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Photo by Domingo Alvarez on Unsplash

What do you call yourself?
What label do you identify with?
Artist, author, athlete?

Having a title or label is helpful for us to be identified and qualified. This is especially important in our professions, cause we want to be known for our expertise.

“John is really good with numbers, I highly recommend him to do your taxes.”

“Sarah is an amazing fitness instructor, you’ll feel sore but good, after one of her classes.”

While labels are beneficial externally, are we letting them define (too much) who we are internally?

If you don’t call yourself an “artist”, do you still consider yourself creative?
If you don’t consider yourself “handy”, does that stop you from trying to fix a leaky faucet?
If you’re not a “funny” person, does that make you serious all the time?


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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

How many decisions do you have to make before you get to your important work?

Where will I work?
What tools should I use?
What music should I listen to?
What format should this take?
How long should I spend on this?
How should I organize it?

By the time you’ve made all of these decisions, all of your good energy is depleted and your time: gone.

People avoid routine because they think it’s boring and uninspirational. …


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Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Home is more important now than ever.

We spend all of our time here. So it’s important that it’s comfortable to live in, reflects our voice, and meets our needs.

We grow up here. We build here. We make memories here.

Having a home requires responsibility on our part to keep it in good shape, in order, and in balance. We have to take care of it if we plan to live here for years to come.

It’s not always easy to have a home. It’s not always glamorous. Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and put in work. …


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Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Between a question and an answer.
Between indecision and a choice.
Between action and hopeful outcome.

In between is the long, treacherous road you must take when you pursue something of value.
When you’re building a novel idea.
When you’re searching for a way to express a deep emotion.
When you want something, you can’t have yet.

You have to be patient, persistent, and ready to live through the indefinite tension of not knowing the exact length of time and distance it might take to get there. If you ever plan to make it, you have to accept the wrong turns taken, and be willing to do more work than expected.


There are many ways we play it safe in our lives.
Our jobs. Our relationships. Our ideas.

Safe is taking a job where difficult decisions are made for you.
Safe is being in a relationship that doesn’t challenge you.
Safe is feeding the narrative you already believe, and never giving an opposing perspective a chance.

Safe is predictable, comfortable, and easy.

Safe isn’t a new question. It’s the same answer every day.
Safe is the belief that nothing can better; telling you to stay the course and avoid change at all costs. Because change isn’t safe.

Change is disruptive.
Change is uncomfortable.
Change is the creation of something new.

When you arrive at your to-do list this morning, reflect: are you playing it safe, or are you making change?

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

These morning thoughts are heavily inspired by my time inside the AltMBA earlier this year. Thanks Seth.


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ationPhoto by Victor Xok on Unsplash

You can’t build momentum standing still.
You have to sit down, push hard, and get the gears going.

Inspiration is momentum.
You don’t begin inspired, you build towards it.

Painful at first. Exhausting to think about. But once you push through the taxing labor to start, you have momentum.

You will get tired, and there will be steep challenges ahead.

An amateur will be tempted to stop, but might never recover.

A pro knows, the pain is temporary, and if he plans to finish, he must keep his momentum going.

Every day is a new race towards your creative pursuits.
Inspiration doesn’t just show up, you build towards it.


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Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

It’s not real until you see it.

A disease doesn’t become dangerous until someone you know dies from it.

An injustice is invisible until it is broadcasted to you.

We don’t believe we can be extraordinary until we see the person from our hometown rise up and excel beyond measure.

We doubt a diet will work, until a friend posts about their progress from it.

We are skeptical until we see the one thing that closes the gap in our minds.

A possibility isn’t real until we can see it.

If ‘seeing is believing’, how much time do we spend seeking other voices, new ideas, and a better way. Instead, how often do we insulate ourselves to the thoughts and beliefs we already hold?

When you look out into the world, what do you see(k)?
Possibility, or the status quo?


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Setting a goal is pointing in a direction.
Growth is taking a step forward.

A goal is dreaming up the work you must do.
Growth is doing it.

A goal is huge, difficult to digest.
Growth is bite-sized.

A goal is easy to prolong, put off, and procrastinate.
Growth faces very little Resistance.

A goal (for most) is optional.
Growth is intentional.

A goal, you can change.
Growth changes you.

A goal is plotting the distance between two points.
Growth is closing it.

A goal can take years (and may never be realized).
Growth can be instant.

Growth happens the moment you iterate with the intention to improve.
On a project, on yourself, on a way of thinking. …


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These aren’t Seth’s books, but was a photo I took to help convey how I felt through the process.

The age-old exercise writers (still) swear by today

Recently, I’ve wanted to improve my writing. When I looked up ways to improve your writing, one exercise popped up everywhere as a recommendation. To become a better writer, you have to copy the great ones. This is known as “Copywork.”

The format of the exercise looks this:

  • Pick a book or author you aspire to write like
  • Copy a page of their text, word for word, every day
  • Follow up by moving into your writing

The goal to understand how the author writes and expresses their ideas. This was practiced by many famous authors throughout history. …


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Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash

A few things to remind yourself, before you walk into that room.

You’re the expert.

You don’t know everything. Don’t pretend like you do.

Don’t be a transactional robot.
Be a genuine, curious human being.

Something will go wrong.
Don’t cover it up. Own it.

Don’t go in desperate.
Don’t lose your cool.
Protect your enthusiasm.

Ask more. Talk less.

Use their language.
Not your jargon.

Give space. Don’t hog it.

Silence is space.
Get comfortable with it.

Serve. Don’t sell.

Radical change will be met by extreme resistance.
Enroll slowly.

Care.

You’re the expert.

About

Matthew Encina

Creative Director at Blind. Educator at The Futur. International Speaker. matthewencina.com

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