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Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

1 year ago

Ten words and phrases to avoid in presentations

More on Personal Growth

Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

1 year ago

Why Is It So Difficult to Give Up Smoking?

I started smoking in 2002 at IIT BHU. Most of us thought it was enjoyable at first. I didn't realize the cost later.

In 2005, during my final semester, I lost my father. Suddenly, I felt more accountable for my mother and myself.

I quit before starting my first job in Bangalore. I didn't see any smoking friends in my hometown for 2 months before moving to Bangalore.

For the next 5-6 years, I had no regimen and smoked only when drinking.

Due to personal concerns, I started smoking again after my 2011 marriage. Now smoking was a constant guilty pleasure.

I smoked 3-4 cigarettes a day, but never in front of my family or on weekends. I used to excuse this with pride! First office ritual: smoking. Even with guilt, I couldn't stop this time because of personal concerns.

After 8-9 years, in mid 2019, a personal development program solved all my problems. I felt complete in myself. After this, I just needed one cigarette each day.

The hardest thing was leaving this final cigarette behind, even though I didn't want it.

James Clear's Atomic Habits was published last year. I'd only read 2-3 non-tech books before reading this one in August 2021. I knew everything but couldn't use it.

In April 2022, I realized the compounding effect of a bad habit thanks to my subconscious mind. 1 cigarette per day (excluding weekends) equals 240 = 24 packs per year, which is a lot. No matter how much I did, it felt negative.

Then I applied the 2nd principle of this book, identifying the trigger. I tried to identify all the major triggers of smoking. I found social drinking is one of them & If I am able to control it during that time, I can easily control it in other situations as well. Going further whenever I drank, I was pre-determined to ignore the craving at any cost. Believe me, it was very hard initially but gradually this craving started fading away even with drinks.

I've been smoke-free for 3 months. Now I know a bad habit's effects. After realizing the power of habits, I'm developing other good habits which I ignored all my life.

Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

1 year ago

The world's 36th richest man uses a 5-step system to get what he wants.

Ray Dalio's super-effective roadmap 

Ray Dalio's $22 billion net worth ranks him 36th globally. From 1975 to 2011, he built the world's most successful hedge fund, never losing more than 4% from 1991 to 2020. (and only doing so during 3 calendar years). 

Dalio describes a 5-step process in his best-selling book Principles. It's the playbook he's used to build his hedge fund, beat the markets, and face personal challenges. 

This 5-step system is so valuable and well-explained that I didn't edit or change anything; I only added my own insights in the parts I found most relevant and/or relatable as a young entrepreneur. The system's overview: 

  1. Have clear goals 

  2. Identify and don’t tolerate problems 

  3. Diagnose problems to get at their root causes 

  4. Design plans that will get you around those problems 

  5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

If you follow these 5 steps in a virtuous loop, you'll almost always see results. Repeat the process for each goal you have. 

1. Have clear goals 

a) Prioritize: You can have almost anything, but not everything. 

I started and never launched dozens of projects for 10 years because I was scattered. I opened a t-shirt store, traded algorithms, sold art on Instagram, painted skateboards, and tinkered with electronics. I decided to try blogging for 6 months to see where it took me. Still going after 3 years. 

b) Don’t confuse goals with desires. 

A goal inspires you to act. Unreasonable desires prevent you from achieving your goals. 

c) Reconcile your goals and desires to decide what you want. 

d) Don't confuse success with its trappings. 

e) Never dismiss a goal as unattainable. 

Always one path is best. Your perception of what's possible depends on what you know now. I never thought I'd make money writing online so quickly, and now I see a whole new horizon of business opportunities I didn't know about before. 

f) Expectations create abilities. 

Don't limit your abilities. More you strive, the more you'll achieve. 

g) Flexibility and self-accountability can almost guarantee success. 

Flexible people accept what reality or others teach them. Self-accountability is the ability to recognize your mistakes and be more creative, flexible, and determined. 

h) Handling setbacks well is as important as moving forward. 

Learn when to minimize losses and when to let go and move on. 

2. Don't ignore problems 

a) See painful problems as improvement opportunities. 

Every problem, painful situation, and challenge is an opportunity. Read The Art of Happiness for more. 

b) Don't avoid problems because of harsh realities. 

Recognizing your weaknesses isn't the same as giving in. It's the first step in overcoming them. 

c) Specify your issues. 

