Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy SEAL Officer, I read this great book by him recently, and here are my notes on it. The lessons in it are mainly on leadership.

  • There are no bad teams only bad leaders.
  • Take full Ownership of your Life. You have to take full responsibility for everything you do, there is no one to blame but you.
  • The Leader has to believe in his vision. Without that believe he can’t inspire people, especially when the goal is something outside most people’s comfort zone.
  • People have to have a Why for doing anything. Dont just give orders but give them a meaningful answer to “Why?” doing X.
  • Keep the Ego in check, go forward with humility. keep your Ego in check.
  • prioritize and execute. When shit hits the fan prioritize the next best step and move on, don’t get paralyzed by chaos. Just take the first step.

 

Buy the book?

The 50th Law by Robert Greene, Book Summary

I recentyl read the 50th Law by Robert Greene, here is my complete summary of the book
Introduction
 
There are two ways of dealing with fear—one passive, the  other active. In the passive mode, we seek to avoid the  situation that causes us anxiety.
The 50th Law, however, states that there is one thing we can actually control—the mind-set with which we respond to these events around us.

CHAPTER 1 See Things for What They Are-Intense Realism
 ability to focus intensely on reality and see things for what they were. He was a living testament to the power of realism.
 Can stand as an individual bulwark to this trend and create power for yourself. You were born with the greatest weapon in all of nature—the rational, conscious mind. It has the power to expand your vision far and wide, giving you the unique capacity to distin guish patterns in events, learn from the past, glimpse into the future, see through appearances.
You must turn outward and become a keen observer of all that is around you. You are doing battle against all the fantasies that are thrown at you.
REDISCOVER CURIOSITY—OPENNESS
Experiment. Force yourself to hold the opposite opinion or see the world through your enemy’s eyes. Listen to the people around you with more attentiveness. See everything as a source for education—even the most banal encounters. Imagine that the world is still full of mystery.
Get a fingertip feel for everything going on in your environment—the complete. Get Ideas from everyone.
How could they have been foreseen? Generally there are signs that seem so obvious afterwards. Now imagine those very same signs that you are probably ignoring in the present.
In general, looking at people through the lens of your emotions will cloud what you see and make you misunderstand everything.
DETACHMENT
proper sense of detachment from yourself and from life. It is not that you want to feel this detachment at every moment. There are times that require you to act with heart and boldness, without doubts or self-distance. On many occasions, however, you need to be able to assess what is happening, without your ego or emotions coloring your perceptions. Moving to a calm, detached inner position to observe events will become a habit and something you can rely on amid any crisis.
Realism is in fact the ideal we must aspire to, the highest point of human rationality.

 CHAPTER 2 Make Everything Your Own—Self-Reliance
 
True ownership can come only from within. It comes from a disdain for anything or anybody that impinges upon your mobility, from a confidence in your own decisions, and from the use of your time in constant pursuit of education and improvement.
This should not be a source of fear but of freedom. When you prove to yourself that you can get things on your own, then you experience a sense of liberation.
Think of it this way: dependency is a habit that is so easy to acquire just above water. It is hard to resist. But once you give in, it is like a prison you enter that you cannot ever leave. You continually look outward for help and this severely limits your options and maneuverability. When the time comes, as it inevitably does, when you must make an important decision, you have nothing inside of yourself to depend on.
It is a kind of exercise you must practice on a daily basis—weaning yourself from dependencies, listening less to others’ voices and more to your own, cultivating new skills.
 Your life must be a progression towards ownership—first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce.
  1.  STEP ONE: RECLAIM DEAD TIME
  2. STEP TWO: CREATE LITTLE EMPIRES:  While still working for others, your goal at some point must be to carve out little areas that you can operate on your own, cultivating entrepreneurial skills.
  3. STEP THREE: MOVE HIGHER UP THE FOOD CHAIN
  4.  STEP FOUR: MAKE YOUR ENTERPRISE A REFLECTION OF YOUR INDIVIDUALITY; Understand: you are one of a kind. Your character traits are a kind of chemical mix that will never be repeated in history. You must not be afraid of your uniqueness and you must care less and less what people think of you.
 People who are self-sufficient are generally types who are more comfortable with themselves. They do not look for things that they need from other people. Paradoxically this makes them more attractive and seductive.

 
CHAPTER 3 Turn Shit into Sugar—Opportunism
 
 This is a common occurrence in history: almost all great military and political triumphs are preceded by some kind of crisis. That is because a substantial victory can only come out of a moment of danger and attack. Without these moments, leaders are never challenged, never get to prove themselves. If the path is too smooth, they grow arrogant and make a fatal mistake. The fearless types require some kind of adversity against which they can measure themselves.
  When things are going well, that is precisely when you must be concerned and vigilant. You know it will not last and you will not be caught unprepared. When things are going badly, that is when you are most encouraged and fearless. Finally you have material for a powerful reversal, a chance to prove yourself. It is only out of danger and difficulty that you can rise at all. By simply embracing the moment as something positive and necessary you have already converted it into gold.
The truth is that for the human mind, everything that crosses its path can be a potential tool for power and expansion.
This attitude is what we shall call “opportunism.” True opportunists do not require urgent, stressful circumstances to become alert and inventive. They operate this way on a daily basis. They channel their aggressive energy into hunting down possibilities for expansion in the most banal and insignificant events. Everything is an instrument in their hands, and with this enlarged notion of opportunity, they create more of it in their lives and gain great power.
One opportunity you can always bank on is that a younger generation will react against the sacred cows of the older generation. I move before you think you are ready. It is as if you are making it a little more difficult for yourself, deliberately creating obstacles in your path. But it is a law of power that your energy will always rise to the appropriate level. When you feel that you must work harder to get to your goal because you are not quite prepared, you are more alert and inventive.

