it, to do it as well as you can.

Pick a path the excites you, that seems like fun, but that also will challenge you and will compel you to mastery. Course correct regularly. Change your mind. Try and fail, but stick with something long enough to know.

Elle Luna closes her essay with a strong call to choose Must over Should, to have the courage to live the life that is calling to you:

“If you believe that you have something special inside of you, and you feel it’s about time you gave it a shot, honor that calling in some small way — today.

If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, do one thing to tighten your grip on what you want — today.

If you’ve been peering out over the edge of the cliff but can’t quite make the leap, dig a little deeper and find out what’s stopping you — today.

Because there is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.”

Walt Disney and the long, long game

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.14.41 PM

I’ve referred to the long game previously, the perspective of considering the long arc of your story and a patient pursuit of an awesome life.

In the two Walt Disney biographies I’ve been reading, I keep coming across an even longer perspective. Disney was driven by a vision of a future he knew he would never personally reach.

Imagine that your work will outlive you by 50-plus years or so. Even if the memory of you fades, what can you contribute that will endure? How can what you do and what you make now reverberate into future generations?

“Make a fifty-year master plan. A fifty-year master plan will change how you look at opportunities in the present.” –Walt Disney

It’s not about ego. You’re going to be gone in just a few years. But thinking through the long, long game can add possibilities to your work that a shorter perspective just can’t.


Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and plussing your life

I’ve been immersed in Walt Disney recently. I’m reading a biography which is giving me a better appreciation of the impact one dynamic person can have on an organization and ultimately on society.

And then today I found this article linked from It’s a piece by Rolly Crump, a former Disney Imagineer who worked on Disneyland projects like the original concepts for It’s A Small World and The Enchanted Tiki Room. He shares some great insights about what it was like to work with Walt. (Disney refused to let employees, or anyone, call him “Mr. Disney.” He insisted on being addressed by just his first name.)

In all the stories I’m reading about Walt, he comes across to me as a kinder, gentler Steve Jobs. Both men had charismatic personalities that could bring out the best work in others. No one could out-dream them. Their ideas were bigger and bolder than anyone else’s.

Walt was not actually an artist. (He didn’t even draw the original Mickey Mouse. He just came up with the concept and the personality and the voice and got Ub Iwerks to do the drawing.) And Steve was not a computer engineer or a designer. (It was Woz who made the original Apple computers. Steve just figured out how to sell them.) But both men saw possibilities others didn’t. They asked for more, for better, for the seemingly impossible. And they got it more often than not. With their ideas and their drive and their communication skills, they sold their dreams and impressed their high standards on those who worked with them.

Here’s Crump talking about the way Walt would generate and improve ideas:

In designing for Disneyland you definitely worked more as a conduit for Walt’s ideas. He directed what you were doing, and his direction was far superior to your own personal ideas. His ideas were way ahead of yours—you had to play catch-up on that, and then you had to kind of read subconsciously what it was that he wanted and the direction to take. Walt would come up with an idea, and that idea would explode inside of him. It would get better and better. So when you showed him something, he would take what you did to another level. And when you gave it back, he’d take it to yet another level.

So many Steve Jobs anecdotes sound like that. His ideas were a few steps ahead. Go bigger. Get it done sooner than anyone thinks possible. Give it more “wow”, more “cool”.

Walt called it “plussing”. He would take an idea and “plus it”, make it a little better. And it was constant for him. He was relentless in plussing everything, from a scene in a movie to the way a cast member interacted with a guest at Disneyland. (Here you can listen to a recording of Walt talking about plussing and why he loved Disneyland more than his movies.)

Jobs and Disney must have had a sharply tuned sense of discontent. What most of us would accept as okay, they would ask for better. And the results are what make Apple and Disney the icons they have become in our culture.

Maybe most of us are too timid, too content with good enough. What if you asked for better from yourself and from those you work with. What if you plussed your life as relentlessly as Walt and Steve plussed their creations?

