Through life you will forget who you are
You will create yourself many times
And then recreate yourself twice as many times
You’ll say you’ve forgotten who you used to be, but you know that’s a lie. You know deep down that you’ve been carrying that baggage since it arrived.
My insecurities do not define me. They shape who I am. They allow me to flourish in a world of hurt–a world where everyone is different yet everyone is trying to prove that their way of different is better than your way of different.
Can someone carry me out of this abyss?
I look up and no one is there. Except further up, I see a mirror and remember that I must pull myself out of this well that I willingly dropped into.
Do not forsake my past, and do not forsake who I am in the present, and most importantly, I will not forsake who I may become in the future.
A reminder to be thankful of your life comes at least once a year in Holiday form. But gratitude is not something that should be shown once a year. Instead, I need to be grateful for this existence. For my friends. For my family. For myself. For this Earth. For this world.
Be Grateful for love. For hurt, for sorrow, for joy, for success, for failure. Be grateful for the tightrope of life because you know that there is also a safety net down below. And if there isn’t, please build one.
This is a reminder.
A reminder that the voice inside your head reading this means you exist.
It means you have the ability to be grateful for this existence. To continue walking that tightrope. To continue getting rejected by love and to relish instead in friendship, in family. To pull yourself out of that well. To being happy, to being accepted, to being.
Ever feel like you aren’t creative enough? What if you could purchase ideas? How much would you pay for just ONE new idea?
What if I told you that new ideas only cost $20 each.
They are called books… Revolutionary, right?
If you don’t have creative ideas yourself, there’s no excuse. Buy them for $20 each. And if you are lucky, you might get more than just 1 great idea from every book.
I’ve always stayed away from books until I was forced to read them when I started university and boy, did they inspire me. I’ve been hooked ever since thanks to my intro to business Professor.
My goal is to read 50 books for 2018, a habit that Bill Gates has kept for decades. I can confidently say at the halfway point, I am on track thus far. I just started my 23rd book of the year: The Go Point: Knowing When it’s Time to Decide.
Even if you just read 10 pages every day, you’d still be reading 15 books a year (average ~250 pages per book). Anyone else on a reading challenge? What is your favorite book(s)? Comment them down below. Let’s exchange book recommendations. Some of my favorite books are “The Little Prince“ & “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Success“
Oh yeah, and if you want the ULTIMATE BOOKLIST (mine) feel free to check it out here:
I am a big believer of self-learning through books. An autodidact. Elon Musk-esque, if you will.
But there is an important factor that I’ve noticed to understanding the contents of a rich book: writing about it.
It’s not enough to just blow through books; you have to truly grasp the content, and writing about it is one way that I’ve discovered is a great way to do so. Materialising what I’ve learned is important to me so I can, for one, understand the concepts as I read the book, and two, create a historical documentation that I can always turn back to for review.
So this is my book review of the book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, — by Adam Grant.
An intro to Dr. Grant: Adam Grant, who is rated the best professor at UPenn Wharton Business school, is an organizational psychologist who has written several #1 NYT books. In Originals, he discusses how Non-conformists (procrastinators, slow people, and other different personality traits) succeed in life with their increased creativity. Adam Grant also wrote the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success (Which I highly recommend you check out as well!)
These are 15 points that are mentioned throughout the book (and at the end, I believe) on how to be original.
How to Champion Originality and be Successful:
Don’t take the status quo; ask why they exist in the first place and how to improve upon what is currently accepted as “the norm.”
Leonardo Da Vinci supposedly carried around with him a ledger, where he would write down “playfully curious” and, to most people’s standards, weird questions. Apparently, he would wake up and ask himself a type of question, at one point, posing the question: “What does the tongue of a woodpecker look like”
Another classic question: Why is the ocean blue?
Science teaches us that the ocean is not blue just because it wants to be blue, but because water reflects the color of the sky.
So, then why is the sky blue?
What is color?
Questioning the default leads us to generate original ideas and thoughts of approaching otherwise widely accepted and mundane aspects of life.
2) Triple the number of ideas you generate
Every innovator swings and misses; more swings, more hits!
Baseball players hit 1/3, and that is considered a good ratio.
Content creators are the same. Seth Godin is a large proponent of this concept too–that no idea is perfect, but the importance is to create content to test it out. Because how will you know the idea is crap if you don’t try it?
The most successful composers, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, has way more failed musical compositions than successful ones. There is a correlation between originality and number of “swings.” (I won’t say causation though. Shoutout to my statistics nerds)
3) Immerse yourself in a new domain
Broaden your frame of reference. It’s all about perspective. When you get a position at a company, see if you can go on periodic job rotations to understand the how the rest of the company runs. Work in another country — important emphasis on work, because simply traveling and vacationing in other countries doesn’t provide the same contextual insight. Be a scientist who takes dancing lessons; no, seriously!
Nobel-prize winning scientists are much more likely to be involved in the arts, a contrasting skill, compared to ordinary scientists
22x more likely to be involved in performing arts, amateur acting, dancing, magic
12x more likely to be involved in writing, poetry, plays, novels, short stories, books, essays
7.5x more likely to be involved in crafts, mechanic, wood making, electronics, glass blowing
7x more likely to be in visual arts: Illustration, drawing, sculpting, painting, printmaking
2x more likely to be involved in music: instruments, composing, playing, conducting
4) Strategic Procrastination
In the midst of generating ideas, stop midway
Allow yourself to incubate your current ideas and give time to foster more while on break.
It is important you give yourself time to relax.
Then, when you attack the problems again, your ideas will be ready to hatch!
5) Seek feedback
Accept and champion feedback from both peers and enemies. Don’t be afraid of a little bit of criticism. In fact, you should crave it, build off it, and improve. Feedback is the only way you can receive more objective answers on how you are doing — you can’t always trust yourself!
If you want to learn more about radical transparency and the importance of feedback, try the book ”Principles” by Ray Dalio (The greatest hedge fund manager)
*Must be constructive feedback that is meant to improve you, not spiteful.
Balance your risk areas. Many successful entrepreneurs, before their business fully takes off, will have a day job.
Even Bill Gates, who famously “dropped out” of college, technically took a leave of absence, and then formally dropped out after he realized Microsoft would take off.
It’s important to mitigate risk in many aspects of your life so you can TAKE huge risks in those areas you really want to pursue.
7) Highlight reasons NOT to support your ideas to make virtues clear
Dr. Grant found that people who were pitching a business idea and began their sales pitch by describing the 3 biggest weaknesses of the idea made investors more inclined to work with the partners.
What you realize is that after the biggest weaknesses are known, the virtues become much clearer. And if they don’t, well maybe you don’t have many virtues in the first place!
8) Make Ideas more familiar…with analogies!
It’s important to consistently repeat yourself when presenting unconventional ideas. The more exposure people have, the more likely they are to adopt the concepts.
Think of the adoption of the internet, and compare that to what is happening with the blockchain revolution.
Many people argue that they don’t understand blockchain, so they opt not to use it. But who truly understands the internet? That’s what I thought.
Another important aspect is using analogies. I’ve often used the Shared Google Docs analogy to explain the basic concepts of blockchain — a ledger open to all who want to see the transactions (distributed, or shared to all parties), and a way to track, document, and secure such transactions so it is readily “shared.” It increases trust, just like a Google Docs — you see what I see, and I know that I see what you see.
9) Speak to a different audience
Speak to disagreeable people who share your methods and use their input.
Then, challenge authority and use your enemies to help shape you
Tough people with similar approaches and methodologies will make you tougher, and make you adapt. In the end, if your audience has the same mindset or end goal, it will champion your ability to create more innovative approaches in a tougher environment.
10) Be a tempered radical
Manage your emotions, but also be ready to make radical advancements. After all, you are trying to be original, right?
11) Motivate yourself differently when committed vs. uncertain
When determined and ready to attack your tasks head-on, focus on how close you are to reaching your goal. Think: Just a bit more!!!
When unmotivated and disheartened, focus on how far you’ve ALREADY gone. You’ve done so much; don’t quit now!
12) DON’T try to calm down
When nervous, turn anxiety into excitement and enthusiasm instead of trying to suppress it
Don’t say “just calm down” instead say “I am excited”
Have you noticed that many interviewers ask athletes or performers, before a big show, if they are “nervous”?
