ASCEND

Daily tablet to input your inspirations, you will chalk the day up as a win or a loss

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Gratitude (required) What I am grateful for...

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Personal Development (required) What am I learning...

Game Day List (required) What I will accomplish...

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W/L (required) Was your day a win or a loss...

Affirmations (required) Who I am...

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Ideas: After you receive your email save it to your google calendar 

Step 1: Save the Email to Google Drive

  • Find the email you want to attach to a Google Calendar event.
  • From the drop-down menu on the side of the email, select Print.
  • A print menu will appear. Select Change to adjust the destination.
    • Select Save to Google Drive.
    • Click Save to leave the print window.

Step 2: Create Your Calendar Event and Add Attachments

  • When you have your calendar event ready for an attachment, select Add attachment.
  • Select the email you just saved as a PDF in your Google Drive.
  • Complete the details of your event and send your invite!

22 Life Lessons I Learned From My Mentors That Every Person Should Know

  1. “I like to work because that keeps me young.” One of my mentors is in his seventies. If you believe scientists, he should be a rusty old man with only a few good brain cells. Instead, he’s a vital person. Good genes? Maybe. He doesn’t have time to think about that stuff. He just does things.
  2. “Adults don’t need to ask for permission.” Screw gatekeepers and naysayers. If you believe in something, do it. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s always better to ask for forgiveness.
  3. “People who always complain give me a headache.” Don’t be a party-pooper.
  4. “If people want to go. Let them. And wish them well.” Over the course of your career, you’ll lose friends, colleagues, team members, employees, bosses, partners. Shit happens and people move on. Friends become enemies. Know when it’s time for you to move on. And never hold a grudge.
  5. “Be smart about your career.” Don’t be a sheep. Understand that everyone is competing for the same things. Be smart and think about winning. Just stay ethical. And yes, that’s possible. Life is not House of Cards.
  6. “Treat people well. The world is small.” We’re humans. And humans are emotional. And emotions make people do weird things. Don’t do weird things to people.
  7. “Life is not fair. Get over it.” Yeah, yeah, I get it. You’re sad. You didn’t get that promotion. No one cares about your product. These things happen. Don’t wish things were different. Just be better next time.
  8. “Know yourself. But also know your industry, business, friends, enemies, competition.” Self-awareness is the start of personal growth. But if you want to truly advance your career, you have to understand your environment too. Otherwise, you’ll be a monk who only knows himself.
  9. “I always make the best out of everything.” Stop trying to find your passion. And don’t be a spoiled little brat. Just enjoy your life, have fun, relax, be a sport. You don’t need a dream job or a million dollars to do those things.
  10. “I hate it when people are not prepared.” No matter how small your next assignment is, come prepared. It’s the difference between an amateur and a pro. Know your shit.
  11. “Hard things will always remain hard. Things don’t get easier by putting them off.” Difficult conversations, firing people, admitting mistakes, saying you’re sorry. You never really get used to hard things. It’s always better to rip the band-aid. Just get it over with.
  12. “Not everyone thinks the same way you do.” I often hear people saying: “That person doesn’t understand me.” Have you ever thought that it might be the other way around? People are different. Do your best to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  13. “Bad people only hurt themselves. I feel bad for them.” Never try to get back at bad people. Their punishment is that they are a bad person.
  14. “Always have a side-business” Everyone should be able to make money independently. Create something of value. When people pay for it, you’re in business.
  15. “Everything comes to an end.” Your good health, relationships, family, pet, business. We all know how things end. Just make sure you appreciate the things you still have. Before you know it, everything will be gone. And so will you.
  16. “I fail all the time. I just don’t give up.” Failure is overrated. It’s merely a different word for learning. We just get all emotional about it. “I suck.” No, you don’t. But if you give up you do.
  17. “Why does everyone want to be happy all the time?” There’s nothing wrong with being sad, angry, frustrated. Just don’t stay in those emotions. Acknowledge it, and then move on.
  18. “People are in love with their own voice.” Sometimes it’s good to shut up and listen to other people.
  19. “I hate fabricated fun. It’s not fun.” For the love of god, stop forcing people to have ‘fun’ at your stupid office party. It’s not fun to tell people to have fun. Just relax and be human, you weird android in a suit.
  20. “Resting is more important than working.” The art of resting is a difficult thing to learn. We’re all so restless. We want things to happen today, now, this very instant. Let it go. Just breath for a second. Rest.
  21. “I don’t give a shit.” I can’t tell you how often I heard my mentors saying that phrase. Somehow, happy people don’t care about shit that doesn’t matter.
  22. “My goal is to learn one new thing every day.” Learning is something you do deliberately. Remind yourself every day that you want, no NEED, to learn something new.

The Best Way to Answer “Sell Me This Pen” Right Now

  1. When did you last use a pen? What were you doing? (sample answers: Writing a note in a meeting → you can pitch them the pen as a reliable on-the-go writer)
  2. What’s most important in a pen: fashion or function?
  3. If fashion: What do you want people to think of you?
  4. If function: What do you use a pen to do throughout any given day?
  5. How often do you need a new pen? (if frequent, tell them the pen comes as part of a pack)
  6. What event usually happens for you to buy a new pen? (Example answers: seeing one you like in the store, running out of ink, losing the cap)
  7. How much does cost matter to you? 
  8. Tell me about a pen that really pisses you off.
  9. What does it feel like when you really need to write something down but can’t find a pen?
  10. What’s most important to you in life? (You can later tie this back to the end picture you paint. If it’s “family,” the pen becomes something you can hand down from generation to generation. If it’s “career,” the pen becomes something you carry with you from one job to the next and it reminds you of how far you’ve come)

How to get rich (without getting lucky)

 

Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.

Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.

Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.

 

You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity – a piece of a business – to gain your financial freedom.

 

You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.

Pick an industry where you can play long term games with long term people.

The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.

Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.

 

Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity.

 

Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.

 

Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

 

Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.

 

Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for.  If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.

Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.

 

Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to other

 

When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.

 

Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated

 

Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.

 

The most accountable people have singular, public, and risky brands: Oprah, Trump, Kanye, Elon.

 

“Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the earth.” – Archimedes

Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media).

 

Capital means money. To raise money, apply your specific knowledge, with accountability, and show resulting good judgment.

 

Labor means people working for you. It’s the oldest and most fought-over form of leverage. Labor leverage will impress your parents, but don’t waste your life chasing it.

 

Capital and labor are permissioned leverage. Everyone is chasing capital, but someone has to give it to you. Everyone is trying to lead, but someone has to follow you.

 

Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.

 

An army of robots is freely available – it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it.

 

If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.

 

 

Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgement.

 

Judgement requires experience, but can be built faster by learning foundational skills.

 

There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.

Have you seen them? Articles and books that promise you the secrets to success? Save yourself some time and stop reading them. I’ll tell you why in a minute.

There are many kinds of those “success-articles.” The ones that suggest there’s a difference between winners and losers are my favorite.

Stuff like: “This behavior separates successful people from average people.” Or how about articles that list the habits of Millionaires or Billionaires? It’s so predictable.

Those type of articles and books are designed to give you a good feeling about yourself. “See! I have all the traits of successful people. I’m one of them!”

They always focus on the outcome. Not the process. Studying, learning, and stealing productive habits or tactics are all smart things to do. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I talk about people who only focus on the outcome. I.e. success.

Also, everyone pretends that the word success has nothing to do with money and status. But that’s simply not true. When we talk about success, we all talk about getting rich. Just be honest.

Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want, said it best on the Tim Ferriss Show when he was asked about success:

“Notice how we all assume that when you say “become successful” you really mean “get rich”.”

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting rich. People can pursue anything they want.

But let’s keep it real and not pretend that “only you can determine the definition of success,” and then talk about the habits of millionaires. 

