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Constantly Improve Your Environment

It's a rule I have. Every place I spend time should be better because I was there.

Everywhere. A table at Starbucks? I'll wipe it off with a napkin when I sit down, and pick up my mess when I leave.

Be friendly to staff everywhere. Tip great service well. Point out terrible service politely to a manager, because terrible service is bad for everyone (the server, manager, business, and customers are all worse off if terrible service is happening).

Lightly clean any room you go to.

Don't trash a room just because other people are going to clean it.

On Brilliance and Consolidation

In any field, brilliant maneuvers are remembered and celebrated. But brilliant maneuvers without consolidation amounts to nothing long-term except the empty glory.

We could look at military commanders for an example. There's been some in history that have shown remarkable amounts of brilliance in pioneering tactics and doing crazy maneuvers. These sorts of things go into the history books, like Hannibal Barca's actions or Napoleon Bonaparte's.

Despite Barca and Bonaparte being remembered for their brilliance, it's worth remembering that neither of them won in the end.

We've talked about over-expansiveness in the past and not trusting your successors/family to keep up with your work, which is a common flaw that afflicts low born creators and leaders. Today, I want to look at something a little bit different - on brilliant actions and consolidating actions.

One time, when Hannibal's troops were pinned down by the Romans and it looked like all would be lost, he came up with a brilliant scheme. He waited until nightfall, and then took all of the oxen in his camp, tied branches and tinder to their horns, and lit them on fire and drove them off.

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