Tim Ferriss does a fabulous job of collating what he calls the tactics, routines and habits of 101 billionaires, icons and world-class performers. Few patterns emerge.
Whenever I read about people who have cut-over from good to great, one thing always jumps out at me - that the journey to good is an intellectual one, though journey from good to great is an emotional and a spiritual one, an inner journey to come home to our own self. By spiritual, I mean sourced in loving kindness, abundance and joyous freedom; instead of being trapped in survival, scarcity and fear. One steps up to a Good life creating external success, by being a Fighter - fighting the fears within by pretending they don't exist and fighting people and circumstances outside, which we don't realize are merely a reflection of what's inside. Emotionally, we feel empty and hollow inspite of all the professional and material success we have created. We usually call that point midlife crisis, which in fact is a gift of the Universe calling us to step up to our real purpose to undertake our Hero's journey from good to great.
The Journey from Good to Great is a step-up to Graceful Existence, when one abandons the Fighter stance to find another path, another way to be - a Peaceful Warrior, accepting with grace, gratitude and vulnerable authenticity the unacceptables, the unmentionables, the fears within, which for so long were our blind spots holding us to ransom and not allowing us to move forward to become the greatest version of ourselves.
Few other observations:
1. The good to great journey is available to everyone. What makes it possible for some is the unwavering belief you will get there.
2. Fundamentally, the journey is about Habits which is what distinguish those on the Good journey and those on the journey to step up to Great, professionally and personally.
3. The default circuitry of the human mind is trapped in evolutionary fear because of which Survival instinct plays out to hold us in the domain of good. Re-training the brain and trans-form-ing (transcending the default limiting form of the mind) is required for us to transcend limiting habits (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) to embrace growth habits.
4. Professional and personal greatness march together. One without the other is not possible.
5. The journey to Good and the journey from Good to Great are in opposite directions.
Few excerpts from the book laying out key ideas:
1. It is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice...
So how can I ever claim to be self-made? To accept that mantle discounts every person and every piece of advice that got me here. And, it gives the wrong impression - that you can do it alone.
I couldn't. And odds are, you can't either. We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice, and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we're stuck with nowhere to go.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. The quality of your questions determined the quality of your life.
3. These world-class performers don't have superpowers. The rules they've crafted for themselves allow the bending of reality to such an extent that it may seem that way, but they've learned to do this, and so can you. These "rules" are often uncommon habits and bigger questions.
4. Thirty minutes of stream-of-consciousness journaling could change your life.
5. More than 80% of the world-class performers interviewed have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice. ... It is a "meta-skill" that improves everything else.
6. ... information without emotion isn't retained.
7. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might me. - Lao Tzu
8. I assume the best in people, I assume I can trust them until they prove me wrong.
9. If I had to prescribe two things to improve health and happiness in the world, it'd be movement and play. Because you can't really play without movement, so they're intertwined.
10. Going 16 hours without eating generally provides the right balance of autophagy (body's way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells) and anabolism (muscle building).
11. ... the most important type of exercise, especially in terms of bang for your buck, is going to be really high-intensity, heavy strength training. Strength training aids everything from glucose disposal and metabolic health to mitochondrial density and orthopedic stability.
12. Calm is contagious.
13. Of 10,000 successful couples studied, there's only one thing that everybody had in common, no matter what the dynamic. What is it? The man respected the woman. The number one thing.
... more times than not, if the woman can refrain from trying to change or mother her partner, she has greater opportunity of putting herself in a position where the guy will respect her.
14. As a woman, we are taught as young girls, 'Hey, be nice. Nice girls act like this,' so it takes a long time to get to a place of 'I'm going to do things, say things, and believe in things that people aren't going to like, and I'm going to be okay with that.' Men do that much more easily, and it takes women a very long time.
15. If you can't squat all the way to the ground with your feet and knees together, then you are missing full hip and ankle range of motion.
... if you can't breathe in a given position, you haven't mastered it.
16. Sleep hygiene - Dark means DARK. ... You cannot have your mobile in your room. You cannot have a TV in your room. It needs to be black, black as night.
17. Kids don't do what you say. They do what they see. How you live your life is their example.
18. When I landed, I would check into the hotel. The second we checked in, I'd ask them: 'Is the gym open? Can I go train? Even if it was to get on a bike and ride for 15 minutes to reset things. I learned early that it seemed anytime I did that, I didn't get jet lag.
19. Why would I be wound up? I'm either ready or I'm not. Worrying about it right now ain't gonna change a damn thing. Right? Whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen. I've either done everything I can to be ready for this, or I haven't.
20. .. if you don't do something well. don't do it unless you want to spend the time to improve it. ...
What I am continuing to do myself that I'm not good at? - improve it, eliminate it, or delegate it.
21. ... you should never publicly criticize anyone or anything unless it is a matter of morals or ethics. Anything negative you say could at the very least ruin someone's day or worse, break someone's heart, or simply change someone from being a future ally of yours to someone who will never forget that you were unkind or unfairly critical.
22. For grounding, he convinced me to start making my bed.
23. We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training. - Archilochus
24. Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I'll spend the first hour sharpening the axe. - Abraham Lincoln
25. We suggest finding a "mindfulness buddy" and committing to a 15-minute conversation every week, covering:
i. How am I doing with my commitment to my practice?
ii. What has arisen in my life that relates to my practice?
iii. How did this conversation go?
26. 5-Minute Journal
To be answered in the morning
i. I am grateful for ... a. _________ b. _________ c. _________
ii. What would make today great?
a. _________ b. _________ c. _________
iii. Daily affirmations
a. _________ b. _________ c. _________
To be filled in at night:
i. 3 amazing things that happened today ...
a. _________ b. _________ c. _________
ii. How could I have made today better?
a. _________ b. _________ c. _________
27. Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. ... If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. Infact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. ... Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
... accept that quality long-term results require long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps on the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from your defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.
Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.
If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.
28. If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success. - James Cameron
29. Good stories always beat good spreadsheets. ... we are all still emotionally driven human beings. ... We don't act because of equations. We follow our beliefs. We get behind leaders who stir our feelings.
30. Cultivate a beginner's mind. ... Experience often deeply embeds the assumptions that need to be questioned in the first place.
31. Empathy isn't just good for life, it's good for business. As a builder, as an entrepreneur, how can you create something for someone else if you don't have enough glancing familiarity with them to imagine the world through their eyes?
32. I think authenticity is one of the most lacking things out there these days. ... Be your unapologetically weird self.
33. Raise prices. ... They don't charge enough for their product to be able to afford the sales and marketing required to actually get anybody to buy it. Is your product any good if people won't pay more for it?
34. Be so good they can't ignore you.
35. To do original work: It's not necessary to know something nobody else knows. It is necessary to believe something few other people believe.
Andy Grove had the answer: For every metric, there should be another 'paired' metric that addresses adverse consequences of the first metric.
Every billionaire suffers from the same problem. Nobody around them says, 'Hey, that stupid idea that you just had is really stupid.'
- Marc Andreessen
36. I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
37. If more information was the answer, then we'd all be billionaires with perfect abs. ... It's not what you know, it's what you do consistently.
38. Ricardo Semler, CEO and majority owner of the Brazil-based Semco Partners, practices asking "Why?" three times. This is true when questioning his own motives, or when tackling big projects.
39. You can do everything you want to do. You just need foresight and patience.
40. Once you have some success - If it's not a 'Hell, Yes!', it's a 'No'.
41. 'Busy' = Out of control
... Lack of time is lack of priorities.
42. We are whatever we pretend to be.
43. One of his questions for founders who apply to Y Combinator: What are you doing that the world doesn't realize is a really big deal?
- Alexis Ohanian
44. Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.
45. Everyone is interesting. If you are ever bored in a conversation, the problem's with you, not the other person.
46. If we do X today, what does that result in tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now? ... the dog is chasing the car. What does the dog do if he catches the car? He doesn't have a plan for it. So I find it just as often on the entrepreneurial side. People don't plan for success.
47. ... clarity of writing indicates clarity of thinking.
48. Nelson Mandela's answer when Tony Robbins asked him, "Sir, how did you survive all those years in prison?" - I didn't survive. I prepared.
49. Life is always happening for us, not to us. It's our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent.
- Tony Robbins
50. Investing in yourself is the most important investment you'll ever make in your life.
- Warren Buffett
51. If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.
- Jim Rohn
52. The reason you are suffering is you are focussed on yourself.
53. It is impossible to be angry and grateful simultaneously. When you are grateful, there is no fear. You can't be grateful and fearful simultaneously.
54. Commonality across the best investors - almost all of them were real givers, not just givers on the surface... but really passionate about giving...
55. Morning pages (journaling) are spiritual windshield wipers. It's the most cost-effective therapy. ... Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts (nebulous worries, jitters and preoccupations) on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes. ... There are huge benefits to writing, even if no one - yourself included - ever reads what you write. In other words, the process matters more than the product.
56. Reid Hoffman responding to an insult with "I'm perfectly willing to accept that" and moving on.
57. The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
58. I have come to learn that part of the business strategy is to solve the simplest, easiest, and most valuable problem. And, actually, in fact, part of doing strategy is to solve the easiest problem.
- Reid Hoffman
59. In doing an 80/20 analysis of your activities (determining which 20% of activities / tasks produce 80% of the results you want), you typically end up with a short list. Make 'easy' your next criterion. Which of these highest-value activities is the easiest for me to do?
60. On a daily basis, Reid Hoffman jots down problems in a notebook that he wants his mind to work on overnight.
61. Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious. - Thomas Edison
62. How do you know if you have A-players on your project team? You know it if they don't accept the strategy you hand them. They should suggest modifications to the plan based on their closeness to the details.
63. What I prefer over trends is a sense of mission. That you are working on a unique problem that people are not solving elsewhere. - Peter Thiel
64. So I think, every day, it's something to reflect on and think about 'How do I become less competitive in order that I can become more successful?" - Peter Thiel
65. Peter Thiel
What do people agree merely by convention, and what is the truth?
Tell me something that's true that very few people agree with you on?
What problem do you face every day that nobody has solved yet?
What is a great company no one has started?
What do you believe that other people think is insane?
The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity others don't see?
The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
66. Seth Godin
It's always the hard part that creates value.
You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.
... the goal isn't to get good ideas; the goal is to get bad ideas. Because once you get enough bad ideas, then some good ones have to show up.
... a simple theory of marketing that says: tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don't tell anybody else, it's not that good and you should start over. If they do tell other people, you are on your way.
To create something great (or eventually huge), start extremely small. My suggestion is ... to ask yourself: What's the smallest possible footprint I can get away with? What is the smallest possible project that is worth my time? What is the smallest group of people who I could make a difference for, or to? Because smallest is achievable. Smallest feels risky. Because if you pick smallest and you fail, now you've really screwed up.
We want to pick big. Infinity is our friend. Infinity is safe. Infinity gives us a place to hide. So, I want to encourage people instead to look for the small. To be on one medium in a place where people can find you. To have one sort of interaction with one tribe, with one group where you don't have a lot of lifeboats.
If you spend 2 hours a day without an electronic device, looking your kid in the eye, talking to them and solving interesting problems, you will raise a different kid than someone who doesn't do that. That's one of the reasons why I cook dinner every night. Because, what a wonderful semi-distracted environment in which the kid can tell you the truth. For you to have low-stakes but super important conversations with someone who's important to you.
... we need to teach kids two things -
i. how to lead, and
ii. how to solve interesting problems
The way you teach your kids to solve interesting problems is to give them interesting problems to solve. And, then don't criticize them when they fail. Because kids aren't stupid. If they get in trouble every time they try to solve an interesting problem, they'll just go back to getting an A by memorizing what's in the textbook. ... And what we can say is: I really don't care how you did on your vocabulary test. I care about whether you have something to say.
You need to be clear with yourself about what you are afraid of, why you are afraid, and whether you care enough to dance with that fear because it will never go away.
67. James Altucher
James recommends the habit of writing down 10 ideas each morning in a notebook. This exercise is for developing your "idea muscle" and confidence for creativity on demand, so regular practice is more important than the topics.
What if you just can't come up with 10 ideas? Here's the magic trick: If you can't come up with 10 ideas, come up with 20 ideas ... You are putting too much pressure on yourself. Perfectionism is the ENEMY of the idea muscle ... it's your brain trying to protect you from harm, from coming up with an idea that is embarrassing and stupid and could cause you to suffer pain. The way you shut this off is by forcing the brain to come up with bad ideas.
I then divide my paper into two columns. On one column is my list of ideas. On the other column is the list of FIRST STEPS. Remember, only the first step. Because you have no idea where that first step will take you. One of my favourite examples: Richard Branson didn't like the service on airlines he was flying, so he had an idea: 'I am going to start a new airline.' How the heck can a magazine publisher start an airline from scratch with no money? His first step: He called Boeing to see if they had an airplane he could lease.
No idea is so big that you can't take the first step. If the first step seems too hard, make it simpler. And don't worry again if the idea is bad. This is all practice.
On the value of Selective Ignorance, After Working at a Newspaper - You are basically told, 'Find the things that's going to scare people the most and write about it.' ... It's like everyday is Halloween at the newspaper. I avoid newspapers. ... Many productive people do the same.
68. Have the founders ever had crappy service jobs, like waiting tables or bussing at restaurants? If so, they tend to stay grounded for longer. Less entitlement and megalomania usually means better decisions...
Commit, within financial reason, to action instead of theory.
69. Scott Adams
Losers have goals. Winners have systems.
On the odd effectiveness of affirmations - All you do is you pick a goal and you write it down 15 times a day in some specific sentence form. And you do that every day.
First, I said I would become a number-one best selling author. This was before I'd ever written a book, and I'd never taken a class in writing, except a 2-day course in business writing, and that was it. The Dilbert Principle became the number one best-selling book.
There was a period ... where I lost my voice beginning in 2005 due to spasmodic dysphonia. I couldn't speak for three and a half years. That was the next time I used affirmations. And the affirmation was: I, Scott Adams, will speak perfectly. (PS: He now speaks perfectly after a surgery.)
... I'm positive the exact method doesn't matter. I think what matters is the degree of focus and the commitment you have to that focus. Because the last affirmation (about speaking perfectly) I mentioned was primarily done in my head while driving, but continuously for years, for about 3 years. At first, the way I did it back in those times was I used a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper, and I wrote the same sentence 15 times, once a day, I think. Here's why I think it seems to work, and there are several possibilities. One is ... 'reticular activation'. It's basically the idea that it's easy to hear your own name spoken in a crowd.
... Basically, your brain isn't capable of processing everything in its environment, or even coming close. So the best it can do is set up those little filters. And the way it sets its filters is by what you pay attention to. It's what you spend the most energy on ... That's how you set your filter.
