Book: Die Empty

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Book: Die Empty by Mind Map: Book: Die Empty

1. Full Reading Notes

1.1. Todd Henry's Key Points

1.1.1. Chp 1: Die Empty

1.1.1.1. To stay on a true and steady course, instill consistent practice.

1.1.1.1.1. "The only way to avoid this scenario (feeling it is futile to think about anything other than deadlines/promotions) is to instill consistent practices into your life that keep you on a true and steady course." (3)

1.1.1.2. The most valuable land in the world is the graveyard.

1.1.1.2.1. "The most valuable land in the world is the graveyard. In the graveyard are buried all of the unwritten novels, never- launched businesses, unreconciled relationships and all of the other things that people thought, 'I'll get around to that tomorrow.' One day, however, their tomorrows ran out." (4)

1.1.1.3. Work is the proactive creation of value.

1.1.1.3.1. "Work encompasses much more than just how we make a living. Any value we create that requires us to spend our time, focus and energy -- whether the context of occupation, relationships, or parenting -- is work." (5)

1.1.1.4. This book's purpose is to bring clarity and a sense of urgency to your work.

1.1.1.4.1. If there is one overriding goal of this book it is this: to bring a new-found clarity and sense of urgency to how you approach your work on a daily basis, and over your lifetime. (5)

1.1.1.5. To actually do your best work is to consistently make steady critical progress on projects that matter.

1.1.1.5.1. Emptying yourself of your best work isn't just about checking off tasks on your to- do list; its about making steady critical progress each day on the projects that matter, in all areas of life. (7)

1.1.1.6. Do not live like there is no tomorrow; Be mindful of how today's actions will affect tomorrow's outcomes.

1.1.1.7. You balance doing work you're proud and honoring expectation by shifting your mind-set.

1.1.1.7.1. The most frustrating part of work for many people is the tug-of-war between making a contribution you believe in and honoring the expectations of your manager or client, even if it means doing work you are less proud of. But as you'll see throughout the book, the tension between these two forces can often be remedied with a subtle shift in mind-set, which will also lead to more satisfaction, and, ultimately, better work. (8)

1.1.1.8. Cultivating a love of the process is key to making a lasting contribution.

1.1.1.8.1. There is an overemphasis on celebrity and recognition in our culture, and it will eventually be the death of us. Cultivating a love of the process is key to making a lasting contribution. (10)

1.1.1.9. Comfort is a good by-product but bad end game.

1.1.1.9.1. There are many forces that lead to stagnancy and mediocrity... There's nothing wrong with experiencing comfort as a by-product of your labor but you can't make it your chief goal. (10)

1.1.1.10. There many ways to add/create value while operating in your sweet spot.

1.1.1.10.1. Too many people want to come out of the gate with a clear understanding of their life's mission. There is no one thing that we are wired to do, and there are many ways you can add value to the world, while operating in your sweet spot. (11)

1.1.1.10.2. "Sweet spot" -- best part of the bat with which to strike the ball; each person has a sweet spot where their unique value is maximized through their efforts

1.1.1.11. Positive thinking and decisive action are equally important.

1.1.1.11.1. All the positive thinking in the world will not amount to anything without decisive action. (13)

1.1.2. Chp 2: Your Contribution

1.1.2.1. Gratifying work is consistent, focused efforts.

1.1.2.1.1. Engaging in gratifying work simply requires consistent, focused efforts to cultivate your instincts and skills, and make measured progress on your goals. (15)

1.1.2.2. Work - any instance where you make an effort to create value where it didn't previously exist. (18)

1.1.2.3. Long-term success is determined by willingness to disrupt comfort for the sake of growth.

1.1.2.3.1. The key to long-term success is a willingness to disrupt your own comfort for the sake of continued growth. To that end, how you choose to stare down uncertainty is often the determinant of success or failure. (19)

1.1.2.4. True potential is reflected by disciplined approached self-improvement and skills

1.1.2.4.1. "Regardless, the contribution you make will be accomplished through the use of all three kinds of work (Making, Mapping, and Meshing). The degree to which your contribution reflects your true potential will be largely determined by how disciplined you are about improving your self-awareness and skills everyday." (29)

1.1.3. Chp 3: Siren Song of Mediocrity

1.1.3.1. "It’s the combination of the words “satisfy” and “sufficing,” and means selecting an option that is sufficient to meet enough of our ongoing expectations. Simon explained that when dealing with limited resources and an environment of uncertainty, satisficing is sometimes a reasonable approach because our limited resources prohibit us from pursuing every possibility." (33)

1.1.3.2. "The reality is that many of them sold themselves out in small ways over time until they could no longer find a way back. No one charts a course for mediocrity, yet it’s still a destination of choice." (34)

1.1.3.3. When you stop growing, you start dying. In much the same way that an organization needs to be persistently innovative in order to maintain market share, individuals must make a personal commitment to lifelong personal innovation through skill development, risk-taking, and experimentation in order to avoid stagnation. The seeds of tomorrow's brilliance are planted in the soil of today's activity. (36, 37)

1.1.3.4. "The key to overcoming the ill effects of a love of comfort is a commitment to continual growth and skill development." (41)

1.1.4. Chp 4: Define Your Battles (Counter Aimlessness)

1.1.4.1. Progress is often made through one's willingness to persist at the small activities that no one else sees, but that truly generate results. (50)

1.1.4.2. Your "through" line" is the theme of your work. (Through line -- the change you wish to see in the world through your efforts) (50)

1.1.4.3. Identifying a through line around which to devote your focus, time, and energy is a journey, not a onetime task. (51)

1.1.4.4. In truth, it's perfectly possible to do great work without a cohesive through line, and even to make a substantial contribution, However, having a lens through which to view your efforts and gauge your progress will increase your likelihood of creating a body of work you will be proud of, even if that lens adapts and changes over time. (51)

1.1.4.5. You must have a clear understanding of what's important to you, and refuse to compromise in those places that require swift and immediate action. (51)

1.1.4.6. The most fulfilled people I've encountered in the marketplace approach their work, in any context, with the question "What can I add? rather than "What can I get?" (52)

1.1.4.7. Your Compassionate anger may be on behalf of an underserved market or a group of people who are not being given an adequate platform or the tools they need to do their work. (55)

1.1.4.8. Small victories will increase your level of confidence and mastery, but consistent failure due to setting the bar too high will lead to frustration and continued aimlessness. (59)

1.1.4.9. Action defines reality, and "potential" is nothing but unproven, hypothetical value. (61)

1.1.5. Chp 5: Be Fiercely Curious

1.1.5.1. Have an engagement mind-set instead of an entertainment mind-set... (64)

1.1.5.1.1. Engagement Mindset

1.1.5.1.2. Entertainment Mindset

1.1.5.2. We often don't take time to stop and consider how what we're seeing or experiencing fits into the wider scheme of our life, because there's always something new to move on to. (64)

1.1.5.3. Intellectual growth results not from the accumulation of tidbits of information, but from considering and integrating it. (65)

1.1.5.4. To dive deep into pockets of interest is to cultivate specific curiosity; diving can be done by developing possibility thinking and redefining the problem at hand

1.1.5.5. To develop diversive curiosity, we establish Hunting Trails; exploring possibilities through purposeful questions is to establish Hunting Trails

1.1.5.6. Intellectual growth results not from the accumulation of tidbits of information, but from considering and integrating it. (65)

1.1.6. Chp 6: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

1.1.6.1. Growth is about daily, measured, and disciplined action. It's about embracing purposeful skill development and pursuing new opportunities that stretch you to step beyond your comfort zone, even when it means venturing boldly into the unknown.

