Spark by Dr. Jeremy Dean

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

Thinking back to one single previous bout of exercise motivates people to raise their exercise levels in the future.

“One of the best ways of getting going is to set yourself some ‘If…then’’ statements.”

“People generate higher intrinsic motivation when they ask themselves questions.”

The Five Big Ideas

“Try to imagine some of the consequences of not trying hard to complete your project. How will you feel if you give up? What will it mean to other people? How much will you regret it in the future?”

“Psychologists have found that people will go to quite incredible lengths to protect their own self-esteem.”

“Identity changes are not just the result of increased motivation, they can also feed your motivation.”

“One important key to imagining your future self is to think of the process as a journey.”

“Monitoring progress consistently emerges from studies as key to making progress towards a goal.”

Spark Summary

Step 1. Identify your starting point

Step 2. Discover the change you want

Step 3. Identify powerful internal and external motivations

Step 4. Modelling

Step 5. Getting Started

Step 6. Self-affirmation

Step 7. The backup plan

Step 8. Engage other people (or not)

Step 9. Self-compassion

Step 10. A good mood

Step 11. Envy

Step 12. Fear

Step 13. Anger

Step 14. Avoid self-handicapping

Step 15. Finding your individual motivation

Step 16. Journey towards a new identity

Step 17. The review

One popular model of change used by psychologists has five different phrases:

Pre-contemplation. You are not even considering making any changes.

Contemplation. You are at least considering a change.

Determination. Your plans for action are coming along but you haven’t put them into action yet.

Action. You are already part way through making a change.

Maintenance. You are trying to make the change permanent.

Ask yourself: “What would be the advantages and disadvantages of making this change?”

At the heart of intrinsic motivation lie three factors, according to Professors Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, the theory’s authors:

Competence. We want to be good at something—but it needs to be something we find just hard enough. Things that are too easy don’t give us a sense of competence.

Autonomy. We want to be free and dislike being controlled. When people have some freedom—even within certain non-negotiable boundaries—they are more likely to thrive.

Relatedness. As social animals, we want to feel connected to other people.

“When we see someone take a particular series of action and achieve the desired goal, it gives us hope we can do the same.” (Matthew Syed also touches upon “motivation by association” in Bounce)

“Modeling can give us hope that we can learn, as long as we choose someone who is similar enough to ourselves.”

“Studies have shown that just thinking back to one single previous bout of exercise motivates people to raise their exercise levels in the future.”

“One of the best ways of getting going is to set yourself some ‘If…then’ statements.”

“Turning a self-affirmation into a question is better than simply using a statement, research reveals.” (This study is also referenced in To Sell Is Human by Dan H. Pink.)

“People generate higher intrinsic motivation when they ask themselves questions.” (See: “Quality Questions” in Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins.)

“Backup plans can actually help feed our motivation for our main plan.”

“What feeds our motivation is knowing that we have a good chance of achieving the goal.”

“Under experimental conditions, it is the people with backup plans that have more motivation for their task.”

“The experiments do reveal one twist in the tail, though. As people get close to their goal, creating backup plans starts to demotivate them.”

“One study of joining online social networks has even found that these can be beneficial in pumping up motivation ”

Here are three psychological strategies you might use to deal with despair:

Self-esteem boost. Think about positive aspects of the self to boost confidence.

Positive distraction. Think back to nice memories from the problem.

Self-compassion. Think about the self with kindness and compassion, seeing the period of low self-confidence in context, without evaluating or judging it.

People who practice self-compassion find it easier to:

See the possibilities for change

Increase the motivation to change

Take steps towards making a change

Compare themselves with those doing better, to help motivate their change

“When we are actually doing something we care a lot more about how it feels than when we are not doing it.”

“One of the most useful aspects of a positive mood is it tends to make us feel more confident in our own abilities.”

“There are at least two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy.”

“When another’s success feels served to us, we tend to feel a benign envy: one that is not destructive.”

“What need cultivating is a kind of benign fear of what might happen if you fail to at least try and achieve your goal or complete your project.” (See: “Pain/Pleasure” in Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins)

“Try to imagine some of the consequences of not trying hard to complete your project. How will you feel if you give up? What will it mean to other people? How much will you regret it in the future?”

“Research has shown that anger can make us push on towards our goals in the face of problems and barriers.”

“Studies find that anger makes people more motivated for rewards.”

“Whatever the source of the anger, it needs to be channeled in a positive and constructive way.”

“Psychologists have found that people will go to quite incredible lengths to protect their own self-esteem.”

“The first step in avoiding self-handicapping is noticing and cutting out the most obvious self-defeating behaviors, like not trying very hard.”

Think of a setback that you’ve experienced and ask yourself these two questions:

Can I take responsibility for the setback (rather than blaming someone else)?

Can I accept a poor outcome for what it is rather than trying to rationalize it away? This may hurt now but will produce greater motivation to change in the future.

“It may not be until you make some progress towards your goal that your real motivations become clear.”

“If we make steady progress, then slowly, almost imperceptibly, our self-image starts to change.”

“Identity changes are not just the result of increased motivation, they can also feed your motivation.”

“Research suggests that thinking about who you want to be in the future can increase optimism and motivation.”

“One important key to imagining your future self is to think of the process as a journey.”

“Monitoring progress consistently emerges from studies as key to making progress towards a goal.”

Recommended Reading

If you like Spark, you may also like the following books:

Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others by Daniel H Pink

Buy The Book: Spark

eBook

Related Book Summaries

Self-Help Book Summaries

Writing Book Summaries

Business Book Summaries

or, browse all book summaries.

Beyond Basketball by Mike Krzyzewski

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

“You have to adapt what you do based on who you are”.

“In adverse circumstances, you must remind yourself that this day is not your last. You will get through it, but can you use it to get better?”

No matter how successful you believe yourself to be, you can never feel as if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle.

The Five Big Ideas

“As a leader and a career-oriented individual, you must take care not to allow one aspect of your life to so consume you that you neglect the others”.

“When approaching new challenges, it is imperative that you have the support of those who love you most”.

“Always surround yourself with individuals who will help to enable your courage when it is lacking from within”.

“Define your own success and failure; only you know whether or not you have given it your all”.

“The persistent pursuit of excellence determines winners, not the score of the game”.

Beyond Basketball Summary

“You have to adapt what you do based on who you are”.

“Do you let it beat you or do you use it to make you better?”

“In adverse circumstances, you must remind yourself that this day is not your last. You will get through it, but can you use it to get better?”

“As a leader and a career-oriented individual, you must take care not to allow one aspect of your life to so consume you that you neglect the others”.

“One way to avoid getting into a rut is to ensure that you are not doing the same thing over and over each year”.

“When approaching new challenges, it is imperative that you have the support of those who love you most”.

“No matter how successful you believe yourself to be, you can never feel as if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle. There are always new and wonderful challenges out there, and part of maintaining success is knowing when you need to accept them”.

“Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one”.

“Always surround yourself with individuals who will help to enable your courage when it is lacking from within”.

“Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined”.

“Define your own success and failure; only you know whether or not you have given it your all”.

“The persistent pursuit of excellence determines winners, not the score of the game”.

