By Marshall Goldsmith
I am impressed with this guy. He has some inspiring thoughts here for all of us. This book helps us look at what is an “earned life.” One that we can feel good about and fulfilling. He defines it as:
“We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment aligns with an over arching purpose in our lives, regardless of the outcome.” (I’ve added the underlines to emphasize points).
That last part removes all regrets. If we are doing things in our life that align with our purpose, sometimes we will find success and sometimes not. But it doesn’t matter because the decision you took was based upon your purpose. Yeah baby, I like that!
The Buddhist view of life supports this thinking. Every breath we take, we change. We are a different person. So if you made a mistake last week, that was the “old you” because every breath we take is a “new you” who has learned things since that old you made the mistake. Hmmm…. I like this too.
Another concept I like is how we get closer to our purpose in life by paying attention the his three A’s.
Action: This is what we are doing now (look at your “to do” list)
Ambition: What we want to happen (often your goals)
Aspirations: What we want to become.
If you make your decisions based upon your aspirations, i.e. what you want to become, it will clean up your “to do” list because some things on that “to do” list have nothing to do with what you want to become.
At the end of many of his chapters he has an activity that helps you make sense of his thoughts in your own life. I found it incredibly helpful to do these and really enjoyed the process.
I need to do more thinking about one of his final chapters because it really hit home with me. He states, “to make a difference in the world we need credibility and empathy.” This really hit home as I am teaching my Building Your Coaching Business seminar and a couple of the people were having trouble with “selling themselves” as part of their coaching business. They need to embrace his concept of making a difference here.
You build credibility, twice. Once over time as you hone your skills. Then it has to be noticed by people. You don’t need to brag about yourself, but people need to see you in order to build your credibility. If you have something to offer people, it’s ok to let others know. Not everyone will “buy” but what you hope is more people will “see.”
Secondly, you make a difference in the world through empathy. Making sure that you put the people you serve utmost in your mind and that you will build your relationships with others by empathizing with them…what are their problems? What are their pain points? What are their needs?
I have many more notes but will stop there. Great book for career coaches and others who are struggling to figure out their purpose in life.