1. Learned optimism has an ABC formula; define the Adversity, explain your initial Belief about it with logic, and define the Consequences of that belief as a feeling, then consider adjusting the Belief to get a better Consequence (Dr. Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism).
2. Self-discipline is our most important trait, as no success principle will work without it and the more self-discipline we develop the more it helps our self-esteem and self-respect, revealing to us that it is not the material things you acquire that matter as much as the quality of the person you must become if you want an above average life (Brian Tracy, No Excuses!).
3. When challenges arise, our first reaction is often negative with a question starting with “Why,” “Who,” or “When,” but if we can discipline ourselves to quickly follow up with questions starting with “How can I...” or “What can I do to...” it helps us to engage our head, heart, and hands, which lead to better results, and it works because it’s based on the truth that I can only change me (John G. Miller, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question).
4. If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do more of the things you want to do when you want to do them (John Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth).
5. Changing people’s beliefs – even the simplest beliefs – can have big effects, and the growth mindset is one of these beliefs, which is scientifically proven theory that we can improve our abilities if we believe we can, and in our improvement process we should praise effort not traits, and not be afraid of failure (Dr. Carol Dweck, Mindset).
6. To get good results we need to be analytical rather than emotional, because if I can reconcile my emotions with my logic and only act when they are aligned, I make better decisions, like knowing when to not have an opinion, taking advantage of my strengths and compensating for my weaknesses, and developing, testing, and systemizing timeless and universal principles (Ray Dalio, Principles).
7. Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win/win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, synergize, and learn, all while keeping in mind that communication is our most important skill which is about 10 percent the words we say, 30 percent our tone of voice, and 60 percent body language (Dr. Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
8. To achieve extraordinary results you need to make the choice to give time to what matters most, which can be reasoned down to one tasks, and often requires putting other tasks out of balance, understanding that productivity is driven by purpose and priorities, block out time on your schedule for important tasks like your “One Thing” and reviewing your goals, and this can help you commit to mastery as a journey not a destination, which is best walked with some form of accountability (Gary Keller with Jay Papasan, The One Thing).
9. People who have direction in their lives go farther and faster and get more done in all areas of their lives… A firm commitment also enables you to dig deeper and bring out the extra or hidden physical, mental, and spiritual resources… A person’s most useful years, mentally and spiritually are after age forty (Zig Ziglar, Over the Top).
10. The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits… identify the words, principles, and values you want your family to be known for and make those part of your family’s vocabulary… If we could teach our kids one thing, it would be the discipline of creating winning habits (Tom Ziglar, Choose to Win).
11. The four laws of creating a good habit are (1) Make the cue obvious; (2) Make the craving attractive; (3) Make the response easy; (4) Make the reward satisfying; Reverse these to help break bad habits (James Clear, Atomic Habits).
12. A focused and productive morning routine will most often lead to a focused and productive day, and it can also help you experience deeper levels of fulfillment (Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning).
13. The seven pillars of health are food, water, exercise, rest, supplements, detoxification, and coping with stress, while brisk walking is one of the best exercises I can recommend, and it’s pretty much free, know that sleep helps regulate hormones, slows the aging process, boosts the immune system, improves brain function, and reduces cortisol levels (Dr. Don Colbert, The Seven Pillars of Health).
14. Shaping your environment is at the center of what ‘free will’ really means, because your choice of environment and external influences will directly reflect in the person you become… What you can do is based on context, not willpower, every environment has rules and a cap, your value is relative, not absolute, and you are always acting in a role (Benjamin Hardy, Willpower Doesn’t Work).
15. If you have this one key skill then you can achieve wonders, a deep, driving desire to learn, and a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people; helpful people skills include smiling, give sincere appreciation, be interested in others, be careful arguing or criticizing, show respect, have empathy for their views, and appeal to their better nature (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People).
16. Trying to persuade someone to do something they don’t want to do can be frustrating, but the Verbal Judo model can help… (1) Ask; (2) Set context; (3) Present options; (4) Confirm their choice; (5) Act; and a reason it is helpful is one of the great psychological urges is the desire to know why, and of course people like options… The entire basis of Verbal Judo is to treat people with dignity and respect, most of all your family and close friends, be careful how you speak to them as words can cut deep and fester long (Dr. George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins, Verbal Judo).
17. Being positive, labeling people’s feelings, mirroring their questionable statements, using calibrating questions, and accurately summarizing their point of view with empathy can be powerful negotiation tactics… Get over your aversion to negotiating, that’s how the world works, it’s simply playing the emotional game that human society is set up for (Chris Voss with Tahl Raz, Never Split the Difference).
18. In a psychological sense, boundaries are the realization of our own person apart from others, which develops a sense of separateness and forms the basis of personal identity (Dr. Henry Cloud, Changes that Heal).
19. Relationship management strategies include; be open and curious, enhance your natural communication style, avoid giving mixed signals, take feedback well, build trust, and only get mad on purpose (Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves, Emotional Intelligence 2.0).
