Taking is pushing.
You are pushing against a force. Figuring out what you can get.
It's swimming upstream.
It's anxiety causing, worry inducing.
It's single serving.
It's relationship breaking, connection cutting.
Giving is pulling.
You are being pulled by a force. Figuring out how you can serve.
It's swimming downstream.
It's happiness creating, for multiple parties.
It's service to others.
It's relationship building, connection fusing.
Pushing is energy-sapping. It's depleting. It's the pit of your stomach aching.
Pulling is energy-inducing. It's invigorating. It's nourishment for the soul of everyone it touches.
Don't push, instead be pulled.
Don't take, don't be the single-serving person. Instead, give. Give of yourself. Give now. See how it lights up the room for everyone.
Check out this wonderful piece on differences in political opinion in America (image below). If the image is too small, here is the link to the article.
The princple behind the article - how incredibly different we are as a function of our upbringing, location, race, religion, eduction, income, circumstances, luck and romance; and how as a consequence we all have different opinions which we see as right and see as idiotic in others - is applicable far beyond the political spectrum.
In fact, it's applicable to:
Our relationships with our co-workers
Our relationships with our bosses
Negotiating a business deal
Conversations with our friends
Frustrations with our family
Different tactics we use in sports
....and just about anything that involves fuzzy human thinking and interactions.
Sorry to be a party pooper, but it's not true. The world is fanstastically more complex than one that succumbs to your desires just because you want it so. Instead, there are millions of variables at play. The only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions (this is wonderfully liberating). So thinking of strategies to take advantage of serendipity is a wonderfully sensible move to try and maximise your chances of "success" (what ever that is for you :-))
From my perspective, the strategies I've found most useful from How To Get Lucky, particulary when combined, are as follows:
FIND THE FAST FLOW (go where events flow fastest - high concentration of people) +
RISK SPOONING (considering risk/reward ratios - never play Russian Roulette no matter the reward) +
WORST CASE ANALYSIS (assess and ensure you can handle the worst case scenario before committing) +
RUN CUTTING / LUCK SELCTION (take the gains / cut your losses) +
JUGGLING ACT/ZIG-ZAG PATH (opportunites can come from any where / life is not a straight line)
Full Book Notes
1. Making The Luck/Planning Distinction
Recognise, acknowledge and make the luck/planning distinction when something happens.
Good and bad luck is prevalent in everyone’s life.
Recognise, acknowledge and make the distinction between luck and planning. (X% Planning, Y% Luck)
Ignoring the role of luck is a recipe for bad luck.
‘To live under constraint is a misfortune, but there is no constraint to live under constraint.’
Listen, bad stuff happens. All. The. Time.
It can really hit home when it happens to us, or our friends, or our family.
Losing your job
Finding out your partner has been cheating on you
Finding out your car has broken down
Losing money in an investment
Your start up failing
Your established business failing
Having an accident
Getting an illness
It can sting right?
Conventional wisdom might be to "think positive", or something of the sort. But I say that can hinder as much as help.
No one gives a damn about your offer unless they are already interested in what it is you have to offer.
They need to desire what you want.
Awareness - I have a cold.
Interest - Iet me Google how to get rid of my cold.
Desire - I want to buy some cold and flu capsules, which one's should I buy?
Action - let's buy these mofo's.
So when someone reaches your offer page, your proposal, your pitch, they are already at the Interest or Desire stage. Maybe they found you themselves, maybe you prospected them and developed some awareness and interest.
So at this stage, considering your prospect is already interested in you, keep the pitch simple:
This is what I can do for you...[value]
This is why you need me...[loss of value / missing out]
This is how I'll do it...[outline method]
Here are some testimonials to socially prove I've done it before...[if X bought he must be good]
Here are some finer details...[show what you know]
Go forth and offer my friends!
Forget the Facebook moments, the Instagram posts of perfect lives, the LinkedIn swagger about the aren't-we-awesome-at-business crowd.
Forget the cheap praise, the "you've done enough" attitudes, the "you're-so-great" compliments.
Forget the jealousy, the low-blow shots, the gossip spreading, the "why is he doing that" murmurs.
Instead, maintain your own scorecard.
The external chatter, the well-intentioned praise, and the soul-destroying harm can do two things:
1) Convince you that you're better than you are
2) Convince you that you're worse than you are.