“To be excellent, you must be yourself. Do the very best that you can do. In giving your best every day, improvement will come naturally. Giving your all makes you better; it’s that simple”.

“One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life is that failure is a natural result of breaking out of your comfort zone”.

“At West Point, I learned to view each failure not as its own entity but as a stepping-stone on a path to something greater. It was never a destination, but I had to pass through failure to be successful at what I was attempting to do. In order to change what you believe to be your limits, you have to try new things or raise your old limits to a new level”.

“A person is never more comfortable than when they are with their family, which is why I try to create a family atmosphere with my team and encourage people in other businesses to do the same with their employees and organization”.

“In life, there are not many absolutes, but when you have a great friend, that is an absolute”.

“To help turn fundamentals into habit requires intensive, intelligent, and repetitive action”.

“I constantly remind myself of the most basic formula of teaching: you hear, you forget; you see, you remember; you do, you understand. And when you truly understand, that is when the basics become habitual”.

“If you want to strive for excellence, you must embrace continual work on fundamentals”.

“Having a positive influence on people, helping others: that’s winning. For someone to be a total human being, they must realize that something happened before them, something is happening now, and something will happen after they leave”.

“I always remind myself that you learn forever and from everyone”.

“In basketball and in life, I have always maintained the philosophy of “next play.” Essentially, what it means is that whatever you have just done is not nearly as important as what you are doing right now”.

“The “next play” philosophy emphasizes the fact that the most important play of the game or life moment on which you should always focus is the next one. It is not about the turnover I committed last time down the court, it’s not even about the three-pointer I hit to tie the game, it is about what’s next. To waste time lamenting a mistake or celebrating a success is distracting and can leave you and your team unprepared for what you are about to face. It robs you of the ability to do your best at that moment and to give your full concentration”.

“When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles”.

“Sharing your passion with those who love you can provide you with the support you need to overcome obstacles along the way”.

“Ultimately, having pressure on you is a healthy thing. If you are never put in pressure situations, you are not testing your limits and you will never see how far you can go. You are just playing it safe”.

“Even when it feels like the pressure is on, never fear the result of your best effort”.

“Jimmy Valvano once told me, ‘A person does not become whole until he or she becomes a part of something bigger than himself or herself’.”

“If your standards are low, it is easy to meet those standards every single day, every single year. But if your standard is to be the best, there will be days when you fall short of that goal. It is okay to not win every game. The only problem would be if you allow a loss or a failure to change your standards. Keep your standards intact, keep the bar set high, and continue to try your very best every day to meet those standards. If you do that, you can always be proud of the work that you do”.

Buy The Book: Beyond Basketball

Print | Kindle | Audiobook

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

Forgive people who have hurt or upset you.

Acceptance leads to contentment.

Admit when you’re wrong.

The Five Big Ideas

“If you hate somebody you’re not hurting the person you hate, you’re hurting yourself. Forgiveness is healing”.

“We all need a code of ethics to guide us, especially in tough times when everyone has to do their part for the greater good, for the family or the group to survive”.

“Rather than try to take on the whole predicament at once, I broke it down to smaller tasks that used the various survival skills I’d already learned: first aid, obtaining food, knowing not to drink salt water, maintaining a positive attitude, and keeping my mind active. I followed my training, a step at a time. I didn’t freak out”.

“You must have hope. It rejuvenates your whole being. You can’t allow negative thinking – even if you know your chances are slim. I’m not saying that it’s easy to do, but the ability to envision the road to successful completion is what keeps you alive”.

“Acceptance creates cheerfulness, which in turn creates contentment”.

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In Summary

“The hardest thing in life is to forgive. But hate is self-destructive. If you hate somebody you’re not hurting the person you hate, you’re hurting yourself. Forgiveness is healing”.

“We all need a code of ethics to guide us, especially in tough times when everyone has to do their part for the greater good, for the family or the group to survive”.

“I didn’t know it then, but my persistence, perseverance, and unwillingness to accept defeat when things looked all but hopeless were part of the very character traits I would need to make it through World War II alive”.

“Rather than try to take on the whole predicament at once, I broke it down to smaller tasks that used the various survival skills I’d already learned: first aid, obtaining food, knowing not to drink salt water, maintaining a positive attitude, and keeping my mind active. I followed my training, a step at a time. I didn’t freak out”.

“During the two-plus years I lived in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, I noticed that the soldiers who suffered the most were the ones who wouldn’t accept their situations”.

“I decided to consider my incarceration as a challenge – like winning a race”.

“If you cling to the axe you’re grinding, eventually you’ll only hurt yourself”.

“You must have hope. It rejuvenates your whole being. You can’t allow negative thinking – even if you know your chances are slim. I’m not saying that it’s easy to do, but the ability to envision the road to successful completion is what keeps you alive”.

“When the Apostle Paul was imprisoned, he said, ‘Whatever situation I find myself in, I have learned thereby to be content’.”

“Acceptance creates cheerfulness, which in turn creates contentment”.

“Don’t leave the crucial details to someone you don’t know – especially when your life may depend on it”.

“Sometimes what we see as a loss turns out in the end to be a gain, and sometimes a gain is a loss. I try not to be too swift to pass judgment on any situation, preferring instead to be patient and take the long view because I believe that in the end all things work together for good”.

“It will be tough to amount to anything unless you commit to your goal and stay the course. You can’t give in to doubt. You can’t give in to pain”.

“Never give up. If you want to be a champion you have to go after what you want tooth and nail”.

“It’s a great responsibility, and a rough game. When times are tough you have to keep the parties from jumping on each other”.

“When you’re wrong, admit it. When you’re right, keep your mouth shut”.

Buy The Book: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In

Print | Hardcover | Audiobook

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith: Summary

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

“A trigger is any stimulus that reshapes our thoughts and actions”.

“We don’t know how to execute a change. There’s a difference between motivation and understanding and ability”.

“Most of us go through life unaware of how our environment shapes our behavior”.

The Five Big Ideas

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us”.

“Feedback—both the act of giving it and taking it—is our first step in becoming smarter, more mindful about the connection between our environment and our behavior”.

“A feedback loop comprises four stages: evidence, relevance, consequence, and action”.

“The [Daily Questions] announce our intention to do something and, at the risk of private disappointment or public humiliation, they commit us to doing it”.

“Self-discipline refers to achieving desirable behavior. Self-control refers to avoiding undesirable behavior”.

Triggers Summary

“A trigger is any stimulus that reshapes our thoughts and actions”.

“Fate is the hand of cards we’ve been dealt. Choice is how we play the hand”.

“We can’t admit that we need to change—either because we’re unaware that a change is desirable, or more likely, we’re aware but have reasoned our way into elaborate excuses that deny our need for change”.

“We do not appreciate inertia’s power over us”.

“Inertia is the reason we never start the process of change. It takes extraordinary effort to stop doing something in our comfort zone (because it’s painless or familiar or mildly pleasurable) in order to start something difficult that will be good for us in the long run”.

“We don’t know how to execute a change. There’s a difference between motivation and understanding and ability”.

“If you want to be a better partner at home or a better manager at work, you not only have to change your ways, you have to get some buy-in from your partner or co-workers. Everyone around you has to recognize that you’re changing. Relying on other people increases the degree of difficulty exponentially”.

