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RECOMMENDED BOOKS, PRODUCTS, & CONTENT

The Optimism Bias: Most people cannot be better than most people

One of my biggest fears in life is to think I’m better at something than I actually am.

And as it turns out, that very same false state of mind is a pretty common thing in the world.

Here is a bit more about that:

Many of us are not aware of our optimistic tendencies.… Data clearly shows that most people overestimate their prospects for professional achievement; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; miscalculate their likely life span; expect to be healthier than their peers; hugely underestimate their likelihood of divorce, cancer, and unemployment; and are confident overall that their future lives will be better than those their parents put up with. This is known as the optimism bias—the inclination to overestimate the likelihood of encountering positive events in the future and to underestimate the likelihood of experiencing negative events.

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain (Tali Sharot)

Most people I encounter who don’t do very much with their lives preach about how great it can be one day in the future. Most people who share motivational memes all the time don’t actually DO positive stuff, they just think and dream about positive stuff.— Read More…

Perseverance and passion matter more than IQ and talent

Closing statements from a study on grit:

In a qualitative study of the development of world-class pianists,
neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians, and sculptors,
Bloom (1985) noted that “only a few of [the 120 talented
individuals in the sample] were regarded as prodigies by teachers,
parents, or experts” (p. 533). Rather, accomplished individuals
worked day after day, for at least 10 or 15 years, to reach the top
of their fields. Bloom observed that in every studied field, the
general qualities possessed by high achievers included a strong
interest in the particular field, a desire to reach “a high level of
attainment” in that field, and a “willingness to put in great amounts
of time and effort” (p. 544). Similarly, in her study of prodigies
who later made significant contributions to their field, Winner
(1996) concluded, “Creators must be able to persist in the face of
difficulty and overcome the many obstacles in the way of creative
discovery…. Drive and energy in childhood are more predictive
of success, if not creativity, than is IQ or some other more
domain-specific ability” (p. 293).

The qualitative insights of Winner (1996), Bloom (1985), and
Galton (1892), coupled with evidence gathered by the current
investigation and its forerunners, suggest that, in every field, grit
may be as essential as talent to high accomplishment. If substantiated,
this conclusion has several practical implications: First,
children who demonstrate exceptional commitment to a particular
goal should be supported with as many resources as those identified
as “gifted and talented.” Second, as educators and parents, we
should encourage children to work not only with intensity but also
with stamina. In particular, we should prepare youth to anticipate
failures and misfortunes and point out that excellence in any
discipline requires years and years of time on task. Finally, liberal
arts universities that encourage undergraduates to sample broadly
should recognize the ineluctable trade-off between breadth and
depth. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the goal of an education
is not just to learn a little about a lot but also a lot about a little.

Read the full article here. Angela Duckworth also has a phenomenal book on the topic of grit that I highly recommend.

The Books That Always Set Me Straight

I totally forgot I said this, but apparently in my podcast episode with Eric Helms I referred to a list of books that help me figure myself out when I lose my shit.

Here is the reminder from one of my awesome Instagram followers brought this to my attention:

So here’s my reply — the books that set me straight (turns out it was more than 5), separated by the sort of predicament I tend to use them for.

WHEN I’M NOT MAKING SHIT HAPPEN AS FAST AS I SHOULD BE

These are the books that slap me in the face, kick me in the ass, make me feel like I’m being a pansy and give me a jet-boost of “get shit done” energy. They help me both as an athlete and as a human who wants to do cool stuff in my lifetime.— Read More…

3 Kick-Ass Books For Coaches, Trainers, And Anyone Else Trying To Make A Living

With my Audible credits renewed and a quick trip to the used book store, I got to dive into some serious gems these past couple weeks.

By pleasant happenstance, they all joined forces to feed my business / coaching brain more than anything else, and I wanted to share the wealth with those of you who could possibly use it.

BOOK #1

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – By Susan Cain // If you work with people, you need to read this book. Obviously that includes coaches, trainers, teachers, and counselors. But if you have co-workers, children, family, or any other important relationship in your life, I’d still argue this is definitely worth the time and money to have a better understanding of how different people operate.— Read More…

Why I Follow The Work Of Very Few People

While I can totally appreciate a good one-liner, I live for deep explanations.

If the explainer is someone I admire, give me a 3-hour podcast over a 10-min radio interview any day. I’ll take a 500-page book over a 4-sentence social media post with every chance I get.

I want to learn about their process. This way I can try it on, see how it feels, keep what I like, and move on. This feedback loop of mimicking work and curating it for my personal taste is far more useful to me than simply accepting advice “because someone said so”.

I don’t follow people for prescriptions. I don’t need someone to tell me what to do. I need them to set examples, tell stories, and open mental doors.— Read More…

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