So I was recommended this book by millionaire before the age of 30, Jason Capital.
On a podcast, he said that he read this book early on in his entrepreneurial career and he strongly believes it is a huge reason why he was able to achieve everything he has to date. The book is over 60 years old.
From 1960, this really is timeless wisdom. The book covers different concepts that can be implemented into your life, ways to let go of past beliefs that keep holding you back and general habits we can adopt to become better.
It really is an all-rounder. Without going through the whole book, I want to discuss two topics that profoundly changed the way I do things for the better. The first of the two was this: “Try to do only one thing at a time.
Realizing this, fully convincing ourselves of this simple and obvious truth, enables us to mentally stop trying to do things that lie next and to concentrate all our awareness, all our responsiveness on this thing we are doing now.
When we work with this attitude, we are relaxed, we are free from the feelings of hurry and anxiety, and we are able to concentrate and think at our best”.
Wow. So this was in 1960... and it could not be more relevant now. Why it resonated with me so much is, because I have all these possibilities to constantly learn through podcasts and YouTube videos.
Realizing that it is far superior to do one thing at a time with focus then to loosely try to do multiple tasks at once. I have done both and can say with confidence, when I try to multi-task it proves a waste of time as whatever it is I did, I will need to re-visit and correct mistakes I inevitably made.
So if I need to do a task, I now always think, ‘Yes Steven, it would be great to put on a podcast whilst I do this task but lets focus on this then I can listen intently to a podcast after.
I also found that by doing this, not only can I work better, I also work much faster. I don’t rush any work but with my full focus it allows my brain to function at a much higher level than when I am trying to write but also listen simultaneously.
The second topic I want to discuss is the following: “Do your worrying before you place your bet, not after the wheel starts turning." “I am indebted to a business executive, whose weakness was roulette, for the above expression which "worked like magic" in helping him overcome worry, and at the same time function more creatively and successfully. "That advice of William James.
It didn't make too much of an impression when you told me, but while I was playing roulette it came back to me. I noticed any number of people who appeared not to worry at all before placing their bets.
Apparently the odds meant nothing to them. But once the wheel started turning, they froze up, and began to worry whether their number would come up or not How silly, I thought. If they want to worry, or be concerned, or figure odds, the time to do that is before the decision is made to place a bet.
There is something you can do about it then, by thinking about it You can figure out the best odds possible, or decide not to take the risk at all.
But after the bets are placed and the wheel starts turning—you might as well relax and enjoy it— thinking about it is not going to do one bit of good, and is wasted energy. "Then I got to thinking that I myself had been doing exactly the same thing in my business and in my personal life.
I often made decisions or embarked upon courses of action, without adequate preparation, without considering all the risks involved, and the best possible alternative. But after I had set the wheels in motion, so to speak, I continually worried over how it would come out, whether I had done the right thing.
I made a decision right then that in the future I would do all my worrying, all my fore- brain thinking, before a decision was made, and that after making a decision, and setting the wheels in motion, I would 'dismiss absolutely all care or responsibility about the outcome.' Believe it or not, it works.
I not only feel better, sleep better, and work better, but my business is running much smoother.
"I also discovered that the same principle works in a hundred different little personal ways. For example, I used to worry and fume about having to go to the dentist, and other unpleasant tasks.
Then I said to myself, 'This is silly. You know the unpleasantness involved before you make the decision to go. If the unpleasantness is all that important to cause so much concern, and not worth the worry involved, you can simply decide not to go.
But, if the decision is that the trip is worth a little unpleasantness, and a definite decision is made to go—then forget about it.
Consider the risk before the wheel starts turning”.
Wow. I think this is one of the best pieces of wisdom I’ve read. I truly do. I often spent so much energy worrying when it genuinely served zero purpose. I think the roulette analogy is the perfect illustration of this.
If you decide to take the risk, then once that wheel starts spinning... relax and accept your fate. When I first starting putting myself out there on social media, I would put out a post and then spend so much energy afterwards simply worrying about the post and people judging me etc.
Now, I don’t worry but if I were to, I would do so before the actual event takes place and once it is happening just relax and know that I cannot change anything so just relax and follow through with it.
So all in all, this book has countless gems in it but these two in particular were things that have really stood out for me and I have massively incorporated into my life.
I will certainly be re-reading this book several times over as there is so much wisdom in there. It defiantly made me realize that new is not always better.
What I mean by this is: there are countless self-improvement books I have read post 2000 and several of them do not even come close to the wisdom I get from several pre-2000 books.
I suppose all the wisdom was discovered early on and now it is just regurgitated.
Thank you Dr Maxwell Maltz, and also to Jason Capital for the recommendation.
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