The Excellence Habit - HOW SMALL CHANGES IN OUR MINDSET CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN OUR LIVES - VLAD ZACHARY


How much I liked reading it? 5/10

This book is boring to me. Ideas are distilled in stories that are not that illustrative or not that powerful.
Even the very ideas of the book are not that powerful, or not clearly and concisely explained.
It's not convincing, not impactful. No mindshift. No transformation.


“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

-- Edmund Hillary First man on Everest


EXCELLENCEOLOGY

Most of us have two lives. The first one is the life we actually live, and the second is the imagined life where we achieve all the success we dream about.

Can we achieve excellence by simply repeating certain routines enough times? What if we were repeating it wrong from the beginning?
So practice is important, but the gospel of the ten-thousand-hour rule is only half true. You can’t get benefits from simple mechanical repetition. You need to bring your mind in on the action and make yourself work on adjusting your execution over and over to improve and get closer to your goal.
it needs to include a feedback loop that helps you see errors and correct them.

To become really good at something, we need to build a habit of paying attention, while doing the boring practice stuff.
The hard part is keeping the focus on how to make the small changes, the improvements in what we already know.
A life of excellence, therefore, is a life of paying attention and a life of deliberate, continuous change.

What can we do to deliberately start and build a fulfilling life?


ONE - THE THREE RULES OF EXCELLENCE:

We are told from many sources that anyone can achieve anything. This spirit of equality is a beautiful idea.

if you’ve got talent, energy, and skill, nothing should hold you back. You will get to the top. It is a logical, beautiful idea.
if we truly believe in it, by implication the opposite must be true as well.

As society we have evolved to believe less in God and more in ourselves. We are in the driver’s seat of our lives, and, therefore, we own both success and failure.

we have increased the pressure on ourselves. Paradoxically, this makes it more difficult to reach our goals.

And when excellence happens, it is because all these agents of change have converged. These agents
of change I call the Iceberg Principle, the Law of Not Selling Out and the Journey Mindset.


THE ICEBERG PRINCIPLE

The Iceberg Principle simply says that the majority of our efforts are invisible to the eye.
so is the majority of hard work it takes to build lasting excellence habits.

THE LAW OF NOT SELLING OUT

He kept going till his product could last at least twelve hundred hours. This is an example of the principle I call the Law of Not Selling Out. Certainly, Edison could have been commercially successful if the bulb lasted six hundred hours.

The Law of Not Selling Out says that no matter what the circumstances, we keep intact our core values, beliefs, and principles.

THE JOURNEY MINDSET

This is a small change in our mindset that over time can make a big difference in our lives.

We need the drive to keep going even when most of our efforts remain invisible below the surface.
We need the self-discipline to not sellout, not go for the easy win, but stick to our principles and values when it matters.


THE “I COULD HAVE BEEN SOMEBODY” REGRET

I keep marveling at how energized they can get at even the most mundane trigger. Kids are like that. They would receive a hand-drawn paper heart and would become super excited.

On rare moments of calm between jobs, spouses, kids, vacations, homes, career moves, cars, friends, pets, and in-laws, we remember those plans we had for our lives.

If you ever get to a moment like that, I want to say to you, “Don’t be that, tiger!”
However your life has evolved, it was for a reason, and we can only connect the dots looking back. If you feel in some sort of a middle point and stuck in a position you are not happy with, do something about it.

Find the small changes that will make a big difference. Conquer your fears and do the work. Be the warrior, the Spartan, who keeps fighting even in the face of a million enemies. The fight is worth it. The fight is what keeps us strong.

Make it a habit to try your best.
if you believe in what you are doing, then you can have comfort in knowing you stayed true to yourself.
Don’t be stuck in a storm. Soak the energy of the storm, and turn it around to your advantage. Become the storm.


INSTEAD OF APPENDIX

TOOLS AND SKILLS FOR EXCELLENCE IN YOUR CAREER

"I’m convinced that all great art is personal. So deeply personal that it magically transforms into the universal, and if you’re Thucydides, or Copernicus, or Plath, your work transcends time.
While it isn’t necessary to “know” the artist to appreciate the art, artists in training can learn indispensable lessons about the inner war and how to keep on keeping on by piecing together the life history’s of those who seemingly pulled genius out of thin air."

-- Shawn Coyne

STARTING POINT - THE PERSONALITY TYPE

People who are more conscientious, tend to live longer.
People who tend to be more agreeable than others, tend to be better business partners.
People who are more neurotic, are more vulnerable to develop depression

THE 7 COMPONENTS OF PERCEPTION

  1. Cultural Background
  2. Personality
  3. Friends and Family
  4. Regional Background
  5. Gender
  6. Race and Religion
  7. Social Skills. How comfortable are we expressing our genuine, authentic self in social or business situations?