The one-sentence summary
Don’t wait to do your best work – aim to unleash it every day.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- You need to embrace the importance of now and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity or ego from stopping you taking action on your ambitions.
- The cost of inaction is vast. Don’t go to your grave with your best work inside of you. Choose to die empty.
- Despite a lot of frantic activity, many people finish their working day wondering whether the work they did really matters.
- Time is finite, so here is how you can make a unique contribution:
- Define your battles: counter aimlessness by defining goals wisely and building your life around achieving them.
- Be fiercely curious: prevent boredom from dulling your senses.
- Step out of your comfort zone: get uncomfortable and embrace lifelong growth and skill development.
- There are three kinds of work:
Mapping: planning, plotting objectives, and setting priorities.
Making: actually doing the work.
Meshing: “work between work” (unpaid, but it grows you).
- Someone who does all three is a developer.
- If you don’t mesh, you’re (just) a driver.
- If you don’t map, you’re a drifter.
- If you don’t make, you’re a dreamer.
- The EMPTY method is to focus on: Ethics; Mission; People; Tasks; You
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Purpose paralysis is fear of getting it wrong, but your body of work should reflect what’s important to you.
- Pointless efficiency doesn’t get you anywhere as an individual. Far too many people are busily bored.
- The seven deadly sins of mediocrity are: aimlessness, boredom, comfort, delusion, ego, fear, and guardedness.
- All passion is not equal – you need productive passion.
- Those who add unexpected value at work offer a GIFT: Generosity, Initiative, Forward momentum, Transparency.
- Shadow pursuits are activities that capture our attention and give us a sense of accomplishment, but serve as a substitute for the real work that we know we should be doing.
- Cover bands don’t change the world: do something original.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- The author uses the word traction rather too much.