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You win by working

Something I’ve been realizing lately is just how important it is to keep working at the things you want to achieve and be good at.

I know it seems obvious, but it’s so easy to wait to feel inspired or good enough at something before making your move. I think I’ve waited far too long to start creating something, anything, even something that’s terrible or mediocre. But I need to just make something.

This article, Consistency Beats Talent, Luck, Good Intentions, and Even Quality, reminded me of the importance of buckling down. It was enjoyable to read. I hadn’t heard that Will Smith quote before so I found it:

What is it in your life that needs your focus and consistency?


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Remember people. It’s worth it

Another Facebook musing I’m sharing later. Still worth it, I think.

Today, I popped into the LC to get a bottle of wine and stopped to get a sample. The woman serving the sample poured it for me, then looked at me more closely and said, “Now, where do I know you from?”

She’d briefly met me, ONCE, at another LC where she was providing samples. Now, jokes about me buying too much wine aside (I share it, honest!), think about that for a second. She works in a job where she sees lots of people for a short period of time, and yet she still recognized me, weeks (okay, a week) later. Impressive.

Also today, I went to the grand reopening of a locally-owned food store I like. The owner, who I haven’t seen in probably over a year and who I’ve talked to probably 5-10 times total, looked at me and commented on how my hair is longer and curly now.

As Dale Carnegie says in “How to Win Friends and Influence People, “the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.”

Remember people’s names. Stop telling yourself you’re bad at names and practice. Take note of the details people tell you. Compliment people. Think of how you can help them. Care. It’s so much more enjoyable, and it’s remarkable what a difference it makes.

It will brighten your day, but not only that – we never really know what others are dealing with, or what’s hiding behind someone’s smile. Taking the time to care can matter to them far more than you think. Or maybe it’ll just brighten their day for a minute. Either way, everyone wins!


Lighting review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

All done! Marie Kondo‘s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is now on my ‘completed’ list. I know we’re a week into February so technically I’m behind, but this counts as the first of my non-fiction books for 2016.

This book ties nicely into my recent posts about decluttering and minimalism, and contains some tips that will help.

Highlights of the book include:

  • Specific recommendations for how to go about tidying, including method (category rather than location), criteria (only keep things you love), and storage (keep things where you can see them)
  • Suggestions for clothing; books; papers; and even that beast of decluttering, sentimental items.
  • Valuable insights on why we keep things (this part, in the last portion of the book, was one of the most important sections for me)

Some portions felt a little hokey for my tastes, including instructions to:

  • Ask your items where they wish to be stored
  • Thank your purse at the end of the day
  • Greet your house when you get home.

But even this, which I am unlikely to carry through to the extent she describes, can be useful. Store items in a place that suits them; don’t stuff your purse full and leave it like that 24/7; be grateful for your home and don’t take it for granted.

But, even if you don’t feel the need to go to the extreme end of greeting your possessions, it’s still a valuable insight to realize that each item in your home should have its own place and purpose. And (for me at least) the practical suggestions, combined with the “why we keep things” paragraphs, make the book well-worth reading.

When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.

You’ll begin to see a pattern in your ownership of things, a pattern that falls into one of three categories: an attachment to the past, desire for stability in the future, or a combination.

It’s important to understand your ownership pattern because it is an expression of the values that guide your life.

Other people’s thoughts* on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:

*Although there are more positive reviews here, I find them valuable because they are more thoughtful and reasonable; the last author seems to think there are no lessons to be learned because she doesn’t agree with EVERYTHING Kondo writes)

Got any thoughts? I’d love to hear them.