I saw an article about George Raveling recently in the Daily Stoic newsletter. Raveling – known as Coach Rav to many, has a pretty remarkable history. And an even better life philosophy that fits very nicely with #GiveFirst.
On his website, he has a page titled 23 Life Choices That Are In Your Control. It’s delightful and follows.
> 1. Be YOU, not them.
Solid idea poorly phrased.
> 2. Do more, expect less.
I’m ≠ sure about the message. I think it’s to be net positive, but do more than what or who? Expect less from what or who?.
> 3. Be positive, not negative.
That is, unless negativity is a positive. In Stoicism we talk about negative visualizations, which are valuable. In business, thinking about the worst things that can happen feeds into resiliency.
> 4. Be the solution, not the problem.
I would change this to something like “don’t spend time creating roadblocks”.
> 5. Be a starter, not a stopper.
Throwing a flag on this one. It’s ≠ hard to think of scenarios where stopping is the best thing.
> 6. Question more, believe less.
Trust, but verify.
> 7. Be a somebody, never a nobody.
Be somebody, yes. ≠ “A” somebody
> 8. Love more, hate less.
How is this not a duplicate of #20?
> 9. Give more, take less.
> 10. See more, look less.
> 11. Save more, spend less.
I would add “value more” to this.
> 12. Listen more, talk less.
Assuming your job isn’t talking for a living.
> 13. Walk more, sit less.
The science is inconclusive. Mix things up.
> 14. Read more, watch less.
I prefer “Learn more, mindlessly consume less.”, but better phrased.
> 15. Build more, destroy less.
Nope. Maybe in general, but not always.
> 16. Praise more, criticize less.
Nope. Honest feedback is necessary.
> 17. Clean more, dirty less.
> 18. Live more, do not just exist.
> 19. Be the answer, not the question.
I have no idea what this means.
> 20. Be a lover, not a hater.
I no longer hate Brussels sprouts yet I also do not love them. Instead, I advise making your hate a finite, limited resource. Spend it well. Otherwise, run the gamut from dislike to love without assigning more emotion than is needed.
For example, I fondly remember the Star Trek movies 1-5. The next batch had moments. The reboot put me to sleep – I actually fell asleep every time I tried to watch it. Other people love the new Star Trek. Great for them! I’m obviously not losing sleep over the reboot, but also it has zero impact on me.
I have more important things to deal with than what some mega-corporation does with a massively popular commercial property they own.
But I digress.
> 21. Be a painkiller, not a pain giver.
I disagree with this one. Sometimes the best thing you can do for another person is to tell them a hard truth they chose not to acknowledge.
> 22. Think more, react less.
Assuming one has the luxury of time, this is good.
> 23. Be more uncommon, less common.
I don’t know what this means.
If you just skimmed the list, I encourage you to go back and read it again. To slow down and really savor it, read each line out loud and then ponder what you are doing to make that choice on a daily basis.
There is some useful stuff in here, but don’t expect a treasure trove of insight. I’m poking holes in some of them because they are platitudes too generically bland to be useful in real life. However, the overall ideal is one we all should embrace more often.