... you can use these affirmations ... to focus your mind and your memory on a very specific thing. And, that would allow you to notice things in your environment that might have already been there. It's just that your filter was set to ignore, and then you just tune in through this memory and repetition trick until it widens a little bit to allow some extra stuff in. So, there is some science to back that ...
Eventually, I decided to start the affirmation - I, Scott Adams, would become a famous cartoonist. The odds of becoming a famous cartoonist ... very rare. In fact, Dilbert was probably the biggest breakout, or one of the biggest, in 20 years.
Listening to the Body instead of the Mind - I am looking at a new problem, I am thinking of a new idea. But then you've got to find out where in that flood is the little piece that's worth working with. That's where I use the body model. ... Your brain can't find good contact, not directly in an intellectual sense. Obviously, the brain is involved, but what I mean is that as I am thinking of these ideas and they are flowing through my head, I am monitoring my body; I am not monitoring my mind. And when my body changes, I have something that other people are going to care about, too.
If you want an average, successful life, it doesn't take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:
i. become the best at one specific thing
ii. become very good (top 25%) at two or more things
The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. ... The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I'm hardly an artist. And, I am not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I'm funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It's the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it. ...
At least one of the skills in your mixture should involve communication, either written or verbal. ... you'd be hard-pressed to find any successful person who didn't have about three skills in the top 25%.
70. If you can't be first in a category, set-up a new category you can be first in.
When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not 'How is this new product better than the competition?' but 'First what?'. In other words, what category is this new product first in?
When you are the first in a new category, promote the category. In essence, you have no competition. DEC told its prospects why they ought to buy a minicomputer, not a DEC minicomputer.
71. Chase Jarvis
I don't create art to get high-dollar projects, I do high-dollar projects so I can create more art.
Creativity is an infinite resource. The more you spend, the more you have. ... creativity and meditation are similar.
On going premium from Day One - I wanted to do less stuff, and do high-end stuff.
Good Content is the best SEO.
72. ... don't be afraid to do something you are not qualified to do. ... just copyright your faults.
73. 'Success' need not be complicated. Just start with making 1,000 people extremely, extremely happy.
A true fan is defined as 'a fan who will buy anything you produce'.
It's always easier and better to give your existing customers more, than it is to find new fans. ... you must have a direct relationship with your fans.
True fans are not only the direct source of your income, but also your chief marketing force for the ordinary fans. ... the high-touch 1,000 true fans who act as your most powerful unpaid marketing force for 'crossing the chasm' into the mainstream. If you don't build that initial army, you are likely to fail.
You just need to create a great experience and charge enough.
74. Alex Blumberg
Ask the dumb question everyone else is afraid to ask.
... pseudo-commands are sometimes more effective than questions:
i. Tell me more about ...
ii. Describe ...
iii. Explain that a bit more ...
Follow-up questions when something interesting comes up:
i. How did that make you feel?
ii. What do you make of that? ...
iii. What did you learn from that?
When you do X (or when Y happened to you), what does your internal self-talk sound like? What do you say to yourself.
75. Not only am I not going to say anything negative about the situation I am in, but I am not going to let myself think negative about it ... It took a long time and I wasn't perfect at it ... not only did replacing those thoughts helped me start moving my life in a better direction, where I wasn't obsessing about what was wrong ... it also made me not feel physical pain so much, which is very liberating and kind of necessary if you want to do anything.
- Tracy DiNunzio
76. ... every single thing in your company breaks every time you roughly triple in size.
How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don't want?
- Phil Libin
77. That's something I certainly hope to instill in my son: Don't worry about what your job is going to be ... Do things you are interested in, and if you do them really well, you are going to find a way to temper them with some good business opportunity. - Chris Young
78. Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake-up. There are 10 goals around health, family, business etc. with expiration dates and I update them every 6 months.
My parents always taught me that my day job would never make me rich. It'd be my homework.
- Daymond John
79. Don't try and find time. Schedule time. On Tuesdays, from 10 am to 12 noon, Noah schedules nothing but 'learning'. This is a great reminder that, for anything important, you don't find time. It's only real if it's on the calendar. My Wednesdays from 9 am to 1 pm are currently blocked out for "Creation - writing, podcast recording, or other output that creates a tangible 'after' product. I turn-off Wifi during this period to be as non-reactive as possible.
...most of their students started gymnastics as sedentary adults.
- Noah Kagan
80. The value of "I don't understand" ... try experimenting with saying 'I don't understand. Can you explain that to me?'
- Luis Von Ahn
81. Great men have almost always shown themselves as ready to obey as they afterwards proved able to command. - Lord Mahon
If you want great mentors, you have to become a great mentee. If you want to lead, you have to first learn to follow.
It's not about making someone look good. It's about providing the support so that others can be good.
Benjamin Franklin saw the constant benefit in making other people look good and letting them take credit for your ideas.
Bill Belichick, the four-time Super Bowl winning head coach ... thrived on what was considered grunt work, asked for it, and strove to become the best at precisely what others thought they were too good for.
Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you are the least important person in the room - until you change that with results.
Say little. Do much. ... Be lesser, do more. Imagine if for every person you met, you thought of some way to help them, something you could do for them? And you looked at it in a way that entirely benefitted them and not you? The cumulative effect this would have over time would be profound: You'd learn a great deal by solving diverse problems. You'd develop a reputation for being indispensable. You'd have countless new relationships. You'd have an enormous bank of favours to call upon down the road.
82. Neil Strauss
... not accepting the norm is the secret to really big success and changing the world.
Writer's Block - Whether it's ideas or writing, the key is temporarily dropping your standards. One of the best pieces of advice I've received for writing was a mantra: 2 crappy pages per day. ... Draft ugly and edit pretty.
Be vulnerable to get vulnerability.
Be open to whatever comes next. - John Cage
No matter what the situation may be, the right course of action is always compassion and love. - Barbara McNally
83. Be the silence that listens. - Tara Brach
What would this look like if it were easy?
83. Scott Belsky
Sometimes, you need to stop doing things you love in order to nurture the one thing that matters most.
... the dirty little secret is that every success was almost a failure.
84. Travel isn't just for changing what's outside, it's for reinventing what's inside.
85. Peter Diamandis
I talk to CEOs all the time, and I say, 'Listen, the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea. If it wasn't a crazy idea, it's not a breakthrough; it's an incremental improvement. So where inside of your companies are you trying crazy ideas?
A problem is a terrible thing to waste. ... The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities.
When 99% of people doubt you, you are either gravely wrong or about to make history.
The best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people.
His affirmation mantra, which he repeats a number of times is: I am joy. I am love. I am gratitude. I see, hear, feel and know that the purpose of my life is to inspire and guide the transformation of humanity on and off the Earth.
Before bed, Peter always reviews his three "wins of the day."
If you haven't connected with what your purpose and mission in life is, then forget anything I've said. That is the number one thing you need to do: Find out what you need to be doing on this planet, why you were put here, and what wakes you up in the mornings.
The benefits of thinking 10X instead of 10%. When you go after a moonshot - something that's 10 times bigger, not 10% bigger - a number of things happen ...
First of all, when you are going 10% bigger, you are competing against everybody. Everybody's trying to go 10% bigger. When you are trying to go 10 times bigger, you are there by yourself.
The second thing is, when you are trying to go 10 times bigger, you have to start with a clean sheet of paper, and you approach the problem completely differently.
The third thing is when you try to go 10 times bigger versus 10% bigger, it's typically not 100 times harder, but the reward is 100 times more.
Is there a grand challenge or a billion person problem that you can focus on?
How would you disrupt yourself?
When given a choice... take both.
The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
86. Sophia Amoruso
I like to make promises that I'm not sure I can keep and then figure out how to keep them.
A day that ends well is one that started with exercise.
87. Get the long-term goal on the calendar before the short-term pain hits.
Make commitments in a high-energy state so that you can't back out when you are in a low-energy state.
I find that being in a good mood for creative work is worth the hours it takes to get in a good mood.
- BJ Novak
88. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials - Lin Yutang.
Discipline equals freedom. - Jocko Willink
Are you doing what you are uniquely capable of, what you feel placed here on Earth to do?
Saying yes to less is the way out.
Large, uninterrupted blocks of time - 3 to 5 hours minimum - create the space needed to find and connect the dots. And one block per week isn't enough. ... For me, this means at least 3 to 4 mornings per week where I am in 'maker' mode until atleast 1 pm.
What blessings in excess have become a curse? Where do you have too much of a good thing?
Life favours the specific ask and punishes the vague wish.
All of my biggest wins have come from leveraging strengths instead of fixing weaknesses.
In practice, strictly making health # 1 has real social and business ramifications. That's a price I've realized I MUST be fine with paying or I will lose weeks or months to sickness and fatigue.
Making health #1 50% of the time doesn't work. It's all or nothing. If it's #1 50% of the time, you'll compromise precisely when it's most important not to.
89. If you are suffering from a feeling of overwhelm, it might be useful to ask yourself two questions:
i. In the midst of overwhelm, is life not showing me exactly what I should subtract?
ii. Am I having a breakdown or a breakthrough?
90. As Marcus Aurelius and Ryan Holiday would say, The obstacle is the way. This doesn't mean seeing problems, accepting them and leaving them to fester. Nor does it mean rationalizing problems into good things. It means using pain to find clarity. If pain is examined and not ignored, it can show you what to excise from your life.
Step one is always the same: Write down the 20% of activities and people causing 80% or more of your negative emotions.
Step two is doing a 'fear-setting' exercise on paper, by answering 'What is really the worst that could happen if I stopped doing what I am considering? And so what? How could I undo any damage?'
91. The struggle ends when the gratitude begins. - Neale Donald Walsch
92. There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way. - Thich Nhat Hanh
93. What you seek is seeking you. - Rumi
94. Maria Popova
If you are looking for a formula for greatness, the closest we'll ever get, I think, is this: Consistency driven by a deep love of the work.
Life is a continual process of arrival into who we are.
The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. There will be a wide margin for relaxation to his day. He is only earnest to secure the kernels of time, and does not exaggerate the value of the husk - the outer accoutrements of productivity like busyness, or a full calendar, or a clever auto-responder - not mistaking those for the kernel, the core and substance of the actual work produced. .... Those who work much, do not work hard.
- Henry David Thoreau
95. Jocko Willink
Discipline equals freedom. ... if you want freedom in life - be that financial freedom, more free time, or even freedom from sickness and poor health - you can only achieve these things through discipline.
Most who've been successful for decades also have methods to cultivate gratitude.
If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don't meditate on it. ... Being tougher was, more than anything, a decision to be tougher.
What makes a good commander?
The immediate answer that comes to mind is 'humility'. Because you've got to be humble, and you've got to be coachable. ... Later, when I was running training, we would fire a couple of leaders from every SEAL (The United States Navy Sea, Air and Land Teams) Team because they couldn't lead. And, 99.9% of the time, it wasn't a question of their ability to shoot a weapon, it wasn't because they weren't in good physical shape, it wasn't because they were unsafe. It was almost always a question of their ability to listen, open their mind, and see that, maybe, there's a better way to do things. That is from a lack of humility ... Stay humble or get humbled.
...step back and observe. ... detaching yourself from the situation, so you can see what's happening, is always critical.
96. Practice for mental toughness - ... push yourself harder than you believe you are capable of. You'll find new depth inside yourself.
97. Think about how old you are right now and think about being a 10-year older version of yourself. Then think, 'What would I probably tell myself, as an older version of myself?' If you do this exercise and then start living the answers, I think you are going to grow exponentially faster than you would have otherwise.
98. What are actually my ultimate goals in life, and how can I optimize toward them?
99. What are your top 2 or 3 handicapping (limiting) beliefs?
a. What has each belief cost you in the past, and what has it cost people you've loved in the past? What have you lost because of the belief? See it, hear it, feel it?
b. What is each costing you and people you care about in the present? See it, hear it, feel it?
c. What will each cost you and people you care about 1, 3, 5 and 10 years from now? See it, hear it, feel it.
After you feel the acute pain of your current handicapping beliefs, you formulate 2 or 3 replacement beliefs to use moving forward. This is done so that 'you are not pulled back into old beliefs by old language patterns. One of my top 3 limiting beliefs was 'I'm not hardwired for happiness,' which I replaced with 'Happiness is my natural state.' Post this, I used Scott Adam's affirmation approach in the mornings to reinforce it. I experienced a huge shift in my life in the subsequent 3 to 4 weeks. Roughly a year later, I can say this: I've never been consistently happier in my entire adult life.
100. With boys, there is an active encouragement - despite the possibility that they could get hurt - and guiding the son to do it, often on his own. When a daughter decides to do something that might have some risk involved, after cautioning her, the parents are much more likely to assist her in doing it. What is this telling girls? They are fragile and they need our help. This is acculturated so early. So, of course, by the time we are women and in the workplace or relationships, that's going to be a predominant paradigm for us: fear.
... I would say it's time to adopt a paradigm of bravery instead of a paradigm of fear. So, when you have a boy and a girl, or a man and a woman, facing the exact same situation, facing the exact same situation, there will be two emotional reactions to it that are sort of opposite. The man will be trying to access his bravery, and the woman will be accessing her fear.
- Caroline Paul
101. Courage takes practice. It's a skill you have to develop.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin
Named must your fear be before banish it you can. - Yoda, from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
- Benjamin Disraeli
Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
Conquering Fear = Defining Fear
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
- Mark Twain
Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, the conversation, whatever the action might be - it is the fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do. Define the worst case, accept it, and do it. ... A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing everyday that you fear.
102. Kevin Kelly
Productivity is for robots. What humans are going to be really good at is asking questions, being creative and experiences.
In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.
Write to get ideas, not to express them - What I discovered, what is what many writers discover, is that I write in order to think. I'd say, I think I have an idea but when I begin to write it, I realize, 'I have no idea', and I don't actually know what I think until I try and write it ... That was the revelation.
103. There is more freedom to be gained from practicing poverty than chasing wealth. Suffer a little regularly and you often cease to suffer.
104. Whitney Cummings
If something offends you, look inward ... That's a sign that there's something there.
Perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis.
I think ultimately, sometimes when we judge other people, it's just a way to not look at ourselves; a way to feel superior or sanctimonious or whatever. My trauma therapist said every time you meet someone, just in your head say, 'I love you' before you have a conversation with them, and the conversation is going to go a lot better. ... just assume everybody is doing the best they can with what they have ...
... the way you do anything is the way you do everything.
105. Bryan Callen
Happiness is wanting what you have.
The difference between the people you admire and everybody else is that the former are the people who read.
106. Alain De Botton
When people seem like they are mean, they are almost never mean. They are anxious.
Ultimately, to be properly successful is to be at peace as well.
