Lately, I’ve been learning from Darren Hardy. I knew him previously as the publisher of Success but not the public speaking side. He’s quite engaging.

He talks about how small choices add up, like compound interest. He’s absolutely right, and yet it’s such a struggle to consistently do what we know is best.

Things like the news and social media are designed to rope us in and influence what we think about a particular matter, Darren Hardy explains.

Our beliefs come from cultural and hereditary influences and we never question them. Darren suggests asking yourself: Am I the product of my culture and heredity or am I becoming something more? 

You can’t have that level of awareness unless you make time for introspection. All this technology and algorithmically-driven attention thieves doesn’t make us more reflective or better people at all!

Staying up to think

A couple nights ago I stayed up late just to think a while. It can really feel like go, go, go. But am I just falling into the trap? That seems so reactive to me to think I really need to be busy all the time.

Having kids has definitely been a clarifier because if I’m not my best then they suffer. My four year-old has been a good educator in that department. She needs the calm and when I have mine dialed in she responds really well. Can you really be calm if you are constantly stimulating yourself with news and social media? If your mind is always busy seeking stimulation through activities like compulsive email checking or Facebook statuses, it’s a real drain on your vitality and the ability to think clearly.

Some advice from Norman Vincent Peale

Some great advice regarding this topic comes from Norman Vincent Peale. Just sit for 15 minutes and do nothing. No phone, no thoughts. Just sit and be. Relax. When I do this right, man, it feels great.

We certainly can’t be go, go, go all the time and exposing ourselves to predominately negative, drama-filled things like the news is a mistake—a bad choice that will compound over time. So, instead of watching or reading whatever an algorithm thinks will suck you in most, try to actively select something of a higher order.

The Darren Hardy Wicked Awesome series

I like Hardy’s style. He’s practical and explains things in a direct and honest way. He gets you to question things and think them through. In one of the videos he talks about developing systems for tasks you commonly perform, like preparing for meetings. It had never really been put to me in that way before. But when you think about it that way, you say–what’s the best way for me to do this and then you focus exclusively on that task and develop a system that lets you repeat the task as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Below, the Wicked Awesome series.