Writing is discipline

As you approach the task of publishing writing, accept that practically everyone strives at it. Remind yourself that writing is a “plastic art” (Smith,  1994 )

It’s been almost 10 days that I have not written anything. Not because I didn’t want to; not because I didn’t have the time but because I had a lot on my mind. I felt as if I wrote when I didn’t feel like it, I would be doing myself a big disservice. With writing, as with physical exercise, there are some who can never seem to “find the time” to do it, some who do the minimum(like me), others who make it part of the daily routine, and still others who are positively addicted to it.

Writing can be shaped to your emotions they say though I feel vulnerable to pen down. to improve as a writer one needs to put all that they go through on paper, and that somewhere amongst the thousands of outlets, there is a place where you can publish a well-conceptualized and carefully prepared manuscript.

So instead of assuming that widely published authors write with ease, realize that they are comparable to athletes who compete in the Olympics; they have trained extensively, built endurance, worked with expert coaches, and learned the rules of the game.

When the challenges of writing are under discussion, people are much more curious about possible shortcuts to fame and fortune rather than the drudgery part, just as most people are more interested in seeing the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to Olympians than to watch athletes’ practice sessions.

Expect that you can become a successful writer, but, as the Latin motto on the gates of the Govan Shipyard in Scotland so succinctly states,  Non sine labore , not without effort.      

Carl Jung’s “The Undiscovered Self”

In the winter of 1913, noted Psychologist Carl Jung embarked on a process of self-experimentation. He deliberately gave free rein to his fantasy thinking and carefully noted what ensued. He later called this process “Active imagination.” He wrote down these fantasies in the Black Books. These are not personal diaries, but rather the records of a self-experimentation.

When World War I broke out, Jung considered that a number of his fantasies were precognitions of this event. This led him to compose the first draft of Liber Novus, which consisted of a transcription of the main fantasies from the Black Books, together with a layer of interpretive commentaries and lyrical elaboration. Here Jung attempted to derive general psychological principles from the fantasies, as well as to understand to what extent the events portrayed in the fantasies presented, in a symbolic form, developments that were to occur in the world.

In the aftermath of World War II, with the advent of the Cold War, the erection of the Berlin Wall, and the explosion of the hydrogen bomb, Jung found himself once again confronted with “An apocalyptic age filled with images of universal destruction,” as he had been when he composed Liber Novus during World War I. Articulating there a direct linkage between what took place in the individual and in society at large, he argued that the only solution to the seemingly catastrophic developments in the world lay in the individual turning within and resolving the individual aspects of the collective conflict:

” [T] he spirit of the depths wants this struggle [the War] to be understood as a conflict in every man’s own nature.”3 In his personal confrontation, Jung’s endeavor was one of resolving the conflicts that were reflected on the world stage within himself. In 1917, he wrote, This war has pitilessly revealed to civilized man that he is still a barbarian. . .. But the psychology of the individual corresponds to the psychology of the nation. What the nation does is done also by each individual, and so long as the individual does it, the nation also does it. Only the change in the attitude of the individual is the beginning of the change in the psychology of the nation.”

Most people confuse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego-personalities. Anyone who has any ego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents.

People measure their self-knowledge by what the average person in their social environment knows of himself, but not by the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them. In this respect the psyche behaves like the body, of whose physiological and anatomical structure the average person knows very little too. Although he lives in it and with it, most of it is totally unknown to the layman, and special scientific knowledge is needed to acquaint consciousness with what is known of the body, not to speak of all that is not known, which also exists.

What is commonly called “self-knowledge” is therefore a very limited knowledge, most of it dependent on social factors, of what goes on in the human psyche. Hence one is always coming up against the prejudice that such and such a thing does not happen “with us” or “in our family” or among our friends and acquaintances. On the other hand, one meets with equally illusory assumptions about the alleged presence of qualities which merely serve to cover up the true facts .

Carl Jung’s concepts are definitely not everyone’s cup of coffee but understanding them is definitely something that I am giving a try.

Dealing with Impatience and Uncertainty as a writer- Anewya

Yes the dream work may or may not be a bed of roses

Whatever your art form or area of expertise, you’ll have to live with this uncertainty if you ever want to get your creation out there in the world. But how do I deal with how my art is perceived?