“What makes positive, lasting behavioral change so challenging—and causes most of us to give up early in the game—is that we have to do it in our imperfect world, full of triggers that may pull and push us off course”.

“Our inner beliefs trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage lasting change by canceling its possibilty. We employ these beliefs as articles of faith to justify our inaction and then wish away the result. I call them belief triggers”.

Belief Triggers:

If I understand, I will do. Just because people understand what to do doesn’t ensure that they will actually do it.

I have willpower and won’t give in to temptation. We not only overestimate willpower, we chronically underestimate the power of triggers in our environment that lead us astray.

Today is a special day. If we really want to change we have to make peace with the fact that we cannot self-exempt every time the calendar offers us a more attractive alternative to our usual day.

“At least I’m better than …” We award oursevles a free pass because we’re not the worst in the world.

I shouldn’t need help and structure. One of our most dysfunctional beliefs is our contempt for simplicity and structure. This is a natural response that combines three competing impulses: 1) our contempt for simplicity (only complexity is worthy of our attention); 2) our contempt for instruction and follow-up; and 3) our faith, however unfounded, that we can succeed all by ourselves. When we presume that we are better than people who need structure and guidance, we lack one of the most crucial ingredients for change: humility.

I won’t get tired and my enthusiasm will not fade. When we plan to achieve our goals, we believe that our energy will not flag and that we will never lose our enthusiasm for the process of change.

I have all the time in the world. Here are two opposing beliefs that we simultaneously hold in our minds and mash into one warped view of time: 1) we chronically underestimate the time it takes to get anything done; 2) we believe that time is open-ended and sufficiently spacious for us to get to all ourself-improvement goals eventually.

I won’t get distracted and nothing unexpected will occur. When we make plans for the future, we seldom plan on distractions.

An epiphany will suddenly change my life. An epiphany implies that change can arise out of a sudden burst of insight and willpower.

My change will be permanent and I will never have to worry again. If we don’t follow up, our positive change doesn’t last.

My elimination of old problems will not bring on new problems. We forget that as we usher an old problem out the door a new problem usually enters.

My efforts will be fairly rewarded. Getting better is its own reward. If we do that, we can never feel cheated.

No one is paying attention to me. People always notice.

If I change I am “inauthentic.” We can change not only our behavior but how we define ourselves. When we put ourselves in a box marked “That’s not me,” we ensure that we’ll never get out of it.

I have the wisdom to assess my own behavior. We are notoriously inaccurate at assessing ourselves.

“Most of us go through life unaware of how our environment shapes our behavior”.

“Our environment is a nonstop triggering mechanism whose impact on our behavior is too significant to be ignored”.

“The most pernicious environments are the ones that compel us to compromise our sense of right and wrong”.

“Some environments are designed precisely to lure us into acting against our interest”.

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us”.

“Feedback—both the act of giving it and taking it—is our first step in becoming smarter, more mindful about the connection between our environment and our behavior”.

“A feedback loop comprises four stages: evidence, relevance, consequence, and action”.

“As a trigger, our environment has the potential to resemble a feedback loop”.

“Where a well-designed feedback loop triggers desirable behavior, our environment often triggers bad behavior, and it does so against our will and better judgment and without our awareness”.

“A behavioral trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behavior”.

“A behavioral trigger can be direct or indirect and internal or external”.

“Direct triggers are stimuli that immediately and obviously impact behavior, with no intermediate steps between the triggering event and your response. Indirect triggers take a more circuitous route before influencing behavior”.

“External triggers come from the environment. Internal triggers come from thoughts or feelings that are not connected with any outside stimulus”.

“A trigger can be conscious or unconscious”.

“Conscious triggers require awareness. Unconscious triggers shape your behavior beyond your awareness”.

“A trigger can be anticipated or unexpected”.

“A trigger can be encouraging or discouraging”.

“Encouraging triggers push us to maintain or expand what we are doing. Discouraging triggers push us to stop or reduce what we are doing”.

“A trigger can be productive or counterproductive”.

“Triggers are not inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. What matters is our response to them”.

“We are superior planners and inferior doers”.

“Forecasting is what we must do after acknowledging the environment’s power over us. It comprises three interconnected stages: anticipation, avoidance, and adjustment”.

“When our performance has clear and immediate consequences, we rise to the occasion.We create our environment. We don’t let it re-create us”.

“When we’re not anticipating the environment, anything can happen”.

“To avoid undesirable behavior, avoid the environments where it is most likely to occur”.

“Adjustment happens when we’re desperate to change, or have an unexpected insight, or are shown the way by another person (such as a friend or coach)”.

“Good things happen when we ask ourselves what we need to create, preserve, eliminate, and accept—a test I suspect few of us ever self-administer”.

“This ‘active’ process will help anyone get better at almost anything. It only takes a couple of minutes a day. But be warned: it is tough to face the reality of our own behavior—and our own level of effort—every day”.

“Daily Questions are what behavioral economists refer to as a ‘commitment device’”.

“The[Daily Questions] announce our intention to do something and, at the risk of private disappointment or public humiliation, they commit us to doing it”.

“DailyQuestions are serious, too, if only in how they press us to articulate what we really want to change in our lives”.

“Daily Questions focus us on where we need help, not where we’re doing just fine”.

“Self-discipline refers to achieving desirable behavior. Self-control refers to avoiding undesirable behavior”.

“DailyQuestions, by definition, compel us to take things one day at a time. In doing so they shrink our objectives into manageable twenty-four-hour increments”.

“By focusing on effort, they distract us from our obsession with results (because that’s not what we’re measuring). In turn, we are free to appreciate the process of change and our role in making it happen. We’re no longer frustrated by the languid pace of visible progress—because we’re looking in another direction”.

“DailyQuestions remind us that: Change doesn’t happen overnight. Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. If we make the effort, we will get better. If we don’t, we won’t”.

“We do not get better without structure”.

“Structure not only increases our chance of success, it makes us more efficient at it”.

“We need help when we’re least likely to get it”.

Recommended Reading

If you like Triggers, you may also like the following books:

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

SmarterFaster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Buy The Book: Triggers

Print | Kindle | Audiobook

This Is Where to Start by Edward Druce: Notes

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

No one wants to be your mentor”.

“Stop looking for something you love and instead follow something you’re curious about”.

Ask yourself: “How can I make this person more successful at what they do?”

The Five Big Ideas

“No one wants to be your mentor”.

“One must face the reality that attracting a mentor is a long and patient process, but it’s imperative to develop skills and a reputation to create such an opportunity”.

“Stop looking for something you love and instead follow something you’re curious about”.

“A key mindset you need to take on is that you are filling a very real void. Your mindset needs to be that you are adding to the party”.

Ask yourself: “How can I make this person more successful at what they do?”

This Is Where to Start Summary

“No one wants to be your mentor”.

“As a general rule, the word ‘mentor’ is to be left alone, and only used in retrospect when you need a convenient label to sum up the relationship you had”.

Three Things to Look for in a Mentor:

They know how to make money (and show signs of being profitable).

They have demonstrated ambition to grow.

There’s potential for in person work.