There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. 

d) Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem. 

"I can't sleep" is a cause, not a problem. "I'm underperforming" could be a problem. 

e) Separate big from small problems. 

You have limited time and energy, so focus on the biggest problems. 

f) Don't ignore a problem. 

Identifying a problem and tolerating it is like not identifying it. 

3. Identify problems' root causes 

a) Decide "what to do" after assessing "what is." 

"A good diagnosis takes 15 to 60 minutes, depending on its accuracy and complexity. [...] Like principles, root causes recur in different situations. 

b) Separate proximate and root causes. 

"You can only solve problems by removing their root causes, and to do that, you must distinguish symptoms from disease." 

c) Knowing someone's (or your own) personality can help you predict their behavior. 

4. Design plans that will get you around the problems 

a) Retrace your steps. 

Analyze your past to determine your future. 

b) Consider your problem a machine's output. 

Consider how to improve your machine. It's a game then. 

c) There are many ways to reach your goals. 

Find a solution. 

d) Visualize who will do what in your plan like a movie script. 

Consider your movie's actors and script's turning points, then act accordingly. The game continues. 

e) Document your plan so others can judge your progress. 

Accountability boosts success. 

f) Know that a good plan doesn't take much time. 

The execution is usually the hardest part, but most people either don't have a plan or keep changing it. Don't drive while building the car. Build it first, because it'll be bumpy. 

5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

a) Great planners without execution fail. 

Life is won with more than just planning. Similarly, practice without talent beats talent without practice. 

b) Work ethic is undervalued. 

Hyper-productivity is praised in corporate America, even if it leads nowhere. To get things done, use checklists, fewer emails, and more desk time. 

c) Set clear metrics to ensure plan adherence. 

I've written about the OKR strategy for organizations with multiple people here. If you're on your own, I recommend the Wheel of Life approach. Both systems start with goals and tasks to achieve them. Then start executing on a realistic timeline. 

If you find solutions, weaknesses don't matter. 

Everyone's weak. You, me, Gates, Dalio, even Musk. Nobody will be great at all 5 steps of the system because no one can think in all the ways required. Some are good at analyzing and diagnosing but bad at executing. Some are good planners but poor communicators. Others lack self-discipline. 

Stay humble and ask for help when needed. Nobody has ever succeeded 100% on their own, without anyone else's help. That's the paradox of individual success: teamwork is the only way to get there. 

Most people won't have the skills to execute even the best plan. You can get missing skills in two ways: 

  1. Self-taught (time-consuming) 

  2. Others' (requires humility) light

On knowing what to do with your life 

“Some people have good mental maps and know what to do on their own. Maybe they learned them or were blessed with common sense. They have more answers than others. Others are more humble and open-minded. […] Open-mindedness and mental maps are most powerful.” — Ray Dalio 

I've always known what I wanted to do, so I'm lucky. I'm almost 30 and have always had trouble executing. Good thing I never stopped experimenting, but I never committed to anything long-term. I jumped between projects. I decided 3 years ago to stick to one project for at least 6 months and haven't looked back. 

Maybe you're good at staying focused and executing, but you don't know what to do. Maybe you have none of these because you haven't found your purpose. Always try new projects and talk to as many people as possible. It will give you inspiration and ideas and set you up for success. 

There is almost always a way to achieve a crazy goal or idea. 

Enjoy the journey, whichever path you take.

Simon Ash

Simon Ash

1 year ago

The Three Most Effective Questions for Ongoing Development

The Traffic Light Approach to Reviewing Personal, Team and Project Development

Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels

What needs improvement? If you want to improve, you need to practice your sport, musical instrument, habit, or work project. You need to assess your progress.

Continuous improvement is the foundation of focused practice and a growth mentality. Not just individually. High-performing teams pursue improvement. Right? Why is it hard?

As a leadership coach, senior manager, and high-level athlete, I've found three key questions that may unlock high performance in individuals and teams.

Problems with Reviews

Reviewing and improving performance is crucial, however I hate seeing review sessions in my diary. I rarely respond to questionnaire pop-ups or emails. Why?

Time constrains. Requests to fill out questionnaires often state they will take 10–15 minutes, but I can think of a million other things to do with that time. Next, review overload. Businesses can easily request comments online. No matter what you buy, someone will ask for your opinion. This bombardment might make feedback seem bad, which is bad.