 I am speaking on Writing(every day) here which is (not)surprisingly more difficult than I thought it would be. One nearly certain way to give up on a writing session is to allow thoughts such as, “What right do I have to speak?” or “Why am I wasting my time? I’ll never get published!” to creep in. Authors need to banish “the psychological carnivores that prey upon confidence” and have “Faith in our subject matter, faith that needed language resides in us, faith that our meaning-making through writing is worthwhile” (Romano, 2 000,  p. 30, p. 20). Successful authors have learned to stay in the moment rather than dwelling on the other things ( from as severe as a blooming pandemic to as cute as the cat wanting your attention) they might be doing instead.

Convince yourself that writing is what you are doing now and commit yourself to doing only those tasks that will support the writing effort. When the composing process is stalled or unproductive, switch to a different task. Go back and search the literature or check references, for example, rather than stare at a blinking cursor waiting for inspiration. Many people mistakenly assume that “real” writers need only write down the brilliant, perfectly worded sentences that spring to mind. However, one reason that writing is categorized as a process and a craft is that writers write (and revise) ideas into being. 

Another way of subduing impatience is to decode your optimal work habits. Relegate tasks with fewer cognitive demands (for example, answering routine student questions about assignments) to less-than-peak mental performance times and reserve writing for times when your brain feels “fresh”. Instead of setting unrealistic goals (e.g., “I’m going to write a publishable article this weekend”), set very modest objectives (e.g., “I’m going to take some notes on what I’ve read and categorize them”, “I think I’ll reread and experiment with a different organizational structure today.” or “I’m going to play around with article titles because I have to be at this boring meeting.”) 

    Cope with Time Constraints

 After I was encouraged to submit a proposal for a book on controversial issues in HR for practitioners, I contacted doctoral candidates and recent program alumni to contribute chapters. Publication was just about guaranteed and all of students and former students delivered the chapters on time and in good shape, even though all of them were busy professionals with full-time jobs. This example illustrates that time is not the issue. Every human being on the planet, no matter how accomplished, has the same 24 hour day to work with; the difference is in how that time is allocated. Consider a study of faculty in the fi eld of dentistry; the number one reason that unpublished faculty gave for failing to write was lack of time (Srinivasan, Poorni, Sujatha, & Kumar,  2014 ).

Yet if time is the only variable, are we then to assume that those who publish aren’t as busy as those unpublished?

International Yoga Day 2020

“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are”Jason Crandell

“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” Aadil Palkhivala, Fire of Love

Why write? Day 1

Is a pencil mightier than a sword?

Daily writing is something I’ve struggled with for years. I wanted it badly, but I didn’t have the right discipline in place. I’d write for a couple of weeks straight then something(mostly my own laziness) would derail me. Blogging here forces me to write nearly every day, but I’m learning that isn’t enough. This post is for my future self to show that I struggled and I published despite that. So today not knowing what to write about, here I am listing down the reasons why I should keep at it:

  1. To vent out. To talk about everything that stirs my heart albeit temporarily.
  2. Improve my thought process and the more I write, the more I think clearly
  3. To know and understand what I want.

These reasons might sound very abstract to you but to me, they are reasons enough to persist. Thanks to Simon Sinek, aren’t we always asking ourselves why we do what we do?

So is writing easy? Definitely not! It’s like putting down your naked thoughts for the passerby’s to comment. Perfectionism also causes writers to obsess about the finished product. They erroneously think that “good” writers easily churn out articles and books and that they must be “bad” writers because they struggle.

Don’t write a lot. Just write often.

Spending five hours on a Saturday writing isn’t nearly as valuable as spending 30 minutes a day every day of the week. Especially when you’re just getting started. The idea is repetition, developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through The Resistance. Thus, authors first need to generate quite a bit of text and then set about deciding what to keep and what to toss away. Fortunately, with time and experience, this process becomes more efficient. Fingers crossed.

      Be Realistic About Criticism

Authors would do well to abandon the fantasy that the readers, editors, reviewers’ responses to their write up will be, “Please, don’t change a word”. I read somewhere that an editor with 25 years of experience editing a journal reported that she could recall just five occasions when this was the response of three independent reviewers to a writeup. One should accept that the act of submitting a work invites critique and that a recommendation to “revise and resubmit” is a positive outcome.

