Thrive in Five new year tips

Thrive in Five: “new year” tips

6 MinutesIn Thrive in Five

September is often a month of business planning and strategy reviews and team meetings on steroids isn’t it? The summer finishes and by mid-October, we can feel like we need a break. Here are some ideas and tactics to give you a shot in the arm, as the ‘new year’ throws everything its got at you.

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson feels like a good autumn book to have a go at. This link takes you to James Clear’s detailed summary. Once I had got over reading the word f*ck so many times in the first 40 pages (I like the word as an expletive, but it was kind of overwhelming), I warmed to the philosophy of this book.
– be intentional about what we give a f*ck about, because our mind will always find pain and problems. “Warren Buffett has money problems; he just has better money problems than a hobo. All of life is like this…”. The aim of giving a f*ck only about things that matter is to create a life of “good problems”. Otherwise our mind will make up other problems, that we really shouldn’t give a f*ck about.

– be clear about the pain we want to sustain. What struggle are we prepared to have to get what reward? What process are we willing to commit to, to get the result? What fight will we fall in love with, to get the victory?  Rewards, results and victories only come with struggle, process and fight. It is these things that ultimately generate “happiness”. If we are telling ourselves that anyone has it “easy” or that we can have something we really want – and keep it – without struggle, process and fight, we are deluded.

– none of us is really exceptional. We are all pretty average and the vast majority of our lives will be unnoteworthy. And this is ok. His Buddhistesque point is: it is life’s basic experiences that actually matter: simple friendships, creating things, helping people, reading a good book, going to the game or gig, having a laugh, etc. Give a f*ck about these things, often.

Particularly for those of you who skipped the “book” option feeling you don’t have time to read…..Often we don’t read because we simply don’t have a book to read/listen to, we don’t make it easy for ourselves. Because of course, we do have the time to read; the trick is to make it take less energy.
The key to reading 200 books a year is to have them everywhere we go: in e-form; as audio books on our phone; have at least two readable, interesting books in every single room in our house; never leave the house without one, in some form. Keep a running list of all the books we want to read, to make it easy to restock.
If you came to my house or office, you might find the piles of books everywhere a bit mad, but this has helped me read between four to seven books a month (I know, I’m just about hitting 100, even when I throw in my holiday reading. Need to try harder!).

I spent a large chunk of the summer months reviewing and researching my coaching and consulting practice of the last few years. I’ve developed these Five Keys in response to that review – the core foundations to professional success and personal happiness. The First Key echoes Mark Manson above: live each day on purpose.

Tim Ferriss’ 4.5 minute video on how to cope with feeling unfocused or overwhelmed.
The questions he asks himself when he feels like this during the day:
Am I eating enough?
Am I drinking too much caffeine?
What would this look like, if it were easy?
What are the 20% of activities and people that are producing 80% of the results and positive emotional states I want. Write these down to make them an explicit reflection, rather than having a vague notion of what they might be.

Saying it quietly, I’m not a big fan of the “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” books of Yuval Noah Harari….But I find his blogs thought provoking and to the point. You can follow him on Medium here. His latest piece is about the skill sets today’s children need to thrive.

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