CHAPTER 4 Keep Moving—Calculated Momentum
 
The fearless types in history all reveal a greater capacity to handle chaos and to use it for their purposes
Understand: it is not only what you do that must have flow, but also how you do things. It is your strategies, your methods of attacking problems, that must constantly be adapted to
circumstances. Strategy is the essence of human action—the bridge between an idea and its realization in the world. Too often these strategies become frozen into conventions, as people mindlessly imitate what worked before. By keeping your strategies attuned to the moment, you can be an agent of change.
  • MENTAL FLOW, This comes from widening your fields of study and observation, letting yourself be carried along by what you discover.
  • EMOTIONAL FLOW: Day to wash over you, to never hold on to one single emotion for very long. You are able to let go of any kind of obsessive feelin
You come to view periods of stability and order with mistrust. Something isn’t moving in your life and in your mind. On the other hand,
Moments of change and apparent chaos are what you thrive on—they make your mind and spirit jump to life.
Whenever you feel rooted and established in place, that is when you should be truly afraid.

CHAPTER 5: Be Bad at the right times
 
IF YOU INDICATE YOU’LL DO ANYTHING TO AVOID TROUBLE, THAT’S WHEN YOU GET TROUBLE.
The first step in overcoming this is to realize that the ability to deal with conflict is a function of inner strength versus fear, and that it has nothing to do with goodness or badness
You are willing to occasionally displease people and you are comfortable in taking on those who stand against your interests. From such a position of strength, you are able to handle friction in an effective manner, being bad when it is appropriate.
This means that in your daily life you must assert yourself more than usual—you take on an aggressor instead of avoiding him; you strategize and push for something you want instead of waiting for someone to give it to you.
You are sending signals to others that you have limits they cannot cross, that you have interests you are willing to defend or advance.
When you submit in spirit to aggressors or to an unjust and impossible situation, you do not buy yourself any real peace. You encourage people to go further, to take more from you, to use you for their own purposes.
Develop the opposite—a fighting stance that comes from deep within and cannot be shaken. You force some respect. The paradoxical law of human nature, trying to please people less will make them more likely in the long run to respect and treat you better.
 When the situation calls for it, he must be the lion—aggressive and direct in protecting his state, or grabbing something to secure its interests. At other times, he has to be the fox—getting his way through crafty maneuvers that disguise his aggression. And often he must play the lamb—the meek, deferential, and good creature exalted in culture. He is bad in the right way, calibrated to the situation, and careful to make his actions look justified to the public, reserving his nastier tactics for behind the scenes
Instead of taking this personally or concerning yourself with people’s intentions, you must simply work to protect and advance yourself in this competitive game, this bloody arena. Focus your attention on their maneuvers and how to deflect them.

CHAPTER 6: Lead from the front
The greatest generals in history, however, are invariably those who lead from the front and by themselves. They can be seen by the troops at the head of the army, exposing themselves to the same fate as any foot soldier.
it is much better to be feared and respected than to be loved
Roles I have to fill:
  1. THE VISIONARY It means seeing something practical and achievable several years down the road, and mapping out how this goal can be achieved. It means thinking in branches, coming up with several paths to get there, depending on circumstances. It means being emotionally attached to this idea, so that when a thousand distractions
  2. THE UNIFIER
  3. THE ROLE MODEL
  4. THE BOLD KNIGHT

CHAPTER 7: Connections the Environment
Understand: the opposite approach is the way to power in this world. It begins with a fundamental fearlessness—you do not feel afraid or affronted by people who have different ways of thinking or acting. You do not feel superior to those on the out side.
Your first move is to open up your spirit to these differences, to understand what makes the Other tick, to gain a feel for people’s inner lives, how they see the world. In this way, you continually expose yourself to wider and wider circles of people, building connections your ability to know everything that is going on around you, to be sensitive to changes, aware of the power structures that are imposed from without and within. There is no time or room to escape to some inner dreamland. You have a sense of urgency to stay connected to the environment and the people around you—your life depends on it.
 In any event, what you are seeking is maximum interaction, allowing you to get a feel for people from the inside
  •   CRUSH ALL DISTANCE
  •   OPEN INFORMAL CHANNELS OF CRITICISM AND FEEDBACK
  •   RECONNECT WITH YOUR BASE: Keep your associations with it alive, intense, and present. Return to your origins—the source of all inspiration and power.
  •   CREATE THE SOCIAL MIRROR: A physical mirror turns you into an object; you can see yourself as others see you
  Your ego cannot protect you—the mirror does not lie. You use it to correct your appearance and avoid ridicule.

CHAPTER 8: Self-Mastery
The effort to be a master at what you are doing.

CHAPTER 9: Beliefe in Oneself
Who you are is much more chaotic and fluid than this surface character; you are full of untapped potential and possibility.
You must experiment and feel the sensation of not concerning yourself with what others think or expect of you. You do not advance or retreat with their opinions in mind.
Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself—your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose—they want to keep you down. You are continually prone to believe these opinions, particularly if your self-image is fragile. In every moment of life you can defy and deny people this power. You do so by maintain ing a sense of purpose, a high destiny you are fulfilling.
DEFY ALL CATEGORIES
CONSTANTLY REINVENT YOURSELF
Understand: people judge you by appearances, the image you project through your actions, words, and style. If you do not take control of this process, then people will see and define you the way they want to, often to your detriment.

CHAPTER 10: Confront Your Mortality—the Sublime
The fearless approach requires that you accept the fact that you have only so much time to live, and that life itself inevitably involves levels of pain and separation seeing death as something that you carry within. It is a part of you that cannot be repressed.