“One must face the reality that attracting a mentor is a long and patient process, but it’s imperative to develop skills and a reputation to create such an opportunity”.

“Stop looking for something you love and instead follow something you’re curious about”.

“A key mindset you need to take on is that you are filling a very real void. Your mindset needs to be that you are adding to the party”.

Three Things You Need to Be Ready:

Develop and market hard skills. One way to distinguish yourself to a potential business mentor is to develop skills that will be valuable to their company.

Read everything the person you’re contacting has ever written. Watch every video. Listen to every interview. Study every page of their website.

Get inside their head. Regardless of the area you’re looking to help someone in, you must understand their core motivation, as well as the structure of their overall business. What’s getting them out of bed in the morning?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself:

Why did he/she start whatever it is they’re doing?

What are the main benefits their followers/clients/customers receive from what they do?

What are their followers’/clients’/customers’ biggest problems?

What is/are the biggest frustration(s) of the person you’re contacting in having to provide a solution to this?

How can you help them? Where is your proof?

What specifically can you help them with? What can you not help them with?

What tasty tips/information can you give right away?

Why wouldn’t they want you to work for them? What objections might they give?

What is ‘the dream’ for them in what they’re working towards?

Lastly, what is the nightmare?

“Your aim when meeting a mentor isn’t to pitch them from out of nowhere. It’s to build an initial level of familiarity and, if possible, to get to know a member of their team or entourage”.

“When you meet them, try to stand out and distinguish yourself. A safe option would be to get a small gift like a book. I’m talking about an empathetically though-out gift that will help them with a specific problem or issue”.

“If at all possible, when you go along to meet someone, if they have people with them – friends, co-workers or family – try and get to know one or two of these people as well”.

“As soon as you’ve met someone, follow up right away with a thank you email. The aim here is simply to open a dialogue you can return to”.

“If the interaction itself wasn’t enough to justify such a message, reference how their work has helped you, and how great it was to meet them and shake their hand. Be specific in referencing their work, subtly alluding to something that shows you’ve followed what they do for a long time”.

“Ask for NOTHING in this email”.

“You want to ensure your message has gotten through, which you can do using an email tracking service like SideKick”.

“A short thank-you note and some courtesy can go a long way”.

“An email allows you to demonstrate your talents and expertise, as well as your intimate understanding of their business (which can be hard to do in person without looking like a deranged stalker)”.

Ask yourself: “How can I make this person more successful at what they do?”

Dream-Problem-Solution: “What is their dream? What is a problem they currently have in their business? How can you position yourself as the solution?”

“Add a single line to the top of the message that states your intent. This gives context to the rest of the message, and having a single sentence at the top will make the whole meal more digestible”.

“Make your offer as low investment as you can. Anticipate objections that might arise and disarm them upfront”.

“Give away a tasty tip that will help them right away”.

How to Write an Email to a Prospective Mentor:

Line of Intent

Dream

Problem

Solution

Overcome Obstacles

Best,

[Your Name]

P.S. Bonus

“You’ll be excited once you’ve written it, but rather than rushing to hit ‘Send’, I’d encourage you to sleep on it”.

“The very next day, take a look at what you’ve written and read it back as if you were the person you’re contacting”.

“Once you’ve spent some time touching it up, put it away for another night to sleep on”.

“Get feedback on your message from some people around you. Ask two or more smart, trustworthy people to read over the email for general feedback, and, once incorporated, ask one additional person to proof-read the final version for mistakes”.

The Big Mistakes People Make:

Spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Using the word “Mentor”.

Using words like “Lol”, “Hahaha” or anything else that would suggest this is a text message to your best friend.

Writing too much.

Attaching your resume.

Using an uncommon font.

Having “Sent from my iPad” or “Sent from my iPhone”.

Including anything that might suggest at some point down the line you will be their direct competition in business.

“As soon as you’ve sent off your first email, begin working on your next”.

“Don’t assume just because someone hasn’t gotten back to you it means they’re not interested”.

“A short one or two line follow up can work in your favour, but always write back as a response to the first message you’ve sent so that it appears in the same thread of their inbox”.

“If they have a blog, leave a comment on their latest post. Retweet them. ‘Like’ their latest Facebook post. But be aware of overdoing it”.

“Do no keep persisting or try to argue your way into a position if you get a ‘no’. Thank them for taking the time to respond. If they’ve said ‘no’ because it’s not a good time, ask if they’d be okay for you to follow up in 3-6 months to see if anything has changed or opened up”.

Buy The Book: This Is Where to Start

Kindle

The Rich Employee by James Altucher: Notes

Categories Personal growthPosted on

Focus on 1% improvements every day.

Become an entreployee.

We’re transforming into an “Idea Economy”.

The Five Big Ideas

“The Daily Practice is how we take the stone of ourselves, all of the places where we feel blocked, and turn those stones into works of art”.

“Nothing can replace your ability to innovate, have a vision, and then execute on that vision in the most efficient way possible”.

“The average multi-millionaire has 14 different sources of income”.

“Being an entrepreneur is NOT about taking risk, it’s about ELIMINATING all risk. Being an entrepreneur, or having multiple sources of income is ultimately safer than having a job, but only if you use the job to get rid of all the risks. Just being an entrepreneur, without having multiple sources of income, without first taking care of the risks, is suicide”.

“The only thing you have control over is your mindset, your habits, and the choices you make internally about how you’re going to deal with a situation”.

The Rich Employee Summary

“Every day focus on 1% improvement of what I call ‘The Daily Practice’”.

“Avoid spending time with people who bring you down. Spend more time with people you love and who love you”.

“The Daily Practice is how we take the stone of ourselves, all of the places where we feel blocked, and turn those stones into works of art”.

“The ONE Thing thing that can’t be outsourced is Ideas. We are now transforming for the first time into a pure ‘Idea Economy’”.

“Nothing can replace your ability to innovate, have a vision, and then execute on that vision in the most efficient way possible”.

“The average multi-millionaire has 14 different sources of income”.

“Nothing ever works out when you are at the whims of others. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Once someone is bribing you to do something (a salary is a form of bribery if you are only doing the work for the money and not for the meaning) then you become a prisoner”.

“All good things must come to an end. From the day you start, you need to plan your exit”.

“Being an entrepreneur is NOT about taking risk, it’s about ELIMINATING all risk. Being an entrepreneur, or having multiple sources of income is ultimately safer than having a job, but only if you use the job to get rid of all the risks. Just being an entrepreneur, without having multiple sources of income, without first taking care of the risks, is suicide”.

“People will not remember what you said, they will remember how you made them feel”.

“The only thing you have control over is your mindset, your habits, and the choices you make internally about how you’re going to deal with a situation”.

“You cannot help others choose themselves until you have chosen yourself to be healthy, to be free from the gatekeepers, to have a life of freedom”.

“When you lose money it’s because you might have done something incorrectly. This is feedback you can use to make more money. And when you make more money, this is feedback that you are doing good things”.

“The Rich Employee creates so much value he/she has credit to spare and can easily just outright give it to others”.

“Ideas are not quite a dime a dozen. They are a dime for three or four”.

“The Rich Employee must become a leader”.

“If you are a leader of less than 30 people, you have to know intimately the problems of all 30 people (or less) in your organization”.