I will not allow my feelings to be hurt, withdraw the manuscript rather than make the requested revisions, or fire off an indignant, defensive message or mail to the reader. Writers need to develop a “thick skin” rather than take criticism personally. Just as a professor does not expect a standing ovation at the conclusion of each class taught, writers should not expect uncritical acceptance of each work published.

Now that I am writing almost daily I can say that writing is not the most time-consuming part of the process; it is rewriting and recorrecting significantly and still, it feels unpublishable. I pledge to persist despite those disappointing early drafts that can be revised into something publishable.

Hope Floats.

Writer Who?

Source: www.frepik.com

A writer writes stories, rather weaves words in the form of a story. A story good or bad is still a story that is special to the one who writes it. If he/she/they are lucky enough the readers like it too. A reader has it easy as they flip through pages yearning to know what happens next. The writer of the story is where the struggle lies because stories are the blood, sweat, and tears of a dreamer who sees the world in a very different light.

Those writers who are brave enough to show their most vulnerable part i.e their writing call themselves an author. That is just my made-up definition, let’s look at how they have been described. So, how is the word “author” defined? Originally, the word meant anyone who was the originator of something(God!?!). Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defined authorship as “One who produces, creates, or brings into being.” Over time, definitions of the word author have become much more sharply focused on written composition.  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language online defines an author as: “The original writer of a literary work. One who practices writing as a profession” and adds “to assume responsibility for the content of a published text.”Fancy stuff.

Yet writing something original for publication and taking responsibility for it can be a daunting task. Many times the blogs/articles produced while still figuring out if writing is the thing for you (like me) could best be described as “stringing pearls” of wisdom that have been gleaned*(not using too obvious a word) from other sources.

Source: http://Thesaurus.plus

Even the likes of J K Rowling and James Patterson spoke about the uncomfortable realities, both internal and external, that can at times make writing a struggle. Many writers and first time authors worry that they are pretenders who will be unmasked at some point. Thank God, we are not alone.

Imposter Syndrome: Feeling Like a Fraud

Do you sometimes worry that your ignorance will be exposed? I do. Don’t worry, these feelings are so commonplace that it has had a name since the 1970s: the imposter syndrome/phenomenon. As if writing was not hard enough we now have to deal with our own insecurities.

I knew this word did not apply to me until of course, I started this blog. My head was the chaos I could not untangle in my own words; I was only a cutter and a paster, a borrower, a fake. I could understand why most writing enthusiasts struggle with important expectations for their writing i.e to “make a contribution” and “advance thinking in the field.” Little wonder, that so many writers falter at showing their work.

Oh and not to forget that all your feelings are also available for public viewing somewhere on the internet.Because at some point early on, you forsook your privacy for your passion.Damn.

Why “learn, unlearn, relearn”?

Adult education experts estimate that up to 40% of what tertiary students are learning will be obsolete a decade from now when they will be working in jobs that have yet to be created. Indeed, the top 10 most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist 10 years ago. To say that we live in a changing world understates the speed of both the pace and the scope of ongoing change.

In this perspective, the education system is undergoing a major overhaul.

Illiterate of the 21st Century will not those who cannot read and write, but those cannot learn, unlearn and relearn – Alvin Toffler

How does our brain work in the encoding of long-term knowledge?

Unlike babies who do not have any prior knowledge (concepts, beliefs, ideas, values, theories,…), we learn new knowledge by reference to those we already know. We focus on the points of similarity between them to select the information that reaches the brain.

At this stage, it is necessary to know how to differentiate between short-term memory and long-term memory. The first is part of the memory system where limited bits or simple chunks of information that have attended to are held a brief amount of time (5–20 seconds) for processing then lost. So let’s say “use it or lose it! ». On the other hand, long-term memory is the part of the memory system where processed information is stored, managed, and retrieved for later use.

The first step to creating a memory is called “encoding”. It’s when you notice an event or come across a piece of information and your brain consciously perceives the sounds, images, physical feeling, or other sensory details involved.

