Are you willing to begin again?

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

Steve Jobs

There is such joy that comes from learning something new. There are no expectations of perfection or mastery, merely the beauty of starting something without a preconceived condition of success.  

What prevents us from embracing this joy regularly throughout life? Is it the burden of responsibilities or the expectations of others? Do we allow ourselves to take a less risky and less exciting path simply because we need the “sure thing.”  

Fear, doubt, and worry about things that MIGHT happen is the harbinger of death for finding joy in a new beginning. Where is your worry? How can you remove it and enable yourself to experience the freedom of a new beginning?

Do you have faith?

“Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart.”

Steve Jobs

Sometimes we humans can try so hard to force things into the way we want them to be or how we think they should be. Peace of mind and heart comes from knowing there are greater purposes and plans for our lives. These Bible verses came to mind as I meditated on the quote this morning.

‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ Romans 8:28

‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the glue that allows one not only to believe that the dots will connect, but it is also what enables one to see how the dots have already connected throughout your life. Take a few minutes and reflect on how the dots have joined together to lead you to where you are right now.

Understanding the connections that have already happened for you, how can you not follow your heart forward? Have faith and trust…

Four words that will change your world…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Steve Jobs

The four most important words from the quote above are, “Your time is limited.”  If you understand and embrace those words, everything that follows has meaning. If you don’t, then the rest is merely good advice.  

If you recognize that your time is limited, why would you ever choose to live someone else’s life?  

If you understand that your time here is temporary, why would you choose to let your voice squelched?  

If you accept that your time here is finite, why would you choose cowardice instead of courage? Why would you choose to ignore your gut?

When one chooses to accept your mortality, you unlock the keys to a life of meaning and fulfillment of God’s purpose.  

So the choice is simple. Choose to embrace the beauty of YOUR life, or choose to live in a state of denial. It’s up to you. Either way, your time is limited…

When it’s not work…

“If you are working something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Steve Jobs

When is the work not work? What gets you up early and makes you excited to put in the effort? Are you able to spend the majority of your time pursuing things that excite you in this way?

If not, then why not? What would it take to live the majority of your life pursuing this kind of vision?

Do more of these things and you’ll never work again…

Get closer…

 “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

Steve Jobs

What do you want most from the companies that you choose to spend your hard earned money with? Are these the types of companies that pay close attention to your needs and anticipate your next need, even when you don’t know you want it? I have to admit that the products or services that I like the most from some of my favorite organizations are things I never would have thought to ask for. This reinforces for me that these companies are paying close attention to their customers and constantly seeking ways to find new ways to add value and differentiate themselves.

How are you doing this for your customers and those that you care about?

Think simple…

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve Jobs

When you come up with a simple solution to a problem does it feel fulfilling to you? Sometimes it seems that we come up with complex solutions to problems to justify our involvement or our participation. The perception is that if it is simple then anyone could do it, but doing something complex takes special skills and talents. Our identity as leaders and contributors can be wrapped up in HOW we solve the problem instead of focusing on the problem that needs to be solved. We justify our worth based on the activities required to make things complex. I can admit that I have been very guilty of this over the years, especially when I was younger and seeking to prove myself. I wanted to create complex solutions that solved the problem instead of finding the cleanest and simplest path forward.

Complex can be fun and exciting but simple is beautiful and elegant. I agree that simple can take much more time than complex, it requires getting out of your current mindset and seeking new perspectives to address a challenge. But the reward for creating simple answers to complex issues is that everyone can understand and appreciate the solution. You don’t have to spend nearly as much energy explaining and teaching, instead you get people engaged and using because they intuitively understand. Creating simple is hard hard work, but the juice is worth the squeeze…

Do you design your life for how you want it to work?

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.  Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs

Design isn’t just for the technology and the things we see and use. It is how we make decisions, how we live our lives, who our friends are, etc. When you think about life through the lens of being intentional and owning the design for how it works what different decisions would you make? Why haven’t you made them?

A+ or bust…

“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

Steve Jobs

It is amazing how impactful great talent can be on a team.  The right person elevates the performance of everyone around. They are a force multiplier beyond just what they contribute individually.  However, the reverse is also true…  

The wrong person can weigh down the team and limit overall performance.  If an A+ player runs circles around B or C players then B and C players are simply dead weight that slows everything down.

Be the best, don’t ever be comfortable being or hiring a B or C player.  If you are hiring people, hire the best, don’t ever settle.If you are a B or a C player today then call it like it is and figure out what you need to do to grow and become an A.  If you are an A, figure out what you have to do to become and A+.

Never settle with less than the best, from yourself or from those around you…

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dusty

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