Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example by Steve McClatchy

My Highlights

Leadership and progress take time, energy, and commitment. But time continues to pass, whether you use it to accomplish something worthwhile or not.

If your decisions about life and how you use your time do not reflect an effort to make the future better than it is today, then it won’t be.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. —Mark Twain

No matter how many “have to” tasks are on your plate, you can always fill your day with them. There’s always something to repair, maintain, clean, feed, keep up with, pay for, or care for. The reason that Prevent Pain tasks go on and on is that they never actually go away; they just eventually repeat. For example, you don’t really cross doing dishes off your to-do list; you just move it to the bottom because by the next night, you will have to wash them again. The same is true with checking e-mail or stocking inventory. You don’t cross it off; you move it down the list, because it’s coming back again at some point. Tasks such as putting gas in your car, doing laundry, and going grocery shopping all have to be done over and over again because the things necessary to maintain your life are never finished. By always focusing on getting them done and preventing pain, you don’t end up with Gain; you end up with no pain and unfortunately no progress.

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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

My Highlights

Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.

The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.

Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.

Those three things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.

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