5 Pieces of Advice from Society's Most Productive People
It's almost the New Year, and you may already be thinking about your goals for 2016. Are you going to get in shape? Start that small business? Build a house? Whatever your dream may be, it's always good to start with a little inspiration, and who better to give it than some of the most successful minds of our time?
1. Don't Give Up - Elon Musk
He's first because we love him here at Team NeuroGum. He's also got the most important tip. Giving up is the one sure way to fail in any pursuit. Never forget it.
Elon goes so far as to plan his failures, knowing ahead of time at what threshold a project should be scrapped so that the decision to give up is never made in the heat of the moment.
2. Don't Wait Until You're "Ready" - Marissa Mayer
Marissa was the 20th employee at Google and is current CEO and president of Yahoo! Her resume is astounding if you haven't read up on her, and the above quote is the reason. She doesn't get hung up on being ready, or prepared, because waiting for the perfect moment is one of the most deceiving forms of procrastination. When you want something badly, it is always the right time to pursue it. If this is a problem for you, Team NeuroGum highly recommends The War of Art, which is a breeze to read and highly motivating.
3. Do What's Important, Ignore What Isn't - Mark Zuckerberg
As the man behind Facebook, Mark has been mocked for his wardrobe seemingly comprised of the same outfits that make up your average college students' looks, but he considers choosing what to wear to be just another taxing choice throughout his day that is ultimately irrelevant compared to the tasks he finds important.
One of his best pieces of advice is to let go of the silly and trivial things in our lives that derail us from what really matters.
4. Don't Be Busy, Be Productive - Timothy Ferriss
This one goes hand in hand with eliminating decisions like "what shirt should I wear today?" While it sounds counterintuitive, Tim Ferriss' point about busyness is valid. Try thinking about your greatest accomplishments, and ask yourself if they were just one small part of a very busy day, or one focused effort in a day where you stuck to a single purpose.
Most of our biggest achievements come from focused days working on one thing, not days full of running between meetings and appointments. Tim's book The 4-Hour Workweek goes in depth on how to make your days matter, instead of filling them with tasks that don't.
5. Stay Humble - Larry Page
To counterbalance Marissa Mayer's point that one shouldn't be too hard on themselves when jumping into a project, Larry Page keeps himself working hard by never getting too sure of his efforts. Instead he believes that there is always another level of improvement he can pursue.
Maintaining a harmony between "I hate what I have just done, I should stop" and "This is good, I think I've done enough" is finding that point where you are confident enough to continue your pursuit, but humble enough to know it can be better.