The 2020 Book List

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

2020 was the kind of year that sent you to the wine store or the book store.  

Sometimes both on the same day.  

It was a year of milestones.

It was a year we had to think differently. 

Our homes became our offices.

Outside became the new gym.  

We all had to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.  

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was the opportunity to read and listen to some incredible books.

Each year I share the very best of what I came across.  

You can check out the best of lists I shared in 2019, 2018, 2017, & 2016.

BOOKS

These books made me think.

They changed my mind.  

Some got under my skin.

But that’s what great books do.

They help you see the world in a different way.

Can’t Hurt Me (By David Goggins): One of the most powerful stories of self-transformation you will ever read.  Goggins turns a childhood filled with racism, depression, poverty and abuse into a future with the US Special Forces. Goggins is the only person in history to complete the training of the Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Air Force Tactical Air Controllers.  Get the audio book.  It’s one part book, one part podcast where Goggins riffs the backstory of each chapter and drops more “F” bombs than the bar scene in Goodfellas.  

Eleven Rings (By Phil Jackson):  This book is a master class on leadership.  Phil Jackson has won more championships than any coach in the history of pro sports.  He is the winningest coach in NBA history.  Known as the “Zen Master”, Jackson reveals his unconventional leadership style that brought out the best in superstars (Jordan, Kobe), unpredictable personalities (Dennis Rodman) and the average role player.  Favorite Quote:  “Things never get solved, they just come together and then fall apart again, then the process starts over.” 

Shoe Dog (By Phil Knight):  If it is possible to earn an MBA from studying a single book, this would be it.  Phill Knight borrowed $50 from his dad in 1963 and turned it into the $30 billion monster called NIKE.  The stories Knight tells are amazing.  The struggles and obstacles Knight had to fight through were incredible. One of the best memoirs I ever read. 

Greenlights (By Matthew McConaughey):  This book caught me by surprise.  I had low expectations and was blown away.  McConaughey tells the funny and candid stories that led him from a blue-collar family in Texas to one of the most famous people in Hollywood.  The stories resonate with you long after you put the book down.  The audio book is killer.  Narrated by McConaughey, it gives you the feeling of being bellied up to a bar with the actor as he tells stories while you share a bottle of whiskey.

Lives of the Stoics (By Ryan Holiday):  Holiday examines the lives of the most influential philosophers of the ancient world. The book is made up of 26 mini biographies that synthesizes a modern day lesson of each philosopher’s life.  No one is better at making ancient wisdom relevant to the modern world than Holiday.  

The Practice (By Seth Godin):  This little book will challenge you to show up each day to do your best work and share it with the world.  Godin, who has the most read business blog in the world, has a way of getting under your skin and inspiring you at the same time.  

PODCAST

Tim Ferris Show: Brene Brown (#409 – Feb 04, 2020) Striving versus Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More.  Every time Ferris talks to Brene Brown I learn something about relationships, how to better interact with people, and myself.  An amazing 90 minutes on how to make relationships work while being your authentic self.  

Thank you for reading my blog.

Wish you a remarkable 2021!  

#InspireSomeone

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Burn the Boats

“Without commitment, nothing happens.” – T.D. Jakes

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that is already standing in line for the vaccine.

Each week we share ONE IDEA that can help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is COMMITMENT.

And why sometimes we have to go ALL IN.

The Vibe:  Burn the Boats

In 1519, the explorer Herman Cortes sailed from Cuba to Mexico.

Cortes was looking to get himself and his native Spain rich by looting the “new world”.

But Cortes had one little problem.

His crew was nowhere near COMMITTED to this mission as he was.  

They were far from home. 

The conditions were bad. 

The natives were unfriendly. 

The crew couldn’t even get into any of the good nightclubs in downtown Veracruz. 

No sooner did they land in Mexico there was talk of a mutiny. 

Some of the crew spoke openly of stealing the boats and sailing back to Cuba without Cortes.

Trouble was brewing. 

Cortes faced an incredible test of his COMMITMENT to this mission.     

How could he accomplish the most important mission of his life under these circumstances?  

Did Cortes give a speech?

Did he round up the conspirators?

Or maybe take everyone to Cancun for a team building weekend? 

Nada.

Cortes did one of the most legendary actions in history.  

He BURNED THE BOATS.  

All gone.

Bye Bye.

Now there would be no way home but through. 