“Leadership is not about achieving your dream. It’s about helping everyone else achieve their dreams”.

“If you don’t give yourself permission to create a new world, chances are nobody else will”.

“Do something today that tomorrow people will say is great”.

“You are the coach of your future self”.

“Everything that happens in your future is a direct result of what you do today”.

“You can only make a difference in your life when you stand out. When you aren’t afraid to go beyond the fringe”.

“You have to remember your experiences, study your failures, try to note what you did right and what you did wrong, and remember them for future experiences”.

Recommended Reading

If you enjoy The Rich Employee, you may also like the following books:

Become an Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century by Claudia Azula Altucher

Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher by James Altucher

The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher

Buy The Book: The Rich Employee Print | Kindle

Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher

Categories Personal growthPosted on

Reinvention occurs every day.

Reinvention is the key to ensuring that the outcomes in your life are positive.

Change is the only constant.

The Five Big Ideas

The greatest artists and the best business people reinvent themselves every few years.

You, too, need to reinvent yourself every five years by learning new skills, practicing new efforts and trying on new careers for size.

Every day, ask yourself, “Who did I help today?”

If something isn’t working in your life it’s because you haven’t used enough determination or been fearless enough or been willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

We were put on Earth to try. No one is grading us.

Reinvent Yourself Summary

On Choosing Yourself: “I always say it first has to come from within: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. I.e., write down 10 ideas a day. Be around good people. Be grateful, etc.”

“The IRS says the average multi-millionaire has seven different sources of income.”

You need to reinvent yourself every five years by learning new skills, practicing new efforts and trying on new careers for size.

Reinvention is:

Defining freedom in different ways. This includes reducing expectations, increasing sources of income so no one source controls you, etc.

Improving relationships. This includes having a plus, minus and an equal (Sam: James learned this idea from Ryan Holiday in Ego Is the Enemy)

Finding mentors to teach you. Find friends who build you up and challenge you

Habits. “You’re the average of the five habits you do, the things you eat, the ideas you have, the content you consume, etc.”

“Reinvention is life. This is the call to adventure that constantly whispers to us. Do we answer it? Do we take the call?”

“Learning never stops. Many people die at 25 but are not put in the coffin until 75. The learning stopped for them early.”

“The entire purpose of language is to influence. We are not strong animals. We are weak. The language of influence saved us.”

“Speak to breathe spirit into an idea, to be enthusiastic, to convey emotion, to influence. This is the only way to have impact with your unique creativity.”

What James learned from former lead FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss

“You always want to get more information in a negotiation with as little commitment as possible on your side.”

“Ask ‘open-ended questions’ starting with ‘how’ or ‘what.’ Ask a lot of them. Be prepared in advance with your ‘how’ questions.”

Get the other side to say no first. To do that, ask them a question like, “Do you want this project to fail?” or “Is this situation not going to work out for either side?” They don’t want to fail, so they will say no. Now you can start to find common ground.

“You can start to get empathy with the other side by listing the negatives on your side. Then they start to agree with you.”

“Nobody wants to feel powerless. If the negotiation is not going your way you can say to [the other side], ‘Sounds like there’s nothing you can do.’”

“If someone says, ‘This car is $36,000,’ then come back with something like, ‘Listen, I know it’s very difficult to go below $36,000. I know you are doing the best you can here. But the most I can afford is $32,157.’”

Whatever the other side says, repeat the last one to three words. Do this as much as possible.

“Don’t be afraid to go silent. Mirror and then have the confidence to go silent.”

Your goal is to get the other side talking as much as possible. The more information you have, the better. And the more likely they will negotiate against themselves.

If the other side add a deadline, don’t feel obligated to meet it. The negotiation won’t end. They still need you.

*

“Ask at the end of the day, ‘Who did I help today?’ instead of wondering about life after death. That gives you a better life. Nothing will give you a better death.”

“People don’t remember what they don’t like.”—Mac Lethal

You choose yourself every day, once choice at a time. You choose yourself with all of your fears and hopes mixed together and nobody knows what’s going to happen. But if you do it with a sense of mission, a belief in your vision, what happens may not be what you expect. When you choose yourself, you will never say, ‘I wonder what would have happened.”

Wayne Dyer says that if something isn’t working in his life, he always tells himself, “It must be because I haven’t used enough determination or I haven’t been fearless enough or I haven’t been willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”

“Improving (or not improving) 1% a day is not even noticeable. That’s why it’s so easy for people to say, ‘Nothing is happening,’ and inadvertently cost their lives 1% a day. Focus on that 1% improvement and everything changes.”

Wayne Dyer asked himself, “What’s the difference between good and God?” The answer is “O.” Not just ‘oh’ but ‘zero.’ So whatever makes you feel good, whatever energizes you and lights you up inside, that’s God. He’s telling you that that’s what you are meant to be doing.

“All day long I look for situations where I can save a life. And I do it. Every day, I save at least one life.”

“You can save a life today. Don’t let the sun set without doing that.”

“Integrity, humility, and doing your best are by far the most important considerations when evaluating whether to work for someone.”

“Any endeavor I do, I always ask two questions: “‘What is my plan B?’ and ‘What is my evil plan?’”

“I try as an exercise to figure out at least one thing a day to do that is outside my comfort zone.”

“It’s never too late to do what you love. What you love is always on the shore, waiting for you to arrive, waiting with open arms.”

James’ theory on careers is that it takes one to three years to do the studying required. About two years before you are making any money at the new career. Three to four years before you are making a living from it and five to six years before you are killing it. But it requires persistence each day.

Sergey Brin used to interview every potential Google employee. He explained later that he knew within seconds whether he would hire someone and would then spend the rest of the meeting trying to learn at least one new thing from the interviewee so the meeting wouldn’t be a total waste of time.

“‘To care greatly for creation’ is the essence of choosing yourself instead of letting anyone else do it for you.”

“When people associate the worth of their lives with any one activity, it’s deadly.”

“I always have to tell myself to diversify my celebrations. Celebrate the small. Not always the big.”

“We were put here to try. Nobody will grade us.”

“If I spend my life aiming for that 1% improvement every day then I may never be the best in the world at anything. But I know I will be the best ‘me’ at everything.”

“Every day I wake up and look out the window and say to whatever it is outside of myself, ‘Help me save a life today.’”

“Ask this every morning about your friends, your lovers, your employees: how can I help them just a little bit more, with the simple resources I have?”

“Always be looking for new opportunities to improve incrementally.”

In chess there’s a saying: “Only the good players are lucky.”

“You never know what someone is worth until they declare bankruptcy.”

“What does your ‘good enough’ day look like? What’s one thing that moves you past that?”

“Whenever I’ve managed companies and have had the small opportunity to be a leader, I’ve judged my success on only one thing: Does the employee at night go home and call his or her parents and say, ‘Guess what I did today?!’”

“Never let the practical get in the way of the possible.”

“If you ask every day, ‘How did I help people today?’ then you will have more traffic and money than you could have imagined.”

“Escaping the labels and titles and hopes that everyone else has for us is one of the first steps in choosing ourselves for the success we are meant to have.”

“When you are at the crossroads, and your heart loves one path and doesn’t love the other, forget about which path has the money and the work, and take the path you love.”