The problem is that we might feel that way about important things like personal growth and work performance. Managers and team leaders face a greater challenge.

When to Conduct a Review

We must be wise about reviewing things that matter to us. Timing and duration matter. Reviewing the experience as quickly as possible preserves information and sentiments. Time must be brief. The review's importance and size will determine its length. We might only take a few seconds to review our morning coffee, but we might require more time for that six-month work project.

These post-event reviews should be supplemented by periodic reflection. Journaling can help with daily reflections, but I also like to undertake personal reviews every six months on vacation or at a retreat.

As an employee or line manager, you don't want to wait a year for a performance assessment. Little and frequently is best, with a more formal and in-depth assessment (typically with a written report) in 6 and 12 months.

The Easiest Method to Conduct a Review Session

I follow Einstein's review process:

“Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

Thus, it should be brief but deliver the necessary feedback. Quality critique is hard to receive if the process is overly complicated or long.

I have led or participated in many review processes, from strategic overhauls of big organizations to personal goal coaching. Three key questions guide the process at either end:

  • What ought to stop being done?

  • What should we do going forward?

  • What should we do first?

Following the Rule of 3, I compare it to traffic lights. Red, amber, and green lights:

  • Red What ought should we stop?

  • Amber What ought to we keep up?

  • Green Where should we begin?

This approach is easy to understand and self-explanatory, however below are some examples under each area.

Red What ought should we stop?

As a team or individually, we must stop doing things to improve.

Sometimes they're bad. If we want to lose weight, we should avoid sweets. If a team culture is bad, we may need to stop unpleasant behavior like gossiping instead of having difficult conversations.

Not all things we should stop are wrong. Time matters. Since it is finite, we sometimes have to stop nice things to focus on the most important. Good to Great author Jim Collins famously said:

“Don’t let the good be the enemy of the great.”

Prioritizing requires this idea. Thus, decide what to stop to prioritize.

Amber What ought to we keep up?

Should we continue with the amber light? It helps us decide what to keep doing during review. Many items fall into this category, so focus on those that make the most progress.

Which activities have the most impact? Which behaviors create the best culture? Success-building habits?

Use these questions to find positive momentum. These are the fly-wheel motions, according to Jim Collins. The Compound Effect author Darren Hardy says:

“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”

What can you do consistently to reach your goal?

Green Where should we begin?

Finally, green lights indicate new beginnings. Red/amber difficulties may be involved. Stopping a red issue may give you more time to do something helpful (in the amber).

This green space inspires creativity. Kolbs learning cycle requires active exploration to progress. Thus, it's crucial to think of new approaches, try them out, and fail if required.

This notion underpins lean start-build, up's measure, learn approach and agile's trying, testing, and reviewing. Try new things until you find what works. Thomas Edison, the lighting legend, exclaimed:

“There is a way to do it better — find it!”

Failure is acceptable, but if you want to fail forward, look back on what you've done.

John Maxwell concurred with Edison:

“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward”

A good review procedure lets us accomplish that. To avoid failure, we must act, experiment, and reflect.

Use the traffic light system to prioritize queries. Ask:

  • Red What needs to stop?

  • Amber What should continue to occur?

  • Green What might be initiated?

Take a moment to reflect on your day. Check your priorities with these three questions. Even if merely to confirm your direction, it's a terrific exercise!

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Logan Rane

Logan Rane

1 year ago

I questioned Chat-GPT for advice on the top nonfiction books. Here's What It Suggests

You have to use it.

Chat-GPT Logo

Chat-GPT is a revolution.

All social media outlets are discussing it. How it will impact the future and different things.

True.

I've been using Chat-GPT for a few days, and it's a rare revolution. It's amazing and will only improve.

I asked Chat-GPT about the best non-fiction books. It advised this, albeit results rely on interests.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

Science, Biography

A impoverished tobacco farmer dies of cervical cancer in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her cell strand helped scientists treat polio and other ailments.

Rebecca Skloot discovers about Henrietta, her family, how the medical business exploited black Americans, and how her cells can live forever in a fascinating and surprising research.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you want to discover more about the past of medicine.

  2. if you want to discover more about American history.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

Tech, Bio

Bad Blood tells the terrifying story of how a Silicon Valley tech startup's blood-testing device placed millions of lives at risk.