1.1.6.2. We don't grow by simply doing what's expected of us. If we stay squarely in our comfort zone, where we are perfectly capable and confident, we may never discover and develop our hidden aptitudes.

1.1.6.3. Waiting in some form is inevitable, but it can also become a habit, a form of abdication. An excuse. It's easier to blame someone else for our failure to act than to face the deeper source of our inaction. Waiting is a less risky form of "no".

1.1.6.4. What's important is that you focus on consistent, measurable progress, and always have each kind of goal in your life at all times. You should have a set of step goals you are accomplishing today, which should be helping you accomplish a set of sprint gaols over the next few weeks, which should be leading you toward a set of long-term stretch goals.

1.1.6.5. You cannot pursue greatness and comfort at the same time

1.1.6.6. Decide on long-term goals you can measure and control -- if you can't control it, you can't plan for it

1.1.6.6.1. Improving sales skills

1.1.6.6.2. Writing a book

1.1.6.6.3. Developing aptitudes

1.1.7. Chp 7: Know Yourself

1.1.7.1. I believe firmly that one path toward unlocking our latent abilities is returning to a simple practice: We need to rekindle our ability to emulate the positive attributes of those we admire in others, and apply those same attributes to our life and work.

1.1.7.2. Knowing yourself will help you counter-self delusion and pursue the unique contribution you alone are capable of making.

1.1.7.3. Establishing a Code of Ethics

1.1.7.3.1. Examine people you admire and excavate narratives/assumptions you carry by answering these questions

1.1.7.3.2. Instead of falling back on a set of passive values, you must transform them into a code of ethics -- a set of operating instructions for your daily activity. This "code of ethics" is a series of words that concretely defines how you will engage in your work.

1.1.7.3.3. To establish your code of ethics, dedicate a few hours to reflecting on you r life and work and how you might want to engage differently.

1.1.7.3.4. It's not about achieving perfection; it's about giving yourself a lens through which to view your work and a starting point for measuring your effectiveness.

1.1.8. Chp 8: Be Confidently Adaptable (shorten, rearrange for map)

1.1.8.1. Common ways we unnecessarily feed the ego

1.1.8.1.1. Playing the victim -- when you allow the behavior of others to control sense of engagement, you are abdicating control of your own work

1.1.8.1.2. Snark, cynicism & overcomplexity

1.1.8.1.3. Judging work relative to others rather than on its own merits

1.1.8.1.4. Expecting to be accommodated

1.1.8.2. You must be ready to draw the lines in the sand and stand up for your work but you must also ensure that your need to be recognized for your work doesn't replace the doing of the work. Yes, you may still find success that way, at least in the eyes of others, but you may also experience regret over wasting years of opportunity nursing a bruised ego.

1.1.8.3. Confidence vs. an Inflated Ego

1.1.8.3.1. The difference between someone with confidence and a person with an overinflated ego is that the confident person is willing to take a stand on behalf of the work and what they believe is right, whereas the person with the overinflated ego is more concerned with how they will be perceived and how much credit they will receive.

1.1.8.3.2. An overinflated ego can at times cause someone to take unwise risks out of an inflated sense of vulnerability. They don't calculate the risk because they don't really want to know the answer.

1.1.8.3.3. Confident people refuse to be cut out of a conversation because they know they have something to offer... Someone with an inflated ego, on the other hand, believes they can't be replaced or that their damaging flaws will be overlooked because there are no other options.

1.1.8.3.4. A confident person is always willing to potentially compromise when there is a strategic advantage to do so. A person with an overinflated ego is more concerned about what the work says about them than about ensuring the success of the project.

1.1.8.3.5. Someone with an inflated ego feels the need to rationalize their past failures or rewrite history in order to protect their self-worth. They are not willing to entertain the fact that they have failed unless it feeds their inflated ego in the present.

1.1.8.3.6. A confident person is willing to work through communication issues without feeling threatened with regard to the core idea of being communicated. An ego-inflated person shifts the blame for communication issues to the other party.

1.1.8.4. When ego begins to get in the way, the work can become more about protection than about making progress. It's more important to ensure that credit is appropriately given, or that blame is appropriately shared, than to do the small, often unseen things necessary for great work.

1.1.8.5. A person who is confident in their ability is willing to stand up for what they believe in without feeling that disagreements are an attach on their personal worth.

1.1.9. Chp 9: Find Your Voice

1.1.9.1. The real question: How much time do you spend doing those things - the true work that really adds value - on a daily basis? Because that work - that you alone are capable of - is your voice.

1.1.9.2. "Shadow pursuits"

1.1.9.2.1. activities that capture our attention and give us a sense of accomplishment, but serve as a substitute for the real work that we know we should be doing.

1.1.9.2.2. Not just limited to art

1.1.9.2.3. Examples

1.1.9.2.4. Shadow pursuits do not feel like compromises if we experience success

1.1.9.2.5. It's possible to be among the most successful people in a shadow pursuits without realizing that realizing that we've been afraid to pursue something closer to our true ambition

1.1.9.3. It cost Long several years of his life and a lot of experimental energy to finally discover his voice, but in the end, he says that the methodical process he followed has been invaluable.

1.1.9.4. Certainly many others who have tried something new on the radio have failed magnificently. However, few succeed in being remarkable without the willingness to embrace the potential of failure.

1.1.9.5. Take a few minutes to make an inventory of your most important work, and then spend some time considering each project. Are there hunches you have about the direction of these projects that you're ignoring because you're afraid of where they might lead, or of what they might cost you?

1.1.9.6. Methods for FInding/Developing Voice

1.1.9.6.1. Plan for experimentation -- set aside some time every week to play with ideas and toy with possibilities. It's important not to set expectations for this block of time. Instead, see it as an opportunity to develop your understanding of a problem or a project that you care about. Prototype, play, and explore its boundaries.

1.1.9.6.2. Apply peripheral aptitudes to your problems -- There are things that you do well that may seem irrelevant to the problems you're working on, but with a little thought they can be applied to the problem to help you explore potential new solutions.

1.1.9.6.3. Open your eyes -- You need to pay attention to these moments of inspiration and follow -- at least mentally -- where they lead, even if it seems impractical in the moment. This doesn't mean being reckless with your attention and following every whim, but being willing to at least suspend your assumptions long enough to vet the merits of an intuitive ping.

1.1.9.6.4. Do the Obvious

1.1.10. Chp 10: Stay Connected

1.1.10.1. When we disconnect or become guarded, we reduce the potential for serendipitous insights and connections that often come through unexpected interactions with others, and we also limit our own ability to stretch outside our relational comfort zone, which is the very thing that often leads to the discovery of new insights about our abilities and preferences.

