Philosophy

Like me, you’ve probably read all the positive 2016 new year messages on the Internet about how 2016 is going to be the best year ever, and it’s great to see all the ambition – I thrive on it.

But there are a few posts on Facebook from people I care about that concerned me, and this is for anyone who thinks that 2016 won’t bring them anything new.

You see, it’s not all that difficult to make this next year better than last year, all that’s needed is a few small changes. So if you’re glad to see the back of 2015, or if 2016 is just going to be another ‘shitty year’, or if you’re thinking it’s going to be the ‘same shit, different year’, I hope these notes will help you to change your life for the better.

What I’d really like you to get to grips with is that in order for things to change for you, you have to change. So if you don’t have any plans to change even just one thing about your life, how can you expect your life to change for the better?

You are in control, so take responsibility and own your life.

A change in your attitude will change your life

The only thing that you truly have control of is your attitude, and a change in your attitude will change your life. Trust me on this.

Your attitude is everything. It’s your philosophy, it determines how you react, it’s who you are at your core, it’s how people feel about you.

A change in attitude won’t change your life over night, but it will change the direction you are going in, which in turn will change your life over time.

You’re probably thinking “yeah, right Chris, that’s easy for you to say”, and it is. The hard part is making the changes and making the changes stick.

Which would you rather suffer? The pain of discipline or the pain of regret?

Keep in mind that I’m really no different than you – you have the same opportunity that I do, and also the same resistance that I have to making change. We’re all equal.

If you are looking for help, and you want things to change for you, your family, your life in general, then these notes will certainly help you. How do I know? Because they helped me.

It doesn’t matter if you are in business for yourself, if you are employed by someone else, or if you are unemployed – these notes apply to all.

It’s all about aiming to be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday.

Guess what? These changes won’t cost you a single penny!

Create ideas

If you want your life to change for you, and you want to succeed, you need to be able to create ideas. With practice, this is something you will get better at.

This practice of idea generation will help you to:

  • develop a creative mind
  • develop a solution based focus
  • increase your value to people
  • create more value in your business and your job
  • be more ambitious
  • achieve more in your life and business

The great thing about creating new ideas is that you can’t make mistakes – you can think big, you can be completely ridiculous, and it doesn’t matter at the idea stage – but, it gets you thinking differently about everything.

Write down 10 ideas a day and watch how you change the way you approach problems in your life.

You can also give your ideas away to other people. Be helpful and expect nothing in return. People will like and value you for it.

Cost to you – £0

Learn something new every single day

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure here. Some examples: Listen to a podcast, read 10 pages from a book, read a few blog articles from your favourite thought leaders – just do anything to feed your mind with new ideas and knowledge. This small daily practice will compound over a long period of time.

Be teachable and open minded to new ideas.

Cost to you – £0

Stop complaining

Stop moaning and bitching. Stop talking about other people. Stop doing it in private, and certainly stop doing it in public, like on Facebook.
Just don’t do it.

Not only will people see you in a different light, but you will feel better too.

Study your own life instead of other peoples’.

In short, don’t be a dick and focus on yourself. 🙂

Cost to you – £0

Write daily

Again, don’t put yourself under too much pressure here. Start with 10 mins a day, just write down your thoughts and ideas from the day.

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go so well?
  3. What’s happening tomorrow?
  4. What one thing do you want to achieve tomorrow?
  5. What are you grateful for today?

Some people call this their daily journal. The benefit is found in reflection, gratitude and keeping track of your life so it doesn’t just simply pass you by.

Cost to you – £0

Get around the right people

I’ve spoken and written a lot about this in the past – it’s so important to get around the right people. Reduce the amount of time you spend with people that aren’t helping you change your life and increase the amount of time you spend around people that are helping you. This is a conscious decision that you have to make.

Find people that you can seek mentorship from – ideally real people that are alive, but you can also seek mentorship in books, videos, seminars, podcast, etc.

Note: be the person that other people want to be around and your life will change. People don’t hang out with miserable and negative people – so be fun and likeable. Enjoy your life.

