|Hope you had a great November and are ready for the last month of the year (crazy, I know). Let’s jump right into this.
Books, articles, etc.
Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life by John Bogle (Book)
John Bogle is the founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, a company that has revolutionized the investment world and made low-cost investing available to the masses. Bogle starts the book by sharing this story:
“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have...enough.”
As the title suggests, the book dives deep into how much is enough when it comes to our careers, money, and other aspects of our lives. While the book was a bit repetitive, it prompted me to spend time evaluating how much is enough in my life. I encourage you to do the same but recommend reading Clayton Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life instead.
New Neuroscience Reveals 7 Secrets That Will Make You Persuasive (Article)
Eric Barker is one of my favorite writers. His ability to share science-backed insights is matched only by his humor and wit. I really enjoyed this article on persuasion and highly recommend his book, Barking up the Wrong Tree.
Nothing Can Take the Place of Persistence (Quote)
I stumbled on this quote from Calvin Coolidge the other day and I really liked it.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
When Looks are Deceiving
Provo-based Qualtrics was in the news a few weeks back when the company announced they were being acquired by SAP for a whopping $8 billion. It’s the second largest SaaS acquisition ever and a huge win for the state of Utah. Having gone to college in Provo, I closely followed the details of the acquisition.
I couldn’t take my focus off Bill McDermott, the CEO of SAP. Each picture and video clip showed him wearing sunglasses. I kept thinking, Why on earth does this guy wear sunglasses indoors? Who does this guy think he is?
Well, eventually I took the incredibly difficult step of entering “SAP CEO Sunglasses” into the Google machine. It turns out there’s a very good reason for those sunglasses. In July 2015 McDermott was walking down the stairs at his brother's house, holding a glass of water. He slipped and fell, shattering the glass, and a shard went through his left eye. He was in surgery for over nine hours the night of the accident and had more than 10 surgeries in total. Eventually he lost the eye.
McDermott actually said that losing his eye changed his life for the better. "You fall down stairs and get knocked unconscious and the glass hits all the wrong parts. You've got to find a way to get up. So I don't get rattled by the chaos. I get inspired by beating it back and finding out how gorgeous it is on the other side.”
Immediately upon reading the article, my view of McDermott was flipped upside down. I went from thinking he was probably an egomaniac to being totally impressed by how he’s coped with a serious setback.
I saw him do something I thought was odd (wearing sunglasses inside) and judged him for it. My judgment was way off. The experience was a needed reminder that when we see others act in a way that is peculiar, or somehow different from what we expect, we need to give them the benefit of the doubt. First impressions are often wrong.
How to Measure Your Progress
I’m re-reading Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work! In it, he shares the following quote: “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed by who they were last year isn’t learning enough.” It’s tough to measure progress in the day-to-day. Comparing ourselves with who we were a year ago is a better barometer of our development.
I’ve found power in regularly expressing gratitude so I’ll continue the habit. In my church we typically baptize at age 8 and my oldest got baptized two days after Thanksgiving. It made for a very special weekend and I am so grateful that family and friends could join.
Thanks for reading. If you've read anything worth sharing I'd love to hear about it. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
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