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All you can do with regard to your own life is choose the best path that you believe in. On the other hand, what kind of judgment do other people pass on that choice? That is the task of other people, and is not a matter you can do anything about

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The Courage to Be Disliked follows a conversation between a young man and a philosopher as they discuss the tenets of Alfred Adler’s theories. Alder, a lesser-known twentieth-century psychologist whose work stands up to Freud and Jung, believes in a liberating approach to happiness in which each human being has the power and potential to live a happy and fulfilled life without worry about the past or future.

Their dialogue spans five nights, and the reader is invited to journey alongside the youth as he grapples with, fights against, and is ultimately moved by the profundity of Alder’s wisdom.

The Courage to be Disliked is inspired by Socratic dialogue, a literary genre derived from Plato’s dialogues in which Socrates is a main character who, through conversation, seeks to answer questions on the meaning of life.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking about you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you.
When you’re 60, you realize that nobody has been thinking about you at all!

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness“. Some great insights such as your past does not determine your future, Happiness is a choice, how we fabricate anger, a competitive mindset can affect your mental health and the courage to be disliked leads to long-lasting happiness.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the hallmarks of becoming a high achiever is unshakeable self-belief, betting on yourself, focusing on your goals, and believing in your dreams. A confident and self-assured individual would always beat the talented person that’s unsure. The power of self-belief in achieving your goals can not be overemphasized but you have to be ready to pay the price in order to be able to win the prize. If you think you can, you are right. If you think you can’t, you are also right.

If you don’t believe in yourself no one else would cos there would always be doubters and naysayers, but you have to lace up, develop a tough skin, work your ass out, follow your bliss and stake your claim for your greatness.

Here are some great quotes on self belief:

I had been writing – all I ever wanted to do from – as – from the age at which you understand that books are written – they don’t just spontaneously grow out of the ground. 

J.K.Rowling is the author of the widely popular Harry Potter fantasy series, which has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. Rowling is the first self-made billionaire author in history, captivating readers in eighty languages, and two-hundred countries around the world.  

The Harry Potter Series is one of the highest-grossing movie franchises in history – raking in more than 9.1 billion dollars. She also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two.

Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

Rags to Riches

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as a failure. Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating and allowing her to focus on writing. During this period, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. Rowling signed up for welfare benefits, describing her economic status as being “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless”

J.K. Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London King’s Cross in 1990. Over the next five years, she began to plan out the seven books of the series. She wrote mostly in longhand and amassed a mountain of notes, many of which were on scraps of paper

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. – Goethe

The Pygmalion Effect or The Expectancy Theory is a phenomenon whereby others’ expectations of a target person affect the target person’s performance.

The effect is named after the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue of a woman he had carved & fell in love with it. Unable to love a human, Pygmalion appealed to Aphrodite (the goddess of love), to bring it to life. Aphrodite granted his prayers.

Alternatively called the Rosenthal effect, named after psychologist Robert Rosenthal. And Lenore Jacobson, their research concluded that high expectations lead to better performance and low expectations lead to worse, both effects resulting to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to higher performance. For example, a manager’s higher expectation on work performance affects the employee’s input, which in turn leads to better job satisfaction and fulfillment while a manager’s low expectations on work performance jeopardize the employee’s output, which in turn leads to low morale & dissatisfaction.

When we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur. (Rosenthal and Babad, 1985)

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

The Law is as absolute as the law of gravity: What you sow is what you reap. If you sow hard work, you realize the result of your hard work – Success; If you sow laziness, you reap the outcome of your inactivity – failure. Garbage In, Garbage Out. What you give is what you get. You cannot get out of life what you are not willing to put into it. If you want more affection, give affection more affection. If you want to succeed, help others achieve greater results.

For Example: You want to start a business today and become Bill Gates tomorrow; it does not usually happen like that; it involves sowing the habits of persistence, perseverance, consistency, good routine, hard work, grit, and an element of LUCK (Labouring Under Correct Knowledge) and you would eventually reap the reward of fame, success, stardom, and fulfilment.

If you work hard, what is hard would eventually work, but if you take shortcuts, you would be cut short.

 The moment you understand the law of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, you just need to do your best always, work hard, and let the universe take care of the rest. If you work hard, what is hard would eventually work, but if you take shortcuts, you would be cut short. It can be extremely hard at times when you give your all, but you don’t get the result, keep pushing, the result would eventually come.

One of the reasons people don’t achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results without changing their thinking. But that’s never going to work. If you expect to reap corn when you planted nettles, you’re not going to get corn—no matter how much time you spend watering, fertilizing, or cultivating your plants. If you don’t like the crop you are reaping, you need to change the seed you are sowing!

Here are some great insights on the law of causation: What you sow is what you reap.

The adversary is not the person across the table; the adversary is the situation.