Cost to you – £0

Think big & set goals

If you don’t have a dream, you’re dead. You need to have ambition in your life – something to work towards, something that you want to achieve.

Take some time out today to think about where you are going, what you want to do in your life, and the person you would like to become.

Think big – why not? You’ve only got one shot at life, so why should it be mediocre?

Write it all down – document your dreams and ambitions.

Be the best. Be awesome!

Cost to you – £0

Take action

Many people do nothing to improve their lives, and some people do a lot of personal development, but don’t take much action. What’s required is a bit of both. In fact, taking action IS personal development. You can learn far more about yourself from taking action than reading another book.

It’s really about getting the balance right – learn a little everyday, but spend most of your time actually creating stuff – take action, create tangibility. You could read 40 books in the next year, but if you don’t do anything with it then it doesn’t matter.

No one cares what book you’re reading. No one cares how many you’ve read. All that matters is that you are learning and doing something with your knowledge. Knowledge only becomes underst anding when you take action, knowledge only becomes powerful when you take action.

Execute on the ideas you’re passionate about.

There’s no better time than now.

Cost to you – £0

Is it time for a change…?

What’s the point of life if you aren’t trying to improve and get better? 2016 is truly set to be your best year ever, you just have to grab it with both h ands and own it.

No one started off being great at what they do, but in order to be great they did have to make a start.

You’ve got the same opportunity as almost everyone else, it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

We all have same amount of time in the day – how will you use it effectively to build the life you want?

You have to truly believe that you can live the life you want to – spend time with your ambitions and write them down.

Have a dream, have an ambition, be selfish about what YOU want – there’s nothing wrong with living a good life.

… and don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

Most of us can’t make decisions. We find it difficult for many different reasons.

We find it hard because we want to please people. We find it hard because there are lots of things we could do, that we would probably enjoy and gain value from.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that. It’s good to make other people happy. It’s good to try new things.

But we’ve only got so much time. We’ve only got so much energy. We’ve only got so much mental capacity.

We have to choose.

It is really easy to decide between something you really like doing, and something you hate doing. That’s simple. It’s a preference.

It’s far more difficult to choose what is best or more important between two things that you actually like doing, enjoy or get value from.

Deciding what’s most important is tough. How do you know what’s more important?

What makes things far easier in decision making is knowing very clearly what you want in life and business.

Clarity on your path and your vision really helps to decide what fits and what doesn’t.

There’s another factor at play, which is the fear of missing out, FOMO for short. I think this cripples most people when it comes to decision making.

In business you need to be able to say no to a lot of things, and yes to very few. You only know what to say no to when you know what you want to achieve and you have clarity on your vision. This is tough in itself.

Most people think there are two states in decision making – you can either decide yes or no. But there’s a third, and it’s the biggest waste of time, energy and focus – and that’s not making a decision at all.

All those unmade decisions build up and hang over you like a big black cloud.

Failure to decide has massive repercussions on all of us. All of these ‘things’ that haven’t been closed off begin to build up and consume our mental capacity.

So what can you do about it?

I don’t think there’s one answer here, and mostly you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to help with decision making, in case you’re interested:

  • I’m starting with no, and working up to a yes if it feels right and fits with what I want.
  • I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out what the most important things are in my life are  and in business.
  • I discuss and involve smart people in my thought process – it’s good to have smart people in your life

Disclaimer: I haven’t figured it out, but I’m working on it. Let’s be honest, who has really figured it all out!?

My goal here isn’t to present you with an answer, but to think more consciously about the decisions you are or aren’t making.

Maybe you are like me and it’s time for a clear out?

Is it time to make some solid decisions and draw a line in the s and?

DFTBA!

Chris.

It’s Jim Rohn’s birthday in September – he would have been 86 years old on 17th September 2015.

When I need inspiration, or if I’m simply not sure what to listen to, I default to a Jim Rohn audio.

He is absolutely my favourite philosopher. He shares so much wisdom.

I have listened to The Art of Exceptional Living to the point where I can speak it along with him – similar to how you sing along to your favourite song! It’s very much the same thing.