Continue reading “The 50th Law by Robert Greene, Book Summary”

Sell to Survive by Grant Cardone, Book Notes

My notes on the book:

Sales is Universal
Selling — (Merriam dictionary) the action of persuading or influencing another to a course of action or to the acceptance of something. Who does this not impact?
businesses fail first and foremost because their ideas weren’t sold quickly enough and in quantities great enough, and therefore they ran out of money
There’s no salary guaranteed in life. The whole world is on commission and the whole world is required to sell!
Health is a commission for taking care of yourself and your mind.
The point is, selling is about life and every area of life involves selling.
Every person, no matter what his profession is, relies on selling.
Become a Professional
COMMIT AND BE DONE WITH IT. Committing is when you make a firm decision, you quit wondering, and then
you follow your commitment through with actions.
The ability to predict is the first thing that happens when you become a professional,
(“objections” notebook and wrote down every customer objection.)
Conviction
If you’re not getting your way, you’re not sold.
Because of their lack of conviction, they are not consistent producers.
Conviction is the Make Break Point
If you really want something great to happen, you’ve got to be unreasonable even if it means convincing yourself beyond reason that what you have is better.
Being unreasonable means that you are sold on what you’re selling, and it is your conviction alone that will sell others.
Anytime you find yourself having trouble getting your way, look no further than your own degree of conviction in what you’re selling.
If your product is a great deal then wouldn’t it make sense that you’d be willing to buy it yourself?
people sell products that they don’t own themselves!
To the degree that you’re in disagreement with some product or idea, you won’t be able to sell it
If a person won’t spend money or tends to be really cheap in how he spends his money, he’ll always have trouble getting other people to their spend money!
If you won’t buy it yourself, then you’re not sold yourself!
The Price Myth
Consumers want to take home lots of things, not just one thing.
People love showing off.
Therefore, the second purchase reinforces that the first purchase was the right decision.
The People Business Not the “X” Business
If you understand the product before you under- stand people, you are putting the cart in front of the horse.
It has been said that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Communication = Sales If you don’t get into communication with the buyer you have no chance of ever making the sale.
Just talking about your product is not communicating because there’s no exchange of ideas between you and the buyer. In sales we’re interested in communication that gains access to information, which can be turned into action. To gain information means that your communication should include lots of questions.
People are senior to the products! People are senior to the processes employed by companies. No product or sales process will ever be successful if it doesn’t make people senior!
Never forget, people buy products and it’s your job to sell people on your product, not to sell your product to people.
The Magic of Agreement Always Agree With the Customer
The ability to agree with the customer is senior to all other rules in selling!
If you start the relationship off with agreement, you’ll have a chance to tell the prospect about your product.
Note: “I only have 5 min.”
There’s no easier way to instantly end an argument than by agreeing with the opposition.
Establishing Trust Show, Don’t Tell
Prospects Don’t Make Sales, Salespeople Do
Credibility is one of the most valuable assets you have as a salesperson. When something happens that puts your credibility into question, it becomes difficult to get the buyer to trust his decision to do business with you.
Great salespeople understand the buyer’s distrust, accept full responsibility for it and never take it personally.
I always assume that the buyer doesn’t trust a single word I say to them
People Believe What They See, Not What They Hear
The rule to handle a buyer’s distrust is to always use and show written material to support your presentation and proposal
When you’re documenting facts for your customer, it’s preferable to use third party materials that support what you’re saying.
Always, always, always write down what you’ve said, offered, proposed, promised, implied and suggested. Anytime you’re going for the close, insist on putting it in writing.
The more data, the better. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of data. – Keep your information current. – Have your written information available and easy to access. – Use third party data as much as possible. – The more you’re able to access the data in real time the better. Real time data is preferable to prepared data. – Use computer generated data whenever possible!
The Magic of Give, Give, Give
Selling is the act of giving not getting, serving not selling.
Tip: Problem = Opportunities for Future Sales.
Service is Senior to Selling
The Hard Sell
I do know that most people will not buy without someone asking them to and people will never say yes to someone who quit asking.
The willingness to stay and persist even when the prospect becomes noisy is what separates the professional, consistent closer from the amateur who randomly closes deals. If you don’t truly believe that your product will somehow bring the buyer more enjoyment, benefit or security greater than the numbers they have in the bank, then you’ll never be a great salesperson and you’ll never fully understand the concept of “hard sell.”
The Formula for Hard Sell
1. You must have the belief that what you’re offering is the right thing for the prospect.
2. You have to be trained to stay in the close no matter what happens. You’ll need to be armed with an arsenal of ways to handle stalls, emotional reactions and objections. My closing program is
Exercsise: Every morning I’d team up with another salesperson and we’d practice every possible situation we could possibly encounter that day. This turned me into a lethal individual at closing deals. If you can’t close, you lose.
Video yourself and perfect your techniques. I recorded myself everyday and watched my gestures, hand motions, even my emotional responses. Throughout the day I’d write down all of the objections I heard
Standing is for Losing, Sitting is for Closing
You’ll almost never close a deal if you’re standing up. Sit your client down and show them what you can do for them and support it with facts they can see and substantiate.
Take Massive Action
The fourth action, Massive Action, is by far the most successful tool I’ve had in my life and has resulted in more success for me than any other single thing I’ve done.
Massive Action = New Problems
When you’re not perfect and polished, the only way to compensate is by taking lots of action.
Production Yields Happiness
Most people don’t get enough in life only because they never do enough in life! Production makes people feel good
free advice like, “Slow down—smell the roses.” Disregard them and consider their suppressive comments as a sign that you are on the right track
Anyone who tells you that you’re working too hard is not working hard enough. Unfortunately, such people have given up their hopes of having an extraordinary life.
The 10X Rule If you want one thing, take massive action equal to at least ten times what you think it will take to ensure you attain that one thing.
Be mad in how much action you take until it becomes a habit, a way of life and normal for you.
Act like a madman when it comes to action and get completely unreasonable about what you think it will take to get the job done. Be without sanity or logic or reason when it comes to taking massive amounts of action
The Power Base
The first thing you need to do is make a list of your powerbase.
The purpose is to get in contact with them and to work and restore your powerbase.
Find out about them, what they’re doing, their work, the family and everything that’s going on. Restore the relationships.
Existing customers are the easiest sale there is to make and I always prefer them over a brand new prospect.
If you want to guarantee certainty in your sales production and assure yourself a long and happy career in selling, stay in touch with the people in your powerbase. Love them, call them, wine and dine them, send them presents and continue to show interest in them.
Time
Starting today, I want you to take a look at how much time you waste in a day. Every time you find yourself doing something that is not productive, make note of it.
Write it down and become aware of all the things you’re doing that don’t add up to moving your team and your company down the field.
My rule is if they work with me, they won’t buy from me and that excludes them from spending lunch with me.
Today I invest my lunchtime, breakfast and dinners with buyers, prospects and even long shots.
If you aren’t where you want to be in life, you’ve got to work every angle, every minute and snatch up every opportunity.
Remember that a product can be shopped, but a great attitude cannot. A price can be beat, but a great attitude is priceless. There’s nothing more valuable to anyone than a positive person.
Avoid:
1) Avoid newspapers, television and radio.
2) Stay away from “can’t do” people, people that have trouble in life and people that don’t do well. You
3) Get everyone in your life on the same page
4) Avoid drugs and alcohol because of the negative influence
5) Avoid hospitals and doctors if at all possible.
6) Treat negative talk like garbage
7) Start the Negativity Diet today. Commit to no negative thoughts, ideas or talk for the next twenty-four hours.
While selling is a career for many, it’s a requirement for all. You need to sell, negotiate and persuade others in life to get what you want.

