10 ways to get “in” on something new (read: improvement) and “out” of something old (read: limited potential)—relationships, habits, thought patterns, circumstance. . .
1. IN-fluence others for good
Someone I admire once asked, “How far will your influence go?” This question wasn’t really a question at all; it was a challenge. This challenge led me to writing The Power of Starting Something Stupid. Influencing others for good has become a personal mission of mine that has taken me on some amazing adventures—starting a cashmere company in Mongolia, consulting a microfinance organization in Nicaragua, speaking to a group of entrepreneurs in the Domincan Republic and so on. Striving to influence others for good has blessed my own life for good tenfold. My challenge to you: proactively seek for ways to influence others for good, and see where it takes you.
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” ― Napoleon Hill
2. IN-itiate projects
Projects are great because they have a beginning and an end. You can do anything (yes, ANYTHING) when you break your big picture dreams down to small, manageable projects. If you don’t have the time, or education, or money, or experience you think necessary to realize your dreams, a project will allow you grab hold of the part of that dream that IS accessible to you right now—it also provides the opportunity collaborate with others who do have the time, education, money or experience you feel you lack. When you initiate projects surrounding the things that matter most to you, everyone wins.
“Start doing what you want to do and everything else will be revealed to you.” ― Paulo Coelho
Get into something new. Make stuff up. You’re a creation, and you were born to create. Innovation stems from the Latin root words “in” or into and “novus” or new—literally meaning to get into something new. Innovation is in your blood. Let your creative juices flow and start acting on your “stupid” ideas.
“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.” ― Jeff Bezos
4. IN-sist on yourself
You can. Yes, you can. You can do the work. You must do the work. The world needs your unique talent and contribution.
“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. IN-vest in yourself
At the end of the day, if you’re wasting your time by not investing in yourself, you’re going to waste away—and that would be the greatest waste of all.
“Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future.” ― Brian Tracy
6. IN-spire others
Information is power, but unless information inspires someone to do something, the power lies dormant. Make it your goal to combine information with inspiration to change the world around you.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ― John Quincy Adams
“Don’t be boring.” ― Seth Godin
8. IN-volve others
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this statement is true, it’s either really exciting or really depressing for you. Whether this human “average” is fact or fiction, it’s obvious that the people we hang around influence our thinking, and thus our actions, and thus, eventually, our overall circumstance. Make it a point to involve people in your projects who you respect and admire—people you hope to become just a little more like.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin
9. IN-k it
Ink your goals on paper. Nearly every day, I’ll whip out a piece of paper and write down the top five things I’m going to get done that day. I also set goals for the week, month, year and consistently do some vision work on what I hope the next three to five years will look like. The important thing is to get those goals and aspirations out of my head and on to paper. Thus far, this has made all the difference in regards to any measure of success I have achieved.
“Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don’t just think it – ink it.” ― Anonymous
10. IN-tensify your efforts
Double them. Triple them if you have to. You have one life to live, and this is it. Make it worth your time.