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— Alvin Toffler
― Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War
Cognitive Restructuring is a practical way to how you think about adverse situations and unfortunate events .
The method starts by calming oneself to identify the real situation and assess one’s emotions and thoughts(“I’m afraid that I’m going to die in this cave.”).
Lastly, focus on identifying evidence that supports how you feel(“We are trapped without any communication system to ask for help”) and, also, those who contradict your feelings(“Rescuers can help us if we stay alive, calm, and safe.”).
1. Reframe (your thoughts about) reality: You can’t control reality, but you can manage how you adapt to it.
2. Prepare for the worst: You can’t train to deal with every possible situation, but you can prepare your mind to adapt to unexpected ones.
3.Create alternative paths: Creativity plays a critical role in overcoming adversity.
4. Leverage the Power of Relationships: Rescuing yourself from adversity starts with you but, as stated above, strong relationships are critical to bounce back.
5. Mind your spirit: Religious and spiritual support bring us comfort during adversity.
The ability to correct mistakes and to be less wrong over time comes down to one thing: the capacity to embrace and understand the contradictions that arise in the world when they do.
When you believe one thing and reality tells you another, to self-correct, you have to first see the contradiction that has shown up. Similarly, when your identity is tied to one system and the world breaks it down, it’s this same contradiction that needs to be embraced before you can reconcile the pieces.
As an athlete, if you want to improve something—your 100-meter time, say, or your deadlift PR—you’ve got to apply a challenge, some sort of “stressor,” and then follow it with a period of rest and recovery.
Too much stress without enough rest and you get injury, illness, and burnout. Not enough stress plus too much rest and you get complacency, boredom, and stagnation.
There are many things out of our control that impact our success. These play huge roles in our life. At the same time, there is a case to be made that, of the things we can control, knowledge is the most fundamental and important.
• experts have lots of factual knowledge about their subject;
• experts have a mental organizational structure that facilitates the retrieval and effective application of their knowledge;
• experts have an ability to monitor their own thinking (“metacognition”), at least in their discipline of expertise. They are able to ask themselves, “Do I understand this? How can I check my understanding?”
Getting motivated then requires you to do some combination of:
When you quit something that you had initially wanted to do, it’s because the reasons to stop eventually came to outweigh the reasons to continue.
We can break motivation down into two areas: creating motivation to get started, and maintaining motivation to continue.
Thus, to maintain your motivation you can either strengthen the reasons to keep going or weaken the reasons to quit. Successful motivation efforts generally include both.
Discernment means you’re aware of the IMPLICATIONS of what you’re observing. It means you can PREDICT where certain behaviors, actions, ideas, and environments will take you.
When you development discernment, you can make powerful choices, because you have both information and intuition. You can’t have discernment without first observing and paying attention.
Keystone skills are those half dozen skills which facilitate the development of other skills. They are the foundation to living a life in alignment, to having confidence and clarity, and to becoming a powerful learner and leader.
Similarly, “keystone habits” lead to the development of multiple good habits. They start a chain effect in your life that produces a number of positive outcomes.
If you want to succeed in your endeavors, you need to shift your frame of mind first.
We all have some influence on what this reality has to offer, but ultimately, many things are out of our control. The only solution, then, is to adjust our expectations by managing our personal desires.
People who are resilient tend to be flexible – flexible in the way that they think about challenges, and flexible in the way that they react emotionally to stress. They are not wedded to a specific style of coping. Instead, they shift from one coping strategy to another depending upon the circumstances. Many are able to accept what they cannot change; to learn from failure; to use emotions such as grief and anger to fuel compassion and courage; and to search for opportunity and meaning in adversity.
1.Focus on your breath by focusing on the breath’s physical sensation around your nose, chest, or belly.
2. Recognize your thoughts by labeling them: “____ is like this.”
3. Let go of your thoughts by envisioning them as clouds, bubbles, or leaves floating downstream.
4.Return to the breath and try to observe each breath from a fresh perspective, as if you were in a Museum of Breath.
It’s not about how many books you finish.
Book hoarders and smart readers are differentiated by these 3 qualities:
• Smart readers create a consistent learning ritual.
• Smart readers learn how to learn.
• Smart readers take action until they get the result they’re looking for
You become more self-confident if you become better at what you do. That’s the system, and it’s backed by research.
The following process is easy—but completing the steps takes hard work. It goes like this:
Think of yourself as an artist making a sketch to get the composition clear in his mind, the blocks of color, the balance, and the rest. With that done, you can worry about the fine points. -Isaac Asimov
Trying to get everything right the first time is a big mistake. Lower your standards. Make a test product, a temporary sketch or a rough draft.
A great tool that many coaches have used for years. While the original wheel of life dates back to Buddhism, the modern wheel of life was created by Paul Meyer, a pioneer in the life coaching and self-improvement industry.