The Subtle Art of not giving a Fuck, Book Notes

A suprisingly fantastic book I recently read. Here are my unedited notes

 

on it:

The Feedback Loop from Hell
Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience.
Not giving a fuck works in reverse. If pursuing the positive is a negative, then pursuing the negative generates the positive. The pain you pursue in the gym results in better all-around health and energy
Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others.
avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.
To not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.
There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared. They’re couch potatoes and Internet trolls
Because here’s another sneaky little truth about life. You can’t be an important and life-changing presence for some people without also being a joke and an embarrassment to others.
The Misadventures of Disappointment Panda
We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful
Happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is “solving.” If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable
Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you
Emotions Are Overrated
if you feel crappy it’s because your brain is telling you that there’s a problem that’s unaddressed or unresolved. In other words, negative emotions are a call to action.
When you feel them, it’s because you’re supposed to do something.
Positive emotions, on the other hand, are rewards for taking the proper action
Choose Your Struggle
“What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love with not the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way. Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.
But a true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.
Entitled people exude a delusional degree of self-confidence
Things Fall Apart
It just means that you’re not special. Often, it’s this realization—that you and your problems are actually not privileged in their severity or pain—that is the first and most important step toward solving them.
The Tyranny of Exceptionalism entitlement
Is a western world epidemic. Every one thinks he is special, the next bill gates etc. while no one really is.
if everyone were extraordinary, then by definition no one would be extraordinary—is missed by most people
The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. It’s anti-entitlement. People who become great at something become great because they understand that they’re not already great—they are mediocre, they are average—and that they could be so much better
The Self-Awareness Onion
the first layer of the self-awareness onion is a simple understanding of one’s emotions. “This is when I feel happy.” “This makes me feel sad.”
The second layer of the self-awareness onion is an ability to ask why we feel certain emotions
The third level is our personal values: Why do I consider this to be success/failure? How am I choosing to measure myself? By what standard am I judging myself and everyone around me? This level, which takes constant questioning and effort, is incredibly difficult to reach
Honest self-questioning is difficult. It requires asking yourself simple questions that are uncomfortable to answer. In fact, in my experience, the more uncomfortable the answer, the more likely it is to be true.
Take a moment and think of something that’s really bugging you. Now ask yourself why it bugs you. Chances are the answer will involve a failure of some sort. Then take that failure and ask why it seems “true” to you. What if that failure wasn’t really a failure? What if you’ve been looking at it the wrong way?
Rock Star Problems
Our values determine the metrics by which we measure ourselves and everyone else.
If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success
Shitty Values
  1. Pleasure. Pleasure is great, but it’s a horrible value to prioritize your life around. Ask a man who almost ate himself to death how pleasure helped him solve his problems
  2. Material Success
  3. Always Being Right
  4. Staying Positive. Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems
Defining Good and Bad Values
Good values are 1) reality-based, 2) socially constructive, and 3) immediate and controllable. Bad values are 1) superstitious, 2) socially destructive, and 3) not immediate or controllable.
like: honesty, innovation, vulnerability, standing up for oneself, standing up for others, self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, creativity.
Bad values are generally reliant on external events
This, in a nutshell, is what “self-improvement” is really about: prioritizing better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about. Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life.
 You Are Always Choosing
when you chose it freely and prepared for it, it was a glorious and important milestone in your life. When it was forced upon you against your will, it was one of the most terrifying and painful experiences of your life.
Often the only difference between a problem being painful or being powerful is a sense that we chose it, and that we are responsible for it.
The Choice
 
