You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life By Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero wrote You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life at a time when she needed help, wanted to change and to find a deeper purpose.

In her book, Jen Sincero shares a few concepts that will help you become a bad*ss. Which means, you will be able to:

  • Believe in your vision and manifest it.
  • Overcome your fears.
  • Be comfortable with your failures and not feel guilty about your current situation. You will come to the realization that you can do more with your life, that you are capable to do better, that you don’t have to wait for failure or for the perfect situation to get started.
  • Takes risks, live large and understand that you have nothing to lose.
  • Love and forgive yourself.

You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life By Jen Sincero

The Mind Games You Play With Yourself

Parents, from the day you were born, pass down their beliefs to their children.

The truth is our subconscious mind, filled with beliefs from our childhood, rules our lives.

Unfortunately, those beliefs are limiting and false. However, we don’t know better when we are younger.

Besides, our conscious mind actively jump from one random thought to another, is not in full control of our lives. In fact, our subconscious mind and our conscious mind are constantly in conflict but the subconscious mind always win. To solve that conflict:

  • Become more aware of your subconscious beliefs.
  • Identify what is blocking you from the life you want to live.
  • Invite new positive beliefs into your life.

The Bad*Ass Concept For Purpose & Goal-Setting

Jen Sincero encourages us to believe that there are greater things out there, to get a deeper understanding of your spirituality, to set your goals, to activate the law of attraction and manifest what you want in life.

  • Believe what you want and it will come through.
  • Ask for what you want, act as if you have already received what you have asked for.
  • Keep your thoughts on your goals.
  • Manage your time appropriately. Get organized and stay organized.
  • Create a vision board.
  • Surround yourself with people who will help you become the person you aspire to be and who share your mentality.

How To Become A Bad*ss?

One moment we think we’re feeling fantastic, other times we are feeling real insecure. One must come to conclusion, see themselves the way they want to be, and look at themselves through the eyes of someone you admire.

Discovering your “bad*ssery” is all about finding out who you really are and living our best life. We must get in touch with our inner self, the person we were when we were born and love that person. To become a bad*ass:

  • Identify and appreciate your gifts and talents. Everyone is unique and has unique gifts.
  • Share your talents and gifts with the world. 
  • Rewire your brain with positive affirmations and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. At some point, you must choose to let go of wrong beliefs and of decisions that hold you back. To identify your fears and negative thoughts, when you are working, observe the type of thoughts when you suddenly stop, when you get discouraged.
  • Do activities that you enjoy.
  • Try new activities and get out your comfort zone.
  • Avoid self-deprecating humor and practice self-love.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others. Watching someone go after their dream, after what they truly want can make others uncomfortable and trigger insecurities.
  • Forgive yourself for past and future mistakes. You must forgive yourself before you end up hurting yourself.
  • Stay in the present. Take example on animals and babies that are not concerned about the past or the future.
  • Don’t worry about what people think of you.
  • Be responsible for what you say or do.
  • Give more than you take.
  • Learn to be grateful for what you have and what has not yet manifested itself because gratitude trumps fear.
  • Trust your gut. Do what feels right and what interest you in the moment instead of thinking.
  • Always do your best. Your best doesn’t have to perfect.

Review

You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is an entertaining, motivational and thoughtful book that encourages you to live your best life and provides a guide map to do so.

You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life is written for people who are looking to do better, be better and focus on the essentials. It is written for people who refuse to self-loathe, want to change and who want to manifest their purpose.

Furthermore, Jen Sincero makes some great points, is blunt in her delivery yet has an efficient message. She shares relatable topics such as love, purpose, relationship with money, career advancement and what you are willing to do to get ahead.

Matter of fact, her message is all common sense. However, most people are unaware of these principles, forget about them, and forget that what they need is already inside of them.

Jen Sincero keeps it real and positive throughout her book. She places great quotes at the beginning of every chapter and ends every chapter with a call to action to love yourself.

You Are A Bad*ss: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life resembles the principles of The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz in every way.

What this book has to do with being a leader, you ask?

This book is detrimental to leadership and clarifying your principles and core values. Leadership is all about discovering your purpose, the power of your conviction, controlling your subconscious mind, appreciating your strengths and weaknesses.

Let us know what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.

We would be wise to take more of our cues from the beasts and babies.

It’s not that the things and opportunities that we want in life don’t exist yet.
It’s that we’re not yet aware of their existence (or the fact that we can really have them).

You are a badass. You were one when you came screaming onto this planet and you are one now. The Universe wouldn’t have bothered with you otherwise. You can’t screw up so majorly that your badassery disappears. It is who you are. It’s who you always will be. It’s not up for negotiation.

We’re born knowing how to trust our instincts, how to breathe deeply, how to eat only when we’re hungry, how to not care about what anyone thinks of our singing voices, dance moves, or hairdos, we know how to play, create, and love without holding back. Then, as we grow and learn from the people around us, we replace many of these primal understandings with negative false beliefs, fear, shame, and self-doubt.

What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Jen Sincero

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The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, And Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins is a self-help book, urging people to take action by using a 5 second countdown trick.

What is The 5 Second Rule?

The 5 Second Rule is a “metacognition technique” that improves your sense of self, your life, career, health.

The principle of The 5 Second Rule is the following:

“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.” At 1, you should be moving.

The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

Where does The 5 Second Rule come from?

The principle of The 5 Second Rule comes from the combination of two thoughts:

  • Mel Robbins, while feeling she failed at life, realized that she would take only 5 seconds to talk herself out of waking up in the morning, out of improving and doing the right thing.
  • One night, while watching TV, Mel Robbins also made the observation that a rocket launches after a 5 second countdown. Afterwards, she would launch herself out of bed, the same way the rocket would launch into space.

What are the benefits of The 5 Second Rule?

The 5 Second Rule is an empowering thought process. Through this principle, you are able to experience freedom and quiet your mind.

The 5 Second Rule enables you to trust your instincts, to take back control of your life, to make the right decisions.

Among its various applications, you will have the ability to improve your health, focus on the essentials, increase your productivity, break procrastination, avoid distractions, be authentic, replace your bad habits with good ones, get up early and start your routine early in the morning.

The 5 Second Rule is a tool that drives courage in difficult times and builds “Real Confidence”. It pushes you to act and to change.

What about courage?

According to Mel Robbins, when trying to change, when facing something that is uncertain, unknown, that scares you or makes you hesitate, your brain feels like something is wrong.