To celebrate my fondness for Jim Rohn I thought I’d put together my favourite Jim Rohn quotes here on my personal blog.

I’m sure you have your own favourites, and if I’ve not included them here please accept my invitation to pop your favourites into the comments section below.

Chris Marr’s top 20 Jim Rohn Quotes

1. “Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge wish for more wisdom”

2. “If you don’t need much, you won’t become much”

3. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

4. “I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me”

5. “It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your destination, it’s the set of your sail”

6. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

7. “It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost if you don’t read it”

8. “Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living; profits make you a fortune.”

9. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

10. “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

11. “Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the dem ands to perform are high.”

12. “Miss a meal if you have to, but ever miss a book”

13. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

14. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

15. “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”

16. “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”

17. “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”

18. “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”

19. “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”

20. “Be a student not a follower”

DFTBA!

Chris.

Not the ‘S’ word again…!

The title of this blog probably irked you. You might be thinking ”what does Chris know about success?”, “Who is he to define success?”

The good news is, I’m not going to tell you how to become successful, because I can’t, and it’s none of my business.

The problem with success

The problem with success ( and I think we have to be completely honest with ourselves here and admit it) is that we mostly define what our own success should look like by what other people think and expect of us.

This could be our parents, our spouse, our children, our friends, our enemies, and in business, our competition.

Even more so it’s defined by ridiculous inc.com and entrepreneur.com articles that manage to break down success into a ‘h andy’ list for us to follow. We read these articles and maybe we feel motivated for a short time, but they just paint a false impression of what success is all about.

We are obsessed by what other people think

I think we need to give more thought, feeling and effort into why we are doing what we do, and define success for ourselves (also, what’s our obsession with trying to define everything?!).

Or maybe find a completely different word for success.

Success for most people is determined by:

  • The house you live in
  • The car you drive
  • The clothes you wear
  • How much money you have in the bank
  • The friends you have
  • The watch you wear

This is just stuff. It means nothing in the long term if you aren’t truly happy.

I have a few friends that now realise this, and they have taught me a lot about what matters the most. Living a good life, feeling good about yourself, loving your family and friends, etc.

Some learned this the hard way, and sometimes that’s what it takes to break the mould. But they’ve come out the other end stronger and wiser, and I hope I can continue to learn from them.

The more I think about ‘success’ I realise that it’s all based around judgement, vanity and perception, and it becomes a dumb ‘willy waving’ competition.

Nothing frustrates and annoys me more than listening to people judging and comparing themselves against other people – I’m guilty of it too and I need to stop it.

It’s up to each one of us to change the way we think.

Defining success

I don’t have a definition for success, but I have a few thoughts about what success means to me:

In business: To create something from nothing – to take an idea in your head, and make it a reality. Create something that makes people feel special and makes a difference.

In life: To wake up in the morning feeling happy and grateful. The ability to support my wife, family and friends, emotionally and with empathy.

In general: A tasty cup of coffee.

Disclaimer: I’m still figuring it out, as are all of us.

Your turn

  1. Do you feel successful?
  2. How do you define or determine success?
  3. Why do you do what you do?

Let me know what’s on your mind and join the conversation in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

Have you ever wondered how successful people seem to get more done? Do you ever find it really hard to get started and get things done? Have you ever stared blankly at your computer screen before writing, or done the housework instead of doing something you know is more important? I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there.

In order to be super effective, just like the super successful people, you need to have very strong habits and absolute self-discipline (amongst other things, but these two qualities are high up there) – I know it’s easy to write this… and it’s certainly not that easy to do.

I’d like to share with you a technique that I picked up recently that really works for me, and many other people too. But first of all I want to introduce you to the type of Resistance that we all suffer from. If you are anything like me, you will relate to this in a big way and you will already be well aware of its presence.

“Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.”

In the book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes about the constant human battle the every single person has with Resistance.

So what is Resistance?

“It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.” (p7)

Resistance is basically anything that is stopping you from doing the things you know you need to do.

