The Secrets of Success

Money? Fame? Travel? Relationships? Or the freedom to do whatever, whenever, and with whomever you want? However you characterize success, it’s something that nearly everyone is after. While our definitions of success might differ, the desire to succeed at one thing or another remains constant.

Success is the achievement of a high position in a particular field, for example in business or politics. Nearly all of the young people interviewed believed that work was the key to success.

Still, even though we might all want to succeed at something, we don’t always do what it takes to follow through. Sometimes, we just get fed up, and we end up throwing in that proverbial towel. We give up when the going gets tough. But not everyone does. So what separates them from the rest of the world’s population?

How is that one person is willing to do all that it takes to reach their goals, while another person gives in to silent resignation at the first sign of resistance? Why is one person willing to sacrifice nearly everything in order to live the life of their dreams, while others are too afraid to take the next step in fear of suffering through a catastrophic failure or embarrassment?

It’s quite clear that success has nothing to do with our initial set of circumstances. Some of the most poor and disadvantaged people in the world have achieved the greatest successes of all time. Oprah Winfrey was born to a single mother on welfare and was physically and sexually abused as a child. J.K. Rowling was divorced, had a daughter, and was living on government assistance before publishing the first book in the Harry Potter series.

Success in life has nothing to do with where you start. Sure, people who start advantageously in one area or another might have a leg up, but it has almost nothing to do with where they end up in life. Success transcends circumstances.

So what is it then? What’s the magic formula? What’s the secret to success in life, if you will? How can we go from a living a mediocre life, to one of excellence in every manner possible? Can anyone do it? Or is it just some pipe dream that lives in the hearts and minds of the foolish populous?

Everybody loves a good secret. In fact, the juicier, the better. Why? Because we all love being insiders. We love the feeling of exclusivity, of knowing something that’s just ours and no one else’s.

But in business, secrets do more than just stroke our egos.We love having the upper hand. We love having the “unfair advantage,” to borrow entrepreneur Jason Cohen’s term.

So when someone like Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization boasting 5.4 million referrals and more than $6.5 billion in resulting revenue, asks, “Do you want to know the secret to success?” you listen.

What’s “the secret”? Well, there isn’t just one. But think about this: “Success is the uncommon application of common knowledge.”

In other words, when it comes to success, what matters isn’t so much learning something new but putting into practice what we already know.

Four not-so-secret secrets of insanely successful people:

1. They have a vision.

According to Warren Bennis’s classic On Becoming a Leader, leadership is “the capacity to translate vision into reality.” This means that success starts with answering a fundamental question, What do I really want?

Whether you call the answer to that question your mission statement, core values, brand identity or just your goals doesn’t really matter. Because “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Here’s how Bennis unpacks the idea: The leader has a clear idea of what he or she wants to do—professionally and personally—and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.

2. They are honest.

Successful people tell the truth.This sounds so obvious that you might think it doesn’t even need to be said. But in a climate where the pressure to look good, perform well, eke out profits and win by any means necessary is constantly increasing, honesty is becoming a scarce commodity.

The Secret to Success in Life

And yet, honesty pays.

According to research in Robert B. Cialdini’s Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, when companies “explained failures in their annual reports, those that pointed to internal and controllable factors had higher stock prices one year later than those that pointed to external and uncontrollable factors.”In other words, taking responsibility for our mistakes and admitting when we’re wrong isn’t just relationally smart—it’s financially savvy.R

3. They show gratitude.

Without gratitude, you aren’t being mindful or totally thankful of the good things in life—and your perspective is probably skewed to the negative as a result. You might even have less motivation to go after more good things, if you aren’t grateful of the ones you already have.

We tend to think of gratitude as a spontaneous emotion, something that just happens to usin moments of triumph or success. In reality, though, gratitude is something we develop.And just like all the other not-so-secret secrets on this list, it is something we choose, something we make a wide-eyed, premeditated, self-determined decision to experience.

4. They are adaptive.

Success isn’t about avoiding failure. It’s about learning from failure.

Take Thomas Edison’s famous quote about inventing the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The key is to cultivate what Eric Ries in The Lean Startup calls “validated learning.”“Validated learning is not an after-the-fact realization or a good story designed to hide failure,” he says. “It is the principal antidote to the lethal problem of achieving failure: successfully executing a plan that leads nowhere.”

For Ries, this antidote comes down to one skill: the ability to adapt.“What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.”