Your mind will then stop the change process and trap you with your own thoughts.

Courage, your birthright, is therefore required to push you forward and to implement change.

The 5 Second Rule will give you the courage you need to go after what you really want, to have a more fulfilling life and to not give in to your fears.

In addition, it is detrimental for you to stop making excuses for not acting on your instincts. Your excuses are always wrong and there is no right time.

No external factor will validate your choices and your ideas. Only putting yourself out there and getting out your comfort zone will.

What about confidence?

Confidence is a skill which means it is a learnt behavior. In fact, your confidence has nothing to do with your personality and will increase every time you step out of your comfort zone.

Your everyday courage will help you assess your own worth, build up your confidence, connect with yourself, find your true passion, build meaningful relationships, and meet new people.

Your everyday courage gives you the confidence to explore and makes you realize that the power you need was inside of you all along.

Review

In appearance, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, And Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins, looks like a time management book that provides quick short-term fixes.

However, in reality, The 5 Second Rule is a transformational tool, delivering long-term results.

It is written for people who are plagued by fear, who want to change and take charge of their lives but don’t know how to. Change is difficult because it requires courage and confidence.

Furthermore, The 5 Second Rule can be customized to your liking. It enables you to:

  • Work on your confidence and your courage.
  • Stop overthinking, worrying and magnifying problems.
  • Trust your guts and honor your instincts.
  • Stop hesitating and holding yourself back.
  • Become more present and acquire patience.
  • Start performing and to become more goal-oriented.
  • Control your emotions, fight mental illnesses and bad mental habits.
  • Take ownership of your life and start the transformation process.

The 5 Second Rule is a principle that we already intuitively and intrinsically know. But, after years of research, Mel Robbins coherently put these ideas together.

Mel Robbins also shares poignant quotes, real examples and testimonials of people who have used The 5 Second Rule for diverse reasons.

The 5 Second Rule is life changing, encouraging, motivational and inspirational. It shows you how to change for the better.

Favorite quote(s)

That’s what you are doing when you use the Rule. You are honoring yourself. You are championing your ideas. And each time you use it, you take one step closer to being the person you are truly meant to be.

Doing the work to improve your life is simple, you can do it, and it’s work you want to do—because it’s the most important work that there is. It is the work of learning how to love and trust yourself enough to stop waiting and to start leaning into all the magic, opportunity, and joy that your life, work, and relationships have to offer.

When it comes to goals, dreams, and changing your life, your inner wisdom is a genius. Your goal-related impulses, urges, and instincts are there to guide you. You need to learn to bet on them.

The difference between people who make their dreams come true and those of us who don’t is just one thing: the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Mel Robbins

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.

What is an agreement?

The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.

An agreement is:

  • a programming of the mind.
  • a language, a code that helps us understand each other.
  • a belief system that has domesticated us.

It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.

unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we have concluded. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and existed longer than we have.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The First Agreement

The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.

Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposition. 

You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.

“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.

Purpose of the agreement

Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.

Implementing the agreement

Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if we are not careful. So:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Be careful of the words that you use on yourself.
  • Do not speak against yourself.
  • Avoid gossiping and don’t believe gossip.
  • Accept and love yourself so you can demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.

The Second Agreement

The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.

Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.

Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.

Purpose of the agreement

This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.

Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.

Implementing the agreement

Understand that:

  • All opinions about you are not necessarily true.
  • Opinions about you depends on the person and on their moods.
  • We can choose what to believe and what to agree with.
  • You must trust yourself and don’t need to trust anyone else.

The Third Agreement

The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.

Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.

Purpose of the agreement

The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.

Implementing the agreement

To properly implement this agreement:

  • Ask for clarifications rather than making assumptions.
  • Remember that it is OK to ask questions.
  • Collect the right data about people and situations first.
  • Don’t assume that people can read your mind.
  • Ask for what you want, expect yes or no. Understand that you can say yes or no as well.

The Fourth Agreement

This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best“. It consolidates all previous three agreements.

Purpose of the agreement

Forming the habit of always doing your best will:

  • Save you from harsh self-judgement.
  • Increase your production.
  • Mature your self-love

Implementing the agreement

Keep in mind that:

  • Your best will fluctuate all the time. It will depend on your mood, on your energy level, on your health and on your situation.
  • you must take action without expecting any rewards. This way, you will be able to enjoy your actions better.

Review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.

I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.

Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.

As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.

Favorite quote(s)

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.

Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.

Ratings 4.5/5

Author

Don Miguel Ruiz

Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

In Daring Greatly, Brené Brown explains the reasons why we are afraid of being vulnerable, the different ways we protect ourselves from vulnerability, and how to become more vulnerable in our society.

Daring Greatly means being vulnerable, being engaged, being exposed and avoiding being perfect.

Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

A Narcissistic Society

Many researchers have shown that the American culture has turned into a narcissistic influenced culture, a culture of scarcity, a culture where people put themselves first, think that they are special, are always connected to social media, go after money and power, chase beauty and other vanity, compare themselves, are disengaged and concerned with the idea of lacking.

Instead of putting sown narcissistic people and showing them that they are not special, it is better to seek understanding and find the root of the problem.

Being narcissistic stems from a feeling of not being enough and of being ordinary.

Vulnerability & The Feeling Of Not Being Enough

The feeling of not being enough brings about shame and stops us from being vulnerable. Shame is a universal emotion, is corrosive, “keeps us small, resentful and afraid”.

Furthermore, we become disengaged when we are too afraid to be vulnerable, when we are ashamed, when we lack purpose, when a social contract is not met.

It is critical to speak out on your shame, to be self-aware, to know your self-worth, to ask and receive feedback because knowing your worth will help you become more vulnerable.

To eradicate the feeling of shame:

  • Identify your shame triggers.
  • Observe your self talk.
  • Practice authenticity.
  • Accept your experiences.
  • Share your experience, be vulnerable with someone who genuinely cares about you.

Common Misconceptions About Vulnerability

We are thought not to be vulnerable, not to show our emotions, to look down on those who do. There are several misconceptions when it comes to vulnerability.

Misconception #1: “Vulnerability is weakness”

The reality is vulnerability is not a weakness, is not good or bad. Vulnerable is the origin of all emotions. It therefore becomes important to acknowledge your vulnerability.

Besides, the people who think that they are impenetrable are in fact the most vulnerable.

Misconception #2: “I don’t do vulnerability”

Vulnerability is unavoidable. When we try to avoid it, we often exhibit unusual inconsistent behaviors.

Misconception #3: Vulnerability is letting it all hang out”

You cannot be vulnerable with everyone. It is important to build trust and boundaries before being vulnerable. Otherwise, more times than ever, you will end up getting betrayed and hurt.

Misconception #4: “We can go it alone”

Individualism and going it alone are highly regarded in American culture. In this case, it is essential to construct a support system, to ask for and receive help

Shame As A Management Tool

Most of the time, shame and the blame game are used as management tool, yet is ineffective.

Subsequently, the situations that we face on a daily basis, in the education system, in the workplace, force us to keep our head down and our mouth shut which doesn’t encourage innovation, creativity or the learning process.

Vulnerability & Protective Mechanism

Our protective mechanisms are survival strategies, used to shield our vulnerability. Those shields can go from foreboding joy, to perfectionism to numbing down your emotions.

To avoid shielding vulnerability, it is critical to:

  • Practice gratitude.
  • Appreciate your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Confront your emotions.
  • Live a more fulfilling life and feed your spirit.
  • Focus your time and energy on the essentials.
  • Consider how your behavior affect those around you.

Shield #1: Victim mentality

Some people go through life with a victim or perpetrator, win or lose mentally and subsequently fall into one of these categories.

Surprisingly, the people who have been through the most trauma, demonstrate the most resilience. And, people who don’t feel like victims or perpetrators, see themselves as thrivers.

Shield #2: “Floodlighting”

Floodlighting is essentially oversharing and stems from a need for confirmation and validation.

We have to be careful not to share vulnerable stories too soon with people who have not earned the right to hear them. The people on the receiving end often shut down, lack empathy or feel disconnected.

Shield #3: “The smash and grab”

With this shield, some people use vulnerability as a manipulation, sensationalizing tactic that is common in celebrity culture, as an attention seeking tool.

Shield #4: “Serpentining”

Serpentining is a draining and an avoidance behavior. It happens when people are not facing a situation head on for fear of being vulnerable, of not being present.

Shield #5: Mean-spiritedness

In this case, people use criticism, cynicism and mean-spiritedness to protect themselves. They are mean to people who dare demonstrate vulnerability.

Review

Daring Greatly is essential to leadership, parenting, relationships, finding your purpose and your passion.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown gives insight into the corporate and the western culture where being vulnerable equals being weak and lets you open to different attacks.

Through Daring Greatly, Brown has gathered data from people from different walks of life so we can somewhat self diagnose and become more aware of some of our toxic behavior.

Brené Brown makes some pertinent point and writes exactly like she speaks. Furthermore, Brown is very open and authentic, shares her anecdotes, fears and doubt. For example, she is vulnerable with us, mindful of the stories to share, lets us into her conversations with her therapist.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Favorite quote(s)

Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all—there are no data to support that shame is a helpful compass for good behavior. In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and
hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.

Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Brené Brown

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades provides tools and strategies to manage your ability to focus.

What is focus?

Focus is the concentration required to consciously block out the noise and the distractions while performing a task.

The ability to focus can be a natural talent. But for most of us, it is a built-in habit, a skill which means it can be learnt.

Why do you need to effectively manage your attention? 

Focus can positively impact your life. A lack of focus will reduce your effectiveness and your work quality.

Lack of focus or mind-wandering is not all negative. It helps us get in time with our creative side and find solutions to difficult circumstances.

However, gaining better focus will help you finish all your tasks on time, make better decisions, solve problems, become more productivity, get a successful work/life balance, embrace failure and learn  from your mistakes.

By improving your focus, you can reserve your energy for relationships, build stronger connections, become more present, increase your memory, achieve greater self-confidence, handle and overcome adversity.

Why are people so unfocused?

Nobody is impervious to distraction. People are easily distracted because they usually:

  • lack interest, are unable to commit or stay engaged to a particular task.
  • lack emotional intelligence and are submerged by fear.
  • are disorganized and don’t structure their day.
  • lack energy. They don’t sleep, eat or exercise correctly.
  • lack control or discipline.

Creating an environment to focus

Designing the proper environment is the first way to zero in on your task and to harmonize your workflow:

  1. Light up your work environment and always take advantage of your natural light. A low lighting makes you drowsy, strains your eyes and decrease your learning abilities.
  2. Some people feel comfortable working with background noises while others enjoy silence. Experiment and find out which one works best for you.
  3. Consider your level of physical comfort. To do so, you can adjust your clothes, your stationary, your sitting position, your sitting time and your sight line.
  4. Monitor the temperature of the room. For example, a too warm room will cause you to sleep.
  5. Breathe clean air.
  6. Practice aromatherapy. Some scents have a direct impact on your mood, mind and effectiveness.
  7. Avoid social situations if you want to work. Human nature makes us drawn to people but interacting with people decrease your focus.
  8. Organize and declutter your workspace. Clutter affects your focus more than you think because it decreases your processing abilities, hurts your creativity and occupies your memory space.
  9. Monitor your time to measure your progress.
  10. Write down your ideas and tasks so they don’t monopolize your thoughts.

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades (3)

Strategies to overcome mind-wandering

There are several tactics to increase your focus, to relax and to avoid the biggest distractions in your life.

  1. As stated above, it is essential to monitor your time, to set realistic deadlines, to reward yourself and break down your tasks in smaller steps.
  2. Don’t set too many daily goals and limit yourself to 5 tasks daily or else you will feel overwhelmed and pressured.
  3. Identify the purpose for every task.
  4. Exercise first thing in the morning.
  5. Avoid ignoring the ideas and thoughts floating around in your head. Log them down quickly before you forget them.
  6. Identify “internal or external stimuli” that break your concentration.
  7. Record every task that you must undertake by putting them down via a to do list.
  8. To sharpen your focus, to enter the zone and boost your performance, listen to music or nurture silence.
  9. Take regular breaks and naps to refresh your mind, to refresh your mind and to avoid boredom.
  10. Restore your focus by taking a short walk instead of remaining at your desk.
  11. Multitasking is valued by society. However, attacking one task at a time will help increase your performance and your work quality.
  12. Pack all similar activities into one and execute them in a row while monitoring your time.
  13. Break down your day into several tasks and allocate the time necessary for each task.
  14. Stay away from internet.
  15. Spend less time in meetings or avoid meetings all together as they can clog up your day and as they hold little value.
  16. Set boundaries and expectations about your time and your focus.
  17. Turn off your phone for long periods of time.
  18. Observe how your energy fluctuates during the day and use moments where your energy is high to achieve high productivity.
  19. Mediate and take care of your inner peace.
  20. Stop checking your mails frantically. Instead, keep track of your inbox once or twice a day.
  21. Define a daily routine and follow it. Routines facilitates your life, enables ow brain processing. You can use that same brain power to accomplish your tasks.
  22. Stay away from perfectionism.
  23. Completely edit the first draft then come back to correct your mistakes.
  24. Stop “consuming too much caffeine” because it is unhealthy and reduces your ability to concentrate.

