When I say I live by these three quotes, I don’t mean I have them tattooed anywhere on my body or that I have post-its on my mirror that I read passively each morning. I mean that I start each day with the intention of taking specific actions that are guided by these thoughts. Here are those three quotes, and how I translate them into actions that help me live intentionally:
- “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
This is a famous quote from Earnest Hemingway. It reminds me to focus on becoming a better version of myself than I was yesterday, last week, last year, etc. This quote is important because it is easy to get down on yourself when you read about how rich Jeff Bezos is or you hear how successful an old friend has become. This quote reminds me that those thoughts are unproductive and beside the point. This quote keeps me focused on my goal of being a fulfilled, productive, and value-adding human who is always improving.
2. “Consistency breeds success. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.”
I love this quote because it translates logically to the importance of developing habits that contribute to your long-term goals. It makes so much sense that what you spend your time on each day or at least regularly each week will define who you become personally and professionally in the future.
Think about how you spent this past week. If you were to do the same things you did this week, where would your life be in 5 or ten years? Would you be a better version of yourself?
I like to temper my hardcore habits with intentional breaks because I’m human but this quote reminds me to use my time each day in a way that will get me where I think I want to be in the near and long-term future.
3. “What you create and what you’re putting out into the world is what defines you.”
I use this killer quote as a reminder that I need to remain an action-oriented person who adds ideas and creations to the world. It’s easy to fall into a one-way street of consuming information and stories, and to doubt your ability to contribute to those sources of information or conversations. It’s much harder to dedicate time to sharing your ideas in a way that adds value to the communities of which you’re a part. This thought also encourages me to develop my voice — as a writer, thinker, consultant, friend, etc.
Living in a way that is guided by these three ideas takes time but has helped me build an intentional and productive approach to life.