Episode 238: Neil Pasricha – Why Action Creates Motivation: 1,000 Awesome Things

Neil Pasricha is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome series, which has been published in ten countries, spent over five years on bestseller lists, and sold over a million copies. Neil is a Harvard MBA, one of the most popular TED speakers of all time, and after ten years heading Leadership Development at Walmart he now serves as Director of The Institute for Global Happiness. He has dedicated the past fifteen years of his life to developing leaders, creating global programs inside the world’s largest companies and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

Episode 238: Neil Pasricha – Why Action Creates Motivation: 1,000 Awesome Things

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“Most think motivation leads to action… No, motivation doesn’t cause action… Action creates motivation.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • C — Clarity – Clear, succinct, memorable
    • O — Optimism — “Find the good in everything”
    • P — Patience — Delaying decision making until the last possible moment
      • The quality can improve if “we let the tension live”
  • Empower others – “Parkinson’s Law” – Work rises to the time needed to complete it.
  • “I don’t want to fight the customer.”  — Thinking about everything from their perspective. Wal-Mart
  • Being a Harvard Business School graduate
    • “Chase the companies that don’t come to Harvard to recruit.  You’ll learn more.” — Why Neil went to Wal-Mart
  • Neil’s 30 second pitch to why someone should hire him for a leadership role when he was very young
  • “I had to be artificially confident”
    • His pitch — 3 quick questions
      • Do you value internal promotions?
      • What’s the #1 program you’ve seen?
      • Would you be interested in topics of developing leaders at Harvard?
        • Get their email address and follow up
  • None of the companies were hiring when he was leaving school… Neil had to “create a job” within companies to get hired
  • Brene Brown – “If you go through life trying to find confirmation you don’t belong, you’ll find it.”
  • 2008 – The world was falling apart, his marriage ended, his best friend committed suicide..
    • He started the blog, 1,000 Awesome Things
    • Won a webby award for best blog in the world
    • Wrote The Book Of Awesome
  • He moved to NYC… Didn’t know anyone, lived alone
  • He was going through pain while starting the awesome things blog.  Focused on three things:
    • Make the blog public – hold him accountable
    • Use a countdown – From 1,000 to 1 — Helped him know it was going to end at some point
    • Finite – There is light at the end of the tunnel
  • “Most think motivation leads to action. Not true. Action creates motivation.”
  • The importance of consistency – Neil’s idea was not unique, but doing it everyday made him different from most
    • “Try to be receptive of other people’s ideas” — Helps you “notice things”
  • “Your questions are fantastic.  I’m not surprised.”
  • Working on deadlines — Neil wrote for a newspaper for four years.  Helped with this skill
  • “I believe in consistency”
  • Actionable advice: You have three, 56 hour buckets of your week.  They are:
    • 56 Hours – Sleep
    • 56 Hours – Work/Job
    • 56 Hours – What are you spending this time on? You can do whatever you want…
  • The happiness equation – Work/Life balance fulcrum — Flywheel
  • Taking his side hustle and making it his full time job — “I should have done it sooner.”

“If you go through life trying to find confirmation that you don’t belong, you’ll find it.” — Brene Brown

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