All this means is that instead of hiding from failure, insanely successful people anticipate and integrate failure into their lives in ways that transform it from an end into a means.

We all love a good secret. But the truth is, when it comes to success, there’s no such thing.So start small, but start today. Pick one of these four “secrets” and put it to work.

5. They have perseverance.

Perseverance is persistence in sticking to a plan. An example of perseverance is working out for a two hours each day to lose weight.

Jack Canfield is the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He’s also one of the best motivational speakers, professional coach, and an incredibly inspiring author who published  The Success Principles.

Jack and his co-author Mark Victor Hansen pitched the original Chicken Soup for the Soul to over 130 different publishers. But none of them were interested and said no one “wants to read 100 inspirational stories.”

After 100+ pitches, their agent dropped them as well, but they were determined to get the book published.

Luckily they never gave up and continued to persevere until their book was picked up by a small publisher in Florida.

Now there are over 250 Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and over 500 MILLION copies sold worldwide. If they had given up these inspirational stories wouldn’t have been read across the world and they wouldn’t have made millions of dollars.

Ultimately success is within us and all people have their fate of success. Success differs to each persons perception of success in life. Some events or happenings maybe a big success for others but small for some. Success have no boundaries and no ownership to claim as their own a success is for everyone and anyone who have the will to live and believe in one’s worth in life. Success have different story and different time frame but one thing is certain success matters to all and success is their it just the way how to achieve it.

Advertisements

How Much Freelance Bookkeeper Earns? Where to Apply?

Please follow Mark Live Daily. Please share this blog article and read the other articles.

What is Bookkeeping and Bookkeeper?

Hi good day! Thank you that you got here on my blog article and I hope you follow my blog Mark Live Daily by typing your email and click follow at the button at your left side. Please also read my other excellent posted blog articles and same click share the articles to your social media accounts. Now ready yourself for the excellent reading experience on this blog article.

Before we start talking and guiding you to find bookkeeping job let us define first what is bookkeeping and bookkeeper.

Bookkeeping (and accounting) involves the recording of a company’s financial transactions. The transactions will have to be identified, approved, sorted and stored in a manner so they can be retrieved and presented in the company’s financial statements and other reports.

bookkeeper is usually employed by a small to mid-size company to record its transactions such as sales, purchases, payroll, collection of accounts receivable, payment of bills, etc. A very small company might use the services of a bookkeeping firm that employees bookkeepers.

Job Description

Bookkeepers record income and outflow of money, property and other financial assets. The most important bookkeeper duty is to accurately record and review all financial data. To excel at this job, you must pay close attention to details and be very accurate when recording numerical data. Your job will also require you to be ethical and to maintain the confidentiality of a client’s financial records.

Most bookkeepers now manage financial information electronically, such as employee payroll. This might require that you master the use of spreadsheets, databases or specialized computer software. Bookkeepers also write or print financial reports. Some bookkeepers handle bank deposits, track purchasing, submit bills for a client’s accounts receivables or prepare files for federal and local taxes.

Why Work As Bookkeeper?

There are thousands of companies , businessman, individuals, and businesses who are looking of good and well experience bookkeeper that can do manage their book of accounts and financial transactions. Working at home as freelance bookkeeper is a great job where you can earn thousands of dollars per month I mean $1000’s or paid per hours at rate of $5-$50. Their are many benefits of working as freelance bookkeeper as state in the next paragraph.

First, the benefits of no longer need to travel going work to office because in freelance job you can work at your home even at your bed. Second, the benefits of flexible work time and fast pay. Fast pay likely paid per projects, paid per week, paid per output, and other type payments that is way faster than office base work. Having PayPal account is the fastest way to get paid. Third, the benefits of easy communications at your fingerprint without anyone will be looking or listening except your kids though. Fourth, the benefits of bigger income as long as you do best in your work. Fifth, being always with your wife, children, and family. Lastly,  escaping from traffic, noise and air pollution.

Industry

Bookkeepers currently work in many industries. In 2016, the financial industry accounted for 12 percent of all bookkeepers. These jobs were mostly with tax preparation services, payroll and general accounting. The next largest segment worked in retail services, approximately 10 percent. Other industries that employed bookkeepers at less than 10 percent each were healthcare, wholesale and insurance. Bookkeepers also work independently as freelancers or as a small business.

