Winners Never Cheat

winners-never-cheat

Jon M. Huntsman is founder and chairman of Huntsman Corporation. His foundation supports the Huntsman Cancer Institute. His book Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times is structured around old-school aphorisms (“Play by the Rules”; “Check Your Moral Compass”) from which Huntsman draws an informal moral code.

Winners Never Cheat is Huntsman’s explanation of the principles at the heart of his business success. They include:

  • Compete fiercely and fairly — but no cutting in line
  • Set the example — risk, responsibility, reliability
  • Revenge is unproductive: Learn to move on
  • Operate businesses and organizations as if they are family-owned.

Huntsman also stresses, among other principles, the importance of surrounding oneself with associates who listen to their conscience and act accordingly; of treating customers, colleagues, employees and competitors with respect; and of returning favors and good fortune by helping out those less fortunate.

There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business — or life. There are, basically, three kinds of people: the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful, and those who become and remain successful. The difference is character.

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Too Much News

The rise of 24×7 news media has ensured that news gets to people faster. One doesn’t have to wait for the morning newspaper or the evening news to know what has happened.

Also the rise of digital media brings with itself other sets of problems.I read the following quote and immediately wanted to write it down:

 

Alain de Botton writes in The News—A User’s Manual: “The modern world is teaching us that there are dynamics far more insidious and cynical still than censorship in draining people of political will; these involve confusing, boring and distracting the majority away from politics by presenting events in such disorganized, fractured and intermittent way that a majority of the audience is unable to hold on to the thread of the most important issues for any length of time.”

The-News-by-Allain-de-Botton

The proliferation of the media and the rise of the social media has essentially ensured that the audience keeps getting bored and needs more and more new issues to agitate or at least feel agitated about.

The point, as Botton writes, is that “news organizations broadcast a flow of random-sounding bulletins, in great numbers but with little explanation of context, within an agenda” that keeps changing, and “without giving any sense of the ongoing relevance of an issue that had seemed pressing only a short while before.” This is interspersed with constant antics of film stars.

And this, as Botton writes, “would be quite enough to undermine most people’s capacity to grasp political reality – as well as any resolve they might have summoned to alter it.”

This is something that we should worry about.

PS: Some more quotes from The News: A User’s Manual by Alain de Botton

 

Life Tip in a Simple Paragraph

I came across a small 350+ words paragraph and couldn’t stop myself from sharing it. Its written by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and surprisingly, I had never come across these words before.

Supposedly, this contains every life tip out there. OK That might be an exaggeration, but its really worth it. Read it once – Twice – Thrice – or better still, Print it. Its that amazing!

PS: I am breaking this paragraph to increase readability.

Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers.
Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don’t major in minor things.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly.
Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best.
Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love.
Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
Never cut what can be untied.
Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself.
Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do.
Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out.
Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right.
Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.
The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it.
When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.

Jackson has written a few volumes of interestingly named book Life’s Little Instruction Book, and as after reading this one paragraph I couldn’t stop myself from sharing it here.

A case in favor of reading the whole book

In most books, the important ideas and insights are usually unevenly distributed across the whole book. Which means, if your intention behind reading books is just to gain knowledge (and not care about its entertainment value) then there’s always some part of the book which doesn’t add as much value. Does it mean one should read just the book summaries? Scott Young, makes a case in favor of reading the whole book instead of books summaries. And his argument is quite convincing.

…the value of books comes not only from their ideas, which of course can often be gleaned from a summary, but from being a difficult mental task that requires focus and simultaneously guides deeper thinking…reading a hard book is more than just the ideas you obtain from it. Thinking about the book’s content while you read it is what matters. So a really long, good book on a topic will provoke much longer reflection and therefore have a much larger impact than a short summary or perhaps even many short summaries.

It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost you if you don’t read it. (Jim Rohn)

Brian Tracy: “Your life is never the same after you discover continuous learning, leaders are readers. If you want to be more successful on the outside you have to become more on the inside. You must be all the time continue upgrading your knowledge and skills. You can change all things for the better when you change yourself for the better. You may just be one idea away from transforming your life and you have to reaffirm the profound idea of learning and learning…. Continuous learning is your key to unlocking unlimited success and growth. That alone is life transforming.”

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

John Maxwell: “Learning never stops. Yesterday’s learning will keep me where I am. Today learning is only to be enough for today. Today is for today only. It got me on a path of growth which created an appetite to grow that has never stopped.I just see the benefits of it in so many ways. I can’t imagine going one day without learning something, experiencing something new, and then passing it on to others.”

“You must take on responsibility for your own education.” (Jim Rohn)

Zig Ziglar said: “When you finish school you don’t finish your education; it is a lifetime matter.’ Education goes on and on….. Education gets you a job. Self education gets you rich; formal education makes you a living; self education makes you a fortune. Never seize your quest for knowledge and development; thirst for ideas that can be life changing; and then learn to pass it on, and pass it on to your children.”

Where would you start if you wanted to improve your life? For things to change for you, you have to change! It’s about a mindset and attitude that will lead to actions!

Simplify – De-Clutter Your Life

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I came through following quote from the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson:

Material possessions often cluttered life rather than enriched it.

Steve Jobs was highly influenced by the teachings of Zen Buddhism. He believed that it was important to avoid attachment to material objects. Peoples’ consumer desires are unhealthy and to attain enlightenment you need to develop a life of non-attachment and non-materialism.

When people make a lot of money, they feel that they had to live differently. They will buy expansive cars and big houses. They are always shopping, wardrobes full of clothes and shows. Slowly it grows so much that “what to wear?” becomes the first question they face first thing in morning.

It’s no longer about enjoying these material possessions, instead it becomes a daily struggle to manage them, Nancy Twigg once said:

Instead of being served by what we own, we end up serving our possessions with inordinate amounts of our time and energy.

Isn’t it curious how quickly roles can be reversed? Possessions that are supposed to enrich our lives are often drain us instead. Things we think will make our lives better, only bring additional heartache and hassle. Instead of being server by what we own, we end up serving our possessions with inordinate amounts of time and energy. [From page 108 of Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out by Nancy Twigg]

“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill

By decluttering your life, you could actually welcome more abundance? Why? Because you will create more room; more space for better things.

Image source: De-Clutter Your Life by Adam Sicinski

 

Creativity is Subtraction

I read about this sentence first time while browsing Wikipedia about Steal Like an Artist, the idea is based on a book with same name on coming up with creative ideas, by Austin Kleon.

What it means?

The closest I can think of is in the design of products like smart phones, instead of having dozens of buttons you just have few home and navigation buttons.

In an age of information overload and abundance, focus is important. Choose what you want to leave out of your key work. “Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The best way to get over creative block is to simply place some constraints on yourself”, says Austin Kleon author of Steal Like an Artist.

A good example of design by constraints is Dr Seuss wrote his bestselling book “Green Egg and Ham” with only 50 different words (source). Saul Steinberg says a work of art represents a struggle against limitations. Creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out,” advises Kleon.

If the subtractive principle of art is still not clear, let me leave you with the image of a Zen garden where a single stone and a bit of raked sand convey oceans of meaning.

ryoanji-jardin-zen-seco-rocas-movimiento-sensaciones

Creativity is subtraction
it helps eliminate the un-neccessaties of life
sometimes, at least
less is more