NEIL PASRICHA is the the author of six books including: The Book of Awesome, a spinning rolodex of simple pleasures based on his 100-million-hit, award-winning blog 1000 Awesome Things, The Happiness Equation, originally written as a 300-page love letter to his unborn son on how to live a happy life, Awesome Is Everywhere, an interactive introduction to guided meditation for children, and How To Get Back Up, a memoir of failure and resilience released as an Audible Original. His latest book is called You Are Awesome. His books are New York Times and #1 international bestsellers and have sold millions of copies across dozens of languages.  His first TED talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” is ranked one of the 10 Most Inspiring of all time.

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The Learning Leader Show

“Start doing something, you’ll continue.. why? Because motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • They read a lot
    • They unplug regularly – “the genesis for all my best ideas.”
      • “Create untouchable time” for yourself
  • The CEO of Wal-Mart — How did he create this time?
    • He’s the CEO BECAUSE he always made this part of his way of operating.
  • Neil worked in a senior level corporate role for Wal-Mart for 10 years
    • His side hustle was writing and speaking
      • He didn’t quit his job until he had successfully built his side hustle for eight years!
  • Ask yourself two questions:
    • Which of these two decisions will I regret not doing more on your death bed?
    • What will you do if it fails?
  • The farmer with one horse fable: A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away. His neighbors said,“I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said,“We’ll see.” A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all twenty-one horses. His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news.You must be so happy!” The man just said,“We’ll see.” One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs. His neighbors said,“I’m so sorry.This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said,“We’ll see.” The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted. His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news.You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We’ll see . . .”

    What is up with this crazy farmer, right?

    Well, what’s up with this crazy farmer is that he has truly developed resilience. He has built up his resilience. He is resilient! He’s steady, he’s ready, and whatever the future brings, we all know he’s going to stare it straight in the face with eyes that scream,“Bring it on.”

    The farmer has come to understand that every skyrocketing pleasure or stomach-churning defeat defines not who he is but simply where he is.

  • What do most commencement speeches get wrong?
    • Do what you love only if you’re willing to accept the pain to continue doing it…
    • The grind.  A lot of small losses add up.  Can you handle the pain that you will need to endure to do what you love?
  • Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond?
    • Yes.  Academic research shows it benefits you even up to 10 years after you leave the pond…
    • Don’t but the $5m condo in NYC.  Continue to find places where you can purposefully win.
    • Rig the game to win.
  • “Different is better than better.”
  • Add a dot-dot-dot…
    • Neil’s mom: “I always just added the word yet to everything…”  It’s not a NO, it’s a “not yet.”
    • You have to just “keep going.”
  • The two minute morning routine that takes the worry out of waking up:
    • In your journal write three things:
      • I will let go of…
      • I am grateful for…
      • I will focus on…
  • Neil’s goal setting:
    • Set the lowest possible goals.  Set goals that you will hit.
    • “Extrinsic goals don’t work.”
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea

“Different is better than better.”

More Resources:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303:  General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership