30 Lessons From The Magic of Thinking Big

The Magic of Thinking Big contains the secrets to getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life. The book illustrates how you don’t need to be incredibly intelligent or unique to have the success you want, you simply need to think in a way that cultivates success. By thinking big you can motivate yourself to improve your work life, earn more money and get more happiness and fulfillment out of life.

Following are the 30 things I learnt from this books:

  1. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t reach your goals.
  2. All people have the same amount of hours in the day – Successful people find the time to become successful.
  3. You are not too young/old to become successful. Steve Jobs started Apple before he was twenty and Ronald Reagan had become 70 years old when he became president of America.
  4. Interest and enthusiasm is more important than intelligence.
  5. Compliment people at every opportunity.
  6. Use positive words.
  7. Learn to see/visualize what can be and not what is.
  8. Eliminate the word impossible and think how “it” could be done.
  9. Change is required for progress.
  10. Expose yourself to new things, friends, places, restaurants etc.
  11. Always accept every opportunity to do more.
  12. If you want something done. Hand it to the busiest person you know.
  13. Action cures fear. Action separates a dreamer from a doer.
  14. A fair idea acted upon is better than great idea not acted upon.
  15. Smile until you show your teeth towards all people and you’ll feel happier
  16. Walk faster than other people.
  17. Speak up, but don’t speak fast, so you avoid sounding insecure.
  18. Look sharp and you will think sharp and be perceived sharp.
  19. Sell yourself to yourself. Do a commercial about yourself.
  20. All children dream big, but repressive environment results in only 3-4% never give up success.
  21. Don’t let negative people destroy your plans. Seek advice only from successful people. They know its possible.
  22. Gossip is poison – Chopping your neighbors furniture doesn’t make your won better.
  23. Put service first and money will come.
  24. Call people by name.
  25. Avoid sarcasm and don’t make other people small.
  26. The better you treat people the better your are off. Praise people first.
  27. Think improvement and high standards in everything you do.
  28. Successful people spend time alone for super thinking. At least 30 min a day.
  29. Visualize goals for home, work and social activities.
  30. Every step should be seen as a step towards you direction to success.

In the words of Publilius Syrus:
A wise man will be master of his mind,
A fool will be its slave.

 

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3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice

One line summary: It takes just three seconds to turn a negative impulse into a positive one.

3-Seconds-by-Les-Parrott

Les Parrott in his book 3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice outlines the six common impulses that typically sabotage success, claiming that three seconds is all that stands between those who settle for “whatever” and those who insist on “whatever it takes”.

He suggests to consciously replace the first automatic impulse with a second less natural but more effective one.

  • Empower Yourself
    • 1st impulse: “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”
  • Embrace a Good Challenge
    • 1st impulse: “It’s too difficult to even attempt.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I love a challenge.”
  • Fuel Your Passion
    • 1st impulse: “I’ll do what happens to come my way.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’ll do what I’m designed to do.”
  • Own Your Piece of the Pie
    • 1st impulse: “It’s not my problem, somebody else is to blame.”
    • 2nd impulse: “The buck stops here.”
  • Walk the Extra Mile
    • 1st impulse: “I’ve done what’s required, and that’s that.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’ll go above and beyond the mere minimum.”
  • Quit Stewing and Start Doing
    • 1st impulse: “Someday I’m going to do that.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’m diving in … starting today.”

The key is to focus on the decisions that you make. 3 Seconds offers many examples of specific areas in which you can take control of your decisions.

There is also a section devoted solely to how to make this way of thought a habit. Simply reading the book is not enough! You have to take action.  You have to train yourself to think through each decision and to not settle for less than whatever it takes, especially in moments when things are difficult.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people that get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Make Your Second Impulse, Your Second Nature.

Inhale … exhale … the difference of your lifetime can begin in the space of a single breath. The decision is yours. Start today.

Become a Reader

Ragged Dick Frontispiece Coates 1895.JPGDick meets the son of a wealthy man and shows him around the city for a day. Later, the boy’s father tells Dick that “in this country poverty is no bar to achievement” and relates his own rise from apprentice printer to successful businessman. He notes that there was one thing he took away from the printing office “which I value more than money.” When Dick asks what this was, the man replies:

“A taste for reading and study. During my leisure hours I improved myself by study, and acquired a large part of the knowledge which I now possess. Indeed, it was one of my books that first put me on the track of the invention, which I afterwards made. So you see, my lad, that my studious habits paid me in money, as well as in another way.”
Source: Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger Jr.

The main take away from this book is that we should strive for success not just to get a fortune, but to gain tenacity, discipline, frugality, and optimism—qualities that cannot be bought.

Today Matters by John C. Maxwell

Today-Matters-by-John-C-MaxwellWe exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and ultimately, underestimate today. The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow.

Today Matters by John C. Maxwell, addresses this problem with daily disciplines. These disciplines are categorized by the 12 concepts(aka The Daily Dozen) of attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values and growth.

  1. Attitude: Choose and display the right attitude daily.
  2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
  3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
  4. Family: Communicate with and care for your family daily.
  5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
  6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
  7. Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily.
  8. Faith: Deepen and live out your faith daily.
  9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
  10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.
  11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.
  12. Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily.

Each chapter is devoted to one of the concepts listed above and includes a description, thoughts for reflection and exercises. There are many inspirational stories and fun facts to keep the book interesting and to make these concepts more applicable to real world situations.

Throughout each chapter the author gives examples on how to embrace the values he discuss. If you don’t have your own core value set that you base your life off of, then some of these might be a good starting point for you to consider investing your time and energy into.

