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Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Five Elements of Effective Thinking (Engaging Change)

We're looking at Burger and Starbird's The Five Elements of Effective Thinking, chapter 5: Engaging Change.

Summary: "Change is the universal constant that allows you to get the most out of living and learning." (p. 8) Change is the one thing we can always count on in this world, and we must all learn to adapt to new things. We can choose to be part of the change or not. We can embrace it or reject it. But it will happen regardless of our choices. Learning to adapt is one of the most useful skills in life.

Critical Quotes:

"The fifth element is a meta-lesson. It recommends that you adopt the habit of constructive change. Don't be afraid to change any part of yourself--you'll still be there, only better." (p. 121)

"In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks. - Warren Buffett" (p. 125)

"To become more skillful an successful, you might think in terms of altering what you do, rather than thinking in terms of how well you do it. Instead of thinking, 'Do it better,' think, 'Do it differently.'" (p. 125)

"We could claim that every person is equally capable of everything, and while that assertion might sell books, it is not reality. However, the reality is that you personally can learn far more and be far more creative and successful than you are today." (p. 127)

"For effective thinking, differences in native ability are dwarfed by habits and methods." (p. 128)

Ben's Thoughts:

I think this is very key. This was one of Father Chaminade's lessons, and it's one of the Characteristics of a Marianist Education; I was educated by the Marianist brothers, and teach at a Marianist school. When I talk about this kind of growth and change, I often use the word "better", and many people mis-interpret that as "better than other people", and I have to clarify that I mean "better tomorrow than you are today". This isn't about comparing ourselves to others, but rather to ourselves, and setting our own personal goals and advancing toward them.

Change is going to happen, regardless of how we feel about it. Like a surfer, we have to learn to ride the crest of the wave, staying on top of the ever advancing curve without crashing. No one gets it right all the time. But the successful surfers get back on their boards and catch another wave.