Friday, April 22, 2016

“Mind and Spirit”–> Who Was David

imageIn the Bible, David was a man of war.  He was also an artist, a song writer of the highest caliber, who was celebrated for this grasp of music and mood.  He ruminated and got depressed and he celebrated and danced, but he was such a warrior that God wouldn’t even allow him to build the temple because he had too much blood on his hands.  David was born to this life, having been a young hellion of a boy that took joy in his weapon of choice. 

I think we think poorly about how the ancient times looked at those with a sling. 

Malcom Gladwell is not always accurate, but he does have a good bit of truth in his writings, and he speaks of how the ancients did not under estimate a good sling thrower.  Many a man was cut down by a stone thrown out of a sling, as it was the equivalent to the arrow man of medieval Europe or a rifleman of today.

So David was a crack shot, a poet, a good musician, and was born to be King. 

Too bad that his family didn’t like him.

As we know, when the prophet Samuel came to the house of Jesse, because God told Samuel that a King was going to be in Jesse’s house, his Father basically kept David hidden away.   I think the Bible lays out the David story pretty well, and I have heard it preached on maybe 20 or 30 times.  But I just don’t think the sermons that I’ve heard really get to the heart of who David was or how he interacted with his family.

imageWe really need to look between the lines to figure out David’s characteristics. However, I think that if we spend a little time digging, we get a very full picture.

I believe that the Bible gives us a lot of hints that David did not necessarily really get along with his family.  Why do I say this?  Because we either find that David is being hid by his father, and the one time we see him interacting with his brother, we see a brother that basically flies off the handle and immediately starts to trash talk David.  Also, his Dad had a big family with a lot of brothers.  We never see them after his youngest years.  If David and the rest of his family was close, one of David’s brothers would have shown up somewhere in history when David takes over the Kingdom. 

Jesse’s family is a bit like Jacob’s family.  In the same way that Joseph was not liked by his brothers, I believe the Bible hint that David was not liked by his brothers.  The difference is that Jacob loved Joseph.  In contrast, in Jesse’s household, it was everybody against David.

So, Samuel shows up at Jesse’s homestead one day, and he announces “Hey, Jesse, one of your sons is going to be the future King.”  After going through all the brothers, Jesse basically hides the fact that David is even there.  Do you really think that Jesse didn’t have any conception that David could be the one?  Do you really think that Jesse just “forgot” about David because he was small?

No, when David comes in from the field, we find a good looking kid.  There are no words about David being small or not looking like a King.  Instead, the Bible says he was a handsome young guy.

What Jesse says has to be the lamest excuse in the world.  When none of his other sons are called out by Samuel as the King, he says, “Oh, I forgot one, he not here, he’s looking after the sheep.”

This is obviously just an excuse.  When Samuel shows up, Jesse basically starts thinking to himself, “I have never liked David, and I really don’t think that he is ever going to amount to anything.”  Jesse likes the rest of his boys.  He has them hanging around the tents, shooting the breeze, and making jokes.  The rest of the brothers really don’t like David, and they give him the title of errand boy.

“David, go tend the sheep,” they say.

“David, go bring us some water,” they say.

“David, go deliver some food to your brothers,” they say.

So Samuel shows up, and is going down the list and he is coming up empty.  Do really think that Jesse is not aware that he have one more son?  I bet that Jesse was pretty sure that one of his more favored sons was going to show up as the King.  They probably came up in front of Samuel, and Jesse would brag a bit on his boys.

“This one is very smart,” he would say.  “He got the local merchant to lower his price to us.”

“This one is very handsome,” he would say.  “He already has all the women swooning over him.”

So these boys keep showing up, and Samuel kept saying “next!”

Somewhere, and I don’t know if it was at the beginning or as they started to get toward the end, Jesse would have started to suspect that David could be the one.  If Jesse had any warm feeling toward David, he would have at least invited him to the tent when Samuel showed up.  Imagine if Billy Graham or Rick Warren was coming over to you house.   Wouldn’t you want all of your kids to meet him? If you loved your kids you would.

