20 Truths

Brass Tack Thinking - 20 TruthsInspired by my friend CC Chapman, I got caught up in tossing down a random collection of thoughts, assertions, and truths I’ve currently got in my head. So instead of keeping them to myself, I figured I’d post them here, just for fun. I’d love it if you’d share yours, and if you post, let me know and I’ll update the post here with links to yours.

1. Writing is an evolution, not a destination.

2. It’s totally okay to change your mind. Several times.

3. Kid time you don’t get back.

4. Parents need their kids, too.

5. The world will not stop if you get off Twitter for a day or two. If you’ve built relationships that matter, however, you’ll miss being there because you miss the people. Simple as that, and the naysayers can go poke.

6. When life slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

7. You can find inspiration and motivation in curious places if you’re willing to look for it, and accept it when you find it.

8. Let go of the truly toxic and negative people in your world, whether they be close in your personal lives or just some jackhole on Twitter. Life is way too short to let other people take your energy from you.

9. Change can be terrifying, overwhelming, and even sad. And yet, it’s the thing that carries us to whatever amazing thing is next. And there is always a next, amazing thing.

10. As much as I talk about how different is good, I’m really uncomfortable when I think that *I’m* the one that’s different, as though it’s a bad thing. But I’m learning.

11. My friends Tamsen McMahon, Tom Webster, DJ Waldow, Lauren Vargas, CC Chapman, Melissa Delgaudio and Matt Ridings emphasized for me, in a very short time, how very special it is to find people that you connect with, can laugh with, and who love you no matter the level of crazy.

12. The appearance of confidence and conviction is not always rooted in same. Often, it can be quite the opposite.

13. Science is still cool. Really cool.

14. An overflowing inbox, not sleeping, and forgetting to eat are not badges of honor. They are signs that you really need to do something differently.

15. Having an idea is easy. Having the courage to defend, pursue, develop, change, and realize that idea is where you prove whether you’re for real.

16. I’m proud to call myself a published author, and I worked my butt off to get there. Whether there are a zillion books in social media or not, mine is one of them. And that makes me excited.

17. List posts can be silly, or they can inspire you to write ones of your own and learn something fascinating about other people. Levity can be a fine strategy.

18. You’ve probably inspired someone lately that you didn’t realize was paying attention.

19. No one dies in this business. I’ll never apologize for being passionate and driven about my work, but nor will I apologize for taking time out at an event to have a dinner with squirrels or an evening finger painting with the very small light of my life. The people are the purpose, in all of this.

20. Almost anything can be solved with a hot bath, a good book, and a glass of really good wine. Almost.

Would you share your truths with me? I’d love to know what’s making you tick these days, what’s on your mind, what things you’re contemplating. Post them and share them in the comments, or whatever moves you. But take a moment and take stock. It’s pretty fun, and you might just realize a thing or two about your own state of mind.

Can’t wait to hear yours.

  • Jim Everett

    Thanks for sharing Amber. Here are a couple of mine.

    You can’t save the world, you can only save yourself – and if you do that in a way that serves others, who knows, you just might end up saving the world.

    I’m a lot better version of me when I really share what I’m up to and why it’s important. And that’s when all the support shows up.

  • http://www.internet-bard.com KatFrench

    Lovely list, Amber.

    My truth lately? Conflict is the gateway to intimacy in relationships, but it’s not always the right time to go through that gate. It’s okay to rest and prepare in a state of withdrawal, just don’t build a summer home there.

  • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

    Anytime I create something that inspires others I feel like it was time well spent and this heart felt and inspirational list certainly did that for me.

    I’m truly blessed to have you as a friend. Keep on rocking it!

  • http://www.vincentroman.com Vincent Roman

    My truism = Life is one big vacation!

  • http://thoughtwrestling.com/blog Mark Dykeman

    You can find and rekindle your lost or abandoned creative spark at any age.

  • Anonymous

    amen to #14

  • http://frankdickinson.me/ Frank Dickinson

    As always, great stuff Amber!

    Here’s one for the list: On most topics, I’ve never had an original thought. I teach/write/work through the insights I’ve learned from others.

  • Anonymous

    Great list Amber. I agree with so many of them.

    Laugh at yourself at least once a day. Laugh with the ones you love as much as humanly possible.

  • http://www.blog.vmeals.com Molly Fulton

    A few of mine:
    Discipline is freedom.
    Your gifts, talents and skill grow to the extent you use them for something beyond yourself.
    You may not always be able to change your circumstances, but you can transcend them.
    When you change your view and your response, you change your experience.
    The best speakers aren’t the smartest people in the room, they are the ones who know how to tell a story.
    Confidence is sexy.Arrogance is unbecoming. Too many in “social media” confuse the two.

    • http://www.womanzworld.com/ Natalie Sisson

      Discipline totally is freedom. Well put Molly. Amber I loved No 14 too

  • Lindsey Sherman

    I absolutely love #14. I lived that way all last year and I was a complete mess. It’s good to take a step back and realize what’s important and what’s not, and learn to prioritize the mess and still be able to take care of yourself.