It is, therefore, necessary to actively review the information we have noted or heard through training to enhance, reorganize, strengthen, and making them easier to retrieve: passive proofreading with highlighting is of no use here. It is preferable to use practical scenarios, quizzes, or even conversations with peers about the concepts discussed. The visualization of learning supports such as graphs and images also improves the anchoring during the rehearsal.

The more consolidated the memory subsequently becomes and the easier it will be retrieve later. Likewise if the learner is made aware of organizational relationships during memory formation, the easier it will likely be to retrieve the memories.

Of course, you have surely heard some people say that he was not good enough in mathematics, in studies in general. Yet Albert Einstein was the worst of the dunces in class, many dyslexics like Steve Jobs did not follow the university path at all, and yet they became true “geniuses”, or rather visionaries.

2. It’s all about the Mindset

We will not stumble upon reading Dr. Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” to understand that:

  • Those called fixed-mindset are people who have limiting beliefs that prevent them from evolving in the acquisition of skills as long as they are outside their comfort zone. They feel unable to overcome certain problems and lack flexibility in managing their emotions.
  • On the other hand, the so-called growth-mindset is characterized by a certain amount of curiosity, ease, and perseverance in solving difficult problems. They have better stress management. It’s a sort of mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about the mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious, creative way.

In terms of skills acquisition, from a psychological point of view, we will have to use certain strategies to motivate fixed-mindset people to leave their comfort zone, by restoring their confidence in their ability to succeed step by step and to put them in confidence during the learning process with:

  • relevant and encouraging feedback allowing them to work on their weak points. Success will depend on what the learner does with his or her feedback, giving the learner the opportunity to progress and challenge his or her own disabling beliefs.

“When people express opinions that differ from yours, take it as a chance to grow. Be curious, not defensive. The only way to disarm another human being is by listening”. Glennon Doyle Helton

  • a small win and sometimes reinforce their sense of self-efficacy, confidence in moving forward.
  • joint work to be done with peers at a slightly more sustained level to receive further feedback, feel a sense of belonging to a group and persevere, or even challenge with them while avoiding unnecessary pressure.
  • work to be carried out with increasingly increasing difficulties over time that they can achieve in such a way that they understand the meaning of the effort, purpose and in fine let them know that struggle is an integral part of the learning process. Each small step they achieve leads to a small win and sometimes reinforce their sense of self-efficacy, confidence in moving forward.

This so-called heuristic method makes it possible not to separate the least efficient from the most “intelligent”, providing opportunities for choice, control, a collaboration which are good strategies to increase the “academic” level if it is the education system. This is a far cry from the elitist method, but it is no less interesting.

Scientific research has also shown that, in terms of motivation, the stronger the feeling of belonging to a group, the higher the results of assessments. Students, learners who have negative stereotypes (historically marginalized groups including women who enter quantitative fields) associated with their identities (gender, race, cultures, beliefs, socio-economical level) worry about their teacher, instructor/coach, expect them. They can increase stress, anxiety, undermine student motivation which is a source of failure, of abandonment for the learner. This is why it is important to create a climate of trust. By promoting the idea that critical, constructive feedback is a sign of a teacher’s confidence in a learner’s potential to reach high standards and skills.

More than two centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “You tell me, I forget. You teach me, I remember. You involve me, I learn”. It’s always so true!

Coffee Kaafi Hai

Coffee anyone?

“You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.” — Frida Kahlo

I love coffee as much as (or maybe more than) I love men. I was a late bloomer, I didn’t start drinking it until my mid-twenties. But when I did, Oh Boy!

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” -Henry David Thoreau

A talented writer and well-known philosopher, Thoreau was most likely talking about coffee when he discussed “loving” in excess. Those who drink cup after cup of coffee are all too familiar with the elated feeling they get from drowning their mornings in the coffee induced productivity,

In high school, I was a milk fanatic. I drank milk until when I was 24ish. I would gulp down liters of Milk and it helped me sleep well. It also helped(!?!) me gain weight but I wasn’t complaining. Then I was. Then in my twenties, thanks to those all-nighters I found coffee.