The more you know what you really want, and where you are really going, the more what everybody else is doing starts to diminish.
107. Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence, or a vice: It is as indispensable to the brain as Vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration - it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.
Life is too short to be busy.
108. Cal Fussman
Aim for the heart, not the head. Once you get the heart, you can go to the head. Once you get the heart and the head, then you'll have a pathway to the soul.
Listening is about being present, not just being quiet.
We all know the feeling of wanting to do something so well and so badly that we try too hard and can't do it at all.
109. Rick Rubin
How does Rick help artists who feel stuck? "Usually, I'll give them homework - a small, doable task. I'll give you an example. There was an artist I was working with recently who hadn't made an album in a long time, and he was struggling with finishing anything. He just had this version of a writer's block. But I would give him very doable homework assignments that almost seemed like a joke. 'Tonight, I want you to write one word in this song that needs five lines, that you can't finish. I just want one word that you like by tomorrow. Do you think that you could come up with one word?' "
So much of the job is more emotion and 'heart work' than it is 'head work'. The head comes in after, to look at what the heart has presented and to organize it. But the initial inspiration comes from a different place, and it's not the head, and it's not an intellectual activity.
Going to museums and looking at great art ... Reading great novels ... seeing a great movie ... reading poetry ... The only way to use the inspiration of other artists is if you submerge yourself in the greatest works of all time ...
(JG: A Business is a Work of Art. Those who lead it are artists. You will lead yourself and your business from good to great if you play the game like that.)
110. ... 80% of the world-class performers I've interviewed meditate in the mornings in some fashion. But what about the remaining 20%? Nearly all of them have meditation like activities.
111. Paulo Coelho
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.
I don't have researchers, no. No, no ... If you overload your book with a lot of research, you are going to be very boring to yourself and to your readers. Books are not here to show how intelligent and cultivated you are. Books are out there to show your heart, to show your soul, and to tell your fans, readers: You are not alone.
112. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, putting thoughts on paper is the best way to:
a. develop ideas
b. review and improve your thinking
The benefits of even 30 minutes a week of scribbling can transfer to everything else that you do.
113. Two words for conflict resolution - Say less. That's it. Just say less.
Honor those who seek the truth, beware of those who've found it.
- Amanda Palmer
114. The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
Don't keep stuff to yourself. You are surrounded by smart people. Bring them in, Get other people's opinions. Share it with them. And most importantly, emotions is what matters. It's an emotional journey ...
Blind belief in yourself.
115. It's very, very hard to stay silent, and it's very, very important to have that self-control.
Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You'll avoid the tough decisions, and you'll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted. - Colin Powell
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. - Epictetus
Sometimes, the best way to defuse or defeat attackers is to ask short questions and keep them talking - Why do you say that?, Why do you ask?, Why would you say something like that? ...
... it is so much less work just to be yourself.
Cynicism is a disease that robs people of the gift of life.
You have to believe in your capacity. You have to believe that your capacity is greater than you could probably imagine. ... God has given us talents and faculties, and it's up to us to discover them, expand them to their maximum, and use them for maximum service in the world.
Believe in yourself more deeply. You are bigger than that. Dream bigger.
116. Naval Ravikant
The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It's just like building muscles.
Reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill and can be traded for anything else.
Earn with your mind, not your time.
Total honesty at all times. It's almost always possible to be honest and positive.
Watch every thought. Always ask - Why am I having this thought?
All greatness comes from suffering.
Love is given, not received.
Mathematics is a language of nature.
Every moment has to be complete in and of itself.
117. What you are is good enough for whatever it is you are doing.
You are smart enough. You can do it. ... there's something stupid in us that just makes us feel like we are not good enough, we are not smart enough.
- Glenn Beck
118. Tara Brach
There's a mystic who says there's only one really good question, which is, 'What am I unwilling to feel?'
Inviting Mara to Tea
This being human is a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! ...
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide beyond.
The poem relates to actively recognizing anger and other types of what we consider 'negative' emotions. Rather than trying to suppress something or swat it away, we say to the emotions / ourselves, 'I see you.' This counter-intuitively helps to dissolve or resolve the issue. ... Fighting emotions is like flailing in quicksand - it only makes things worse. Sometimes, the most proactive 'defense' is a mental nod and wink.
... When Mara (small mind) visits us, in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, 'I see you, Mara' and clearly recognize the reality of craving and fear that lives in each human heart. By accepting these experiences with the warmth of compassion, we can offer Mara tea rather than fearfully drive him away. Seeing what is true, we hold what is seen with kindness. We express such wakefulness of heart each time we recognize and embrace our hurts and fears.
Our habit of being a fair-weather friend to ourselves - of pushing away or ignoring whatever darkness we can - is deeply entrenched. But just as a relationship with a good friend is marked by understanding and compassion, we can learn to bring these same qualities to our own inner life.
119. Sam Kass
... the key in any kind of high pressure situation is that 75% of success is staying calm and not losing your nerve. The rest you can figure out, but once you lose your calm, everything else starts falling apart fast.
Never serve anything you wouldn't want to eat.
One difference between home cooks and pros is acidity level. When you think it's ready, add another lemon. Pros bump up the acidity level. It's one of the secrets. We add a little more acid and it makes everything taste better.
... passion comes from a combination of being open and curious, and really going all-in when you find something that you are interested in.
120. Richard Betts
If you are lucky, you have someone when you are young who doesn't talk down to you, who speaks to you as a serious person and exhorts you to take something seriously, to take work seriously.
What do you think financially successful people who are generally unhappy have in common? ... Misplaced goals. I think chasing the financial is not the right way to do it. ... if you work for the awards (rewards), you don't do good work. But if you do good work, the awards (rewards) will come.
Love yourself. ... You've got to love yourself before you can love others. Without it, nothing productive is going to happen, and we can all bang our heads on the wall.
121. Mike Birbiglia
Only emotion endures.
I try to write before my inhibitions take hold of me. I try to do 7 am. ... You don't want to think consciously about what you are putting on the page. A lot of times, I'll write in my journal as though it will never be seen by anyone, and then more often than not, the things that I put in my secret journal are the things I publish.
... the best thing to do is give people questions they are not expecting.
Don't waste your time on marketing, just try to get better ... And, also, it's not about being good; it's about being great.
122. ... if you don't regularly appreciate the small wins, you will never appreciate the big wins.
... if you try to approach every problem with your moral compass, first and foremost, you are going to make a lot of mistakes. You are going to exclude a lot of possible good solutions. You are going to assume you know a lot of things, which in fact you don't, and you are not going to be a good partner in reaching a solution with other people who don't happen to see the world the way you do. - Stephen J. Dubner
A back-off week, or deload, is a planned reduction in exercise volume or intensity. ... I've used deloading outside of sports to decrease my anxiety to at least 50% while simultaneously doubling my income. ... I feel that the big ideas come from these periods. It's the silence between the notes that makes the music. ... importance of creating large, uninterrupted blocks of time, during which your mind can wander, ponder, and find the signal amidst the noise. If you are lucky, it might even create a signal, or connect two signals (core ideas) that have never shaken hands before. I've scheduled deloading phases in a few ways: roughly 8 am to 9 am daily for journaling, .. 9 am to 1 pm every Wednesday for creative output (i.e writing, interviewing for the podcast); and 'screen free Saturdays', when I use no laptops and only use my phone for maps and coordinating with friends via text (no apps). Of course, I still use 'mini-retirements' a few times a year. ... Deloading blocks must be scheduled and defended more strongly than your business commitments. The former can strengthen and inform the latter, but not vice-versa. ... Create slack, as no one will give it to you. This is the only way to swim forward instead of treading water. - Tim Ferris
A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. - Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Work Week
123. Josh Waitzkin
... ending the work day with very high quality, which for one thing means you are internalizing quality overnight.
Hemingway had a practice of ending his writing sessions mid-flow and mid-sentence. This way, he knew exactly where to start the next day, and he could reliably both end and start his sessions with confidence.
One of my most beautiful memories of Marcelo is in the world championship, right before going to the semifinals. He's napping on a bleacher. Everyone's screaming and yelling, he's asleep on the bleacher. I can't wake him up.
He finally took a stumble into the ring and you've never seen a guy more relaxed before going into a world championship fight. ... He can turn it off so deeply, and man, when he goes in the ring, you can't turn it on with any more intensity than he can. His ability to turn it off is directly aligned with how intensely he can turn it on, so I train people to do this, to have stress and recovery undulation throughout their day.
Interval training (often at midday or lunch break) and meditation together are beautiful habits to develop to cultivate the art of turning it on and turning it off.
We are talking about Marcelo embodying the principle of quality in all these little ways (eg. specific cleaning protocols for the gym, having people tidy their uniforms in class). These little ways, you could say don't matter, but they add up hugely. ... the little things are the big things. Because they are a reflection. This may sound cliched, but how you do anything is how you do everything.
... most people think they can wait around for the big moments to turn it on. But if you don't cultivate 'turning it on' as a way of life in the little moments - and there are hundreds of times more little moments than big - then there's no chance in the big moments ... I believe that when you are not cultivating quality, you are essentially cultivating sloppiness.
Lateral thinking or thematic thinking, the ability to take a lesson from one thing and transfer it to another, is one of the most important disciplines that any of us can cultivate.
124. Brene Brown
Lean into discomfort. ... Give vulnerability a shot. Give discomfort its due. Because I think he or she who is willing to be the most uncomfortable is not only the bravest, but rises the fastest.
The big question I ask is - When I had the opportunity, did I choose courage over comfort? ... How that translates to more than 30 million video views - I went to the TED Event and I experimented. I really put myself out there. I talked about my own breakdowns, my spiritual awakening. I talked about having to go to therapy ... and I remember driving home and thinking, 'I will never do that again.' She then watched the popularity of her video explode, now totaling more than 31 million views on TED.com and YouTube. 'If I look back, my takeaway from that experience was this: If I am not feeling a little bit nauseous when I am done, I probably didn't show up like I should have shown up.
People always think you gain trust first and then you are vulnerable with people. But the truth is, you can't really earn trust over time without being somewhat vulnerable first.
The word 'successful' and 'success' has been such a dangerous word in my research. ... Be clear that your ladder is leaning against the right building.
125. People's IQs seem to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
What would this look like if it were easy?
You don't need to go through life huffing and puffing, straining and red-faced. You can get 95% of the results you want by calmly putting one foot in front of the other. ... Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. ... Luxury, to me, is feeling unrushed.
Be sure to look for simple solutions. If the answer isn't simple, it's probably not the right answer.
126. I kept wondering how Tyrin Turner was always in shape. He said: 'Man, I'm trying to tell you, the pull-up bars are everything.'
You are either great or you don't exist. ... Good isn't good enough.
- Jamie Foxx
127. Bryan Johnson
... entrepreneurs have the ability to author their lives with companies.
What can you do that will be remembered in 200 to 400 years?
I broke all their sales records following this really simple formula of just selling honesty and transparency in a broken industry.
One time as a kid, I wondered - if you fill a milk gallon jug full of gasoline and you lit it on fire, what would happen? ... As expected, it produced quite a flame. ... the lawn is on fire. It is getting worse and worse. Anyway, mom and I put the fire out and then the only thing she says to me is - Bryan, you probably should not do that again, and I said, 'All right, that is fair.'
(lesson on parenting)
This is a story about a tiger named Mohini that was in captivity in a zoo. She has been confined to a 10-by-10-foot cage with a concrete floor for 5 or 10 years. She was rescued and finally released into this big pasture: With excitement and anticipation, they released Mohini into her new and expensive environment, but it was too late. The tiger immediately sought refuge in a corner of the compound, where she lived for the remainder of her life. She paced and paced in that corner until an area 10-by-10 feet was worn bare of grass. ... Perhaps the biggest tragedy in our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old pattern. ... Oftentimes, everything you want is a mere inch outside of your comfort zone. Test it.
128. You don't find time, you make time. ... Khaled Hosseini wrote The Kite Runner in the early mornings before working as a full-time doctor. Paul Levesque often works out at midnight. It it's truly important, schedule it. ... If it isn't on the calendar, it isn't real.
Every morning, what I do is based on the Morning Pages by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way (A spiritual path to higher creativity). It's 3 longhand pages where you just keep the pen moving for 3 pages, no matter what. No censoring, no rereading. It's the closest thing to magic I've come across. If you really do it every day in a real disciplined practice, something happens to you subconscious that allows you to get to your most creative place. - Brian Koppelman
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. - Lao Tzu
You have gifts to share with the world.
129. Robert Rodriguez
There's freedom in limitations. ... Excuses are a dime a dozen. In the case of Entrepreneurship, the "I don't have" list - I don't have funding. I don't have connections etc. - is a popular write-off for inaction. But lack of resources is often one of the critical ingredients for greatness.
Jack Ma, founder of China's Alibaba Group, is worth an estimated $20 to $30 billion, and he explains the secret of his success this way: There are 3 reasons why we survived: We had no money, we had no technology, and we had no plan. Every dollar, we used very carefully.
Turn weaknesses into strengths, bugs into features. ... nothing ever goes according to plan ... nothing is going to work at all. So you go: How can I turn it into a positive and get something much better than if I had all the time and money in the world? ... I want all of them to not have enough money, not enough time, so that we are forced to be more creative. Because that's going to give it some spark that you can't manufacture.
Don't follow the herd, stumble instead. It's good not to follow the herd. Go the other way. If everyone's going that way, you go this other way. You are gonna stumble, but you are also gonna stumble upon an idea no one came up with ... I always found success by just going the opposite way. There was too much competition over there. If everyone's trying to get through that one little door, you are in the wrong place.
Failure is not necessarily durable. Remember that the things they fire you for when you are young are the same things that they give lifetime achievement awards for when you are old. - Francis Ford Coppola
I'm there to learn. I'm not there to win; I'm there to learn because then I'll win, eventually ...
You have to be able to look at your failures and know that there's a key to success in every failure.
If you have a positive attitude, you can look back. ... You can go back and you can look at it and go, 'Oh, that wasn't a failure. That was a key moment of my development that I needed to take, and I can trust my instinct. I really can.'
You don't need to know. Trust comes first. ... creativity is a meta-skill. Robert routinely plays guitar on set and invites master painters to set to teach the actors during breaks. He believes that if you develop creativity, trust and getting started often take care of the rest: 'The technical part of any job is 10%. 90% is creativity.'
You get in your own way - thinking that you needed to know something, a trick or a process, before it would flow. If you got out of the way, it would just flow. ... suddenly, you've given yourself permission to let it flow. ... You are just opening up the pipe and the creativity flows through. And as soon as your ego gets in the way, and you go, 'I don't know if I know what to do next' you have already put 'I' in front of it and you've already blocked it a little bit. 'I did it once, but I don't know if I can do it again.' It was never you. The best you can do is just get out of the way so it comes through.
