Preparation Makes the Show

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In life, if you focus to what is important then you’ve important and urgent things and what remains are important and not urgent things. The not important box is about preparing for something important.

Preparation makes the moments possible.

Do you feel prepared?

How do you prepare?

Masters never fail to prepare. It’s as much part of the show than is the show itself.

Happiness, Wealth, Success and Love is in Our Minds

 

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Our minds create meaning. Consciously we can choose what kind of meaning we give to what happens in life.

With the same principle our happiness is in our minds.

Our wealth is created by our mind, creativity, imagination, habits and actions.

Our success is the result of our actions.

Love? Actual love is doing rather than a feeling. Feeling is a mess in brain chemistry, real love is actions. If you do good, you will find eventually that it resonates back to you from people.

We become what we put into our minds. This includes the environment we are in as well as where do we spent our focus: i.e. is it in watching entertainment, pursuit of knowledge, building relationships or doing good deeds.

Courage is the Key to Learning and Growth

 

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If we want to have something different than what we have now, we must be prepared to risk it. Without a risk position, nothing can be gained. All growth is based on taking a risk, accepting it and then working so that the risk will not ever come true.

Sometimes despite all the work, the position does not succeed. What does a wise person do? Learn.

It is through courageously taking risks, and then learning from each position that creates growth. Sometimes we fail, yet we always learn. Sometimes we succeed bigger than we ever imagined possible.

Risking to get no, is better than never trying. At least you know.

Where are you developing your courage?

What are you risking today?

 

The Happiness Equation: book highlights

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Out of 34 books I’ve read this year and out of 36 that I read last year, there are few gems in there. Among all the books, one that makes almost any day better for me is the Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.

Yesterday I reviewed my notes thoroughly and they made me so deep impact that I ought to share the main points with you today.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future”

Life is happening now, we must learn to be present is the present for a reason. To be more present, mindfulness is a good practice it makes us happy and success follows happiness. Be happy first.

Distractions in life are major obstacles for happiness. Like we are in the present, we shouldn’t focus to external goals, but to internal drivers. Internal motivation is a driver of excellence. Happy people do things, because they are happy and interested about doing things.

While external motivations can get ourselves distracted, it is only our own judgements and criticism that often makes us discouraged and sad.

Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Be happy first, and start with yourself. You are worthy of attention, love and affection. We cannot control most of what happens in life, however we can control how we react to it.

So now we have the groundwork covered. Next is the difficult part: the purpose, the work and social life. To put it shortly, we are social animals and we need social context. We should work in something where we can increase our collective happiness. As it is pointed out: giving is the simply best way to increase your own happiness. Doing good for others.

We need to stay active with the giving and kindness as well, here we get to the purpose or what is described in the book as ikigai. Never retire, what you do not use you lose: this applies to happiness, your brain and your health as well.

Like Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

I ought to read the whole book again soon and I recommend it to you too.

Law of Inevitable Success  

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Today I finished How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger.

Among many lessons from which I intend to take into practice, this law of averages is a line of thought that I have been long time contemplating upon and I haven’t been able to verbalize it very well. Frank Bettger did it very well in the book.

Essentially the law of averages says, that the one who is going to try most, is going to fail most. However, the absolute number of successes is going also be greater.

People often avoid trying, because they are afraid to fail. Another reason people avoid trying, is because they are afraid of rejection. I see in this my field of sales and marketing all the time.

Yet what I admire most, is the ability to try, get rejected and then get back to trying.

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

Michael Jordan has taken many last shots and missed, yet he is remembered from the shots he put in. Failure is underappreciated, even though it leads to success, eventually.

Eventually can be calculated through time. Here the law of averages comes very useful. If you make sure that you have enough time, and high enough success rate, then it’s all about increasing volume. You will fail a lot, yet less and less all the time… Eventually you will succeed.

Law of average is law of inevitable success.

Enthusiasm and Bouncebackability are Ingredients for Greatness

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Enthusiastic person will be successful. The trick is to stay enthusiastic with everything life throws at us. Anyone with daring goals is going to face something unexpected that may be even called failure, although I dislike the word, because failure is only failure if you fail to learn and seize doing anything afterwards.

Winston Churchill said wisely: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Emotions are contagious. So while we may be enthusiastic, someone or something may offset an another, even stronger emotion usually due to a mistake or something unexpected. When we finally meet this emotion we are often struck with either negative or confused emotions: our enthusiasm will be tested.

Not so cool anymore huh? Today I had exactly such scenario. In the morning I was rather tired, yet I was also rather enthusiastic about new work week and possibilities. Eventually on my commute I decided to start reading Frank Bettger’s book “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” which I had been excited to peek on quite a while. I didn’t get very far, but on the first pages the book discussed about enthusiasm – one of my favorite topics.