Coffee, the elixir of life, is the most popular natural antidepressant there is. The beverage of choice for hopeless romantics(read me). I can’t function, nor wish to function, without it. So I researched what are coffee lovers called and came up with some interesting terms:

The person who loves coffee is known as Amante de cafe i.e.lover made of coffee. Similarly, a Javaphile is a person who loves to drink coffee

Since a lot can happen over a coffee, studying people’s coffee behavior is not a vain exercise. How does a person(man /woman, boss, friend) bring you coffee? Do they ask you how you like it? Do they make it how they like it or how you like it? If it’s a significant other, do they bring it to you in bed? Or make you do it every time? You can ask yourself these questions the next time you decide on some significant decisions with that person. Though I have not had swoon-worthy coffee moments yet I know that I could have avoided disasters with certain people if only I had assessed them over coffee.

Coffee is good for your health too. Regular coffee consumption may reduce a person’s risk of certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%. Coffee can help you burn fat and boost your metabolism(all those bulletproof coffee drinkers agree?), this is the reason why caffeine is usually the primary ingredient in most over-the-counter diet supplements. While drinking coffee will not make you lose weight, it can help raise the metabolic rate and boost your athletic performance. Coffee can lower your risk of diabetes as per research has found that having 3-4 cups of coffee a day is correlated with a 25% lower risk in type II diabetes. Coffee is also associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. As you age, coffee can slow down “the onset of neurodegenerative disease,” and can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 60%, and Parkinson’s of 32-60%!

Coffee is an all-around performance booster both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Best of all, it’s legal. However, don’t over it otherwise the only thing that is assured is insomnia.

Die Empty by Todd Henry

Your days are finite. One day, they will run out. As a friend of mine likes to say, “You know, the death rate is hovering right around one hundred percent.” 

Todd Henry has given the world a call-to-action with Die Empty. The book is one big reminder that one day you (yes, you!) will die and he imparts some useful tools to help you discover what you’re meant to do and then to do it to the best of your ability.

The phrase “die empty” could easily be misunderstood to mean spending every ounce of yourself on your career, in an attempt to squeeze a little more effort out to the team. This could not be further from what Todd Henry hopes this book will accomplish.

The average man does not know what to do with his life, yet wants another one which will last forever.

—ANATOLE FRANCE

It’s not about getting everything done today

It’s not the same as “live like there’s no tomorrow” Opportunity is always accompanied by its twin sibling: responsibility. Today you have a chance to make a difference through your work, but you must also be mindful of how today’s actions will affect tomorrow’s outcomes, and how your work impacts the lives of others. You must be conscious of how today’s choices beget tomorrow’s regrets.

You have a responsibility to leverage your passions, skills, and experiences to make a contribution to the world. You also need to make sure that you are delivering on your expectations and honoring the people who are paying you to produce results. But as you’ll see throughout the book, the tension between these two forces can often be remedied with a subtle shift in mindset, which will also lead to more satisfaction, and, ultimately, better work.

Your days are numbered, finite and someday they will run out

 This is indisputable. We live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. It’s a lie. We need to live with a sense of urgency about the work we do today. It matters not just because an opportunity lost today is an opportunity lost forever, but because the way that we engage in our work ultimately affects the way that we engage in our life as a whole. As you grow in your capacity to engage in your work, and as you discipline yourself to make continuous growth a part of your daily approach, you will find that latent capacities arise in every area of your life. Don’t waste the opportunity.

You have a unique contribution to make to the world

This is not self-help mumbo jumbo; it’s the truth. It’s easier to dismiss this notion than to own up to it and do something about it. You possess a one-of-a-kind combination of passions, skills, and experiences; there is something you bring to your work that no one else could. If you relinquish that power, then it will never see the light of day and you will always wonder “what if?” The price of regret is incalculable.

No one else can make your contribution for you

Waiting for permission to act is the easy way out. Everyone has to play the hand they’re dealt. This means that you can’t make a habit of pointing fingers, blaming others, or complaining. As painful as it can be, unfairness is baked into every aspect of life, and to make a contribution and empty yourself of your potential, you have to come to terms with it and refuse to be a victim.

Cultivating a love of the process is the key to making a lasting contribution.

Your contribution is not about you. You cannot function solely out of a desire to be recognized for what you do. You may be rewarded with accolades and riches for your work. You may also labour in obscurity doing brilliant work your entire life. More likely, you’ll fall somewhere in the middle. There is an overemphasis on celebrity and recognition in our culture, and it will eventually be the death of us.