We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond
The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility for our problems is thus the first step to solving them
It might not be my fault but my reaction to it is my responseability
(What he didn’t realize was that he had chosen the value that was hurting him: height. Women, he assumed, are attracted only to height. He was screwed, no matter what he did.)
As you reassess your values, you will be met with internal and external resistance along the way.
 You’re Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)
Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong.
Our values are our hypotheses: this behavior is good and important; that other behavior is not. Our actions are the experiments; the resulting emotions and thought patterns are our data.
It’s easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would find you attractive, that nobody appreciates your talents, than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure.
Certainty is the enemy of growth. Nothing is for certain until it has already happened—and even then, it’s still debatable.
Architects of Our Own Beliefs
Most of our beliefs are wrong. Or, to be more exact, all beliefs are wrong—some are just less wrong than others
tThe human mind is a jumble of inaccuracy. And while this may make you uncomfortable, it’s an incredibly important concept to accept,
Be Careful What You Believe
experiences is to interpret them in such a way that they will cohere with all of our previous experiences, feelings, and beliefs
our beliefs are malleable, and our memories are horribly unreliable.
If we’re all wrong, all the time, then isn’t self-skepticism and the rigorous challenging of our own beliefs and assumptions the only logical route to progress?
The Dangers of Pure Certainty
It’s the backwards law again: the more you try to be certain about something, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel.
But the converse is true as well: the more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel in knowing what you don’t know.
Manson’s Law of Avoidance
The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it
If I believe I’m a nice guy, I’ll avoid situations that could potentially contradict that belief
How to Be a Little Less Certain of Yourself:
Questioning ourselves and doubting our own thoughts and beliefs is one of the hardest skills to develop.
  1. Question #1: What if I’m wrong It’s worth remembering that for any change to happen in your life, you must be wrong about something
  2. Question #2: What would it mean if I were wrong?
  3. Question #3: Would being wrong create a better or a worse problem than my current problem, for both myself and others?
if it’s down to me being screwed up, or everybody else being screwed up, it is far, far, far more likely that I’m the one who’s screwed up. I have learned this from experience
That’s simply reality: if it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.
The Failure/Success Paradox
Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something.
Better values, as we saw, are process-oriented. Something
Pain Is Part of the Process
pain is part of the process. It’s important to feel it. Because if you just chase after highs to cover up the pain, if you continue to indulge in entitlement and delusional positive thinking, if you continue to overindulge in various substances or activities, then you’ll never generate the requisite motivation to actually change.
Learn to sustain the pain you’ve chosen. When you choose a new value, you are choosing to introduce a new form of pain into your life
The “Do Something” Principle
If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head
Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.
Action → Inspiration → Motivation
Simply do something
 The Importance of Saying No
Ultimately, the only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance in one’s life is through a rejection of alternatives, a narrowing of freedom, a choice of commitment to one place, one belief, or (gulp) one person.
Rejection Makes Your Life Better
The act of choosing a value for yourself requires rejecting alternative values.
Honesty is a natural human craving. But part of having honesty in our lives is becoming comfortable with saying and hearing the word “no.” In this way, rejection actually makes our relationships better and our emotional lives healthier Boundaries
The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship comes down to two things: 1) how well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility, and 2) the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner
In general, entitled people fall into one of two traps in their relationships. Either they expect other people to take responsibility for their problems
Or they take on too much responsibility for other people’s problems, victim and saver
Instead, victims and savers both use each other to achieve emotional highs. It’s like an addiction they fulfill in one another. Ironically, when presented with emotionally healthy people to date, they usually feel bored or lack “chemistry” with them.
 
How to Build Trust
Because honesty in my relationship is more important to me than feeling good all the time.
When our highest priority is to always make ourselves feel good, or to always make our partner feel good, then nobody ends up feeling good.
Freedom Through Commitment
Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy
The Choice Paradox = More Options make us go crazy. Less make us focused on them. Also I am a maximizer
death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured. Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.
The Sunny Side of Death
You too are going to die, and that’s because you too were fortunate enough to have lived. You may not feel this there is nothing to be afraid of. Ever. And reminding myself of my own death repeatedly over the years—whether it be through meditation, through reading philosophy, or through doing crazy shit like standing on a cliff in South Africa

A Mind for Numbers, Book Notes

Here are my unedited notes on the book:

focused mode and diffuse mode , respectively—these modes are highly important for learning. 2 It seems you frequently switch back and forth between these two modes in your day-to-day activities

