Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

do less good work. do more GREAT work.

I receive this regular email chain from Michael Bungay- his emails are usually based around some piece of advice that is meant to inspire, motivate, etc. You know the drill. To be very honest, I rarely open them due to lack of time, but for some reason I opened it today and read the entire thing. I think it was one of those little favors from God. 

You see, I have been in a HUGE slump this week. I think this slump stems to the fact that I was sick all weekend and have felt pretty awful for most of this week. That in combination with just feel generally burnt out at work all lead to me just feeling a little less than enthused in general the past few days, which is generally not me at all. 

So, when this little email popped up this morning and I actually opened it and read it I realized that it had some great little reminders that immediately pumped me back up. I thought I would share a few in case you too need a little pick-me-up:

6 Principles to Follow: (Michael's point was to follow these to do more "great work and less good work" but I think these are just great principles for LIFE, no matter who you are, what you do, where you want to be)

1. Be Resilient 

"The truth is, everything that has happened in my life... that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better." -Warren Buffett

Resilient = capable of bouncing back from or adjusting to challenges and change 

To be resilient:
-Focus on results: efforts and attempts are great first steps, but we need to act with commitment to delivering real results 
-Make lessons of failures: We need to learn from our experiences and accept them as tuition for future successes
-Continue on- smarter!
-Reinforce: Support each other and yourself continuously

2. Serve

It's all about attitude and action- it's all about being positive and having a sense of urgency. It's all about SERVING with a SMILE.

The fact of the matter is that if we want more (more money, more flexibility, more time, more whatever) then we have to be willing to give more to those we are serving. 

3. Give extra effort:

A few years ago, I used the 212degrees video in a presentation at work because it spoke to me so much. The video is all about the fact that at 211 degrees water is hot, but at 212 degrees water boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. The point is that one degree can make all of the difference. Live the 212. 

It is your life. You are responsible for your results. 

-2 extra acts of kindness weekly plan 1-4 more seeds of generosity each year
-15 extra minutes a day creates over 90 hours each year for what is important to you
-1 extra risk each week leads to 52 more opportunities every year

4. Live Ego-Less:

Imagine a world without ego. No toes to step on. No feelings to hurt. No territory to defend. Just pure love and caring. 

-Be humble
-Be teachable: focus on what you can learn vs what you know
-Listen more (talk less)
-Appreciate people
-Relax (let go of the need to be right or win every time)

5. Make your own Luck:

"Diligence is the mother of good luck" -Benjamin Franklin

-Prepare: Luck is where opportunity meets preparation
-Be awake
-Take action: Put yourself out there, be vulnerable, explore, make contacts, take risks
-Expect positive results: Optimism ALWAYS improves your chance

6. Complain Less

"...the world will not devote itself to making you happy." -George Bernard Shaw

I love that quote because it's so true. The world does not revolve around us. We are entitled to nothing. We are each responsible for our own happiness. To quote Dan's grandma, Billie, "just get up and live your life!" We were having a conversation this weekend about how negative people are in general and how a lot of times they end up over-medicating themselves because they think that perhaps popping a pill will make them happy and she said "they need to just get up and live their lives" - now, I understand there are severe cases where medication is necessary, but the fact that nearly 40% of the adults in the US are on an anti-depressant is just ridiculous in my opinion. Wise words from a woman who is nearly 90 years old and is still more active than most of the people I know.

Lastly, in the time it takes you to complain about something you could have come up with a solution. Think about it. It's true!

Okay, I must stop my rambling now and get back to work. I didn't mean to sounds preachy or like I know it all, because certainly I don't, but I needed to read these words myself today to kick my own behind into gear. So, if you ever find yourself in a rut like I did the past few days then I hope these thoughts will help you as well!


  1. Hey - I'm glad you opened up the email and it rang a bell for you, Jessica


  2. Thanks, Michael! You have such a gift- thank you for sharing it with me and so many others!


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