They say knowing is half the battle. I think the most important is the other part - not knowing what's going to happen but trusting that it will be there when you put the brush up to the canvas. It's going to know where to go. ... The trust comes first.
Even if I didn't know what to do, I just had to begin. For a lot of people, that's the part that keeps them back the most. They think, 'Well, I don't have an idea, so I can't start.' I know you'll only get the idea once you start. It's this totally reverse thing. You have to act first before inspiration will hit. You don't wait for the inspiration and then act, or you are never going to act, because you are never going to have the inspiration, not consistently. ... You don't have to know. You just have to keep moving forward.
When people say, 'You do so many things. You are a musician, you are a painter, you are a composer, you are a cinematographer, you are the editor. You do many different things.'
I go, 'No, I only do one thing. I live a creative life. When you put creativity in everything, everything becomes available to you.'
... How you journal things; how you cross-reference, how you present things, how you inspire your crew, how you inspire other people around you, how you inspire yourself - it's all creative. And, if you say you are not creative, look at how much you are missing out on just because you've told yourself that. I think creativity is one of the greatest gifts that we are born with that some people don't cultivate, that they don't realize it could be applied to literally everything in their lives.
You never have to be upset about anything. ... Everything is for a purpose. ... It is really how you look at it, and the way you look at it is so important. If you can have a positive attitude, look at it, and say, 'Let me see, what can I learn from this?' ... Why would you ever get upset about anything? ... You are upset because something didn't go according to plan? It might be for a good reason.
130. ... when things are going bad, there's going to be some good that will come from it. ... When things are going bad, don't get all bummed out, don't get startled, don't get frustrated. ... Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward.
You must want to be a butterfly so badly, you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.
- Sekou Andrews
What should I do with my life? ... Enjoy it.
The value of reading a book is not just the sense of joy one gets while reading or even learning, greater value lies in reflecting on the learnings and taking actions, even if it is one tiny action, as an outcome of those learnings.
Reflect on your learnings from the key ideas in the book by answering the below questions:
1. What do you now see that you hadn't seen before?
2. What do you now understand that you hadn't understood before?
3. What did you learn that would make a difference to your life, personally and professionally?
4. What action(s) will you take as an outcome of the answers to the above three questions?
5. By when would you take those actions?
Wishing you the joy of the journey to come home to yourself.
I believe that the next stage of evolution of the human consciousness is through business. Its through building great businesses that the leaders at the helm of those businesses and employees who are part of that journey find themselves on their own journey of inner transformation. Both the outer journey of creating a great business and the inner journey of personal transformation are intrinsically inter-connected. One journey cannot happen without the other.
Michael Gerber does genius level work in making the complex business of building an extraordinary business into a simple step by step process. In all the research on why 9 out of 10 start-ups fail, there's very little that captures the human element. There's very little that tells the story from the heart, mind and spirit of the business owner. That is why The EMyth connects, educates and inspires a shift needed for the founder to get the business out from the '9 out of 10' statistic to '1 out of 10'.
This is one book that spends more time telling you what and how to make that shift instead of merely stating 'why' of failure. It also gives a whole new perspective on the 'why' that leaves you with quite a few 'aha' moments.
The EMyth is one of the essential reads from the recommended book list in the entrepreneurship program I run for business owners. Running a business without having read this book is like committing entrepreneurial hara kiri.
Here's an extract from the first quarter of the book to give you a taste of what this book is about.
Wishing you the deeply fulfilling joyous journey of building a great business.
Want to build a massive business empire, create great amount of wealth, be wildly successful? Live the laws explained in this book - The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It is truly a little story about a powerful business idea, just as the tagline says.
Bob Burg is a former top sales professional, now a highly sought-after conference speaker world-wide and an author. He was named by the American Management Association as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Thought Leaders in Business for 2014.
John David Mann is a successful entrepreneur and award-winning co-author. His ‘Take the Lead’ (with Betsy Myers) was named by Tom Peters and the Washington Post as Best Leadership Book of 2011.
Wealth creation is the outcome of being a giving person, according to the authors, inspired from their own business experience. The book weaves a beautiful, unputdownable story to elucidate what they call “The 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success”. My own experience bears out the truth of these laws.
If you are looking to transform your organization's culture to create the foundation for exponential growth and success, gift this book to every employee.
Here are few excerpts from the book to inspire you to read the book end-to-end. It is a few hours read, not only because the book is 122 pages short but also because it is written in a very engaging style. Read it and it may as well become the turning point in your life.
1. … be a giving person, period: one who gives thought, gives attention, gives care, gives focus, gives time and energy - gives value to others. Not as a quid pro quo, not as a strategy to get ahead, but because it is, in and of itself, a satisfying and fulfilling way to be. - Arianna Huffington
2. … the more successful <people> are, the more willing they are to share their secrets with others.
… The interesting thing is, the bigger they are, the nicer they are.
… I believe that a person can reach a certain level of success without being particularly special. But to get really, really big, to reach the kind of stratospheric success we are talking about, people need to have something on the inside, something that’s genuine.
3. … the majority of people operate with a mindset that says to the fireplace, “First give me some heat, then I’ll throw in some logs.” Or that says to the bank, “Give me interest on my money, then I’ll make a deposit.” And, of course, it just doesn’t work that way.
4. Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures. A world of competition rather than one of co-creation.
5. In life, you often don’t get what you want. But, here’s what you do get - You get what you expect.
6. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and goodwill you’ll find.
7. Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated. … you’d be amazed how much you have to do with what happens to you.
8. A very useful thing to remember: appearances can be deceiving. … Truth is, they nearly always are.
9. … the Golden Rule of Business - All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.
10. … the point isn’t to have <your customers> pay you more, it’s to give them more. You give, give, give. Why? Because you love to. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life. And when you do, then very, very profitable things begin to happen.
… but I thought you said you are not thinking about the results.
That’s right, you are not. But that doesn’t mean they won’t happen.
11. All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving - their product, service or idea - than for what they were getting.
And many of those great fortunes have been squandered by others who had a greater passion for what they were getting than what they were giving.
12. It means that you get to determine your level of compensation - it’s under your control. If you want more success, find a way to serve more people. It’s that simple.
… It also means there are no limitations on what you can earn because you can always find more people to serve.
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, once said, ‘Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.’
Another way to say that might be, ‘Everybody can be successful because anybody can give.’
13. “There are people who get rich, and there are people who do good. My belief system said you are one or the other, you can’t be both.”
… “And I saw that my old belief system was only getting in the way. It wasn’t serving. So I decided to change it.”
“Have you ever made up a story? … Life works the same way. You just make it up. Being broke and being rich are both decisions. You make them up, right up here.” She tapped her finger to her temple. “Everything else is just how it plays out.”
What you focus on is what you get.
14. There are three universal reasons for working. Survive - to meet your basic living needs. Save - to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life. And serve - to make a contribution to the world around you. … Unfortunately, most people spend their entire lives focussing on the first. A smaller number focus on the second. But those rare few who are truly successful - not just financially, but genuinely successful in all aspects of their lives - keep their focus squarely on the third.
15. Changing my focus from seeing what I could get to what I could give was when my career started to take off.
16. … by a network I don’t necessarily mean your customers or clients. I mean a network of people who know you, like you and trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they’ve always got you in the backs of their minds. … They are people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed, you see? And, of course, that’s because you are the same way about them. They are your army of personal walking ambassadors.
… You want to know what makes that kind of network happen? Stop keeping score. … most of the time, what people call ‘win-win’ is really just a disguised way of keeping track. Making sure we all come out even, that nobody gets the advantage. … When you base your relationships - in business or anywhere else in your life - on who owes who what, that’s not being a friend. That’s being a creditor.
… Make your win about the other person … Forget win-win - focus on the other person’s win.
… if you place the other person’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of. Always. Some people call it enlightened self-interest. Watch out for what other people need, with the faith that when you do, you’ll get what you need.
17. Money. Position. … a history of outstanding accomplishments. …. These things don’t create influence. - influence creates them. … Putting other people’s interests first <creates influence>.
18. Have you ever wondered what makes people attractive? I mean, genuinely attractive? Magnetic? … They love to give. That’s why they are attractive. Givers attract.
19. I believe there is one reason, and only one reason. that we have stayed together so long and are as happy together today as we were forty-eight years ago - more so, in fact. That reason is this: I care more about my wife’s happiness than I do about my own. All I’ve ever wanted to do since the day I met her is to make her happy. And here’s the truly remarkable thing - she seems to want the same thing for me.
20. “Besides, ladies.” She tapped her index finger a few times in her temple. “It’s what’s inside that makes you beautiful, not the wrapping.”
… My husband gave me the most surprising gift of all. He gave me the wake-up call of a lifetime - when he walked out of the door and never came back. … It took me one full year to unwrap, open, understand and use that gift.
… When I said that my life as a mom, wife and household manager left me with nothing the marketplace wanted, I was wrong. There was something else I’d learned over those years, and that was how to be a friend. How to care. How to make people feel good about themselves. And that, my friends, is something the marketplace wants very much - always has, always will.
... What I am here to sell you on is you.
People, remember this: no matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you are in, you are your most important commodity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you.
Reaching any goal you set takes 10% specific knowledge or technical skills - 10%, max. The other 90 plus percent is people skills.
And what’s the foundation of all people skills? Liking people? Caring about people? Being a good listener? Those are all helpful, but they are not the core of it. The core of it is who you are. It starts with you.
As long as you are trying to be someone else, or putting on some act or behaviour someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you are selling, what you are really offering is you.
… You want people skills? Then be a person. … It’s worth ten thousand times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented. It’s called authenticity.
21. He thought about Gus’ long, rambling conversations, his easy manner with potential clients, his erratic, extended vacations. He smiled. “You just love what you do. You love talking with people, asking them questions, learning all about then, finding ways you can help them, serve them, fill a need, share a resource …
22. It’s not better to give than to receive. It’s insane to try to give and not receive.
Trying not to receive is not only foolish, it’s arrogant. When someone gives you a gift, what gives you the right to refuse it - to deny their right to give?
… In fact, every giving can happen only because it is also a receiving.
23. … if the secret of staying young, vibrant and vital throughout life is to hang on to those precious characteristics we all have as children but which get drummed out of us - like having big dreams, being curious and believing in yourself - then one of those characteristics is being open to receiving, being hungry to receive, being ravenous to receive.
… having big dreams and being curious and believing in ourselves - those are all aspects of being receptive, they are all the same thing as being receptive.
… Inside every truth and every appearance, there’s a bit of opposite tucked inside. … So, the secret to success, to gaining it, to having it, is to give, give, give. The secret to getting is giving. And the secret to giving is making yourself open to receiving.
24. The point is not what you do. Not what you accomplish. It’s who you are.
25. I just told you we are giving this contract to your competition. Your response was to thank me and give them a compliment. You’ve got heart.
26. And, the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success are:
i. The Law of Value - Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
ii. The Law of Compensation - Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. Your compensation is directly proportional to how many lives you touch.
iii. The Law of Compensation - Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.
iv. The Law of Authenticity - The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. In other words, your authenticity is the most valuable gift that you can offer.
v. The Law of Receptivity - The key to effective giving is having the humility to stay open to receiving. Having big dreams and being curious and believing in ourselves are all aspects of being receptive.
These are not new ideas. Just that most of us understand them only intellectually without living them at a much deeper level - emotionally and spiritually. One of the reasons my clients have created wealth and fulfilling business success is because they get coached to live these principles viscerally instead of these being mere intellectual ideas in the head. That's the magic the authors have weaved with their book. They have made available to us, through the enchanting story, the age-old wisdom in a way that it awakens us from deep within and connects us to our inner knowing. As a result, who YOU are shifts and then everything outside shifts.
Wishing you the joy of deeply fulfilling, joyous stratospheric success. It is not given to a few special ones. It is available to all of us. We are at the source of it. It is an act of creation. Each one of us has an equal opportunity to make the choice to create it in our life.
Then, let me end with wishing you the courage to make that choice.
What connects me the most with the author, Professor Manfred F R Kets De Vries, is the fact that he finds and recommends the group coaching format for CEOs as most effective.
I have always loved getting the CEOs / Business Owners together in a group coaching format instead of working with each one only individually. The learning is accelerated in this format because the participants get to observe others getting coached instead of being on the hot seat 100% of the time. The combination of being on the hot seat (getting coached) and being a fly on the wall watching others getting coached gives the participants breakthrough insights and deeper understanding of their own blind spots, opening them to a new way of looking at everything. New actions can only arise from a new way of looking at oneself, others and Life itself. New actions, not taken before, create unimaginable impossible outcomes.
The group coaching format of CEOs / Business Owners also gets them to be part of a Mastermind Group. It is pretty lonely at the top, so to have a peer group constantly challenging you to be better than your best and yet covering your back all the time is undeniably a gift. You do become an average of 5 people you spend your time with. Always being surrounded by your subordinates is definitely not a way to grow. A cross-industry peer group with similar challenges and providing to each other a safe space to drop your masks is an incredible growth structure.
That is why I connect deeply with Professor Manfred F R Kets De Vries from INSEAD. Not only because he has a similar experience of the effectiveness of group coaching formats for CEOs but also because he employs psycho-analytical tools to delve deep inside the inner workings of his clients’ mind, heart and spirit to unleash productivity, performance, creativity, innovativeness not available before. There are very few in our industry who go beyond the mind to coach their clients to realize their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self. That makes him one of my favourite leadership experts / super coaches in the world.
I loved reading his book and couldn’t resist smiling as I read the book to see so many of my unconventional ideas validated. If you are a CEO, Business Owner, High Performer on your way to the top job or a Coach, this book is a must-read for many reasons:
1. There is very little understanding of what coaching truly is and its incredible power to enable leadership development to support organizations to cut-over from good to great.
2. A certification is no guarantee that the coach will deliver.
3. At the rapid pace with which technology is evolving and its impact on social structures, current style of leading is no longer viable. Leaders have to evolve to become coaches instead of managers.
4. Coaching begins at the top, not at the bottom. If the CEO doesn’t have a coach, coaching will deliver so much less value to the organization than what it can.
5. Before hiring a coach or implementing a coaching structure in your organization, you should know what coaching is really about.
Here are introductory key ideas from his book - Mindful Leadership Coaching (Journeys into the Interior) - in the form of excerpts. Hope this article inspires you to read the book cover-to-cover for breakthrough insights and deeply fulfilling outcomes in all areas of your life.
1. Leadership Coaches offer expertise that is not necessarily found inside the company. Another, which probably accounts more for its attractiveness, is that most find it easier to confide in an objective outsider. External coaches are more likely to offer a confidential relationship within which executives can discuss delicate issues freely, let their defences down, and explore blind spots, biases and shortcomings.