Review

Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time! is a pragmatic, complete, quick and easy to read self-help book.

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades shares valuable tips on how to increase your productivity and your focus.

Damon Zahariades shares his preferences and also incorporates practical links  and tools to enable your productivity.

It is a step by step guide, written for leaders, for people from all walks of life, for those who are easily distracted by social media, for those who procrastinate, who daydream easily and those with low productivity.

I like the fact that this books highlights the fact that so many things, concepts and institutions in life are purposely set up to distract us from reality: from the local bully to the background music in the stores to technology and internet.

All these distractions are the reason why most people procrastinate and never achieve their version of success.

Favorite quote(s)

When we lack a specific purpose, we become more susceptible to distractions. We focus on whatever our brains tell us to focus on, rather than the other way around. We become passengers rather than drivers.

Ratings 2.5/5

Author

Damon Zahariades

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself By Henri Junttila

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila is a self-help book that encourages people to find their passion and get the life they want.

Finding your passion is about exploration, living the life of your dreams, getting out of your comfort zone, overcoming obstacles and bringing out your inner joy.

Passion is waking up energized and motivated to do the things you love. It means being able to persist through adversity.

To identify and live your passion, Henri Junttila poses 25 questions that will help you assess yourself, overcome roadblocks and successfully create your life goals.

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself By Henri Junttila

Self-Assessment

First, you must get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your interests.

Your definition of passion

According to Henri Junttila, you must first discover what the word passion means to you and what it means to people around you. You must also be able to envision yourself living a passionate life and find out how it feels to be passionate.

Keep in mind that your passion is personal, internal and intrinsic to your being. It is not what society, friends and family tell you it should be.

Talents, strengths and weaknesses

Everyone has a gift and it is your duty to find out what you are gifted at because most of the time, your passions lie within your gifts.

Besides, tapping into your strengths will make you a happier person. Not doing so will definitely make you feel miserable, out of focus, burnt out.

It is therefore detrimental to:

  • Explore every single one of your interests and natural inclinations. For example, what do you find yourself naturally talking about? People can have several passions. They should explore all of them and see which ones resonates the most.
  • Remind yourself of your dreams, strengths and passions as a child.
  • Analyze the reasons why you are interested in certain activities.
  • Evaluate the advice that is requested from you and the advice that you give.
  • Take strengths and weaknesses assessment tests.
  • Analyze your situation, how people feel about you.
  • Do things that are out of your comfort zone.
  • Value your natural gifts.
  • Find out how you can apply your strengths in different areas of your life.
  • Don’t take advice from people but instead follow your gut.
  • Strengthen the connection to your inner voice. Your intuition has your best interest and can never lead you astray.
  • Determine what angers and disturbs you so you can avoid settling for mediocrity.

Making A Life Plan

Goals ate milestones. They are there to measure your progress and your passion.

  • Figure out your life goals in five or ten years.
  • Identify the pros and the cons of success. Check if they are worthwhile and if you can tolerate them. Usually the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
  • Work like you will succeed and dream like you cannot fail.
  • Visualize your goals, yourself living a successful life and take the steps needed to achieve that.
  • Detail your plan and the life you want.
  • Improve your problem solving sills.
  • Don’t make assumptions.

Finding Your Passion and Self-sabotaging

We are sometimes our worst enemy. Our assumptions about people or about ourselves are hard to shift or to disable. And sometimes, they can hold us back.

To get rid of the debilitating assumptions that you make about yourself:

  • Find out what you hate, what would hinder you as a human being, what you wouldn’t do, what would go against your core values.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Don’t impose limits to your imagination.
  • Change your perspective on your problems.
  • Review your systems of belief and integrate the ideas needed to succeed.
  • Don’t listen to naysayers. This is hard because naysayers are mostly family and close friends who are afraid of facing their own realities and who are afraid that you will outgrow them.
  • Dream big but don’t settle.
  • Don’t give up on yourself and your dreams.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed.

Overcoming Factors Out Of Your Control

In life, there a numerous obstacles to success and to happiness: money, death and other factors.

Indeed, money or lack thereof is limiting. People need money to go after their passion, to recover from failure, to have the opportunity to explore, to remove fear.

However, finding your passion is all about being resilient and understanding that not everything is going to go your way. You must also:

  • Understand that to every problem there are multiple solutions.
  • Understand that nothing will never be perfect and that there is no right time to start.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure or of success. Work like you cannot fail.
  • Follow your passion whether you have money or not.
  • Even when facing obstacles or feeling stuck, take baby steps no matter what.
  • Think about your own death and the legacy you want to leave. Thinking about your own death will help you prioritize and focus on the essentials.

Review

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila is a relatable, quick and easy to read book that helps you to get to know and love yourself just the way you are.

It is primarily written for people who feel lost in the world, who are fearful, who go through life without passion or without a clear purpose. The silver lining is that it’s never too late to find and follow your passions.

In Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself, Henri Junttila was able to share all this useful information in such a concise book. He also provides us with additional insightful questions and a complete workbook, which makes the book completely unreadable without a paper and a pen.

It is imperative that you keep this book close by, that you take your time to answer these questions and that you don’t censor yourself. Your answers may not come to you at first but you can always revisit the book.

Be authentic with the world and with yourself and you will never fail.

Favorite quote(s)

When I see people limit themselves, I get angry. I see the potential in people, but they don’t do anything about it. They settle for mediocrity, and they believe they can’t do better.

Living a passionate life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard work, and it’s not as glamorous as people make it out to be. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after it. It simply means that it takes more work than you’d expect.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Henri Junttila

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy suggest that we define a plan for our lives. They introduce us to the concept of Life Planning and show us how to implement the process.