The purpose of the wheel is to look at areas of your life which are important to you. In each area, you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. This gives you an idea of where you are in – or out of balance – and what areas you need to pay more attention to. It gives you perspective on the whole of your life.
Intellectual humility isn’t valuable just because it’s a virtue. It’s valuable because it gives us a more realistic conception of ourselves and our place in the world, which helps us conduct our lives more effectively and harmoniously, make better decisions and inspires us to learn more.
“Progress is a natural result of staying focused on the process of doing anything.”
—Thomas Sterner, The Practicing Mind
The state of your life right now is a result of the habits and beliefs that you have been practicing each day. When you realize this and begin to direct your focus toward practicing better habits day-in and day-out, continual progress will be the logical outcome.It is not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determines our results, but rather that habits that we practice each day. Fall in love with boredom and focus your energy on the process, not the product.
Rule #1: Be less certain: Once you accept that you’re overconfident, you can revisit the logic of your decision.
Rule #2: Ask “How often does that typically happen?”: The idea with both prediction and judgment is to get away from the “inside view,” where the specifics of the decision overwhelm your analysis. Instead, you want to take the “outside view,” where you start with similar cases before considering the specifics of your individual case.
Rule #3: Think probabilistically— and learn some basic probability: even relatively basic training in probability makes people better forecasters and helps them avoid certain cognitive biases. Improving your ability to think probabilistically will help you with the first two rules.
It doesn’t require any particular worldview or spiritual or religious belief system.
Mindfulness training can be broken down into two major categories: focused attention and open monitoring. They’re very different, yet complementary, practices.
• Focused attention exercises cultivate your brain’s ability to focus on one single object, like one’s breath or walking.
• Open monitoring helps you learn to pay attention to what’s happening around you without becoming attached to it.
Life is about what you do in the painful moments. The choices you make. The path you choose.
The easy path means being the same person you were yesterday. It’s easy and comfortable to convince yourself that the world should work differently than it does, that you have nothing to learn from the pain. The harder path is to embrace the pain and ask yourself what you could have done differently or better or what your blind spot was. It’s harder because you stop living in the bubble of your own creation and start living in reality.
The rule goes something like this: “At 20, you are constantly worrying about what other people think of you. At 40 you wake up and say, 'I’m not going to give a damn what other people think anymore.' And at 60 you realize no one is thinking about you at all.” The most important piece of information there: “Nobody is thinking about you from the very beginning.You need to be your own advocate. If you’re in a job you don’t like, you need to be the one to change it. You can’t sit in your office and wait for someone to bring you the answer.” - Heidi Roizen
A Proper Day Off isn’t an invitation for laziness, or the shirking of responsibilities. In fact, a Proper Day Off is a day for exploring a certain other class of responsibilities: being a relaxed and present friend, parent, son or daughter, or stranger.
A few general rules, to keep your Day Off uncompromised:
1) No work, no “getting ahead”;
2) Don’t spend the day at home;
3) Involve loved ones;
4) Plan loosely, but don’t make an itinerary;
5) Minimize electronic device usage;
6) Enjoy the fruits of civilization(parks, museums, galleries, markets, public spaces, performance venues and heritage buildings).
The thing is, incremental daily progress (negative or positive) is what actually causes transformation. A figurative drip, drip, drip. Showing up, every single day, gaining in strength, organizing for the long haul, building connection, laying track — this subtle but difficult work is how culture changes. - Seth Godin
The impact that external stimuli can have on behavior is well-known.
The people we connect with and the places we live in often determine our behavior and habits as much as we do ourselves.
The good news is that, at least to a certain degree, your environment is within your control. If you want to change your behavior, then change your environment. Even small adjustments can make a difference.
1. Sense of self: Any type of self-improvement begins with a keen awareness of who you are and what are your values, beliefs and the larger purpose you wish to pursue.You have to know who you are and what you want.
2. Sense of curiosity: To live successfully, you must be deeply curious about all the possibilities your future holds. It is important to have an unquenchable thirst for your advancement.
3. Sense of direction: Having a sense of direction improves your ability to prioritize.
4. Sense of follow-through: Knowing what you want to achieve makes it easier for you to see the benefits of taking action.
5. Sense of urgency: A sense of urgency drives hard work.
6. Sense of resiliency: Resiliency prevents you from viewing any challenge as the end of the world. Resilience allots you the patience, awareness and fortitude to continue moving forward, even if that means completely changing course.
7. Sense of connectedness: When you improve your personal development, you are better able to see which relationships and partnerships are worth investing in and which you need cut loose.
The purpose of life isn’t to accomplish. It’s to experience. Right now.