1.1.10.2. You need to have a structure in your work rhythms to help you "clear" the decks and engage in these important, though not urgent, conversations frequently so that you are freed up to do your best work.

1.1.10.3. There is a tendency to pursue harmony rather that create an environment where speaking your mind is the norm, and a temptation to prematurely squelch conflict before there's been a chance to work through it. Instead, we should be comfortable pursuing resolution with humility and confidence.

1.1.10.4. I always challenge leaders to encourage dissent and foster discontent on their teams. This doesn't mean provoking fights for the sake of it. Rather, it means demanding that team members speak their mind, and then highlighting points of disagreement so that everyone is clear about the argument being made by all sides.

1.1.10.5. You cannot operate by default; you must instead have a plan for how you will regularly scan your life for open loops, and how you will intentionally pursue relationships that keep you on track with your goals.

1.1.10.6. Intentional pursuit of positive relationship

1.1.10.6.1. Find Mirrors

1.1.10.6.2. Use Probing Conversations

1.1.10.7. Make sure that you are regularly checking in with your mirrors to let them know what you'd like them to be watch9ing for you. Your mirrors serve as "outposts" who can show you where you may be falling short in your intentions.

1.1.10.8. when you know that someone will be probing to see if you've taken action, it tends to kindle urgency on long-arc projects that are currently collecting dust.

1.1.10.9. You can ask the mirrors in your life to evaluate how well you are living out your ethic.

1.1.10.10. No matter how confident you are in your abilities, there will come a time when you are uncertain of the next step. In these situations it's important to have someone who can help you stay aligned and remind you of what's truly important.

1.1.10.11. Set aside time for your team, with those you manage, or with your manager and peers to have in-depth conversations about how you're doing the work rather than just conversations about the mechanics of the work, which is where most teams exclusively focus.

1.1.10.12. There's a false belief that tranquility equals health, but a tranquil team is often a sign of imminent death because it may mean that no one cares enough to make waves.

1.1.11. Chp 11: Live Empty

1.1.11.1. In this chapter, we'll systemize and concentrate on some of the questions in the Checkpoint sections at the ends of the previous chapters. You'll learn how to use them each day to ensure that you lay your head down each night with few or no regrets about how you spend your focus, time, and energy.

1.1.11.2. EMPTY -- Using Daily Checkpoints

1.1.11.2.1. E - Ethics (Chp 7)

1.1.11.2.2. M - Mission (Chp 4)

1.1.11.2.3. P - People

1.1.11.2.4. T - Tasks

1.1.11.2.5. Y - You

1.1.11.3. A big part of having a defined understanding of your important battles is knowing when things need to be moved off your plate.

1.1.12. Chp 12: Forward

1.1.12.1. When the right course of action is evident, we're forced to make a choice between following our convictions or ignoring them. If we ignore our convictions enough times, we eventually lose our sense of self.

1.1.12.2. You must approach your work from the perspective of problem finding, and commit yourself to pouring everything you have into solving those issues. The future - your future - will be defined by those who choose to contribute more value than they consume.

1.1.12.3. When the perceived threat of potential consequence outweighs the perceived benefits of success, we stop acting. Notice the word "perceived". These consequences are often illusory, but in our mind they are as real as a tiger staring us down.

1.1.12.4. Optimism vs. Wishful Thinking

1.1.12.4.1. Optimism

1.1.12.4.2. Wishful Thinking

1.1.12.5. To be clear, there's nothing wrong with quitting.

1.1.12.6. The lag is the gap between cause and effect. It's the season between planting a seed and reaping a harvest. It's the time when all the work you've done seems to have returned little to no visible reward, and there is little on the horizon to indicate that things are going to get better.

1.1.12.7. The desire to be seen as great can be a paralyzing force. It's something you can't control. Measure your work by your daily progress on what matters to you, and leave the obsession with arbitrary scorecards to others.

1.1.12.8. To tap into your best work and to stay on a path of productive contribution over the long term you must commit to discovering that contribution by attaching yourself to an active mission.

1.1.12.9. The hard truth is that there is no real and lasting success with the potential for failure. The pain of the journey is what allows you to sustain your success on the other side.

1.1.12.10. You cannot get where you're going unless you understand where you currently stand, and in which direction you're already heading. As such, no advice - no matter how carefully crafted and loving offered - is universally applicable. You cannot follow someone else's map. I believe this is why so many people feel frustrated and aimless when it comes to figuring out how they should engage in their work.

1.2. General Noteworthy Concepts

1.2.1. Chp 1: Die Empty

1.2.1.1. It's common to ignore impulses to follow our dreams due to other pragmatic endeavors

1.2.1.1.1. "We feel the ticking of the clock, and the accompanying sense that we may be missing our opportunity to make a contribution to the world. However, we often ignore these impulses as a result of the relentless pragmatics of life and work." (2)

1.2.1.2. A frantic pace is often counterproductive.

1.2.1.2.1. "Many high-ranking executives have died in the prime of life for no apparent reason other than ill effects of overwork... In fact working, frantically is actually counterproductive in many cases." (7)

1.2.1.3. "We live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today's work. It's a lie." (9)

1.2.1.4. The love of comfort is often the enemy of greatness.

1.2.1.4.1. "It's easy to fall in love with these comfortable perks, but the love of comfort is often the enemy of greatness."

1.2.2. Chp 2: Your Contribution

1.2.2.1. Engaging in deeply gratifying work does not require you to check out of life, pack your bags, and head off on pilgrimage to India. (15)

1.2.2.2. People who do work they find meaningful solve great problems.

1.2.2.2.1. You might be asking yourself: Isn't it selfish to think about things like personal fulfillment and being in your "sweet spot" when there are so many people scrambling just to find employment? Absolutely not! The great problems we see in the world today will not be solved by people functioning at half capacity, cranking out work they don't care about in order to buy more things that will eventually rust or rot. These problems will be solved by people who have tapped into their deeper aptitudes and who are pouring themselves fully into work that's meaning to them and valuable to others. (16)

1.2.2.3. With a lack of clear purpose to drive your work, efficiency often supplants effectiveness, and it's possible to move ever faster without any sense of direction.

1.2.3. Chp 3: Siren Song of Mediocrity

1.2.3.1. "Please note that mediocrity doesn’t mean doing poor work or failing to achieve success in your career. You can appear very successful to others, but know deep down that you’re settling." (35)

1.2.3.2. "Note that aimlessness does not mean the lack of a drive to succeed. I've met many focused, talented, riven people who simply lack anything substantive that they could call a central theme for their work. Aimlessness means a general lack of cohesiveness within your day-to-day activities." (39)

1.2.3.3. "The cure for boredom is intentional and applied curiosity. To be successful intellectually and professionally you need to maintain a level of disciplined curiosity, which means staying in touch with your deeper questions, and practicing the mechanics of divergent problem solving." (40)

1.2.3.4. "The key to conquering aimlessness is to concretely define the battles that you need to fight each day in order to make meaningful progress, then focus your efforts on those above all else." (39)

1.2.3.5. "At a certain point, past innovations inhibit future innovations." (41)

1.2.3.6. "Ann Patchett exhorted graduates that when life doesn't go the way they expect, it doesn't necessarily mean that life has gone wrong. The secret, she said, is, 'finding the balance between going out to get what you want and being open to the thing that actually winds up coming your way'." (44)