You’re in either one mode or the other.
Focused Mode = Deep Work.Turn your attention to something and bam —the focused mode is on
Diffuse Mode = Relax, take a step back. Diffuse-mode thinking is what happens when you relax your attention and just let your mind wander
Einstellung effect (pronounced EYE-nshtellung ). In this phenomenon, an idea you already have in mind, or your simple initial thought, prevents a better idea or solution from being found. I get stuck on the first idea and stop the search.
If you are trying to understand or figure out something new, your best bet is to turn off your precision-focused thinking and turn on your “big picture” diffuse mode
(But the learning process is all about working your way out of confusion. Articulating your question is 80 percent of the battle.)
By the time you’ve figured out what’s confusing, you’re likely to have answered the question yourself!”
The bottom line is that problem solving in any discipline often involves an exchange between the two fundamentally different modes. One mode will process the information it receives and then send the result back to the other mode
To figure out new ideas and solve problems, it’s important not only to focus initially, but also to subsequently turn our focus away from what we want to learn.
{ 3 } learning is creating
Once you are distracted from the problem at hand, the diffuse mode has access and can begin pinging about in its big-picture way to settle on a solution.
Step back from the Problem
Enlisting the diffuse mode helps you learn at a deep and creative level.
Mistakes are inevitable. To work past them, start early on your assignments and, unless you are really enjoying what you are doing, keep your working sessions short .
Remember, when you take breaks, your diffuse mode is still working away in the background
Sleep is probably the most effective and important factor in allowing your diffuse mode to tackle a difficult problem.
But the longer you spend in focused mode, the more mental resources you use = Willpower
General Diffuse-Mode Activators Go to the gym Play a sport like soccer or basketball Jog, walk, or swim Dance Go for a drive (or tag along for the ride) Draw or paint Take a bath or shower Listen to music, especially without words Play songs you know well on a musical instrument Meditate or pray Sleep (the ultimate diffuse mode!)
diffuse-mode activators are best used briefly, as rewards
The resting times between your focused-mode efforts should be long enough to get your conscious mind completely off the problem you’re working on
Usually a few hours is long enough for the diffuse mode to make significant progress but not so long that its insights fade away before being passed on to the focused mode. A good rule of thumb, when you are first learning new concepts, is not to let things go untouched for longer than a day.
Rising frustration is usually a good time-out
spaced repetition: Take some time between testing my knowledge
(simply being awake creates toxic products in your brain. During sleep, your cells shrink, causing a striking increase in the space between your cells. This is equivalent to turning on a faucet—it allows fluid to wash past and push the toxins out.)
procrastination is an issue, try setting a timer for twenty-five minutes and focusing –> set a time limit
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I try to look at this daily, and I aim to do something fearless every day.
Be willing to be disagreeable. There is a negative correlation between the level of creativity and “agreeableness,” so those who are the most disagreeable tend to be most creative
{ 4 } chunking and avoiding illusions of competence
Chunks are pieces of information that are bound together through meaning.
one of the first steps toward gaining expertise in math and science is to create conceptual chunks—mental leaps that unite separate bits of information through meaning
Basic Steps to Forming a Chunk:
Just memorizing a fact (center) without understanding or context doesn’t help you
Chunking (right) is the mental leap that helps you unite bits of information together through meaning.
1. The first step in chunking, then, is to simply focus your attention on the information you want to chunk .
2. The second step in chunking is to understand the basic idea you are trying to chunk,
3. The third step to chunking is gaining context so you see not just how, but also when to use this chunk. Context means going beyond the initial problem and seeing more broadly, repeating and practicing with both related and unrelated problems so you see not only when to use the chunk, but when not to use it.
Learning Tips:
Learn the major concepts or points first—these are often the key parts of a good instructor or book chapter’s outline, flow charts, tables, or concept maps. Once you have this done, fill in the details.
Attempting to recall the material you are trying to learn—retrieval practice—is far more effective than simply rereading the material
You may be surprised to learn that highlighting and underlining must be done carefully—otherwise they can be not only ineffective but also misleading.
When marking up the text, train yourself to look for main ideas before making any marks and keep your text markings to a minimum—one sentence or less per paragraph.
rewrite your notes
Merely glancing at the solution to a problem and thinking you truly know it yourself is one of the most common illusions of competence in learning.
the retrieval process itself enhances deep learning
Interleaving means practice by doing a mixture of different kinds of problems requiring different strategies. problems that require different techniques
Ask myself question to a book etc. is the best way to learn.

The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle, Book Notes

I recently read this book and here are the notes I took from it. The main message is: Talent great but success comes never without hard work and hours and hours of practice. There is no easy route to mastery.

When you steal, focus on specifics, not general impressions. Capture concrete facts: the angle of a golfer’s left elbow at the top of the backswing

 

When “stealing” from somebody else:
• What, exactly, are the critical moves here? • How do they perform those moves differently than I do?

Have a daily performance journal

BEFORE YOU START, FIGURE OUT IF IT’S A HARD SKILL OR A SOFT SKILL

HARD, HIGH-PRECISION SKILLS are actions that are performed as correctly and consistently as possible, every time
(Math, CoD, Driving)

SOFT, HIGH-FLEXIBILITY SKILLS , on the other hand, are those that have many paths to a good result, not just one.
(Sales, Mma)

Soft skills are about the three Rs: Reading, Recognizing, and Reacting.

Is a teacher or coach usually involved in the early stages? If the answer is yes, then it’s likely a hard skill.

When you learn hard skills, be precise and measured. Go slowly.

soft skills are built by playing and exploring inside challenging, ever-changing environments. Aggressive, curious, and experimental, always seeking new ways to challenge yourself.

Prioritize the hard skills because in the long run they’re more important to your talent.

 

Find the Sweet Spot, Then Reach practice is to reach. This means to stretch yourself slightly beyond your current ability, ability, spending time in the zone of difficulty called the sweet spot

Comfort Zone Sensations: Ease, effortlessness. You’re working, but not reaching or struggling. Percentage of Successful Attempts: 80 percent and above.

Sweet Spot] Sensations: Frustration, difficulty, alertness to errors. You’re fully engaged in an intense struggle—as if you’re stretching with all your might for a nearly unreachable goal, brushing it with your fingertips, then reaching again. Percentage of Successful Attempts: 50–80 percent. THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE

Survival Zone] Sensations: Confusion, desperation. You’re overmatched: scrambling, thrashing, and guessing. You guess right sometimes, but it’s mostly luck. Percentage of Successful Attempts: Below 50 percent.

Albert Einstein said, “One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.”

Instead of counting minutes or hours, count reaches and reps.

To begin chunking,
first engrave the blueprint of the skill on your mind (see Tip #2 ). Then ask yourself: 1) What is the smallest single element of this skill that I can master? 2) What other chunks link to that chunk?

EACH DAY, TRY TO BUILD ONE PERFECT CHUNK

CHOOSE FIVE MINUTES A DAY OVER AN HOUR A WEEK of intense Deep Work

0.25 seconds after a mistake is made, in which people do one of two things—they look hard at the mistake or they ignore it.

Develop the habit of attending to your errors right away.

SLOW IT DOWN Super-slow practice works like a magnifying glass: It lets us sense our errors more clearly, and thus fix them.

CLOSE YOUR EYES why practicing to intensivy your focus

Napping is good for the learning brain, because it helps strengthen the connections formed during practice and prepare the brain for the next session,

Learning is reaching . Passively reading a book—a relatively effortless process, letting the words wash over you like a warm bath—doesn’t put you in the sweet spot.

… closing the book and writing a summary forces you to figure out the key points (one set of reaches), process and organize those ideas so they make sense (more reaches), and write them on the page (still more reaches, along with repetition).
The equation is always the same: More reaching equals more learning.

But when it comes to learning, the science is clear: Exhaustion is the enemy.

