This video is about Sequoia Capital and their 3 rules for success in leading a business. They make leadership feel very simple.. but it works. They have 30 years of track record of successfully taking on and turning around businesses.
“The people in the market for boring are spoiled for choice” Rich Mulholland
“All the good shit is reserved for those who put their hands up.” Rich Mulholland
All the good stuff is just beyond the rejection, the looking like a fool, the bad first impression, the being laughed at… if you censor yourself, you close off access to the good stuff.
Here’s Rich Mulholland’s Passion Direct via Video…
I am a fan of Rich Mulholland. He shares passion, some f**-bombs and some great personal stories as he tells you to take the risk that you know you need to take but are waiting for a better moment. The lesson: that moment will never come.
Let’s celebrate fall-forward risks, let’s celebrate epic fails and people who test the limits. A little bit of self-delusion and self-belief might just lead you to create your dream.
This guy is going to be big. Rich is an entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. He tells powerful short little stories with impact though his videos. I had a chance to do a short interview with Rich during the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Global Leadership Conference in Frankfurt recently.
This week’s video is about Steven Covey’s 7th Habit of Highly Effective People: Sharpen the Saw.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Burning yourself out is no service to anyone. Running your car without changing the oil will destroy the engine. Running at 100% all day and all night will destroy your own personal engine.
Feeling good doesn’t just happen.
Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. You know what to do, but do you make the time for renewal?
Sharpen the Saw means taking care of the greatest asset you have: you. Here are some examples of activities:
Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
Social: Making social and meaningful connections with others
Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
Spiritual: Spending time in nature, meditation, music, art
As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish. Not a good life.
The 9 minute video shares a tip for how to move forward from each of these 5 states. I share my story of 2009, of coming back from bankruptcy and loss of family and how I moved out of stage 5 (starting at minute 5:24 in the video).
You know your goal and you’re going after it: Enjoy it. (Find someone you can help.)
You know your goal and you’re stuck and can’t find your way there: Find a Mentor. Ask someone who has already had success about how they overcame this obstacle.
You know your goal and you are letting distractions win: Use the Pomodoro Method.
You don’t know your goal and you’re miserable: Ask a few friends (not the cynical ones) what they think you are good at and what they think you should work on
You’ve given up on your goals and you’re miserable: Move your body: Go for a walk. Set one tiny goal to help one other person.
PS if you can’t decide which state you are it, you in state 4.
Find a goal. Aim at it.
Let me know a) which place you are at and b) the goal you choose in the comments below 😉
Genetically we differ 2% from chimpanzees and 3% from worms. Our big difference is the cortex, the upper layer of the brain. The cortex is the home of imagination.
Imagination gives us the choice to live intentionally. We can make a choice: lead a life that is not just response to stimuli, but building towards a vision: an imagined future.
Why is imagination so important?
A leader sees a future that is not yet here. This requires imagination. The clearer you can see and touch and feel this potential future the more compellingly you can communicate it to others.
Imagination is what makes us human. 2,300 years ago in the Greek city-state of Athens, Aristotle asked himself “what is the purpose of human life?” Aristotle defined the purpose of an object as being that which it can uniquely do. A human is alive – but plants are also alive – so that cannot be human purpose. A human feels – but animals also feel – so that cannot be human purpose. The unique gift of humanity is reason, the ability to solve problems in the mind, to imagine.
How can you develop your imagination? The video below shares a tool that Jim Collins uses to develop his power of Imagination.
First understand the do-or-die importance of focus.
“If you don’t learn to focus, you will have a shallow and unrewarding life without any meaningful achievements.” Derek Sivers
That is worth repeating.
“A shallow and unrewarding life.”
You Need to Learn to Focus
So make it a priority.
Yes it’s hard. The world is designed to distract you. Facebook is a research laboratory focussed on human distraction. They invest billions and are excellent at their work. When facebook slip up, hard on their tails come Apple, apps, youtube, caffeine, bored friends, problematic neighbours and general office bullshit.
Apps are designed to be as addictive as possible.
Assume you are dealing with crack cocaine. If you can see it, you will use it. If you can hear it, you will use it. Willpower is not going to get you through this.
There are many reasons why we delay work. I think the most insidious is that I have a belief that the person I will be in future will be better than the person who I am today. I have a consistent inner belief that I will be smarter, better, faster in the future. The work that is hard today will somehow become easier for the better future me. But, what if’s not? I will only be better in future if I do the hard work of pushing through distractions today.
Who is Good at Focus?
I have spent a lot of time interviewing high performance athletes. My goal was to understand their motivations, how they train, how they prepare mentally, and how they face anxiety. These successful athletes have an ability to focus on the one next step and, in the words of Nike, Just do it!
Josef Ajram, one of Spain’s top endurance athletes, tells himself “I will run another 15 minutes. Come on. Anyone can run another 15 minutes.” In Josef Ajram’s words, he has completed the Marathon de Sables – 243km across the Sahara desert in 6 days – by only ever allowing himself to think about the next 15 minutes.
How to Learn Focus?
Use The Pomodoro* Method.
Here are my simplified instructions for following the Pomodoro method.
Pick a specific project you would like to work on. For example “Write a blog post on focus”.
Set a timer for 20 minutes
Work only on this project until the timer stops. Stop completely no matter where you are when you hear the timer. Mid sentence is excellent (it makes it easier to re-start this work later).
Count how many timers you can complete in a day. I bet you will not complete one single complete timer the first day you begin this habit. I didn’t.
*Any interruption*, you must reset the timer to 20 minutes.
If you need a drink of water, go get the water, then reset the timer.
If you need the bathroom, go, then reset the timer.
If you must check wikipedia to find out a fact, check wikipedia, then reset the timer. (better… resist the need to check facts now, and use a future timer to work on the project “research focus and collect sources”)
If you must respond to a phone alert, respond, reset the timer.
I think you get the idea. Only by working on 1, and only 1 project for the full 20 minutes = you get to count it as 1 timer.
* You can find the original Pomodoro Method described here: Pomodoro Method.