I just returned from my annual retreat in Joshua Tree, CA. For all my pals who geek out on this stuff here’s a peek at my year end review/goal-setting retreat this year.
* The Importance of Being Challenged: “Complacency is the enemy of progress, yet humans are conditioned to seek a state of ease. It is vital to continue on a path to progress, never resting on one’s laurels.”
* Ideas That Changed My Life: “You spend years trying to learn new stuff but then look back and realize that maybe like 10 big ideas truly changed how you think and drive most of what you believe.”
* A Million Nameless Joys Await: “In an era when it feels as though we’ve somehow seen everything already, or at least photos of it online, it’s comforting to know that out there, just beyond the boundaries of our own routines, await subtle flavors of joy we can’t conceive of.”
* Pressure Cooker: “What we’re really driving at when we say ‘don’t have any expectations’ is two-fold. We’re looking to turn down the pressure we put on ourselves by setting a high bar. And we’re trying to avoid being disappointed when we inevitably feel like we aren’t living up to that bar.”
* Overcoming Your Demons: “Inside of every struggle is the seed of some of the happiest moments of your life.”
*Emotional Flexibility: “In a nutshell, emotional flexibility is about holding everything at once — happiness, joy, and enthusiasm at the same time as anger, sadness, and frustration — and being able to feel differently at various points throughout the same day and perhaps even the same hour.”
* Most Accomplishments Are Invisible: “I achieved the ability to do certain everyday things most people do with ease. But they took an enormous amount of work, and I wouldn’t trade a single one for a million bucks.”
* The Dark Horse Path to Happiness: “Whenever you find yourself seeking, or wanting a certain outcome out of life, note what you’re doing and then refocus on practicing your core values.”
“Be the best person you can be then find a way to share your best with other people and just make them 1% better and they will live a better life.” (links to episode below)
* On Perfection: Perfection dangles on a string as we run in place chasing after it on our respective treadmills. We’ve put perfection up a pedestal that none of us can ever reach.”
* Obsession Is Natural By Kobe Bryant
* Do What You’re Doing: It sounds trite. But it draws your attention to the self-defeating inner resistance that often underlies challenging tasks.
* Mental Models: “Mental models are how we understand the world. Not only do they shape what we think and how we understand but they shape the connections and opportunities that we see. Mental models are how we simplify complexity, why we consider some things more relevant than others, and how we reason.”
* How to Not Believe Your Ultra-Persuasive Rationalizations: “We have to train in how we respond to the fear, so that we don’t collapse.”
* Resistance Thrives in Darkness: “Resistance’s most diabolical trick is that it masquerades so convincingly as our own voice.”
* The Best Investment You Can Make: “Take a moment to get to know your family just a little better. Because once they are gone, you are the one who will have to tell their stories.”
* Why Study Philosophy? To Challenge Your Own Point of View: “You need to be a citizen in this world. You need to know your responsibilities. You’re going to have many moral choices every day of your life. And it enriches your inner life.”
This book is a look inside the emotional and mental process of a true expert at his craft and there are many lessons transferable to any and all other professional and creative endeavors.
* On Success and Obsession: “This is the best thing you will read today. On what makes people successful and why obsessive interest may be the most important factor of all.”
*Lessons From Journaling: “If you don’t reread what you write, what’s the point? When you reread you get perspective… you see patterns… you gain insight.”
* Goal Setting: “The goal updating never ends, but it can only help.”
* The Common Denominator of Success: “The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
* How to Make Life More Pleasurable: “When pleasures are more occasional, they’re more pleasurable, and that’s reason enough to limit how often we indulge in them.”
* The Most Important Forces Shaping the World: “Each of these Big Things will have a profound impact on the coming decades because they’re both transformational and ubiquitous. They impact nearly everyone, albeit in different ways. With that comes the reality that we don’t know exactly how their influence will unfold.”
* The Best of Goethe’s Aphorisms: “Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never known men of ability to be ungrateful.”
* My Interview On The Substrand Podcast: I had a great time covering a wide range of topics.
* 13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings: “You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.”
* Quitting While You’re Ahead: “The right goals are obviously important … because some goals are more motivating than others.”
* Why I Write: “Writing is the ultimate test of whether your thoughts make sense or are merely gut feelings. Feelings about why something is the way it is don’t need to be questioned or analyzed in your head because they feel good and you don’t want to rock the boat.”
* 8 Rules to Do Everything Better: “The most important rules to grow your body and mind.”