20. There are many dangerous marriage myths, don’t fall for them, happy couples decide to be happy, in spite of troubles, they make happiness a habit… This includes learning how to fight a good fight and developing good communication habits like making “I” statements instead of “you” statements, practice reflective listening (empathy), understand and accept differences, apologize when necessary, and communicate with touch (Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts).
21. Love Yourself... And others; Right now, wherever you’re at; More than you love your drama; Fiercely, loyally, unapologetically; With a kung fu grip; Be grateful for all you are and all that you’re becoming; And everybody benefits; Because it’s the Holy Grail of happiness (Jen Sincero, You are a Badass).
22. We can recognize the in-love experience for what it was – a temporary emotional high – and now pursue real love with our spouse, which involves an act of the will, and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth, like understanding and applying their most important love language, either words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch (Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages).
23. I can predict whether a couple would be happily married or lose their way with a 91 percent accuracy, in as little as five minutes by observing conversation in our Love Lab, and couples who attend my workshop have a relapse rate that’s about half of the standard marital therapy, some relational warning signs include “the four horsemen” of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling, and tactics to strengthen relations include enhance your love maps, nurture admiration, turn towards each other not away, let your partner influence you, solve your solvable problems, and overcome gridlock (Dr. John M. Gottman and Nan Silver, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work).
24. The Nonviolent Communication model is a deliberate two-way empathy process of observing and expressing how their actions felt, then injecting empathy into the thinking process on your behalf by stating your need and request. Then turning the process around and getting them to state their observation, feeling, need, and request. We can further empathize with them by summarizing what they seem to have observed and felt, and their need and request. This helps us focus more on what we want than on what is wrong with others (Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication).
25. I don’t know if there is a healthier way for two people to stay in love than to stop using each other to resolve their unfulfilled desires and, instead, start holding each other closely as they experience them (Donald Miller, Scary Close).
26. Highly successful people have grit, a combination of passion and perseverance, which can be developed by intentionally practicing their trade regularly, with specific goals, developing purpose by knowing your effort also matters to other people, and to develop hope (Angela Duckworth, Grit).
27. Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion… Ordinary people can do the extraordinary. You can become a linchpin within an organization, see the truth, understand the situation, help the organization gain momentum through helpful insights, and focus on creating value (Seth Godin, Linchpin).
28. When it comes to developing influence, challenge people to grow by helping people raise their ambition to think better (about themselves, others, or the world), do better, or give more (Brendon Burchard, High Performance Habits).
29. I am positive that personal finance is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge, what to do isn’t the problem; doing it is… Save $1,000 fast (for emergencies), then start a debt snowball and payoff all debt except your mortgage, then grow your emergency fund to three to six months of expenses (Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover).
30. There are four steps that are essential for success in all walks of life, (1) A definite purpose backed by a strong desire; (2) A definite plan expressed in continuous action; (3) A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances; (4) A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose (Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich).
31. Emotional mastery is our most important skill, we can influence our emotions and our state of mind and/or body in any given moment, and seek positive change by raising our standards, changing our limiting beliefs, then changing our strategy… Decide what you want, take action, notice what’s working and what’s not, and change your approach until you achieve what you want (Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within).
32. People are often motivated by power or pleasure only when they lack purpose, and purpose can help people overcome suffering, and purpose can be developed in three ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing someone or something (3) by our attitude towards suffering; understanding the greatest truth, that love is the ultimate goal we can aspire to, understanding we should not ask what the meaning of our life is, but recognize we are the ones that are being asked, what meaning are we giving to our life… Maybe we should consider a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast to supplement the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast (Dr. Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning).
33. People can grow with virtual mentors in the pages of books (John Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth).
Bonus advice… We need to use every opportunity to improve individually, so we can improve collectively (Nick Saban).
Strive to be a person of value, rather than a person of success… It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stick with problems longer (Albert Einstein).
Arguably the best expert reference is to... constantly think about how you can be doing things better (Elon Musk).
Some thoughts from an average guy who thinks a lot about questions to problems… Our identity starts with our thoughts and emotions that lead to our beliefs, which create our values, which set our standards, which develop our habits… Compound interest doesn’t just apply to money, it also applies to our knowledge, health, and relationships (Jason Krause, Opportunity Truth).
If you enjoyed this article consider my other articles Truth for Life, and Life Lessons (a letter to my younger self). You can also find some good information on the other pages of this website. Or, get my book Opportunity Truth which provides a three level opportunity system with the ten key principles for life, including highlights at the end of each chapter for a quick read, and epic movie scenes that support the principles and keep it entertaining, if you want to read the whole book. You can find Opportunity Truth at Amazon.com. Whether you get my book or not, I hope this article helped renew your thoughts and desire to invest in yourself. Please share these best expert references if you think they could help others.
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