Instead, Jesse knows that David is out in the fields, and he doesn’t even tell somebody to go get him.  I suspect that this is well known by Jesse, and as he gets to the end of the line, he starts to realize that David could be the one.  Oh, he must have been crushed.  Here’s the odd boy.  The one that everybody picks on, and something could be going the wrong way.  The one that he dismissed is actually the one that God is choosing.

Jesse wants this to not be the case so much that when Samuel runs out of boys, he has to probe and asked Jesse point blank, “Wait, you showed me everybody?”  Jesse is probably tempted to lie.  Instead, he comes up with the worst excuse ever. 

“Uh, we got somebody tending sheep,”  he says.  I am sure he is broadcasting that this means that this son is far away, and its going to take time to find him.  He is trying to do anything in his power to keep David out of the picture.

Now, if we can trust the majority text, Samuel now pops out a surprisingly strong statement. 

“Listen guys, nobody sits down until he arrives,” he states.

This is where we read between the lines.  Jesse was hiding something, and he gave this weak excuse that it was too inconvenient for them to wait for David because, “He’s off in the field somewhere.”

I think Samuel was actually a little pissed by this time.  He had to dig around with Jesse to find out why he didn’t have the last son.  When Jesse confesses he has been holding out on Samuel, Samuel gets pissy back and he says, “Okay, you twit, tell you what.  We are just going to stand here until your last boy comes in.  You don’t get to sit.  You don’t get to relax.  We are standing because you held out on me.”

So, what was David like? I think we know that people don’t change a lot in life.  We know a lot about David because of the way that he acted, and things that he did.

*He was a crack shot with his sling.  He probably was constantly flinging stuff to get better. 

*He certainly wasn’t stupid.  We find out that David was so good with his sling that he felt confident enough to go after a bear and a lion.  He felt confident enough that he felt he could take down Goliath. 

*I’ll bet that he pissed off his brothers because he was religious.  “Mr. Sing A Song to God,” they would say.  He was good at music, so much that everybody that heard him knew he was really good.  If Jesse wanted to impress Samuel or offer entertainment, he would have sent for David to sing a song.  However, we find out that all of his songs were centered around God.  I don’t think he started the Psalm when he was twenty.  I think he started composing at a young age.  However, the subject was always God.  Probably drove his Dad and brothers nuts. 

The point about this blog post is don’t over romanticize the characters in the Bible.  Even the best of the best, like David, had a dysfunctional family where the Dad really didn’t love the youngest son.  Now, I am not saying that we should have dysfunctional families where the Dad doesn’t love all the kids equally, and my wife and I have said that we do love out kids equally and separately because we feel we can’t lose one of them.  And I believe this is how God wants our families to be.

However, I am just saying that life is simply not fair.  Somewhere along the line, you’ll find somebody or something that is wrong that you can’t fix.

But God can.

imageSo, be your own person.  Polish your slingshot skills, for whatever your slingshot might be.  And don’t be afraid of showing a little Love about God, even if your family or friends don’t understand you.

God will seek you out, and bless you, in this life or the next, by being true to what God has called you to do.

You will be called in from the fields.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

“Mind and Spirit”–> “The Superforecaster”

phil

Our friend that we will be discussing today is Philip E Tetlock.  He sets up home at both Annenberg School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Annenberg is their Communications school and Wharton is their business school.  So, this perfect for what he does.  He intersects the line between how we communicate and how we do business.  When I look at Tetlock, I see him as yet another voice in the wide world of how we make decisions.

I have taken and extraordinary interest in Behavioral Economics of late.  I am convinced that most and many of life’s most difficult decisions can be solved if we would truly understand the concept of behavior economics and apply them to our lives.

Although, I have covered this subject before, the simple summary of the Behavioral Economics subject is that it discusses why we make illogical choices. Often times this is applied against buying behavior, only in our case, we are going to follow Tetlock looking at forecasting behavior.  He is trying to figure out what makes a good forecaster.  And why do we care? 

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made.

In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.

~Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, Princeton University, 2010

I strongly believe that Mr. Bezos is brilliant and correct.  We are all about our choices, but then we must ask ourselves.  Many of our choices are built on the perception of what is going to happen in the future. The Bible touches on this subject also.  Our Lord and Master defined two distinct pillars that we must pass through.

On the left, we pass through the pillar of “don’t worry.”

