Book Quote of the Week – 158

Excellence is a habit.

Aristotle

A Man Is What He Thinks About All Day Long

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The amount of information that we are exposed to on a daily basis is amazing. 

It comes through social media, television, radio, books, and the list could go on and on.  It’s great how much access we have in this day and age to information, but it is potentially dangerous as well.  I want to look at the potential impact information can have on our lives.

I’ve talked previously about the importance of being powerful creators of our own lives. As we walk through this process it will demonstrate why it is so important that we are intentional about it.

You get in life what you create.

Create > Life

This is why you see people from all different backgrounds, countries and races doing amazing things in the world, regardless of where they start out. We’ve seen people rise up out of poverty, from having absolutely nothing and becoming extremely successful and wealthy. At the same time we’ve seen people who would be considered privileged, create amazing things in their own lives. 

On the other hand, we’ve watched people on both ends of the same spectrum create un-powerful lives and end up even worse off than they began.

The things that you expect in your life are the things you create. What you expect to happen, drives your creative capacity.

Expect > Create > Life

But now, taking one more step back, where do your expectations come from?

You expect what you think about.

Think > Expect > Create > Life

Life is a result of what we think about. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There is a deep tendency in human nature to become precisely like that which you habitually imagine yourself to be.”

This philosophy spurred the writing of books such as Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, and others.

But if you go another level deeper, what is it that influences your thoughts?

It’s the things you allow yourself to hear and see. The inputs that you are exposed to

Inputs > Think > Expect > Create > Life

This is why it’s so important to be conscious of the things you allow yourself to be exposed to. 

In such a fast paced, chaotic world, all of the different media outlets are fighting for your attention. 

Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a news station that just reports on the good things that happen? The happy, feel-good stories? It’s because they would go broke. It’s the stories of fear, tragedy and disaster that catch our attention. 

Your brain’s job is to keep you alive, not make you happy and the media understands this. That’s why they don’t use the happy, feel good stories to grab your attention. It’s the tragic, shocking stories that get your attention. It’s the same reason traffic comes to a halt as people rubber-neck to see an accident, but at other times those same people don’t think twice about looking at the most beautiful sunset they would have ever experienced as they are making their commute home.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

You have to protect your mind. You have to be vigilant about what you expose yourself to because every single input matters.

So what does this mean to you? How do you do it?

You have to consciously choose what you are going to allow yourself to be exposed to.  According to a Nielsen Report, US adults watch 5:04 of TV per day on average (35.5 hours/week, slightly more than 77 days per year). It’s time to cut back. Make a choice as to what you are going to give your attention to. Are you going to focus on the good or the bad? The things you can’t do anything about, or the things you can impact?

The first time I trained for a marathon I did all of my training on a treadmill and my routine was to watch the news while I ran. I knew about everything going on. Politics, the markets, the wars and all the other dark, dirty and fearsome content. But then one day I decided I didn’t need to know all of it and continue to fill my mind with all of the garbage and I quit watching the news. The result?

  • Not watching the news didn’t limit my capacity.
  • It didn’t end or cause the start of any war.
  • I wasn’t uninformed because the things I needed to know came to me in different forms.
  • It drove my parents crazy when they said something to me about something in the news and I had no idea what they were talking about. 
  • It cleared my mind!

A number of years ago I listened to Darren Hardy speak on this topic and the following are his thoughts combined with my own on how to best manage the inputs you let into your life.

Selective Listening

Be specific about the things you let in. You don’t have to give it all your attention, just the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that impact you and your family and ignore the rest.

Remember, what you give your attention to becomes your reality. Focus your attention on what is good – ideas, knowledge, talents and skills

Low Information Diet

Limit your intake. Filter your news so you’re only getting the things that are important to you. Do not over-consume!