“You have to constantly come up with new metrics to measure yourself, to compete against yourself, to reach beyond your last plateau.”

“Learning to find happiness with less is true wealth.”

“We all suffer. But we must all transform that suffering into the art and energy that drives us to change.”

“It will always be better when you explore the rest of the iceberg you are just sitting on the top of.”

“Success doesn’t mean money if it causes misery.”

On Ericsson’s theory of deliberate practice: “It’s not about 10,000 hours. It’s about 10,000 hours where you practice with intent.”

Other Books by James Altucher

Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher

The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher

The Rich Employee by James Altucher

Recommended Reading

If you like Reinvent Yourself, you may also enjoy the following books:

Become an Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century by Claudia Azula Altucher

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2GrPfEl

Print | Kindle

The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath: Summary

Categories Business, Personal growthPosted on

The Book in Three Sentences

Defining moments shape our lives.

We don’t have to wait to make them happen.

We can create them.

The Five Big Ideas

When we recall an experience, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.

A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful.

Defining moments are created from one or more of the following elements: (1) Elevation; (2) Insight; (3) Pride; (4) Connection.

If you’re struggling to make a transition, create a defining moment that draws a dividing line between Old You and New You.

Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled.

The Power of Moments Summary

Chapter 1: Defining Moments

The Power of Moments is about why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.

Research has found that in recalling an experience, we ignore most of what happened and focus instead on a few particular moments.

When people assess an experience, they tend to forget or ignore its length—a phenomenon called “duration neglect.” Instead, they seem to rate the experience based on two key moments: (1) the best or worst moment, known as the “peak”; and (2) the ending. Psychologists call it the “peak-end rule.”

What’s indisputable is that when we assess our experiences, we don’t average our minute-by-minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.

The surprise about great service experiences is that they are mostly forgettable and occasionally remarkable.

Some moments are vastly more meaningful than others.

A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful.

In their research, Chip & Dan Heath have found that defining moments are created from one or more of the following four elements:

Elevation. (1) Boost sensory appeal; (2) Raise the stakes; (3) Break the script

Insight. (1) Trip over the truth; (2) Stretch for insight

Pride. (1) Recognize others; (2) Multiply milestones; (3) Practice courage)

Connection. (1) Create shared meaning; (2) Deepen ties; (3) Make moments matter

Defining moments possess at least one of the four elements above, but they need not have all four.

Some powerful defining moments contain all four elements.

Chapter 2: Thinking in Moments            

If you’re struggling to make a transition, create a defining moment that draws a dividing line between Old You and New You.               

Pits are the opposite of peaks. They are negative defining moments—moments of hardship or pain or anxiety.               

Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled.               

Three situations constitute natural defining moments and deserve our attention: (1) transitions; (2) milestones; and (3) pits.              

Chapter 3: Build Peaks               

In many customer relationships, the moments most likely to be remembered are pits.               

“Mostly forgettable” is actually a desirable state in many businesses. It means nothing went wrong. You got what you expected.               

When creating a memorable customer experience, you first need to fill the pits. That, in turn, frees you up to focus on the second stage: creating the moments that will make the experience “occasionally remarkable.”               

Fill pits, then build peaks.

Many business leaders never pivot to that second stage. Instead, having filled the pits in their service, they scramble to pave the potholes—the minor problems and annoyances. It’s as though the leaders aspire to create a complaint-free service rather than an extraordinary one.               

Research suggests that when customers contact you because they’ve had problems with your product or service, you should focus on defense—that is, you should focus on efficiency and not try to “delight” them.

In customer service, you’ll earn about 9 times more revenue if you elevate the positives (e.g. move a customer’s rating from a 4 to a 5), that you will eliminate the negatives (e.g. move a customer’s rating from a 3 to a 4).

To create fans, you need the remarkable, and that requires peaks. Peaks don’t emerge naturally. They must be built.               

To elevate a moment, do three things: First, boost sensory appeal. Second, raise the stakes. Third, break the script. (Breaking the script means to violate expectations about an experience) Moments of elevation need not have all three elements but most have at least two.

Boosting sensory appeal is about “turning up the volume” on reality.

To raise the stakes is to add an element of productive pressure: a competition, a game, a performance, a deadline, a public commitment.

One simple diagnostic to gauge whether you’ve transcended the ordinary is if people feel the need to pull out their cameras.               

Our instinct to capture a moment says: I want to remember this. That’s a moment of elevation.               

Beware the soul-sucking force of “reasonableness.” Otherwise, you risk deflating your peaks.               

Chapter 4: Break the Script

To break the script is to defy people’s expectations of how an experience will unfold.

The other difference between “breaking the script” and generic surprise is that the former forces us to think about the script.

To break the script, we’ve first got to understand the script.               

A study of hotel reviews on TripAdvisor found that, when guests reported experiencing a “delightful surprise,” an astonishing 94% of them expressed an unconditional willingness to recommend the hotel, compared with only 60% of guests who were “very satisfied.”

How do you break the script consistently enough that it matters—but not so consistently that customers adapt to it? One solution is to introduce a bit of randomness.               

Pret A Manger employees are allowed to give away a certain number of hot drinks and food items every week.               

When loyal customers were on a flight with a funny flight safety announcement, they flew one half-flight more over the next year than did similar customers who hadn’t heard one.               

The analytics group calculated that if Southwest could double the number of customers hearing a funny flight safety announcement, the result would be more than $140 million in revenue. That’s more than the cost of two 737s.               

Executives who are leading change should be deliberate about creating peaks that demarcate the shift from the “old way” to the “new way.”

If you ask older people about their most vivid memories, research shows, they tend to be drawn disproportionately from this same period, roughly ages 15 to 30. Psychologists call this phenomenon the “reminiscence bump.”               

For those anxious about facing a future that’s less memorable than the past, Chip and Dan’s advice is to honor the old saw, “Variety is the spice of life.” But notice that it does not say, “Variety is the entrée of life.”               

Learn to recognize your own scripts. Play with them, poke at them, disrupt them.

Moments of elevation are experiences that rise above the routine. They make us feel engaged, joyful, amazed, motivated.

Chapter 5: Trip Over the Truth

When you have a sudden realization, one that you didn’t see coming, and one that you know viscerally is right, you’ve tripped over the truth. It’s a defining moment that in an instant can change the way you see the world.               

The “aha!” moment should always happen in the minds of the audience.               

This three-part recipe—a (1) clear insight (2) compressed in time and (3) discovered by the audience itself—provides a blueprint for us when we want people to confront uncomfortable truths.               

You can’t appreciate the solution until you appreciate the problem. So when Chip and Dan write about “tripping over the truth,” they mean the truth about a problem or harm. That’s what sparks sudden insight.               

Chapter 6: Stretch for Insight               

Research suggests that reflecting or ruminating on our thoughts and feelings is an ineffective way to achieve true understanding. Studying our own behavior is more fruitful.               

Action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action.

Barbara Fredrickson, one of the researchers who pioneered the “peak-end principle,” argued that the reason we overweight peaks in memory is that they serve as a kind of psychic price tag. They tell us, in essence, this is what it could cost you to endure that experience again.               

