5 rules to become a Better Productive Human

I have some big ideas I’d like to share with you. I think big ideas start by asking big questions and I happen to be a fan of big questions. I think the best big questions start with these words “why”, “what” and “how”.

 “Why are we here?” That’s a great example of a big question. What is my purpose? or how can I find my true path in life? Big questions. 

Let’s have some big answers, okay

One’s True Path in Life

Why are we here? What is my purpose? Here’s my big answer: I don’t know I’m not you.

But this question “how can I find my true path in life?”. I think that’s a good question, we’re all on a path of some kind and we can see a certain distance down that path. And we have a sense of where we’re heading.

But sometimes the path is different. Sometimes it’s a path others have been on before. Sometimes it’s a sheltered path. Sometimes it’s an open path. Sometimes it curves so we can’t see the destination. But we can see the path itself. Other times we can very clearly see the destination but we have no idea what the path is that gets us there. 

How To Make Decisions?

So, how do I decide? how do I make decisions on the path? on the destination of where I need to go. I think that is the key to being a productive human. 

Now, productive I think is a loaded term. If you were to do an image search “productive”, you end up with things like people doing things having multiple screens in front of them, multiple devices. 

We’ve probably all been kind of this person who’s got lots of things going on at once and we feel busy, we feel productive. Busy is not necessarily the same as being productive. 

I think being productive comes down to how we think about three major things: goals, the tools we use to achieve those goals, and then the habits we develop to combine those goals.

How do we combine these three?

A basic sense of how we’re going to do these things that combine the goals, tools, and habits with our resources of time and attention which are limited every day.  

5 Rules of Productive Human (Operating System)

So these rules for making decisions are effectively our operating system. You can think of a device’s operating system. 

The more productive the operating system is, it answers a lot more of these “how” questions. And you just learned how to be a better human. So, here are my five rules for productive humans:

1. be honest

This first rule for being productive and a better human is: to be Honest. You have to start with real honesty when you’re making decisions. When you’re making the smallest decision to the greatest 

decision. 

And there are two ways to think about honesty: There’s objective honesty which can be, “oh I sold five paintings”. There’s a quantity and it’s very clear to see. There’s also subjective honesty and this is where things get for humans, we have a lot of inner gut feeling that may not match the objective things that we’re seeing.

Others may not like the way these two come together. But it’s the meshing of the objective and subjective honesty that we have to look at together. That’s the only way, to be honest with yourself.

When you’re honest with yourself, about how you feel about your time and attention, about the resources you have available. Then you can be more honest with others for being honest with others. 

This is often tricky in itself which brings us to the second rule: be unafraid. 

2. be unafraid

We have trouble being honest with people if we’re afraid of what it might mean, what it might cause or what we might lose. 

We have a lot of these “but what if—” questions that pop into our minds about the consequences of being honest and trying to follow. The goals we decided on often are just irrational.

And you have to be unafraid and be comfortable with the possibility that— something might go wrong that you might fail, that you might have to have a

difficult conversation. 

But that failure makes you stronger. You will learn more from the ways that you fall. 

Then you do by walking successfully which takes us to number three: be mindful.

3. be mindful

Once you’re more aware of your honest feelings and you’re unafraid. Be mindful, then of how you implement those feelings and those decisions in

the actions that you take.

When you work with intent and think about how you’re using your tools, how you’re using your time and attention. You’ll make better use of both the tool and of yourself. Tools get in the way though because sometimes the tools we use will get so caught up in the features; that somebody else has created from some app that’s gonna solve our problem. 

But we just end up getting caught up, trying to optimize our work or workspace or trying to get this other new tool that’s gonna solve the problem.

So, don’t let your tools use you. Often the simplest tools are all you need to achieve great things.

You could practically build a house with some of the tools on that slide which then takes us to the fourth rule: be active.

4. be active

Once you’ve got this understanding of your relationship with your honesty; you’re unafraid; to be mindful. Then you can be active in how you use your time and attention successfully.

Sometimes if we’re not mindful and we’re not active we find ourselves on a path that ends up right back just a little bit further from where we started. I’ve often felt like this on a Monday. Maybe that’s just me.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t recover. If it is possible to stop and be still, active, and mindful in that stillness. Take that opportunity to remember that you are your best tool.

And I mean this in the kindest way.

If the tool doesn’t suit the need then you find a better tool or you improve the tool you have. And if that tool is you, how do you improve yourself?

Active growth, seek out new challenges, learn from them and then be sure to implement them and test. Be honest. If it’s working and reject it if it’s not working, move on to something else.

 Once you learn that takes us to the fifth and final rule: be nice.

5. be nice

Be nice to your fellow humans, even if you don’t like them. Remember that other’s “why”, “what” and “how” questions may be very different from yours. They may be asking, “why am I sad?”, “what am I going to eat tonight?, “how am I going to find a job?”

Be sympathetic and understanding when you get help from somebody else. Don’t take that for granted. Be nice when you receive as well as when you give.

And then of course don’t forget to be nice to yourself. Treat yourself, be good to the tools, the mind, and the body you have. And treat yourself and others on the planet the way you would like to be treated.

It’s the golden rule. So here you go five rules 1) Be honest 2) unafraid 3) mindful 4) active and 5) nice.  And you may have noticed it is pretty easy to remember, be a hundred percent human it’s that simple. 

On Being A More Human

Let’s come back to why bother trying to be the best person you can be? Why bother trying to be productive?

 I believe that sharing is the reason we are here on this planet. We all have part of us inside a primal thing that wants to let the world know we were here. We want to leave a mark. 

This is a cave painting that’s ten thousand years old. Indonesian people have been needing to leave a sense of their presence here for thousands of years. How is that any different from us? We still have this need to leave our mark in the world.

And let’s say, I was here or I feel this way again. Another cave is the Lascaux caves in France, also about 10,000 years old.  Paleolithic people describe the world, sharing stories. How is that any different from this—

I don’t know what that story might be but others do. It speaks to people and it expresses a human need just like this. How’s that any different from that? the passion, the expression, the memory.

The point of being here and being human is to share. So why not go out and start sharing the art you see, share friendship, share love share, your path, share your adventure, share what you discover around the corner down the street, share what you find beyond the unknown.

” What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” 

~ Henry Stanley Haskins

Remember what lies within you and share your journey along your path. So the big question remains— What are you going to share?

As long as you share honestly, you’re unafraid, you’re mindful, you’re active and you’re nice. Share humanity, start now be human.

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