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Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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“If you’re ready to live a fearless, awesome life, Habit Changers will help you take control of your destiny and be the badassiest version of yourself, every day. Ryan's techniques are easy to jump into and they work.” -Jen Sincero, New York Times Bestselling author of You Are a Badass
"This book has had the delightful effect of giving me something insightful within the first 60 seconds of picking it up as well as making me return to it often. Don't let the simplicity of the guide trick you into thinking it's not profound. This is a book with that special simplicity on the other side of complexity that should also be applauded--and read." Greg McKeown, author of the New York Times bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
“Happiness is a choice, but it requires practice to maintain. MJ Ryan's insightful book serves to remind us how easily we can create a practice of incorporating effective positive thought patterns into our daily life." --Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and NYTimes bestselling author of Before Happiness
“Habit Changers is a game changer. In place of the predictable but worn and ineffective affirmations, MJ Ryan has created a novel new tool in the armamentarium of change tools... Like me, you’ll be inspired to craft your own, practice and finally reap the rewards lasting change will bring” -Pam Peeke MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM , and NY Times bestselling author of Fight Fat after Forty, Body for Life for Women, and The Hunger Fix
"This book is killer--it's a keep by your desk, keep by your bed, career coach, therapist, and mentor rolled into one.." --Caroline Ghosn, CEO, The Levo League
" From 'trust your inner GPS' to 'presume goodwill,' these slogans are simple, memorable and remarkably effective. Changing a habit requires going beyond intention to embrace tactics that enable you to consciously achieve your goals. This book will help you do just that, providing actionable strategies that you can quickly incorporate into your daily routine."--Fran Hauser, Partner at Rothenberg Ventures and former President of Digital Time Inc.
About the Author
M. J. RYAN is a leading expert on change and human fulfillment and senior coach to executives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners around the world. Her clients include Royal Dutch Shell, Microsoft, Time Warner, the U.S. military, and Aon Hewitt. She’s a partner with the Levo League career network and lead coach at SheEO, an organization offering new funding and support models for female entrepreneurs. She’s the founder of Conari Press, creator of the New York Times bestselling Random Acts of Kindness series, and author of many books including This Year I Will...
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The author's phrases are not affirmations. Those proclaim that you already possess a quality you are trying to achieve. I am calm. I am confident. Hers are medicine. You train your mind to enact your intention. Add a visual image or gesture. Then you have auditory, visual and kinesthetic.
Some of the mantras:
Say this person is my teacher to remind you to be patient, precise or whatever they are complaining about to you.
A pointed finger is a victim's logo.
You can't say yes if you can’t say no. When you say yes and can't follow through, you're not being helpful. The more you say no, the more wholehearted is your yes.
You've got to figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze.
Stakeholders need to be fluffed regularly like a pillow.
Don't be Fred. He was a colleague she complained about. He never listens, he is always right. This mantra reminds you of how you don't want to behave.
Native Americans believe if you haven't considered seven options, your thinking is incomplete. It's not either/or.
Relax; you've already failed at being perfect.
Feed forward, not back. Marshall Goldsmith. Don't comment on the past, but make suggestions for improving.
Do you sabotage happiness by putting yourself in the blender and hitting chop?
Because of the brain's tendency to be Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive, as neuropsychologist Rick Hanson describes our inborn negativity bias, when people encounter a minor setback, they often lose sight of the progress they've made. Say: look how far I've come.
Stand where you'd rather not.
Handshake your fear. Befriend your fear; turn toward it. Say: Oh, you poor thing. I see you are afraid. You're not alone. I'm with you. You give it attention. This can make it lessen or disappear.
This is the end of something and the beginning of something else. It reminds us that whenever we experience an ending, we are also standing on the cusp of something new, which helps tremendously to create perspective and hope.
Don't turn goof-ups into give-ups.
Undistort the distortion.
Stop, breathe, rewind. Gesture with a stop sign.
Be a yea-sayer.
Intuition is your inner GPS.
Nothing you've done in the past is a waste. It's all grist for your future.
It's a VUCA world. Volatile, uncertain, chaotic, ambiguous.
Read the room.
Mind the gap--on the subway means to warn riders to avoid falling in the space between the train and platform.
Change it, leave it or accept it. It reminds me of the commercial on drug addiction. Change, go to jail or die.
Gallup says weekly praise is one of 12 factors driving higher productivity and profitability.