And they usually respond with something like: My hands are a bit sweaty, slight tremble, heart beating fast.
They are not nervous. They are excited. Use that excitement and enthusiasm. So not only is the concept of “calming down” useless, and actually produces worse results, it’s also an extremely triggering sentence…
So no, I will not just “calm down” Patrice.
13)Focus on the victim who is harmed, NOT the perpetrator
Focusing on perpetrator fuels anger and wrath and negativity, instead:
Focus on the victim. This translates to positive anger and thus channels into positive action instead of revenge.
Instead of harming the harmer, help the harmed.
Even just 1 ally who believes in your vision can tackle the problem together will make you much more successful.
I am an introvert myself, but I know how important it is that I have such a supportive network of people I can count on. (Family, best friends, colleagues)
Finally, 15) If you don’t take initiative, status quo will persist
There are 4 ways to respond to dissatisfaction: Exit, Voice, Persistence, Neglect.
Persistence, and neglecting the problem, are both passive methods of dealing with stress. If they don’t work, it might be good to take action by speaking up (voice), or removing yourself from the situation (exit). Don’t let the status quo persist. You are better than that.
Now go out there and create.
Champion some originality.
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I finished reading Originals, – by Adam Grant.
- Adam Grant, who is rated the best professor at UPenn Wharton’s Business school, is an organizational psychologist who has written several #1 NYT books. In Originals, he discusses how Non-conformists (procrastinators, slow people, and other different personality traits) succeed in life with their increased creativity
- This is my book review and 15 points on HOW TO BE ORIGINAL
- Question the default
- Don’t take the status quo; ask why they exist in the first place and how to improve
- Triple the number of ideas you generate
- Every innovator swings and misses; more swings, more hits!
- Baseball players hit 1/3
- Immerse yourself in a new domain
- Broaden your frame of reference
- As a great scientist learns art forms, broaden your skills
- Job rotation
- Learn a new culture (work in a new foreign country)
- Strategic Procrastination
- In the midst of generating ideas, stop midway
- Allow yourself to incubate current ideas and foster more while on break
- Seek feedback
- Radical transparency about feedback (Principles by Dalio)
- Accept and champion feedback from peers and enemies
- Balance your risk portfolio
- Balance your risk areas (an entrepreneur who has a day job)
- Mitigate risk in many aspects of life, so you can TAKE risks in others
- Highlight reasons NOT to support your ideas to make virtues clear
- Describe 3 biggest weaknesses of your idea to understand virtues
- Harder it is to create more weaknesses, you begin to realize virtues
- Make Ideas more familiar
- Repeat yourself for unconventional ideas.
- EXPOSURE and mix your new ideas with old ones, by using analogies and comparisons
- Speak to a different audience
- Speak to disagreeable people who share your methods
- Challenge authority and use your enemies to help shape you
- Tough people with similar approaches
- Be a tempered radical
- manage emotions
- Motivate yourself differently when committed/uncertain
- When determined, focus on progress left to go (How close you are to reaching target!)
- When unmotivated, focus on how far you’ve ALREADY gone (You’ve done so much; don’t quit now!)
- Don’t try to calm down
- When nervous, turn anxiety into excitement and enthusiasm instead of trying to suppress it
- Don’t say “just calm down” instead say “I am excited”
- Nervous and excitement = synonyms
- Focus on the victim who is harmed, NOT the perpetrator
- Focusing on perpetrator fuels anger and wrath and negativity
- Focus on victim = positive anger to channel into positive action instead of revenge
- Instead of harming the harmer, help the harmed
- Realize you are not alone
- Even just 1 ally who believes in your vision can tackle the problem together will make you much more successful
- If you don’t take initiative, status quo will persist
- Exit, Voice, Persistence, Neglect = 4 ways to respond to dissatisfaction
- Might be good to take action (exit) if other methods don’t work
Grateful Day 85: I am grateful for naps
Reading Day 26: It’s crazy how much reading I’ve done this month, just like how much magic I did in February
I’ve already read 12 books this year and I plan to hit 50 for 2018!