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Matt 6:34

On the right we pass through the pillar of “look at the circumstance and predict.”

But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' "And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 

Matt 6:2-3

So in in this light, our forecasts should not be something that drives us to lack of faith in God, but they should be something that allows us to see the path that is in front of us.

imgresTetlock is known for kicking off the “Good Judgement Project” that helps us understand that often times those that look like they really understand the future really don’t understand the future.  He has taken this work, and created a book with Dan Gardner, a reporter called Superforecasting, where he lays out his findings. 

In his research, he was able to find people that could predict the future, which he calls his “superforecasters.”  These are people that look simply on the outside for facts, but they have behaviors and habits that causes them to be much better than the average person in determining what the future holds.  And what they do is truly amazing.

The common way of describing somebody’s ability to predict the future is call their Brier score.  Similar to a golf handicap, you want to have a low Brier score.  If you call everything correct, you are going to have a Brier score of 0.  If you call out that something is going to happen, and if always does the opposite, then you are going to have a Brier score of 1. 

The first thing to think through is the difficultly of the environment.  If you live in Southern California, as I do, you may be asked to forecast if the weather is going to be good.  You can generally predict that the weather is going to be good because it is always good.  Thus being a good weather forecaster in Southern California is going to be easy.  However, if you are in a geography that has unstable weather pattern, you are going to have a tough time making the call.  So, your Brier score is going to be lower in easy to predict environments.

The problem is that most people don’t consider the environment in which they forecast.  They assume that if they were successful it is because they had the right thinking.  However, choice, by its very nature, deals with uncertainty.  An individual may make a bunch of choices, and just simply be lucky.  It is only by time and history do we see if the individual was lucky or had a way of thinking that really helped them make the right choice.

imgresAfter years of research, Tutlock’s superforecaster are much more accurate.  A large part of this is due to something that is referred to as the Hedgehogs and the Foxes.  This idea was called out by Isaiah Berlin, and is pretty simple.  When you think about things, does it all come down to “one big thing” or is it really “a bunch of smaller things that don’t necessarily have a clear winner.  

Now the idea that “life is really not all that hard” is a great thought.  It also turns out that it is very wrong.  When we look at the future, those that are thinking about it through many different lenses do much better than try and make it simple.  But here is the rub, those that seem to be able to declare at the top of their voice, “I can simplify it down to one thing” make everybody happy, and the research shows that they are promoted.  Those that are much more fox like in their decision making simply have a tendency to be perceived as not decisive, therefore not as bright. 

[By the way, to go off the track for a while, let us decide that we are going to do the right thing to become more thoughtful, more analytical, and therefore more accurate in our thinking.  While this is the right thing to do, it doesn’t allow people to follow us.  They are going to be worried that we don’t know what is happening.  So you have three options:

1. Educate your audience about the Foxes and the Hedgehogs, so they become enlightened

2. Don’t educate them, and simply realize that they won’t follow you.

3. Portray yourself as a hedgehog, but silently be a fox.

I’ll give you a guess on which path you should take, and remind you that your choice must be relevant to the culture you are in.]

Timgreshese foxes tend to work in “Active open-mindedness (AOM).”  What is this?  An idea created by Jonathan Baron.  To be AOM, you need to be willing to look at other peoples ideas, and willing to challenge your own ideas. 

And Baron would ask you the following questions to to see if you qualify as a AOM:

a. People should take into consideration evidence that goes against their beliefs.

b. It is more useful to pay attention to those who disagree with you than to pay attention to those who agree.

c. Changing your mind is a sign of weakness.

d. Intuition is the best guide in making decisions.

e. It is important to persevere in your beliefs even when evidence is brought to bear against them.

The book is an exceptional read, and while I do not have the blog space to summarize all of his key insights, he does leave us with the top 10 take aways from superforecasters:

Here they are in my own words:

1. Don’t try and answer unknowable questions.  Answer what you can.

2. Break big problems into smaller problems.  Do the Fermi.

3. Get a base rate.  See if it has happened before and use that pattern.

4. Don’t immediately react to new evidence, but don’t ignore it.

5. Argue both side of a forecast.

6. Make sure that you get all the areas of doubt defined, but don’t stop because you find them all.

7. Know that you can be overconfidence and underconfident.  Take a position, but not too fast.

8. Keep a scorecard, and stop saying ‘yup, I saw it.”  You are probably deluding yourself unless you wrote it down with a percentage. Once you do this, people get much better at the future forecast.

