Seth Godin truly nailed it on the head today with a short blog post titled “In and out“.
That’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make today.
How much time and effort should be spent on intake, on inbound messages, on absorbing data…
and how much time and effort should be invested in output, in creating something new.
There used to be a significant limit on available intake. Once you read all the books in the college library on your topic, it was time to start writing.
Now that the availability of opinions, expertise and email is infinite, I think the last part of that sentence is the most important:
Time to start writing.
Or whatever it is you’re not doing, merely planning on doing.
I grew up loving reading, loving learning and this has transformed me into someone that constantly juggles half a dozen books, a couple magazines, a never-ending Twitter feed and a truly never-ending Google Reader. But as much as I enjoy it, when I step back I realize that I really love doing something about what I’ve learned.
The problem is saying “enough is enough”, stepping back, and taking action.
It feels like I’ll never get the balance right, but I try to get better every day.
Last fall I started blogging what I hoped might become a series of posts based on reading “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. (Check it out here.)
Well, I just finished with a massive project for my MBA (thus the lack of posting recently) and am enjoying a week off before classes start again. So I thought it would be a great time to put out a quick post or two to re-start this series. Here’s another great quote from the book:
Just because you find the work too hard to do, don’t leap to the conclusion that it is humanly impossible; but if the work can and should be done by a man, then consider yourself capable of doing it.
-Meditations, Book Six, #19
I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been reading and re-reading Meditations, the diary/book written by Marcus Aurelius.
Lately I’ve gone back to keeping it in my bag more often and reading bits of it on the Tube/train each day. Every time I read it I’m reminded of things that I want to do in my life. Today’s thought?
Tossing aside everything else, hold fast to these few truths. We live only in the present, in this fleet-footed moment. The rest is lost and behind us, or ahead of us and may never be found. […]
-Meditations, Book Three, #10.
I picked up a book recently that’s been both a fascinating and inspirational read: “Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius. (This book is the translation I actually own, which is a bit newer and has an unnecessarily pompous title.)
I’ve found it a great little book to keep with my bag as I ride the Tube into work. There are a lot of short but important thoughts that help remind me of what’s important in life and what I really need to be focusing on.
To be fair, it’s also clear it was written over 2000 years ago, so certain bits aren’t very applicable. Some of it is on the metaphysical side, some on the nature of physics, etc. But so much of it is a leader meditating on how to be a better person, and still rings very true today.
I’m going to periodically post quotes from this book; things that I find interesting or important. Perhaps you’ll find them as intriguing as I do!
Today’s closing quote:
Claim your right to say or do anything that accords with nature, and pay no attention to the chatter of your critics. If it is good to say or do something, then it is even better to be criticized for having said or done it. Others have their own consciences to guide them and will follow their own lights. Don’t be gazing after them, but keep your eyes on the straight path ahead of you, […]
-Meditations, Book Five, #3