Art & Fear: The ceramics class and quantity before quality

This story from the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland popped up in a favorite technology blog yesterday:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Brilliant. And I’ve been having this lesson delivered to me repeatedly over the past year. Quantity leads to quality. I don’t know if I’m learning it. I still get stuck overthinking, delaying, waiting for inspiration. When what I need to do is just show up. Do work. And keep showing up.

Attempt mediocrity, even. Dare to write one really awful sentence if you have to. It takes the pressure off. And mediocre might just lead to good, which every now and then might get me to awesome. But if I start by expecting to begin with awesome, I might just sit there instead, waiting for lightning to strike. Or, more likely, start scrolling Twitter and RSS feeds.

Quantity. Hammer away at the thing you want to get good at. Not to the point of grooving an easy path or just mailing it in. You need to challenge yourself routinely with hard things, by stretching your skills. But the more you do, the better you’ll be.

Don’t wait for the muse to show up. Your showing up is more likely to summon the muse than the other way around.

The ceramics class story, by the way, has been linked in several places (Cool Tools, Herbert Lui, and Coding Horror are three I found), and then I saw that book recommended today in a Chase Jarvis post, 6 Books Guaranteed to Make You More Creative. I have five of his recommended six books. The one I’m lacking: Art & Fear. The internet, great and powerful, clearly, is telling me to get that book.

Walt Disney’s vision and defying his father

I’m reading a biography of Walt Disney. Interestingly, Walt’s father did not exactly encourage his dreams. The author describes a conversation between father and son when Walt was in his late teens and just getting started on his career:

“That evening after dinner, Walt’s father called him into the living room for a serious discussion. “Walter,” Elias said, “I have a job for you at the jelly factory. It pays twenty-five dollars a week.”
“Dad,” Walt replied, “I don’t want to work at the jelly factory. I want to be an artist.”
“You can’t make a living drawing pictures,” Elias said. “You need a real job.”

And that was just one small moment of a theme in their relationship, a pattern of Elias Disney trying to impose his version of reality on his son regardless of Walt’s interests and inclinations. Walt Disney’s father was stern, harsh even, with all of his children. His personality seems in many ways the opposite of the personality of Walt. Those who knew Walt universally acclaimed his personality as optimistic and kind and fun-loving, and it’s certainly possible that he crafted his persona, consciously or not, in opposition to his father’s.

But Disney, obviously, defied his father’s expectations for his career more than even he could possibly have imagined. Maybe his father’s opposition helped fuel Walt’s ambition. Maybe Walt was that much more persistent and committed because of the resistance he knew he would face from his father.

I don’t want to be that kind of father, though. I would like to think I will encourage the dreams of my children when they begin to wade through the dilemmas of building a career. My kids should get their obstacles elsewhere. Not from me.

Maybe, though, my fears will turn me into a wet-blanket of an old man who pushes my kids to the safe option rather than the one with the chance for awesome. We want security for our children. I know that is what motivates so much parental meddling and micromanagement of their adult children’s lives. Working with college students I see this frequently and posted this previously:

I heard a commencement speaker last year say that your parents do not want what is best for you. They want what is good for you. They want you to be safe, secure, successful, and have all your needs met. But what’s best for you might be risk and struggle and failure, key components on any path to mastery and awesomeness. Respect your parents, but lead your own life. And know that one day you might be that parent wanting what is just good for your child. And that’s okay. Parents are wired by evolution to protect their babies. Of course, the way you live your life will inform your children more than anything you say to them.

If, like Walt Disney, you face opposition to your path within your own family, you can be like Walt, and move yourself to action in spite of the resistance. Walt was not directly disrespectful to his father. He was just determined to go it alone if he had to, and he did. Turn your obstacles into fuel.

The value of sharing your thinking

From Seth Godin today:

There’s a lot to admire about the common-sense advice, “If you don’t have anything worth saying, don’t say anything.”

