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Take It Easy (And Other Bad Ideas)

There are some seemingly harmless statements that I hate to hear people say. The message is bad, and believing them is a recipe for failure.

“Take it easy.”

How many people do you know that are working so hard that they need to “take it easy?” Most people would do better by taking it a lot less easy, by trying harder and designing and living a more fulfilling life.

Why you want to spend your life “taking it easy” when you could instead spend yourself in some worthy pursuit that stretches you? Who on their deathbed is going to say: “Wow . . . I wish I would have spent more time taking it easy?”

What do you get for “taking it easy?”

“Don’t work too hard.”

Who believes that “don’t work too hard” is really good advice? I cringe every time I here someone say it. Most of us don’t work in positions where it would even be possible to work too hard.

Are most of the people that you see producing results and making more of themselves trying not to work hard? The people that I know that are killing it are working their ass off. They straight up hustle.

Are you really working “too hard?”

“It’s not personal. It is just business.”

If you are making a decision that impacts another human beings life and livelihood, the action may be necessary, but it isn’t “just business” as far as they’re concerned. It feels personal to them, and if you care about people it should feel personal to you too.

It may help to remember that the rest of your team witnesses how you treat people, and you send the message that you don’t care about people when you treat them like means to an end. I don’t know why some people believe that caring about people and making tough business decisions are mutually exclusive. They’re not! In fact, they can’t be!

“I’m fine.” I’m okay.” I’m alright.”

You are doing quite a bit better than “fine,” “okay,” or “alright.” Why would you answer the question “How are you?” with something that makes it sound like you’re something less than you really are?

When people ask me how I am I say: “I am wonderful!” Why? Because I am wonderful. And I am grateful to be so. Sometimes I say, “I’m awesome!” Then, of course, since I said it, I actually have to be wonderful and awesome. It takes some effort to be wonderful or awesome, but it beats the heck of being “fine,” “okay,” or “alright.”

Something to think about.

Questions

What are some of the unhealthy language choices you hear people make?

What are some of the language choices that you make that aren’t as healthy of a choice as you might make?

What do you language choices say about you? About your beliefs? About your personal psychology?

What might you replace them with?


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