Friday, September 16, 2016

Axiom 88: Catalog Your Life

"What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.-Walter Scott

Take a moment every once in a while for some self reflection. Find an outlet that works for your style and fits your schedule. It may be jotting down your thoughts in a journal, recording your thoughts as a voice memo or video, or some other way of cataloging your life all together.

Cataloging your life serves two purposes. First, it allows self-reflection. You are able to evaluate your life, make changes, and set goals easier. When you don't have any thorough way of self reflection then you will continue to drift through life like you always have.

Second, it allows a record of your life that you can pass down to your family and children. Everyone wants some sort of lasting memorial that speaks to who they were as a person. I can only imagine how thrilled I would be to have video or audio of my now deceased family telling me the story of their life I their own words. When you die your life story will fade away unless you have done something to preserve it otherwise.

Take the time to express yourself and reflect. Don't let time get away from you before it is too late.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Axiom 87: Don't Strive for Perfection

"Don't wait, the time will never be just right." -Napoleon Hill

When i visited Paris a few years ago I was excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower. I had a vision of how quiet and romantic it would be. However, when I actually got there it was nothing like I had imagined. It wasn't the perfect place I had imagined. It was loud, crowded with people selling souvenirs, and was more like a carnival than a romantic destination. It was a simple reminder that nothing is perfect.

Don't let perfection derail your success. There are three distinct ways that the idea of perfection can hurt you:

First, don't be such a perfectionist in starting a project that you never get the ball rolling. Some people want everything to be perfect before they begin a big project. They want to have all their little side projects done, they want the timing to be perfect, they want all their resources lined up first, etc. Don't worry about making a perfect situation before you begin a project. Just dive in and let things work themselves out along the way. 

Second, don't be such a perfectionist that you never complete a project quickly. If it takes five hours to do something 96% accurately, and 12 hours to do it 100% accurately maybe the extra time isn't worth it. Of course this is a question only you will know the answer to but make sure you are not wasting time for the sake of perfection. Most tasks do not have to be 100% accurate.

Lastly, don't let the idea of perfection distort your life view. While you should strive to do good work, don't strive for an idea of perfection that is not possible. Sometimes imperfection is perfection in itself. When I realized that the Eiffel Tower was more of a tourist trap than the idea of perfection I had envisioned I did not let it ruin my time. I simply keep my distance from the crowds and the insanity and enjoyed it from a distance with my wife. From a distance it was as perfect and magical as I had imagined.