A downside to being analytical, ambitious, driven, and learning about a lot --
You see problems where others do not.
Because, what is "potential" except a set of things that aren't right already?
Because of that, it's easy to get restless, not happy with the status quo, to feel like you're falling short of all you know it's possible.
The funny part, seeing that potential, seeing how things could be... it means you actually get to live a much more rich and full life. You just maybe don't appreciate it as much, because you see all the other things you could be doing better.
I find it crucially important to balance this. Without keeping this in check by appreciating the way things are in each moment, I fear that I might lose the ability to find contentment. It's not that I choose to dwell there very often, but I believe that it's very important to be able to get to a state of contentment when necessary. Always know your exits, right?
Well said!!! I just had a huge fight with a senior developer and it really boils down to the fact that I can see how everything can be so much better.
It is true. I just finished reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (Tynan recommended it! and I saw it on Derek Siver's book list) and it relates directly to this issue. The stoics used a technique of negative visualization, contemplating the loss of all things that they value (relationships, possesions, etc). They used this technique to attempt to create desires within for things they already had and appreciate the status quo, rather than endlessly pursuing more. Interesting concept.
I never really understood good marketing until I started to respect my own time more. These days, I'm trying to really live 24 hours per day the way I want to be living them. Do you know how much time there is in 24 hours? It's a lot.
Before I respected my own time, I didn't really respect other people's time as much. Don't get me wrong - I was always cool enough, I didn't waste people's time, but I never realized what a magnificent thing people choosing to spend their time with you is. There's so many good places to spend your time - getting entertainment, learning, connecting with good people, building things, inventing, relaxing, thinking, working. When someone spends their time with me, whatever the medium, that's a tremendous honor.
When someone comes to join me at my blog, reads something I write, listens to me speak, meets me for a coffee or we go on an adventure together - there's a hell of a lot of other places they could be, and a hell of a lot of other great things they could be doing with their time.
I think good marketing respects that. Good marketing goes, "This person could be anywhere else - let's make it worth their while." Kathy Sierra, Seth Godin, and Chet Holmes all talk about this - educating people, teaching them, making them want to spend time with you. Being entertaining, or informative, building a place people feel welcome, or strong, or get smarter at.
I think that's most of good marketing - having people want to spend time in and around you, your company, wanting to be associated with what you've got. The rest of good marketing is offering people something worth many, many times more than what you're charging. My current target is 10x - if I'm working to help someone build their revenues, I'm aiming to get them 10 times my fees in net profit, for a 1000% ROI. To be honest with you, I'll settle for 4x and 400%, but I'm aiming for 10.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs
If you're scared of doing anything, ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen if all goes wrong. Then compare that scenario to death. I bet you it's trivial in comparison.
Let's say you want to quit your job, start a business and follow your passion. What's the worst thing that could possibly happen?
Well, your project could fail, you could waste a bunch of money, and perhaps get into some debt if you're foolish about it. You would also gain invaluable experience. And you would have to get a new job, which could either be better or worse.
Now how does that compare to the destiny we all share? If you keep in mind that you're going to be dead soon, it's really not that big of a deal to risk your job security.