Not everyone can be a Mark Zuckerberg! Not everyone can be an Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford at 19, started a business in a basement, and is now a multi-billionaire.
Not everyone can be a Bill Gates. Or a Beyonce (although Claudia wants to be Beyonce in her next life. Which I hope that means I come back as Jay-Z).
Sometimes people say to me: “Not everyone can be X.” Not everyone can choose themselves!
Or, “Maybe focus on helping others instead of choosing yourself!”
I don’t argue. There are always exceptional people. But exceptions are created, they are not born.
Every person on the planet is a future amazing anecdote right now.
Here’s the questions I try to ask myself every day. Sometimes I forget. I try to follow my own advice and I get better at it. But like everything, it takes practice.
– Is it better to be sick in bed, or to do one small thing a day to improve my health?
Yesterday it was warm enough to play tennis. So I played with my daughter.
Which is great because I get to exercise and also spend quality time with her. And also, she’s the only person I can beat although she’s getting better pretty fast.
– Is it better to be around people who will laugh at me and put me down?
Or is it better to be around people who inspire me and who will support my dreams, even when they change every day?
Like yesterday, I was obsessed with doing an impression of Morgan Freeman.
Claudia put up with me for hours trying to talk like Morgan Freeman while she was doing her own work.
Then I wrote down 15 jokes I can say about Morgan Freeman and both Claudia and my daughter picked out the funnier ones. Both were kind to me although Mollie said, “You don’t sound anything like Morgan Freeman.”
– Is it better to try and be creative? Or is it better to be unoriginal in everything you do?
This question is not easy to answer. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” means, “sometimes you shouldn’t be original”.
But still – it’s a fun exercise to try and be creative every day. Or to pretend to be Morgan Freeman.
– Is it better to be grateful today? Or to complain?
I try to find one thing I’m miserable about. Like, right this second, I can feel it in my stomach – I’m upset about some things people have said about me.
That’s ok. It’s an opportunity to turn it into what I call a “difficult gratitude problem”.
If I can find ten things to be grateful about these people who said these things then my gratitude muscle will be improved.
That sounds corny. But it’s better than being upset. Or dwelling.
If I can answer all these questions then I know I will help others. How come? Because it’s a miracle that a tiny cloud can obscure the massive moon.
I don’t worry about anecdotes or exceptions.
If you ask these questions every day and celebrate your small successes then you start to become the exception instead of the rule.
And what is the rule?
There are no rules.