9. Find a group that fights with you, but yet gets along with you.  Spirited team debate is good, as long as it is done with good intentions and nobody gets hurt.

10.  Do.  You can’t get better if you don’t start the above.

As a final note:

"Psychologists find that many atheists also see meaning in the significant events in their lives, and a majority of atheists said they believe in fate, defined as the view that “events happen for a reason and that there is an underlying order to life that determines how events turn out.” (Meaning is a basic human need)

By the way, this basically blew me away as a factoid, and yet was buried in this book.  This came out of research and was written up in the New York Times. If you plumb the depths here, you’ll find out that about 50 percent of British Atheist gave “fate” as a reason for things, and another 25%, for a total of 75%, said that they battled this idea of fate being real.

I would suggest that this feeling of fate is a piece of wiring that God gave us. Or as Pascal pointed out:

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.

[Pascal, Pensees #425]

And this is the one forecast we must get right.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Mind & Spirit–> The Mind Of Marshall Goldsmith

image

The subject of my previous blog post was Napoleon Hill.  Knowing how Napoleon Hill got to his outlook on life is a remarkable study of how religion can impact business.  The thread of Napoleon Hill comes from the New Thought Movement in America.  New Thought suggested that there was a high power than humans, but this higher power was more universal than the God of the Christian Bible.

While at first blush this sounds a bit like transcendentalism, it was influenced but did not stop here.  Instead it pulled in thoughts that all animals had a magnetism or common spiritual pull, called mesmerism after Franz Mesmer. One thought was that you could use this power for healing.  This thought influenced many a person, although we don’t talk about it today.  There is a straight line from mesmerism to Phineas Quimby, and then to New Thought.

Most people know this philosophy best today through the shrinking Christian Science sect.  Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was extremely influenced by Quimby and New Thought.  The power of thought is celebrated as being able to change what is our reality.  This thought of “mind over matter” is more than a nice saying.  To those that were in this movement, they truly believed that thought would cause reality to change.  To the Christian Scientist, they dispense with reality all together thinking that we live in an illusion.

However, there is a flip side to this way of thinking of simply saying that our thoughts do have an incredible impact on our life.  Maybe there is no telepathy or mesmerism.  However, thinking in a right fashion has a large impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.  Out of this line of thought, we have Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be very helpful in people recovering from psychological disorders.

Depicting basic tenets of CBT.jpg

I do believe that an understanding of CBT is the the most critical thing for us to grow as adults.  Your core beliefs about yourself, others and the future are driven by you behavior, thoughts and feelings.  However, there is no end of this circle.

What do I mean?

Most people assume that we have bad behaviors because we don’t get what we want.  In reality, CBT shows us that we can change our behaviors by thinking differently about the circumstances around these behaviors. 

The steps of CBT is recognizing when you are doing bad stuff, then examining what thought process brought you to that bad stuff, and then seeing how you can eliminate or lower these bad thought processes.  If you can grasp the shell of this idea, you should be able to see why this belief is very similar to the New Thought movement, only with no spiritualism behind it.  If you want to change something, you need to start thinking differently.

Now this is a very long preamble to introduce Marshall Goldsmith.

I have read a couple of Goldsmith’s books:  “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” and “Mojo:  How To Keep It,” and I can strongly recommend both of them.  Basically, Marshall is a business coach with a very particular promise.  He’ll work with you, and if you don’t think he is worth it, you’ll get your money back.  “Satisfaction or you service is free,” is what he chants.

And he gets paid all the time, so it isn’t an empty promise.

Goldsmith sets up conversations with his clients.  In reality, he calls out that he is not psychologist, but in reality, he is a practical psychologist without the training.  He strives to bring insight into his client life.  The overall name for this is called metacognition.  I have read a bunch of business books, and all of the truly great leaders have some type of metacognition or “self awareness.”