Years of Experience

Full-time experience is the main factor in salary increases for bookkeepers. Seniority in a company can lead to career advancement and supervisory responsibilities that come with a salary increase. One projection looks like this:

  •  1-2 years: $37,846-$40,775
  • 3-4 years: $39,648-$42,422
  • 5-6 years: $40,775-$43,618
  • 7-20 or more years: $41,151-$43,992  

Top and Best Freelance Websites to Apply as Bookkeeper

Upwork

download

Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Mountain View and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc. Grow your business through the top freelancing website. Hire talent nearby or worldwide.

You can find work at Upwork for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, social media campaigner, website designer, writer, research writer, costumer support, and many more.

Freelance

download (6).jpg

Find & hire top freelancers, web developers & designers inexpensively. World’s largest marketplace of 31 million applicants. Getting started is free. Receive quotes in seconds. The Upwork story begins over a decade ago, when the tech lead of a Silicon Valley startup realized his close friend in Athens would be perfect for a web project. The team agreed he was the best choice, but were concerned about working with someone halfway around the globe. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Freelance for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more. There are multiple project base jobs available at freelance.com.

Guru

download (1).png

Guru makes it simpler to hire freelancers online from over 3 million professionals and get freelance jobs from thousands of projects posted on its freelancing. The best place for employers and freelancers to connect, collaborate, and get work done. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Guru for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, social media consultant, website designer, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Outsource

0x0.png

Outsource.com lets you hire, manage and pay your freelancers in just a click. You can send messages, files, and make payments all through the website. It is hassle-free! Are a customer-centric professional service company. A few of the services we provide are IT consultations, customized web solutions, mobile development, cloud development, systems integration, server management. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Outsource for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, IT expert, social media consultant, costumer support, and many more.

Outsourcely

brought.png

Outsourcely is a virtual assistant company based in Foresthill, CA. They make it easy to connect with virtual assistants through their platform. Outsourcely connects startups and businesses with talented remote workers from around the world. 400000+ Remote Workers. If you want to work as freelance bookkeeper or looking for any new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Outsourcely for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Onlinejobs.ph

Capture.PNG

World’s largest and safest marketplace for finding rock star Filipino workers. OnlineJobs.ph has the largest database of Filipino virtual workers: more than 250,000 profiles and 10,000+ Filipino join each month. OnlineJobs.ph is just the marketplace. You recruit and hire on your terms. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at onlinejobs.ph for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more. 

Toptal

big_blue_square_6c9755.png

Toptal is a freelancing platform that connects businesses with software engineers, designers, and business consultants globally. Toptal enables start-ups, businesses, and organizations to hire freelancers from a growing network of top talent in the world. Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Talent. Find quality talent to work full-time. Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers in the world. Top companies rely on Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.

You can find work at Toptal for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more. Toptal is one of best and finest freelance websites but very difficult to be a member.

Working as a bookkeeper of a company or to an individual requires experience and college graduate of any accounting course, bookkeeper course, and finance course. Having a license in bookkeeping or certified public accountant is a great advantage of landing a high paying bookkeeping job.

I hope you all become successful on your endeavor of looking freelance bookkeeper job and got many projects as possible and earned thousand of dollars working. I hope you follow Mark Live Daily by registering you email address at the left side and same please share this article. Good luck!

How to Earn as Business Plan Writer?

business plan according to Wikipedia is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame that these goals need to be achieved. It also describes the nature of the business, includes background information on the organization, the organization’s financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve stated targets. In its entirety, this document serves as a road map that provides direction to the business.

There are thousands of companies, business people, individual, small business, start-up business, and corporations that are looking for business plan writer to help them plan their business plan and business expansion. You can earn as much as thousands of dollars each month doing business plan writing job.

Business plan writing can be a great source of revenue to all people who want to render their expertise and services to an individual or companies looking for an expert business plan writers in helping their building up the business plan for their companies. So I advise you should learn and hone your business plan writing skills.

Writing business plan may not be that easy and you need to learn a lot of things like financial planning, business strategies, marketing, advertisement strategies, and good English writer. Learning how to do business plan writing are worth of your time, resources and money. Business plan writer nowadays earn a lot of money for a living worth thousands of dollars per momth.

Top Freelance Website to Apply for Business Plan Writer

Upwork

download

Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Mountain View and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc. Grow your business through the top freelancing website. Hire talent nearby or worldwide.

You can find work at Upwork for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, social media campaigner, website designer, writer, research writer, costumer support, and many more.