The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:

  • The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
  • The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profits or otherwise.
  • Any diet or health regime
  • Any program of spiritual advancement
  • Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals
  • Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction
  • Education of every kind
  • Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct ourselves
  • The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavour whose aim is to help others
  • Any act that entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to wether a rocky patch in a relationship
  • The taking of any principled st and in the face of adversity.
  • In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification favour of long term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance

(P5-6)

How Does Resistance Manifest Itself?

Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalise. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start it tomorrow.” (P.21)

How many times have you said that to yourself? I don’t even know how many times I’ve said “I’ll do it tomorrow”…I don’t want to know!

Resistance can include things like sex, masturbation, getting into trouble, being sick, and fear. There are many examples in the book, which provide more depth to underst anding how these elements become a form of Resistance.

If you really struggle with Resistance and procrastination I suggest you buy the book. It really gave me a kick in the ass and I know others who felt that it was written just for them.

There is hope…You Can Defeat Resistance!

“Defeating Resistance is like giving birth. It seems impossible until you remember that women have been pulling it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years.”

What a great quote, which comes back to my original purpose for writing this article. You see, it is possible to defeat Resistance, as long as you know exactly how it starts and exactly what to do about it. You can put small disciplines in place to make sure you can defeat it everyday. I have one example for you right now…

90 Minute Work Sessions as a discipline

This works for me, and many others, so there is a good chance it will work for you too. This technique was passed to me from Nigel Botterill.

Everyday I put aside 90 minutes of uninterrupted time to get work done. This might not sound like a lot, but how often do you get an hour and a half to spend on your work, with no one interrupting you?

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule right? – The Pareto Principle. In this case, 80% of your best work is going to get done in 20% of your time. In a normal working week, spending 90 minutes a day fully concentrating on something, is about 20% of your time. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the 90 minute sessions really do work!

I literally turn off my phone and the Internet (unless I’m working on the Internet). I deliberately stay away from social media and the sorts of things that will distract me.

By putting in this discipline everyday you’re effectively putting something in place to beat Resistance.

Unfortunately, no one is going to do it for you…it’s entirely up to you – you’re the one that has to discipline yourself.

The book had such a big impact upon me that I felt the need to share it with you. I also wanted to share this little discipline tactic with you too.

Do You Have Any Suggestions?

Perhaps you have your own discipline that ensures you get work done? If you do, please share it with everyone by commenting below.

What do you do to make sure you get work done?

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

Journal

Jim Rohn’s Journal Available from Knowledge is King

Have you ever wondered why people keep a journal? Have you ever wanted to keep one but couldn’t think what you would write in it? This may inspire you.

One thing that has changed my life in a dramatic way is writing more. The more I write, the more I have to write about. I write down my ideas and suddenly I get even more ideas. I try to write everyday, sometimes it’s a lot of rubbish and sometimes the stuff I write ends up on my blog, or becomes a great business concept or marketing plan…it just depends.

What I want to ask you is, how often do you write down what’s on your mind? Do you think it’s worth considering keeping a journal to take counsel in? Perhaps you don’t have anyone to share your ideas with, or you want to write your ideas down first before you share them? A journal will help you work out your ideas and also help you underst and the way you behave and how you react to things around you.

Let me try and sell the idea to you by using my own examples and some information from Jim Rohn. If you already keep a journal perhaps you could share your story and back me up.

Jim Rohn on Keeping A Journal

Jim Rohn often tells a funny story about when people ask him why he would spend so much money on an empty book, i.e. his journals. His response is that it pushes him to write something valuable in them. So if you do buy a journal, make sure you use it, otherwise it’s a real waste of money!

Here is a quote directly from Jim about why you should consider using a Journal.

A journal is a gathering place for all of our observations and discoveries about life. It’s our own h andwritten transcript that captures our experiences, ideas, desires and conclusions about the people and the events that have touched our lives. The past, when properly documented, is one of the best guides for making good decisions. The very act of writing about our lives helps us think more objectively about our actions. Writing tends to slow down the flow of information and gives us time to analyze and ponder the experience. The intense scrutiny of journal writing can enable us to make refinements in our philosophy that are truly life-changing. Jot down what you learn and be a buyer of empty books. It’s the small disciplines that lead to great accomplishments.  Source (Accessed 9th March 2013) 

Don’t Trust Your Memory!