There are three types of business in the world. God's (natural disasters), yours (you and your response) and theirs (what is the other person's to handle and respond to).
From Kitchen Table Wisdom, fill a bowl with water in the a.m. and recite a blessing asking to live life to the fullest that day. Pour the water out in the evening and turn the bowl upside down, signifying you've done your best. Take up the cares of the world tomorrow.
Her book is divided into sections with an alphabetic order from A to W, with topics from Acceptance, Change, Happiness, Perfectionism, Risk Taking, and Worry. (You can tell what captures my attention easily.) Within the A through W divisions, are easy to remember or memorize matras. I will list a few that have already helped me on my quest to grow into the Me I Want to Be!
Acceptance - "This Person is My Teacher"
I needed this in my life because I often come across others who think they can do it better, think charity work is wrong, or cannot believe I would waste my time preaching and teaching the Bible. We will have enemies. We will have others who disagree. We will have confrontations. The key to remember from this idea is that we can learn from anyone. It's about us and our response, not the other person who we cannot control.
Change - "Build a Bridge to the Future on the Pillars of the Past"
Ryan explains that often when we are ready fro change we feel as if we are standing on one side of the Grand Canyon trying to figure out how to get to the other side. This is when you need to realize that to get to your desired future you build on your learned past strengths one pillar at a time. for me, what I learned working for Staples for years, honing my skills at customer service, actually propelled me ahead of the rest when I went into full time ministry designing welcome points and processes for churches making them more guest friendly. At first, I wondered how my years at Staples would help me be a man of the cloth, so to speak, and yet it was the defining feature that set me above the rest in an area that now is common in churches, although a decade ago, was not.
Happiness - "Change it, Leave it, or Accept it"
When I get fixated on a change I want to make in my life or leadership, I tend to fuss about it till others around me are quietly thinking, "Get on with it then!" Okay, maybe not so quietly. But we all find ourselves there from time to time. To truly be happy, we need to examine our life and decide when we want to change something, when its time to move on, and when we simply need to accept - it is what it is. As she writes in the book, "Acceptance is an act of surrender, the opposite of effort." When you have truly placed positive effort towards something for a certain length of time with little to no results, acceptance may be the key to your eventual happiness.
Perfectionism - "Feed Forward, Not Back"
Building off the coined term "feed forward" from executive leadership coach and author Marshall Goldsmith, dealing with feedback only is dealing with the past. If it was a past failure, you are reliving it only to fail again, if only in the mind. It's a no win. But "feed forward" is when you take a failure, realize you are not perfect, and create a path of success built on past failure. We cannot correct the past but we can course correct for the future!
Worry - "Outsource Your Worry"
This has nothing to do with finding someone else to worry for you. That doesn't help anyone. The concept has to do with taking the things that worry you and finding someone who potentially excels at them or at least can help you move through them and therefore avoid the internal struggle of worry. Ryan explains when we worry we can get stuck in a cycle. When you feel worry, or the spinning coming on, Outsourcing Your Worry, reminds you to reach out and get help. For me, it was about knowing when to take something to the team and not play it so close to the chest. Can it make you look weak? Possibly. Does worry make you look strong? Absolutely not! You never know, you team or friend or whoever you reach out to may have a new found respect for your authenticity.
I give this book 5-stars because I feel like the author, an internationally recognized female leader and executive coach, has zoned in on and simplified a book of resonating truths for anyone to grasp. It's like having a personal coach to tote around in your backpack or set next to your desk. Further, instead of being a one-time read, it's a leadership reference to go back to on a weekly basis.
I highly recommend this to those in leadership positions of any kind. If I was to focus on a few types, I would say women in leadership, human resources and development, consultants, and life coaches. I believe the world needs more solid, thriving women leaders and M.J. Ryan will inspire ladies to see if she can do it, so can you! Those in development roles are always looking for books full of pithy teaching principles and this book does not disappoint. Even if you used one phrase at a time for a meeting or staff training, you can literally go for a almost two years! Finally, Consultants and coaches are those who are leading other leaders, and these types need to stay ahead of the leadership curve and be ready with solid advice. Again, Habit Changers doesn't disappoint, especially as it accesses dozens of other leadership resources and already drills them down into bite-sized principles for the busy leader.
Whether you need a morning jolt of leadership with your morning caffeination or find yourself up against a wall and needing some inspiration, Habit Changers is a book that will keep on giving the gift of leadership for years to come!