books · inspiration · personal experiences

Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Book Review/Summary)

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Deeply insightful and liberating book.

We technically live in a world where being extroverted is the “ideal.” That being fun and interesting is what you need to do to get friends. That if you are not sociable, then there is something wrong with you.

These the kinds of things people around us chid about. However, the book talks how the ideals are simply not always true.

One thing I found very intriguing is how collaboration can destroy creativity. The book talks about how Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple computers, invented the first commercially available personal computer singlehandedly in his ownsolitude locked up in this office. She also talked about Charles Darwin who created the scientific breakthrough alone.

The book continues to talk about how the more people there are in a brainstorming session, the less ideas there would be; unless the brainstorming session is online. Cain argues that this is mostly because people are held back by the fear of judgement. Online discussions/conversations would theoretically reduce the setbacks.

Cain also mentioned how Warren Buffet, the oracle of Omaha (and my role model, lol), succeeds in the stock market when most people fail. In general, extroverted people act based on results; they get motivated and make impulsive decisions in order to get a reward. However, introverted people are much more calculated. They do things because of quiet perseverance and love for the things they do. They do not think of results that much. In fact, a lot of studies show that introverted people are less likely to give up on tasks. Just look at Abraham Lincoln! Introverts are also more likely to evaluate situations before jumping into conclusions and make impulsive decisions.

Cain also made a quick connection to Jim Collins book, Good to Great, on the concept of Level 5 Leadership. Cain echoes that leaders of great companies are surprisingly shy, reserved, humble, and not egocentric.

The most interesting part I found in the book was when to be more extroverted than you really are. Let’s face it, at times in this world, we need to conform to society. This includes creating a sense that you are extroverted even though all you want is to snuggle up in bed with a good book. Sometimes you just need to give that great speech or go to this networking event to grow your small business. However, Cain points out that if introverts need to act and create pseudo-extroversion, it is important that it is for things that they value. For example, there is no need to act like a party animal because then they would not be true to themselves. However, giving a speech for women’s rights, for example, is when an introvert and be extroverted for a day. This concept of altering who you are in different situations is called “self-monitoring.” Self-monitoring also includes understanding other people’s points of views when it comes to debatable issues. This, however, is not saying that self-monitoring people don’t have strong principles/beliefs, but it is saying that they are modest and open to other people’s opinions or way of life.

There are a number of people who come across as extroverted but are really introverted. And I am surprised that Guy Kawasaki was one of them.

After the series of “acting” like an extrovert, it is important to keep sane by having restorative niches in which you spend some time being true to who you are. By spending the weekend reading a book, for example.

In the end, the message is, stay true to yourself. Being an introvert is not wrong. We didn’t choose to be introverts, so it’s only our job to make the most of it.

books · inspiration · personal experiences

Changing the World: The Power of Positivity

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Just a few days ago, I discovered something that had completely changed how I wake up and go to bed, and it’s nothing cliche like saying positive affirmations to yourself in front of the mirror every morning (because, well you can forget). It’s called the five minute journal (you can check it out at http://www.fiveminutejournal.com). 

I am not marketing this product nor am I affiliated with the company in any way. But I am sharing this with you because the five minute journal encourages you to write what you are thankful for, what your affirmations are, and the great (little) things that happened on that day. I encourage you to check it out.

Ever since I made writing the journal a habit, I’ve gotten this mindset: stop focusing on the bad things! Appreciate even the smallest bit of happiness. If you only worry about the thorns, you will never appreciate the beauty of the rose.

Think about it: everyday, we always think about how awkward we talked to that guy/girl we liked, or how terrible the job interview went, or how tired we were but we still have to study for the finals at night (story of my life right now, high five college kids). But those things happen everyday. So why don’t we change our mindsets a little bit? Instead of thinking how negative the situation went, wasn’t it great that we got to talk with that guy/girl we liked? Weren’t we happy that we gave it our best shot in that job interview? Or aren’t we excited that since we’re going through finals, school is going to end in just a matter of days?

Notice here: the situations and events are the same — they are all just handled with different mindsets. 

I am going to paraphrase what Simon Sinek, an inspirational speaker, said in one of his interviews:

When athletes perform, they never say that they are nervous – they are trained to say that they are excited instead. Get this: when we’re nervous, our adrenalin hormone increases and our hearts beat faster. When we are excited, our adrenalin hormone increases and our hearts beat faster. So why don’t we choose the excitement over the nerves?

Again, it’s the same exact stimulus, but they are all just handled with different mindsets! Happiness is definitely a choice. This, my friend, is the secret to happiness and the freedom of the mind 🙂

books · fear and anxiety · inspiration

Want Something in Your Life? Read this quote from “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

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“dominating thoughts of [one’s] mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality… the all-consuming obsession.” – Napoleon Hill

It is interesting how success comes from BELIEVING that you will eventually get it. The human mind is more powerful than anything else. They create self-fulfilling prophecies. If you say to yourself that you are too scared, then you will be scared. If you say to yourself that you are not good enough, you will never be good enough. But if you say that you WILL have it, you WILL most definitely have it.

books · fear and anxiety

The Problem: I’m Not Good Enough.

Reading this amazing book by Brian Tracy, “The Psychology of Selling,” and came across an important paragraph everybody should read:

[T]he core problem that each person has is the feeling of ‘I’m not good enough.’ We all have the feeling, deep down inside, that we are not as good as other folks. We feel that people who are doing better than us are actually better than us. If they are better than us, we unconsciously conclude, we must be worse than they are. If they are worth more, then we must be worth less. This false conclusion is the fundamental cause of most unhappiness in our society.”