It’s true that our past experiences helps us to get better, but if you aren’t actively taking note of what’s going on, what is there for you to reflect upon?? We forget and miss a lot of what goes on around us. Mr Rohn is quoted saying – “Don’t trust your memory” and I can totally relate to this. I keep lists of all the things I want to achieve, and I write down my goals. I know that I can go back to these lists and notes at anytime and I don’t have to worry about forgetting things. What do you think you would gain from doing the same thing? It’s worth a go isn’t it?

Examples of what to write in your journal

I keep a Post-It Note in the inside cover of my journal to remind about all the things I should write about, which gives me a little structure. Here are a few examples of things I write about and perhaps you could write about too: –

  • My partner – I’ll write about how she is, what we talked about, if we fell out and why. How did she look today, how is she feeling. That sort of thing. This is a good place to start because it makes me think about Andrea on a daily basis.
  • Gratitude – I think about what I’m grateful for today. Sometimes it’s just basic stuff like having a car that works, being able to learn and read, having a roof over my head. Sometime is more complicated than that and more personal, it just depends. It’s important to express some level of gratitude everyday.
  • Conversations – who have I talked to today and what we discussed.This is a great exercise and it usually reminds me of something I’ve forgotten to follow up on.
  • Ah – Ha moments – Any moments that took place that made me stop and think. An Ah-Ha moment is a moment of clarity. I normally write about behavioural things, for example how I reacted to something or someone, and perhaps how other people react and how I can learn from them.
  • Attitude – I will spend time writing about my own attitude, especially if I happen to be grumpy. It helps me to figure out what’s wrong and how to get better at being more positive.
  • Personal development – what have I read today, what did I learn and what am I going to do with this new knowledge.
  • Ideas – Usually a follow on from the above – what ideas I have come up with and try to work through them.

Important things to remember about your journal

  • Privacy – Protect your journal. It’s a private book for your eyes only, look after it. You have to feel like you can write anything you want in it.
  • Accessibility – Keep your journal h andy so you can write in it when you need to.
  • Regularity – You don’t have to write in your journal everyday, but try and write in it often.

2 Minutes with Jim

Here’s a two minute video from Jim discussing collecting stories in his journal and how you can use these stories to learn from them and get better. You can see how your journal becomes a place to confide in and a place where you can write down what’s on your mind and how you feel.

Where to get one?

You could choose to keep an electronic journal or you could buy an empty book from most stationary stores. The journal featured in the picture is available from Knowledge Is King.

Conclusion

You will have noticed that I have talked a lot about what I do in this article, and the purpose of this is to give you some idea of what keeping a journal can do for you, and also how you can use it. If you have your own story please share it and if you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

I think a lot about things, and about what things mean and how they impact upon my life. The main reason I do this is because I want to be better, wiser, improve and learn from what happens in my life.

Do you underst and what it means to express humility? Is it something that you are aware of everyday? Well, for me, the word ‘humility’ was, until recently, not a word I used in my vocabulary, in fact I didn’t really know when it would be appropriate to use in context…but now I do.

Recently at a workshop I was delivering I received some feedback from a delegate whom mentioned that she would have expected more humility to be expressed in the delivery of our content.

Humility is the ability to have a modest or low view of one’s importance.

I immediately felt as though I had been overly strong in my delivery of the content and perhaps I should have toned it down slightly. My colleague mentioned to me that you can’t always appeal to everyone, and although your presentation may appeal to the vast majority, there is always a small percentage of the audience that you won’t ‘connect’ with. It think that’s a fair assumption and I’m not here to moan or complain about it, this blog is about reflecting and learning and hopefully to try and help you learn from my experiences.