BURNING THE BOATS changed the game.  

It left Cortes and his crew no other option.

Succeed or die trying. 

Cortes showed everyone he was not just INTERESTED in this mission. 

He was dangerously COMMITTED.

We may not be 16th century Spanish explorers.

And most of us are at least a vaccine away before we start EXPLORING foreign lands again.  

But each of us has a MISSION in our lives that needs our full COMMITMENT.

Maybe you are trying to save your business. 

Or you need to repair a broken relationship.

It could be that you are facing a health problem that has no easy answer.  

Whatever challenging MISSION you are up against, it’s going to take everything you got.  

We won’t succeed if we are just interested.

We have to prove that we are full on COMMITTED.

Our commitments test us to see what we are really made of.      

Our commitments show the world who we really are.

What’s the ONE THING you need to dangerously commit to? 

Seth Godin asks“What would you still try even if you knew you would fail?” 

That’s your MISSION.

Time to go ALL IN.

An amazing journey will follow.

#BurnTheBoats

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Ruck & Roll

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that says it wants to get together over the holidays then ghosts you until January.

Each week we discuss one IDEA to help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is how to stay healthy during a pandemic.

And why sometimes NATURE is the best medicine.

The Vibe: Ruck & Roll

Everyone is done with this pandemic. 

But this pandemic doesn’t seem to be done with us.

2020 has been a STREET FIGHT.    

A global pandemic.

A contentious election.

Virtual school.

And to top it all off…

The Cobra Kai is back.

And we have no idea if we should be rooting for Daniel-san or Johnny Lawrence.  (…No Mercy!)

We didn’t ask for any of this. 

But it’s here.

And we need the best version of ourselves to show up each day to FIGHT THROUGH IT.

A strong BODY and a clear MIND are essential. 

But that’s way easier said than done. 

Pandemics crush routines. 

They blow up the familiar.

They close gyms.  

Or at least make gyms NOT the ideal place to be.

Running on a treadmill, next to a sweaty dude in a “Tough Mudder” tank top with no mask, is not on my pandemic bucket list.  

Pandemics force creativity. 

In 2020, OUTSIDE became the new gym.

Get Rolling

Pre-COVID, biking was something my wife & I did only on vacation and BK. (Before Kids).

When we moved out of the city, we hung up our bikes in the garage of our new townhome. 

Fifteen years and 3 kids later, we took those bikes down for the very first time to put them in a moving van.   

Who said kids won’t change them?  LOL.

2020?

We’ve been logging 4-5 bike rides a week.

I forgot how MIND CLEARING outdoor bike rides are.  

It’s awesome cardio.

Rolling past the fall colors is spectacular.  

The brisk air is therapeutic. 

Your head clears.

The mind resets.  

A bike ride still gives me that mini vacation feel. 

Which is so needed during a year like this one.  

Go Ruck 

Early in the pandemic walking also made a comeback.

Walking may be the most timeless exercise. 

2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “We should take wandering outdoor walks, so that the mind be nourished and refreshed by the open air and deep breathing.” 

We started by taking short walks on cold March nights.

The walks evolved into longer hikes through neighborhoods I never knew existed. 

It was great to be OUTSIDE and MOVING.

But something was missing. 

The walks were good for the mind.  

But the body needed more. 

After a long walk, I still felt like I needed to workout.  

Then the answer appeared…

During a walk I was listening to David Goggin’s incredible book, “Can’t Hurt Me.”  Goggin’s writes how he uses a weighted “ruck bag” for endurance training.

A few days later, I read Tim Ferris’ blog post raving about his favorite new purchase, the “Go Ruck” bag.

Sold. 

I’ve been using the “Go Ruck” for 5 months.

It’s fantastic.

The “Go Ruck” is a weighted backpack that turns your walk into a workout.

It’s low impact.

And helps you build STRENGTH and ENDURANCE.

Two things we all need more of in 2020. 

Hands down my favorite pandemic purchase.

This past year has been a slog.

The only certainty is that life is going to keep crashing into us.

So let’s keep our minds CLEAR and bodies STRONG. 

Find something that works for you.  

Get outside. 

Get creative.

Get moving.

It’s never been more essential. 

#RuckAndRoll

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Blog

Answer the Bell

“There is no such thing as failure.  There are only results.” – Tony Robbins

emptyringbell.jpg

TOUGH BATTLES will inevitably find us.