If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

Freelance

download (6).jpg

Find & hire top freelancers, web developers & designers inexpensively. World’s largest marketplace of 31 million applicants. Getting started is free. Receive quotes in seconds. The Upwork story begins over a decade ago, when the tech lead of a Silicon Valley startup realized his close friend in Athens would be perfect for a web project. The team agreed he was the best choice, but were concerned about working with someone halfway around the globe. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Freelance for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more. There are multiple project base jobs available at freelance.com

Guru

download (1).png

Guru makes it simpler to hire freelancers online from over 3 million professionals and get freelance jobs from thousands of projects posted on its freelancing. The best place for employers and freelancers to connect, collaborate, and get work done. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Guru for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, social media consultant, website designer, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Outsource

0x0.png

Outsource.com lets you hire, manage and pay your freelancers in just a click. You can send messages, files, and make payments all through the website. It is hassle-free! Are a customer-centric professional service company. A few of the services we provide are IT consultations, customized web solutions, mobile development, cloud development, systems integration, server management. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Outsource for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, IT expert, social media consultant, costumer support, and many more.

Outsourcely

brought.png

Outsourcely is a virtual assistant company based in Foresthill, CA. They make it easy to connect with virtual assistants through their platform. Outsourcely connects startups and businesses with talented remote workers from around the world. 400000+ Remote Workers. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at Outsourcely for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Onlinejobs.ph

Capture.PNG

World’s largest and safest marketplace for finding rock star Filipino workers. OnlineJobs.ph has the largest database of Filipino virtual workers: more than 250,000 profiles and 10,000+ Filipino join each month. OnlineJobs.ph is just the marketplace. You recruit and hire on your terms. If you want to work as freelancer or looking for a new work from home job you are welcome here to apply. Register and create an account now.

You can find work at onlinejobs.ph for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Toptal

big_blue_square_6c9755.png

Toptal is a freelancing platform that connects businesses with software engineers, designers, and business consultants globally. Toptal enables start-ups, businesses, and organizations to hire freelancers from a growing network of top talent in the world. Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Talent. Find quality talent to work full-time. Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers in the world. Top companies rely on Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.

You can find work at Toptal for almost all kind of professional and career jobs like bookkeeper, accounting, financial analyst, website developer, engineering, WordPress developer, tax consultant, business consultant, virtual assistant, costumer support, and many more.

Top Business Plan Website Provider for Business Plan Writer

LivePlan

LivePlan is straightforward, easy-to-use business plan creation software that walks you through each step of the writing process. This web-based program is great for business owners looking to create plans for startups, strategic marketing campaigns or funding proposals. LivePlan is also a good option for business owners who aren’t sure what type of business plan they need, because it walks you through the process and proposes templates based on your business’s goals.

BizPlanBuilder

BizPlanBuilder has both a cloud-based and a download option for its business plan-writing software. This software solution has several industry-specific templates you can review and then add to the document editor to create a plan that reflects your own business needs. While you can create a start-up business plan, this program devotes special attention to financials so you are prepared to present your idea to any type of investor, be that a bank, private investor, angel network or venture capitalist and have the data to back it up.

Go Business Plans

Based in Los Angeles, California, Go Business Plans writes business plans that serve a variety of business’s needs, ranging from SBA loans and visa applications to plans seeking venture capital funding. Go Business Plans rated well in terms of the quality of its business plans and its comprehensive feature set, which is why we awarded it our Business.com Gold Award.

Wise Business Plans

Wise Business Plans is a business plan service based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. It writes business plans for businesses seeking venture capital and angel investors as well as businesses interested in applying for SBA loans, E2 visas and L1 visas. The plans are high quality and contain market and industry research drawn from a wide range of sources. Its turnaround times are above average, while the cost is roughly average for the services we reviewed.

Business plan writing can be a great source of revenue to all people who want to render their expertise and services to an individual or companies looking for an expert business plan writers in helping their building up the business plan for their companies. So I advise you should learn and hone your business plan writing skills.

5 Best Ways to Retain More the Book You Read

There are many benefits to reading more books, but perhaps my favorite is this: A good book can give you a new way to interpret your past experiences.

images (3).jpg

Whenever you learn a new mental model or idea, it’s like the “software” in your brain gets updated. Suddenly, you can run all of your old data points through a new program. You can learn new lessons from old moments. As Patrick O’Shaughnessy says, “Reading changes the past.”

Of course, this is only true if you internalize and remember insights from the books you read. Knowledge will only compound if it is retained. In other words, what matters is not simply reading more books, but getting more out of each book you read.