”By making today great, you can make your life great, because when you take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself.”

 

11 Lessons On Why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman

winners-never-cheatYou may not have heard of Jon Huntsman. But you have used his products hundreds of times. This self-made billionaire founded the Huntsman Chemical Corporation which developed the Styrofoam that is used in McDonald’s clam-shell burger containers. Life was not all smooth sailing for this rags-to-riches businessman. Not one bit. He has been cheated and lied to countless times, but his moral compass stayed true.

Recently I finished reading Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times by Jon M. Huntsman, here are 11 lessons on why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman:

Lesson 1: Check your Moral Compass
No one is raised in a moral vacuum. It doesn’t matter what your background or religion is, you know when something just isn’t right. When something doesn’t seem right, step back and evaluate the situation. If that uneasiness doesn’t leave, then you are near dangerous territory. Don’t do it. You must find another way or abandon your current path altogether.

“We know darn well what is right and wrong.”

Lesson 2: Play by the rules
Character is most determined by integrity and courage. Character is also how you act when no one is watching. Cutting in line will often get you short term gain but its long term consequences never work out. The game is always more fun when everyone plays fair.

“Which rules we honor and which we ignore determine our personal character.”

Lesson 3: Set the Example
Whatever your job or title, you have an opportunity to lead with honor. Others are watching, whether it be a supervisor who is looking for that next leader, or a subordinate who is looking for an example to follow. Always know that others have moments of uncertainty and they might be looking to you for direction. You will never regret doing the right thing.

“Strong leaders accept responsibility for problems and deal with them swiftly and fairly. If the problem is your responsibility, then so is the solution.”

Lesson 4: Keep your word
Individual and corporate integrity must become the hallmark of the marketplace. Deep in our hearts, we all have a basic understanding that when we shake on something, it’s supposed to stick. A handshake should always be as binding as an iron-clad legal documents. If you conduct your business in that manner, you will develop a loyal following of customers, vendors and lifelong friends.

“When a handshake is given, it must be honored – at all costs.”

Lesson 5: Don’t Cross the Line
You know when you are about to do something that is dishonest. You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that. If accept dishonesty, you will find yourself in a new environment where there will be even more temptation to do more dishonest things. Eventually you will find yourself with consequences that make you wish you could undo it all. Guess what? Here is your chance, don’t cross that line.

“Our values, if properly anchored, will see us through these storms.”

Lesson 6: Pick Advisers Wisely
If you don’t have knowledge of something, find people who do. It is important to ascertain people by their values, character and deeds, not by their looks, background or school they attended. Seek others who have skills far above your own and are willing to stand up for what is right. After all, you are not able to oversee all of their decisions. You need to ensure they are doing right in your absence.

“Surround yourself with associates who have the courage to say no.”

Lesson 7: Get Mad, Not Even
We have all been hurt by those we trusted. Guess what? The hurt will never stop as long as you are on this earth. Learn to move on. There is a better more productive route if you can get past the hurt and accusations. The only one dwelling on the past is you. To make matters worse, it will stiffly your business and worse, start to change your heat. Transform those hurts into laser-like focus and passion. You will then be able to pursue your dreams with even greater ferocity.

“Revenge is unhealthy and productive, learn to move on.”

Lesson 8: Graciousness is Next to Godliness
Graciousness embodies love, kindness, sensitivity and charity. When we treat others with honor they can become lifelong business associates or even great friends. Honorable actions can often attract other people with similar values. These people react in kind, which is often good for business.

“Treat competitors, colleagues, employees and customers with respect.”

Lesson 9: Operate your business as if it is family owned
To create a culture of respect and honor, you must treat employees like they are part of your family. When they see how much you care, they will start to share your values. A family culture, no matter how large the company, is absolutely necessary to having a business that can endure through good times and bad. After all, competition is out to get you and you need to have employees that ‘have your back’.

“The greatest dividends are those paid to hardworking men and women through bonuses, gifts, scholarships and praise.”

Lesson 10: Give Back
Somewhere, somehow, all of us received help from others along our way. Many times, events went our way that an only be described as “larger forces” at work. We owe a portion of our success to others and the only way to repay that assistance is by sharing your good fortune. The ironic thing is that when you start to give, others take notice. They desire to do business with you in ways that can often leave you with more than before.

“Nobody is completely self-made; return the favors and food fortune.”

Lesson 11: Don’t give up
Life is hard. It always has been and always will be. However, remember that others have gone before you and persevered. Don’t give up. Find the joy in life and keep that in perspective as you tackle your daily challenges. Better days lie ahead…I promise.

“In difficult and challenging times, we must embrace the many positive things in our lives, however small – children and loved ones, flowers and other beauties of nature, the gifts with which we are blessed.”

Winners Never Cheat is mentioned in the book Give and Take several times, citing Jon Huntsman as an example of how a business man conducts himself negotiating and dealing with others along with the focus of conscious giving. The book is full of poignant quotes that drive home the message of the book. It’s worth the price just for this alone, if you enjoy quotes as much as I do.

 

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.

The Bed of Procrustes

A man with hammer, sees every problem like a nail. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book The Bed of Procrustes, writes –

Procrustes, in Greek mythology, was the cruel owner of a small estate in Corydalus in Attica. He had a peculiar sense of hospitality: he abducted travelers, provided them with a generous dinner, then invited them to spend the night in a rather special bed. He wanted the bed to fit the traveler to perfection. Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off with a sharp hatchet; those who were too short were stretched.

We humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies, and prepackaged narratives, which, on occasion, has explosive consequences.

Source: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects — modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

You can read the review of this book here and here.