At some point, we are going to have to step into the ring and fight our version of Apollo Creed.

We will be in a FIGHT that will test us like nothing before.

Be ready to bring your GRIT, GUTS, & CREATIVITY.

But also, be ready to cut yourself some SLACK.

Because things will not go as planned.

Like Rocky, our Apollo will KNOCK US DOWN.

More than once.

No BIG deal.

Just put your mouth piece back in.

And GET BACK UP.

Ding. Ding.

#AnswerTheBell

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Write It Down

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” —Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

journal1.jpg

What do the following people have in common?

Besides changing the course of history, they all shared a common practice.

They kept a JOURNAL.

Journaling is a life changing habit.

When I first heard about journaling, I was sceptical.

I thought writing in a journal was something that people who wrote bad poetry did.

I was wrong.

Jim Rohn said, “If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, and unique individual, keep a journal.”

There are a number of studies that show keeping a journal helps you better cope with STRESS and ANXIETY.

A journal will help you:

  • PRIORITIZE your day.
  • CLARIFY your thinking.
  • Stay ORGANIZED and FOCUSED.
  • Increase your CREATIVITY.

HOW TO JOURNAL:

FIND YOUR PLACE

You don’t need a vista.

You don’t need an ocean view or a Pottery Barn table.

Da Vinci wrote (in one of his journals), Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Keep it simple.

Pick a spot where you can open up your blank notebook, feel comfortable and write down your thoughts.

GET YOUR TIMING WRITE

Start by allocating 10 minutes each day.

We are all busy.

But we all need time to THINK and REFLECT.

For many, there is a burst of creative energy that comes after a good night’s sleep.

For you NIGHT OWLS, there might be no better way to clear your mind than writing your thoughts down before bed.

Capture those ideas on paper.

WHAT TO WRITE?

The first step is the hardest.

Don’t let what to write be an OBSTACLE.

Here are some journal prompts to get you started:

  • What’s got my attention?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What surprised me?
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What excites me?
  • What scares me?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What great quote did I hear?
  • What people do I need to spend more time with?

NO FEAR

Write without fear.

Lose your inhibitions.

Don’t hold back.

Let your writing express how you really feel.

This journal is for you.

No one else.

THE BENEFITS

Journaling will help you enter each day with greater clarity.

Your actions will be more focused.

You’ll start to feel GRATITUDE for the little things.

2,000 years ago, the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “Just as one person delights in improving their farm, so I delight in attending to my own improvement.” 

So…

What’s on your mind?

What’s keeping you up at night?

How can you make tomorrow better than today?

Do what some of the greatest minds in history have done…

#WriteItDown

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Drain Your Brain

“I couldn’t sleep at all last night.” – Bobby Darrin, Tossin’and Turnin

Life gets unbalanced.

Things come at us from all directions.

Our mind wanders.

ANXIETY creeps in.

It gets difficult to stay in the PRESENT MOMENT.

Time to FIGHT back.

It’s time to kick anxiety to the curb.

Elite performers teach themselves how to tame chaos.

One of the best tactics I’ve learned to work through this is called, “Drain Your Brain.”

Jeffrey Gitomer writes about this in the “Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude.”

This idea is simple, but highly effective.

When life gets HECTIC:

  1. Grab a writing tablet
  2. Write EVERYTHING down on paper you need to do.

EVERYTHING.

From the $1,000,000 sales proposal you need to create to picking up your dry cleaning.

Don’t stop until:

  • Everything is on paper.
  • Your mind can’t think of anything else that needs to be done.

What does this do?

There is a therapeutic effect to getting your thoughts out of your mind and on to paper.

Your mind is now free to focus on SOLUTIONS rather than carry the weight of your to do list around.

This tactic literally clears up space in your brain that allows your PROBLEM SOLVING ability to kick in.

Your mind is freed.

CREATIVITY flows.

Ideas pop into your head.

There is a quote that fits perfectly here, “The most tiring project is the one we never get to.”

So true.

Why?

Because our minds drag unfinished tasks around like a 50 pound backpack.

No more!

Empty your mental backpack.

Drain your brain.

Free your mind.

Free your life.

#MindsetIsEveything

-Joe Ciccarone

NEXT WEEK:  Prioritize & Execute.  How to turn your to-do list into a strategic game plan.