John Carreyrou, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote this book.

Theranos and its wunderkind CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, climbed to popularity swiftly and then plummeted.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you are a start-up employee.

  2. specialists in medicine.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

by Eckhart Tolle

Self-improvement, Spirituality

The Power of Now shows how to stop suffering and attain inner peace by focusing on the now and ignoring your mind.

The book also helps you get rid of your ego, which tries to control your ideas and actions.

If you do this, you may embrace the present, reduce discomfort, strengthen relationships, and live a better life.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you're looking for serenity and illumination.

  2. If you believe that you are ruining your life, stop.

  3. if you're not happy.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey

Profession, Success

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an iconic self-help book.

This vital book offers practical guidance for personal and professional success.

This non-fiction book is one of the most popular ever.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you want to reach your full potential.

  2. if you want to discover how to achieve all your objectives.

  3. if you are just beginning your journey toward personal improvement.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Science, History

Sapiens explains how our species has evolved from our earliest ancestors to the technology age.

How did we, a species of hairless apes without tails, come to control the whole planet?

It describes the shifts that propelled Homo sapiens to the top.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you're interested in discovering our species' past.

  2. if you want to discover more about the origins of human society and culture.

Miguel Saldana

Miguel Saldana

1 year ago

Crypto Inheritance's Catch-22

Security, privacy, and a strategy!

How to manage digital assets in worst-case scenarios is a perennial crypto concern. Since blockchain and bitcoin technology is very new, this hasn't been a major issue. Many early developers are still around, and many groups created around this technology are young and feel they have a lot of life remaining. This is why inheritance and estate planning in crypto should be handled promptly. As cryptocurrency's intrinsic worth rises, many people in the ecosystem are holding on to assets that might represent generational riches. With that much value, it's crucial to have a plan. Creating a solid plan entails several challenges.

  • the initial hesitation in coming up with a plan

  • The technical obstacles to ensuring the assets' security and privacy

  • the passing of assets from a deceased or incompetent person

  • Legal experts' lack of comprehension and/or understanding of how to handle and treat cryptocurrency.

This article highlights several challenges, a possible web3-native solution, and how to learn more.

The Challenge of Inheritance:

One of the biggest hurdles to inheritance planning is starting the conversation. As humans, we don't like to think about dying. Early adopters will experience crazy gains as cryptocurrencies become more popular. Creating a plan is crucial if you wish to pass on your riches to loved ones. Without a plan, the technical and legal issues I barely mentioned above would erode value by requiring costly legal fees and/or taxes, and you could lose everything if wallets and assets are not distributed appropriately (associated with the private keys). Raising awareness of the consequences of not having a plan should motivate people to make one.

Controlling Change:

Having an inheritance plan for your digital assets is crucial, but managing the guts and bolts poses a new set of difficulties. Privacy and security provided by maintaining your own wallet provide different issues than traditional finances and assets. Traditional finance is centralized (say a stock brokerage firm). You can assign another person to handle the transfer of your assets. In crypto, asset transfer is reimagined. One may suppose future transaction management is doable, but the user must consent, creating an impossible loop.

  • I passed away and must send a transaction to the person I intended to deliver it to.

  • I have to confirm or authorize the transaction, but I'm dead.

In crypto, scheduling a future transaction wouldn't function. To transfer the wallet and its contents, we'd need the private keys and/or seed phrase. Minimizing private key exposure is crucial to protecting your crypto from hackers, social engineering, and phishing. People have lost private keys after utilizing Life Hack-type tactics to secure them. People that break and hide their keys, lose them, or make them unreadable won't help with managing and/or transferring. This will require a derived solution.

Legal Challenges and Implications

Unlike routine cryptocurrency transfers and transactions, local laws may require special considerations. Even in the traditional world, estate/inheritance taxes, how assets will be split, and who executes the will must be considered. Many lawyers aren't crypto-savvy, which complicates the matter. There will be many hoops to jump through to safeguard your crypto and traditional assets and give them to loved ones.

Knowing RUFADAA/UFADAA, depending on your state, is vital for Americans. UFADAA offers executors and trustees access to online accounts (which crypto wallets would fall into). RUFADAA was changed to limit access to the executor to protect assets. RUFADAA outlines how digital assets are administered following death and incapacity in the US.