1.2.4. Chp 4: Define Your Battles (Counter Aimlessness)

1.2.4.1. Lauren: So much of the advice my generation hears is about 'following your passion' and 'trusting your intuition.' ... In the back of my mind, I keep wondering what it all means. What if I mess up? Am I really devoting my life to something that matters? (52)

1.2.4.2. "Passion" has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means "to suffer or endure"." Therefore at the root of passion is suffering. (54)

1.2.4.3. Passion follows action, not the other way around. (55)

1.2.4.4. Priorities are difficult. When you choose one thing to focus on, you automatically choose not to focus on others. This is why some people fall into aimlessness: they don't like the discomfort of having to say no to very good things that aren't the most important things. (59)

1.2.4.5. You know those cartoons where the devil shows up and offers someone a million dollars in exchange for their soul? In real life, selling out rarely happens that way. It's much more subtle. (50)

1.2.4.6. To avoid aimlessness, you have to stand for something. (61)

1.2.5. Chp 5: Be Fiercely Curious

1.2.5.1. As our minds begin to consolidate our imaginary and real experiences into one cohesive view of the world, our neural networks form patterns of understanding that help us predict what will happen next, mostly so that we can learn to spot opportunity and danger. (64)

1.2.5.2. Creative inversion -- creative blocks; periods in which we have not:

1.2.5.2.1. a) Taken time to seek inspiration or

1.2.5.2.2. b) we need to spend more time processing our experiences to mine them potentially useful insights

1.2.5.3. Metaphors can also be a powerful key for unlocking new paths of creative thought. Try to compare your problem with an object in your environment, and see if it provokes new insights.

1.2.6. Chp 6: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

1.2.6.1. How "No" Mindset can Invade Our Days

1.2.6.1.1. Fear of Harm -- the safety we seek is most often an illusion anyway, because true safety is rarely a viable option

1.2.6.1.2. Identity protection -- too much self-protection can cause you to miss opportunities to grow; it's better to risk failure than to live with the illusion of invulnerability

1.2.6.1.3. Love of stability -- The more there is to protect, the less some people are willing to try new things.

1.2.6.1.4. Ego -- "No" is sometimes a form of ego, a willingness to stand by a poor choice just to remain in control; when we say yes, we hand over some measure of control because we are venturing into the unknown

1.2.6.2. Eventually, this craving for safety will become a suffocating force.

1.2.6.3. "Excellence isn't about working extra hard to do what you're told. It's about taking initiative to do work you decide is worth doing... Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them." -- Seth Godin

1.2.6.4. Motivation researchers indicate that those who consider in advance the challenges they are likely to encounter as they pursue their goals fare far better than those who only obsess with the goal itself.

1.2.7. Chp 7: Know Yourself

1.2.7.1. As much as damaging beliefs can derail you, helpful and strategically chosen narratives can energize you and keep you aligned with what truly matters.

1.2.7.2. We each have resonant frequencies that we respond to naturally, and when we encounter them in others, their words or actions are amplified in us and we begin to resonate with the other person

1.2.7.3. He (Peter Breman, "18 Minutes") recommends setting an alarm to ring each hour throughout the workday as a prompt for evaluating the work you're doing at the moment. When the alarm sounds, Bregman says, he asks himself whether what he is doing is truly aligned with what he thinks he should be doing, and whether he is being the kind of person he aspires to be.

1.2.8. Chp 8: Be Confidently Adaptable

1.2.8.1. Contrary to this narcissistic stereotype, people with inflated egos are often comfortable in the shadows.

1.2.8.2. A new rule regarding behavior will make everyone feel more safe. Except it doesn't. It's actually quite the opposite, because in making rules to govern group behavior we often unwittingly remove the need for personal accountability. The problem with this approach is that soon the rules become so pervasive that they're meaningless.

1.2.8.3. Jim Collins argues that past success can create a sense that "we can do anything," and that success is seen as an entitlement rather than the result of aggressive improvement and relentless measurement of results.

1.2.8.4. Jodi Glickman -- GIFT Mentality

1.2.8.4.1. "It doesn't matter how much drive or motivation you've got, if you don't share information with team members openly, share credit with colleagues readily, put others' agendas and schedules ahead of your own when necessary, and help your colleagues, then you're missing a critical business skill."

1.2.8.4.2. G - Generosity

1.2.8.4.3. I - Initiative

1.2.8.4.4. F - Forward Thinking

1.2.8.4.5. T - Transparency

1.2.8.5. An overinflated ego can at times cause someone to take unwise risks out of an inflated sense of vulnerability. They don't calculate the risk because they don't really want to know the answer.

1.2.8.6. Someone with an inflated ego feels the need to rationalize their past failures or rewrite history in order to protect their self-worth. They are not willing to entertain the fact that they have failed unless it feeds their inflated ego in the present.

1.2.9. Chp 9: Find Your Voice

1.2.9.1. Questions for Finding Your Voice

1.2.9.1.1. What small risk can you take today in your work to experiment with finding your voice

1.2.9.1.2. What's something that you've been reluctant to act on because it seems too obvious to you, but will share with others today?

1.2.9.1.3. Is there an intuition you've had, but haven't acted on or applied to your work? What's the next step you can take to act on it?

1.2.9.2. Great work results when you stop doing only what you know you can do and instead begin pursuing what you believe you might be able to do with a little focused effort.

1.2.9.3. It's rarely a linear path, but instead is the culmination of a lifelong process of observation, course correction, and risk-taking that eventually leads to the recognition of a valuable contribution.

1.2.9.4. "I did stand-up for eighteen years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success... I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a by-product. The course was more plodding than heroic." -- Steve Martin

1.2.9.5. Loren Long

1.2.9.5.1. Decided to switch majors from Communications to Graphic Design

1.2.9.5.2. After graduating, got work as an illustrator for GIbson Greetings

1.2.9.5.3. "Every day, I have a job to do. I show up on time, I sit, and I do my job. As an artist, the nature of my work is different, but I've always known that I have to approach it this way in order to be effective."

1.2.9.5.4. Recognized for his unique style after years of persistence

1.2.9.5.5. Invited to create freelance illustrations for national publications

1.2.9.5.6. In the midst of recognition, he grew tired of the pace

1.2.9.5.7. His agent got him manuscripts of young adult novels that needed cover art

1.2.9.5.8. "I was thirty-nine years old before I discovered that my real gift is storytelling, but I think that all of my experiences early in life helped me uncover that."

1.2.9.5.9. It cost Long several years of his life and a lot of experimental energy to finally discover his voice, but in the end, he says that the methodical process he followed has been invaluable.

1.2.9.5.10. "I walked towards my dreams. It wasn't a run, or a skip, it was a deliberate walk. A slow walk."

1.2.10. Chp 10: Stay Connected

1.2.10.1. There are two common mistakes that lead to decreased effectiveness and regret: avoidance and squashing conflict.

1.2.10.1.1. Avoidance

1.2.10.1.2. Squashing Conflict

1.2.10.2. To be effective, we must resist the urge to censor the conversations -- no matter how tense -- that might lead to breakthrough ideas.