There are a variety of traps that we can all fall into in our business lives.  One major flaw that Goldsmith points out is not really understanding why we succeed.  I know this in my own life.  I don’t want to say that I don’t have talent, as this would be dishonest.  I have been fortunately enough to be blessed here.  The issue is that many people have talent, but don’t have the chance to succeed.  I was fortunate in my life that I happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

However, last night in his sermon to us, our Pastor Rick Warren said this little bit of wisdom:

“Being humble is not denying your strengths.  Being humble is recognizing your weaknesses.”

Quite frankly, this statement is one that we could mull for weeks and think about.  However, I think most people will recognize the strength of this statement.  When we start experiencing success, we often have a difficult time distinguishing our success from our behaviors.  For instance, I have had, and still have a problem with being arrogant.  As you might be able to tell from this blog, I read and think more than many of my peers.  However, whenever I become arrogant and let people know that I know more than them, it destroys my ability to have them change.  However, I might not recognize this, and I may actually associate my arrogance with success.  I have made false linkage between success and a behavior.

I had a supervisor once that had an anger problem.  I remember talking to them, and it turned out that they thought that this anger was actually a benefit and not a problem to be fixed. They thought that by turning on this anger, it kept other people sharp, focused and going.  However, I was not in his head, and I could clearly see that the anger did nothing but destroy people’'

In the book “What Got You Here,” Goldsmith calls out 20 bad he sees all the time.

Winning too much
Adding too much value
Passing judgement
Making destructive comments
Starting with “no”, “but” or “however”
Telling the world how smart we are
Speaking when angry
Negativity or “let me explain why that won’t work”
Withholding information
Failing to give proper recognition
Claiming credit we don’t deserve
Making excuses
Clinging to the past
Playing favourites
Refusing to express regret
Not listening
Failing to express gratitude
Punishing the messenger
Passing the buck
An excessive need to be me

Goldsmith goes through each of these and calls out how to deal with these issues.

The key behind all of Goldsmith ideas is we need to find somebody outside of yourself to get feedback.  If somebody is ready to listen to others, then you will find out that this person will make a massive change in the ability to solve these 20 bad habits.

Goldsmith has a variety of ideas of how we get this feedback.  But this blog post is not a book.  It is to lead you to good books.

And if you’ll listen to the feedback, I think this is book you should get.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Mind–> “The 16 Laws Of Success”

220px-Napoleon_Hill_headshot

Most men that have been married three times, had numerous fall outs with their business partners, told wild stories about their background and upbringing would hardly be known for being a role model and person to follow.  Yet, Napoleon Hill, the author of such classics as “Think and Grow Rich” and “The 16 Laws Of Success” is one such man.

His first two wives couldn’t stand him.  His children abandoned him.  And yet, he is held up by many as the inspiration for their lives.  The famous John Maxwell holds him up as one of the must read authors to inspire your life.  Hill gave such insight as insisting that you could clean up headaches with a good enema, and his book uses autobiographical examples that are obviously exaggerated to a massive degree to make himself look good.  Finally, his announcement that science was ready to prove telepathy is laughable at best.  I enjoyed his contention that men went bald because, “Heads become bald because of the protection of hats with tight fitting bands which cut off the circulation at the roots of the hair.”

Ignoring some of the crazy thoughts, Hill’s life only goes to show that those that often have the most insight are the last to apply it fully to their own lives.  So with such a spotted pedigree you might think that I would steer you away from his writings.  However, a good read of his “Laws of Success in 16 Lessons” is worth the read. Hill, in an almost unstoppable flow of words and examples, calls to principles that are clear inside of each of us.  He truly is an amazing example of “do what I say, don’t do how I act.”

A man with a slightly less spotted background is Ben Franklin, and in many ways, you can see Hill as a follower of Franklin.  The thought of his philosophy is to turn the telescope inward and start to ask yourself what you need in your own life to be successful.  While Hill may have externally lied to other people about his own success, he has a amazing amount of insight into what a person should do to be successful.

Hill wrote two main books that he is known for:

1. The Laws Of Success in 16 lessons

2. Think and Grow Rich

One of the more positive people I know had been spouting off about Hill.  I knew a little of his background so I had never placed him high on my reading list.  Yet to make myself more able to relate to my friend, I decided to read his writings.  I had a choice to make, and knowing that “Think and Grow Rich” had more of a spiritual overtone, I decided to focus on the Laws of Success.  As I read more about Hill, I would suggest the same.  Most of his followers like Think and Grow Rich more because of the spiritual overtones. However, as a Christian, I didn’t need more “word of faith” writings. 

