My Advice is “You.”

Whenever people ask me for advice, my second priority is to offer them some food for thought that may assist them with their given issue.

My first priority is to use my position of influence as an opportunity to help them develop a deeper trust in their own internal compass, in their own capacity for sound judgment, in their own ability to glean insight from exploring,  engaging, and experimenting with life for themselves.

Of all the pieces of advice I have ever received, there’s one that consistently remains at the top of my list: you are more capable of figuring out what’s right for you than anyone else.

Maintain Perspective

100 years from now, the people who misunderstand you will be dead.

The same will be true of your impact on society if you spend more time paying attention to the peanut gallery than on doing the work you’re called to do.

Maintain perspective. Your legacy depends on it.

Taking Charge of My Narrative

“My Lyft driver made me late today. Stupid LA traffic held me up today. This morning sucks.” That’s the habitual victim narrative running through my head right now.

I choose to see through it.

I choose to write a different script.

I choose a better inner monologue.

I choose to deal with my inconveniences from a place of power.

I will navigate my creative challenges by exercising my right to be stronger than that which tempts me to play small. 

“Good morning, my little annoyances! I believe you are all here to show me the way to mastery, correct? Well then, let us proceed. I am eager to learn.”

Being Yourself is a Full-Time Job

As children we were told to be ourselves, but part of what it means to be a self is to be an entity that evolves and expands.

“You” are not your history and “I” am not condemned to be what I have always been.

If our potential is part of the self we must strive to be, then staying the same is the very opposite of “being yourself.”

Today I choose to elevate my game. Today I choose to actualize my highest possibilities. Today I choose to be the self whose best days are yet to come.

Thoughts on Education & Failure

Last week I appeared on an episode of Carren’s Couch to discuss the Praxis program as well as my thoughts on Education in general. I had a lot of fun. If you’d like to check out the interview, feel free to check out the video below.

Carren’s Couch 30 – Teen-preneurs! How to make them or ‘break’ them with education from Carren Smith on Vimeo.

Also, if you haven’t heard, I host a weekly podcast where I speak with various educators and entrepreneurs on the value of failure. It’s called “What Are You Failing At?” If you’d like to check out the latest few episodes, feel free to check out some of the latest videos below:

Everything Isn’t Everything

Money isn’t everything, but neither is anything else.

A good education isn’t everything. Being married isn’t everything. Having kids isn’t everything. Being in love with someone isn’t everything. Physical health isn’t everything. Having amazing friends isn’t everything. Appreciating fine art isn’t everything. Working hard isn’t everything. Taking care of your physical appearance isn’t everything. A sense of humor isn’t everything. Giving to charity isn’t everything. Getting a decent amount of sleep isn’t everything. Living in a neighborhood where you don’t have to worry about getting shot isn’t everything.

No single thing is everything.

Life is multidimensional. A flourishing life involves many different elements and the “right” combination of those elements ranges from person to person.

The question we should be asking ourselves is not, “is this thing I’m pursuing everything?,” but rather, “is it consistent with my own priorities, preferences, and principles to pursue the particular thing I am pursuing?”

What you need might fail to be everything, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth absolutely nothing.

Does it give you the options you want? Does it matter to you? Does it make you feel alive to go after it? Is it consistent with your value system? Does it make you a better human being to focus on it?

Instead of getting stuck in the trap of thinking about the things you want in terms of anything, nothing, and everything, consider the freedom that comes from just giving yourself permission to do and pursue YOUR thing.

Be Open

People change. They grow up. They get better. They learn. They mature.

The evidence is in the mirror. Aren’t all these things true of you or have you always been enlightened? Have you always been wise or do you also know what it’s like to be a cause of someone else’s inconvenience or sorrow?

What would your life be like if everyone defined your identity by your last bad choice? Be open as the world has been open to you.

Will everyone change? Of course not. But if the cooperation of every single person was the standard for anything, nothing new would ever be possible.