Get the Easy Things Right

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
2 min read

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

Vincent Van Gogh

We tend to spend a lot of time searching for the secrets to success. According to the Pareto Principle 20% of causes result in 80% of effects. Getting the easy stuff right is that 20%.

Here are two of those things:

Show up.

80 percent of success is showing up.

- Woody Allen

Show up. Don’t be reluctant and don’t be distracted. Show up and be present and mindful.

If you are reluctant, trust your instincts. Instead of committing to something half-heartedly, just say no. Don’t agree out of a feeling of obligation and then sleep walk through things or sabotage them with passive aggression.

Be punctual.

If you aren’t early, you are late. Try to shoot for being ten minutes early to everything. Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi was even more aggressive, “If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.”

Being late acknowledges that you find it acceptable to make others wait on you. Tardiness is an act of selfishness. If you are regularly early to events, you will notice that when things go wrong, you still are on time. Being early is a sign of respect and forethought.

Barack Obama said “My greatest strength? Probably that I’m always early.” He famously likes to turn up early for every meeting. He has made a conscious commitment to being early. When I first heard about this I started to give it a try.

I find when I am early I can count on having my best conversations and networking. It gives me a sense of control. I also don’t arrive stressed from trying to rush. And I started to realize how I consistently underestimate how long is takes to get somewhere.

Give it a try. Decide to show up. And show up early.

Be Here Now

Be present, mindful, aware and engaged. Focus on essentials and eliminate distractions. Showing up is more than just an ass in a seat.

Here are a few more easy things to get right. Check out this slide deck.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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