When students get their paperback, full of corrections and suggestions, their natural reaction might be defensiveness or even mistrust. The teacher has never liked me. But the wise criticism note carries a different message. It says, I know you’re capable of great things if you’ll just put in the work. The marked-up essay is not a personal judgment. It’s a push to stretch.

Mentorship in two sentences: “I have high expectations for you and I know you can meet them. So try this new challenge and if you fail, I’ll help you recover.”                

A mentor’s push leads to a stretch, which creates a moment of self-insight.               

Moments of insight deliver realizations and transformations. They need not be serendipitous. To deliver moments of insight for others, we can lead them to “trip over the truth,” which means sparking a realization that packs an emotional wallop.               

To produce moments of self-insight, we need to stretch: placing ourselves in new situations that expose us to the risk of failure.

Mentors can help us stretch further than we thought we could, and in the process, they can spark defining moments.               

The formula for mentorship that leads to self-insight: High standards + assurance + direction + support.               

Expecting our mentees to stretch requires us to overcome our natural instinct to protect the people we care about from risk. To insulate them.               

The promise of stretching is not success, it’s learning.               

Moments of elevation lift us above the everyday. Moments of insight spark discoveries about our world and ourselves. Moments of pride capture us at our best—showing courage, earning recognition, conquering challenges.    

Chapter 7: Recognize Others      

Of all the ways we can create moments of pride for others, the simplest is to offer them recognition.

Across the studies, which spanned 46 years, only one factor was cited every time as among the top two motivators: “full appreciation of work done.”         

Most recognition should be personal, not programmatic.               

A classic paper on recognition by Fred Luthans and Alexander D. Stajkovic emphasizes that effective recognition makes the employee feel noticed for what they’ve done. Managers are saying, “I saw what you did and I appreciate it.”               

In 2014, DonorsChoose analyzed historical data and discovered that donors who opt to receive thank-you letters will make larger donations the next year. The letters build commitment.

Researchers have found that if you practice gratitude, you feel a rush of happiness afterward—in fact, it’s one of the most pronounced spikes that have been found in any positive psychology intervention. Better yet, researchers say, this feeling lasts.

Chapter 8: Multiply Milestones             

To identify milestones, ask yourself: What’s inherently motivating? What would be worth celebrating that might only take a few weeks or months of work? What’s a hidden accomplishment that is worth surfacing and celebrating?

Hitting a milestone sparks pride. It should also spark a celebration—a moment of elevation. (Don’t forget that milestones, along with pits and transitions, are three natural defining moments that deserve extra attention.) Milestones deserve peaks.               

The desire to hit milestones elicits a concerted final push of effort.

What milestones do is compel us to make that push, because (a) they’re within our grasp, and (b) we’ve chosen them precisely because they’re worth reaching for.               

We’re not stuck with just one finish line. By multiplying milestones, we transform a long, amorphous race into one with many intermediate “finish lines.” As we push through each one, we experience a burst of pride as well as a jolt of energy to charge toward the next one.                

Chapter 9: Practice Courage               

Managing fear—the goal of exposure therapy—is a critical part of courage.               

The psychologist Peter Gollwitzer has studied the way this preloading affects our behavior. His research shows that when people make advance mental commitments—if X happens, then I will do Y—they are substantially more likely to act in support of their goals than people who lack those mental plans.

It is hard to be courageous, but it’s easier when you’ve practiced, and when you stand up, others will join you.               

Moments of pride commemorate people’s achievements. We feel our chest puff out and our chin lift.               

There are three practical principles we can use to create more moments of pride: (1) Recognize others; (2) Multiply meaningful milestones; (3) Practice courage. The first principle creates defining moments for others; the latter two allow us to create defining moments for ourselves.               

We dramatically underinvest in recognition. Carolyn Wiley found that 80% of supervisors say they frequently express appreciation, while less than 20% of employees agree.              

Recognition is characterized by a disjunction: A small investment of effort yields a huge reward for the recipient.               

To create moments of pride for ourselves, we should multiply meaningful milestones—reframing a long journey so that it features many “finish lines.”

We can surface milestones that otherwise go unnoticed.               

Number-heavy organizational goals are fine as tools of accountability, but smart leaders surface more motivational milestones en route to the target.  

Moments, when we display courage, make us proud. We never know when courage will be demanded, but we can practice to ensure we’re ready.

Practicing courage lets us “preload” our responses.               

Courage is contagious; our moments of action can be a defining moment for others.

Chapter 10: Create Shared Meaning

For groups, defining moments arise when we create shared meaning—highlighting the mission that binds us together and supersedes our differences. We are made to feel united.               

Researcher Robert Provine found that laughter was 30 times more common in social settings than private ones.               

If you want to be part of a group that bonds like cement, take on a really demanding task that’s deeply meaningful. All of you will remember it for the rest of your lives.

To create moments of connection, we can bring people together for a synchronizing moment. We can invite them to share in a purposeful struggle. The final strategy centers on connecting them to a larger sense of meaning.               

Purpose is defined as the sense that you are contributing to others, that your work has broader meaning. Passion is the feeling of excitement or enthusiasm you have for your work.            

People who were passionate about their jobs—who expressed high levels of excitement about their work—were still poor performers if they lacked a sense of purpose.               

When it comes to performance, purpose trumps passion.               

Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski believes that purpose isn’t discovered, it’s cultivated.

On one study by Adam Grant of Wharton, lifeguards voluntarily signed up for 43% more hours of work after reading four stories about other lifeguards rescuing drowning swimmers. The stories had increased their interest in the work.               

When radiologists were shown photos of the patients whose X-rays they were scanning, they increased both the raw number and the accuracy of their scans. When nurses, assembling surgical kits, met a caregiver who would use the kits, they worked 64% longer than a control group and made 15% fewer errors. Connecting to meaning matters.

Sometimes it’s useful to keep asking, “Why?” Why do you do what you do? It might take several “Whys” to reach the meaning. You know you’re finished when you reach the contribution.

When you understand the ultimate contribution you’re making, it allows you to transcend the task list.

Chapter 11: Deepen Ties               

Our relationships are stronger when we perceive that our partners are responsive to us.               

Responsiveness encompasses three things:

Understanding: My partner knows how I see myself and what is important to me.

Validation: My partner respects who I am and what I want.

Caring: My partner takes active and supportive steps in helping me meet my needs.

Studies show that responsive treatment leads infants to feel secure and children to feel supported; it makes people more satisfied with their friends; and it brings couples closer together.    

The Gallup organization has developed a set of questions to assess employees’ satisfaction at work. They discovered that the six most revealing questions are as follows:               

Do I know what is expected of me at work?

Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Moments of connection bond us with others. We feel warmth, unity, empathy, validation.               

To spark moments of connection for groups, we must create shared meaning. That can be accomplished by three strategies:

Creating a synchronized moment

Inviting shared struggle

Connecting to meaning

Groups bond when they struggle together. People will welcome a struggle when it’s their choice to participate, when they’re given autonomy to work, and when the mission is meaningful.               

“Connecting to meaning” reconnects people with the purpose of their efforts. That’s motivating and encourages “above and beyond” work.

