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The Power of Story: Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life Hardcover – September 18, 2007
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The Power of Story: Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life by Jim Loehr. Free Pr,2007
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When I heard that a very successful hedge fund manager had a book "The Power of Story" on his reading list, and I saw Jim Loehr as the author, I immediately bought it for my kindle. The book is fast-paced, inspiring, and full of practical tips. He avoids the problem most "self-improvement" books have which is they spend half the book bragging about how much the book was going to change your life. He does none of that - he just gets right into it.
I have summarized my favorite points from the book below, but do yourself a favor and buy this book!
A STORY is our creation of reality; indeed, our story matters more than what actually happens. The most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself. After all, you're not just the author of your story but also its mains character, the hero. Heroes are never ordinary. What label would you give the story of your life, the most important story you will ever tell? To me, that sounds like an epic. More important than the "facts" of any life story is the meaning we attribute to the facts. Good stories hinge on dramatic moments, truth... and turning points. By taking control of your story, you must be ready to rewrite it, rewrite it, and rewrite it. Your new story is your blueprint for the future. It exists for you to chart new pathways for energy to flow in all those areas of your life you want to change. Your NEW STORY must be consumed by purpose. It should be inspirational for you when you read it. It must move you powerfully; move you emotionally and move you to take action. The right story supporting you gives meaning and purpose to all the chaos you will experience and the risks you will need to take. Only then will your courage and inner strength surface.
"What compels you to get up every day and go to work? Money? Status? Power? Fulfillment? Do you feel forced to work or called to work? Are you totally engaged at work? How much of your talent and skill are fully ignited? What's the dominant tone- inspired? Challenged? Disappointed? "
PURPOSE is the thing in your life you will fight for. It is the ground you will defend at any cost. Purpose is not the same as "incentive" but rather the motor behind it, the end that drives why you have energy for some things and not for others. (How would you know if you had it right? First and last, does it move you- really, really move you?) With purpose people do amazing things: good, smart, productive things, often heroic things, unprecedented things."
Your ULTIMATE MISSION is the thing that continually renews your spirit, the thing that gets you to stop and smell the roses. It is the indomitable force that moves you to action when nothing else can, yet it can ground you with a single whisper in your quietest moment; it is at once the bedrock of your soul and the wind beneath your wings. It spells out the most overarching goals you want and need to achieve in your time here, and the manner in which you feel you must do it. An ultimate purpose is never small. It is never minor. It can't be, by definition. It is grand, heroic, epic. You should never put your life on the line for something not fully aligned with your ULTIMATE MISSION. If it is to truly inspire you, then everything in it needs to be aligned. The values it professes need to dovetail with each part of your mission.
(Given its influence over you, your ultimate mission merits being written down as early in life as possible, and modified and deepened with every passing year until death. Committing it to writing year after year, keeps the most important navigational tool we human beings possess always within our reach.)
ULTIMATE MISSION questions:
1. How do you want to be remembered?
2. What is the legacy you most want to leave for others?
3. How would you like to hear people eulogize you?
4. What is worth dying for?
5. What makes your life really worth living?
6. In what areas of your life must you truly be extraordinary to fulfill your destiny?
A. Quiet your inner voice. Shut down the internal chatter by immersing yourself in an activity that engages you fully. Complete absorption quiets the inner voice.
B. Summon your inner voice of reason and wisdom. This voice represents your ability to rise above all the noise, the clutter, the distractions, the cloud of emotions and to see the situation for what it really is and make judgments and decisions accordingly. The ability to see clearly in the storm is neither inherited nor something that develops with age. It comes from lots of hard, focused mental lifting.
C. Summon your inner voice of toughness. Your "fighting voice" is one of the most important voices we possess; to complete our mission in life, we must be great fighters.
D. Summon your inner voice of compassion. Think of emotions such as kindness, empathy and sympathy as if they were muscles that grow and expand in response to the energy we invest in them.
E. Summon your voice of intuition. This is the voice of your gut, a voice of intuitive intelligence that doesn't follow the standard pathways of conscious logic and reason.
F. Consciously increase thoughts of gratitude in one's daily life.
PURPOSE/TRUTH/ACTION story triad.
Purpose: what is my ultimate purpose? What am I living for? What principle, what goal, what end? For my whole life, and every single day? Why do I do what I do? For what? Identify your purpose for being here.
Truth: is the story I'm telling true? Does it conform to known facts? Is it grounded in objective reality as fully as possible? Be truthful about what you're doing to honor your purpose.
Action: A good story is premised on hope-filled action... is mine? With my purpose firmly in mind, what actions will I now take to make things better, so that my ultimate purpose and my day-to-day life are better aligned? What habits do I need to eliminate? What new ones do I need to breed? Take the necessary actions to align what you need and want with how you actually live, and do it energetically and confidently. Action: get the job done. Just do it. Make it happen.
Is there someone or something in your life so sacred that nothing and no one could break your concentration? The "power of full engagement" is listening seeing and feeling with full force, experiencing with full force. Either you're fully engaged or you're not. Multi-tasking is the enemy of extraordinariness. If you must, then multi-task when it doesn't matter. Fully engage when it does. By being engaged, we experience true happiness and joy in our lives. We ignite our talents and skills.
When you take care of yourself physically, you have a bounce in your step both literally and metaphorically; your mood is likely to be sunnier, your thoughts sharper, your mission more realizable. You exhibit calm, confidence, and resolve. The body we start out with is capable of wonderful things. However, if we wish to achieve something truly extraordinary in our lives- be it athletic, intellectual, social, artistic, professional - we must build on this "standard-edition" body and invest it with extraordinary energy.
Eat light and often. Always eat within an hour of waking up. Eat a meal or snack rich in carbs within 2 hours before exercising and after exercising. Eat every 2-4 hours except when sleeping. Drink water every 30 minutes to one hour. Move at regular intervals - we're built to move, not to sit. The more we move, the better we feel. To perform better, you need to move more. When you're not working out, take the stairs, not the elevator. Take a walk after lunch. Downtime is productive time. It is vital to include sufficient sleep and rest (recovery) in your story.
WHEN EXERCISING, ENGAGE.
When exercising, you should not feel comfortable. Exercise has three requirements: do it outside the comfort zone, do it on a regular basis, be engaged when doing it. It's not about the time you give to something, but the energy, the passion, the commitment, the engagement. Come to your workout to work out, to improve yourself physically, not to go through the motions.
Tell yourself your story again and again and soon enough those neural pathways have now become slick six-lane superhighways. An example ritual: set your watch alarm for 80-minute intervals to stand, stretch, step outside, or recharge with an energy bar. Or, set up pre-work time to only read non-work material, especially something inspiring. Establish a daily accountability system for your rituals: make a ritual checklist for yourself. A particularly valuable ritual is to begin every day by reading your NEW STORY.
And someone needed to have shown the author how to break-down his ideas into smaller, more readable paragraphs instead of using HUGE chunks of text. Use your finger to read by or you will get lost!
I recommend you read chapter 1 then skip over to part 2 (chapters 7-12). This is where you will get to the actionable part of the "story" and where you can start to work on your focus & engagement, as well as developing more personal energy to get stuff done and other useful skills. Then go back to the other chapters for a deeper understanding, if you want.
Basically a very useful book, but is difficult to read due to bad book editing.
I 100% recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to build their life with balance and purpose that they may become more productive and over all more healthy, physically and emotionally.