PROGRESSION: January 2023
What is your top priority today? More on that later. Let’s dive right in. 😉
Books, Articles, etc.
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross (Book)
An excellent book on the power of positive and negative self talk. This topic is very relevant as much of my time spent with clients is helping them identify and overcome limiting beliefs. My biggest takeaway from the book was on the power of journaling.
(Research) has shown that simply asking people to write about their most upsetting negative experiences for fifteen to twenty minutes—to create a narrative about what happened, if you will—leads them to feel better, visit the doctor less, and have healthier immune function. By focusing on our experiences from the perspective of a narrator who has to create a story, journaling creates distance from our experience. We feel less tied to it.
I’ve seen the power of journaling in my life and the lives of others. Click here for my full writeup on Chatter.
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant (Book)
My friend Tristan Orford recommended this one in his Top Reads of 2022 list. I echo his words:
A page-turner that’s true but reads like fiction. It’s also a portrait of the geography, people, and nature of a part of the world we don’t hear a lot about, but is very fascinating.
I absolutely loved The Tiger and genuinely looked forward to my four hour drive to SLC last week so I could keep listening.
James Clear interview on Atomic Habits by Tim Ferriss (Podcast)
Great interview of a great writer on a timeless topic. One insight around goal setting was answering the question: I’m the type of person who… This can be, I'm the type of person who loves his family, runs regularly, eats healthy, etc.
Then, we go out and prove we are that person through small wins. Those small wins give us confidence and we start to build the new identity we desire. I highly recommend the full interview.
Earlier this month I started a series of videos where each week I ask one powerful question. As a coach, I’ve found that if you don’t ask yourself the right questions, you’ll never get the right answers.
In the first video I discussed priorities, specifically, asking yourself every single day, what is my highest priority?
The reality is, you can’t do everything. But you can always do the most important thing.
When I was 19 years old I hit pause on college and moved to Oklahoma. I spent the next two years as a missionary for my church, teaching and serving others.
I lived in four different cities. I saw extreme poverty and extreme wealth. I saw loving families and broken homes. I developed close friendships with a black university professor, a 70 year old widow, and an American Indian janitor/rapper. A man once chased me in his underwear, cursing and screaming at me.
Those two years were really hard but I look back on them with fondness. My eyes were opened. I grew up. Our view of the world is shaped by our experience with it. We see life through our eyes and too often assume others view the world similarly. We make the mistake that our view is the “right” way of looking at things. But our view is based on our limited life experiences.
To meet the challenges in front of us, we need additional perspectives. We need to learn from others. I love this quote from General Jim Mattis:
“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you.”
Our firsthand experiences may be limited, but we can always leverage the experiences of others. This is one of the reasons I love reading biographies. Through books we can, in a way, live the life of someone else. We can learn from their experiences and leverage their insights.
It’s been said that not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. Want to lead? Read books. Read hundreds of them. Never stop learning.
I’ve found power in regularly expressing gratitude so I’ll continue the habit. I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers. My wife took the girls to Texas this past weekend so it was just me and my 9 year old. We went to a nearby card shop where we agreed to share a pack of football cards.
As we were walking out, the owner told us to wait a second. He came back with a pile of 50+ cards and told us the customer who purchased that pack only wanted a few cards. He had instructed the shop owner to give the rest of the pack to the next kid who came through. My son’s eyes lit up as he went through the cards, gasping as he saw star player after star player. It made his day. And it made me want to be a kind stranger to others.
If you've read anything worth sharing I'd love to hear about it. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
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