Leaving 2019 Inspired

“Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” – Anonymous

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Below are the BOOKS and IDEAS that inspired me in 2019:

BOOKS

Here are my favorite books for 2019.

Each of these helped me see the world in a better way.

Stillness is the Key (by Ryan Holliday) Is it possible to be poised, calm and focused even on our most hectic days?  Ryan Holiday shows us how.  Holiday distills 2+ years of research on ancient philosophy and modern neuroscience to deliver a playbook on how to live a more meaningful life.  My favorite book of 2019. 

Digital Minimalism (by Cal Newport) The average person spends over 2 hours a day staring at their phones.  That’s over 30 days each year.  That’s crazy.  Cal Newport shows how to control our technology, so it doesn’t control us. (Favorite idea:  Remove all social media apps from your phone.) 

Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life (by Guy Kawasaki) Guy Kawasaki was Apple’s chief evangelist under Steve Jobs.  He is a legend in Silicon Valley and one of its ultimate consigliere’s . Kawasaki shares a series of personal stories on family, career, and how to live a meaningful life.  So good.  Get the audible version.

Leadership in War (by Andrew Roberts) Winston Churchill said that if someone wanted to understand politics and leadership they needed to “Study history. Study history. Study history”.  Andrew Roberts proves Churchill’s point in one of the best leadership books I have ever read.  The good (Churchill, Napoleon, & Margaret Thatcher) and the bad (Hitler & Stalin) are on full display.  (PS – Napoleon was one of the OG ballers.)

The Art of Simple Living (by Shunmyo Masuno). Page a day books were one of the new genres I really dove into in 2019.  This one was my favorite daily reader.  Masuno, a practicing Zen Monk, gives 1 idea each day on how to live a more focused, joyful life.  

Sea Stories:  My Life in Special Operations (by Admiral William McRaven) William McRaven wrote a memoir that reads like a Brad Thor novel.  McRaven was part of some of the most famous US military operations of the past decades:  capturing Saddam Hussein, rescuing Captain Richard Phillips, and the special forces mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Get the audible version that is read by McRaven.  

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness (by Gretchen Rubin)  Clutter is everywhere.  Rubin shows why getting rid of things we don’t use, need, or love, frees up our minds (and closest) for what we truly value.

Gridiron Genius (By Michael Lombardi) Lombardi had the unbelievable good fortune to be mentored by 3 NFL legends: Bill Walsh, Al Davis, & Bill Belichick.  That’s 12 Super Bowl rings of knowledge showing you the ropes.  This is a fascinating look into what separates good teams from great ones and champions from dynasties.  (PS – Fly Eagles Fly).

Podcast

The Tim Ferriss Show | Jim Collins — A Rare Interview.  Forbes calls Jim Collins “one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds”. Collins’ books have sold more than 10 million copies.  This podcast is master class on how to build and lead an organization.

YouTube Clip

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates on the Charlie Rose Show.  Maybe the most knowledge ever dropped in 90 seconds on YouTube. Buffett and Gates tell us why we have to guard our most precious resource – time.

Happy holidays.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Wish you a massive success in the new decade!

#InspireSomeone

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Add & Subtract

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“The process of change is made up of addition and subtraction. Taking something off and then putting something on. – Creflo A. Dollar

We all fall into ruts.

Somewhere there is a COMFORT ZONE we need to escape. 

Because at some point, our Comfort Zones turn into our DANGER ZONES.

Here are two KILLER QUESTIONS from Brian Tracy to ask yourself that can help get us unstuck:

  1. What’s the ONE THING I could START doing today, if done consistently, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?
  2. What’s the ONE THING I could STOP doing right now, if I never did it again, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?

Major overhauls are rarely needed.

We don’t need another technique or life hack.

What we need is to ask ourselves a few TOUGH QUESTIONS.

Add a little self-awareness.

Then have the COURAGE to take consistent action on what we find.

Decide what’s missing.

Add it.

Figure out what needs to disappear from your life.

Subtract it.

Life can be that simple.

It’s just not easy.

#Add&Subtract

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Choose Your List

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“What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” – Jen Sincero  

Here’s an idea from Seth Godin:

Create two lists.

On the FIRST LIST, write down all your COMPLAINTS:

  • The people who took you for granted.
  • All the bad breaks that came your way.
  • The work you did that was not appreciated.
  • The times you were misunderstood.
  • Projects that did not work out.

Be honest.

Come clean.

No need to hold back.

Let the NEGATIVE VIBES bleed all over the page.

Now on to the SECOND LIST.

Write down all the UNFAIR ADVANTAGES you were given:

  • All the people who supported you.
  • The good breaks that came your way.
  • The friends that had your back.
  • The mentors that accelerated your learning curve.
  • All the times you got the benefit of the doubt.

Now…

Choose one list.

Put this list someplace you’ll see it maybe once a year.

Hide it with the holiday decorations.

Or maybe put it with that crock pot you never use but refuse to donate.

Now take the other list.

Tape it to your favorite mirror.

Or put it in your phone.

Place it somewhere you’ll see it multiple times a day.

Godin writes, “The daily list will determine what you notice and the story you tell yourself.”

The list you look at everyday will create your MINDSET.

It will determine the ATTITUDE you bring into the world.

Here’s the BEST PART…

What list you choose is 100% in your control.

#ChooseYourList

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

Build Your Monument

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Deeds, not stones, are the monuments of the great. – John Motley

In RJ Palacio’s book “Wonder”, August ‘Auggie’ Pullman is a 5th grader trying to fit in to his new school.

There’s just one problem.