    One thing that I’ve realized this year that I consider to be my personal truth is that no matter how much I whine, or how many assignments I have stacked on top of each other, or how rough things seem at the time… I really have an amazing, blessed life. And I try to be grateful for that every day.

    Thank you so much for sharing your list!

  • http://rickcaffeinated.com Rick Stilwell

    Will post “mine” – great points, a list well-lived.

  • http://twitter.com/trontastic Levi Wardell

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring! Here are a few of mine…

    – I have embraced my adult excitement in new appliances, home improvement projects and yard work.

    – If you let a child just talk and talk and talk, be careful, you may learn and learn and learn something new.

    – I still struggle with #14 on a weekly basis

    – and of course… always try your best to be happy with where you are in life, but never be satisfied.

  • http://twitter.com/3percentconf 3% Conference

    #18 is so fitting because Amber inspired me one low day and I emailed to tell her I was paying attention.

    Few of mine:

    Struggle is not a dirty word. Stretch yourself and encourage your kids to fail. They’ll get smarter and stronger and won’t end up living on your couch.

    Remember that hobby from childhood that made you joyful? Take it up again.

    Courtesy never goes out of style. Always look behind you when going through a door and hold it for someone even several steps behind. You will surprise them with your lack of hurry.

  • http://twitter.com/EvolutionCBL Evolution Career Bus

    You devote the first 11 or 12 years of your child’s life teaching them what is right and wrong. Then it is time to sit back and see how well you did. Of course there may be a little mentoring now and then to get them over some hurdles. I would not trade it for anything in the world.
    My 19 year old is in here first year of college and she is quite the grown up now.

    If you are relying on others to help you get where you are going in will take you longer to get there. Just do it.

  • http://twitter.com/frankrebecca Rebecca Frank

    Love this list, especially today. Just got some news that means my relatively stable life is in an annoying bit of turmoil for a while. Oh well. That leads to #1) Everything can be an opportunity, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it at first.

    And #2 is from The Phantom Tollbooth – “The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort.”

    These tend to keep me going.

  • Robbin Phillips

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to articulate my own truths. I have hit a little social media/blogging burn out (geez, someone stop the email faucet) and I was searching for something worthwhile to share. Always great to remind yourself what matters most.

  • http://twitter.com/megfowler Meg Fowler

    I write blog lists all the damn time, and I think of them as a release — getting all the stuff out of my head, even if all the stuff is random/silly/important to just me. So I love this. I would be proud to write a list like this.

    Also, amen on the classic “I’m working so hard, I don’t even have time to breathe!” complaints as badges of honor. That’s a realization I had to come to after I’d turned self-neglect into some sort of metric of success. And look at how many people here are affirming that one. We’re all doing it. :)

    Here are some of my truths:

    Half of what drives me nuts about other people is what drives me nuts about me.

    A squeeze of lemon improves a lot of things.

    Ass-kissing and shit-disturbing are equally annoying in text.

  • http://twitter.com/lrbray Lindsey Bray

    I LOVE #14. It’s too true. I’m currently a senior in college, and I can’t even count the number of times I hear (and admittedly participate in) discussions about living such busy lives that meals just have to be skipped and all nighters are regular occurrences. People think it gives them bragging rights and creates an image of themselves as the goal-driven students who accept nothing less than perfection. I’m assuming it’s similar in the workplace. Like you said, it’s not a badge of honor, it’s just proof that your priorities need to be rearranged a bit.

    Great post!

  • @searchwookie

    Totally awesome! Thank you!!

  • http://www.techguerilla.com/ Matt Ridings – Techguerilla

    My bakers dozen of truths

    1. Love is a many splendored thing, it’s also complicated as hell
    2. Disagree and debate all you like, have confidence in your opinions. But don’t mistake confidence for correctness, in my case or in yours.
    3. No one ever says they wish they had done more work while on their death bed, so make sure you find ways to enjoy the work that you do.
    4. I am easy to take advantage of….until I’m not.
    5. My son is my life.
    6. Surround yourself with diversity of thought and complexity of opinion.
    7. Learn to love the gray, because black and white is comforting but rarely represents reality.
    8. Friends (and not acquaintances). One is enough, more are better. All deserve everything you can give when they need you.
    9. Bare toes in the sand solves a lot of problems
    10. Expect more out of yourself than anyone else, but find a way to give yourself a break when you don’t meet them
    11. Live simply.
    12. The written word, whether viewed or not, has power even if only (especially?) to its creator
    13. It is what it is (in t-shirt Lingo…Shit Happens)

  • http://twitter.com/IntheLoopTODAY IntheLoop

    Some Truths that I know to be true:
    rewards come to those who work hard
    creativity is the key to reinventing yourself
    God, Family , Self
    share your wisdom and people will listen..if you make sense
    don’t be afraid to take risks
    nothing happens by chance
    stay grounded and keep your eyes open for answers….sometimes they show up in funny ways
    stop and do good for others and it will come back to you 10 fold
    Customers are found, built and kept through relationship building and showing that you are
    about them

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    A few that have made themselves abundantly clear the last few months:

    1. Never apologize for your life or who you are. To anyone.
    2. Whatever it is that makes you “you”, good or bad, own it.
    3. Anger is just repackaged fear. To get over anger, get over the fear.
    4. Stop listening to shitty music. There are much better options.