Mind Your E2E Ratio

Your E2E Ratio is a concept from Brian Tracy, which stands for Entertainment to Education Ratio. Recognize how much of your time is focused on Entertainment vs Education. One study stated that 95% of people spend their extra time on entertainment, while 5% (the successful) spent their extra time focused on education.

Feed Your Mind

As you feed your mind with high quality content, your thoughts and ideas become more powerful. 

I enjoy good music, but I rarely listen to it. I prefer to spend any time I can listening to books or podcasts online. 

For example, last week I wrote the article, Dealing With Negative People. This morning at the gym, with TV’s on every wall broadcasting news stations and ESPN, I had my headphones in listening to, “Talking to Crazy,” a book that someone suggested to me after reading my article.

Separate yourself from the average. Use your extra time to fill your mind with positive and inspirational material.

When we are fully aware of the impact the things we allow as inputs have on our lives we can be more conscious and selective to ensure we are letting only the best things in. Be intentional in all you do and live the life you most desire.

How To Read With a Purpose

Back in my days as a banker I spent one year working at a branch that was a pretty good daily commute. Those daily commutes were when I discovered my love for self-education. I remember listening to a Tony Robbins CD and he said when he was first getting started he read 700 books. I wasn’t a reader but I remember thinking, “If 700 books can get Tony Robbins to where he is, I’m going to read 700 books.” I’ve been an avid reader ever since.

 I often think about how I will maximize my benefits of reading. What are the best habits and practices I need to have to get the most out of what I read?


What Am I Reading and Why Am I Reading It?

When I first began reading it was just a race to 700. I was focused on reading books on leadership, management and a variety of different business topic. But I’d finish one, put it on the shelf and start the next one. My thought was that if I can even retain a little from each book, if I read a lot of books, that’s a lot of new knowledge. Looking back I jumped around from topic to topic. Some of the first books I read were: Secrets of Power NegotiatingGood to GreatRaving Fans, and Man’s search For Meaning. I usually chose the books I read because they were mentioned in another book I was reading or someone suggested it. A lot of the time that is how I still choose books today, but I have more intent and focus on what I’m choosing to read now. 

When I added Audible to my tools, that really gave me the ability to get through some books. I spend a lot of time on the road and whenever I’m in my truck I have an audio book playing. 

Now, when I choose a book to read, I look for something that is applicable to me at the time. A book that I feel will help me in what I’m dealing with in business or life at that moment. I no longer read just to get on to the next book. I read with an intent to learn and apply what I learn in my life.

Learn Less, Study More…

Darren Hardy is an author I enjoy learning from. I remember him saying that we need to “learn less and study more. Learning is not the problem; lack of real study and implementation is.” I spend a lot of time taking about and reviewing things I’ve read with my brother-in-law, Sheldon. He studies Darren Hardy’s work a lot and he brought this topic up with me shortly after I had read it. He made me realize that this is something that would be beneficial to me. After our conversation I made some changes to my reading habits. 

I take more time going through a book now to study the content and learn it better. If I find a book I really like, right after I finish reading it I’ll often turn to page one and start over. 

I’ll often finish a book and then get it on Audible so I can listen to it as well. Or, if I first listed to it on Audible I’ll listen to it again and/or also get the hard copy to read. 

Rather than flying through books now, I spend more time studying what I’m reading. That way, rather than hoping I’ll retain a little from each book, I feel that I can retain a lot more.

Highlight, Mark, Dog Ear

I take pride in my home library. In fact, when I started to use Audible I would often still buy the hard copy of the book so it would be in my library. As my library grew, those books were by pride and joy. I don’t lend my books out because I don’t want them to disappear like the neighbor’s borrowed tools. I keep them in good condition, organized exactly how I want them. I use to want every book in perfect shape. No markings, no dog eared pages. But I have found so much value in learning and accepting the fact that to get the most out of my books I need to mark them up, write in the margins, bend some corners, etc. When I read I have my ruler, my pen and my highlighter with me.  They are just as important as having the book.