Because emotions are contagious, we need to tune into positive emotions. I like the idea that since we are working we can do the work with excellent attitude and enthusiasm. So with these thoughts I started the day and everything went rather well until afternoon, an unexpected error happened and it left me a bit dazed and confused.

Because it was at the end of the work day, I couldn’t quite put my finger on to it. I understood that the ability to recover from setback is crucial and all in all I handled it all okay, yet the feeling wasn’t the same after all.

Something lacked, but I couldn’t quite put my finger to there and then. Now I know: enthusiasm.

Therefore bouncebackability it’s not only about doing what is necessary, it also means finding the enthusiasm quickly 🙂

Enthusiasm is found the way it is always found in the beginning of the day, the same routine we just may need to stop and restart. It’s mostly about directing focus: to the positive and to the things we can control.

There will be always setbacks, it’s up to us to face them with smile.

Quality of Thoughts

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I guess is fair to say that most of our thoughts are not that high quality. However, it’s not to say that there isn’t some good quality thoughts mixed in.

However, how one can recognize a quality thought from the stream of many? Most of the people cannot, and the state of the things reflect that.

To know a quality thought, we must learn to recognize some. Usually success (results) in an area of life or another is good indicator that they must have some thoughts that actually work. Also books for example often have at least some quality thoughts. With the effort of writing a book this tends to be the case, but is not any sort of guarantee.

Thanks to the sheer quantity of thoughts, most of our conscious stream is not quality. In fact probably the best bet is indeed to look for quality thoughts outside: books, people who read book and people who have practiced thinking.

Then also one alternative is to start practicing thinking, which can take a while. And while at it, it might be good idea to write some thoughts down so at least you’ll recognize a good one from the bad one eventually.

Path to Greatness

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Path to greatness is built on repetition. Repetition of the basic things. Masters worship the basics every day. Until your dedication to the basics resembles worship: keep on learning.

It’s not even that much that we need to learn in the end, we just need to learn it more often. Quality of few ideas does go over quantity. Reading the dozen few great books a couple of dozen times is actually better than reading fifty different ones with.

A book read once, deserves to be read again. And the truly great books deserve to be read great many times.

Great speakers deserve to be heard a dozen times. Their successes and flaws are each time different, however it’s not really what they do, but what does your mind start to process during and in between the talks.

Whatever it is a book we are reading, or a talk we are listening we should learn to take notes. Not only that we may return to them, but so that we can direct our attention to the learning. This is a thing I’ve been amazed at – CONSTANTLY, even among so called professionals only write what they already see on the flip chart. What the fuck seriously?  You should primarily be listening and be recording the keywords, phrases rather than that which is going on the flipchart.  The contents of the flipchart come as secondary, you can easily record that too. What I am trying to say is that when attentively focusing and listening, you should prioritize listening and recording that which has not been obviously recorded (on the flipchart). In between spaces and breaks you can also copy and what is on the flipchart, however that is not your priority because it is there, it’s not going to run away.

Learning to learn is the path to greatness. And to learn to learn we need to repeat the basic things until we worship them.

 

Summary: Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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Habits are worth studying and this is a one great book to get started. I had to summarize the key ideas to my blog as well, because I’ve a feeling that I will be referencing to it quite often in the near future.

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits” – William James, 1892

Our lives are made much of habits. Habits shape not only individual lives, but organizational lives as well as organizations are networks of people. People operate in where ever they go through habits. Cultures grow out of habits.

Habits can be formed consciously or unconsciously. Habit forms a habit loop: “New habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.” Old habits cannot be deleted or forgotten conveniently, however almost any habit can be transformed if the cue and reward remain the say.

“Every habit, no matter its complexity , is malleable . The most addicted alcoholics can become sober . The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves . A high school dropout can become a successful manager.”

Where does the change begin? Again, Duhigg refers to William James who has written the Will to Believe: “will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change.” Then he refers to NFL Coach Tony Dungy as well, who had said that “belief is the biggest part of success in professional football.” Will to believe, opens the possibility to beliefs. Then Duhigg brings up the concept of small win, which enables teams to believe that the bigger success can be achieved.

“Movements don’t emerge because everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction at once. They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship , grow through the habits of communities , and are sustained by new habits that change participants ’ sense of self.”


Book: Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg @Goodreads @Amazon @WWW

Where Are You Choosing Not to Fail

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Proactive person is never surprised, therefore they never have to wait either. Actually they are always prepared for what might happen.

Can you ruin life by overly preparing and never taking action? Of course, that’s common pitfall.

Therefore actual preparation and action are the yin and yang, two sides of the same coin. They go together.

One who understands the significance of preparation is always preparing when they are not taking action.

Success in action follows preparation.

What are you preparing for, what are choosing not to fail in? Where do you want to succeed?

Prepare.