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Free Book Summary and Tool for Willpower by Roy Baumeister

We’ve just posted a new Book Tool package for the fantastic (and relatively new) book Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney. Head over to the CuriousPursuit.com Book Tools page where you now have access to a whole TWO (2) tool packages!

Know and Honor Your Goals

In the last post I talked about finding out the needs of the other party and how important that is in negotiations large and small. This post is a call to never forget your own goals! If you allow your attention to be pulled off of your own goals and objectives and give up what you need you will be left with a result “less than zero”. Yes! Your goals are of supreme importance and must figure into anything and everything you do. This definitely dips into paradox territory as we seek to know the other’s needs and while still honoring our own objectives. But finding the balance is critical and in the end the major job of any successful interaction in business or otherwise. But here’s the rub … are you sure you know your goals and are you acting in a way that will get you to them? It really is a tricky deal trying to figure out just what your goals are. Are you thinking long term enough? A quick win might be available to you, but will it affect the long term relationship and therefore the long term money making prospects? Make sure you are comfortable with your goals and how they will affect you today, tomorrow and down the road. The other potential pit in this process is remaining faithful to your goals. For instance, I have a personal goal of raising my children to be wise, healthy and happy. I know that this means communicating with patience and disciplining with the “long view” in …

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What Do They Want

One of the hardest steps to learning successful negotiation is the paradox of knowing and honoring your goals while focusing on the other party’s needs at the same time. Why focus on their needs? Because that’s where successful negotiation begins and ends. If you can discover what they TRULY want and find a way to satisfy that need in the context of your own goals … you’ve got it made. At that point it isn’t really a negotiation as much as a deal finalization. Often, though, their real needs are not apparent to you … or sometimes even them! Somewhat counter intuitively, you need to learn to spend more time asking questions and listening to them in the midst of a negotiation. What is the subtext of what they are saying? Is there an unspoken 3rd party that holds great power over their ultimate decision? Is their a more basic need that there demands are masking? Is a resolution even possible, or are their needs out of bounds with what you can really give them? All of these questions and so much more must be explored as you are attempting to discover possible solutions. And this is the case with negotiations both large and small. Want a comp’d room upgrade after a disastrous first night in the hotel? What does the manager need? How about a little respect first, and a promise of an acknowledgement of fantastic customer service to their boss later? It might not work all the time but it will some of the time and that’s all …

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Quotes for Motivation

How about a list of good quotes about “sticking to it”? Here are a few that are worthy of posting … Fall seven times; stand up eight. Japanese proverb You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you. Joseph Campbell The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese Proverb Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. Jimmy Dean For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. Ralph Waldo Emerson I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day. James Joyce Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. Epicurus Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else. Judy Garland How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven. John Milton Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. Albert Einstein The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. …

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Baby Steps to a Better Life

“Baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps …” – Bill Murray as Bob Wiley in “What About Bob?” If you suffer from work paralysis, your problem might be that you don?t know how to take “baby steps”. Just like you can’t eat an entire Thanksgiving dinner in one bite, or weed your yard with a single pull … you also can’t get to where you want to be in a single moment. In “Getting More” the author, Stuart Diamond writes … An analogy: If you are a .280 hitter in baseball, and you get one extra hit every nine games, you become a .310 hitter in baseball. And that is worth a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and $10 million more a year in compensation. All for one extra hit every thirty-six times at bat. I’m not trying to hit home runs in negotiations. I’m trying to get one extra hit every nine games. It’s a good lesson for negotiation, and a good lesson for life. A few incremental improvements and you will be fabulously more successful. Incremental success is not only more reliable, it’s more doable and more done. Trying to make $10 million off your first website is an exercise in futility and is actually counter-productive. You first need to learn the ropes through small success and then move on to more difficult and challenging opportunities. Just the act of trying dramatically increases your chances that something good will happen. This is true for a number of reasons: First, not …

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The Paradox of Choice

I?m just finishing a skim read of Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice. I’m sure if I read the entire book it would be very good. But appropriately, with everything going on in life right now ? I chose not to really dive into this particular book. Instead, I did my usual “skim” method on the book ? Speed read the first chapter to get a feel of the writing style and perspective of the author Bold type “skim” until the last chapter (or summary chapter) Read the last chapter As far as I can tell, it was a good method for this book. The last chapter seems to be a pretty good summary and offers what I’m really after in a book like this anyway – tips and suggestions on “what to do”. They are some good tips and so I thought I would include them below for reference. As background, the book argues that increased choice in our society has not made us happier, healthier or smarter. In fact, much research shows that we are declining on all three and some of that research pinpoints abundant options as one of the fundamental problems. So what to do? Choose when to choose. Think back on some recent decisions you have made (buying clothes, a car, etc.) and figure out if the time invested was really worth the end result. Could you reduce the time spent on your decision making and still end up in a “good enough” spot? Or, could you eliminate some decision making processes altogether? Be …

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Olympic Lesson on Success

I was impressed by this recent article on American athlete’s success at Vancouver (from the Wall Street Journal of all places). A few things impressed me … 1. How little money was spent to target a “medals race” and yet how much success the team is having … particularly in events not usually dominated by American athletes. 2. How Bode Miller is crediting the ski team’s successful run with a more aggressive and exciting attitude toward their sport. He says, “The inspiration level is climbing. They see teammates on the podium and they want that, too. It?s not necessarily the result, but they want to be smiling, they want to ski inspired. You?re seeing a result you haven?t seen from the U.S. in a long time, or ever.” 3. The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) didn’t “over promise and under deliver”. The ATHLETES are delivering in a way that is exciting and fun for us to participate with. Thank goodness the USOC kept their mouths shut and let the athletes do the talking. All of this inspires in a way that I think we all need right now. It’s not ALL about the money even though it is an important part. It’s MORE about passion and risk taking. Shut up and DO the work. Good things CAN happen. And OFTEN do when approached the right way.

Will Curiosity Kill My Brain?

I was listening to a podcast recently that mentioned the number of books in the Library of Congress in relation to what we can actually take in. The numbers were a bit old and a bit off. As best as I can tell there are now over 30 million cataloged books ? but over 140 million total items. You would have to read well over 5,000 of those items every day for 70 years to consume it all. Insane. Reading one book every week (close to my current average) for 50 years (close to what?s left of my current life expectancy) would only get me through about 2,600 of those books. It really begs the question of prioritizing activity and media choices. Is it worth trying to get through EVERYTHING I possibly can. I believe it makes more sense to really dig deep in a few areas that are of the most value. Happiness and fulfillment topping that list.