2. The higher executives climb on the organisational ladder, the less they can depend on technical skills and the greater their need for effective interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. This is where leadership coaches can make a major contribution.
3. At its most basic level, the role of a leadership coach is to help the executive acknowledge and deal with realities that might otherwise be avoided, denied, or accepted with resignation. … Effective leadership coaches contract with their clients to not only improve their clients’ performance, but also to guide them on a journey toward personal transformation and reinvention.
… The coach also has a role in helping executives to build shared understanding, that is, learn how to think and interact better in a work setting, through courageous conversations, assisting them in giving constructive feedback. Coaches may <also> help executives to create better functioning teams and design organisational cultures that will get the best out of their people.
4. Mindful Leadership Coaching … means drawing the clients attention to the experience of the present moment in an open and non-judgmental manner. This can be viewed as a distinct state of consciousness, distinguished from the normal consciousness of everyday living.
Mindfulness leads to wiser judgment about what is and isn’t important. Taking a reflective pose, rather than resorting to a flight into action, gives clients room to roam from perspective to perspective, from one incomplete thought to the other, until those thoughts begin to crystallise and become the basis for insight and growth.
… While most of what we achieve is by “doing”, mindfulness achieves its ends by “not doing”, simply by taking the time to observe - before doing.
… The aim of mindful interventions … is to help us become more aware of our thoughts and bodily sensations, and in so doing be able to cope better with day-to-day emotions and problems.
… Although the burden is on coaches to be mindful in their work, they should help their clients to acquire mindfulness skills at the same time.
5. Mindful consciousness is quite different from the ordinary consciousness that is appropriate for our day-to-day activities, where attention is actively directed outward, in regular space and time, normally in the service of some agenda or task, and ruled by habitual response patterns.
Mindfulness helps us to become more aware of the unhelpfulness of some thoughts. It helps us direct awareness inward and focus on the present moment. Mindfulness makes us aware of what is, as opposed to what needs to be done - to experience non-doing, or non-effort.
In a state of mindfulness, we self-consciously enable ourselves to suspend agendas, judgements and common understanding. In being mindful, we are being several things all at once: passive, alert, open, curious and exploratory.
In addition to the passive capacity to witness experience as it unfolds, the purpose of mindfulness is to allow us to have a different, less conflict-ridden relationship with our thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations. The expected outcome is an increase in well-being - to have more control over our own mind as we spend less time dealing with difficulties and focus more on constructive activities. Thanks to mindfulness, what were once seen as difficulties may disappear altogether.
… When mindfulness is used appropriately, it can be a very powerful and effective method to bring about personal insight and change. Being mindful will help coaches unravel negative thoughts and painful emotions. It will help us and others free ourselves from unnecessary fears and unhelpful, habitual patterns.
6. Mindfulness, and the capacity to coach in depth, are closely intertwined. … Effective leadership coaches are like gardeners. The presenting problems are weeds, we’ve got to get to the roots to prevent them from popping up again.
7. Much of what happens to us is beyond our conscious awareness. … All of us have blind spots. There are many things we don’t want to know about ourselves and to preempt this kind of knowledge, we resort to defensive processes and resistances to avoid experiences that we find disagreeable.
Unfortunately, many people derail due to the blind spots in their personality. … It is important to realize that these resistances come to the fore due to conflicts within ourselves; we need to accept that inner dissonance is part of the human condition. … To have a better understanding of unconscious patterns, our defensive reactions, and our blind spots, we need to explore our inner theatre and pay attention to repetitive themes and patterns in our lives.
… Exploring the relationship between our past and present will be very illuminating, as it will enable us to become liberated from habitual, ingrained behaviour.
8. Nothing is more central to who we are than the way we express and regulate emotions. Emotions determine many of our actions and emotional intelligence plays a vital role in who we are and what we do. Intellectual insight is not the same as emotional insight, which touches us at a much deeper level. To understand others, and ourselves we need to explore the full range of experienced emotions. These emotions will also play an essential role in why we do what we do, why we take on certain roles, and why we are passionate about certain things.
9. Napoleon Bonaparte said - “Leaders are merchants of hope.”
Leaders need to speak to the collective imagination of their people to create a group identity to help people become better than they think they are. … help people to have dreams about the future. … see people acting on those dreams.
10. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. - Nelson Mandela
11. Unfortunately, there are far too many leaders who fit Albert Einstein’s alleged definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”
12. …in much of my research and writing, I have made a plea for leadership group coaching as an experiential training ground for creating more effective leaders.
13. … work with the coachee’s past, present and future in order to provide insight about the reasons for specific, behaviour patterns. …<such> interventions contribute to a deeper understanding of the significance and meaning of personal patterns and the inner structure of a person’s personality, complex human relationships (including deeply buried and repressed emotions), and the role of teams, group dynamics and organisational processes.
14. … essential for both the coach and coaches to understand the degree to which their actions are affected by what is going on below the surface. This necessitates an exploration of the clients’ own personality, their implicit underlying values, the experiences that have shaped their character, and the kind of effects they have on others. Furthermore, … these dynamics influence the undercurrents operating in teams or organizations.
Such deeper understanding will help the people who are being coached to function in a more effective manner in whatever situation they will find themselves.
15. Organizations that recognise the benefits of leadership coaching can profit in many different ways: improved interpersonal skills; out-of-the-box thinking; better conflict management; more effective team behaviour; an improved ability to manage and advance personal career goals and the career goals of others; and the ability to create a coaching culture, and authentizotic organizations - places of work in which people feel at their best. In this kind of organization, people find meaning in their work, celebrate the people they work with, have pride in what they are doing; and trust the people they work for and with.
16. Good leadership coaches take leaders where they want to go. Great coaches, however, will take them to undiscovered shores.
… coaches <should> take a reflective stand. Leadership coaches are not sport coaches. Taking a reflective stand - practising mindfulness - cautions against knee-jerk reactions in leadership coaching.
Exceptional coaches have the ability to acquire knowledge and analyse it both logically and emotionally, the true test being the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency. We should all aim to be exceptional coaches.
Wishing you a deeply fulfilling, authentic uncovering to joyously come home to yourself so that others in your life, at work and at home, experience the courage to do the same.
After hating cooking all of my life, 7 years ago, as a young mother, came face to face with my commitment to nourish and nurture my children to health and fitness through the food they eat. My commitment turned out to be stronger than my dislike of anything to do with the kitchen and I signed-up for an Ayurvedic Cooking Course (Health through Food) with Art of Living to learn what to do in the kitchen besides telling the cook what to make.
My commitment held me for 7 long years, which is the time it took me to travel from dislike to disinterest to curiosity to deep interest and engagement in nutrition and its implementation through cooking the food we eat. The journey has taken me through Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Western scientific research.
The more I study, the more I am moving from deep interest towards loving the science of food not only for fulfilling on the primary reason of getting started on this journey but also for self-preservation and for supporting my clients. After all, my clients can only lead their business to deeply fulfilling success and impact when they are at their optimum level of health and fitness.
Couple of interesting observations before I move forward towards the reason I started this article:
1. Love is the inspiration but it is commitment that gets you to take action inspite of the resistance to stepping out of your comfort zone.
2. Results only get created in the magical space just outside your comfort zone.
3. There is no overnight success. You can create any results you can dream of as long as you are willing to make a long-term commitment to creating those results. I have a lifetime commitment to the well-being of my kids, a lifetime commitment to impact the world through coaching and a lifetime commitment to play the game of mastery in all that I do. What are you committed to?
4. Kids are the biggest personal development and growth program you can invest in. I have grown, evolved, learnt so much more as a 13-year old parent.
5. Though, if I hadn’t invested massively in my own growth and development with numerous master coaches, I wouldn’t have known that being a parent is the opportunity that God gives us to grow our own self - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
The real reason I started to write this article was to make a summary of the key ideas from the book I read recently: How Not to Die (prematurely) - Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. I strongly recommend reading this book to take your health and fitness in your own hands. Doctors and modern medical science may help you control and manage the symptoms of your body but healing yourself to perfect health and well-being is something only you can do.
The book covers the food that we should eat and the food that we should avoid to prevent and / or reverse:
i. Heart Disease
ii. Lung Diseases
iii. Brain Diseases
iv. Digestive Cancers
vii. High Blood Pressure
viii. Liver Diseases
ix. Blood Cancers
x. Kidney Disease
xi. Breast Cancer
xii. Suicidal Depression
xiii. Prostate Cancer
xiv. Parkinson’s Disease
Dr Greger also lists the 12 things to eat daily for optimum health, fitness and well-being. The list is an eye-opener and helps you to take your and your family’s health in your control.
Here are few excerpts from the book to get you interested enough to start your own journey towards greater productivity, performance, effectiveness, creativity, innovation and mastery because the pre-requisite for all this is your perfect health and fitness. Reminding you once more that disease is a choice we make and is not the default outcome of going around the sun for more number of years.
1. Now, however, we know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies can start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.
2. There may be no such thing as dying from old age. … Until recently, advanced age had been considered to be a disease itself, but people don’t die as a consequence of maturing. They die from disease, …
3. Back in 1903, Thomas Edison predicted that the “doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of diseases.
4. The pandemic of chronic disease has been ascribed in part to the near-universal shift toward a diet dominated by animal-sourced and processed foods - in other words, more meat, dairy, eggs, oils, fizzy drinks, sugar and refined grains.
5. To see what effect an increase in meat consumption might have on disease rates, researchers studied lapsed vegetarians. People who once ate vegetarian diets but then started to eat meat at least once a week experienced a 146 percent increase in odds of heart disease, a 152 percent increase in stroke, a 166 percent increase in diabetes and a 231 percent increase in odds for weight gain. During the 12 years after the transition from vegetarian to omnivore, meat-eating was associated with a 3.6 year decrease in life expectancy.
6. Even vegetarians can suffer high rates of chronic disease if they eat a lot of processed foods. Take India, for example. This country’s rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and stroke have increased far faster than might have been expected given its relatively small increase in per capita meat consumption. This has been blamed on the decreasing “whole plant food content of their diet”, including a shift from brown rice to white rice and the substitution of other refined carbohydrates, packages snacks and fast-food products for India’s traditional staples of lentils, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In general, the dividing line between health-promoting and disease-promoting foods may be less plant- versus animal-sourced foods and more whole plant foods versus most everything else.
7. … it wasn’t the weight loss and it wasn’t the exercise that reversed cell aging - it was the food.
8. It turns out a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat or reverse every single one of our 15 leading causes of death.
A heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet is a lung healthy diet. The same diet that helps prevent cancer just so happens to be the same diet that may help prevent type 2 diabetes and every other cause of death on the top 15 list.
Unlike drugs - which only target specific functions, can have dangerous side effects, and may only treat the symptoms of disease - a healthy diet can benefit all organ systems at once, has good side effects, and may treat the underlying cause of illness.
The one unifying diet found to best prevent and treat many of these chronic diseases is a whole-food plant-based diet, defined as an eating pattern that encourages the consumption of unrefined plant foods and discourages meats, dairy products, eggs and processed foods.
Treating the cause is not only safer and cheaper but it can work better. So why don’t more of my medical colleagues do it? Not only were they not trained how, doctors don’t get paid for it. No one profits from lifestyle medicine (other than the patient!), so it’s not a major part of medical training or practise. That’s how the current system works. The medical system is set-up to financially reward prescribing pills and procedures, not produce.
9. The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.
10. Three hours after eating 50 grams of broccoli sprouts, the enzyme that cancers use to help silence our defenses is suppressed in your bloodstream to an extent equal to or greater than the chemotherapy agent specifically designed for that purpose, without toxic side effects.
11. In the Gene Expression Modulation by Intervention with Nutrition and Lifestyle (GEMINAL) study, Dr Ornish and colleagues took biopsies from men with prostate cancer before and after 3 months of intensive lifestyle changes that included a whole-food, plant based diet. Without any chemotherapy or radiation, beneficial changes in gene expression for 500 different genes were noted.
Within just a few months, the expression of disease-preventing genes were boosted, and oncogenes that promote breast and prostate cancer were suppressed.
Whatever genes we may have inherited from our parents, what we eat can affect how these genes affect our health. The power is mainly in our hands and on our plates.
12. Such lifestyle medicine pioneers as Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esseltyn Jr. took patients with advanced heart disease and put them on the kind of plant-based diet followed by Asian and African populations who didn’t suffer from heart disease.
… Their patients' heart disease started to reverse. These patients were getting better. As soon as they stopped eating an artery-clogging diet, their bodies were able to start dissolving away some of the plaque that had built up. Arteries opened up without drugs or surgery, even in some cases of patients with severe triple-vessel heart disease.
This suggests their bodies wanted to heal all along but were just never given the chance.
Let me share with you what has been called the “best kept secret in medicine”. Given the right conditions, the body heals itself.
… But what if you kept whacking it in the same place 3 times a day - say, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? It would never heal.
13. Dr Ornish reported a 91% reduction in angina attacks within just a few weeks in patients placed on a plant-based diet both “with” or “without” exercise.
14. Plant-based diets are the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.
15. Research suggests a few extra daily servings of fruits and vegetables can reduce both the number of cases of asthma during childhood and the number of asthma attacks among people with the disease.
16. Foods of animal origin have been associated with increased asthma risk. A study of more than 100,000 adults in India found that those who consumed meat daily, or even occasionally, were significantly more likely to suffer from asthma, than those who excluded meat and eggs from their diets altogether. Eggs (along with fizzy drinks) have also been associated with asthma attacks in children, along with respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath and exercise-induced coughing.
Removing eggs and dairy from the diet has been shown to improve asthmatic children’s lung function in as few as 8 weeks.
17. Researchers out of Australia tried removing fruits and vegetables from asthma patients’ diets to see what would happen. Within two weeks, asthma symptoms grew significantly worse.
… Researchers repeated the experiment, but this time increased fruit and vegetable consumption to 7 servings a day. This simple act of adding a few more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet ended up successfully cutting the study subjects’ exacerbation rate in half. That’s the power of eating healthfully.
18. Supplements don’t appear to work. Studies have repeatedly shown that antioxidant supplements have no beneficial effects on respiratory or allergic diseases, underscoring the importance eating whole foods rather than trying to take isolated components or extracts in pill form.
19. … the key is starting early. High cholesterol and high blood pressure may begin hurting your brain as early as your twenties. By your sixties and seventies, when the damage can become apparent, it may already be too late.
20. … regardless of the carcinogens that could be lurking in the environment, your greatest exposure may be through your diet.
21. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about 8 times less than that of the United States and about 20% of its population lives below the poverty line, yet cancer rates in India are much lower than in the United States. Women in the United States may have 10 times more colorectal cancer than women in India, 17 times more lung cancer, 9 times more endometrial cancer and melanoma, 12 times more breast cancer. Men in the United States appear to have 11 times more colorectal cancer than men in India, 23 times more prostate cancer, 14 times more melanoma, 9 times more kidney cancer and 7 times more lung and bladder cancer.
Why such a discrepancy? The regular use of the spice turmeric in Indian cooking has been proposed as one possible explanation.
… The low cancer rate in India may be due in part to the spices they use, but it may also stem from the types of foods they are putting the spices on. India is one of the world’s largest producers of fruits and vegetables, and only about 7% of the adult population eats meat on a daily basis. What most of the population does eat every day are dark green, leafy vegetables and legumes such as beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils, which are packed with another class of cancer-fighting compounds called phytates.
… High phytate intake has been associated with less heart disease, less diabetes and fewer kidney stones.
22. Humans evolved eating huge amounts of fibre. … Because plants don’t tend to run as fast as animals, the bulk of our diet used to be made up of a lot of bulk. … Our bodies were designed to expect an ever-flowing fibre stream, so it dumps such unwanted waste products as excess cholesterol and estrogen into the intestines, assuming they will be swept away.
But if you aren’t constantly filling your bowels with plant foods, the only natural source of fibre, unwanted waste products can get reabsorbed and undermine your body’s attempts at detoxifying itself.
23. Interestingly, the immune boost provided by the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli not only protects us against the pathogens found in food but also against pollutants in the environment.
24. … there’s already something that can boost your immune system for free and by so much that you can achieve a 25-30 percent reduction in sick days.
… What is it?
25. Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Burden of Disease Study involved nearly 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in 50 countries and examined nearly 100,000 data sources.
The results allow us to answer such questions as “How many lives could we save if people around the world cut back on fizzy drinks?” The best answer! 299,521. So soft drinks and their empty calories don’t just fail to promote health - they actually seem to promote death.
But apparently soda isn’t nearly as deadly as bacon, ham and hot dogs. Processed meat is blamed for the deaths of more than 800,000 people every year. Worldwide, that’s four times more people than those who die from illicit drug use.
The study also noted which foods, if added to the diet, might save lives. Eating more whole grains could potentially save 1.7 million lives a year. More vegetables? 1.3 million lives. How about nuts and seeds? 2.5 million lives.
Worldwide, if humanity ate more fruit, we might save 4.9 million lives. That’s nearly 5 million lives hanging in the balance and their salvation isn’t medication or a new vaccine - it may be just more fruit.
26. The two most prominent dietary risks for death and disability in the world may be not eating enough fruit and eating too much salt. Nearly 5 million people appear to die every year as a result of not eating enough fruit, while eating too much salt may kill up to 4 million.
… Humans are genetically programmed to eat ten times less sodium (salt) than we do.
27. Higher consumption of vegetables may cut the odds of developing depression by as much as 62 percent. A review in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience concluded that, in general, eating lots of fruits and veggies may present “a non-invasive, natural, and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.”
Trusting the excerpts from the book interested you enough to take a conscious look at what you eat and pick up the book to figure out how to eat healthfully so that you immensely enjoy your life and contribute much more through your work on account of delightful levels of health, fitness and well-being.
Here’s me wishing you a deeply fulfilling joyous journey of discovery towards greater health, productivity, performance, innovativeness and creativity.
If you are in the business of services, this is one book you want your sales team to read. The book is about what sabotages client loyalty and how to get past that to have not only your clients asking to do more business with you but also sending more clients from their network to your doorstep.
But, before you gift the book to your sales team with the expectation of seeing increase in your top and bottom line, you would need to read it first because what is in the book cannot be implemented unless you as their leader believe in and live these principles.
The author, Patrick M Lencioni, is Founder and President of The Table Group, a successful management consulting firm specialising in executive team development and organisational health. His business principles are now course material at the University of Saint Mary. CNN Money listed him in 2008 as one of "10 new gurus you should know”. He is "one of the most in-demand business speakers.” His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and USA Today.
Read below few excerpts from the book to get an overview of the magic formula and experience deeply fulfilling, joyous success even as you smile all the way to your bank by implementing the ideas from the book.
1. Without the willingness to be vulnerable, we will not build deep and lasting relationships in life. That’s because there’s no better way to earn a person’s trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us.
2. For those who provide service to clients, vulnerability is particularly powerful. Those who get comfortable being vulnerable - or as I call it, naked - are rewarded with levels of client loyalty and intimacy that other service providers can only dream of.
3. …even though clients require us to be competent enough to meet their needs, it is ultimately our honesty, humility, and selflessness that will endear us to them and allow them to trust and depend on us.
4. … we need to make sure that they’d be the right kind of client. … We’ve learned over years that having a bad client is worse than having none. … it prevents you from finding other good clients. And you’re unlikely to get a good reference. In fact, they are likely to tell everyone they know how you weren’t able to help them, because they certainly aren’t going to admit it was their fault. … it just makes you feel bad about coming to work. It destroys the culture.
5. “Do you ever worry that you are going to do too much during your sales call, and that the client will take it and use it and not hire you?” …
“I don’t worry about it. Very few people are going to do something like that. If they need help, they need help. Even if what I show them makes perfect sense, they usually know they need help implementing it and getting the rest of their team on board. … even if they do that, then they’d probably be a pretty lousy client anyway. So it would be better to find that out up front.”
6. … fairly long list of principles … but not much structure around their approach.
7. … one of the most intense, interesting and effective behavioural therapy exercises I had ever witnessed. All in a little more than an hour.
Starting with the CEO, they went around the room and told him what they thought his most valuable attribute was for the team, and then they went around and told him the one thing they thought he should work on. The answers were pretty consistent; he took them well, and promised to do his best to address the biggest area of weakness, …
Then they went around the table and did the same for everyone else …
8. Almost all of the time and energy … was being directed toward consulting to (servicing) paying clients. Those clients in turn became the sales engine for the firm, and even when we did an occasional cold call, it was the references from clients that shortened the sales cycle considerably. I’m not even sure I’d call it a sales cycle at all.
9.” … They spend almost none of their time selling. … most of their business comes from referrals and warm leads. And in the rare event that they do a cold call, they spend very little time doing research or writing up proposals or wordsmithing presentations.”
What do they do then? …
“… when they meet up with a client, they spend their time asking questions and doing primary research right there. It’s like they skip the entire sales process. And, they are remarkably successful.
… instead of trying to outsmart the companies they are selling to, they just go there and start consulting.”
10. … they are far less professional than we are. They are also less sophisticated, less rigourous and less systematic. But they are so much more effective.
… every client … raves about these people. They do most of the marketing for them, and without being asked. More than half their clients come from unsolicited referrals.
11. Why did the client pick them instead of us?
The client tells them why - “It just felt like you guys were going to tell us how to run our business, and you were trying to convince us that you knew more than us, I guess. And you were telling us all the things that you would do for us if we hired you. They didn’t do that. … They didn’t come up with any answers. But they asked questions. And, they had suggestions, but they admitted that some or all of these suggestions might not be right. And, some of them weren’t, but some were, and more than anything, it felt like they were more interested in helping us figure our problems than they were in closing the deal.”
What has it been like working with them since then?
“The same as it was that day. It’s like all they are interested in doing is helping us solve our problems. I’ve already told half a dozen other CEOs about them. I couldn’t be happier.”
12. The power of what they do can be explained in one word: vulnerability.
13. The three fears that sabotage client loyalty
i. The 1st Fear: Fear of losing the business
It’s not that they go out of their way to tick off their clients. It’s just that they are so focussed on saying and doing whatever is in the best interests of those clients that they stop worrying about the repercussions. They make themselves completely vulnerable, or naked, and don’t try to protect themselves.
… they’ll usually look at a company’s website and get a general sense of what business the client is in. But they do most of their research when they meet the client, by asking questions. And they certainly don’t come up with a slideshow or a marketing packet.
a. Consult, don’t sell. Give away the business.
The other part of this, giving away the business, is about never worrying about the fees. Don’t bring them up during the sales call unless they ask. Don’t apologise for what you charge when they do ask. And if there’s ever a dispute about fees, side with the client and charge the lesser amount.
… That’s what nakedness and vulnerability are all about. If a client wants to take advantage of you, let them.
I’ve seen their consultants go to a client and suggest that they pay a lower retainer because they weren’t using their services enough.’
… It’s all about standing there naked in front of the client. It’s about building trust. And in the end, that means the client trusts them and takes care of them.
b. Tell the kind truth
I know a consultant who told his client that he needed to move his son out of a leadership position because he was incompetent. Another guy I know recently told a CEO that he doesn’t hold his staff accountable. And, last week I had to tell a guy that I thought he talked too much during meetings. But remember the ‘kind’ part. We give them that sort of feedback with a level of empathy and concern that you would normally reserve for a friend.
No matter how uncomfortable the conversation might be in the moment, eventually the clients are so glad that someone cares enough about them to be honest, they probably can’t imagine not having you around.
c. Enter the danger
In consulting, entering the danger comes into play in those moments when you are in a meeting and someone says something that is either strange or politically sensitive, and you know that the level of anxiety and discomfort in the room is high. What you are tempted to do is just be quiet and let the moment pass, but what great consultants do is walk right into the middle of the situation and call it out.
Whenever I see someone enter the danger …, clients inevitably come up to you individually and thank you. They say things like “I am so glad you made us talk about that’, and ‘I’ve been wanting to do what you did today for three years, but I felt it would have been a career-limiting move.”
ii. The 2nd Fear: Fear of being embarrassed
One fear that most consultants struggle with is the fear of being embarrassed or looking stupid in front of their clients.
a. Ask dumb questions
Whether it’s an industry term or an acronym or a concept that everyone else in the room seems to understand, they just never pretend to know more than they do. … I think their clients appreciate that about them.
b. Make dumb suggestions
<Don’t hesitate to make suggestions, even if they turn out to be dumb.>
c. Celebrate your mistakes
If a suggestion turns out to be dumb, you admit it was a bad idea as soon as you realize it. You laugh at yourself. You take their ribbing. And most important, you don’t stop making suggestions. Most of your ideas won’t be horrible. Even the ones that aren’t so good won’t hurt you as long as you are humble enough to acknowledge that you are not an expert. And if you have built trust with the client, they don’t think about it for a second.
… The idea is that your clients are looking for good suggestions, and they don’t mind sifting through some not-so-good ones as long as they are offered with good intentions and with no ego attached.
iii. The 3rd Fear: Fear of feeling inferior
One of the last things consultants want is for their clients to look down on them or, even worse, look right through them. There is something about wanting them to see you as being important that goes with the job.
The fear of being embarrassed or looking stupid is about taking an intellectual risk. It’s about the pride of not wanting to be wrong. The fear of feeling inferior is more about humility as a person, not needing to be the centre of attention. Even taking on a role of true subservience to a client.
… some of the principles that go down with this …
a. Take a bullet for the client
b. Make everything about the client
c. Honour the client’s work - This is about genuinely displaying enthusiasm and respect for what the client does.
d. Do the dirty work
There is something so powerful about a person who in one moment can be confident enough to confront a client about a sensitive personal issue, and then in the next moment humble themselves and take a position of servitude. It’s the paradoxical nature of it all that makes it work.
Here are few excerpts from the book where the author explains what he means by The Naked Service Model and what to do specifically to shed the three fears that destroy client loyalty.
At the outset, let me tell you that it won't be as simple as reading the book to get breakthrough business performance. What the implementation of the ideas in the book really requires is the transformation of what it means to be you, what it means to be a leader in your organization, what it means to be a business in the world.
Its only on this journey of leadership transformation beginning with you will you get access to your inner creative power and outer enthusiastic followership to lead your organisation to cut over from good to great.
What this journey requires is for us to build high levels of self-awareness about our own evolutionary fears - I am not good enough, I am not important, I am all alone. After being present to one of these or a combination of these fears, the journey requires us to march forth like peaceful warriors to transmute these evolutionary fears to step into the highest version of ourselves.
Click here to read the 5-Stage Leadership Development Process I use with my clients to support them to become naked service providers; unleashing their performance, productivity, creativity and innovation. They create not only breakthrough business results but also breakthroughs in other areas of their life - health and fitness, relationships, kids, finances, purpose, spirituality, emotional intelligence.
I find it incredibly beautiful to observe how building a great business only happens in parallel to going within to be the greatest version of who we are.
Wishing you the joy of the journey.
I read this book a few years ago. It has been the inspiration behind reducing my 72 hours work week to 25 hours work week. I am still working to get to the 4 hours work week. For that, I am aware that I need so much greater work on myself. As of now, the journey is ongoing.
Not only have my hours of work reduced, my productivity, effectiveness and earnings per hour have increased dramatically on implementing the learnings from the book. I shifted from a 288 hours program per year per client to 66 hours program per year per client with 1650 percentage increase in revenue, while making a much much bigger impact to my clients. Thus, my clients have not only saved time but also created far greater output from the lesser number of hours spent in a program with me.
I have used the time saved to visit my parents weekly to be more engaged in their lives; to be more present to my kids not only physically, but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually; read more masters in my field; spend more time in training and developing myself; learn golf from the country's best coach and play golf weekly with family; focus on building my fitness levels through yoga, karate, cross-fitness training and learnings on nutrition drawn from Ayurveda, Naturopathy and research from the West that I feel younger at 45 than I did at 25. A week back, I committed to learning western classical music on piano. My business model has shifted from serving high volume, low value clients making a difference to their lives to serving low volume, premium value clients making a massive difference to them, increasing their impact in the world through their businesses and the communities that they are a part of.
All this and much more, thanks to Timothy Ferriss and to conscientiously applying the principles in his book - The 4-hour Work Week. Here's the summary for you to inspire you to read his book fully and to apply his principles to start your own journey to create your best life ever.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share which idea from the book you implemented and the difference it made in your life.
Wishing you a deeply fulfilling successful career, loving harmonious relationships at work and at home, happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, lots of nourishing nurturing me-time and a huge positive impact in the world. Learn to create time from Tim Ferriss to have it all.
Did you know that the food you eat impacts not only your productivity and performance, but also your creativity and ability to innovate? Imagine a car which suddenly sputters and stalls. You call an expert, a service engineer, who opens the hood, identifies the faulty component, cleans and repairs it. After few months, the car stalls again. This time the service engineer proceeds to replace the component and puts you on a monthly maintenance plan to keep the car in running order. After few months, the car fails again and now another component is showing signs of wear and tear, atleast that's what you are told. Imagine the enormous cost you would have to bear on account of this - financial, time, emotional, mental, physical. What if you subsequently find out that the source of the problem was not the ageing of the components but the sub-standard petrol you were using unknowingly?
