Inspire

From FirstRound Capital:

While there’s no magical advice that can turn you into a stellar founder or CEO, there’s one litmus test Sutton recommends for managers to determine whether they are good at their jobs:

“After people talk to you, do they come away with more or less energy?”

This is something you can ask members of your team, or simply observe in many cases. It’s a simple “yes” or “no.”

How to view rejection

From If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough by Chris Dixon:

One of the great things about looking for a job is that your “payoff” is almost always a max function (the best of all attempts), not an average. This is also generally true for raising VC financing, doing bizdev partnerships, hiring programmers, finding good advisors/mentors, even blogging and marketing.  I probably got rejected by someone once a day last week alone. In one case a friend who tried to help called me to console me. He seemed surprised when I told him: “no worries – this is a daily occurrence – we’ll just keep trying.”  If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.

On which Nivi commented:

People that reject me are doing me a favor. They’re not rejecting me or my product. They’re rejecting the combination of me and them together. They’re telling me we would have a bad relationship. And they’re probably right.

Choosing the pathways of your mind

Excerpt from Lydia Krasilnikova by Prof. Daniel Jackson:

I think the mind is like a forest floor: the more you walk paths the deeper they get and the easier it is to walk them again. When I wasn’t doing so great, there was a path falling into unhappiness, and the more I walked on it, the deeper that path got. It’s important to learn how to tell yourself, “No, I’m not thinking about that right now. As a matter of fact I’m never thinking about that; we’re done here.” Eventually, if you let it, that darker path will get covered up with leaves; the leaves will disintegrate over the winter and by spring there will be new dirt covering it. The path is still there but it’s shallow and small and you don’t have to fall into walking it. In the meantime if you build more positive paths they will become easier and easier to find.

One of the biggest realizations I had is that happiness isn’t something that happens to you. It’s a choice.

Fighting cynicism

From 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings by Maria Popova:

Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively. Fight it in yourself, for this ungainly beast lays dormant in each of us, and counter it in those you love and engage with, by modeling its opposite.

Cynicism often masquerades as nobler faculties and dispositions, but is categorically inferior. Unlike that great Rilkean life-expanding doubt, it is a contracting force. Unlike critical thinking, that pillar of reason and necessary counterpart to hope, it is inherently uncreative, unconstructive, and spiritually corrosive. Life, like the universe itself, tolerates no stasis — in the absence of growth, decay usurps the order. Like all forms of destruction, cynicism is infinitely easier and lazier than construction.

There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment. This remains the most potent antidote to cynicism. Today, especially, it is an act of courage and resistance.

Critics and celebrators

From 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings by Maria Popova:

Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words.

It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.