Introspection: A Smart Cut To Success

I recently finished reading Smart Cuts by Shane Snow. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend you check it out as soon as you have the opportunity to do so. Reading Smart Cuts has the potential to greatly reduce the time it’ll takes you to attain success in whatever endeavor you’re pursuing.

It’ll be worth your time to read the entire book, but here are some key insights to hold you over until you have the opportunity to do so. In italics are quotes from the book followed by my thoughts in bold.

“When interpreting their own failures, individuals tend to make external attributions pointing to factors that are outside their direct control such as luck. As a result, their motivation to exert effort on the same task in the future is reduced.”

By failing to take responsibility for your failures, you’re inhibiting your ability to adopt behaviors and habits more conductive to your success. Simply put, if the circumstances of your life are the result of luck, why bother trying?

“When doctors failed due to what they perceived as bad luck they didn’t tend to work any smarter the next time.”

If you don’t identify your approach as the problem, you have no inclination to change it. Human beings are machines of habit. Furthermore, we don’t tend to tweak our habits unless we see reason to do so.

“Banging your head against the wall,” and stagnating is what happens when you fail to realize failures (or limitations) can be overcome by changing your approach.

“People explain their successes and failures by attributing them to factors what will allow them to feel as good as possible about themselves.”

You have to be disciplined when you examine your life. Rationalizing your failures and overblowing your successes is the lesser man’s consolation.

Those who reach their full potential do so because they’re willing to endure the pain of full honesty with themselves. This is the path for the growth-oriented individual, and also the one that leads to the most long-term prosperity.

“Even though an individual failure experience may contain valuable knowledge, without subsequent effort to reflect on that experience the potential learning remains untapped.”

We have the potential to learn from everything. Yet, we rarely take advantage of this. One of the quickest ways to accelerate your growth is to give yourself time to reflect on your experiences. However, while doing this you must enter an egoless state.

It’s important to reflect on and analyze experiences, not through the lens of past beliefs or in a way that’ll allow you to feel good about yourself.

Rather, you have to dissect your experiences as if you’re observing another entity. The aim of your dissections then isn’t to judge yourself, but to optimize this separate entity’s performance.

Here’s a simple analogy Shane offers in the book, criticism isn’t negative feedback on the jokester. It’s feedback on the joke.

“While logging hours of practice helps us see patterns subconsciously, we can often do just as well by deliberately looking for them.”

Attaining mastery inevitably requires a significant investment of your time. However, this time can be signficantly cut by consciously searching for ways to adjust your behaviors and actions.

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This is a relatively short post today, but I’m hoping you got some value out of it. I recorded the video in Penang, Malaysia in January 2016, but just got around to writing this post today.

Things have been crazy this past month with different projects, a trip to Mui Ne in Vietnam, as well as hosting some family that came to visit me in Vietnam. Let’s hope for more videos from exotic locations coming soon!