All good stories involve dying. The often-literal death of a mentor almost inevitable requires the hero to grow and move on in his journey. But there is also the shedding of a character’s old identity in exchange for a new way of being. Not to mention, the loss of friends and foes throughout any adventure are a necessary part of the process. Death is a part of every great story, and so it must be for all great lives, as well.
Is personal change something that happens instantaneously in someone’s life or does it take a long time? Can we choose to change, as the self-help gurus assert, or are there other factors, like environment and genetics, at work as well that limit us? Is it even possible for us to become our best selves or are we doomed to lives of mediocrity? The answer, I think, is, “It’s complicated… but there is hope.”
I’m calling it a rule, but really it’s an idea: What would your life look like if you could only have an impact on a handful of people? What would you do differently in your work if you couldn’t help everyone? This next year, I’m answering that question and challenge you to do the same.
A few weeks ago, I did an episode of The Portfolio Life called “Don’t Build an Empire, Find a Few Friends Who Care.” It was about how the secret of marketing and getting your ideas to spread is really just about having a few friends who care. You want to create remarkable work and put […]
Often, we think the way to stand out from the pack is to be better. And sometimes that is the answer: to become an improved version of who you were yesterday, to do what the “other guy” is doing with a few added features. However, this is often a losing strategy, as you are making iterative improvements on someone else’s work. A better way to become world-class at what you do is to change the game completely. Don’t be better; be different.