Becoming More Excellent

Posted by: Myk Likhov

Just read a great list on Dumb Little Man on 50 things to do to make your life more excellent. It’s solid, but 50 is just too many. I’m pruning the list into 15 ACTIONS you can take, when you’re already on a roll…when you want to incrementally improve your life through achievable steps. A few of my biases are visible here (like a phobia of staying in one place too long), but I didn’t add anything to the list, just curated my favorite suggestions.

In related idea, I’ve been liking the line – “Perfect is the enemy of good.” This maxim keeps coming up in both professional and personal areas of my life.

And with that, check out these super useful suggestions–and maybe adopt one:

  1. Truly listen – True listening requires an open heart and an open mind. Stay away from giving advice, feedback or comments, but simply open up to another person and learn from their emotions, reactions and stories. You will get to know people and their desires and needs.
  2. Practice gratitude – Notice the small, beautiful moments during the day, and log these in a gratitude journal. If someone or something makes you happy, show your gratitude. This practice will help you to grow a positive mindset.
  3. Volunteer for a cause – Once you have identified your values, reinforce one by volunteering for a cause that truly touches your heart. You will pick up new skills and meet like-minded people as you volunteer.
  4. Take your hobbies to the next level – Become excellent at your hobbies as well. If you like playing music, then your next level would be performing on stage, starting a YouTube channel or composing your own songs. If you like dancing, your next level would be to join a dance team or to compete in championships.
  5. Exercise every day – You can’t achieve excellence if you neglect your body. While you might not find the time to spend hours on end at the gym every day, you infuse exercise into your lifestyle. For example: you can bike to work, do a yoga routine from YouTube at night or go for a walk during your lunch-break.
  6. Learn to press the pause button – Another powerful skill to learn, is to be fully aware of the signals your body and mind are giving you. If you’ve been pushing it too far, then it’s important you listen to yourself and press the pause button. Give yourself a break to refuel.
  7. Shift your location during the day – Even if you are trapped in your cubicle during office hours, try to break out for lunch. Avoid centering your life around your home and your office, but try to shift your location a few times during the day. Fresh places bring fresh ideas.
  8. Eat wholesome food – Your engine needs high quality fuel. Don’t put anything into your mouth your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Read the labels of products, don’t eat out too often. Be kind to your body and don’t throw too much sugar and fat into it.
  9. Study works of art – Visit a museum to see the art, and read the comments of experts. How are emotions and details explained? Which symbols are used? Learn to interpret art, and voice your feelings and opinions.
  10. Bring people together – Connect people from your network of whom you think they should meet eachother. Organize inspiring events, such as discussion tables during lunch, an art club or a series of lectures, and bring people together.
  11. Plan your weekends – Your weekends are a sacred time. Know beforehand what you will be doing, and avoid the trap of staying in bed too long, then hanging on the internet and then doing chores. Make sure you have plenty of time for inspiring and interesting activities.
  12. Get enough sleep – If you want to be able to think clearly during the day, you need to get your sleep at night. If you find it hard, then put an alarm at night to signal your bed-time.
  13. Analyze your productivity – Use tools and apps to analyze your output and how you spend your time. With these results, you can optimize your productivity.
  14. Find a mentor – Find a senior expert in your field, and build a trusting connection with him/her. Frequently meet your mentor, and openly discuss your fears and plans. If you are afraid of sharing your struggles, then start by interviewing your mentor about his/her path to success.
  15. Fail with a smile – Don’t beat yourself up over failures, but smile and make some notes about what you learned. Most of the times we can see that failures are even a bit funny if we learn to take a step aside.

Great job Dumb Little Man. It was challenging to narrow down your advice.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 1:18 pm and is filed under What I read today.