August 25, 2015

What I Learned About Life After Interviewing 80 Highly-Successful People

If you've ever read one of James Altucher's articles, you will find them to often be frantic and full of completely useful information. Excellent writing but hard to summarize. The last Altucher post I summarized took me several weeks to so do. This one, "What I Learned..." was slightly easier, but still full of amazing information.
  1. A life is measured in decades. Too many people want everything now. But a good life is like a bonfire - it builds slowly, and because it's slow and warm it caresses the heart instead of destroying it.
  2. A life is measured by what you did today. You get success in decades by having success now. Are you doing your best today?
  3. Focus is not important, "push" is. Focus is like saying, "I'm just going to learn about only one thing forever." But "push" is the ability to get up every day and push through all the things that make you want to go back to sleep.
  4. Give without thinking about what you will receive.
  5. Solving hard problems is more important that overcoming failure.
  6. Art, success, and love are about connecting all the dots. Everything is a dot: things you learn, things you read about, things you love. Connect them and create a legacy that will continue beyond you.
  7. It's not business, it's personal. Nobody succeeds with a great idea - they succeed because they build personal networks within networks of connections, friends, colleagues; all striving for personal goals, trusting each other, and working together.
  8. You can't predict the outcome, you can only do your best.
  9. The same philosophy of life should work for an emperor and a slave. You can't predict pleasure or pain. You can only strive for knowledge, giving, and fairness.
  10. The only correct path is the path correct for you. Don't think you have to fight your way to the top.
  11. Taking care of yourself comes first.
  12. The final answer: People do end up loving what they succeed at, or they succeed at what they love.
  13. Anybody, at any age. Age and status don't determine anything.

August 18, 2015

10 Irritating Behaviors that will Ruin Your Career

How many of these are you guilty of, from Jeff Haden's brilliant article? I used to be guilty of quite a few (and some of these I wasn't even aware of being bad, so I've since started to correct)...

  1. They thoughtlessly waste other people's time.
    • People who don't notice the small ways they inconvenience others tend to be oblivious when they do it in major ways.
    • Instead, behave as if the people around you have more urgent needs than yours.
  2. They ignore people outside their "level."
    • Sometimes we ignore others because they don't "fit in."
    • Instead, nod when making eye contact, or say, "Hi." Or just act like people exist.
  3. They ask for way too much.
    • Sometimes we forget that our needs are our problems. The world doesn't owe us anything - we aren't entitled to advice, mentoring, or success.
    • Instead, look out for yourself first. People tend to help those who help themselves or them first.
  4. They ignore people in genuine need.
    • Some people aren't in a position to help themselves. Give them a hand.
  5. They ask a question so they can talk.
    • Don't shoehorn in your own opinions under false pretenses.
    • Only ask questions if you genuinely want answers, and ask follow-up question to better understand.
  6. They pull a "Do you know who I am?"
    • Sometimes we pull out some form of the "I'm too important for this" card.
    • Instead, don't act like you know you're "somebody" or that you're entitled.
  7. They don't know when to dial it back.
    • Some people just can't stop "expressing their individuality" - even when its not appropriate.
    • Learn to know when a situation requires you to stop justifying words or actions with an unspoken, "Hey, that's just me being me."
  8. They mistake self-deprecation for permission.
    • Sometimes self-deprecation is genuine, but it's often a mask for insecurity. Never assume it is permission for you to poke the same fun at him.
  9. They humblebrag.
    • This is a form of braggin that tries to cover the brag with a veneer of humility, so it doesn't appear as bragging.
    • Instead, don't brag at all. Just be proud of your accomplishments and let others brag for you.
  10. They push their opinions.
    • Instead, share your opinions only in the appropriate setting.
    • What you think is right for you may not be right for others - it may not even be right for you.

August 11, 2015

"Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won't think you're going gaga."
David Ogilvy

"Inspiration exists, but it must find you working."

August 4, 2015

10 Ways to Develop Your Exceptional Charisma by Jeff Haden

Of late, I have focused a lot on lists, which is great because in many cases the points are already summarized. Lists are often useful, as in the case of this one by Jeff Haden, "10 Ways to Develop Your Exceptional Charisma." I wonder when he'll figure out I keep "borrowing" his wonderful material? :)

  1. Listen way more than you talk.
    • Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Respond, just non-verbally.
    • Don't offer advice unless asked.
    • Only speak when you have something important - to the other person - to say.
  2. Don't practice selective hearing.
    • Listen closely to everyone. Make everyone feel on the level, like you have something in common with them.
  3. Always put your stuff away.
    • Don't focus on phones, monitors, etc. You can't connect with others if you're busy connecting with your stuff.
  4. Always give before you receive - knowing you may never receive.
    • Never think about what you can get, focus on what you can provide.
  5. Don't act self-important...
    • The only people impressed by pretentiousness are pretentious people.
  6. ...since you know other people are important.
    • You already know what you know - you can't learn new stuff from yourself.
    • You don't know what others know - they are people you can learn from.
  7. Shine the spotlight on others
    • Make sure you know when others do well, and be sure to tell them they did well.
  8. Choose your attitude and your words
    • Your words affect others' attitudes, as well as your own.
    • You don't "have to" do something - you "get to" do it.
  9. Don't discuss the failings of others...
    • Don't laugh at other people. When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them too.
    • Everyone may like gossip, but no one respects a gossiper.
  10. ...but readily admit your own failings.
    • You have to be genuine to be charismatic.
    • Be humble. Share your screw-ups. Admit your mistakes and be the lesson learned.
    • Laugh at yourself, and others will laugh with you, not at you.