The Leap – How Three Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career From Good To Great
“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.
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 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.”
-Marianne Williamson
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. (Find Your Sweet Spot – Jonny)
Rick calls it the primary colour, I prefer a more sexy term like 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 (Aim at a Worthy Target – Jonny)
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 (Load carefully before firing – Jonny)
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.
Or
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.
Find Your Sweet Spot – Aim at a Worthy Target – Load carefully before firing

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.

Why Read:

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.”

-Marianne Williamson

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.

Or

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.

Find Your Sweet Spot – Aim at a Worthy Target – Load carefully before firing.

21 Comments

  • October 28, 2009 Reply

    Randy Pena

    Hello.

    I would like to put a link to your site on my blog roll if you want to do the same for mine. It would be a good way to build up both of our readerships.

    thank you.

    • October 28, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi Randy, I am working on my blog roll now but am only going to include sites that I think will benefit my readers. I will have a look at your site but I think you are in the wrong niche for my particular site. Thanks anyway and good luck with your blogging.

  • October 28, 2009 Reply

    Schmidty

    I am actually half way through this myself at the moment, and I must say it is an excellent book. It has been great for my 5-10 minutes morning reading to get inspired and myself in the right frame of mind for the day.

    Although the title talks about you “career” I would definately say it relates more to entreprenuers and backs up the ” Do something towards your goal EVERY day” or “slow but steady”

  • October 28, 2009 Reply

    Jonny

    Excellent to hear Schmidty. Well you have an excellent opportunity now to ask any question you want of the author. Do it for the kittens my friend.

  • October 29, 2009 Reply

    Oscar – freestyle mind

    Great advices, I haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to get a copy if I’ll get a chance.

    • October 29, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Definitely give it a read if you can. At your age it will really help set up some good ideas for the future.

  • October 29, 2009 Reply

    Dean – fearlessroad.com

    “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Even thought its not a book review, I still want to get ahold of this book ;)

    Thanks, I enjoyed this post.
    Dean

    • October 29, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Lol Dean, glad you enjoyed this “Non Book Review.” You will definitely benefit from the book. Good luck with starting out on your blog, I wish you all the best.

  • October 29, 2009 Reply

    Kevin

    I read Ultramarathon Man recently about Dean Karnazes. Beinga runner myself I was immediately interested on how someone can put themselves through a 200 mile race, or run 2 or 3 times on the same day to fit in their training mileage. The 3 principles apply almost perfectly even to something like that.
    Dean threw himself into his training when he found out about a 100 mile mountain trail race in his area. It was something he became very passionate about.
    His training and running elevated when he decided to start doing races for charities. He raised money for children’s hospitals and got sponsored by The North Face. A selfless endeavor that got others involved.
    He found he had to continue through races, raise more money and awareness and encourage others so he would not let himself, his family and friends, and his sponsor’s support be in vain.

    It’s an entrepreneurial guideline as the book shows, but it applies everywhere. By accident Dean has turned himself into a sort of brand so I guess it ended up going down the business road, but it started out because he loved running and used it to start helping people.

    • October 29, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Dean sounds like quite the man Kev. Prehaps I should pull out the old running trainers again, :). Thanks for the comment.

  • October 29, 2009 Reply

    Gerlaine

    I love your non-book-review. It was lovely.

    I especially love the quote:

    “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.”

    Once I began living to my own rules. And not even creating rules, but flowing with my own life flow. Wonderful things began to happen. :)

    • October 29, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      As always Gerlaine, you comments are greatly appreciated.

      I’d would be interested to know when you managed to escape for the Rat Race and how you did it?

      I hope wonderful things continue to happen in your life.

  • October 30, 2009 Reply

    Pips

    Jonny, if i get you chocolate, can i borrow the book?? glad you’re doing ok, miss you. pips

    • October 30, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi Pips, It has been a long time. I hope that you are well. Of course you can borrow the book, I will come and seek you and the chocolate out in December when I am back. Peace.

  • October 30, 2009 Reply

    Paul Norwine

    Hey Jonny –

    I read the book and thought it kicked ass. Like you said, it doesn’t contain a lot of “new” truths but Rick writes it in a way that kind of opens your eyes and makes you realize that success is not rocket science. It’s just continuous application…I highly recommend the book to anybody who hasn’t read it.

    Paul

    • October 30, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi Paul, Indeed continuous application seems to be the main theme of the book but like you said it seriously “Kicks Ass” and is well worth reading.

  • October 30, 2009 Reply

    RickSmithAuthor

    Wow, thanks for all the great feedback.

    Two Things:
    1) happy to answer any direct questions here that you may have, and…

    2) I am giving away two signed copies of The Leap to the best comments answering the title question of my current blog post “What do Paris Hilton and Twitter Have in Common”. post comments at ricksmith.me.

    Thanks again!

    • October 30, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi RIck, Thanks for dropping past.

      You heard him readers, any direct questions will be answered. What a great oppotunity and my thanks goes to Rick for taking the time to do this.

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