Learning Everyday

LearningEveryday_iconThe thing is, I named my company Learning Everyday, and although humility isn’t a word I have used before, the very foundation of my company is based upon the underst anding that we don’t know everything and that we are willing to learn from other people. Learning everyday is a huge part of my life and I am comfortable knowing, not only that I don’t know everything, but also that others have fantastic ideas, stories, experience and knowledge and that I can learn from everyone in some way.

The following day I watched a video with Sir Ken Robinson and Eckhart Tolle about a slightly unrelated topic (which has now been removed from YouTube!).

However there is a small part of this video that caught my ear and it’s all about having the courage to admit that you don’t know the answer to something, or that you simply just don’t underst and. Eckhart uses an example of the Dalai Lama being publicly asked a question of which he doesn’t know the answer to. Instead of the Dalai Lama fretting over not knowing the answer, because of his importance and the perception that he should know the answer to everything, he happily answers with “I don’t know”.

Are you comfortable not knowing?

dalai-lama
This really got me thinking. Firstly, this has an amazing impact on the audience. Because the Dali Lama admitted not knowing, this immediately gave the audience the permission to also ‘not know’, which is a powerful thing to achieve. Most of us are not comfortable admitting we don’t know things for several reasons, here are my thoughts: –

  • We don’t want to appear stupid on unintelligent
  • We don’t want to appear as if we have some weaknesses
  • We are too proud
  • Our ego’s are too big
  • The fear of being mocked

My second though about this was about how I can make sure humility comes across in my delivery when public speaking or presenting information.

Reflecting back on the comment I received I feel I have learned something. I am always forward in admitting when I don’t know something but perhaps I can improve somehow by being more aware of humility and how others may react to what I’m saying and how I am saying it.

As a consultant I think there is a lesson to be learned, and that is to be aware of humility when not only speaking to an audience, but also when working with people one-to-one.

I spoke to my Dad about this, whom has been a consultant for many years, and he summed it up nicely – “Instead of trying to simply provide solutions, work with people to help find the solutions”, i.e. don’t feel like you need to have all the answers, but work with people to find the solutions by asking the correct questions and facilitating the creativity and thinking processes. Spot on Dad!

After reading this, what are your thoughts?

How do you behave when you don’t know the answer to something? How do you feel when you don’t underst and something? Are you comfortable not knowing? Have you ever experienced the impact of humility or been in a situation where humility was not present? Please feel free to share your story and experiences.

Comments & Feedback

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Take the time to fill in any gaps in what I have written about, or share your feelings or story.

I just completed reading Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki. It’s a book that has been sitting in my library for a while and I was prompted to read it because it’s on my University reading list this year!

Enchantment transforms situations and relationships, turns cynics into believers and changes hearts and minds.

As soon as I started to read it I quickly realised the similarities between Enchantment and How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. You could say that this is the 21st Century version of the same book, although I have to say that I took a lot more from How To Win Friends.

The book is written in a way that makes it easy to dip in and out of, and it’s only a few hundred pages short. Not everything you read in the book will apply directly to your life, although I would suggest reading the book and using it to pick up the things that you think will work for you….there is always something to learn!

 

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

My Top Three Lessons

There are some great lessons in the book and I’ve reproduced my top three lessons.

Lesson 1 – Improve your decision making (p. 181)

I’m a really big fan of checklists and this list really appeals to me! I’m going to print this off and put it up in my office and every time I need to make a decision I’ll refer to it.

  • If I waited a week, I’d still make the same decision
  • A year from now, this decision would still be a good one
  • I’ve done my home work by reading independent reports and reviews of the product/service/organisation/idea
  • I am fully aware of the total cost of this decision, including installation, support, maintenance, subscriptions, and upgrades
  • This decision will not harm people
  • This decision will not unduly harm the environment
  • This decision isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal
  • This decisions will not set a bad example for my children
  • If no one could see that I was doing this, I would still do it
  • If everyone could see that I was doing this, I would still do it

Lesson 2 – Become the kind of person others want to follow (p. 29)

These pointers may seem quite obvious, but there are probably one or two things you could do here to invoke more trustworthiness. I think this is a great list of key qualities for anyone who wants to make friends.