The Laws of Success may have some spiritual overtones but they are pretty straightforward.  In a list of things that Hill looks at, the subjects are listed below

1) The Law of the Mastermind
2) A Definite Chief Aim
3) Self-Confidence
4) Habit of Saving
5) Initiative and Leadership
6) Imagination
7) Enthusiasm
8) Self-Control
9) Doing More than Paid For
10) A Pleasing Personality
11) Accurate Thinking
12) Concentration
13) Cooperation
14) Profiting by Failure
15) Tolerance
16) The Golden Rule

As I read through his work, I found that he had stumbled across a practical application of learned optimism and idea such as flow, while giving them different names and root causes.  From a practical standpoint, other than being a little  eccentric and wild, I could hardly think of a better source of practical thought that would find support in practical psychology.

He also has a variety of practical advise for how to navigate business relationships  such as the well standing principle of trying to find win/win situations, although he doesn’t call it as such.  He simply writes, “I said that my plan was founded upon equity; that it contemplated a benefit to all parties concerned."

So, while this blog post is not an exhaustive dissection of Hill’s writings, it might be worth it to discuss a few of his key principles, ones to apply to our own lives

Probably one of my favorite ideas of his is “Accurate Thinking” and “Profiting by Failure.”  Both of these together can be combined to the modern thought of learned optimism and flow. 

Hill writes the following:

"Ask the next ten people whom you meet why they have not accomplished more in their respective lines of endeavor, and at least nine of them will tell you that opportunity does not seem to come around their way. Go a step further and analyze each of these nine accurately by observing their actions for one single day, and the chances are that you will find that every one of them is turning away the finest sort of opportunities every hour of the day"

I have written on Learned Optimism before, and this is the core of the thought.  In other words, you find what you look for.  If you are looking for opportunity, you have a much better chance of success.  You could have this modern concept that is critical for you life captured in his writing for almost 100 years

In addition, Hill even captures much of the modern thought on behavior economics with such words of advise such as

No one has any right to form an opinion that is not based either upon that which he believes to be facts, or upon a reasonable hypothesis; yet, if you will observe yourself carefully, you will catch yourself forming opinions on nothing more substantial than your desire for a thing to be or not to be"

Again, this is well known as confirmation bias.  Now literature and philosophy has always captured these types of thinking, but most of the time these observations are scattered. Hill, in the roaring 20s, was sticking these types of thoughts together to help his readers in a very few pages.  Once written and thought about, these principles are very obvious, and helps the individual live a better life.

So before we leave this thread for today, lets talk about a couple more of his thoughts that I find worthwhile. He points out that having multiple people working together on finding an answer is powerful. He calls this his Mastermind.  It is when multiple people work together for a common cause, which causes everybody to do better.  We might simply call this teamwork.  While you might not want to go out and run by yourself, you’ll find yourself running harder with a dedicated group of runners.  Hill claims that this is because of telepathy, which does not exist.  However, there may well be some mirror neurons involved.   This made me think about how important it is to have a team that you can hang out with and push yourself to be better.  But more than this, Hill delusion of “we have telepathy” might actually make the team better.  If you could talk yourself into the idea that the team has real magic in the individuals, I believe that we would find that we have better team performance.  Often if you think you are magical, you might be more magical.

The other principle he speaks about is having a chief aim.  You need to find something in this life that you really care about.  If you can truly find this, then you will work hard to get it.  As we know from our looks as deliberate practice, one of the critical aspects is having the willingness to work hard at a skill to get better.  Hill points out the simply idea that until you figure out what is you real desire, you’ll never work hard enough to try and get it.

Finally, he has some great words about tolerance and forgiveness.  While this is spoken in the Bible, Hill does bring his own slant to things.  He certainly was not doing all that he preached, but listening to him preach still will influence you.

The book is free for download and a tremendous example of practical ideas of how to make your life and the lives around you much better.

If this isn’t success, then what is?