5 Powerful Ideas
Remember these in tough times
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5 Powerful Ideas I’ve Been Thinking About
I keep a document titled, “Powerful Ideas.”
These are concepts I’ve picked up from studying world-class people over the years that I find myself repeatedly returning to.
Today, I want to share 5 of these ideas that I’ve been thinking about recently.
I hope they resonate and help you, wherever you are in your process of personal growth.
Here we go:
1. Small steps become big wins
A powerful idea worth thinking about:
Small steps become big wins.
A book begins with one sentence
A meal begins with starting the oven
A painting begins with mixing the colors
A clean house begins with getting the broom
A fit body begins with taking a walk
The underlying technique is called “process thinking.”
It focuses on the process that leads to an outcome, rather than the outcome itself.
Society teaches us to be outcome-focused.
Get good grades
Get the big job
Make a lot of money
Lose 25 pounds
But outcomes create anxiety. They can feel overwhelming.
Relentless focus on the process.
Break things down into the individual steps that drive the outcome. Then take the first small step in the process.
Remember this when you feel stuck or overwhelmed.
Small steps become big wins over time.
2. We have 2 choices
We have 2 primary choices in any situation.
We can accept circumstances as they are
We can accept the responsibility of changing them
We can also do both simultaneously.
This is the essence of the Stockdale Paradox — confronting the brutal facts of your reality, while also not losing faith that you’ll overcome in the end.
But what we CAN’T afford to do:
Complain about No. 1
Not accept No. 2
That’s a path to perpetual unhappiness.
Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said it best:
Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose.
We’re rarely in control of our circumstances.
But we always have the power to choose our response.
And we have the power to take action.
Remember this in difficult times.
3. You can’t control the weather
A powerful lesson:
You can't control the weather.
You can only be prepared for it.
The "weather" in daily life comes in the form of:
threats and attacks
And many other things we don't control.
Never complain about bad weather. It's part of life.
Be prepared and welcome it with a smile :)
4. Not all progress can be seen
A good reminder:
Repetitions build on each other.
What may feel like going in circles today is actually you ascending upward over time.
Keep stacking daily reps.
Not all progress is immediately seen.
5. Failure is part of success
A mindset shift that's changed my life:
Failure is part of success.
We tend to think of success and failure as opposite ends of a spectrum, as if they exist independently of each other.
In reality, they work together.
Each "failure" is a building block that future success is stacked upon.
As legendary actor Mickey Rooney said, "You always pass failure on your way to success."
I used to view failure and success as separate events.
I've learned they're much more nuanced than that.
Failure is part of success.
Remember that the next time you stumble.
5 powerful ideas worth thinking more about:
Small steps become big wins
You can’t control the weather
Accept your circumstances or change them
Not all progress can be seen
Failure is part of success
I encourage you all to think about where these ideas can apply in your life.
P.S. To our American readers: I hope y’all have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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