1.2.10.3. You want them (the mirrors) to have the ability to highlight potential issues before they become damaging, especially if they are things that you may be overlooking.

1.2.10.4. Having a mirror in your life can help you hone your intuition and keep your focus, time, and energy in the right place.

1.2.11. Chp 11: Live Empty

1.2.11.1. All progress is not true progress. It's possible to gain ground for many days, weeks, months, or even years but be going in a completely wrong direction. That's why it's important to have mechanisms in your life to help you decide whether your efforts are, in fact, helping you advance on your gals, or just feeding your need for forward motion.

1.2.12. Chp 12: Forward

1.2.12.1. Two things will paralyze our creativity faster than anything else:

1.2.12.1.1. Not defining Success

1.2.12.1.2. Not defining Failure

1.2.12.2. In fact, there are times when it makes more sense to quit than to continue. However, quitting should be a strategic choice, not one made out of fear or discomfort. You should be moving toward something promising, not just running away from your lack of comfort.

1.3. Useful

1.3.1. Chp 1: Die Empty

1.3.1.1. An ounce of preventative discipline today is worth a pound of corrective action later. (4)

1.3.2. Chp 2: Your Contribution // Developer MIndset=Mapping, Making, Meshing

1.3.2.1. Brilliant work is forged by those who consistently approach their days with urgency and diligence. (15)

1.3.2.2. Work can be parsed into three forms: Mapping, Making and Meshing.

1.3.2.2.1. Even though work sometimes feels like one massive, melded blend of tasks, conversations, and meetings, it can be parsed into three different forms: Mapping, Making and Meshing. (20)

1.3.2.3. Meshing -- "work between the work"; to cultivate curiosity and broaden understanding of tasks/purpose

1.3.2.3.1. Meshing -- "work between the work"; activities that grow you, acquiring and developing new skills, reinforcing or enhancing your knowledge, cultivating curiosity, getting a better understanding of the context of your work; includes critical disciplines such as paying attention to the adjacent spaces in your industry and engaging in activities that may not have an immediate payoff, but position you to be more effective in the coming days

1.3.2.4. Developer mindset -- Mapping + Making + Meshing

1.3.2.4.1. Constantly weaving resources and opportunities to create value

1.3.2.4.2. Works w/ urgency and diligence

1.3.2.4.3. Redirecting actions as needed

1.3.3. Chp 3: Siren Song of Mediocrity//circumstance cannot greatly affect creative output, 7 sins of mediocrity

1.3.3.1. People who are successful over the long arc, and who continue to produce in new and interesting ways after they are well established in their career, refuse to allow circumstances to define their engagement. (35, 36)

1.3.3.2. Seven Deadly Sins of Mediocrity - A B C D E F G

1.3.3.2.1. Aimlessness -- a general lack of cohesiveness within your day-to-day activities; "the key to conquering aimlessness is to concretely define the battles that you need to fight each day in order to make meaningful progress, then focus your efforts on those above all else"

1.3.3.2.2. Boredom - The cure for boredom is intentional and applied curiosity

1.3.3.2.3. Comfort -- Once ground has been taken by an organization, it turns its efforts to protecting that ground rather than taking new ground; the key to overcoming the ill effects of a love of comfort is a commitment to continual growth and skill development

1.3.3.2.4. Delusion -- to add the value you're capable of adding, you need to cultivate self-awareness. You must have an accurate sense of your skills, your weaknesses, and your core drivers.

1.3.3.2.5. Ego -- to countermand ego, you must adopt a posture of adaptability ... Failure is never the ultimate goal; it should be a learning experience rather than a shaming experience (43)

1.3.3.2.6. Fear

1.3.3.2.7. Guardedness -- when you isolate yourself from other people, you cut yourself off from some of the move valuable opportunities to grow and collaborate. (44)

1.3.4. Chp 4: Define Your Battles (Counter Aimlessness)// productive passion, battle-picking questions

1.3.4.1. Learn to identify Productive Passion -- the sort of passion that motivates you and is also beneficial to others (54)

1.3.4.1.1. Compassionate Anger

1.3.4.1.2. Obsession

1.3.4.1.3. Hope and Aspiration

1.3.4.2. Questions to establish your battle lines (59)

1.3.4.2.1. What will you stand for today?

1.3.4.2.2. What will you refuse to compromise on, no matter on?

1.3.4.2.3. What do I know I should be doing, but have been ignorning?

1.3.4.2.4. What one action will I take on today on a forgotten battle front?

1.3.4.2.5. Where are my Open Loops?

1.3.4.2.6. What open loop can I close?

1.3.4.2.7. What do I see, hear, read, or experience that fills me with compassionate anger? What does it mean for the battles I should be fighting?

1.3.4.2.8. What am I aspiring toward on behalf of others?

1.3.4.2.9. What hope do I have for creating change and how can I work in order to bring it about?

1.3.5. Chp 5: Be Fiercely Curious

1.3.5.1. Applied curiosity is the engine that drives this process. As Alexander Pope remarked, "Some people never learn anything, for this reason, because they understanding everything too soon." (65)

1.3.5.2. Specific and Diversive Curiosity

1.3.5.2.1. Specific Curiosity // Actively Redefining Situations

1.3.5.2.2. Diversive Curiosity // Hunting Trails

1.3.5.2.3. Intellectual growth results not from the accumulation of tidbits of information, but from considering and integrating it. (65)

1.3.5.3. When you are blocked, you need to surround the problem and perceive it from multiple, diverse perspectives in order to avoid the myopic viewpoint that got you stuck there in the first place. Ask yourself the following:

1.3.5.3.1. What am I really trying to accomplish here? (Aspirations)

1.3.5.3.2. What is this problem like? (Affinities)

1.3.5.3.3. What's inspiring me right now? (Curiosities)

1.3.5.4. Executional blocks are founded upon some type of constraint that you can undo by asking yourself:

1.3.5.4.1. Where do I feel the most constraint?

1.3.5.4.2. Where do I feel out of control?

1.3.5.4.3. What do I not understand?

1.3.5.5. Ask better questions and pay attention:

1.3.5.5.1. Start a log of questions and review them daily; if it's something you have a question about, it belongs on your list

1.3.5.5.2. Set aside time to pursue your questions -- an hour a week to an hour a day; use this time to investigate, take notes, and think about how what you've learned may apply to your work

1.3.5.5.3. Start and end each day with reflection on what you've learned

1.3.5.5.4. Don't just stare at your problems -- ask questions and surround your problems

1.3.6. Chp 6: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

1.3.6.1. People will rally behind you if you're consistent. If you're reliable. Even if it's crazy. If they can trust you. Do something, and then hustle like crazy to make it happen."

1.3.6.2. "You have to do the absolute best job you can, even when nobody is watching you. That's the best way to make yourself invaluable to your team and to ensure that you continue to grow."

1.3.6.3. All wars are won a battle at a time, and all lives of contribution are built decision by decision. As you take ground, it can become tempting to preserve and protect what you've already conquered rather than continue to press on into the unknown. After all, the more you've accomplished, the more you have to lose, whether it's in assets or reputation.