On the other hand, one reason we often find ourselves with nothing much to say is that we’ve already decided that it’s safer and easier to say nothing.

If you’ve fallen into that trap, then committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory.

Posting on this site every day is a challenge, and most days don’t give birth to art. But expecting myself to come up with at least a small thing to share adds a bit of juice to my days. My brain wakes up each morning scanning for ideas, more eager to learn something new knowing I need to find something to express before the day is over.

And showing up every day with an attempt to express myself moves me to better understand what I do think. “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”, right?

I recommend this daily discipline. Whether it’s a journal or a blog or a YouTube channel or an Instagram account, find a place to make something worth sharing on a regular schedule. It will frustrate and discourage you regularly, in the best way, as you grapple with the challenge of crafting something worthwhile. But it will enliven your mind and stoke your creativity and mark your days with mystery and with meaning.

The sacred status of design at Apple

The New Yorker profile on Jony Ive I posted about yesterday is rich with detail about the primacy of design at the world’s most valuable company. It’s such a long feature it took reading it over two days for me to finish it.

I’m struck by the near sacred status of design at Apple. The design studio seems to be the axis of action for the entire company. Instead of analyzing markets and matching products to the greatest profit potential, Apple enables the design team to dream up products that delight them and allows the time to let those ideas mature and to refine them meticulously.

There’s art AND science involved. Jony Ive clearly is THE taste maker. His eye and his raw, unfiltered intuition–his gut–are determining the way our world will end up looking and working.

Yet this story also highlights the precision Ive and his team apply to every iteration of every possible idea they explore. From pencil sketches of random ideas to intricate measurements of the angle of corners on app icons, these designers explore the possibilities with detail and depth and care that set their final products far apart from the rest of the industry.

A former Apple designer was quoted in the article on the reverence for design within the company:

when a designer joined a meeting at Apple it was “like being in church when the priest walks in.”

Apple has made design its driving force and built its culture accordingly. Every organization has a pecking order of its values, whether that order is intentional or not, spoken or simply implicit in the way the leadership focuses attention and resources.

It’s worth revisiting regularly what you and your team (or family) should value. What is most important and will make the biggest difference in your work? Is that getting the attention and respect and resources it deserves?

The hardest thing

“The hardest thing is spending the most time on the most important things.” –Matt Mullenweg

Mullenweg is the very young founder of WordPress (the home of this web site and many more). He said this in the most recent episode of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast when talking about his work and his company’s focus. (Ferriss’s podcast has been killing it recently with quality guests.)

Knowing what’s most important is one thing. Relentlessly devoting most of your time, at the expense of good things that just are not most important, is another thing. But these two things are everything.

Choose what to focus on, what will have the biggest impact over the long term, and keep checking that your time and attention are pointed there. This means eliminating good stuff, but the most important stuff likely won’t get done otherwise.

Balancing stock and flow

I just stumbled on this remarkable insight from the writer Robin Sloan who explains the economic terms “stock and flow” and relates them to the kinds of content we produce in this information age:

“Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.

Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.

I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons—but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here.”

So much of what I create is flow, fine for the moment but not particularly sticky, not worth talking about over time. Occasionally I make something reasonably solid that I know will still be meaningful, at least to me, months or years from now. But I mostly just stumble on those stock, substantive creations by simply showing up every day and attempting to do something small.

For better balance, more impact, and deeper satisfaction, I should be intentional about the kind of work that has staying power and makes a difference for more than just a day.

Posting on this site daily has been worthwhile and has rewired my attention each day in consistently surprising, constructive ways. But the daily updates don’t typically lead to the kind of substance that sticks.

What can I invest time in that will endure? What projects and pursuits could even have the potential to outlive me? Why not be bold and imagine doing work that just might resonate even a century from now?

I find real merit in the daily flow and the energy that it pulses through the rhythm of my routines. Now, balance that with the intention to dig deeper on work, on stock, that will last and structure habits and routines around that intention.

Aim high and dig deep. And keep showing up every day.