That's exactly the case with our body. Modern medical science does not teach our expert doctors how food impacts the body, which food can cause havoc in our body and which food can heal us naturally. All major technological advances in the medical field has been in the area of pills, devices and surgery, which the doctors are experts in. The pills, devices and surgery don't heal the source of the problem, instead they treat the symptoms in our body like our service engineer above was doing to the car.
Don't you think heart disease, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer etc. would impact a person's effectiveness, productivity, performance, creativity, innovation, joy, happiness and fulfilment? What if we cause these debilitating diseases 3 times in a day on a daily basis - at breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I work with my clients to remove barriers that come in the way of professional and personal excellence for them to lead themselves to realise their impossible, unimaginable dreams towards joyous fulfilment. Every year I pick up a new area to learn, grow and evolve in to support my clients to fulfil on their life’s mission. This year I picked up nutrition to study covering scientific research from the west; and the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and Naturopathy from India. It's been an amazing journey to uncover the simple truth lying hidden under all the complexity of living.
The China Study is part of this journey and it has totally shifted the way I eat. I was troubled by recurring blisters on my tongue for over a year which the doctor-recommended vitamin supplements weren’t helping. I didn’t act upon his advice to get tests done to figure out what was causing them. The interesting thing is that when I shifted what I was eating based on my new understanding of a healthful diet, my blisters vanished on their own and haven’t recurred for over a month.
The China Study was a massive undertaking jointly arranged through Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. This project surveyed a vast range of diseases and diet and lifestyle factors in rural China and, six years later, in Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, this project eventually produced more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between dietary factors and disease. What made this project especially remarkable is that, among the many associations that are relevant to diet, so many pointed to the same finding: people who ate most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based foods were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.
The director of this study, Colin Campbell shares the outcome of the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted through this book of the same name, along with outcomes from various other scientific researches done on nutrition in the US.
Sharing few excerpts from the book for you to start your journey to reclaim perfect heath and wellness to live a full life, personally and professionally:
1. Dietary change can enable diabetic patients to go off their medication.
2. Heart disease can be reversed with diet alone - and in doing so, reducing animal protein is more significant than reducing saturated fat.
3. Breast Cancer is related to levels of female hormones in the blood, which are determined by the food we eat.
4. Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
5. Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables are linked to better mental performance in old age.
6. Kidney stones can be prevented by a healthy diet.
7. Type 1 diabetes, one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child, is convincingly linked to infant feeding practices.
8. The above findings demonstrate that a good diet is the most powerful we have against disease and sickness.
9. I noticed … a research report from India that had some very provocative, relevant findings. Indian researchers had studied two groups of rats. In one group, they administered the cancer-causing aflatoxin, then fed a diet that was composed of 20% protein… In the other group, they administered the same amount of aflatoxin, but then fed a diet that was composed of only 5% protein. Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided cancer. It was a 100 to 0 score, leaving no doubt that nutrition trumped chemical carcinogens, even very potent carcinogens, in controlling cancer.
10. We found that not all proteins had this effect. What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.
11. I did not rest on the findings of our animal studies and the massive human study in China, however impressive they may have been. I sought out the findings of other researchers and clinicians. … These findings show that heart disease, diabetes and obesity can be reversed by a healthy diet. Other research shows that various cancers, autoimmune diseases, bone health, kidney health, vision and brain disorders in old age (like cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s) are convincingly influenced by diet.
12. Most importantly, the diet that has time and again been shown to reverse and / or prevent these diseases is the same whole foods, plant-based diet that I had found to promote optimal health in my laboratory research and in the China Study. The findings are consistent.
13. Yet, despite the power of this information, despite the hope it generates, and despite the urgent need for this understanding of nutrition and health, people are still confused. …I will tell you why. The distinctions between government, industry, science and medicine have become blurred. … The result is massive amounts of misinformation, for which average American consumers pay twice. They provide the tax money to do the research, and then they provide the money for their health care to treat their largely preventable diseases.
14. He who does not know food, how can he understand the diseases of man? - Hippocrates, the father of medicine (460-357 BC)
15. The most dramatic recent finding is that very close to 100% of heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by a healthy diet.
16. If nutrition were better understood, prevention and natural treatments were more accepted in the medical community, we would not be pouring so many toxic, potentially lethal drugs into our bodies at the last stage of disease.
17. It is time to shift our thinking towards a broader perspective on health, one that includes a proper understanding and use of good nutrition.
18. So, what is my prescription for good health? In short, it is about the multiple health benefits of consuming whole, plant-based foods, and the largely unappreciated health dangers of consuming animal-based foods, including all types of meat, dairy and eggs.
19. Eating the right way not only prevents disease but also generates health and a sense of well-being, both physically and mentally. … eating the right way would largely obviate the enormous costs of using drugs, as well as their side effects. Fewer people would need to wage lengthy, expensive battles with chronic disease in hospitals over their last years of life.
20. … a mountain of compelling research shows that plant protein, which allows for slow but steady synthesis of new proteins, is the healthiest type of protein.
21. The results of these, and many other studies, showed nutrition to be far more important in controlling cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen. … Furthermore, a pattern was beginning to emerge: nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumour development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumour development.
22. Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our lives and avoiding disabling, painful, and lengthy battles with disease.
23. Blood cholesterol is clearly an important indicator of disease risk. The big question is: How will food affect blood cholesterol? In brief, animal-based foods were correlated with increasing blood cholesterol. With almost no exceptions, nutrients from plant-based foods were associated with decreasing levels of blood cholesterol. Several studies have now shown, in both experimental animals and in humans, that consuming animal-based protein increases blood cholesterol levels. … In contrast, plant-based foods contain no cholesterol and, in varied ways, help to decrease the amount of cholesterol made by the body. All of this was consistent with the findings from the China Study.
24. The strong association of a high-animal protein, high-fat diet with reproductive hormones and early age of menarche, both of which raise the risk of breast cancer, is an important observation. It makes clear that we should not have our children consume diets high in animal-based foods.
25. Animal protein intake was convincingly associated in the China Study with the prevalence of cancer in families.
26. Diet and disease factors such as animal protein consumption or breast cancer incidence lead to changes in the concentrations of certain chemicals in our blood. These chemicals are called bio-markers. As an example, blood cholesterol is a bio-marker for heart-disease. We measured six blood bio-markers that are associated with animal protein intake. … Every single animal protein related blood biomarker is significantly associated with the amount of cancer in a family.
27. Dietary fibre is exclusively found in plant-based foods. … The results showed that high-fibre intake was consistently associated with lower rates of cancers of the rectum and colon. High-fibre intakes also were associated with lower levels of blood cholesterol. Of course, high-fibre consumption reflected high plant based food consumption; foods such as as beans, leafy vegetables, and whole grains are all high in fibre.
28. The colours of fruits and vegetables are derived from a variety of chemicals called antioxidants. These chemicals are almost exclusively found in plants. … Free radicals are nasty. They can cause our tissues to become rigid and limited in their function. It is a bit like old age, when our bodies become creaky and stiff. To a great extent, this is what aging is. This uncontrolled free radical damage also is part of the processes that give rise to cataracts, to hardening of the arteries, to cancer, to emphysema, to arthritis, and many other ailments that become more common with age.
But here’s the kicker: we do not naturally build shields to protect ourselves against free radicals. As we are not plants, we do not carry out photosynthesis and therefore do not produce any of our own antioxidants. Fortunately, the antioxidants in plants and animals work in our bodies the same way they work in plants.
It is a wonderful harmony. The plants make the antioxidant shields, and at the same time make them look incredibly appealing with beautiful, appetising colours. Then we animals, in turn, are attracted to the plants and eat them and borrow their antioxidant shields for our own health. Whether you believe in God, evolution, or just coincidence, you must admit that this is a beautiful, almost spiritual, example of nature’s wisdom.
29. Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet.
30. … there is mountain of scientific evidence to show that the healthiest diet you can possibly consume is a high-carbohydrate diet. … Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the healthiest foods you can consume, and they are primarily made of carbohydrates.
31. … individuals can achieve their genetic potential for growth and body size by consuming a plant-based diet.
32. Everything in food works together to create health or disease.
33. At the end of the day, the strength and consistency of the majority of the evidence is enough to draw valid conclusions. Namely, plant-based foods are beneficial, and animal-based foods are not. Few other dietary choices, if any, can offer the incredible benefits of looking good, growing tall, and avoiding the vast majority of premature diseases in our culture.
34. When used for stable disease, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents do not address the cause of heart disease, prevent heart attacks or extend the lives of any but the sickest heart disease patients.
35. We now know what is true: a whole food plant based diet can prevent and treat heart disease.
36. These studies document the fact that vegetarians consume the same amount or even significantly more calories than their meat-eating counterparts, and yet are still slimmer. … A plant-based diet operates on calorie balance to keep body weight under control in two ways. First, it discharges calories as body heat instead of storing them as body fat, and it doesn’t take many calories to make a big difference over the course of a year. Second, a plant based diet encourages more physical activity. And, as body weight goes down, it becomes easier to be physically active. Diet and exercise work together to decrease body weight and improve overall health.
37. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, often accompanies obesity.
38. In dietary studies involving the Adventists, scientists compare “moderate” vegetarians to “moderate” meat eaters. … Compared to meat-eaters, the vegetarians had about one-half the rate of diabetes. They also had almost half the rate of obesity.
39. All of these findings support the idea that both across and within populations, high fiber, whole plant-based foods protect against diabetes, and high fat, high-protein, animal based foods promote diabetes.
40. … eating a plant-based diet lowered their insulin medications.
41. Another group of scientists at the Pritikin Centre achieved equally spectacular results by prescribing a low-fat, plant-based diet and exercise to a group of diabetic patients. Of forty patients on medication at the start of the program, thirty-four were able to discontinue all medication after only twenty-six days.
42. Unfortunately, misinformation and ingrained habits are wreaking havoc on our health.
43. … breast cancer is primarily caused by the same nutrition that elevates risk for other cancers - a diet lacking in whole, plant-based foods.
44. … a plant-based diet leads to a less severe hormone crash and a gentler menopause.
45. … there are two types of carbohydrates: refined and complex. Refined carbohydrates are the starches and sugars obtained from plants by mechanically stripping off their outer layers, which contain most of the plant’s vitamins, minerals, protein, and fibre. This “food” (regular sugar, white flour etc.) has very little nutritional value. Foods such as pastas made from refined flour, sugary cereals, white bread, candies and sugar-laden soft-drinks should be avoided as much as possible.
But do eat whole, complex carbohydrate containing foods such as unprocessed fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain products like brown rice and oatmeal. These unprocessed carbohydrates, especially from fruits and vegetables, are exceptionally health promoting.
46. … every doctor should tell every man with prostate cancer to stop consuming dairy immediately and embrace a whole food, plant based diet.
47. … a whole food, plant based diet may be an incredibly effective anti-cancer medicine.
48. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin. This devastating, incurable disease mostly strikes children, creating a painful and difficult experience for young families. What most people don’t know, though, is that there is strong evidence that this disease is linked to diet and more, specifically, to dairy products. The ability of cow’s milk protein to initiate Type 1 diabetes is well documented. … The greater the consumption of cow’s milk, the greater age prevalence of Type 1 diabetes. In Finland, Type 1 diabetes is thirty-six times more common than in Japan. Large amounts of cow’s milk products are consumed in Finland but very little is consumed in Japan.
49. We not only have evidence of the danger of cow’s milk, we also have considerable evidence showing that the association between diabetes and cow’s milk is biologically plausible. Human breast milk is the perfect food for an infant, and one of the most damaging things a mother can do is to substitute the milk of a cow for her own.
50. A recent study showed that American women aged fifty and older have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world. The only countries with higher rates are in Europe and in the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) where they consume even more milk than the United States. … those countries that use most cow’s milk and its products also have the highest fracture rates and the worst bone health. … It was found that a very impressive 70% of the fracture rate was attributable to the consumption of animal protein. … We have had evidence for well over a hundred years that animal protein decreases bone health.
51. … a 1968-1973 UK study (reports) a stunning relationship between animal protein consumption and the formation of kidney stones.
52. Professor W G Robertson (from the Medical Research Council in Leeds, England) published findings showing that, among the patients who had recurrent kidney stones, he was able to resolve their problem simply by shifting their diet away from animal protein foods.
53. These two eye conditions, macular degeneration and cataracts, both occur when we fail to consume enough of the highly coloured green and leafy vegetables. In both cases, excess free radicals, increased by animal-based foods and decreased by plant-based foods, are likely to be responsible for these conditions.
54. … there is a good science to show that thinking clearly well into our later years is not something we need to give up. Memory loss, disorientation, and confusion are not inevitable parts of ageing, but problems linked to that all-important lifestyle factor: diet. … The seven studies mentioned above all show that one or more nutrients found exclusively in plants are associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline in old age. … the combination of a diet high in animal-based foods and low in plant-based foods raises the risk of Alzheimer’s.
55. Supplements will not lead to long-lasting health and may cause unforeseen side effects.
56. … one of the biggest health hoaxes of all time: the nutrient supplement industry. … It is not that all these nutrients aren’t important. They are - but only when consumed as food, not as supplements. Isolating nutrients and trying to get benefits equal to those of whole foods reveals an ignorance of how nutrition operates in the body.
57. … we now have clear evidence that the hoped-for health benefits of nutrient supplements are not forthcoming. … the vitamin supplement industry has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing - nothing to do with the health for the many and everything to do with wealth for the few.
58. There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants. … plant foods have dramatically more antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals than animal foods. In fact, animal foods are almost completely devoid of several of these nutrients - but they have much more cholesterol and fat. … the fat and protein of nuts and seeds are different: they are more healthful than the fat and protein of animal foods.
59. Genes do not determine disease on their own. Genes function only by being activated, or “expressed”, and nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad, are expressed.
60. Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals. … like genes, the activities of these chemical carcinogens are primarily controlled by the nutrients that we eat. … nutrition primarily determines whether the disease will ever do its damage.
61. In humans, we have seen research findings showing that a whole-food plant-based diet reverses advance heart disease, helps obese people lose weight, and helps diabetics get off their medication and return to a more normal, pre-diabetes life.
62. Those who feel good about themselves are more likely to respect their health by practicing good nutrition.
63. Furthermore, it turns out if we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we promote the best health for the planet. By eating a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet, we use less water, less land, and fewer resources, produce less pollution and inflict less suffering to our farm animals.