1.3.6.4. Treat the very act of saying, "Yes" to something as a victory; the next step is just sorting out details anyway

1.3.6.5. Regret Minimization Framework

1.3.6.5.1. Consider the big dilemma/situation at hand

1.3.6.5.2. Imagine yourself at 80 years old, looking back on this dilemma and ask yourself:

1.3.6.5.3. Rarely are things as terrible or as wonderful as they seem in the moment

1.3.6.6. Contingency vs. Ownership

1.3.6.6.1. Question: If you could snap your fingers and change one thing right now, what would it be?

1.3.6.6.2. Contingency

1.3.6.6.3. Ownership

1.3.6.7. Three types of goals: Step, Sprint, and Stretch

1.3.6.7.1. Growth doesn't happen by accident. It is the result of intentional effort and consistent progress. You must define how you want to grow, then establish a plan to help you get there.

1.3.6.7.2. Step goal -- short-arc (often daily) goal achieved to maintain forward progress

1.3.6.7.3. Sprint goal -- medium-arc (often week to two week time frame) goal that causes you to go beyond yourself for a season in order to increase your capacity

1.3.6.7.4. Stretch goal -- long-arc goal that forces you to go far beyond your comfort zone

1.3.6.8. When deciding on what goals to pursue

1.3.6.8.1. Survey your life for growth opportunities (identify skills you could develop)

1.3.6.8.2. Define your objective -- It's impossible to take ground that you haven't defined

1.3.6.8.3. Define what you're willing to give up in order to accomplish it

1.3.6.8.4. Draw the battle lines.

1.3.6.8.5. Redirect and reassess -- failure doesn't always mean defeat; it only means that you fell short of accomplishing your objective

1.3.6.9. Making shall choices to engage in hard work is what gives us the courage to do it all again tomorrow and to encourage others to do the same

1.3.6.10. Checkpoint questions

1.3.6.10.1. Is there a key area of your life where fear of harm, love of stability, or ego are keeping you from saying yes to an opportunity?

1.3.6.10.2. Is there any area of your life where you are staying safely in your comfort zone rather than stretching yourself to grow? If so, what are you going to do about it?

1.3.7. Chp 7: Know Yourself

1.3.7.1. Subtle beliefs that can influence daily choices

1.3.7.1.1. "Recognition for work is the highest form of currency."

1.3.7.1.2. "You are worth only what you create."

1.3.7.1.3. "I have to win everything."

1.3.7.1.4. "The person who dies with the most stuff wins."

1.3.7.2. The cycle of constantly increasing expectations creates an unrealistic bar for excellence, but contrary to what one would expect, this dynamic doesn't always lead to better results.

1.3.7.3. There's nothing inherently wrong with money, but when everything else takes a backseat to your net worth, you are inevitably going to compromise other, potentially more contributive efforts for the sake of your financial growth.

1.3.7.4. You want to choose attributes to emulate that will help you become more of who you are, not more of who they (the idols, superheroes) are.

1.3.7.5. The way to counter limiting elements of your mindset is to intentionally stem their effects by reshaping deeply ingrained beliefs so that they're more consistent with reality. This must be done in small steps, and you must train yourself to look for ways in which these beliefs are triggering unhealthy and unproductive responses, through consistent reflection and measured action.

1.3.7.6. Identifying confluent qualities in masters/people to look up to

1.3.7.6.1. What intimidates you?

1.3.7.6.2. What resonates with you?

1.3.7.6.3. What complicates your life?

1.3.7.6.4. "Know yourself first, then act on what you see."

1.3.7.7. Excavate your assumptions

1.3.7.7.1. practice scanning your life for potentially false assumptions and limiting beliefs

1.3.7.7.2. Set aside time at the e3nd of each day for reflection. We need to reflect daily on what went well and what did not.

1.3.7.7.3. Identify the patterns -- if you notice something you want to change, note the scenario and your actions/responses

1.3.7.7.4. Create a "watch list" -- list no more than three undesired beliefs you consider to be triggering your behavior

1.3.8. Chp 8: Be Confidently Adaptable

1.3.8.1. The key counterpoint to ego is adaptability. This means cultivating the willingness to confidently bend to your environment while still maintaining a strong sense of self a purpose.

1.3.8.2. Rather than striving for control, we should instead be striving for influence.

1.3.8.3. Prevent Ego Destruction by asking these Questions

1.3.8.3.1. Where am I putting myself ahead oif the work?

1.3.8.3.2. Where do I feel slighted over small inconveniences?

1.3.8.3.3. Where am I assuming success?

1.3.8.4. SWOT Analysis

1.3.8.4.1. S - Strengths

1.3.8.4.2. W - Weaknesses

1.3.8.4.3. O - Opportunities

1.3.8.4.4. T - Threats

1.3.8.5. The difference between someone with confidence and a person with an overinflated ego is that the confident person is willing to take a stand on behalf of the work and what they believe is right, whereas the person with the overinflated ego is more concerned with how they will be perceived and how much credit they will receive.

1.3.9. Chp 9: Find Your Voice

1.3.9.1. Creating a predictable structure for experimentation will alleviate the sense that you're not taking enough risks in your daily life.

1.3.9.2. Great work, like a healthy financial portfolio, takes time to mature. Your best work will emerge with patient attention, time and and strategic action.

1.3.9.3. Imitation

1.3.9.3.1. Key part of early growth and development

1.3.9.3.2. Phase of learning and developing skills

1.3.9.3.3. Phase of developing platform you need to perform at a basic level of competence

1.3.9.3.4. If you rely on imitation as shortcut to success, your work will be hollow

1.3.9.3.5. Next Phase: Taking risks and experimenting withour own form of expression

1.3.9.4. Brilliant work doesn't need to be complex. Sometimes the deepest truths are hidden in plain sight.

1.3.10. Chp 10: Stay Connected

1.3.10.1. "Hiring for diverse viewpoints is the best thing for the long term, even if it's painful in the short term." It's painful, she says, because you have to deal with strong personalities and divergent opinions, but if you're able to navigate those rough waters, you come through with a much better chance of delivering a brilliant result.

1.3.10.2. Nobody wins when you shape the truth to make it more palatable. Direct and aggressive honesty is the salve that consistently heals avoidance and self-delusion.

1.3.10.3. Regardless of what you ask your mirrors to keep a watch over, make certain that they feel complete freedom to speak to you about anything they believe is contrary to how they think you'd want to be engaging in your work.

1.3.10.4. You must approach your relationships with the attitude of "What can I offer?" rather than "What can I receive?" If you engage in relationships from a posture of generosity, with a genuine desire to serve the needs of others while simultaneously seek a better understanding of yourself and your abilities, it will be a win for everyone.

1.3.10.5. Assumptions will fill the void if you are not intentional about seeking (and giving) a clear understanding of your true demands.

1.3.10.6. The more you and your team validate the act of asking questions, even silly-seeming ones, the more trusting and aligned your culture will become.

1.3.10.7. Simply sharing your fear of a potential outcome and asking the other person to engage in that conversation with you can help you redefine reality and assess what's truly a risk versus what you perceive to be a risk.