Living Forward_ A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by (1).png

What is a Life Plan?

According to Hyatt and Harkavy, “A Life Plan is a short written document, usually five to fifteen pages long“. The Life Plan is personal, describes your priorities, the steps to reach your goals and the legacy you want to leave.

It is a life long process, that can continually be adjusted and improved. A Life Plan doesn’t shield you from life challenges and failures. Instead, it will help you create intention for your life.

It is common to have a career plan but no Life Plan. The Life Plan enables you to:

  • Set priorities and stick to them.
  • Stop sacrificing yourself, to stop trading health and time for work, career advancement, accolades or money.
  • Filter out opportunities. As you get older and as you get experiences, opportunity coming your way will multiply. It is therefore important to know where your priorities lie and what opportunity to choose.
  • Avoid distractions, confront and deal with reality.
  • Avoid the feeling of being stuck and allow you to keep your eyes on the future.
  • Avoid regrets and increase your level of control.

The drift and its consequences

Most people drift away from their dreams because:

  • They are unaware that their ideas and assumptions are inaccurate and harmful.
  • There is a discrepancy between their beliefs and reality.
  • They are distracted, are spread too thin or too busy to focus on their lives and to start prioritizing.
  • They don’t understand that there is hope, that they can change and that they have more control over their lives than they think.

When you drift away from your dreams and when you don’t have a Life Plan, you tend to:

  • Lack meaning and purpose.
  • Waste your time and other valuable resources on meaningless tasks.
  • Lose opportunities and their sense of urgency. People who drift away procrastinate and are unable to discern a good opportunity from a bad.
  • Experience trouble more intensely because they are unprepared.
  • Take a passive approach to life, shift blame and live in regrets.

Designing and implementing your Life Plan

To design your Life Plan, it is necessary to outline your legacy, to set your priorities, get clarity on your objectives and to reserve one day to build your Life Plan.

Outlining your legacy

To design your Life Plan, keep in mind that everybody leaves a legacy, face your mortality and begin with the end in mind. It is critical to write your Life Plan like you are writing your eulogy, to imagine how you want others to remember you and to stay committed to the process.

Setting your priorities

Getting more clarity on your objectives will definitely increase your commitment. To do so, you must steer clear from external expectations and do what is right for you.

Getting clarity on objectives

  • Identify your purpose.
  • Project yourself into the future, picture yourself in it and imagine all the different positive outcomes. To make your vision much more compelling, write down in the present tense what you hear, feel, see, smell and taste.
  • Find and apply a quote that inspires you.
  • Make an honest assessment of your current progress.
  • Commit to specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bond goals.

Devote one day to your Life Plan

Hyatt & Harkavy recommend that you schedule one day to create your Life Plan. Needless to say, the Life plan should be implemented starting the next day.

It is necessary to allow yourself to dream, to not expect perfection and to not get distracted.

Implement your plan

Implementing the Life Plan is the most challenging part. It is necessary to:

  • Include your Life Plan in your everyday routine.
  • Fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by life’s drama.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no or to disappoint others.
  • Read your plan daily and review it often.

Review

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy is an easy to read self-help book that is based on some of their traumatic experiences. It is destined to increase our focus, to helps us find out what matters most, to acquire meaning and fulfillment in our everyday life, to allow us to prioritize our lives and to contribute effectively,

This book is written for people who are looking for a better direction for their life because they are either:

  • unsatisfied with the current state of their lives,
  • lack purpose,
  • seeking more balance,
  • unable to overcome life challenges,
  • noticing that their lives don’t fit their vision or dream,
  • not reaching their full potential.

The earlier we start creating and implementing a Life Plan, the better.

Favorite quote(s)

Living Forward will heighten your sense of what’s truly possible for you in life. If you feel out of balance, aware that your current pace is unsustainable; if you are making great gains professionally but don’t want to neglect personal priorities; if you want to have better focus to succeed financially; if you have gone through a recent tragedy and suddenly become aware that life is short; if any of those are true, this book is for you.

I know that how we lead ourselves in life impacts how we lead those around us. Self-leadership always precedes team leadership. We must have a balanced approach to accumulating net worth in all of the critical accounts in our lives, not just one or two. Ultimately this allows us to make the greatest difference and adds the most value to those around us. It is possible to grow at work without diminishing other areas of our lives. Living forward helps us find and maintain our balance.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Daniel Harkavy

Michael Hyatt

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job By Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith

In How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or JobSally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith have noticed that in the workplace, high achievers — men and women — often demonstrate problematic habits that undermine their career, that have propelled them in the past and that won’t allow them to move further up.

Women, contrary to men, display different self-limiting behavior, face particular challenges, even if they want to advance their career and even if they have assets to contribute to the workplace.

Most often, women feel stuck in their jobs. Feeling stuck comes from feeling like you are unable to move forward, like some force is willfully holding you back, like you are not allowed to use your strengths or you are underappreciated. The feeling of being stuck will shape their behavior and will subsequently determine how others will respond to them.

There are also various external barriers that hold women back from success: most workplace structure has been designed by men for men. Stereotypes influence women ability to move up the ladder: they are their perceived as too aggressive, too passive, too talkative, too quite, too emotional, too mean, they smile too much or frown too much… Needless to say, women are not at all responsible for these barriers or being held back.

How Women Rise

Changing habits

People tend to cling to habits that have made them successful but that are no longer serving them. These habits have been reinforced by external factors and by people who want to celebrate your success, by the fact that most people are blind to their own weaknesses.

Furthermore, organizations are quick to claim that they thrive on change, but make it hard for their employees to change within them because:

  1. Organizations assign roles and tasks on past behaviors and keeping them there. This makes it difficult for employees to practice new behaviors.
  2. Organizations celebrate and reward a successful action and ignore a warning or a successful lack of action. Someone would be celebrated for signing a good deal and avoid a bad one. The latter are viewed as naysayers.

Habits are not intrinsic to your character but are your comfort zone, your default setting created by your surroundings. Changing is hard, time-consuming and may require external help.

People will then hold one to old behaviors rather than changing them. That resistance is built naturally by rationalizing a behavior, by your brain after repeated behavior and familiar situations.

Because stopping a habit is more effective than starting one, Helgesen & Goldsmith have put together 12 habits to stop practicing in order to be successful as a woman. To open new doors, be purposeful and intentional about choices and change behavior, it is first detrimental for women to identify how them define success.