While many believe that negotiation is a battle, Chris sees successful negotiation as a collaboration rooted in empathy. Chris is the CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group, he is the author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. He is a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator.

Here are my favourite takeaways from viewing the “Art of Negotiation” MasterClass by Chris Voss:

We can not rise strong when we are on the run.

In Rising Strong, Brené Brown, shares great insights on how acceptance of our struggles make us more whole in the long run than hiding them. The “Rising Strong” process requires courage, reckoning with our emotions, rumbling with our stories, and living the process, which is revolution and leads to wholeheartedness in our lives.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown:

Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.–Thomas Edison.

One of the most exciting tools I have come across in the past week is the five-minute journal. I got to know about the journal after watching a Tim Ferris Youtube video (Thanks Tim). I love the five-minute journal so much that I ordered 10 for the most important people in my life. I have been trying to journal in the past three months, and it has not been straightforward.

Gratitude is the feeling that embodies the phrase “Thank You”. It is the unexpected reward of a kind deed that is magically produced by your brain. It is the cute, tingly feeling in your body that makes you smile at strangers. A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep. reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change.

Gratitude is the experience of counting one’s blessings.

With the gratitude journal, I have a system that makes it easier to journal every day; it has pre-formatted questions on every page with the following questions:

Every page contains the following:

Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.

When executing a project or living through the gig called life, having patience, trusting the process, and seeing the big picture is very important. Having patience when the going gets tough can be very hard and draining, but trusting the process is the key. As the saying goes, tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Whether it is starting a blog, running a business, getting a promotion, building an online platform, they all require patience and focus on the big picture.

You have to trust the process.

Here are some great quotes on patience:

Trust the process. Your time is coming. Just do the work and the results will handle themselves. – Tony Gaskins

A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.― Edgar Allan Poe

I subscribed for the free version of Grammarly earlier in 2020 as a way to improve my writing. After using the trial version for like two months, I had to upgrade to the premium version as the service has helped with my writing, spelling, and grammar, which are all needed for coherent content, especially online. Grammarly’s core product offering include grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services

 Don’t obsess over perfect grammar. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story. – Stephen King

Here are some of the reasons you should consider getting Grammarly at least the free version, If you like the service, you can then upgrade to the paid version.

I’ve never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education.- Mark Twain

Dr. Rick Rigsby gave a very inspiring commencement speech at the California State University Maritime Academy in 2017. The lecture was titled: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout. Rick wrote a book inspired by his dad: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout: How the Timeless Wisdom of One Man Can Impact an Entire Generation.

Rigsby’s father, Roger Marion Rigsby, was the inspiration for his book, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout. The senior Rigsby left school in the third grade to help out on the family farm and taught himself to read and write. Later, worked as a cook at Cal Maritime. 

Full Transcript of Dr. Rick Rigsby’s The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Speech:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. – Friedrich Nietzsche

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Wayne Dyer, in this book, takes the reader on an adventure of his life experiences, the aha moments, his growing up days, the insights gained, and all the things he wished knew, but he sees it clearly now. He shares significant events from his life and note lessons he ultimately learned and wisdom he garnered through introspection.

Wayne Dyer was an American self-help author and a motivational speaker. His first book, Your Erroneous Zones (1976), is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 100 million copies sold to date.

If we stop for a moment, it is possible to perceive a pattern in our lives; the motivators that have influenced us become more obvious. We are able to see life unfolding from both ends at once , coming into the present moment. But until we have got to a certain point of realization, this is not possible, because everything is still seen as a series of  apparent causes and effects— RESHAD FEILD

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer:

One of the most inspiring commencement speeches of all time on June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, Late CEO of Apple and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered a very compelling speech to the graduating Stanford University students.

Full Transcript of Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.- Thomas Sowell

Life is a fight for territory; we are always trading off something for yet another thing: your Work or Your Marriage, Your Mental Health, or Mindless scrolling on social media. Unfortunately, there is always a trade-off. The question is not if you are trading off something; instead, the question is, what are you trading off?

Take, for instance, you run a not-for-profit organization, but you are attending conferences all year round, all over the world. The trade-off would probably be less time working on your project. Another example is social media/instant messaging, picking up your phone every 15 minutes to check the latest updates for the dopamine rush. Still, the trade-off is either having less face to face conversations or having less time to work on your goals. You get the drift, most times you cannot have it all.

trade-off /ˈtrād ˌôf/ noun : a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise.

In her 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech, Shonda Rhimes delivers a very compelling speech on trade-offs:

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Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a memoir by American author Stephen King that describes his experiences as a writer and his advice for aspiring writers. Stephen’s books have sold more than 350 million, he writes horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels.

The On Writing book contains a lot of nuggets, insights, and strategies for becoming a great writer. In typical Stephen King fashion, the book is a straight to the point, no BS take on getting things done by writing great stories and using your imagination effectively.

Here are my favourite take ways from reading On Writing by Stephen King:

Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction.