Robert Greene takes 3,000 years of history and boils it down into 48 laws around how to acquire power and avoid being manipulated. Power is key to success and at its core allows us to dictate the situations we may find ourselves in. A few key laws are:
Key takeaway: One key thought that resonates is that we should not judge others by their intentions but rather by their actions. How many times has a prospect told you they would sign the documents if this or that? Judge a book by its cover (actions).
Quote of the book: “When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”
Famed Hollywood actor, Matthew McConaughey, has led a interesting life since his breakout role in Dazed and Confused (1993). Greenlights is a collection of McConaughey’s journals dating back to his early days. Relive his core values that led to his iconic life in this best seller.
Key takeaway: McConaughey was known as the rom com guy for the early part of his career and he was type casted. He no longer wanted to be so one dimensional and in a tough period of his life rejected numerous offers staying on the sidelines for almost a year to stay true to his belief in winning an Oscar in another genre.
Quote of the book: “The problems we face today eventually turn into blessings in the rearview mirror of life. In time, yesterday’s red light leads us to a greenlight. All destruction eventually leads to construction, all death eventually leads to birth, all pain eventually leads to pleasure. In this life or the next, what goes down will come up. It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.”
Why in the most prosperous age human civilization do so many feel lost, ill and full of despair? Suicide an mental illness are at all time highs yet wealth and comfort have never been higher as well. Heying and Weinstein accredit the human brain as unable to cope and adapt to all the change. Read more for an inspiring look into how to live a more fulfilling, successful life.
Key Takeaway: As a way to clear your mind, unplug for an hour, day, week and leave electronics behind. Get back to basic human skills like interacting with your neighbors and exercising to regain some strength and solace.
Quote of the book: “novel levels of novelty, such as we are experiencing now, are a special danger. This means that what’s needed today—and urgently—is a call to consciousness on a scale that we have not seen before.”
One of the best parables for living a good life is sports. From teamwork and comradery to work ethic and competitiveness sports teaches all. Brundage Jr. takes lessons from basketball legend like Michael and Kobe to teach the key lessons fo what it takes to accomplish your goals and live a successful life.
Key Takeaway: Never make excuses. Work hard. Fail. Get better.
Quote of the book: ““Excuses are tools of incompetence used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness, and those who use them seldom specialize in anything else.”
Stephen Covey in his 25 plus year working with successful individuals spanning various industries from finance to education realized that most were often left feeling a void of emptiness. After reading the days books on self help he realized there were two stark contrasts between “success”. One was your true character such as humility and honesty while the other was the “personality ethic” that attributed success to superficial qualities that were a function of personality like public image. Covey believes that long term success is cutlvated by focusing on internally on your core character and behavior.
Key Takeaway: Similar to any job in life whether it is professional basketball or sales, what you put in you get out. Your inputs over the long term will almost always balance out to your output. Covey proves the point that you need to proactive and taking responsibility and success will come.
Quote of the book: “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.”
After 70 million copies sold it is safe to say that Napoleon Hill has captured the attention of the public by educating them on what it takes to be successful. Hill spent the vast majority of his life studying successful businessmen and derived his finding into Think and Grow Rich.
Key Takeaway: One core belief that is present in all successful people is that you must have an unshakable belief in yourself. Everyone who’s anyone has faced adversity at some point in their life and went against the grain (or else they wouldn’t be successful). Believe in yourself at all costs.
Quote of the book: “A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits.”
What is a stoic? One who endures pain without complaining. Ryan Holiday in The Daily Stoic explains that The Stoics framed their work around 3 core disciplines:
Key Takeaway: When was the last time you actually said no to something. We all have those nagging meetings and activities we regrettably accept. The more you say no to things, the more you can say yes to other activities that truly matter.
Quote of the Book: “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”
Whether you are a ballerina or a Navy SEAL one area that encompasses all walks of life is how one carries themselves. This stems from their confidence. Humans believe in others that are confident. When is the last time you saw a leader who was unsure of themselves? Rarely happens. Dr. Zinsser, after working on training the top minds in the business and sports world, proves that confidence is a skill that can be taught similar to a muscle being worked.
Key Takeaway: When someone is confident, confusion, ambivalence, and fear slows to a bare minimum. Fake it until you make it as you are rising to the top as people perceive confidence with knowledge, experience and other positive attributes.