Last week I was speaking to my mentor about this phenomenon. He never reads anything online. He likes newspapers and physical books. He’s not really into new technology.

Until a year ago, he still had a Nokia 6310i. You can only call, text, and play Snake II on those phones.

He literally bought 5 or 6 of them when he heard that Nokia discontinued that phone. He loves the battery life. Apparently, those things lasted forever on one charge.

Anyway, my mentor is old school. And we were talking about how a lot of people love to dissect success. This is what he said:

“There’s a difference between studying success and actually building a business or career that matters. It’s the same as talent and hard work. I know a lot of talented people who never contributed anything to the world.

And I also know a lot of people without talent who did wonderful things in life. Knowing how to be successful will not guarantee success. I believe it’s the opposite. People who don’t assume they know everything often accomplish the most.”

I think that was such a great point he made. I must be honest. I’ve also tried to “study the habits of successful people” in the past. But I’ve never looked at it that way.

My mentor tried to make me aware that success doesn’t happen by imitating others. No matter how many habits of successful people you might have, it doesn’t mean anything.

Correlation doesn’t mean causation.

That’s the exact phrase he used. Reading articles and books that talk about success is a waste of time because they are not teaching you anything useful.

Worse, they can cause tunnel vision. You might pursue things that lead you in the wrong direction. (more on that later)

For instance, take waking up early. That’s always part of the lists of habits. But waking up is not a skill that does something. When you try to imitate a rich person who wakes up early, will you become rich by waking up early?

That’s why I find it odd that people try to imitate successful people. What’s the point? Even if you know the EXACT ingredients of success, it’s no good to you.

Richard Branson is one of the most well-known people in the world, and many believe he’s the most successful entrepreneur there is.

He’s written books and articles. He’s also been interviewed, analyzed, and researched to death. We know all about Branson’s habits and mindset.

I wonder: If we’re all trying to imitate him, why are there not more world-famous entrepreneurs? Exactly. It’s not that simple.

I get why we study successful people. We all want the outcome but no one wants to put in the work themselves.

I don’t read articles about success. I don’t care whether someone is only talking the talk or has backed it up with results. You just can’t promise someone success if they do xyz. But that’s not the most important reason I don’t care about imitating success.

There’s beauty in the struggle.

If you blindly try to imitate others, you kill your character. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it best:

“Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.”

Be yourself. It’s the biggest cliché in the book of an amateur philosopher. “Imitation is death” sounds better than the lame old “just be yourself.” And it means the same.

But let’s pretend for a second that someone can provide you with an exact roadmap to success. Would you still imitate it? Or would you rather pave your own path?

Because why even care about the outcome? Life is not about success, no matter how you define it. Life is about the struggle of figuring things out. The very thing that many of us run away from.

One of my favorite musicians, J. Cole, wrote a song called “Love Yourz” about this concept. He says:

“There’s beauty in the struggle. Ugliness in the success.”

Think about it. What if you get to a destination to find out that you arrived at the wrong place?

That’s what imitation does.

Be bigger than that.

Always create your own path—no matter how hard it is. And you better love it too. Because that’s the only right path there is.

How to excel at the moments that matter in life: Think like an actor

Jul 8, 2019 /

From job interviews to eulogies and pitch meetings, our lives are full of personal interactions where we need to be our very best. Amy and Michael Port, actors and speaking coaches, share three basic acting techniques to help you raise your game for the times that really count.

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.

When was the last time you performed? Was it in a college play? A middle school talent show? Karaoke with your coworkers? Or was it the time you met with your supervisor to negotiate a salary increase?

While that last question may not seem to belong with the others, it does to Michael and Amy Port, two trained actors turned speaking coaches. Most of us need to perform all the time, even if we don’t see ourselves as performers, they say in a TEDxCambridge talk. “In our personal and professional lives, we’re called upon to make toasts, give eulogies, nail a job interview, or win a negotiation, and they’re all high-stakes situations,” says Michael.

