Arnold Bennett On Time

We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going day in and day out. Concentrate on something useful. Having decided to achieve a task, achieve it at all costs.

—Arnold Bennett

Related: Examining Your Priorities

 

Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.

—Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Say Something

Quite often, music videos have little to do with the songs they represent. That’s not the case with “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.

When I first heard this song on the radio, I didn’t give it a second thought. But the gorgeous vocals paired with this powerful video took my breath away tonight, indeed bringing me to tears.

The song itself is beautiful in its simplicity. It begins with a four-chord piano accompaniment, later adding an orchestral backing, and finally climaxing with a heartbreaking duet.

The lyrics are open to interpretation, of course, but the video depicts two distinct scenarios:

The first is a couple lying together in bed, clearly amid a mass of tension. She turns away from him as the hook pleads, “Say something, I’m giving up on you.”

“And I am feeling so small. / It was over my head, / I know nothing at all. / And I will stumble and fall. / I’m still learning to love, / Just starting to crawl.”

The second involves an elderly man whose wife has just died. The hook returns as he gently strokes her forehead: “Say something, I’m giving up on you.” He loses control, giving his love one last hug.

“And I will swallow my pride. / You’re the one that I love, / And I’m saying goodbye.”

The song climaxes with both men walking away from the respective beds, each having lost the love of their life.

The message? One of those losses was preventable.

This was an awakening for me, because although I always try to make Sabrina feel loved and cherished, I do sometimes take her for granted, forgetting how lucky I am to have her. I couldn’t ask for more, but I could certainly give a little more.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so make today count. Tell that special someone you love them. Do something kind. Show someone you care. Say something.

 

Familiarity

As human beings, we tend to not like change. We have a certain attraction to what’s familiar. But inevitably, that comfortable familiarity melts away, leaving behind mere memories of the life you once knew, the people you once knew, and the self you once knew.

 

How To Become A Morning Person

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a night owl—go to bed at 3 a.m., wake up at noon. My productive hours have always been late at night, when distractions are limited. But over the past few weeks, I’ve managed to change that.

Since childhood, dawn has been my favorite time of day—I love seeing the sunrise, and I love the smell of morning air when I go for an early jog. My problem is being awake to experience it—so I decided to train myself to become a morning person.

As I’m writing this, it’s 5:30 a.m., two hours before sunrise, and I’ve been more productive this morning than I ever was in my late-night work schedule.

So how did I do it?

Well, I’ll admit my headline is a tad misleading because it implies I know some kind of secret process, and that’s not the case. It wasn’t easy. I just forced myself to wake up early on a consistent basis, and the rest fell into place. I have a daily alarm set on my iPhone for 4:15 with the label: “Success doesn’t happen while you sleep.” That’s a gentle reminder to my groggy morning self of why I’m doing this.

The first day is terrible. The second day is alright. By the third day, you can start calling this your regular schedule. When you wake up tired and feel like shit all day, you’ll realize you need to go to sleep earlier, and you will. As soon as that adjustment has been made, you’re good to go.

The key, the way I see it, is to force yourself to get up at the same time every morning—tired or not. If you do anything on a consistent basis for a little while, it becomes a habit.

 

Fighting traffic and cancer

Shout out to Pittsburgh blogger Lemonscarlet, who has been writing about her experience with cancer. Cancer isn’t the only thing she’s fighting, though—she also has to deal with traffic (traffic!). Will Reynolds Young introduced me to her blog on tonight’s episode of VentureBreak Weekly. What I love about it is that she portrays herself as an authentic human being, rather than just a cancer patient. Too often cancer consumes the identities of its victims, causing them and those around them to lose sight of who they really are.

Pay her blog a visit.

 

Wear sunscreen (and more life-changing advice)

Fifteen years later, this advice continues to resonate with me. Originally published as a column in the Chicago Tribune, Baz Luhrmann borrowed the words (and a song by Rozalla) to produce this musical speech that has impacted my life and doubtless many others.

I try to listen to this at least once a month.

 

I know what the fox says

Following this video‘s rise to fame, I felt it would be appropriate to share what the fox actually says:

Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff was a good guess, but sadly incorrect.

When the kids ask, you can tell them that dogs go woof, cats go meow, and foxes go YAGHHHAAAGGHHHHH!

 

Greetings from Clearwater!

I’m spending the next week-and-a-half in lovely Clearwater, Florida, visiting some relatives I haven’t seen in six years (and some I’ve never met). We’re planning our first-ever reunion where the whole family will be in attendance.

It’s storming right now (nightly storms are common this time of year), but overall the weather has been beautiful.

I’ll be here for the next ten days—who else is in the Tampa Bay area?

 

Examining your priorities

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.”

If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Laura Vanderkam

It’s interesting to look at the things we say we don’t have time for and realize that we really mean they’re just not that important to us.

You can extend this concept to almost anything, but it really resonates with me in the context of building success. Everyone wants to build an empire and be successful—they just don’t have time. Of course, following Laura Vanderkam’s advice, it’s easy to see that success isn’t a priority to most people. Time is just an excuse.

We have plenty of time.

If you’re putting your goals on the back burner because you’d rather watch TV all evening, you’re probably not cut out for success. You have to want it.

Here’s another way of thinking about it:

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

Gretchen Rubin

Wondering what your priorities are? Look at what you do every day. If you’re not happy about it, make a change.