Thanks to Goodreads Reading Challenges. Every year it helps me to break the monotony of life and set some time for my reading habit before crashing on the bed. As Anthony Moore on Medium once said “Consistency Beats Talent, Luck, Good Intentions, and Even Quality”. I am happy that my consistent efforts in reading atleast few pages each night before retiring to sleep has finally paid off.
Here is a list of 20 lessons I learnt from the books that I read during 2017 which equates to 2107 pages on a whole.
Imperfection is beautiful: In life it is okay to not be perfect all the time. But always strive hard to become better version of you each day. Sometimes the excessive greed to be perfect can sabotage the chances of getting better and achieving better results in life. – Learnt from Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute.
Creativity never runs out: Lot of people just try to hide the knowledge that they know and think that sharing is not so cool. If you are one amongst them, let me tell you something. YOU GOT THIS THEORY WRONG DUDE. Creativity is something which never runs out. Creativity is abundant in this Universe. The elixir to have an abundance of creativity inside you is simple “You got to dream a lot”. That’s it. – Learnt from Things a Little Bird Told Me – Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone
Asking questions is free. Getting a lot of NO’s in life also is free: So when in doubt, do not hesitate to just ask that question and get your clarity. At the same time, getting a flat NO is also free in life. Be prepared for rejections and do not get disappointed when someone says NO. Just keep trying hard towards your goals in life. – Learnt from Things a Little Bird Told Me – Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone
Hustle Harder: The road to success does not have any esclataors. Be prepared to have zero social life or zero weekends at times, when you want to achieve that big thing in life. Some sacrifices are worth it. – Learnt from How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh.
Say no to Piggy Back rides: Piggy back rides are cute in pictures but not in real life. It’s important to know the difference between supporting people and giving them a free ride. Many times in life, once you achieve your goals, there are lot of people who love to latch onto your back and try to extract some benefits from you. You should be aware of how to stop being used like a doormat by such characters. – Learnt from How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh.
We all have a dark side: “The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.” Everyone of us have a dark side inside of us. It’s just that sometimes it comes out in its true form and other times it is just hiding beneath a neat layer of “i am just being nice bro”. To understand our inner demons is important in order to not fall into the trap of dark circumstances in life. – Learnt from Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Chase your dreams and fight for it: Hardships often teach us the value of relationships and true meaning of success. Nothing comes easy in life. It all comes in the form of bruises, sweat and hardwork. Sometimes you have to be the David who took on the Goliath’s in the boxing ring and win most of the time – Learnt from Unbreakable: an Autobiography by M C Mary Kom
“The purpose of a pitch is to stimulate interest, not to close a deal.” : One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind, when you are creating a PowerPoint slide to pitch your solution is the 10/20/30 rule. i.e Your presentation should have 10 slides, it should not last more than 20 minutes and contain no font smaller than 30 points. If you are wondering how do I do that? Then here is the article which you need to read. – Learnt from The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
Reward people for stopping something: “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders in real life, don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop”.
Say “Thank You first”: Whenever someone compliments, just shut the fuck up and say “Thank You” then followed by your other explanations. Many a times, the person who has complimented you would be baffled to hear anything other than a simple thank you. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Not all suggestions are worth implementing: Whenever someone suggests you anything, keep calm and say “Thank You”. You don’t … I repeat… You don’t have to act on every advice that is thrown at you. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Seek honest feedbacks from people near you: If you want to find your blind spot in career, walk upto people who work with you and ask “What is that one thing that I need to change in myself in order to become a better ________”. You would be amazed at the honest response that follows after you shoot this question. Ask me why? People love giving advice and suggestions all the time. And also, people love the fact that you are trying to improve. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Follow up is not just for call-centres : Follow the simple rule of “Ask – Listen – Think – Thank – Respond – Change – Follow Up” in life. Follow up is a very important ingredient in life. You cannot stop once you have made a significant change in your behavior. You need to consistently ask and take feedback so that you can improve it. This simple cycle transforms your professional career by 2X. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Do not cut people when they are trying to give you suggestions: Just listen quietly and thank them. Cutting people when they are trying to convey something, makes you come across like an arrogant asshole. So the next time someone suggests you or brings up a new idea at your desk, stop using the words “NO”, “But” , “However”.Instead try to listen and observe. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Harness the power of an apology: Apologize, if at all you find yourself crossing your limits and hurting someone. Apologising helps you to navigate seamlessly across all genres of people and makes you less prone to non-cooperation movements in any organization – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Always be patient and listen. Mute the surroundings near you and make the person infront of you feel as if he is the only person existing on this planet. Respect people when they are saying something and listen to them intently. Never cut people saying “I knew that” – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
Sometimes it’s the one thing that you need to change right now: You might think that there are ten things I have to improve in myself, How do I do that? and get mindfucked. But, the reality is, sometimes when you attempt to tackle one problem at a time, you would resolve four other problems simultaneously without even knowing.
- Take this example: Your wife may be complaining that you never listen to her. But you know that this is not the only thing that bothers her. She has problems with your smoking, drinking, missing important things and hundred other issues. Instead of tackling all at once. How about you focus on the importance of being a better listener.
- You go home and quietly listen to all her words (It’s hard but trust me you need to be patient). After she is done you sit back and think – thank – act on the things that made her mad – go and ask her “Is there anything else that I can do to improve _________”.
- Once you are done addressing her issue, go and look at your own self.
- You might have become not just a better listener but a better husband as well. You would have not missed that important grocery list which she had asked you to shop this morning. You would have not missed picking up your kid from the school. You would have been even more prompt in managing your office timings.
- Did it not resolve your time management issues, your unorganized way of living and also made you a responsible parent ?
- Always remember that if you want to change anything about yourself, the best time to start is now. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to change now?” Just do that. That’s more than enough. For now.”
You are who you think you are: Our self image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become. So the next time, you go out and say something rude to someone, always remember how much your words can alter their self image. Girls who think they are ugly all the time are nothing but a by product of the inferiority complex that is bred into them during their schooling. Guys who always think they are superior than others, and treat others with disrespect and bully/insult them are nothing but a reflection of their own insecurities that the other person is better than them. Our self image and habits tend to go together. Change one and you will automatically change the other – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz
You are who you are today because of your surroundings and situations: Never do something which will totally alter the self image of a kid forever. The below infographic clearly describes how an environment can affect and alter a kid’s nature forever – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz
See – Learn – Embrace the learning – Move Forward. Admit your mistakes but do not dwell on them forever. Resenting on past mistakes will create a neuro-pattern in your brain that you will be a loser forever. Whereas remembering the past successes and rejoicing those moments can make your brain stay more positive and calm during crisis situations. – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz
Okay, that’s all folks. I hope I get to learn few more things this year from the books I read. Stay Happy. Stay Humble. And do not forget to love yourself.