A Succession Solution

Having a will and talking about who would get what is the first step to having a solution, but using a Dad Mans Switch is a perfect tool for such unforeseen circumstances. As long as the switch's controller has control, nothing happens. Losing control of the switch initiates a state transition.

Subway or railway operations are examples. Modern control systems need the conductor to hold a switch to keep the train going. If they can't, the train stops.

Enter Sarcophagus

Sarcophagus is a decentralized dead man's switch built on Ethereum and Arweave. Sarcophagus allows actors to maintain control of their possessions even while physically unable to do so. Using a programmable dead man's switch and dual encryption, anything can be kept and passed on. This covers assets, secrets, seed phrases, and other use cases to provide authority and control back to the user and release trustworthy services from this work. Sarcophagus is built on a decentralized, transparent open source codebase. Sarcophagus is there if you're unprepared.

Aaron Dinin, PhD

Aaron Dinin, PhD

1 year ago

I put my faith in a billionaire, and he destroyed my business.

How did his money blind me?

Image courtesy Pexels.com

Like most fledgling entrepreneurs, I wanted a mentor. I met as many nearby folks with "entrepreneur" in their LinkedIn biographies for coffee.

These meetings taught me a lot, and I'd suggest them to any new creator. Attention! Meeting with many experienced entrepreneurs means getting contradictory advice. One entrepreneur will tell you to do X, then the next one you talk to may tell you to do Y, which are sometimes opposites. You'll have to chose which suggestion to take after the chats.

I experienced this. Same afternoon, I had two coffee meetings with experienced entrepreneurs. The first meeting was with a billionaire entrepreneur who took his company public.

I met him in a swanky hotel lobby and ordered a drink I didn't pay for. As a fledgling entrepreneur, money was scarce.

During the meeting, I demoed the software I'd built, he liked it, and we spent the hour discussing what features would make it a success. By the end of the meeting, he requested I include a killer feature we both agreed would attract buyers. The feature was complex and would require some time. The billionaire I was sipping coffee with in a beautiful hotel lobby insisted people would love it, and that got me enthusiastic.

The second meeting was with a young entrepreneur who had recently raised a small amount of investment and looked as eager to pitch me as I was to pitch him. I forgot his name. I mostly recall meeting him in a filthy coffee shop in a bad section of town and buying his pricey cappuccino. Water for me.

After his pitch, I demoed my app. When I was done, he barely noticed. He questioned my customer acquisition plan. Who was my client? What did they offer? What was my plan? Etc. No decent answers.

After our meeting, he insisted I spend more time learning my market and selling. He ignored my questions about features. Don't worry about features, he said. Customers will request features. First, find them.

Putting your faith in results over relevance

Problems plagued my afternoon. I met with two entrepreneurs who gave me differing advice about how to proceed, and I had to decide which to pursue. I couldn't decide.

Ultimately, I followed the advice of the billionaire.

Obviously.

Who wouldn’t? That was the guy who clearly knew more.

A few months later, I constructed the feature the billionaire said people would line up for.

The new feature was unpopular. I couldn't even get the billionaire to answer an email showing him what I'd done. He disappeared.

Within a few months, I shut down the company, wasting all the time and effort I'd invested into constructing the killer feature the billionaire said I required.

Would follow the struggling entrepreneur's advice have saved my company? It would have saved me time in retrospect. Potential consumers would have told me they didn't want what I was producing, and I could have shut down the company sooner or built something they did want. Both outcomes would have been better.

Now I know, but not then. I favored achievement above relevance.

Success vs. relevance

The millionaire gave me advice on building a large, successful public firm. A successful public firm is different from a startup. Priorities change in the last phase of business building, which few entrepreneurs reach. He gave wonderful advice to founders trying to double their stock values in two years, but it wasn't beneficial for me.

The other failing entrepreneur had relevant, recent experience. He'd recently been in my shoes. We still had lots of problems. He may not have achieved huge success, but he had valuable advice on how to pass the closest hurdle.

The money blinded me at the moment. Not alone So much of company success is defined by money valuations, fundraising, exits, etc., so entrepreneurs easily fall into this trap. Money chatter obscures the value of knowledge.

Don't base startup advice on a person's income. Focus on what and when the person has learned. Relevance to you and your goals is more important than a person's accomplishments when considering advice.