A chromosome problem.

Auggie was born missing one.

This condition caused his appearance to be unlike anyone else’s in the school.

Palacio describes Auggie as “an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face”.

“Wonder” tells the story of how this 11 year old deals with being singled out, excluded, ridiculed, ignored and noticed everywhere he goes.

All because he doesn’t look like everyone else.

Could you imagine?

The book is INSPIRING and funny.

And at times uncomfortable.

But like all good books, it teaches a LESSON.

Acts of KINDNESS stand larger than stone monuments to the people we help.

One of the fun characters in the book is Auggie’s English teacher, Mr Browne.

Each month Mr Browne inspires his students with a PRECEPT.

Here’s October’s Precept:

“YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS”

This quote, which Mr Browne told the class, “was carved on the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh”, describes a timeless truth:

Actions speak louder than stone.

What we DO becomes our legacy.

Our DEEDS have a BIGGER impact than anything we SAY or THINK.

Life is about taking action.

And our ACTIONS give us our best chance to impact the lives of others.

This idea reminds us of that great line from Maximus in the opening scene of the movie Gladiator, “What we do in life echos in eternity.” 

Every KIND ACT we do is another stone cast into our legacy.

Mr Browne challenged his students to write down what October’s PRECEPT meant to them.

Here’s what Auggie wrote:

“We should be remembered for the things we do.  The things we do are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do are like MONUMENTS.  They’re like the pyramids the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Instead of of being made by stone, they’re made of memories.  YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS.”

Time to build.

#BuildYourMonument

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Don’t Look Over

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“I am more afraid of our own mistakes than our enemy’s schemes.”  – Pericles

You can see it when a swimmer glances over to the next lane.

You see it when a jiu jitsu competitor lets their opponent dictate the pace of the match instead of executing their game plan.

You can see it when a SALESPERSON focuses more on what their competition is doing than bringing value to their customers.

When you FOCUS on things outside of your control, BAD things happen.

You start reacting instead of initiating.

Momentum disappears.

You fall behind.

Instead of dictating the pace, you are playing catch up.

Elite competitors FOCUS only on what’s in their control.

They DON’T LOOK OVER to see what their competition is doing.

They take care of their responsibilities.

Then ADAPT and ADJUST to anything outside of their control.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Very few empires are destroyed by external forces.  They are undone by their own hubris….We should be far more concerned with our own ego and our own inadequacies than what someone else may do to us.”

Over the next 12 weeks, the rest of the year will play out.

Your FOCUS needs to be on executing your GAME PLAN.

Show up prepared.

Lean forward.

No reason to hold anything back.

If you feel the need to look somewhere…

Look in the mirror.

Because that’s your REAL COMPETITION.

Word.

#DontLookOver

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

The Hard Part

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“The hard part is to just keep going.” – Shunmyo Masuno

It’s easy to start.

It’s fun to make RESOLUTIONS.

You join that new gym.

You start a blog.

You take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Goals are set.

Excitement builds.

Then it happens….

The Achilles’ heel of human nature shows up.

Inconsistency.

Your new project is no longer fun or easy.

The excitement of the start fades like the Phillies playoff hopes in September.

Welcome to the THE HARD PART

Darren Hardy said, “Consistency is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Consistency creates your reputation.

Consistency separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

An Amateurs waits for the mood to strike them.

A professional shows up when it’s inconvenient.

Consistency will make you relevant.

What does consistency look like?

It’s the writer who writes 200 words a day no matter how busy their day was.

It’s the parent who makes the baseball game coming from the airport.

It’s the runner hitting the pavement at 5am when its dark and drizzling.

Keep showing up.

Do the work.

Especially when you don’t feel like it.

Because that’s where the MAGIC happens.

It won’t be easy.

But will be totally worth it.

#TheHardPart

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Be Bold

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“Freedom lies in being bold.” –

Robert Frost

2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Democritus wrote, “Boldness is the beginning of action. But fortune controls how it ends.”

At first glance, this sounds like a copout.

Be bold…

But know that the final outcome is out of our control.

Do we control our own destiny?

Or does fortune?

Yes, to both.

We have the power to take BOLD ACTION.

But we don’t control the ending.

We can throw a perfect pass, but the WR can drop it.

We can have our best year ever, but be beat by someone who had a better one.

You can execute an amazing sales call, but can’t force the customer to take action.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “We control the beginning of things, but not the reciprocation. We can make the pitch…but fortune controls whether its accepted.”

So, no need to be a control freak.

Just take the NEXT STEP.

Make it BOLD.

Handle your end of the bargain.

The rest takes care of itself.

#BeBold

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Next Step

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“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” – William Drayton

Anxiety mocks us.

Vivid images of our future demise play out inside our heads.

We play tense.

This tension keeps us from doing our best work.

Anxiety reloads.

How do you stop this cycle?

Take the NEXT STEP.

You don’t need to leap the entire staircase.

You just need the courage to take the NEXT STEP.

The NEXT STEP starts the process.

The NEXT STEP lays the foundation.

The NEXT STEP changes the momentum.

Anxiety is an IMAGINE DRAGON.

It’s a beast, only in our minds.

How do you slay a fake DRAGON?

One STEP at a time.

Your move.

Step, step, step…

#TheNextStep

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Game Changer

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“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Einstein

Change is everywhere.

That’s a good thing.

It means you’re still alive.

And in the game.

No need to FIGHT what’s new.

Embrace it by asking this question:

What’s the opportunity?

This question is a GAME CHANGER.

It will change your MINDSET.

It can change your life.

#GameChanger

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net