1.3.11. Chp 11: Live Empty

1.3.11.1. "The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet." - James Oppenheim

1.3.11.2. It's impossible to solve a problem you haven't defined.

1.3.11.3. Your job is a collection of activities that allow you to add value to the world. Some of those activities add more value than others, and some disproportionately so.

1.3.11.4. We need to fall in love with the process, not just the end product of our work. A writer writes regardless of whether he gets accolade.

1.3.11.5. When it comes to minimizing later regrets, intentionality and structure form the keystone.

1.3.12. Chp 12: Forward

1.3.12.1. The small, personal, and seemingly insignificant battles I won over the course of those few months didn't alter world history, but they completely changed the trajectory of my life. THey established a new vector for me founded in the realization that ever moment and every choice is significant.

1.3.12.2. The reason individuals and businesses get stuck in the gray zone isn't always due to laziness. Sometimes it's simply because the comfort of what's known wins out over the discomfort of uncertainty.

1.3.12.2.1. The Gray Zone is the place where you've developed the capacity to do a reasonable workout, but you're no longer stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone.

1.3.12.2.2. In the Gray Zone of working out, you get "ping" of a good workout, but none of the benefits that accompany strategic discomfort (read: growth).

1.3.12.3. Our definition of failure defines us more than we may realize, because fear of failure is one of the most frequent sources of paralysis.

1.3.12.4. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

1.3.12.5. Don't forget that there is always delay between planting and harvesting.

1.3.12.6. Don't worry about being great in the eyes of others; focus on excelling at your work.

1.3.12.7. Rather than asking the question, "What do I expect from life?", you must, as Viktor Frankl indicated, "What does life expect from me?"

1.3.12.8. Intention and theory don't change the world; decisive action does.

1.3.12.9. In order for the advice to be applicable and helpful, it has to be translated to their situation. This is the inherent problem with trying to imitate someone else's success. The steps they took to get to where they are, while perhaps instructive, don't provide a concrete action plan for you. You must figure out how to apply their map to your situation.

2. First I am reading and taking notes of what I highlight during my initial read of the book. After a day or two, I am re-reading the chapters I covered as I add my highlights to this map. Once a chapter is written out and highlighted, I am rearranging the concepts and paraphrased ideas into the "Text of Handwritten Map" and "Concepts and Key Points to Illustrate" nodes. The Text node will have abbreviated nodes to be written out on legal size paper and illustrated for a poster, and will also be saved and emailed to different people. The Concepts map will contain illustrations of key ideas/concepts that I want to make visual reminders of.

3. Book: Die Empty Hand-drawn Maps

3.1. Written Text -- Chapter Key Points

3.1.1. There is a node for each chapter in Die Empty. I have filled these nodes with quotes from the book that sum up what I learned from reading that particular chapter.

3.1.2. Chp 1: Die Empty

3.1.2.1. "We live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today's work. It's a lie." (9)

3.1.2.2. An ounce of preventative discipline today is worth a pound of corrective action later. (4)

3.1.3. Chp 2: Your Contribution

3.1.3.1. With a lack of clear purpose to drive your work, efficiency often supplants effectiveness, and it's possible to move ever faster without any sense of direction.

3.1.3.2. Gratifying work is consistent, focused efforts.

3.1.3.2.1. Engaging in gratifying work simply requires consistent, focused efforts to cultivate your instincts and skills, and make measured progress on your goals. (15)

3.1.3.3. True potential is reflected by disciplined approached self-improvement and skills

3.1.3.3.1. "Regardless, the contribution you make will be accomplished through the use of all three kinds of work (Making, Mapping, and Meshing). The degree to which your contribution reflects your true potential will be largely determined by how disciplined you are about improving your self-awareness and skills everyday." (29)

3.1.3.4. Ideal mindset for consistent growth is the Developer mindset

3.1.3.4.1. Developer Mindset Traits

3.1.3.4.2. Three types of work are done equally

3.1.4. Chp 3: Siren Song of Mediocrity (Avoiding Plateaus)

3.1.4.1. Intentional and Applied Curiosity is cure for boredom

3.1.4.1.1. Maintain level of disciplined curiosity

3.1.4.1.2. Stay in touch with deeper questions

3.1.4.1.3. Practice divergent problem solving

3.1.4.1.4. Individuals must make a personal commitment to lifelong personal innovation through skill development, risk-taking, and experimentation in order to avoid stagnation. The seeds of tomorrow's brilliance are planted in the soil of today's activity.

3.1.4.2. Defining Mediocrity

3.1.4.2.1. "The reality is that many of them sold themselves out in small ways over time until they could no longer find a way back. No one charts a course for mediocrity, yet it’s still a destination of choice." (34)

3.1.4.2.2. Seven Deadly Sins of Mediocrity - A B C D E F G

3.1.5. Chp 4: Define Your Battles (Counter Aimlessness)

3.1.5.1. In truth, it's perfectly possible to do great work without a cohesive through line, and even to make a substantial contribution, However, having a lens through which to view your efforts and gauge your progress will increase your likelihood of creating a body of work you will be proud of, even if that lens adapts and changes over time. (51)

3.1.5.2. Passion follows action, not the other way around. (55)

3.1.5.3. To avoid aimlessness, you have to stand for something. (61)

3.1.5.4. Types of Productive Passion (54)

3.1.5.4.1. Compassionate Anger

3.1.5.4.2. Obsession

3.1.5.4.3. Hope and Aspiration

3.1.6. Chp 5: Be Fiercely Curious (Curious Mindset)

3.1.6.1. Intellectual growth results not from the accumulation of tidbits of information, but from considering and integrating it. (65)

3.1.6.2. Structure yields freedom to creatively roam

3.1.6.3. How to Act on Curiosities

3.1.6.3.1. To dive deep into pockets of interest is to cultivate specific curiosity; diving can be done by developing possibility thinking and redefining the problem at hand

3.1.6.3.2. Specific and Diversive Curiosities (map)

3.1.6.3.3. Perceiving problems from multiple perspectives

3.1.7. Chp 6: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

3.1.7.1. To make a valuable contribution, you have to get uncomfortable and embrace lifelong growth and skill development

3.1.7.2. Treat the very act of saying, "Yes" to something as a victory; the next step is just sorting out details anyway

3.1.7.3. "Excellence isn't about working extra hard to do what you're told. It's about taking initiative to do work you decide is worth doing... Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them." -- Seth Godin

3.1.7.4. Growth is about daily, measured, and disciplined action. It's about embracing purposeful skill development and pursuing new opportunities that stretch you to step beyond your comfort zone, even when it means venturing boldly into the unknown.

3.1.7.5. You cannot pursue greatness and comfort at the same time

3.1.8. Chp 7: Know Yourself

3.1.8.1. Knowing yourself will help you counter-self delusion and pursue the unique contribution you alone are capable of making.

3.1.8.2. It's not about achieving perfection; it's about giving yourself a lens through which to view your work and a starting point for measuring your effectiveness.

3.1.8.3. As much as damaging beliefs can derail you, helpful and strategically chosen narratives can energize you and keep you aligned with what truly matters.

3.1.8.4. The way to counter limiting elements of your mindset is to intentionally stem their effects by reshaping deeply ingrained beliefs so that they're more consistent with reality. This must be done in small steps, and you must train yourself to look for ways in which these beliefs are triggering unhealthy and unproductive responses, through consistent reflection and measured action.