If death isn’t relevant, and our identity isn’t infinite, then the only thing that is relevant is the experience of being aware while it’s still possible. What’s important isn’t to extend our lives through a temporary legacy beyond awareness, but it’s to experience, alter, and disrupt consciousness in ways that add some sense of joy or meaning to our day to day existence. What you leave behind and what you do should matter only in the context of the experience you have while you are still alive and can relate to it.
These skills may not seem earth shattering at first glance, but they affect your much of a person's life and career:
Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable. -Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life. -Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy. In order to really find happiness, you need to continue looking for opportunities that you believe are meaningful, in which you will be able to learn new things, to succeed, and be given more and more responsibility to shoulder. - by Clayton M. Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?
“To really achieve anything, you have to be able to tolerate and enjoy risk. It has to become a challenge to look forward to. In all fields, to make exceptional discoveries you need risk — you’re just never going to have a breakthrough without it.”- Steven Kotler, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
“Contrary to what we usually believe, the best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last blockon a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
"It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds. … The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent." - Viktor Frankl
1. Make little changes in your daily routine, such as getting more sleep, exercising, getting out into nature, and meditating.
2. Read more books. Read books to learn—research suggests that lifelong learners remain healthy and engaged, and live long lives. Read books as an escape from your everyday life, Read books—it will make you happy.
3. Find your right fit or match, both personally and professionally. If you love what you do and who you are with, you’ll position yourself for personal happiness and professional success.
4. Be grateful. Sanderson suggested two specific activities to help foster a greater sense of gratitude. First, keep a daily gratitude journal. Second, pay a “gratitude visit” to someone from your past who has had a significant impact on your life, and let them know how you feel.
5. Smile more—even if you don’t feel like it. Research shows that the simple act of smiling can trick your brain into a happier state.
6. Relish simple, everyday moments. Appreciating life’s small moments, such as a beautiful, sunny day, green shoots sprouting from the ground, and skipping rocks at the beach, teaches you to be more grateful for what you have, especially during moments of stress and angst.
7. Perform random acts of kindness. Do good deeds. Volunteer. Be charitable. Shop (for someone else!). Numerous studies have shown that you can help yourself by doing good for others.
8. Spend money on experiences versus things. Studies have shown that buying an object—a car, handbag, or kitchen gadget—can quickly lead to buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, investing in experiences—a concert, a camping trip, music lessons—leads to greater happiness. Experiences create “happiness residue,” and our perceptions of them often get better over time.
9. Avoid comparisons. Whatever you may think of someone else’s life, particularly as viewed through the phony, filtered lens of social media, it’s almost certainly messier than you imagine. It’s easier to embrace, and learn to love, your own imperfections, if you don’t conjure up myths about how perfect everyone else’s lives seem.
10. Build and maintain close relationships. According to Sanderson, having a small number of tight, meaningful relationships is one of the highest predictor of happiness.
“To be effective, every knowledge worker, and especially every executive, needs to be able to dispose of time in fairly large chunks. To have small dribs and drabs of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.” - Peter Drucker
There are a couple of different things at play when we write about what’s on our minds that contribute to a greater sense of calm and control.
• Our short-term memory storage is limited- The vast majority of us can only hold five or six, maybe seven items in our head at a time. Anything beyond and we start to forget things and feel overwhelmed with information. Recording your thoughts in a medium outside your own head clears out that storage. As a result, yourmind becomes quieter: It stops returning to the same worn-out mental loops over and over. You can begin to think more clearly.
• Reframing our personal narrative - When you recount and reflect upon your thoughts and experiences you are, in effect, telling your own story. Journalinghelps clarify, edit, and find new meaning in these narratives.
•Clarify your thoughts and feelings: Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
• Know yourself better: By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident.
• Reduce stress: Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings.
• Solve problems more effectively: Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
• Resolve disagreements with others: Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view.
• The learning zone: The purpose of the Learning Zone is to soak up everything we can to improve.
• The performance zone: The performance zone is where we intentionally apply what we have learned, and we work towards mastery.
We can not excel without both.
"The performance zone maximizes our immediate performance, while the learning zone maximizes our growth and our future performance.The reason many of us don't improve much despite our hard work is that we tend to spend almost all of our time in the performance zone. This hinders our growth, and ironically, over the long term, also our performance." - Eduardo Briceno
Quick steps to starting focusing on continuous improvement.
• Step 1: Do more of what already works - Progress often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights. You don’t need more information. You don’t need a better strategy. You just need to do more of what already works.
• Step 2: Avoid tiny losses - In many cases, improvement is not about doing more things right, but about doing fewer things wrong.
• Step 3: Measure backward - Measuring backward means you make decisions based on what has already happened, not on what you want to happen.
"A perfect formulation of a problem is already half its solution."
- David Hilbert