A Strategy For Daily Living
Ari Kiev

Kiev derived his eight principles from a genesis request:

I want some kind of daily checklist to help keep me on track during times of doubt and indecision. I know I must solve my own problems, but if I had some general rules to follow it would make things a lot easier for me.

A successful life does not result from chance nor is it determined by fate or good fortune, but from a succession of successful days.

The man who succeeds above his fellows is the one who early in life clearly discerns his object and toward that object he habitually directs his powers. Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius. —Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton.

“The Secret of success is constancy of purpose,” Benjamin Disraeli.

My most important goal is to: Write a novel that appears on the New York Times bestseller list.” Tape this goal to my laptop. Place this goal in my wallet. Tape this goal to my bathroom mirror.

“To be what we are and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life,” Baruch Spinoza.

“It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen,” Herodotus.

How would I handle this situation were I the person I hope to become?

If an activity has no relationship to my objectives, don’t do it.

Only if I prepare will I recognize opportunities: writing. Am I knowledgeable in all phases of my work? What are the origins of my field? What developments will occur in the next ten years?

The more I learn about my field, the more capable I’ll be in recognizing opportunities as they appear.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood. —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The belief that you can’t do something is merely rationalization for unwillingness to take risk.

“The greatest composer does not sit down to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.” Ernest Newman, English music critic.

“Activity itself generates the impetus for further activity.”

Failure as a result of effort yields information that can be applied the next time.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely,” Auguste Rodin.

The more I look for my own solutions, relying on my own assessments, the stronger I will become.

“No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It’s when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the road is more than a man can bear,” George McDonald.

Keep alert for situations that generate the five great enemies of peace: avarice, believing that I need certain things when I probably don’t, and feeling that what I depend on will be taken from me; ambition, dissatisfaction with myself and my activities to the point where I set unattainable goals and become too focused on outcomes; envy, irrational comparison of what others have achieved and what I have achieved. Lack of what others possess does not cause frustration, but failure to develop your assets does; anger, destroys incentive. Must I depend upon others” opinions; pride, the mature individual acknowledges his limitations, acts humbly and tolerates differences with others. Distress vanishes with the admission of fallibility.

Behaviors to modify—cease creating clutter: toss, act or file.

“Wealth is in applications of mind to nature; and the art of getting rich consists not in industry, much less in saving, but in a better order, in timeliness, in being at the right spot.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

To earn money increase your contribution to society.

Money is a form of energy; you must devote as much time learning how to spend it as you devote to learning how to earn it.

Self-Reliance and Dependency – self-reliance comes from two separate acts: a positive orientation toward goals and a reduction of unnecessary and inhibiting dependency patterns.

“The essential characteristics of the gentleman are the ability to put oneself in the place of others, the horror of forcing others into positions from which he himself would recoil, and the power to do what he feels to be right without considering what other may say or think.” John Galsworthy.

“The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is non-interference with their own particular ways of being happy, provided that those ways are not assumed to interfere by violence with ours.” William James.

Work to improve that which I do best and most readily. As much as possible, rely on myself to accomplish the goals I have set for myself.

Concentrate first on activities related to the objectives that are most important to me. Much can be accomplished in a short time if I devote myself to my highest priorities. Keep track of time expended in activities so that I can better monitor my daily routines. Don’t succumb to the feeling that I have insufficient time to do what I want. If I focus on my major objectives, I will minimize or halt those activities that have no real importance. I will be increasingly free of the pressure to pursue less important activities.

Prepare a general schedule the night before, but approach each day in a relaxed way, letting things emerge and evolve as the day goes on. Above all, seek activities that I enjoy. When I finish one activity, move on to another.

Focused and informed activity reduces fear and anxiety. Study of a task the actual testing of it lead to knowledge. Remembering this will take the sting out of failure, which, in fact, should be a source of new information that can assist me when I return to the task. Criticism, however unpleasant, can provide valuable information about ways to improve. Make the most of the information and resources I now have, and don’t dwell on potential sources of difficulty that are beyond the limited amount of information available to me. This will only magnify illusions of ear and anxiety. Postponement can become habitual and can lead to non-productivity. Don’t procrastinate by fantasizing about past failures or future problems; don’t allow myself to be distracted by opportunities for self-indulgence. When I postpone an activity, I increase the chances of never accomplishing it, and I will left, in the future, with memories of past wishes rather than past deeds.

How I handle an anxiety-producing situation—either on the job, in the home or in the community —will depend on my own particular temperament, constitution, previous training and experience. Don’t resort to mechanical formulas to solve problems. Find the method most compatible with my own personality and life style. I can learn from emulating other, but I should strive to conduct my life in ways suited to myself. New situations require new solutions. the more I look for my own solutions to new and problematic situations, the more likely I will find the best approach for me. Don’t blame my inaction on others and take credit for sacrificing my goals on their behalf. This demeans them and creates insecurity about my “true feelings.”

Acting in terms of your goals will give you strength in dealing with the most complex situations and will minimize the psychological threats of specific situations. Ultimately, what I accomplish results from my willingness to be true to myself. Stick to what I find most rewarding. This will make my life more rewarding and will minimize my conflicts.

The strongest relationships develop from pursuit of a common objective or activity. This shared experience increases tolerance for differences in attitudes and values and reduces efforts to try to change others for the sake of the relationship. Relationships that focus on simply “having a relationship,” as such, can prove taxing and frustrating. Similarly, guard against a willingness to be so accommodating that you compromise my own identity.


  1. Mark Millican says:

    Hi. I was reading the book ‘Descending into Greateness’ by Bill Hybels this morning and came across this: “Change comes only with willful movement. Impact follows on the heels of action.” It reminded me of a quote I used to carry around in my wallet, “Activity itself generates the impetus for further activity.” While searching for the author I came across your site. Anyway, thanks for your words. I’ve been a little down in my back lately and needed the cheering up.

    • Jeff Hess says:

      Shalom Mark,

      First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to add to our discussion. We build our community with our conversations.

      I first discovered Ari Kiev in the mid-’80s when I first read Time Power. I still re-read the book every year. Charles Hobbs was a powerful writer.



Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image