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I read a statistic that the average person spends nearly 60% of their working life in the office… that’s a full third of our life! If we’re spending that much time at work, we may as well enjoy it. 

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And I Quote…

Jul 1, 2016 | JSE Blog

There’s nothing quite as useful as having another person’s witticism on hand when the process of pro-curing one of our own has failed us. Oscar Wilde is genius for conversation lulls at cocktail parties, Winston Churchill, or Jim Rohn (who, though not exactly historic, is dead and therefore well on his way) are great for life’s intimidating or flat-out unmotivated moments. We need look no further than Pablo Neruda or Persian poet Rumi when it comes to love and the business of wooing. The absolutely divine thing about historic quotes is that, unlike the occasional New York Times Bestseller or a sum-mer blockbuster, one is nearly guaranteed to not be let down- almost ever. If something that someone long ago uttered wasn’t of any use, no one would have bothered jotting it down and history wouldn’t have passed it along (with some of the best thoughts sometimes claiming multiple authors, but more on that in a moment.)

I recently came across a few quotes that, while ostensibly unrelated, actually have quite a bit to do with success and therefore, in a general sense, each other. The first two come from Aristotle, rock star-philosopher of ancient Greece:

“In order to become a ____ person, we must do the ____ things that ____ people do.” OK- I did a little editing there. Aristotle was actually speaking about becoming a good person, but the choose-your -own-adventure approach to his quote is better suited for our purposes today.

Second on Aristotle’s Greatest Hits list: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not a singular act but a habit.” The provenance on this one has been a bit… er… debated. That little bit of wisdom so often attributed to Shaquille O’Neal belongs to none other than a dead Greek (and who knows, maybe there’s an ancient Mesopotamian somewhere shaking his fist that Aristotle lifted the sentiment from him?)

Finally, a bit of Zen Buddhism to add to the already eclectic mixture of the NBA and Ancient Greece-really more of a sentiment this time: “One day, one lifetime.” 

Where am I going with this, dear reader? To the land of conquering one’s goals, of course!

Perhaps the goal is to increase revenue by 50% ? Develop a more creative marketing strategy? Win that evasive term contract? Or just get more motivated or organized? Whatever it is, Artistotle’s advice is a wonderful place to start: find a person who (or a book that) shows exemplary mastery of the area that you’d like to improve upon and start researching. Inundate yourself with information on the subject-swim in it until your fingers become pruney. Consume anything you can get your hands on related to the subject- read, listen, attend events, and speak with people who know what you want to know. Google has a few things to say on most subjects, too. Anyway, the point is to make an in-depth study of that skillset and then make a daily habit of applying what you’ve learned to your own life.

When? Right now. Unlike the saying “There’s no time like the present,” Zen Buddhists hold that there’s no time BUT the present. The past is gone. Done. Finito. The future has not yet arrived, and like many things in life, it’s not at all guaranteed to. All we have is NOW. And now. And…now… to enact the change we want to see. Take a nod from the Mayfly who has to cram everything from birth, death, ba-bies, and college graduations into a mere 24 hours- living each day well, and within clear sight of what it takes puts us in a better position to achieve them.

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