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Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career (The 99U Book Series) Paperback – September 24, 2013
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“Maximize Your Potential is an authentic, powerful guide to making the most of your innate talents. When 'follow your passion' just doesn't cut it, this book gets to the heart of how to make your long term career goals a reality.” —Tina Roth Eisenberg, SwissMiss.com
“A no-nonsense, experience-tested, life-approved cookbook for creative intelligence, exploring everything from harnessing the power of habit to cultivating meaningful relationships that enrich your work to overcoming the fear of failure.” —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
“This isn’t for everyone—certainly not those who choose feeling helpless over trying to make something work. But if you’re looking to understand creativity through science and psychology with well-documented examples from ancient and modern history, Maximize Your Potential could be your literary jam.” —Kiran Umapathy, Holiday Matinee
“Maximize Your Potential is full of wisdom for helping you take control of your career and navigate the waters yourself.” —Shane Parrish, Farnam Street
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This compact book comes from the folks who don’t want to help us get more ideas (we’ve got plenty), but do help us make our best ideas become reality. The volume focuses on creating opportunities, building expertise, cultivating relationships and taking risks. As in the first volume, if you’ve read any personal growth books at all, you’ll get compelling and condensed reminders of things you should already know. If you haven’t read the other books, start here. The writers also help us understand growth in new ways.
For example, I’ve recommended a great book called The Power of Habit. But if you don’t have time, a few of the chapters in this book cover the same territory. Here’s Tony Schwartz writing on Developing Mastery through Deliberate Practice. Schwartz says that ritual “is a highly precise behavior you do at a specific time so that it becomes automatic over time and no longer requires much conscious intention or energy.”
More from Schwartz's chapter:
"Will and discipline, it turns out, are highly overrated. We each have one reservoir we draw on, and it gets progressively depleted each time we use it to get something done…. A ritualized approach to practice helps conserve our precious and finite reserves of energy."
"…It was only after I began studying the science of high performance that I started building a new sort of practice ritual. I still sit down at my desk first thing in the morning when I’m working on books, but now I write for exactly ninety minutes at a time—not eighty-five and not ninety-five. Then I take a break. I may get something to eat, close my eyes and spend ten minutes breathing reply, or take a run, each activity in order to refuel and recover."
"When I’m finished renewing, I come back and work the same way for another ninety minutes…"
"The heart of achieving mastery, I’ve come to believe, is expanding the amplitude of the waves you make in your life. When you’re working, give it everything you’ve got, for relatively show periods of time. When you’re recovering, let go and truly refuel."
These are small handy almost pocket size books (which make it easy to carry around) and all of the suggestions are short, concise and to the point. If you're already developed good skill sets in a specific area then you can quickly move on. I keep these books laying around the house in various locations because when I want a huge hit to transform my life I merely need to read just 2-3 paragraphs of these extremely well synthesized thoughts and almost every time something will strike a much needed chord. From how to be more efficient with your time and staying less distracted to creating a game plan for marketing yourself these books are spot on target. I absolutely hit a grand slam when I found this collection of books online and they've become my best surrogate adviser.
I would give this book 4.5 stars if possible (I really liked it, but I didn't necessarily love it)—however, as that isn't allowed, I decided to round up.
To help you through this brave new world, 99U’s Maximize Your Potential assembles insights around four key areas that we believe are essential to long term career success: identifying and creating new opportunities, cultivating your expertise over time, building collaborative relationships, and learning how to take risks. ...
Let this volume be your guide as you craft—and re-craft—your own creative career over time, constantly striving to up the ante on just who you can become.”
~ Jocelyn K. Glei from Maximize Your Potential
This is the second of the three books currently in 99U Book Series. Check out our Note on the first as well: Manage Your Day-to-Day.
It’s another collection of great little essays by some of the world’s most creative minds (including many authors we feature: Cal Newport, Heidi Grant Halvorson and Tony Schwartz) and reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s trilogy + Austin Kleon’s books on the creative process. Great stuff.
I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. Permanent Beta - Welcome to your new residence.
2. Praising - Smartness vs. Effort.
3. Proving Yourself Right - Make a decision then make it right.
4. Seinfeld + Fear + Reruns - Lean in and grow.
5. Expanding the Amplitude - Of the waves we make.
Here’s to Maximizing Our Potential as we Grow Our Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build Incredible Careers!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.