64. My recommendation is that you try to avoid all animal-based products.There are 3 excellent reasons to go all the way:
a. First, following this diet requires a radical shift in your thinking about food. It’s more work to just do it halfway.
b. Second, you’ll feel deprived. Instead of viewing your new food habit as being able to eat all the plant-based food you want, you’ll be seeing it in terms of having to limit yourself, which is not conducive to staying on the diet long-term.
c. Third, you will, within a month or so, perhaps a little more, actually break the physiological addiction that we acquire from eating large amounts of fat and refined carbohydrates.
65. Why haven’t you heard this before? … The entire system - government, science, medicine, industry, media and academia - promotes profits over health, technology over food, and confusion over clarity.
66. Doctors have virtually no training in nutrition and how it relates to health.
67. The problem with doctors starts with our education. The whole system is paid for by the drug industry, from education to research.
68. … the only type of research that is funded and recognised is research on drugs. Research on the causes of disease and non-drug interventions simply doesn’t occur in medical education settings.
69. … but it’s something more than just money. It may also be the intellectual threat that the patient should be in control, and not the doctor; that something as simple as food could be more powerful than all the knowledge of pills and high-tech procedures: it may be the lack of credible nutrition education in medical schools; it may be the influence of the drug industry. Whatever it is, it has become clear that the medical industry … is not protecting our health as it should.
Wow, the book shook me with the simplicity of its message and the extensive scientific findings put together to hold to light the truth of its message.
I had become a vegetarian 19 years ago, when I started practising yoga. I not only no longer found any taste in eating dead animals but also the fact of having dead animals on my plate put me off - intellectually and emotionally. I continued with eggs for a little while but the vision of chicks didn’t let me continue for long. The idea of giving up milk and milk products was a little more difficult. I finally gave it up on 10-Oct-18 this year after I read an article about Virat Kohli becoming a Vegan. I followed it up with more research which brought me to this book.
Before this book, choosing to eat only plants was just a personal whim of mine, more out of not wanting to harm other beings. After reading this book, I woke up to the severe health impact of being any other way. I could not help but inspire my kids, husband and parents to choose a vegan lifestyle with my new understanding of how the food we eat impacts our health and therefore, the quality of our life.
Sharing information is my responsibility. What you do with it is totally your choice, as it should be. Who to be and what to do can only come from within and cannot be thrust upon from outside, if it has to sustain for the long-term.
Wishing you the joy of physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual health and well-being to realize your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self.
Love and reverence,
Further Reading / Viewing:
1. These 14 elite athletes are vegan — here's what made them switch their diet
2. Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli Goes Vegan
3. Milk: A Silent Killer by Dr N K Sharma (Distinguished Naturopath)
4. How Not to Die (Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease) by Dr Michael Greger (Founder of NutritionFacts.org)
5. Other authors to explore: Dr John McDougall, Dr Roy Swank, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr, Dr Dean Ornish
6. Movies: Fork over knives, Plantpure Nation, Cowspiracy
7. TEDx Talk by Philip Wollen - Ethics in meat-free world
The book is a quick powerful inspirational read, perfect for in-flight reading or if you are in-between flights, only 100-pages short. Your trip will be memorable not because of the outcomes you created but because you read this little book.
Deepak Chopra is a world-leading expert in the area of human potential, health and well-being. In this book he shares principles that have helped him and countless others (that includes me and my clients) to achieve both material success and joyous fulfilment.
These principles will help you to live your highest potential, make a big impact in the world through your work or business, make a difference to the communities and country you are part of, become a key person of influence in your industry transforming the industry itself.
If you are someone who is committed to lead your business from good to great from a state of grace, understand and implement these principles.
The book begins with this beautiful quote from Upanishads, a part of Vedas which are the most ancient Hindu scriptures:
You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
Of course, the question is whether you will nourish, grow and evolve yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually to allow your destiny to fully bloom.
Here are few excerpts from the book to inspire you to read the book from cover to cover:
1. Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals. Success is the ability to fulfil your desires with effortless ease. ... There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. ... success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being and a peace of mind.
2. ... pure joy ... pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, invincibility, simplicity and bliss. This is our essential nature. When you discover your essential nature and know who you really are, in that knowing itself is the ability to fulfill any dream you have ...
3. The need for approval, the need to control things, and the need for external power are needs that are based on fear.
4. The ego ... is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is a social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants to control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear. You true Self, which is your spirit, your soul, is completely free of those things. It is immune to criticism, it is unfearful of any challenge, and it feels beneath no one. And yet, it is also humble and feels superior to no one ...
5. ... if you want to make full use of the creativity which is inherent in pure consciousness, then you have to have access to it. One way to access the field is through the daily practise of silence, meditation and non-judgment. Spending time in nature will also give you access to the qualities inherent in the field: infinite creativity, freedom and bliss.
6. And then you create the possibility of dynamic activity while at the same time carrying the stillness of the eternal, unbounded, creative mind. ... This coexistence of opposites - stillness and dynamism at the same time - makes you independent of situations, circumstances, people and things.
7. ... if you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent. In fact, the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. This principle works equally well for individuals, corporations, societies and nations.
8. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind ... what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruits of our karma is happiness and success.
9. Whether you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you've made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of us make choices unconsciously, and therefore we don't think they are choices - and yet, they are. ... your future is generated by the choices you are making in every moment of your life. ... The more you bring your choices into the level of your conscious awareness, the more you will make those choices which are spontaneously correct - both for you and those around you.
10. ... when we harness the forces of harmony, joy and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.
11. An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing. - Lao Tzu.
12. Least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love. When you seek power and control over other people, you waste energy. ... When your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates - and the surplus energy you gather and enjoy can be channeled to create anything that you want, including unlimited wealth.
13. ... most of our energy goes into upholding our importance ... if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two, we would provide ourselves enough energy to ... catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the Universe. - from The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda.
14. This moment - the one you are experiencing right now - is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire Universe is as it is. When you struggle against this moment, you are actually struggling against the entire Universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole Universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. ... You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.
15. When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else's fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it.
16. Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted the circumstance, this event, this problem; responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now.
17. Whenever confronted by a tyrant, tormentor, teacher, friend, or foe (they all mean the same thing), remind yourself - "This moment is as it should be." Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your evolution.
15. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted. When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance.
16. ... if you stop fighting and resisting, ... if you embrace the present ..., joy will be born within you and you will drop the terrible burdens ... of defensiveness, resentment and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous and free. ... When you have the exquisite combination of acceptance, responsibility and defenselessness, you will experience life flowing with effortless ease. When you remain open to all points of views - not rigidly attached to only one - your dreams and desires will flow with nature's desires.
17. Attention energizes and intention transforms. Whenever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life. Whatever you take your attention away from will wither, disintegrate, and disappear. Intention, on the other hand, triggers transformation of energy and information. Intention organizes its own fulfilment. ... Intention is the real power behind desire. Intent alone is very powerful, because intent is desire without attachment to the outcome. ... Intention combined with detachment leads to life-centered, present-moment awareness. And when action is performed in present moment awareness, it is most effective. Your intent is for the future, but your attention is in the present. ... The future is something you can always create through detached intention, but you should never struggle against the present.
18. One-pointed intention is that quality of attention that is unbending in its fixity of purpose. One-pointed intention means holding your attention to the intended outcome with such unbending purpose that you absolutely refuse to allow obstacles to consume and dissipate the focused quality of your attention. There is a total and complete exclusion of all obstacles from your consciousness. You are able to maintain an unshakable serenity while being committed to your goal with intense passion. This is the power of detached (present moment) awareness and one-pointed, focused intention simultaneously.
19. ... in order to acquire anything in the physical Universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. This doesn't mean you give up the intention to create your desire. You don't give up the intention, and you don't give up the desire. You give up your attachment to the result. ... Detachment is synonymous with wealth consciousness, because with detachment there is freedom to create. Only from detached involvement can one have joy and laughter. ... Without detachment, we are prisoners of helplessness, hopelessness, mundane needs, trivial concerns, quiet desperation and seriousness - the distinctive features of everyday mediocre existence and poverty consciousness.
20. Every single problem that you have in your life is the seed of an opportunity for some greater benefit.
21. Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstacy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.
Wishing you the clarity to march forth on your Hero's journey to fulfil the purpose of your life.
Selling the Invisible is an easy read and yet very powerful in its message. This book is a must read if you are selling services. It cuts through all that you think you know about selling and brings you to what you really need to know to be a profitable, successful, world-class services business. Harry busts many myths being understood as gospel truth. The ideas in the book are hugely thought-provoking, yet bite size actions that you can immediately take that add up to move your business forward with velocity. It is hugely entertaining as well, being full of anecdotes and interesting examples.
The book is especially useful if you want to grow your business. Read the book to avoid being blindsided and driving on the wrong road to nowhere. It is truly a field guide as the name says it is and will guide you right back to the path of fulfilling success.
Here are few gems from the book:
1. Unfortunately, this focus on getting the word outside distracts companies from the inside, and from the first rule of service marketing: The core of service marketing is the service itself.
2. Assume your service is bad. It can't hurt, and it will force you to improve.
3. ... everyone's focus for marketing for the year immediately turns to "How do we sell this?"
Instead, everyone should start at ground zero. They should ask, "Is this viable anymore? Is this what the world wants?"
4. Stage one in an industry is product driven. Stage one companies offer their clients the accepted product. ... Stage two is market driven. Stage two companies offer their clients the desired product. ... Surprising the customer is the driving force in stage three of an industry. Stage three, as a result, is imagination-driven, and a company in this stage offers the possible service. ... Every service company must look at stage three; that is where glory, fame and market share lie.
5. For a dozen reasons, conduct oral surveys, not written ones.
6. Focus groups tell more about group dynamics than about market dynamics. ... You are selling to individuals. Talk to individuals.
7. "We can have great talent, products, prices, and advertising. But if that sales clerk at the end of the line fails, everything fails. The buyer doesn't return. And if the buyer suffers a very bad experience, he tells all his friends not to come, either.
Everyone in your company is responsible for marketing your company.
... Marketing is not a department. It is your business.
... Every employee should know that every act is a marketing act upon which your success depends.
8. Find out what clients are really buying.
9. Most companies in expert services - such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants - think that their clients are buying expertise. But most prospects for these complex services cannot evaluate expertise... But they can tell if the relationship is good and if the phone calls are returned. Clients are experts at knowing if they feel valued.
In most professional services, you are not really selling expertise - because your expertise is assumed, and because your prospect cannot intelligently evaluate your expertise anyway. Instead, you are selling a relationship. And in most cases, this is where you need the most work.
10. Before you try to satisfy "the client", understand and satisfy the person.
11. ... your prospect faces three options: using your service, doing it themselves, or not doing it at all. In many cases, then, your biggest competitors are not your competitors. They are your prospects.
12. The competent and likeable solo consultant will attract far more business than the brilliant but socially deficient expert.
13. Service businesses are about relationships. Relationships are about feelings. ... In service marketing and selling, the logical reasons that you should win the business - your competence, your excellence, your talent - just pay the entry fees. Winning is a matter of feelings, and feelings are about personalities.
14. ... in successful companies, tactics drive strategy as much or more than strategy drives tactics. ... Sometimes, the very first tactic you execute changes your entire plan.
15. If you are prone to being certain, copy Jay Chiat. The head of Chiat Day, the ad agency behind many of America's most conspicuous advertisements, Chiat carries a note in his pocket. The note reminds him that whenever he is in an argument he should remember the note's three words: "Maybe he's right."
Maybe others are right and you are wrong - even if you are certain you are right. ... also not to be overwhelmed by other person's total convictions.
16. You are just this invisible thing - a service - a mere promise that you will do something. ... It is less risky for the prospect to do nothing. At this point, you do not need to put more sale in. You need to take some of the fear out. ... Always remember: the prospect is afraid. The best thing you can do for a prospect is eliminate her fear. Offer a trial period or a test project.
17. Rather than hide your weaknesses, admit them. That will make you look honest and trustworthy - a key to selling a service.
18. To broaden your appeal, narrow your position.
19. "If they can do something that hard, then by lesser logic they can do this." ... In your service, what's the hardest task? Position yourself as the expert at this task, and you'll have lesser logic in your corner.
20. A position is a cold-hearted, no-nonsense statement of how you are perceived in the minds of prospects. It is your position.
A positioning statement, by contrast, states how you wish to be perceived. It is the core message you want to deliver in every medium...
You can establish your positioning statement by answering the following questions:
Who: Who are you?
What: What business are you in?
For whom: What people do you serve?
What need: What are the special needs of the people you serve?
Against whom: With whom you are competing?
What's different: What makes you different from those competitors?
So: What's the benefit? What unique benefit does a client derive from your service?
21. In positioning, don't try to hide your small size. Make it work by stressing its advantages, such as responsiveness and individual attention.
22. ... if you do not have a focus, you soon might not have a business.
23. If good value is your best position, improve your service.
24. A service is a promise, and building a brand builds your promise.
25. The most desirable services, then are those that keep their promises.
This also means that the heart of a service brand - the element without which the brand cannot live - is the integrity of the company and its employees.
26. A service is a promise. You are selling the promise that at some future date, you will do something. That means what you really are selling is your honesty.
Tricks and gimmicks aren't honest. Gimmicky headlines, swimsuit models, direct marketing tricks - they are all a form of bait and switch.
27. People notice marketing communications that refuse to strain the truth because people notice the unusual and understatement is unusual. Far better to say too little than too much.
28. Tell people - in a single compelling sentence - why they should buy from you instead of someone else.
29. The most compelling selling message - I understand what you need.
The selling message "I have" is about you. The message "I understand" is about the only person involved in the sale who really matters: the buyer.
Find out what they want.
Find out what they need.
Find out who they are.
It will take extra time, but it can make the sale.
30. If you make a client think you will do better than you can do, the client will end up disappointed. Even worse, she will decide that you misled her, or lied.
It isn't worth getting that business. A disappointed person who thinks you are a liar will usually tell three other people. Suddenly, one great sale has become four big problems.
... This means that one of a marketer's most suicidal marketing weapons is hype.
31. Gail Sheehy began her research looking for the secrets of truly contented people. She wondered what made these people feel such a sense of well-being. She learned that "people of high well-being" shared just a few traits and this was one: They all had taken an enormous risk.
Selling a service involves personal risks. You can look too pushy. You will be rejected. People won't return your calls. You run the risk of feeling bad when you go home at night.
But the rewards of all these efforts will make you wonder: Why didn't I do that in the first place?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book word to word. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to read the complex ideas so simply laid out. Read the book, apply the ideas and create a whole new way of doing business joyously and effortlessly.
The inquiry I want to leave you with is: To be successful at selling services, who do you authentically need to be from the inside?
For my clients, an even deeper inquiry - What kind of leader would you need to evolve into to build a successful, profitable with much higher margins than the industry, world-class services organization?
Wishing that you make an enormous difference to your customer community that they chase you instead of you chasing them.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.