One way that we can help ourselves excel in these high-stakes situations is by thinking like a professional performer — i.e., an actor. “Just as actors use techniques on the stage to create a believable reality, non-actors can use the same techniques off the stage to create a reality of their choosing,” says Michael.

Please note: Using acting techniques isn’t the same thing as manipulating people, or being phony or fake. Instead, it’s about communicating in a way that moves others to see your point of view and, at times, act in your favor. When you go to the theater, the most convincing Juliet is able to make the audience understand — or, better yet, feel why she simply has to marry Romeo despite all the obstacles.

Essentially, this comes down to being intentional — with yourself and with others — about what you’re trying to achieve. Whether you’re attempting to persuade a landlord of the urgent need to replace your stove or connecting with another parent at your child’s school to set up a play date, “all day long, we try to affect people and … we make people feel things,” says Amy. “The difference is if we’re trying to get what we want and we don’t consciously choose our objectives, we’re still making people feel things — we’re just doing it unconsciously or even thoughtlessly.”

Here are three general principles to follow:

1. Know your big picture goal

An actor always performs with a clear purpose or motivation in mind. When you’re thinking about your next high-stakes situation, ask yourself the same question that actors ask when developing a character: “What’s my end goal?”

What this means: Think about your long-term objective, not just the immediate one. For example, when Michael met Amy’s parents for the first time, he went beyond thinking how he could impress them in that meeting and focused on how he wanted to achieve a harmonious, integrated family in the long run. This helped him make choices that were in line with his larger purpose.

2. Think about how you want the other person to feel

The choices made by an actor during a performance — in speech and movement — are in the service of attaining their goal and achieving a specific impact on their audience. Actors call this “playing an action.” Take, for example, a job interview. If you want the employer to feel that you’re someone who is open and collaborative, your action can be speaking about how excited you are to working with members of your prospective team and bringing up specific names. Or, if you want them to feel that you’re someone who can work independently and won’t require any hand-holding, you could tell them about the courses you’ve taken in project management and the systems you’ve set up at previous jobs to get things done efficiently.

Of course, “not everything you say or do is going to work,” says Michael. “People don’t always respond exactly the way you want them to but if you can fluidly play one action after another in pursuit of your objective, it gives you this ability to improvise in the moment and be flexible.”

3. Scared? Accept it

“Being comfortable with discomfort is a principal characteristic of being a performer,” says Michael. One of the primary kinds of discomfort that we experience — whether you’re a professional actor or someone whose last role was Camel No. 2 in the kindergarten pageant — is fear of other people’s negative reactions, in the form of rejection, ridicule or criticism.

As a result, many of us stick to playing it safe, but that’s “the killer of any great performance,” says Michael. After all, it’s hard to win people over to your perspective if you’re busy trying to calm the alarm bells going off in your head.

While there’s no magic trick for dissolving fear, you can manage it. First, know that “fear is completely human. It’s normal,” says Amy. So, when you feel your palms sweat and your stomach churn as you’re about to, say, walk into a job interview or presentation, this just means that you’re alive.

Then, before you go into a situation that matters, take some time to identify your greatest fear or fears. Be as specific as possible. Instead of simply thinking “I’m really scared,” name exactly what it is. Maybe you’re scared of being disliked, of people hearing your voice shake, of letting other people down — you name it. This practice of pinpointing your precise emotional state is what psychologists call emotional granularity, and people who exhibit greater emotional granularity have been shown to be more able at regulating how they’re feeling and responding appropriately.

Then, go for it. Bargain down the price of a new car, pitch that new client, or address a community board meeting. Often, “to be high-level performers both on and off the stage, we need to take great risks and not worry that we’ll be criticized for doing so,” says Amy.

Using these acting techniques will (probably) not turn you into Meryl Streep or Michael B. Jordan. But they can help you speak and act with care and take greater control of your interactions, rather than letting stressful situations toss you around like a salad. “When you see yourself as an everyday performer, you are the one who creates your reality,” says Amy.