“Here’s to Your Leap”
Ok I confess, the blog title is not my own. It is in fact the title of an excellent book I have just recently finished reading. The author of said excellent book is an incredible guy called Rick Smith who was kind enough, out of the blue, to send me a copy of his book all the way to Thailand after I had commented on a review that Tim Ferris’ did of it.
I must say I was honored that a best selling Author would take the time to send me a signed copy of his book, after all it is not like he needed the readership, and surprised that he managed to get the frankly ridiculous sounding Thai address I gave him right.
Read time: About 5 minutes. 2 Minutes if you just want to read Rick’s Juicy bits.
As well as having a look at the key ideas in Rick book on how you could transform your career, I think Rick will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have which is awesome. Don’t miss out.
For The Eyebrow Raisers
Now I know the slightly more skeptical among you, you know who you are, might think that I have thus been wooed into doing a book review and that my writing might be somewhat biased but in this, my friend, you would be mistaken. I am only easily manipulated by chocolate and so if anyone would like to send me vast quantities of the stuff then I am pretty much yours.
As it happens I am not going to review the book as Tim Ferris does a very good job at his post “Do You Really Know Bill Gates – The Myth of The Entrepreneur a Risk-Taker” which is worth checking out.
I will however highlight some of the bits that I thought would be of interest to you.
I would definitely recommend you buy, beg, borrow or steal this book, not necessarily in that order, if at all possible that you can get your hands on it as Rick’s insights are blended beautifully with well researched neuroscience backing and historical examples which makes for interesting and believable reading for helping propel your career should you choose the job market OR going it alone. I found it immensely valuable.
If you think entrepreneurship is gungho risk taking then this book will make you reconsider and hopefully inspire you to realize that it is easier then you think to make the first step.
The Juicy Bits Of The Book
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
Why We Are What We Are And We Do What We Do
Rick starts by putting into context why we are like we are and why we act like we do. He puts forward that:
“Simply put, we are motivated more by the fear of losing what we have than we are by the possibility of gaining something of equal or greater value.”
Within this simple sentence is a great truth about risk taking – people naturally want to maintain the status quo, to keep things how they are, regardless of how disappointing they might be and so anything that changes this is seen as a risk.
Unfortunately, as Rick puts it,
“The one constant in life is change”
Thus I believe that if we see that life is meant to and will change, trying to control it so that it doesn’t is going to cause conflict and a big RISK to your happiness. Perhaps, given this thinking, taking the risk after all is the least risky thing to do?
“Life leads us down wonderful byways if only we choose to follow them”
3 Rules for making the Leap
The core of the book focuses on making the leap from where you are to where you want to be and this “Leap” is broken down into 3 simple stages.
1. Find your Primary Colour.
Rick calls it the primary colour, I prefer a more sexy term like “Find Your Sweet Spot” but basically this refers to finding where your strengths and passions lie. The book helps give you some tools for understanding your unique blend.
2. Focus it on a Big, Simple and Selfless Idea
Again, for myself I use the phrase “Aim at a Worthy Target”
As Rick puts it
“Big, Simple and Selfless ideas attract, inspire and involve others and create a multiplier effect, resulting in broad achievement beyond what any one person could hope to accomplish alone.”
“Big ideas get noticed; they break through the brains natural barrier to noise and clutter and get us to pay attention.”
“Selfless ideas appeal to our very deeply seated sense of empathy and actually create a physiological urge to sign on”
“Simple ideas spread quickly because they are easy to grasp and easily translated into action by others.”
“In a world of ever-increasing complexity, big, selfless and simple ideas are the one true, clear, and readily actionable thing we all long for. Big, Simple and Selfless always win over small, complex and selfish”
3. Let the Spark Sequence Happen
Or “Load CarefullyBefore Firing”
Rick is a big advocate of mitigating risk and shows, through examples, just how many so called “Risk Takers” such as Bill Gates actually operated with one foot in the present and one foot in the future.
His “Spark Sequence” focuses on how people mitigate risk and turn leaps into inevitability. He makes the point that,
“We leap not when the chasm between where we were and where we hope to be was most wide and the danger greatest but when sparking had reduced the chasm to a small fissure where the danger of staying where we were was greater than the danger of moving on.”
Find Your Primary Colour – Focus it On Big, Selfless and Simple Idea – Let The Spark Sequence Happen.
Find Your Sweet Spot – Aim at a Worthy Target – Load carefully before firing
It’s all about the Journey
Towards the end of the book Rick writes passionately about the journey and that it is the journey and not the ultimate destination that is important. This is not new stuff, as even Socrates wrote at length about the importance of the journey in life, but his enthusiasm for the topic is infectious.
“It is the journey that counts, not whatever trappings of success might lie at the end. It’s how we get there that builds meaning in the outcome and makes certain that we are progressing toward our own best destiny, not borrowing someone else’s.”
Don’t play to other peoples rules
Rick has a final message to inspire you to think about whose rules and aspirations you are playing by and aiming for.
“The problem comes when we allow others opinion of success and comparison to become the benchmarks of our own success and happiness without ever stopping to seriously consider what definition of “success” and “happiness” best suits each of us individually. When we do that, we’re seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, playing according to rules we haven’t set, aspiring to goals that others have told us are the ones that count.”
Play by your own rules, not everyone else’s.
Cowboy Round Up
A great book, worth reading should you want to for inspiration and insight and I am happily saying this without making a penny from doing so.