  • Always act with honesty
  • Treat people who have wronged you with civility
  • Fulfill your unkept promises from the past
  • Help someone who can be of absolutely no use to you
  • Suspend the blame when something goes wrong and ask, “What can we learn”
  • Hire people who are as smart or smarter than you and give them opportunities for growth
  • Don’t interrupt people; don’t dismiss their concerns offh and; don’t rush to give advice; don’t change the subject. Allow people their moment.
  • Do no harm in anything you undertake
  • Don’t be too quick to shoot down others’ ideas
  • Share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with others
  • Focus on good will – focus on positive actions that make the world a better place
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt

Lesson 3 – Use Japanese wisdom to help you increase the effectiveness of your use of technology (p.148-9)

This list is a little different, and one of the reasons that I quite like it. Guy has reproduced this list from Garr Reynold’s book, Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations.

Kanso – Eliminating clutter and expressing things in plain and simple ways. Application: Reduce the crap in your presentation, on your website and blog, and in your emails, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn updates.

Fukinsie – Using asymmetry or irregularity to achieve balance. Application: Use asymmetrical photos on your website and in your presentations. Google the ‘ rule of thirds‘ to learn more about the power of asymmetry in photography

Shibui – Underst anding and not elaborating upon things. Application: Reduce the hard sell approach in every form of communication

Shizen – Depicting naturalness with the absence of pre tense and artificiality. Application: Simplify the user interface of your web properties and remove the flashy intro video on your website.

Yugen – Using subtle and symbolic suggestion rather than obviousness. Application: Create a presentation that moves people’s souls rather than beats them into submission and, more likely, boredom

Datsuzoku – Transcending habit, formula, and conventionality. Application: Break away from the tired text- and-bullet-points method of telling your story by using evocative pictures and cool diagrams. Or, don’t use Powerpoint and Keynote at all.

Seijaku – Achieving a state of tranquility and energised calm. Application: Removing the jarring and intrusive elements from your blog and website

Wa – Embodying harmony and balance and avoiding self-assertion. Application: Meld the needs of your customers, employees, and shareholders into a win-win, pie-baking approach.

Ma – Providing an emptiness, spatial void, or silence to provide a focal point. Application: Remove the glitz from your slides and increase white space in your presentation, website and blog.

Yohaku-no-bi – Appreciating the beauty of what is implied, unstated, and unexpressed. Application: Don’t sell past the close in your enchantment efforts.

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Comments & Feedback

“There are three things to leave behind: your photographs, your library and your personal journals. These things are certainly going to be more valuable to future generations than your furniture”
– Jim Rohn

This quote from Jim Rohn is a small snippet of his advice on what to leave behind as your legacy, and to benefit your family when you are no longer around. Mr Rohn is a wise man and should be listened to with the intent to improve and develop your life and the life of others.

Listening to Mr Rohn has really reminded me of a current issue that I am dealing with; I don’t have enough photos of my younger brother who died 5 years ago, and there is nothing I can do about that now. I have been looking through all my digital photos from the past decade and I never made enough effort to take more photos and capture the memories. I mean, the last thing you think about is not getting another opportunity to take another photo, you just don’t expect people to leave you so young… and for me, a very hard lesson is learned.

With this in mind I’m getting my camera out. I’m going to take it everywhere with me and take photos of all the important people in my life.

I appreciate that digital technology and smartphones have come a long way in the past 10 years, and thus memories are a lot easier to capture. However, I still feel that I don’t take enough pictures of the people that I love the most. You might be thinking the same, if so get your camera primed!

Can I ask you…

…how many photos have you taken of your parents from the past 6 months? How many of your gr andparents? Brothers? Sisters? Children? Think about this, once they are gone you can’t do anything about it, the time is now!

It takes a fraction of a second to capture a memory and it takes a fraction of a second to miss it.

A picture speaks a thous and words. Take more pictures.
– Jim Rohn


Feedback & Comments…

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All the best,

Chris.