Gaining knowledge is not the only reason to read, of course. Reading for pleasure or entertainment can be a wonderful use of time, but this article is about reading to learn. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the best reading comprehension strategies I’ve found.

1. Quit More Books

It doesn’t take long to figure out if something is worth reading. Skilled writing and high-quality ideas stick out.

As a result, most people should probably start more books than they do. This doesn’t mean you need to read each book page-by-page. You can skim the table of contents, chapter titles, and subheadings. Pick an interesting section and dive in for a few pages. Maybe flip through the book and glance at any bolded points or tables. In ten minutes, you’ll have a reasonable idea of how good it is.

Then comes the crucial step: Quit books quickly and without guilt or shame.

Life is too short to waste it on average books. The opportunity cost is too high. There are so many amazing things to read. I think Patrick Collison, the founder of Stripe, put it nicely when he said, “Life is too short to not read the very best book you know of right now.”

Here’s my recommendation:

Start more books. Quit most of them. Read the great ones twice.

images (2).jpg

2. Choose Books You Can Use Instantly

One way to improve reading comprehension is to choose books you can immediately apply. Putting the ideas you read into action is one of the best ways to secure them in your mind. Practice is a very effective form of learning.

Choosing a book that you can use also provides a strong incentive to pay attention and remember the material. That’s particularly true when something important hangs in the balance. If you’re starting a business, for example, then you have a lot of motivation to get everything you can out of the sales book you’re reading. Similarly, someone who works in biology might read The Origin of Species more carefully than a random reader because it connects directly to their daily work. 

Of course, not every book is a practical, how-to guide that you can apply immediately, and that’s fine. You can find wisdom in many different books. But I do find that I’m more likely to remember books that are relevant to my daily life.

3. Create Searchable Notes

Keep notes on what you read. You can do this however you like. It doesn’t need to be a big production or a complicated system. Just do something to emphasize the important points and passages.

I do this in different ways depending on the format I’m consuming. I highlight passages when reading on Kindle. I type out interesting quotes as I listen to audiobooks. I dog-ear pages and transcribe notes when reading a print book.

But here’s the real key: store your notes in a searchable format.

There is no need to leave the task of reading comprehension solely up to your memory. I keep my notes in Evernote. I prefer Evernote over other options because 1) it is instantly searchable, 2) it is easy to use across multiple devices, and 3) you can create and save notes even when you’re not connected to the internet.

I get my notes into Evernote in three ways:

I. Audiobook: I create a new Evernote file for each book and then type my notes directly into that file as I listen.

II. Ebook: I highlight passages on my Kindle Paperwhite and use a program called Clippings to export all of my Kindle highlights directly into Evernote. Then, I add a summary of the book and any additional thoughts before posting it to my book summaries page.

III. Print: Similar to my audiobook strategy, I type my notes as I read. If I come across a longer passage I want to transcribe, I place the book on a book stand as I type. (Typing notes while reading a print book can be annoying because you are always putting the book down and picking it back up, but this is the best solution I’ve found.)

Of course, your notes don’t have to be digital to be “searchable.” For example, you can use Post-It Notes to tag certain pages for future reference. As another option, Ryan Holiday suggests storing each note on an index card and categorizing them by the topic or book.

The core idea is the same: Keeping searchable notes is essential for returning to ideas easily. An idea is only useful if you can find it when you need it.

books_4859503D-C558-40BD-BF8E0023F8F2E057_e34e4e7e-ce74-4db0-b76c2d6bffa12303.jpg

4. Combine Knowledge Trees

One way to imagine a book is like a knowledge tree with a few fundamental concepts forming the trunk and the details forming the branches. You can learn more and improve reading comprehension by “linking branches” and integrating your current book with other knowledge trees.

For example:

  • While reading The Tell-Tale Brain by neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, I discovered that one of his key points connected to a previous idea I learned from social work researcher Brené Brown.
  • In my notes for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, I noted how Mark Manson’s idea of “killing yourself” overlaps with Paul Graham’s essay on keeping your identity small.
  • As I read Mastery by George Leonard, I realized that while this book was about the process of improvement, it also shed some light on the connection between genetics and performance.

I added each insight to my notes for that particular book.

Connections like these help you remember what you read by “hooking” new information onto concepts and ideas you already understand. As Charlie Munger says, “If you get into the mental habit of relating what you’re reading to the basic structure of the underlying ideas being demonstrated, you gradually accumulate some wisdom.”