In individual relationships, we believe that relationships grow closer with time. But that’s not the whole story. Sometimes long relationships reach plateaus. And with the right moment, relationships can deepen quickly.               

According to the psychologist Harry Reis, what deepens individual relationships is “responsiveness”: mutual understanding, validation, and caring.    

Responsiveness coupled with openness leads to intimacy. It happens via “turn-taking.”               

Chapter 12: Making Moments Matter               

What follows are five recommendations for finding great good in great suffering:

Look for small peaks

Celebrate and honor relationships

Acknowledge your strength              

Identify new possibilities

Look for spiritual insight

Other Books by Chip & Dan Heath

Switch: How to Change When Change Is Hard

Recommended Reading

If you like The Power of Moments, you may also enjoy the following books:

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2DPhIQy

Print | Hardcover | Audiobook

Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven: Notes

Categories Personal growthPosted on

Make Your Bed is based on Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech for the graduating class from the University of Texas at Austin (available here).

In it, McRaven shares the ten lessons he learned from Navy SEAL training.

They are simple lessons that deal with overcoming the trials of SEAL training, but the ten lessons are equally important in dealing with the challenges of life—no matter who you are.

  • Make Your Bed Summary
  • Start your day with a task completed
  • You can’t go at it alone

Only the size of your heart matters

Life’s not fair—drive on!

Failure can make you stronger

You must dare greatly

Stand up to the bullies

Rise to the occasion

Give people hope

Never, ever quit!

If you want to change the world … start off by making your bed.

Nothing can replace the strength and comfort of one’s faith, but sometimes the simple act of making your bed can give you the lift you need to start your day and provide you the satisfaction to end it right.

If you want to change the world … find someone to help you paddle.

You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others.

If you want to change the world … measure a person by the size of their heart.

If you want to change the world … get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward. (If a Navy SEAL fails to follow basic requirements (such as making their bed perfectly), they’re instructed to roll around on the beach until they’re covered head to toe with wet sand—referred to as a “sugar cookie”).

The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness:

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still end up as a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!

If you want to change the world … don’t be afraid of The Circus. (In Navy SEAL training, “The Circus” is another two hours of additional calisthenics, combined with non-stop harassment by SEAL combat veterans who want only the strong to survive the training.)

In life, you will face a lot of Circuses. You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments.

True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again or make the next tough decision.

If you want to change the world … slide down the obstacle head first.

Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.

If you want to change the world … don’t back down from the sharks.

In life, to achieve your goals, to complete the night swim, you will have to be men and women of great courage. That courage is within all of us. Dig deep, and you will find it in abundance.

If you want to change the world … be your very best in the darkest moments.

Advice from one of McRaven’s chief petty officers: “Tonight, you will have to be your very best. You must rise above your fears, your doubts, and your fatigue. No matter how dark it gets, you must complete the mission. This is what separates you from everyone else.”

At some point, we will all confront a dark moment in life. If not the passing of a loved one, then something else that crushes your spirit and leaves you wondering about your future. In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best.

If you want to change the world … start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

We will all find ourselves neck deep in mud someday. That is the time to sing loudly, to smile broadly, to lift up those around you and give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

If you want to change the world … don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

Of all the lessons McRaven learned in SEAL training, this was the most important. Never quit. It doesn’t sound particularly profound, but life constantly puts you in situations where quitting seems so much easier than continuing on. Where the odds are so stacked against you that giving up seems the rational thing to do.

Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will be long and hard. If, on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds—then life will be what you make of it—and you can make it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!

Recommended Reading

If you like Make Your Bed, you may also enjoy the following books:

The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Buy The Book: Make Your Bed

Hardcover | Audiobook

The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher

Categories Personal growthPosted on

Abundance comes from writing down 10 ideas every day.

Build a foundation for success.

Passion comes from what you’re good at.

The Five Big Ideas

“The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are an ability to fail, an ability to have ideas and to sell those ideas, the courage to execute on those ideas, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move on to the next adventure”.

Ask: “What can I do right now to move forward, in this second?”

“Choosing yourself right now in how you treat yourself, how you treat the people around you, how you treat your efforts and your loves. Nothing is more important than this”.

“When you have ideas, you’ll quickly get freedom. When you get freedom, you’ll have the energy to build more ideas, to generate more abundance, to live the life you want to live”.

“Every day give the world at least one more reason to whisper ‘thank you’ to you. If you can hear that whisper, everything else, every gift in life, becomes expected. You earned it”.

The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth Summary

“When you are in the Idea Machine, nothing can stop you. This is where abundance is. This is where seeds are planted. This is where you dip into other dimensions not yet created”.

“True wealth occurs when you don’t have to bow down to any gatekeepers—regardless of the money involved. Money is just a by-product. You are out of prison. You are free”.

“The only way to have success is to build the foundation for it”.

“Here’s a secret: you don’t have to worry about “finding” your passion. You’re naturally going to get passionate about what you are good at”.

“‘Get Paid, Get Laid, Lose Weight’ are the three things people will pay for”.

“Come up with ten ideas you can write newsletters about. They don’t have to be in the above three categories”.

“I have never once seen anyone save the increase they received in their salary”.

“Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of humankind”.

“The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are an ability to fail, an ability to have ideas and to sell those ideas, the courage to execute on those ideas, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move on to the next adventure”.

“Abundance only comes when you are moving along your themes—when you are truly enhancing the lives of the people around you”.

“Ideas are the currency of life. Not money—because money can run out. Money gets depleted until you go broke. But good ideas buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences, buy you more time, save your life. Financial wealth is a side effect of the ‘runner’s high’ of your idea muscle”.

“Often the best way to make friends and customers for life is to direct them to a better service or product than yours”.

“When you get in the door, do not sell your product. People make a decision on your product in five seconds. Sell the dream. Build up images of the dream. Give a taste of what the dream is like. Let it linger. Let it weave itself. Let the imagination of the buyer take hold and run with it. The dream has up to infinity in value”.

“Don’t do something just for the money. Money is a side effect of persistence. You persist in things you are interested in. Explore your interests. Then persist. Then enjoy all the side effects”.

“The definition of “success” for me is: ‘Is today successful?’”

“Today is the only day I need to think about success. And every successful tomorrow is determined by one thing: having a successful today”.

“Connecting people who can benefit each other is the most useful skill you can have on the entrepreneurial ladder of skills”.

Ask: “What can I do right now to move forward, in this second?”

“Choosing yourself right now in how you treat yourself, how you treat the people around you, how you treat your efforts and your loves. Nothing is more important than this”.

“We love our excuses. They are just as much our babies as our ideas are”.

“I don’t have the goal, ‘do this by X date’. I have a “theme” that I want to have a high quality of life until the day I die”.

“When you have ideas, you’ll quickly get freedom. When you get freedom, you’ll have the energy to build more ideas, to generate more abundance, to live the life you want to live”.

“Every day give the world at least one more reason to whisper ‘thank you’ to you. If you can hear that whisper, everything else, every gift in life, becomes expected. You earned it”.

Recommended Reading

If you enjoy The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth, you may also like the following books:

Become an Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century by Claudia Azula Altucher

Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher

The Rich Employee by James Altucher

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2V4gPLk

Print | Kindle | Audiobook

error: Right click disabled