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We live in an imperfect world. Which means that things are always less than ideal, less than perfect.

There are three ways to come to peace with this fact: First, to change the world to be what you want it to be. Second, to change your expectations to agree with what the world gives you.

But there’s a surprising alternative:

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There have been a whole lot of distractions lately! I’ve had a tough time getting back to what’s important in the new year.

And this picture is so incredibly appropriate to me and the topic! I couldn’t resist. OK, Carl, get back on track.

I have a “short list” of weekly topics sitting in front of me, and that really helps. It has a handful of tasks that I need to pay attention to. And I found it important that this is on an actual sheet of paper on my desk, not hidden in a window that I’ll probably cover up.

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After a big event or a holiday, it can be tough to get your energy focused back on what you need to get done. Actually, that’s the way you know a holiday was valuable: you were able to shift to other things for a while, and it’s kinda tough getting back in the groove.

I took a good long holiday break this Christmas, so I’m experiencing that now. It’s actually a good feeling.

But now I have to get focused again.

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I see the world as an abundant place. In a real sense, we’ve never had more possibilities open to us.

Even though it can feel like there are lots of restrictions in our lives right now, that’s only relevant to certain dimensions. You’re still free to go out there and reinvent your products, form new relationships, even rethink the norms of your industry.

And that’s a great mindset for starting out with a blank slate, as I discussed last week.

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We have a new term for overloading yourself with negative information: Doomscrolling.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to spending too much time on your newsfeed, looking for the next thing to worry about. And right now, people are capturing a whole lot to worry about.

It occurred to me, though, that this is just the most recent form of something which has existed for my entire lifetime:

  • The need to keep current with all the newspapers
  • Devouring news magazines
  • The 24 hour TV newscycle
  • General news websites
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Maybe you’ve been discouraged because the better future you’ve been hoping for still doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

At some point, though, you’re going to have to make it happen. It’s going to take focused, intentional effort. That’s what it means to be a leader.

I was thinking about this because of my recent health scare. Thankfully, I survived this time due to the talent of some great doctors. But it got me pondering the larger questions in my life.

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This landscape of values-based businesses can be quite confusing.

I had a chance to discuss this with a researcher in the field recently, and we started off with the term itself. Purpose-driven. Conscious. Values-based. Mission-driven.

Such a mishmash of buzzwords! But if you look underneath that, you see a common thread:

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Cleaning up after a meeting, I asked, “where’s your recycling?”

I wasn’t that surprised to find out they had no recycling bin in that office, so I simply took the can home with me. No big deal.

I wasn’t trying to be “that annoying guy with an agenda”, but trying to move the needle, even fractionally.

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It’s wonderful to be the boss, right? You get all the recognition and glory while your people do all the hard work.

Yeah, I don’t see that either.

The truth is that if you want to have time for your life, in any position at all, you have to create it.

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The work is never done. Ever.

It’s a fact of our modern life, really. And I’m sure you feel this in your business; there’s an infinite supply of stuff to be done and things to worry about.

The question is, though: What really matters?

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