When you read something that reminds you of another topic or immediately sparks a connection or idea, don’t allow that thought to come and go without notice. Write about what you’ve learned and how it connects to other ideas.

5. Write a Short Summary

As soon as I finish a book, I challenge myself to summarize the entire text in just three sentences. This constraint is just a game, of course, but it forces me to consider what was really important about the book.

Some questions I consider when summarizing a book include:

  • What are the main ideas?
  • If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
  • How would I describe the book to a friend?

In many cases, I find that I can usually get just as much useful information from reading my one-paragraph summary and reviewing my notes as I would if I read the entire book again. 

If you feel like you can’t squeeze the whole book into three sentences, consider using the Feynman Technique.

The Feynman Technique is a note-taking strategy named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. It’s pretty simple: Write the name of the book at the top of a blank sheet of paper, then write down how you’d explain the book to someone who had never heard of it.

If you find yourself stuck or if you see that there are holes in your understanding, review your notes or go back to the text and try again. Keep writing it out until you have a good handle on the main ideas and feel confident in your explanation.

I’ve found that almost nothing reveals gaps in my thinking better than writing about an idea as if I am explaining it to a beginner. Ben Carlson, a financial analyst, says something similar, “I find the best way to figure out what I’ve learned from a book is to write something about it.”

images (3).jpg

images (2).jpg

5 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Hurtful

It became very successful. A lot of people commented and a lot of people shared and big grown-up websites who get paid to post smart grown-up things asked me if they could copy/paste it, ostensibly to make a bunch of advertising money off people acting like assholes in their comment sections. I said, sure, why not?

Image result for Healthy Relationship

(I know, sell out.)

But the post also helped a lot of people. Since writing it, it’s generated a staggering amount of thank you emails, and no less than 20 people notified me that it inspired them to end their relationships (or even in a few cases, their marriages). It was the wake up call these people needed to finally let go and accept that their relationship was gagging them with a shit-spoon every day. And they deserved better.

(So I guess I’m a home-wrecker and a sell out. Sweet.)

But the article also elicited a lot of questions like, “So if these habits ruin a relationship, what habits create a happy and healthy relationship?” and “Where’s an article on what makes a relationship great?” and “Mark, how did you get so handsome?”

These are important questions. And they deserve answers.

Granted, I have far more experience screwing up relationships than making them work well, but I still wanted to take a stab at a “healthy relationship” post. I didn’t want to just make it a (yet another) “learn to communicate and cuddle and watch sunsets and play with puppies together” type post. You can find those posts just about everywhere. And honestly, those posts suck. If you love your partner, you shouldn’t have to be told to hold hands and watch sunsets together. This stuff should be automatic.

I wanted to write something different. I wanted to write about issues that are important in relationships but don’t receive enough airtime. Things like the role of fighting, hurting each other’s feelings, dealing with dissatisfaction or feeling the occasional attraction for other people. These are normal, everyday relationship issues that don’t get talked about because it’s far easier to talk about puppies and sunsets instead.

Puppies are cute but they don't make a healthy relationship
Puppies: The ultimate solution to all of your relationship problems.

And so I wrote this article. This is the first article’s bizarre twin brother. That article explained that many of our culture’s tacitly accepted relationship habits secretly erode intimacy, trust and happiness. This article explains how traits that don’t fit our traditional narrative for what love is and what love should be are actually necessary ingredients for lasting relationship success.

Enjoy.

1. LETTING SOME CONFLICTS GO UNRESOLVED

There’s this guy. His name is John Gottman. And he is like the Michael Jordan of relationship research. Not only has he been studying intimate relationships for more than 40 years, but he practically invented the field.

Gottman devised the process of “thin-slicing” relationships, a technique where he hooks couples up to all sorts of biometric devices and then records them having short conversations about their problems. Gottman then goes back and analyzes the conversation frame by frame looking at biometric data, body language, tonality and specific words chosen. He then combines all of this data together to predict whether your marriage sucks or not.

His “thin-slicing” process boasts a staggering 91% success rate in predicting whether newly-wed couples will divorce within 10 years — a staggeringly high result for any psychological research. His method went on to be featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book Blink. Gottman’s seminars also report a 50% higher success rate of saving troubled marriages than traditional marriage counseling. His research papers have won enough academic awards to fill the state of Delaware. And he’s written nine books on the subjects of intimate relationships, marital therapy and the science of trust.