Avoid comfort or “the golden handcuffs”

If making a significant impact was easy, it would be commonplace. It’s not common because there are many forces that lead to stagnancy and mediocrity. For example, some people, whether co-workers, managers, or even friends, may not want you to fully engage in the pursuit of great work because it places an onus on them to do the same. If you begin to rise above the pack, they will quickly try to bring you back to earth. Also, organizations often make it easy to settle in, providing you with a good salary, a nice title, or a sense of stability, the proverbial “golden handcuffs.” It’s easy to fall in love with these comfortable perks, but the love of comfort is often the enemy of greatness. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing comfort as a by-product of your labor, but you can’t make it your chief goal. Greatness emerges when you consistently choose to do what’s right, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Take a stand, don’t shape-shift

You are better positioned to make a contribution if you align your work around your values. Don’t be a mirror, passively reflecting the priorities of others. You must dig through the rubble to the core principles that guide your life, come hell or high water. Then commit to engaging your work with a clean conscience, knowing that you are holding true to those principles. There is plenty of room to experiment and try new things, but if you don’t stand for what you believe in, you will eventually lose yourself in your work.

Your “sweet spot” develops over time

Your understanding of your “sweet spot” develops over time like the film in a darkroom In baseball, there is a place on the bat called the “sweet spot,” the best part with which to strike the ball. It will send the ball soaring a lot farther than if you hit it even a few fractions of an inch off the mark with the same effort. Similarly, you have a “sweet spot” in your life by which you will add the most unique value through your efforts. Too many people want to come out of the gate with a clear understanding of their life’s mission. There is no one thing that you are wired to do, and there are many ways you can add value to the world while operating in your sweet spot. However, these opportunities will only become clear over time as you act. They will develop slowly like the film in a dark room, giving you clues as you experiment, fail, and succeed. You have to try different things, and devote yourself to developing your skills and intuition, before you will begin to see noticeable patterns and understand your unique value. Patience is required. This is a long arc game, but it must begin now.

You must plant seeds today for a harvest later

What you plant today you reap tomorrow, or further down the road. You must structure your life around daily progress based on what matters to you, building practices and activities that allow you to plant new seeds each day, with the knowledge that you will eventually see the fruits of your labor. While the universal principles outlined above are not overtly expressed in the remainder of the book, you will find that they inform many of the specific practices you will learn. In the end, my hope is that you will embrace the importance of now, and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity, and ego to prevent you from taking action on your ambitions.

Why the richest People are found in the cemetery

People die with their Ideas

I’ve struggled to write this blog, and in full disclosure, I realize I’ve got some things working against me. Here’s the honest truth: no one really wants to think about death, let alone adopt it as some kind of motivational slogan. But the corona virus and the depressions and illness that is surrounding us is making me really ask difficult questions.

It’s not exactly the kind of feel-good, warm and fuzzy sentiment that large public gatherings are typically designed to cultivate. It would be much safer (and perhaps more lucrative) for me to stay squarely in my lane and continue to write about Human resource only. I continue to encounter professionals every day who are abandoning their contribution and forfeiting their best work because they’re stuck or deceived into believing that the path they are on will eventually become more bearable.

 It pains me to think about their unfulfilled potential while knowing that implementing a few simple, daily practices to eliminate areas of ineffectiveness could set them on the right path.

Don’t go to your grave with your best work inside you. Choose to die empty.

Your Body of Work When you’re gone, your work will stand as the single biggest testament to who you were and what you believed. By “your work,” I don’t just mean your occupation, but anyway in which you contribute value to the world using your available resources. This, of course, includes every task you do and project you engage in, but also every time you encourage someone else or contribute to a relationship, every instance in which you make an effort to grow your skills or develop your mind, or every time you go the extra mile even though you are exhausted. Your body of work comprises the sum total of where you choose to place your limited focus, assets, time, and energy. Naturally, your worth as a person transcends the value you create, but your work is the most visible expression of your priorities. As you consider your current body of work and the sum of the value you’ve created, is it reflective of what you truly care about? Forget about your title, pay grade, or how the world would rate your relative success or failure compared with what’s considered “normal.”

The only way to effectively gauge a day’s work is to answer the question “Can I lay my head down tonight satisfied with the work I did today?”