According to Helgesen and Goldsmith, while caring about rewards and status, most women value satisfaction, quality of life and the impact of their contribution over a high salary or a high position. Women don’t define success as winning or as keeping score, don’t enjoy competition and rather collaboration. Hence, women find it easier to transition to leadership positions because they can place emphasis on others instead of themselves.

Your old habits have previously served but are currently hindering you. It’s not too late to change and acquire better habits. To get rid of them:

  • Identify the habits you need to work on.
  • Recognize your behavior as a habit, try different behaviors and observe the responses.
  • Repeat behaviors until your brain is comfortable with the new behavior.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Recognize your strengths as well, avoid judging people.
  • Address habits one at a time.

HABIT #1: Reluctance to claim your achievements

Women work harder than men but avoid taking credit for their successes, avoid using the pronoun “I” because they believe that:

  • Their work will automatically speak for itself.
  • This behavior is obnoxious and disruptive.
  • The group to which they belong to expect them to be modest, unobtrusive and coy.

To get over the reluctance to claim your achievements:

  • Learn how to promote yourself.
  • Believe that you are detrimental to your own success.
  • Find out what motivates you, why you want to get ahead at work.
  • Enlist the help of people to speak on your behalf and don’t contradict what people have to positively say about you.

HABIT #2: Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions

When others don’t notice the work that they do, women start to feel unacknowledged or underappreciated for the hard work that they put in. They start to feel like the don’t belong and will look for another place to work.

To get over expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions:

  • Set goals for your career and share your vision at every opportunity.
  • Prepare an elevator speech and be ready to deliver it at any moment. This will demonstrate your ambition, clarify your future, get you noticed, show that you are confident and serious, will be an opportunity to highlight your skills, will help you identify the self-serving opportunities. Your elevator speech should be clear, concise, identical to a personal vision or mission statement.

HABIT #3: Overvaluing expertise

Becoming an expert in a field gets women noticed, is a defense mechanisms, a way of asserting their value.

However, mastering a role will only keep you in the same role. Becoming an expert is time-consuming, will make you knowledgeable but will not make you a leader.

To get over the habit of overvaluing expertise:

  • Build relationships, increase influence and do the job well enough.
  • Don’t be sloppy.

HABIT #4: Just building rather than building and leveraging relationships

To women, building relationships is emotionally and personally rewarding. Indeed, women have good relationships skills but don’t leverage them to get ahead in the workplace because they don’t want:

  • Their connections to feel used.
  • Their relationships to be based on self-interests.
  • To play the political game.

To get over the habit of just building rather than building and leveraging relationships:

  • Ask people to connect you to higher-ups.
  • Use a win-win or quid pro quo system.
  • Become more intentional about your relationships.
  • Remember that people can benefit from you and vice versa.

HABIT #5: Failing to enlist allies from day one

From the first day on the job, most women tend to try to keep their heads down, to understand every aspect of their job, to avoid asking questions, to value expertise, to be undergoing the impostor syndrome. As seem before, expertise is just your way of making yourself credible.

Instead find out with who you should connect with to get better visibility, more influence.

To get over failing to enlist allies from day one:

  • Reach out to others first and engage as many people as possible.
  • Find mentors and sponsors.
  • Keep in mind that allies are not friends.
  • Talk positively about your allies.
  • Identify the people who can propel you to the next level or that you would enjoy working with.

HABIT #6: Putting your job before your career

Most women trying to do their jobs perfectly because they are loyal, get stuck in the same job for years.

To get over putting your job before your career:

  • Let people know that you are ready for a challenge.
  • Analyze how your current position can serve your long-term interest.
  • Admit self-interest and identify what you value and how you can maximize your strengths.
  • Appreciate you current position.

HABIT #7: The perfection trap

Women tend to be perfect due to social expectations. Doing your job perfectly doesn’t guarantee success. Instead, it creates stress, keep you distracted and annoyed and sets you up for disappointment, it makes you hard on yourself, destroyed by failure, paralyzed by mistakes, sets too high standards for your team.

To get over the perfection trap:

  • Don’t be controlling.
  • Learn to delegate and not micromanage.
  • Learn to prioritize and identify the vital few.

HABIT #8: The disease to please

Women find themselves eager to please, to be nice, to make everybody happy, are afraid of disappointing and of being a burden. This behavior is time-consuming, kills careers, deters from taking a stance and from following a higher purpose.

To get over the disease to please:

  • Identify your priorities.
  • Learn to delegate.
  • Select your commitments with care.
  • Stand your ground.

HABIT #9: Minimizing

Women tend to make themselves smaller, which is translated in the body language and the words they use. This behavior sends the message that they are diminished, subservient, non deserving, uncertain and underachieving.

To get over the habit of minimizing yourself:

  • Talk about your accomplishments, talk about individual and collective wins if that makes you feel fairer.
  • Choose your voice and words carefully.
  • Stay in the moment.
  • Avoid multitasking and spreading yourself too thin.

HABIT #10: Too much

In the workplace, women have to temper and constantly monitor their emotional response to situations. Being perceived as too intense, too emotional, too strong, too vulnerable, too much can be an obstacle to promotion.

Monitoring your behavior, your emotions is draining and makes you come out as inauthentic. To get over the display of too much emotions:

  • women have to exercise self-discipline.
  • Learn to feel, recognize and not immediately react to an emotion.
  • Learn to be concise.
  • Avoid disclosing personal information, problems and weaknesses.
  • Avoid being unprofessional just to be authentic.

HABIT #11: Ruminating

Women are more likely to ruminate, to cling on to the past. They turn their hurt inwards, relive their failure and blame themselves.

Ruminating is counterproductive, are depressing, won’t help you succeed or solve future problems.

To get over the habit of ruminating:

  • women need to find ways to distract themselves and interrupt their thought.
  • learn from the facts and move on.

HABIT #12: Letting your radar distract you

Women notice a lot of details and process them differently than men. They are aware of everybody’s reaction, are distracted by details and are unable to stay ion the moment.

To get over the habit of getting distracted by their radar, discipline your thoughts and refrain from negativity.

Review

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith is relatable, proactive and insightful. It is written for women with the best intention and with the desire to help women stop self-sacrificing and stop self-sabotaging. It is not necessarily targeted towards women of color even though it mentions the challenges that women of color face in the workplace.