  • Pascal Z.

    great thoughts … thanks for sharing.

    here is one more:

    there are no wrong decisions, because every decision leads to new opportunities (even if u don’t see them directly)

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  • Stephen

    Making time to do something creative (like finger-painting!) is so important to clearing your head and heart of stress and fatigue. Make time every week (at least) to do something, anything creative and you will be amazed.

  • Missy Jensen

    Amber,
    As always I really enjoy your posts. The perspective was helpful so early this morning. :) I particularly loved #4 and 20!

    A parting thought:
    “To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.” -Ken S. Keyes, Jr.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maureen.argon Maureen Argon

    Moving outside your comfort zone is only uncomfortable for a little while.
    Sometimes when you think you’re procrastinating, you’re really creating space for something new and interesting to emerge.
    It’s always good to take time to hug your kids and stroke your cats.
    Your line “people are the purpose” will become my mantra for the next little while!
    Thanks.

  • Scott Russell

    On a scale of 1 to 10, every corporate project is NOT a 10! Prioritize.

  • http://twitter.com/Keli_Whidden Keli Whidden

    ‘Power’ has been on my mind lately … how we give it and how we get it, how we move through the powerful moments in our lives and inspire them in others … many of the points on your list talk of this, thanks :)

  • http://twitter.com/deonnekahler Deonne Kahler

    Great lists, Amber and commenters! I’m walking the high wire once again, pursuing a project/obsession that has no sure outcome. Having done this a few times already and not fallen to my death (ha), I’d say this: Go where the energy is, chase your passions. If you’re doing something you don’t love because you think you “should,” you’re wasting time. Life is short. Don’t wait.

  • http://twitter.com/heatherfonseca Heather Fonseca

    I love this! I’m working on a 20 truths post right now.

  • http://www.qboro.wordpress.com Qboro Jim

    A truly “wonder full” list. I’d just like to add a favorite from an old friend, “nothing is a crisis unless someone is not breathing or is bleeding.” Live your joy and, every once and a while, stop to remember why you chose this path in life.

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com startabuzz

    In my current state of flux, I have a lot of this stuff swimming around in my Jeffrey-soaked head.

    1. When all is said and done, a snuggle with your kids in the quiet light of the morning fixes just about everything.

    2. Holding hands is grossly underrated.

    3. We are not rockstars. Work doesn’t get done by crushing and/or rocking anything (unless you work in a quarry).

    4. Making mistakes is OK. As long as you endeavor not to repeat them.

    5. Having friends on whom you can depend is truly a blessing.

    6. It’s OK to just STOP.

    7. If you’re having fun, HAVE it. Don’t let sideways glances from uptight passersby steal your joy.

    8. Tell the people whom you love that you do. Tell them often.

    9. Wear matching underwear.

    10. Eat food that is bad for you, at least once in a while.

    11. It is admirable to work hard and to do your job well. But not to sacrifice your life for success.

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  • http://dresramblings.com Andre Natta

    I’d had a lot of these things on the brain and wasn’t sure if I should share them. Thanks to you and C.C. though I’ve just finished getting them out of my mind and onto the screen. It’s a nice release.

    http://dresramblings.com/2010/11/11/twenty-truths/

  • http://twitter.com/daScriffles Lisa Yallamas

    Spend time more time with people who aren’t afraid of sharing their joys – not just their problems.

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  • http://nikkistephan.com Nikki Stephan

    These are great, Amber. Thanks for sharing! Here’s a truth that has taken me awhile to learn:

    The though of failing is terrifying, but making mistakes is a natural part of life. It’s what you do with the lessons learned from mistakes that is important. You can sulk and beat yourself up for failing, or you can pick yourself up and learn a valuable lesson from the experience. Striving for perfection is unrealistic. Rather, we should strive to learn something from each and every failure, regardless of how big or small it may be.

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  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Amber: I took your advice and included my own 20 Truths: http://socialbutterflyguy.com/2010/11/16/20-truths/

    Thanks for the inspiration…

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    http://www.blueskyfactory.com
    @djwaldow

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  • http://getblankspace.com/blog/ Mindi

    Thanks for sharing…Here’s what I have been thinking about recently.

    Pretend you are self-disciplines, and soon you will be.

    If you live at the whim of your preferences, you become a slave to your preferences

    The secret to getting what you want out of life, if knowing what you want and believing you can have it.

  • http://1181south.com Susan

    I googled “20 truths” as I read some very funny ones last weekend while on vacation in Sedona.  Your link came across and I’m glad to have found it. Your 20 truths kept my good feeling going strong today.