Tim Ferriss: 'The superheroes you have in your mind are nearly all walking flaws who have maximised 1 or 2 strengths. Human's are imperfect creatures. You don't succeed because you have no weaknesses, you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them'
JB: This is one of the core tenets of the strengths based approach I have encountered in the context of sports psychologist. An approach that massively impacted my ability to play at a level far above where my innate talent would get me to. The piece of advice that has stuck with me is 'working on weaknesses is a sure fire way of becoming average. Instead, find your signature strengths and try to be the best in the world at them'. Apply this across all areas of your life. Find your points of difference and develop them.
Paul Levesque (Triple H): ' if you don't do something well then don't do it unless you want to spend the time to improve it'. TF: What are you continuing to do that you're no good at? Improve it, eliminate it or delegate it.
JB: Further to the point above, focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. The only exception is that if there is an aspect of your role that you simply have to do, in which case find a way of getting your skills to the point of a pass mark and then get back to focusing on your strengths. For the others use it as a positive constraint and consider how you could get someone more qualified to do it.
Derek Sivers: 'If more information was the answer we'd all be billionaires with perfect abs'
Tony Robbins: 'Mastery doesn't come from an infographic, it's not what you know it's what you do consistently'
JB: We live in an age of information. The answer to most of life's questions is a couple of clicks away yet so many of us still fail to act on it or realise our potential. Focus less on knowing and more on doing. Success is about habits not knowledge.
Reid Hoffman: 'There needs to be one defined reason for doing something and the worthiness of doing it needs to be measured against that reason. If you find yourself backfilling other reasons and creating a blended reason for doing anything then it will likely be an unfulfilling activity'.
JB: This links to a Derek Sivers suggestion too. He advises that your response to any request should either be 'Hell Yeah' or 'No'. We often end up drowning in mediocre requests on our time. Focus on the things that truly excite you or will truly make a difference. Pass on the rest.
James Altucher: On training your 'idea muscle' - start each day by writing down 10 ideas. They don't have to be great! If you can't think of 10 then shoot for 20. Then note down the first step you would need to make to start putting each idea into action.
JB: Creativity is such a precious resource yet most of us treat it passively and wait for the muse to visit us rather than training for it. I love this exercise as it helps you develop 'creativity on demand'. It also is great for removing fears around making major changes are starting big projects as, by writing down the first step for each idea, you see how easy it would be to get things moving forward.
Scott Adams: 'If you want an average successful life it doesn't take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school and apply for jobs you might like. If you want something extraordinary you have 2 paths. 1) Become the best at one specific thing. 2) Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things. The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. The second strategy is relatively easy, everyone has a few areas they could become top 25% with some effort. Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining your 'pretty good' skills until no one else has your mix'.
JB: This is the best career advice I've ever read as it is so actionable. It gives you a blueprint for success. I advise taking your dominant skill or area of expertise and then considering what additions you could make until you start becoming very rare and valuable. A good place to start is communication skills. How many people in your field are really good at writing or speaking about it?
Kevin Kelly: 1000 true fans. Simply read this entire chapter by clicking here.
JB: The most valuable piece I have written about making a success of any business. . It makes the whole process a lot less daunting and helps focus energy on pleasing the few rather than spreading yourself out too thinly.
Peter Diamandis: 'I talk to CEOs all the time and say, listen the day before something is a breakthrough it is a crazy idea. If it wasn't a crazy idea it's not a breakthrough, it's an incremental improvement. So where inside of your company are you trying crazy ideas?'
JB: Peter Diamandis is the king of big ideas. Just google him to see what his companies are working on. It's mindblowing. His point here I think is massive. Where are you testing the impossible and thinking outside the box? If you aren't then you're unlikely to make a world changing breakthrough.
Paul Graham: Makers vs Managers schedule. As with KK above simply read the blog post by clicking here.
JB: I made fundamental changes to my diary management after reading this. Read it and action it!
Chris Fussell: You should always have a running list of 3 people who you're watching; someone senior to you that you want to emulate, a peer that you think is better at the job that you're doing and you respect and someone subordinate who is doing the job that you used to do and is doing it better than you did. If you have those 3 people and you're constantly learning from them and measuring yourself against them then you're going to get exponentially better than you are now'.
JB: So actionable and so wise. Find these people and get learning. There is the adage that we are the average of the 5 people we surround yourself with. This advice takes that to the next level.
Naval Ravikant: 'Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want'
JB: I am always reminding myself of this. The less we covet the happier we will be. Become aware of what you are desiring, do you need these things?
Josh Waitzken: 'To turn it on, learn to turn it off too'.
JB: A phrase I came across in strength and conditioning is 'their fast is too slow and their slow is too fast'. We tend to live our life in the grey area, we aren't performing at our best and we aren't recovering properly. This quickly becomes a vicious cycle. If you want to be world class you need to be able to turn it on, to do this you need to be able to turn it off. Learn how to relax!