Embrace Repetition, and Keep Big Goals Secret

FOR EVERY HOUR OF COMPETITION, SPEND FIVE HOURS PRACTICING

 

You can Buy this book here.

The Charisma Myth, Book Notes

People are not simply born charismatic, we can learin it.

Charisma Demystified
Don’t have to be naturally outgoing, you don’t have to be physically attractive, and you won’t have to change your personality
Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences. Reduce how quickly and how often you nod. Pause for two full seconds before you speak.
The Charismatic Behaviors: Presence, Power, and Warmth
  • Powerful means being perceived as able to affect the world.
  • Warmth, simply put, is goodwill.
  • Presence means being fully there.
 Overcoming the Obstacles
Step One: Destigmatize Discomfort simply by understanding that it’s normal, common, and nothing to be anxious about or ashamed of
Step Two: Neutralize Negativity realize that your thoughts aren’t necessarily accurate at all. Mind’s view of reality can be, and often is, completely distorted.
Assign a label to your negative experience
Step Three: Rewrite Reality. What if this unfortunate, unpleasant experience is absolutely perfect just as it is
In what way can this turn out to be absolutely perfect for me?
Zoom out your focus to see yourself as one little person sitting in a room with certain chemicals flooding his system.
Delving into discomfort
Delve into those very sensations of discomfort
full attention to the very sensations you’d instinctively want to push away.
To be charismatic, you must first learn to overcome the primary obstacle to charisma: internal discomfort.
Creating Charismatic Mental States
You can increase both warmth and confidence by practicing gratitude, goodwill, and compassion for others as well as for yourself.
Different Charisma Styles
 
Focus Charisma: Presence and Confidence
Good listening skills are nonnegotiable, as is a certain degree of patience
Visionary Charisma: Belief and Confidence knowing how to craft a bold vision and knowing how to deliver the message charismatically
keys to communicating your visionary charisma is getting yourself into a state of complete conviction, shedding any doubt.
Kindness Charisma: Warmth and Confidence gratitude, goodwill, compassion, and self-compassion avoid any body language of tension, criticism, or coldness
Authority Charisma: Status and Confidence most powerful evaluate someone’s authority charisma through four indicators: body language, appearance, title, and the reactions of others.
Clothing is one of our first and strongest clues
project power by displaying signs of status and confidenc
body language and appearance
take up space” with your posture, reduce nonverbal reassurances (such as excessive nodding), and avoid fidgeting.
fidgeting. You may need to speak less, to speak more slowly, to know how and when to pause your sentences, or how to modulate your intonation.
Stretch out of your comfort zone in low-stakes situations.
Speaking—and Listening—with Charisma
pause before they answer.
  • They finish their sentence
  • Your face absorbs Your face reacts
  • Then, and only then, you answer
Things people look for in a conversation:
Entertainment: Make your e-mail or meeting enjoyable.
Information: Give interesting or informative content that they can use.
Good feelings: Find ways to make them feel important or good about themselves.

To become a professional in anything?

Ericsson is the person behind the 10.000 hour rule, therefore the leading expert on the topic of practice and how to become the best of the best.
The first thing to realize is that just doing something again and again does not make you world-class. There need to be a system behind it.
Here are the point you have to incorporate into your practice of whatever you want to master, called Deliberate Practice:
  1. You need someone who already mastered what you want to master, you will need some guidance along the path.
  2. You need to leave your comfort zone !!
  3. When in practice do it with full focus, focus on performing those actions right.
  4. Find something or someone who motivates you deeply
  5. Find a way to get immediate feedback (as good as possible) so you can see what works and what not.

 

You can apply this approach to any skill the only thing I find is that you can’t always have a personal guide, but books, seminars, online programs etc. can do the job too.

 Note: The 10.000 Hour rule which states that is takes 10.000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class is no fixed number but depending on the skill.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Book Notes

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

A surprisingly fantastic read, that had some great point. Scott Adams Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular cartoons out there. So here are some great life lessons from a cartoonist.

The Six Filters for Truth:
Personal experience (Human perceptions are iffy.)
Experience of people you know (Even more unreliable.)
Experts (They work for money, not truth.)
Scientific studies (Correlation is not causation.)
Common sense (A good way to be mistaken with complete confidence.)
Pattern recognition (Patterns, coincidence, and personal bias look alike.)
In our messy, flawed lives, the nearest we can get to truth is consistency. Consistency is the bedrock of the scientific method.
When seeking truth, your best bet is to look for confirmation on at least two of the dimensions I listed.
Failure always brings something valuable with it. I don’t let it leave until I extract that value.
Failure is where success likes to hide in plain sight. Everything you want out of life is in that huge, bubbling vat of failure. The trick is to get the good stuff out.
So sometimes passion is simply a by-product of knowing you will be good at something your job is not your job; your job is to find a better job
 
