In business it always helps to befriend the executive assistant; he or she holds a lot of sway behind the scenes. Make sure the assistant who orders lunch for your conference gets a plate of food, include him or her in as many business decisions as reasonably possible, and remember his or her birthday. These are kind gestures with obvious benefits: If the assistant likes you, chances are, the boss will like you.
It can be uncomfortable, but do it anyway.
A good crying jag can be cathartic. It’s a girl thing. Just don’t do it at work.
I learned this from a business associate, but it’s a good rule of thumb for personal interactions as well.
People will repeatedly tell you that to be truly happy, you must find a job that you love. I sincerely hope that you do. But in case you have to take a less-than-ideal position to pay the bills, there are some things you should know. Avoid any job that you find morally objectionable—you can’t reconcile your values with tasks you find repugnant. But you can earn rewards from a job that you find only mildly tolerable. When you are presented with a challenge and use your skills to meet it, you will feel accomplished, regardless of the task. That feeling is universally valid and undeniably admirable; embracing it will make work a more rewarding experience in the day to day, even if it doesn’t feed your soul.
Genuine politics—even politics worthy of the name—the only politics I am willing to devote myself to—is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.
Everything gets easier the more you do it, good or bad, so choose your habits wisely.
You will be told at a young age what your talents are. Enjoy the compliments, but don’t accept them at face value. You don’t want to walk a narrow path; attempt things you aren’t comfortable with and uncover skills or proclivities you didn’t know you possessed.
With any creative pursuit, learning when to stop is part of the challenge; this type of editing can be what separates ordinary from excellent. It’s very easy to make an oil painting muddy, an essay over-complicated, or a stir-fry mushy by not realizing when the work is complete.
Use language that is free from subterfuge to render opinions that are frank, outspoken, and sincere. Choose appropriate moments to do so and strive to be impartial and unreserved. If you can develop consistency and compassion in this regard you will be known as a trusted friend and valued confidant, while simultaneously cultivating an honest and forthright relationship with the observations and emotions roiling about in your own head.