The older I get the more I realize there are three major things that shape us: food, water and words. And the one that shapes us most is words. As I talk about in the video above, it was the words of my friend Bob that talked me off a ledge, many years ago. I’d failed in yet another relationship, and Bob was the one who called and told me who I was. He said, “Don, you’re good at relationships.”
Here’s a secret I learned long ago. It’s a big one and it’ll propel you into a future of greatness…
STOP TAKING SOCIAL CUES FROM YOUR PEERS.
Instead of taking social cues from people your age, take cues from people ten and twenty years older than you. Are you looking for[…]
In Harriet Braiker’s book Who’s Pulling Your Strings? she teaches readers how to smell out manipulative people. That book, along with a few years studying the Enneagram have completely changed how I view the world. The leaders I choose to follow are much less dynamic and charismatic than they used to be.
In light of the mega-church scandals happening in which a couple dynamic pastors have been revealed as shady and deceptive, I’ve wondered how in the world people didn’t see it from the beginning? But of course I already know the answer to that question: It’s because the people who follow those pastors are so sweet and kind.
The truth is people aren’t drawn to truth, they’re drawn to simplicity. Recent research from Harvard suggests that customers don’t necessarily buy the best products, they buy the products that are the easiest to understand and the easiest to purchase.
Every morning Betsy and I wake up and check the people news. By people news I mean Twitter, Instagram and for Betsy, Facebook. I’m not on Facebook (which makes me morally superior in some way) and talk about who’s doing what in the world.
There are two things we can count on every morning. The first is picture’s of her baby sister (Betsy is the oldest of seven. Her parents adopted an overly cute baby last year) to which we will comment or tweet back “so cute”. I might as well have “so cute” on auto reply for anything sent to me by Betsy’s family. It would always be the appropriate response.
I recently read an article about a hostage negotiator that has significantly changed the way I interact with people. Specifically, I’ve become a much better listener and it now matters less to me that I talk or am even heard in casual conversations.
Back when I was hanging out at Reed College, I was pleased to be in an environment where truth mattered more than ego, or rather where people didn’t associate their identity with their ideas. What I mean is, finding truth was more important than being right. And because finding truth was more important than being right, students were able to learn.
At Reed, discussing a philosophical or even scientific idea around a conference table did not look like a debate. Rather, it looked like a group of students attempting to put together a jig-saw puzzle. If a piece didn’t happen to fit, that was par for the course. You simply set it aside and worked together to make progress.
The older I get, the more I appreciate pain. I’m not a masochist by any stretch because I don’t like pain any more than the average person. And yet I’ve come to appreciate it.
In years past, when I’d go through a hard time, I’d run from it. I’d try not to feel it or deal with it. But these days, I’ve learned the only way life can actually get better is if I face reality, face my mistakes and liabilities and somehow correct or at least acknowledge them.
Generally speaking, you are either a Republican or Democrat, a Calvinist or Arminian, you either believe we are shaped by nature or nurture, you either like Neil Diamond or you don’t, and even as you read this, you either agree with the statements I just made or you disagree. We think Fox News is brainwashing or truth-telling, we are Democratic or Marxists, evolutionists or creationists. There is either right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or profane, right?
I had a pretty good revelation the other day and it was this:
Things almost always turn out fine.
It was a good time for me to have that revelation because I’d just sat down to write when I got a call reminding me about an appointment I’d completely forgotten. I’d have to rush out the door to make it, forfeiting my writing session. And I hate forfeiting my writing sessions.
On the subway, I had a bad attitude. I thought about how I was going to get behind on the book and how I resented having to keep this appointment. Then it hit me…
It’s called The 80/20 Principle. The book was written by Richard Koch and the argument is this: 80 percent of the results you’re getting at work flow from just 20 percent of your efforts. And not only this, but 80 percent of your profit likely comes from 20 percent of your products.