Above all, it teaches us introspection and demonstrates how to control what we can, how to change bad habits, how to improve our quality of life and to reach our full potential.

In addition, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Helgesen & Goldsmith pushes us to seek the positive in every interaction, in every feedback and to not take remarks personally even if they are based on stereotypes. It’s all about changing a behavior that stands in your way.

For the most part, I agree that women share habits that keep us from advancing in the workplace. There are several points that were accurate and that resonated with me: I have a nagging tendency to ruminate on negative experiences (Habit #11). Because I pay too much attention to detail (Habit #12), the rumination process is that much amplified.

However, I felt like Helgesen and Goldsmith insinuated that women, aware of the stereotypes placed on them in the workplace, have to take on the responsibility of changing themselves to fit in, have to listen to and apply the feedback they received from the people who perpetuate the stereotypes, that they have to become enablers and mirror men’s behavior.

It doesn’t seem like we are supposed to change to acquire greater values or to reach a higher purpose. But we’re changing to fit someone else’s standards or expectations of us: we move from one expectation to another.

Favorite quote(s)

Instead of viewing money and position as the sole or even chief markers of success, women also tend to place a high value on the quality of their lives at work and the impact of their contributions.

the trick to maximizing your talents and opportunities is not becoming a less thoughtful and giving person, but rather being purposeful and intentional about your choices while also addressing the behaviors that keep you stuck.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Sally Helgesen

Marshall Goldsmith

Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

In Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Simon Sinek believes that every single employee is capable of becoming a leader, of being remarkable, of exercising courage and sacrifice, of investing into the company, and of finding fulfillment at work.

Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek

The General Role Of The Leader

In addition, Simon Sinek considers humans as hunters, organizations as tribes and leaders as those who put order within the tribe.

In modern days, leaders are perceived as dominant, are the ones that eat first, are the ones who make the most money, who get preferential treatment and most importantly are those who are supposed to protect. Indeed, they have more resources at their disposal and have to use it appropriately to ensure the survival of their tribe.

However, for long-lasting results, to gain the loyalty and respect of their employees, they must not consider their well-being above the well-being of the tribe. They must eat last.

It is the role of leaders of an organization to be courageous, to demonstrate empathy, to lay down the foundation for success, to show employees appreciation and to allow them to take appropriate risks.

The Circle Of Safety

The Circle Of Safety contains all the people of an organization. It is a safe space where employees feel fulfilled at work, don’t dread Monday morning, are willing to advance the company’s purpose.

It is an environment of increased commitment, fulfillment, gratitude and happiness, where employees are more relaxed, thrive, collaborate and work for each other.

In the Circle Of Safety, leaders and employees share the same values, pull their respective loads and are committed to the Circle.

Everyone feels valued by their peers, they know that their colleagues have their backs, they believe that they belong to something greater than themselves, that they can safely drive innovation, share ideas and express themselves freely.

By the same token, employees and leaders must independently weigh their decisions and ponder whether or not their decisions are beneficial to the group. It is wise to remember that working toward individualistic goals will hurt the group.

Leaders In The Circle Of Safety

Besides, leaders are the gatekeepers of the Circle. They set the standards, they decide who gets in and who stays at the door.

To create safety, leaders have to meet certain conditions and build a soothing company culture. Company culture in modern days is unnatural because they go against all natural needs, instincts, rights for safety and fulfillment.

If leaders want to create a Circle Of Safety, to establish an innovative, stable, robust, lasting, successful company, they must:

  • Understand that employees are not a means to an end and shouldn’t be exploited.
  • Increase employee cohesion and inclusion. They must no longer fear each other but must be willing to fight external challenges together. Moreover, there is power in numbers: when challenges arise, employees in the Circle Of Safety must put all their differences aside to reach a common goal.
  • Avoid placing money above people but place people above everything else.
  • Remember that they are the models for the organization. Therefore, they must define a clear set of values and beliefs for themselves and for their employees.
  • Inject empathy into the workplace culture and treat everyone fairly. This will make both employees and leaders more human, and make work more enjoyable.
  • Extend trust to earn trust. Trust also lies in the fact that leaders know when to follow the rules and when to break them in order to guarantee the safety of their employees.
  • Help people solve problems. They will in turn, help each other.
  • Listen to their employees.
  • Protect their employees internal conflicts and promote collaboration.

 

The Feasibility Of The Circle Of Safety

Making people feel safe, putting their well-being first is idealistic but impractical.

On one hand, people work out of necessity, are willing to stay in a job that they hate to provide for themselves and for their loved ones. They don’t want to selflessly commit to and invest themselves into the company. They are reluctant to put forth the time and effort because they are not in control and  might not receive the proper rewards.

On the other hand, it is quasi difficult to find organizations that genuinely care for their employees safety and well-being. Most of them tend to care more about reaching numbers and are willing to sacrifice people to get there.

The truth is most companies and leaders display poor character and induce a stressful and fearful culture. Employee disengagement, high employee turnover and health problems ensue.

Abundance and Abstraction

Finally, when leaders have everything in abundance, which is often the case today, they lose the real value of things.

As a consequence, the more their companies grow, the more they are out of touch with their employees and their consumers, the less they empathize with them. To solve this abstraction, leaders should:

  • Get to know their employees personally. Investing time and energy in them will transpire as appreciation.
  • Continually spread ideas, find people, connect with them, build real human relationships and bring them together.
  • Expand their company to 150 employees at most in order to remember everyone and to keep strong relationships.
  • Observe the real impact and results of their time and effort, alongside their employees’. This will consequently increase everybody’s quality of work.
  • Give people the time needed to trust, to find their way and place with the Circle Of Safety.

The Influence Of The Company Culture

The culture severely impacts the survival of the company. When there are no values, no principles, no particular beliefs, when the culture is based on numbers, reports and performance, the company is doomed to fail.

Moreover, leaders with poor character fabricate a bad culture that in turn breeds bad leaders. This is why, leaders are required to:

  • Rely on integrity and trust, spend time with the people they serve and shift their focus to the latter.
  • Find someone to lean on and to help them through hardships.
  • Discover their life purpose.
  • Work hard for what they have in order to value it.
  • Hold on to their responsibilities.

Review

Simon Sinek, in Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, provides an innovative leadership strategy to build a successful organization, to increase employee engagement and fulfillment.

After Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Leaders Eat Last is intended for millennials and promotes leadership excellence. To develop a successful organization, Simon Sinek encourages us to discover the reasons why we do what we do, to understand people and their needs, to go beyond having good competencies and good managerial skills.

