“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” – Malcolm Forbes, Born Aug. 19, 1917.
You know what makes diamonds? Start with carbon. That's you. You're mostly carbon. Carbon based life forms, they call us.
And then you add two ingredients: pressure and time.
In the bowels of the earth, we are talking about the pressures of massive geological forces, and time on the scale of eons.
But in our work lives, it takes a lot less of both.
The pressure comes from simply challenging yourself every day to grow in some way. To test yourself against a new difficulty and endeavor to overcome it and expand.
And when you do this, as often as possible, as many times as possible, then over time, that raw and worthless carbon begins to have a certain sparkle to it.
And it doesn’t have to be immense pressure, nor massive amounts of time.
Solve a single annoying problem and share it with everyone.
All the other carbon-based meat bags walking around can tell: lTHIS one can stand up to the pressure. Time and time again. They are special. They are valuable. I should follow them and listen and do what they advise.”
Think of it. Who are the “diamonds” we look up to?
Athletes. Pressure and time create successful athletes.
Entertainers. Pressure and time make successful entertainers.
Leaders. Writers. Artists. Pressure and time transform them from mere mortals into larger-than-life heroes.
They were SQUEEZED into something special by constantly facing a world that is trying to crush their dreams out of them. That's what the world does.
But they didn't crack. They hardened and became dazzling. And now they are adored, admired, treasured, in demand, and kept forever.
Do your job. Face the pressure. It's not even hard. Just show up. Do your time in it. Try your best.
Come out shining like no one else.
<!—- lagniappe Today, for the lagniappe, I want to give you a little simple productivity hack that will turn your little lump of coal in to a shiny new gemstone faster every day. And it’s going to sound almost ridiculously simple. But if you try it, I promise your work life gets so much easier over time. Your days go smoother, you have more fun, it’s great. Ready? At night, before bed, after you brush your teeth and get into your footie pajamas - write a list of 3 things you’re going to do for your business tomorrow. IMPORTANT - this isn’t a “must do” list - and it doesn’t have to be things you can COMPLETE tomorrow. Just 3 things you want to move ahead on. If you’re just going to be able to do a small piece, think of what it is and jot it down. Now, when you start your day tomorrow, sleepy and slowly warming up - you don’t have to think. You can get to work, because you already did the hard part to do in the morning. The planning part is handled, you can just start cranking. Want a next-level bonus tip to add to this? Once you make your little night time labor list - spend 15-20 minutes working on the first item on your list. Outline it, do the first few lines, get the first few steps of the process done and put a pin in it so you can dive in when you get to work the next day. Whatever works, just grind a wee bit on it so it’s not a START. When you can begin the day with a continuation instead of a fresh start, you can go straight in with no warmup or mental prep or trying to make a half-awake brain make complicated plans. Over time, you get better and better at this, and you’ll find yourself ahead of your work load, and even having extra time for creative new ideas. Don’t knock it without trying it. I learned this in art school, where you sketch out what you’ll be painting the next day. Sometimes your dreaming brain even does some of the work for you, and in the morning, it pours out of you and you can’t even remember where it came from. Magical! —->