If there’s one word that can sum up the thoughts and insights of Robin Sharma, it would be simple. His chapters are clean and concise, relying on real world examples and basic life experiences to teach one fundamental lesson; life is meant to be enjoyed.
Lawyer, turned author, turned internationally renowned speaker and leadership expert, Robin Sharma has followed up his best selling book The Greatness Guide with a sequel. The Greatness Guide: Book 2 (as it’s been aptly titled) is a collection of an additional 101 thoughts on leadership, life and what it takes to be world class. The book is peppered with quotes and insights from famous characters both contemporary and timeless, making it a resource you’ll want draw wisdom from time and again.
Stop Trying So Hard
“It can take years to become an overnight sensation.”
The Greatness Guide: Book 2, page 98
When is enough enough? When can you stop pushing the boulder up the hill, take a step back, look at the progress you’ve made, and realize that you have done all you can to accomplish your goal? There comes a point when you need to stop trying and just relax.
Imagine a farmer who wanted to get more productivity out of his fields, so to do so he started harvesting before the crops were ripe. This is what I’m talking about. Success is as much about timing as it is about effort. In some cases, you can’t rush things any more than a farmer can rush his crops. Which is not to suggest that you should put anything less than 100% into something you truly believe in and want.
Absolutely, be meticulous. Think brilliantly. Act courageously. Give it your all. But then… let it go. Find satisfaction in the fact that you put everything you had into it, and have the faith to let life run its course. Just like the farmer, there is a time for work, and there are the times you just need to relax, slow down and enjoy the moment. There will be time to work hard again soon, promise.
Smile: It’s good for business.
“No one will take you seriously if you take yourself too seriously.”
The Greatness Guide, Book 2: page 62
When’s the last time you laughed at yourself? Or more appropriately, when was the last time that you should have laughed at yourself, but didn’t?
It turns out, we’re all human. (Who knew?) And yet, for some reason, many of us are terrified of making a mistake, proving our humanity, and having those around us see us as less than perfect. People who are able to laugh at their mistakes and not take themselves too seriously exude confidence to those around them. Through humor they’re able to show that they understand life to be a journey, and that along that journey we are bound to make mistakes. Ironically, people who take themselves too seriously do so because they believe that to show humility or a sense of humor at their own expense makes them appear weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. People respect and look up to people who are willing to admit they were wrong; willing to learn from their mistakes. Respect yourself, definitely. But why pretend you’re incapable of error?
Love the Journey
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain, as quoted in The Greatness Guide: Book 2, page 86
I have a friend who started working at one of the big three motor companies when he was seventeen. Within two weeks he hated it. He’s thirty years old now and still working in the same job. Still hates it. I asked him recently why he would subject himself to 50 hours a week of something he loathed. His response? “I’m on track to retire at 55. Then I’m going to enjoy myself.” I find that sad. It’s sort of like being on a road trip, but focusing exclusively on the destination. In life (as in road trips!) the joy is in the journey. It’s in the detours; the people, places and events you experience along the way.
Hey, have a map, no question. Have a destination, definitely. But just remember to take in some of the scenery along the way. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around, you just might miss it.”
“So make tomorrow special. No, make it outrageously great. Wildly wonderful. A piece of art – one that you can tell your grandkids about.”
The Greatness Guide: Book 2, page 24
The Greatness Guide: Book 2 is a reminder of what’s really important in life. Goals, dreams and ambitions are amazing – we need to embrace our pursuit of those things to give our lives direction. Put everything you’ve got into your dreams. Just remember to enjoy the process. Life would be pretty boring if we had complete control over what happened to us along the way. Embrace the unexpected. Relax. Smile. Love the journey.