In this great book, Sinek places people at the forefront of the company and demonstrates that building a company from the ground up takes on a whole new sense. He believes that leaders have to take care of the well-being of their employees first and their employees will take care of the rest.

Besides, he doesn’t claim to be an idealist, to believe that all workers love their jobs and that all leaders treat their employees well. He understands that most people work out of necessity.

Lastly, he analyzes our biological needs and transposes them to the modern working world. Our natural needs are powerful forces that we cannot control.

Favorite quote(s)

In our modern world, advancing our careers and trying to find happiness and fulfillment are the definition of success. But the systems inside us that guide our behavior and decisions still function as they did tens of thousands of years ago. Our primitive minds still perceive the world around us in terms of threats to our well-being or opportunities to find safety.

Being a leader is like being a parent, and the company is like a new family to join. One that will care for us like we are their own . . . in sickness and in health. And if we are successful, our people will take on our company’s name as a sign of the family to which they are loyal.

This feeling of belonging, of shared values and a deep sense of empathy, dramatically enhances trust, cooperation and problem solving.

Quite often, what’s good for one is not necessarily good for the other. Working exclusively to advance ourselves may hurt the group, while working exclusively to advance the group may come at a cost to us as individuals.

Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.

Ratings 3.75/5

Author

Simon Sinek

 

The Talent Code by David Coyle

In The Talent Code, David Coyle explores how talents are created and nurtured throughout life. He first demonstrates that talent is a consequence of deep practice, is  ignited and occurs in mysterious places and at different moment.

The Talent Code

The Deep Practice Process

People with talent take time to practice, have a great deal of concentration and focus. They counterintuitively practice failure to make themselves successful later on. This is what David Coyle calls deep practice.

Deep practice is to talent what a whetstone is to a knife. It sharpens a natural ability and converts failed situations into learning experiences. That is why, gifted people are found in hot beds where events seem accelerated and fluid. On the outside looking in, gifted people look strange.

To go further into the deep practice process, break a skill into small components, learn them, learn their variants, search for their potential errors, gradually correct these components.

In addition, studies have shown that making mistakes, correcting them, deep practicing and working through failure force us to function at the edge of our abilities and talents, allow us to improve our resilience and our ability to learn.

Talents develop a strategy to building up a skill so that they can accurately measure their progress, sense mistakes before they occur, adapt their strategy in case of failure, customize it to different situations, avoid blaming their success on luck.

Afterwards, in a unchallenging situation, a small effort will produce big results and will guide you towards your talent sweet spot.

The Importance Of Myelin

According to Daniel Coyle and to early reasearch, the learning process in talented people starts in our brain with myelin. Myelin is a microscopic substance in the brain, insulating neural circuits, strengthening and regulating neurological signals, that decreases with age, that drives our perception of the world, that increases our ability to learn, to talk to read and to communicate.

Furthermore, myelin creates habits that they can only be removed by creating another one. It follows the same rules universally and doesn’t grow without a conscience action on our behalf.

Needless to say, by deep practicing, we build higher and automatic skills, we train our neurological signals to borrow a specific path and to increase the quantity of myelin in our brain.

How to rewire our brain while being cognizant of myelin

Theses studies are still in the early ages. However, deep practicing, repeating an action, watching talented, skilled people allows us to imitate them, to rewire our brain.

According to Ericsson’s research, to optimize the level of myelin in your brain, it is detrimental to practise daily between 3 to 5 hours.

The Ignition Process

According to Daniel Coyle, talents come from more than genes and environment. Deep practice, not enjoyable at first, is the first step to developing talent and requires time, commitment, energy and passion.

The second step is understanding and implementing the ignition process which allows us to create and sustain motivation. Ignition operates through emotion and visualization of the future, sparks intense unconscious response and accelerates progress.

Moreover, this process does not follow basic and regular rules. The ignition process is triggered by certain signals or primal cues, by a lack of safety, by education, by exposure to a different environment and to aspirational figures. It is also triggered by words, motivational and inspirational language, by high value messages, by praises and affirmations.

To get people motivated, it is important to “speak to the ground-level effort, affirming the struggle”, to congratulate them on their hard work. To sustain the ignition process, one must have self-discipline, understand their priorities and be accountable for their errors.

Identifying and Igniting talent in others

Talent coaches are viewed as great leaders and teachers because ignite our talent and using our talents can change our lives and those of others around us. Talent coaches:

  • Are people who were talented but unsuccessful but who have taken the time out to identify the reasons why.
  • Are generally quite and reserved.
  • Are warm and empathetic.
  • Listen more than they speak.
  • Offer short targeted advice instead of motivational and inspirational speeches.
  • Are committed to and are sensitive to their students, to the people that they coach. For example, they customize their messages to their students.
  • Are sharp and capture every information regarding their student.
  • Pay attention to details, rehearse the words that they will potentially use.
  • Measure their voice, control their body language.
  • Live by their values and principles.
  • Breaks down their message in “chunks” and understand the importance of deep practice.
  • Have an ability to locate the strengths, the sweet spots of an individual and to pull them out their shell and out of their comfort zone.

It is clear to say that the spotlight is rarely shun upon the coach, that teaching and leading is a skill on its own and the best coaches spend decades nurturing their coaching skills.

To help young talented people to build their skills, it is important to seek out someone talented but who doesn’t seem like it, someone who is wise, who doesn’t engage in small talk, who doesn’t necessarily have diplomas or graduated from summa cum laude from a top-notch school.

Review

In The Talent Code, David Coyle is an easy to read book that ambitiously identifies the origin of talent in individuals. He gives an interesting spin on how talent is created—not born— and nurtured. To prepare for his book, David Coyle had to travel for research, had to interview scientists, coaches and teachers and to visit talent hotbeds.

The Talent Code is extremely useful to people who are shy, introverted, who lack motivation and the fire necessary to pursue their gift, who seek to coach and lead and who seek a strategy to build strong skills.

It is also detrimental in the music industry, in business, in corporate , in the education and sport fields. Furthermore, after reading this book, I have a greater respect for people with talent but also for people who are able to nurture talent in others.

Favorite quote(s)

The conventional way to explain this kind of concentrated talent is to attribute it to a combination of genes and environment, a.k.a. nature and nurture.

Ratings 3/5

Author

David Coyle

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