Sunday, 30 November 2014
Saturday, 29 November 2014
#1. Offer solutions, but always begin with problems.
Every time you say, “It’s not that bad,” you minimize the value of any solutions you find. Never minimize the pain and frustration of others, even when it seems small to you.
The bigger the pain, the more important the solution.
#2. Forget perfection.
Don’t talk yourself out of imperfect solutions unless you have a better ones. I’ve talked myself out of taking action only to end up doing nothing. Worse yet, I’ve let others talk me out of taking imperfect action, even though they didn’t offer anything better.
Talk yourself into, not out of, taking action.
- Will it help?
- Will it harm?
- What happens if we do nothing?
The present coagulates around you every time you talk yourself out of taking action.
#3. Learn while you take action.
Don’t talk about it unless you plan to do something about it.
Welcome those who point out problems. They aren’t the enemy. The enemy is talk without action.
#4. Focus on getting people in the right roles.
Successful leaders understand and leverage the talents, skills, and drives of team members.
Provide leadership and personality assessments. Watch what gets them jazzed.
The trouble with just getting things done is people get lost along the way.
#5. Build energizing environments.
The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other while we do the work.
Spend more time affirming than correcting. Identify simple behaviors that energize. Talk about wins, for example.
#6. Embrace forward facing contrarians.
Conformists don’t build the future, but forward facing contrarians pull you forward. Protect them from the frustrations of others, as much as possible.
#7. Results don’t define you.
The path to great results is more important than results themselves. Honor behaviors that get you there.
1. Stop obsessing about money.
2. Start tracking how many people you help, even in a very small way.
3. Stop thinking about making a million dollars and start thinking about serving a million people.
4. See making money as a way to make more things.
5. Do one thing better.
6. Make a list of the world’s ten best people at that one thing.
7. Consistently track your progress.
8. Build routines that ensure progress.
Friday, 28 November 2014
1. On risk
2. On reputations
3. On who you surrounded yourself with
4. On hindsight
5. On stupid mistakes
6. On knowing when to quit
7. On frugality
1) Inner/self: a keen sense of where you want to go, and self discipline to get there
2) Others: empathy and the ability to inspire others
3) Outer: awareness of where the greater world is going, and what can be done to shape it
The billionaires & ultra high net worths have mastered all 3, particularly the 3rd. They are the "unreasonable" ones who adapt the world to their vision. They seem fearless. Perfectly willing to move mountains, change cultures, lobby regulation to achieve their vision.
Another major difference between millionaires and billionaires is how they socialize. Young millionaires seem more eager to gather hundreds of thousands of casual social media followers. The billionaires are rarely on social media, but hold a close group of powerful allies.
Thursday, 27 November 2014
(Reuters) - Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is known for turning her signature wrap dress into a fashion empire and in her memoir, “The Woman I Wanted to Be,” she describes how she did it.
Von Furstenberg, 67, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, married a prince and become an entrepreneur before her 30s. But success came at a price. Failed romances, health scares and the highs and lows of business marked a turbulent life.
Despite the obstacles, she became the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, founded the philanthropic DVF awards and has celebrated the 40th anniversary of her brand.
Von Furstenberg spoke to Reuters about success, true beauty and her mission to empower young women.
Q: You write that your mother shaped the woman that you are. How did she inspire you?
A: She taught me to be independent and to never be a victim because fear is not an option. All of those things have a huge impact on you even if you don’t realize it, especially after you lose your mother.
Q: What has life taught you about success?
A: Success is like nature, everything keeps moving. I was incredibly successful and young and I lived a total American dream. That doesn’t mean that you can just sit because after success comes other things, like too much exposure and all of the many different things that can happen afterwards.
Q: How do you define beauty?
A: I think beauty is truth. John Keats said that “beauty is truth, truth beauty.” What I discovered in my life and writing this book is that my religion is to practice truth. It is sometimes painful. It is not always easy. It requires a lot of maintenance but it also avoids so many mistakes, compromises and misunderstandings.
Q: Why is female empowerment important to you?
A: Every woman inspires another woman. When working on my book, I kept on saying, "Why am I doing this? Is this just an ego trip?" But actually you have to be careful with what you say because what you say, I found can really help somebody.
Q: What can people take from your story?
A: Everyone can be the woman they want to be. I have two granddaughters and I always tell them before they go to sleep to be thankful and then think about the woman you want to become.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
I have studied and talked to a lot of rich / financially free people and found the following attributes to be far more important than being smart:
- Having guts, taking risks, and the willingness to constantly expand out of your comfort zone. The willingness to make mistakes and fail and learn from it. Many smart people are restricting themselves by thinking too much about the risks and then not acting upon opportunities.
- Getting the real financial education - you typically can't learn this at school or university (most teachers and profs are poor) and neither from your parents (unless they are very rich) or from an advisor. Why would you take advice from a financial consultant at a bank. If he knew how to do it, he would not work there in the first place. You get the real stuff only from the right mentors (rich people) and people who teach this and eat their own dog food, e.g. Keith Cunningham, Robert Kiyosaki, Harv Eker.
- A positive mindset about money. Many poor (and smart) people think money is something bad, unethical, and that they have to be ashamed if they are rich. If you don't like money and don't think you are worthy of it you will not become rich because your subconsciousness will constantly sabotage you.
- Developing strong social skills like dealing with other people, negotiating, persuading, being a good networker. IQ is not EQ. And even intellectually knowing something does not mean you will automatically act accordingly.
- Self discipline, not looking for instant gratification, a continuous strive for personal mastery, improvement and lifelong learning, going the extra mile.
- Taking action vs. just theoritizing about things. Being hands-on and pragmatic. Many rich people are more Doers than Thinkers.
- Leveraging yourself through other people's time, money, and skills. There is a nice saying: If you are an entrepreneur and are the dumbest person at your company, then you have made a great job and hired the right people. Many smart people are reluctant to use leverage. They want to solve everything by themselves.
But according to Deborah Harmon, CEO of Artemis Real Estate Partners, the most important characteristics of leaders go deeper than a natural intelligence or penchant for ideas. Harmon told Adam Bryant of the New York Times that the three foundational characteristics of a good leader are "confidence, grit, and a real desire to make a difference."
This belief comes from Harmon's childhood, where she witnessed true grit in her mother. Harmon watched her mother not only raise three kids, but work as a theater producer, moving up from independent work to Off Broadway to Broadway itself. "I watched how hard it was, and she really taught me that there is no such thing as work-life balance," Harmon told the New York Times. But her mother made it work, pushing herself until she accomplished her goals.
Additionally, her father, an investment banker, often brought Harmon to work with him, which taught her an important lesson about confidence and success. "You don't have to have the highest I.Q. in the room, but if you're willing to work harder than everyone else, there's no limit to what you can accomplish," she says.
For Harmon, being a good leader doesn't come down to the abilities you're born with, but rather how hard you choose to work. "It's not about getting the most glamorous or the most prestigious jobs," she said. "What matters most is where you can learn and grow and have the most responsibility."
Wonderment. The state of awe. And the starting place for creativity and delight. Sounds...wonderful? Then how do we increase wonderment in our kids' lives? By surrounding them with things that inspire wonder, that's how.
Most items that increase wonderment in a child's life fall into one of the following four categories. Consider placing them in your child's room as your four-step plan to designing a wonderful, creativity-inspiring space.
1. Things that are impossibly large.
There's a reason why giant teddy bears are so beloved by little kids - they are amazed at how something can be so, so big! Try putting something in their room that's bigger than they are. A large artwork is a good place to start if you have limited floor space.
2. Things that are incredibly small.
Kids are in awe of tiny things, almost as much as they are mystified by giant things. Provided you have a child big enough to understand that small things don't go in their mouth, collect some tiny things to display in their room. Start with tiny things from nature - tiny flowers or tiny pebbles would do the trick. Add a magnifying glass for extra fun.
3. Things that are difficult to understand.
Your children are learning all the time, and eager to have their minds stretched. So invite something deliciously difficult into their space. Perhaps an educational poster that introduces a concept they've never learnt before? A book a little beyond their years? A mechanical toy that is hard to decipher, exactly, how it works?
4. Things from another place or time, distant from their own.
Life is much too dull and boring stuck in the here and now. Stretch your children's imaginations into the past, and far across the globe, with treasures from other cultures and times. Incorporate into their room treasures from your adventures overseas, beautiful objects from cultures other than your own, perhaps a family heirloom or antique.
The best thing is, there's no need to go out and buy any of this stuff — you might already have items that fit into these four categories lying around the house. Why not go on an in-house wonder treasure hunt and see what you could find to incorporate into their décor today?
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
- Begin with the right question. Don’t ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” That is, don’t focus on a career. That would be strategy, not a mission. Instead, ask yourself, “What kind of value feels like the most important value I could create?”
- You’re after meaningfulness not passion. Thought the two are by no means mutually exclusive, they are distinct. Passion is usually more associated with the strategies you use to fulfill your mission (with sculpting, for example, rather than with a mission to fill the world with beauty).
- Create a list of 50 things that have brought you great joy in the past and 50 ongoing activities that continue to bring you great joy in the present. The point in aiming for 100 items isn’t to reach 100 per se but to create an exhaustive list. Including your current job is a good idea; including the aspects of your current job that you enjoy the most is even better.
- From this list, identify the items that felt the most meaningful to you. This is best done by gut feeling. Each item you select should, by definition, be something that in some broad way contributes to the well-being of others.
- Group these items into related categories. Maybe a number of items relate to helping others in a particular way (e.g., with their health, with their talents, or with their relationships). Or maybe to helping people in certain situations (e.g., people living in poverty, who are victims of abuse, or who suffer from mental illness).
- From these categories, cull out a first draft of a mission statement. Two things to keep in mind: This must be a statement derived from experiences you’ve already had, not ones you’d like to have. You’re looking to discover your mission, not invent it (that is, to find what’s already there, what already feels like the most important thing you could do with your life, not what you think it is or want it to be). Second, one reasonable litmus test to apply to a candidate statement would entail imagining being presented a lifetime achievement award in your 80s or 90s by the president for having spent your entire life accomplishing it. Does the statement you’ve come up with hit the sweet spot? That is, when you gut check it, does it feel like the most meaningful thing you could have done?