Instead, maintain your own scorecard.
This is a characteristic of how great people think. They hold themselves to high standards when others already deem their efforts enough. They keep trying when others mock or judge or critique. They use real, measurable feedback and compare where they are to their own internal scorecard.
Let the others judge and compare and seek recognition. Instead, build your confidence on solid, unshakable achievement.
"The Iron Law of You. You think more about yourself than you think about me. There's a corollary to the Iron Law of You - the Iron Law of Me. I think more about myself than I do about you. That's just the way the world works."
It turns out Adam Smith wasn't just a world leading economist, but a pretty astute philosopher as well!
The world demands our attention like never before. Information and communication exchange can be almost instantaneous. We get frustrated when we don't get replies to our emails, text messages and voicemail's. Why isn't the world paying attention to me?!
The insight by Smith above is a lovely reminder that you are not the center of the universe. When you send an important communication to someone, maybe a business pitch, it might be the single most important thing to you at the time. To the respondent, well your message is just one of a huge number, tossed in the mix with everything else they have to complete that day.
So don't get worked up. Practice patience. Remember that the respondent has a million things to deal with, just like you. In the mean time, how many people are screaming with anxiety because you haven't dealt with their important request? How many people are creating stories of worry and fear and rejection? Can you help any of them today? Go do that while you're waiting.
When you meet someone, they often make a judgement about you in seconds. They spend the rest of the conversation fooled by confirmation bias, finding bits here and there to reinforce their judgement.
You do it too. And so do I. It takes a really skilled human to understand they are judging you and then to remove the judgement.
With practice, you can do it. The first step is acknowledgement.
Of course, this has implications for when you meet someone. Like a job interview. Or a business pitch.
And you thought your skills mattered most!
People subconsciously care about 2 things when they meet you:
Translated: How warm are you? How competent are you?
Of these two, by far the most important factor is trust.
Why? Evolution. Thousands of years ago, only the paranoid survived. Figuring out if you might kill me is far more important than knowing if you’ve got shelter building skills.
So, when in a meeting, pitch or interview - trust trumps competence.
With trust, your skills are a strong suit, and you can put them on the table.
Without trust, your skills are threatening. Nobody likes to be threatened.
And how do we build trust?
By being present. By being passionate, enthusiastic, authentic, confident and captivating.
Remember, trust precedes competence when winning someone over in a meeting, pitch or interview.
Want to learn more? Check out the fantastic TED video by Amy Cuddy on Power Poses.
I’m not a lean startup expert. Not in theory, not in practice. I’ve read the book by Eric Ries. I’ve read articles by Steve blank. I like the build-measure-learn feedback loop concept.
I like it because the approach borrows from the scientific method. Find a problem. Make a guess about it. Compute the consequences of the guess. Compare the consequences to experiment or observation.
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.
In lean startup methods, if the guess is wrong, we are told to change the guess, pivot the problem, or give up.
The use of the scientific method is analogous. In reality, making and testing guesses is subjective. It’s messy. It’s open to more interpretation than proving or disproving something concrete, like a law of physics. And so it is not a guaranteed road to success. In truth, there is none.
You have a sales pitch with a potential new client. Lovely, well done for getting this far. Let’s not mess up. Structuring your pitch is key. You see, it’s not just about cramming in all of the facts, figures, features and benefits into as few PowerPoint slides as possible, reading them word for word, and hoping for the best. You could have the most feature rich, problem solving, value for money product or solution known to man, but without the right delivery, it won’t matter one bit. Facts alone won’t sell.
“What interests us most vividly at the time is, other things being equal, what we remember best.”
It’s a human misjudgement, an error of cognition, a bug in the system. We can’t help it. If John told you an entertaining story full of imagery and laughter, that’s what you will remember. You associate John with comedy and laughter, which, if they are traits that you value, will obscure your judgement when selecting a service of which John is one of the options.
Accept this and accept it fast. Sometimes, you just get plain unlucky. Shit happens. There are so many things happening all the time, so many variables at play, the system is so complex that at some point in time something bad will happen to someone for no reason. Statistically it has to happen. It would be strange if it didn't. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Don’t take it personally. You haven’t been singled out. For every setback, you need to get back up. Don’t get into the destructive mind-set of “bad things always happen to me”, or “I’m just unlucky.” This is not true, it’s not real, it’s just your state of mind.