Jan 132021

If you work in a large knowledge-work corporation, your life is often complex, the cloud of internal politics never dissipates, and there is always more to do than time in the day. Over the years, I have found that quotes can really help you think through the clutter and make better decisions.

This is not an all encompassing list, but reviewing this baker’s dozen of quotes once each month helps recalibrate your efforts and focus on what matters.

  1. When in doubt, be bold, for fortune favors the bold. The bold have optimism, believe in their dreams, and take risks due to their belief.

2. Success is found by going from setback to setback with no loss of enthusiasm.

3. The will to prepare is more important than the will to win. Most show up on game day. The ones who put in the hard work, before game time, achieve greatness.

4. 10% of what you do results in 90% of the lasting value you deliver. Stop investing time on stuff that won’t matter next month.

5. Become a master at the art to saying no, without turning people against you. Only by adroitly saying ‘no’ to good things to do, can a person find the time to do the great stuff.

6. Helping others with true generosity, without worrying about receiving credit, will enable you go farther than you can imagine. ‘How can I help’ is a magical phrase that opens doors of opportunity.

7. If you are not making mistakes, you are simply not pushing the envelope of your true potential.

8. Real, true relationships are only built with one-on-one, personal conversations. Be proactive, honest, and vulnerable, reach out to new people, and make the time to connect on a personal level.

9. Plan your week first, then plan your day, to make strategic progress on your own goals. Otherwise, other people’s urgencies will take over all your best time.

10. Get over it, no matter what it is. Stuff will always go sideways at unexpected times, but those who look forward, those who adapt and overcome, those who forgive, win.

11. Extraordinary only comes from optimism, courage, and the pursuit of perfection. Critics don’t matter. Pessimists don’t blaze new trails. The fans in the stands are average. Be the gladiator in the arena.

12. Focus on what you can control. Most everything is out of your control, except for your own attitude, the breadth of your imagination, your willingness to make new decisions, and the quality of your effort.

13. Have one top priority at a time, the one thing that matters the most. Multiple priorities lead to unfinished, irrelevant, wasted time. Think WIN — “What’s Important Now” — what happened yesterday and the worries of tomorrow are less important.

This list was formerly SAK13, but now renamed to SAKALAS 13 due to other people’s names, handles, aliases, and hashtags on social media sites.

I.M. Optimisman