3.1.9. Chp 8: Be Confidently Adaptable (Constant Adapting keeps ego in check)

3.1.9.1. Confidence vs. an Inflated Ego

3.1.9.1.1. Confidence

3.1.9.1.2. Inflated Ego

3.1.9.2. Rather than striving for control, we should instead be striving for influence.

3.1.9.3. Common ways we unnecessarily feed the ego

3.1.9.3.1. Playing the victim -- when you allow the behavior of others to control sense of engagement, you are abdicating control of your own work

3.1.9.3.2. Snark, cynicism & overcomplexity

3.1.9.3.3. Judging work relative to others rather than on its own merits

3.1.9.3.4. Expecting to be accommodated

3.1.9.4. The key counterpoint to ego is adaptability. This means cultivating the willingness to confidently bend to your environment while still maintaining a strong sense of self a purpose.

3.1.10. Chp 9: Find Your Voice (Routine of risk taking)

3.1.10.1. "I did stand-up for eighteen years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success... I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a by-product. The course was more plodding than heroic." -- Steve Martin

3.1.10.2. It's rarely a linear path, but instead is the culmination of a lifelong process of observation, course correction, and risk-taking that eventually leads to the recognition of a valuable contribution.

3.1.10.3. Creating a predictable structure for experimentation will alleviate the sense that you're not taking enough risks in your daily life.

3.1.10.4. Brilliant work doesn't need to be complex. Sometimes the deepest truths are hidden in plain sight.

3.1.10.5. The real question: How much time do you spend doing those things - the true work that really adds value - on a daily basis? Because that work - that you alone are capable of - is your voice.

3.1.10.6. Certainly many others who have tried something new on the radio have failed magnificently. However, few succeed in being remarkable without the willingness to embrace the potential of failure.

3.1.10.7. Methods for Finding/Developing Voice

3.1.10.7.1. Plan for experimentation -- set aside some time every week to play with ideas and toy with possibilities. It's important not to set expectations for this block of time. Instead, see it as an opportunity to develop your understanding of a problem or a project that you care about. Prototype, play, and explore its boundaries.

3.1.10.7.2. Apply peripheral aptitudes to your problems -- There are things that you do well that may seem irrelevant to the problems you're working on, but with a little thought they can be applied to the problem to help you explore potential new solutions.

3.1.10.7.3. Open your eyes -- You need to pay attention to these moments of inspiration and follow -- at least mentally -- where they lead, even if it seems impractical in the moment. This doesn't mean being reckless with your attention and following every whim, but being willing to at least suspend your assumptions long enough to vet the merits of an intuitive ping.

3.1.10.7.4. Do the Obvious

3.1.11. Chp 10: Stay Connected

3.1.11.1. Approach Connections with Positivity

3.1.11.1.1. When we disconnect or become guarded, we reduce the potential for serendipitous insights and connections that often come through unexpected interactions with others, and we also limit our own ability to stretch outside our relational comfort zone, which is the very thing that often leads to the discovery of new insights about our abilities and preferences.

3.1.11.1.2. You must approach your relationships with the attitude of "What can I offer?" rather than "What can I receive?" If you engage in relationships from a posture of generosity, with a genuine desire to serve the needs of others while simultaneously seek a better understanding of yourself and your abilities, it will be a win for everyone.

3.1.11.1.3. Creating a culture of transparent trust requires that you be able to speak difficult truth to one another. Model this environment by asking people you trust to share what they see you doing that makes no sense to them. Not only is this a an effective tool for self-awareness, but it also creates a culture in which others believe that you are willing to hear difficult or challenging things and act on them, which goes a long way toward eliminating judgment or the impulse to gossip.

3.1.11.2. Problem Solving through Connections

3.1.11.2.1. Defining Problems first

3.1.11.2.2. Defining and Refining Solutions

3.1.12. Chp 11: Live Empty (Day-to-day thoughts)

3.1.12.1. All progress is not true progress. It's possible to gain ground for many days, weeks, months, or even years but be going in a completely wrong direction. That's why it's important to have mechanisms in your life to help you decide whether your efforts are, in fact, helping you advance on your gals, or just feeding your need for forward motion.

3.1.12.2. EMPTY -- Using Daily Checkpoints

3.1.12.2.1. E - Ethics (Chp 7)

3.1.12.2.2. M - Mission (Chp 4)

3.1.12.2.3. P - People

3.1.12.2.4. T - Tasks

3.1.12.2.5. Y - You

3.1.12.3. It's impossible to solve a problem you haven't defined.

3.1.12.4. We need to fall in love with the process, not just the end product of our work. A writer writes regardless of whether he gets accolade.

3.1.13. Chp 12: Forward (synthesizing)

3.1.13.1. Rather than asking the question, "What do I expect from life?", you must, as Viktor Frankl indicated, "What does life expect from me?"

3.1.13.2. Intention and theory don't change the world; decisive action does.

3.1.13.3. Our definition of failure defines us more than we may realize, because fear of failure is one of the most frequent sources of paralysis.

3.1.13.4. When the perceived threat of potential consequence outweighs the perceived benefits of success, we stop acting. Notice the word "perceived". These consequences are often illusory, but in our mind they are as real as a tiger staring us down.

3.1.13.5. The lag is the gap between cause and effect. It's the season between planting a seed and reaping a harvest. It's the time when all the work you've done seems to have returned little to no visible reward, and there is little on the horizon to indicate that things are going to get better.

3.1.13.6. To tap into your best work and to stay on a path of productive contribution over the long term you must commit to discovering that contribution by attaching yourself to an active mission.

3.1.13.7. Optimism vs. Wishful Thinking

3.1.13.7.1. Optimism

3.1.13.7.2. Wishful Thinking

3.1.13.8. Two things will paralyze our creativity faster than anything else:

3.1.13.8.1. Not defining Success

3.1.13.8.2. Not defining Failure

3.2. Concepts and Key Points to Illustrate

3.2.1. Urgency / Diligence

3.2.1.1. Urgency -- leveraging your finite resources (focus, assets, time, energy) in a meaningful, productive way

3.2.1.2. Diligence - sharpening your skills and conducting your work in a manner that you won't regret later

3.2.2. Three Forms of Work

3.2.2.1. Mapping

3.2.2.1.1. Planning, plotting your objectives, and setting priorities

3.2.2.1.2. Not all paths and charts; includes intangible elements such as values & motivation

3.2.2.2. Making

3.2.2.2.1. Executing tasks

3.2.2.2.2. Examples: making calls, writing, designing, engaging with direct reports

3.2.2.2.3. Area of work with most distractions

3.2.2.3. Meshing

3.2.2.3.1. "work between the work"

3.2.2.3.2. activities that grow you

3.2.2.3.3. acquiring and developing new skills

3.2.2.3.4. reinforcing or enhancing your knowledge,

3.2.2.3.5. cultivating curiosity

3.2.2.3.6. getting a better understanding of the context of your work; includes critical disciplines such as paying attention to the adjacent spaces in your industry

3.2.2.3.7. engaging in activities that may not have an immediate payoff, but position you to be more effective in the coming days