I find by marking things in the book I remember them better. But I also find that it helps me to find things a lot easier. I’ll often be on a call or in a coaching session when something pops into my mind from something I’ve read. My library is behind my desk and it’s usually quite easy for me to jump up, grab the book and quickly find what I’m looking for. 

When it comes to using Audible it’s easy to clip a note in the app and then I’ll add my own notes to the clip. 

When I read a quote that I like I’ll often add it to my blog as well. At JeffHeggie.com each Tuesday I post my “Book Quote of the Week.” I also add many of them to my Instagram page, www.instagram.com/entrepreneur.next.door/

Teach What You Learn

One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. 

I find that when I read with the intent of teaching I am able to learn the subject matter a lot better. So as you read, whether you are going to have to teach it or not, read it as if you will have to teach it. Learn it well. Learn it good enough to teach it. You’ll find that you’ll know it better, be able to apply what you’ve learned better and you’ll find yourself referring to it more often in conversations. 

We had something we called our Education Plan at Kodiak Mountain Stone. We would ask one of our team members to read a specific book and then we would have a team meeting where they would teach what they had learned from the book and how it would be applicable to us in our business and personal lives. The conversations and things that would come out of those meetings were amazing. But it was always the team member that lead the meeting that got the most out of it.

A while ago I read the book Expert Secrets, by Russell Brunson. It was a great book and I loved what I learned from it. I’m preparing for a Mastermind Event coming up soon and knew there were a few things in the book that I wanted to review for it so I could include them in what I would be teaching. As I was going through the chapters that I wanted to review, I was seeing things in a completely different way. The fact that I was going to be teaching some of the concepts and they were a lot more applicable to my current situation, I was understanding things even better. So rather than just review what I was going to need for the Mastermind, I turned to the front of the book and started to read it all again.

Application

Knowledge is useless if you don’t do anything with it. The sooner you can take the things you learn from your reading and apply them to an area of your life, the better you will understand and remember your new knowledge.

Hopefully these are some practices that can help you to get the most out of your reading. Give them a try. I’d love to hear what you think. Send me your comments in the form below!

You can check out my reading list HERE

Thanks

Book Quote of the Week 055

“How do you go about becoming a millionaire? I’m often asked this question and ever since I founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984 my answer has been the same: ‘Start as a billionaire and launch a new airline.'”

Richard Branson

 

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What’s Your Favorite Book on Persuasion, Negotiation and Influence?

I just finished reading a blog post by Ann Morgan called The Power of Reading: Connecting People Around the World Through Books. In her article she talks about choosing books for others to read and in the past how she’s asked others to choose books for her to read.

I just finished reading The Power of Persuasion: How We’re Bought and Sold by Robert Levine. Whether we are dealing with our clients, employees or our kids we are always trying to influence or persuade in one way or another. Though I don’t consider myself a hard core negotiator, I do enjoy reading and learning more about persuasion, negotiation and influence. On my Reading List I do have a section dedicated to this topic of the books that I have read.

I thought that it would be interesting to try Ms. Morgan’s approach and see where it goes. I would like to continue to learn more on this subject and I want to ask anyone who may read this post to share with me their favorite book or audio book on persuasion, negotiation or influence. I may not get anyone giving me a suggestion, but I hope I do. Let’s see what happens…

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority”

– Ken Blanchard

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Book Quote of the Week – 050

Peter Diamandis

Peter has a set of rules that guide his life. His 28 Peter’s Laws have been collected over decades. Here are some favorites:

Law 2: When given a choice…take both.

Law 3: Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.

Law 6: When forced to compromise, ask for more.

Law 7: If you can’t win, change the rules.

Law 8: If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.

Law 11: “No” simply means begin again at one level higher.

Law 13: When in doubt: THINK

Law 16: The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.

Law 17: The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself. (Adopted from Alan Kay)

Law 19: You get what you incentivize.

Law 22: The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.

Law 26: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

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