The point is, when it comes to understanding what makes long-term relationships succeed, John Gottman will slam-dunk in your face and then sneer at you afterwards.

And the first thing Gottman says in almost all of his books is this: The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth.

In his research of thousands of happily married couples, some of whom have been married for 40+ years, he found time and again that most successful couples have persistent unresolved issues, unresolved issues that they’ve sometimes been fighting about for decades. Meanwhile many of the unsuccessful couples insisted on resolving fucking everything because they believed that there should be a void of disagreement between them. Pretty soon there was a void of a relationship too.

People like to fantasize about "true love." But if there is such a thing, it requires us to sometimes accept things we don't like.
People like to fantasize about “true love.” But if there is such a thing, it requires us to sometimes accept things we don’t like.

Successful couples accept and understand that some conflict is inevitable, that there will always be certain things they don’t like about their partners or things they don’t agree with, and that this is fine. You shouldn’t need to feel the need to change somebody in order to love them. And you shouldn’t let some disagreements get in the way of what is otherwise a happy and healthy relationship.

The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes. Some battles are simply not worth fighting. And sometimes the most optimal relationship strategy is one of “live and let live.”

2. BEING WILLING TO HURT EACH OTHER’S FEELINGS

My girlfriend is one of those women who spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. She loves to look amazing and I love for her to look amazing too (obviously).

Nights before we go out, she always comes out of the bathroom after an hour-long make-up/hair/clothes/whatever-women-do-in-there session and asks me how she looks. She’s usually gorgeous. But every once in a while, she looks bad. She tried to do something new with her hair or decided to wear a pair of boots that some flamboyant fashion designer from Milan thought were avant-garde. And it just doesn’t work.

When I tell her this, she usually gets pissed off. And as she marches back into the closet to redo everything and make us 30 minutes late, she spouts a bunch of four-letter words and sometimes even slings a few of them at me.

Image result for Healthy Relationship

Men stereo-typically lie in this situation to make their girlfriends/wives happy. But I don’t. Why? Because honesty in my relationship is more important to me than feeling good all of the time. The last person I should ever have to censor myself with is the woman I love.

Fortunately, I date a woman who agrees. She calls me out on my bullshit sometimes, and it’s honestly one of the most important traits she offers me as a partner. Sure, my ego gets bruised and I bitch and complain and try to argue, but a few hours later I come sulking back and admit that she was right and holy crap she makes me a better person even though I hated hearing it at the time.

When our highest priority is to always make ourselves feel good, or to always make our partner feel good, then nobody ends up feeling good. And our relationships fall apart without us even knowing it.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right. The sunsets and puppies, they happen when you get the more important stuff right: values, needs and trust.

If I feel smothered and need more time alone, I need to be capable of saying that without blaming her and she needs to be capable of hearing it without blaming me, despite the unpleasant feelings it may cause. If she feels that I’m cold and unresponsive to her, she needs to be capable of saying it without blaming me and I need to be capable of hearing it without blaming her, despite the unpleasant feelings it may generate.

These conversations are paramount to maintaining a healthy relationship that meets both people’s needs. With out them, we get lost and lose track of one another.

Image result for Healthy Relationship

3. BEING WILLING TO END IT

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. Show me almost any romantic movie and I’ll show you a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like dog shit for the sake of being in love with someone.

The truth is our standards for what a “successful relationship” should be are pretty screwed up. If a relationship ends and someone’s not dead, then we view it as a failure, regardless of the emotional or practical circumstances present in the person’s lives. And that’s kind of insane.

Shut up and jump already.

Romeo and Juliet was originally written as satire to represent everything that’s wrong with young love and how irrational romantic beliefs can make you do stupid shit like drink poison because your parents don’t like some girl’s parents. But somehow we look at this story as romantic. It’s this kind of irrational idealization that leads people to stay with partners who are abusive or negligent, to give up on their own needs and identities, to make themselves into imaginary martyrs who are perpetually miserable, to suppress their own pain and suffering in the name of maintaining a relationship “until death do us part.”

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

“Shoot myself to love you; if I loved myself I’d be shooting you.”

– Marilyn Manson

“Until death do us part” is romantic and everything, but when we worship our relationship as something more important than ourselves, our values, our needs and everything else in our lives, we create a sick dynamic where there’s no accountability. We have no reason to work on ourselves and grow because our partner has to be there no matter what. And our partner has no reason to work on themselves and grow because we’re going to be there no matter what. It invites stagnation and stagnation equals misery.