Systems vs Goals
Let’s agree that goals are a reach-it-and-be-done situation, whereas a system is something you do on a regular basis with a reasonable expectation that doing so will get you to a better place in your life. Systems have no deadlines, and on any given day you probably can’t tell if they’re moving you in the right direction. My proposition is that if you study people who succeed, you will see that most of them follow systems, not goals.
In the exercise realm, running a marathon in under four hours is a goal, but exercising daily is a system. In business, making a million dollars is a goal, but being a serial entrepreneur is a system.
Warren Buffett’s system for investing involves buying undervalued companies and holding them forever, or at least until something major changes.
One of my systems involves continually looking for patterns in life.
“If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it.”
Manage your Energy not Time
Maximizing my personal energy means eating right, exercising, avoiding unnecessary stress, getting enough sleep, and all of the obvious steps. But it also means having something in my life that makes me excited to wake up.
My proposition is that organizing your life to optimize your personal energy will add up to something incredible that is more good than bad.
Simplification frees up energy, making everything else you do just a little bit easier
Exercise, food, and sleep should be your first buttons to push if you’re trying to elevate your attitude and raise your energy
increasing your ratio of happy thoughts to disturbing thoughts
working on projects that have a real chance of changing the world, helping humanity, and/or making a billion dollars.
“Success at anything has a spillover effect on other things”
The Success Formula: Every Skill You Acquire Doubles Your Odds of Success merely good —not extraordinary—at more than one skill.
It helps to see the world as math and not magic, success is a numbers game the more trys the more chances for success.
  • Skills worth learning:
  • Public speaking
  • Psychology
  • Business writing
  • Accounting Design (the basics)
  • Conversation
  • Overcoming shyness
  • Second language
  • Golf (one of the best ways to network with powerful people “The thing that golf does well is that it allows males, especially, to bond.”)
  • Proper grammar
  • Persuasion
  • Technology (hobby level)
  • Proper voice technique
What are common traits in successful people?
  • Lack of fear of embarrassment
  • Education (the right kind)
  • Exercise
People who enjoy humor are simply more attractive than people who don’t.
Affirmations: 
 
Affirmations are simply the practice of repeating to yourself what you want to achieve while imagining the outcome you want.
You can write it, speak it, or just think it in sentence form. The typical form of an affirmation would be “I, Scott Adams, will become an astronaut.” The details of affirmations probably don’t matter much because the process is about improving your focus, not summoning magic.
Luck
The biggest component of luck is timing.
But I did make it easier for luck to find me, and I was thoroughly prepared when it did
Luck won’t give you a strategy or a system—you have to do that part yourself.
I find it helpful to see the world as a slot machine that doesn’t ask you to put money in. All it asks is your time, focus, and energy to pull the handle over and over.
If your gut feeling (intuition) disagrees with the experts, take that seriously. You might be experiencing some pattern recognition that you can’t yet verbalize.
Happiness:
The only reasonable goal in life is maximizing your total lifetime experience of something called happiness.
I’ve transformed work into pleasure simply by having control over when I do it.
Happiness has more to do with where you’re heading than where you are
When you choose a career, consider whether it will lead to a lifetime of ever-improved performance, a plateau, or a steady decline in your skills.
Never waste a brain cell in the morning trying to figure out what to do, always have the day planed out in advance. Have Routines that you follow.
Recapping the happiness formula: Eat right. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Imagine an incredible future (even if you don’t believe it). Work toward a flexible schedule. Do things you can steadily improve at. Help others (if you’ve already helped yourself). Reduce daily decisions to routine.
Focus on your diet first and get that right so you have enough energy to want to exercise. Exercise will further improve your energy, and that in turn will make you more productive, more creative, more positive, more socially desirable, and more able to handle life’s little bumps. Once you optimize your personal energy, all you need for success is luck.
You can’t directly control luck, but you can move from strategies with bad odds to strategies with good odds. For example, learning multiple skills makes your odds of success dramatically higher than learning one skill. If you learn to control your ego, you can pick strategies that scare off the people who fear embarrassment, thus allowing you to compete against a smaller field. And if you stay in the game long enough, luck has a better chance of finding you. Avoid career traps such as pursuing jobs that require you to sell your limited supply of time while preparing you for nothing better.
Happiness tends to happen naturally whenever you have good health, resources, and a flexible schedule. Get your health right first, acquire resources and new skills through hard work, and look for an opportunity that gives you a flexible schedule someday.
Develop a habit of simplifying. Learn how to make small talk with strangers, and learn how to avoid being an asshole
If you control the inputs, you can determine the outcomes, give or take some luck.
Look for patterns in every part of life, from diet to exercise to any component of success. Try to find scientific backing for your observed patterns, and use yourself as a laboratory to see if the patterns hold for you.
Most important, understand that goals are for losers and systems are for winners. People who seem to have good luck are often the people who have a system that allows luck to find them.
And always remember that failure is your friend. It is the raw material of success. Invite it in. Learn from it. And don’t let it leave until you pick its pocket. That’s a system.

The Importance of Experimenting

One thing seems to be common in every successful person is the willingness to experiment and try new ways, even try things that have never been done before.

Taking risks is often associated with experimenting but the fact is most succesful people take calculated risk, rarely do they put everything on the line. The best risks are the risks where there limited downside but unlimited upside keep that in mind. Successful people calculate what that limited downside is (losing x Dollars, wasting x amount of Time, …) and then either go all in or stay away.

Often we fear embarrassment much more than losing some money or time keep that in mind. We act of fail to act in order to protect our Ego, when we see something as potentially damaging our reputation we automatically disregard it. There is no way around it every successful person that made it big risked to get laughed at (and most did) it’s a price worth paying.

Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind about experiments:

  • Dont run the experiment for too short nor for too long, 3 Months is a good time frame. It is long enough to establish a new habit (it takes about 67 days)  but short enough to not waste your time.
  • Have a plan. Write out the important steps you need to take.
  • Pin point possible failure-points. Identify the obstacles that you will face. And make a strategy on how to get around them.
  • Find a way to measure your progress. You need to know if your effort bares fruits.
  • Get other people involved, it helps to bounce around ideas with other people.
  • There is no failed experiment you only fail when you don’t learn anything from it.
  • Be aware of the fact that most experiments fail, and that there is nothing bad about it.
  • Make sure that you stay in the game after you failed. Dont make bets that are so huge that you are out of the game, be sure that even when you fail you have the capacity to try again.
  • Dont stick to it for too long, we often fall in love with a business idea and don’t want to let it go, this will cost you a lot of time. Keep your Ego in check, don’t be afraid to quit something that does not work ( read The Dip by Seth Godin on that).
  • Seek honest Feedback and be humble enough to take it. You need to build trust for people to give you their honest opinion.
  • You can experiment in every area of life and don’t just stick to something because it worked in the past or because it is comfortable.