4. FEELING ATTRACTION FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE RELATIONSHIP

Our cultural scripts for romance includes this sort of mental tyranny, where any mildly emotional or sexual thought not involving your partner amounts to high treason. Being in love is like a cult where you’re supposed to prefer drinking Kool Aid laced with cyanide to letting your thoughts wander to whether other religions may be true too.

As much as we’d like to believe that we only have eyes for our partner, biology says otherwise. Once we get past the honeymoon phase of starry eyes and oxytocin, the novelty of our partner wears off a bit. And unfortunately, human sexuality is partially wired around novelty. I get emails all the time from people in happy marriages/relationships who get blindsided by finding someone else attractive and they feel like horrible, horrible people because of it. Not only are we capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time, but it’s a biological inevitability.

What isn’t an inevitability are our choices to act on it or not. Most of us, most of the time, choose to not act on those thoughts. And like waves, they pass through us and leave us with our partner very much the same way how they found us.

This triggers a lot of guilt in some people and a lot of irrational jealousy in others. Our cultural scripts tell us that once we’re in love, that’s supposed to be it, end of story. And if someone flirts with us and we enjoy it, or if we catch ourselves having an occasional errant sexy-time fantasy, there must be something wrong with us or our relationship.

But that’s simply not the case. In fact, it’s healthier to allow oneself to experience these feelings and then let them go.

When you suppress these feelings, you give them power over you, you let them dictate your behavior for you (suppression) rather than dictating your behavior for yourself (feeling them and yet choosing not to do anything).

People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to eventually succumb to them and give in and suddenly find themselves screwing the secretary in the broom closet and having no idea how they got there and come to deeply regret it about twenty-two seconds afterward. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to project them onto their partner and become blindingly jealous, attempting to control their partner’s every thought and whim, corralling all of their partner’s attention and affection onto themselves. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to wake up one day disgruntled and frustrated with no conscious understanding of why, wondering where all of the days went and remember how in love we used to be?

Looking at attractive people is enjoyable. Speaking to attractive people is enjoyable. Thinking about attractive people is enjoyable. That’s not going to change because of our Facebook relationship status. And when you dampen these impulses towards other people, you dampen them towards your partner as well. You’re killing a part of yourself and it ultimately only comes back to harm your relationship.

When I meet a beautiful woman now, I enjoy it, as any man would. But it also reminds me why, out of all of the beautiful women I’ve ever met and dated, I chose to be with my girlfriend. I see in the attractive women everything my girlfriend has and most women lack. And while I appreciate the attention or even flirtation, the experience only strengthens my commitment. Attractiveness is common. But real intimacy is not.

When we commit to a person, we are not committing our thoughts, feelings or perceptions. We can’t control our own thoughts, feelings and perceptions the majority of the time, so how could we ever make that commitment?

What we control are our actions. And what we commit to that special person are our actions. Let everything else come and go, as it inevitably will.

 

5. SPENDING TIME APART

Crazy girlfriend is not in a healthy relationship

You see it all the time: the man who meets his girlfriend and stops playing basketball and hanging out with his friends, or the woman who suddenly decides she loves every comic book and video game her boyfriend likes even though she doesn’t know how to hold the XBox controller properly. We all have that friend who mysteriously ceased to exist as soon as they got into their relationship. And it’s troubling, not just for us but for them.

When we fall in love we develop irrational beliefs and desires. One of these desires is to allow our lives to be consumed by the person we’re infatuated with. This feels great. It’s intoxicating in much of the same way cocaine is intoxicating (no, really). The problem only arises when this actually happens.

The problem with allowing your identity to be consumed by a romantic relationship is that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you cease to be the person they fell in love with in the first place.

It’s important to occasionally get some distance from your partner, assert your independence, maintain some hobbies or interests that are just yours. Have some separate friends. Take an occasional trip somewhere by yourself. Remember what made you you and what drew you to your partner in the first place. Without this space, without this oxygen to breathe, the fire between the two of you will die out and what were once sparks will become only friction.

The artist Alex Grey once said that, “True love is when two people’s pathologies complement one another’s.” Love is, by definition, crazy and irrational. And the best love works when our irrationalities complement one another and our flaws enamor one another.

It may be our perfections that attract one another. But it’s our imperfections that decide whether we stay together or not.