Category : Books

Books

The Intelligent Investor

The Intelligent Investor

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham remains safe – in all senses of the word.

This phenomenal book on investing wisely to reach your monetary purpose was first published in 1949. But just as the title suggests, for the intelligent investors, the book remains an important guide today. Thus were the studies and findings of Benjamin Graham…

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No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline

No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline Header

As a true supporter of self-help books since I was a child, “No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline” had me spell-bound and Tracy’s own words “learn what you need to know and do what you need to do, and never give up” truly resonates with me. We are so easy to find excuses and not resolutions. We look and find the quick solutions to get what we want quickly. With self-discipline, we will stick to what we want, and not try to do things quickly and get it over with. It becomes a way of living, not a quick fix.

I also like the idea of “voting yourself off the island of no discipline”. By doing that you surround yourself with people who believe like you and who want to stay with, shall we say “with the program?” In my own experience, I can guarantee you that the quickest way to fail in life is to surround yourself with toxic people. I personally don’t like the use of words like “winners” and “losers” in life to describe people. I truly prefer the term “like – minded” people. He emphasises how important it is to surround yourself with like – minded people and I completely agree with that.No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

Brian Tracy also says that, “without self-discipline nothing works. With self-discipline everything works”. “You will rise above yourself”. The truth is that most people do what is fun and easy rather than doing what is hard and necessary and this is the main difference between winners and losers. Self -discipline is also known as self-control, and I am sure that you will agree that this is a subject that is as much written about as can be. I suppose the reason why people still become millionaires by writing about this is because we lack self-control and cannot stick to things that take effort. Read this book, and make it part of your life. Then you will succeed, I guarantee you that.

What you will find in this book is how to incorporate self – discipline in 21 easy to read and follow chapters. These chapters are presented in three parts to complete the book.

In the first part, you learn about self-discipline and personal success. It is about courage, persistence, goals and how to master these with self – discipline. In the second part, you read and learn how to apply self-discipline in your sales, business and finances. In the third part, you read about the quality of life and how to apply self-discipline for ultimate success in fitness, health, and marriage.

With each chapter, you will find a number of exercises to guide you in the right direction. These exercises are really helpful and Tracy truly helps you find the areas in your life that need the most work for ultimate success. If you partake in all the exercises, you will definitely change your life positively.

All of Brian Tracy’s books are excellent and worth reading and I will definitely put this in the top three. He explores self-discipline and the best way to use this, and many aspects of life to ensure that you get where you want to be and stay there.

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

$15.99
Most people think success comes from good luck or enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments in a simpler way: through self-discipline. No Excuses! shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life, including your personal goals, business and money goals, and overall happiness. More info →
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No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Header

Have you always experienced getting stressed out because of seeing your room or office cluttered and disorganized? Well, Marie Kondo’s approach on decluttering might as well work for you. It is mentioned in her NY Times bestseller book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up all the necessary tips on how to get your room, home or workplace well organized that will surely make a positive impact in your life and in your career.

Marie Kondo’s book will provide you a glimpse of how the tidying session will transform your life and yourself especially in terms of productivity. It all comes down to the big question, “Does your stuff spark joy?” In Marie’s point of view, if that particular stuff does not bring happiness to you, you should then dispose of it, sell or donate it. Moreover, her simple strategy which she called KonMari method can really make a difference in your life.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Physical Cover

How Does the KonMari Method Work?

  • Clean by category and not by rooms. Some people make the mistake of organizing the rooms first, then the living room and so on. Contrary to that belief, Marie Kondo advises that decluttering should be done in order where clothes should be the first because it is less emotionally loaded of one’s things so it is easier to get rid of; then books, papers, mementos (like the cherished photos and love letters) and miscellaneous should come next.
  • Tidy in one fell swoop than tidying little by little. According to Kondo, “Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever.” Cleaning all at once instead of sorting tasks halfway will suit your mindset better.
  • Ask yourself if that thing still gives you happiness. If that particular thing doesn’t spark joy, it is just fair to give it to someone who needs it or maybe put it in a garage sale or just dispose of it all together.
  • The “Folding” Process. KonMari technique is a total makeover of your things. Marie encourages that it is better to fold clothes and put them in the dresser vertically rather than hang them as it will require lesser space. Socks should be stored beautifully like sushi rolls so they can “rest”. She also recommends that shoeboxes should be used as drawer dividers for folded clothes in the dresser.
  • Don’t let your family members see what you’re doing. Marie recommends that you should not let your family members nearby while you’re decluttering because they might prevent you from getting rid of things so much. They might also get your old things and use it for their own. While this might not be a bad idea, however, those things might not be that useful to them. Furthermore, according to Kondo, it is quite stressful for parents to see what their child is getting rid of. It can also be painful if they see their child disposing the things they gave before such as clothes, toys, and mementos.
  • Do not keep unnecessary things. Don’t ever think that you can’t dispose of worn, frayed shirts because they can still be worn as a sleepwear. In addition, do dispose of books that haven’t had much value to you.
  • Gifts should not be kept if it’s not useful anymore. People usually get sentimental and keep a specific thing given to them as a present rather than disposing or giving it to someone who needs it more in the present. Kondo, on the other hand, encourages people not to be guilty as it already served its purpose. It is time to share it with someone who need it as well.
  • Scan the important documents. Kondo suggests that papers or documents should be scanned rather than piled. This is quite useful if you are working in a cluttered office full of papers and documents stacked. 

Being organized and tidy makes you feel more powerful and in control of your life. Seeing that your things are organized will also make you feel much more comfortable with your life, living in an organized home. Kondo’s teachings are not the usual because of the spiritual practices it presents in the possessions and in the home itself, yet her KonMari Method might as well make a huge difference and can be life-changing.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication Year: 2014
ASIN: B00KK0PICK
ISBN: 1607747308
This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate ...
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About the Book

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

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Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products

Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products Cover

Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products is a crystal clear take on how to build products that keep users coming back for more. The Hooked methodology works perfectly for technology startups and potentially even physical products. Whether you are an entrepreneur, marketer developer or innovator you can benefit from the habit-forming qualities inside this book.

Hooked CoverThe core message of Hooked is that every person is programmed in such a way that their lives revolves around habits. The fact is that habits help us make easier, quicker decisions. The brain stores behaviors and automatic responses for different situations as a survival mechanism. Thus, past success can drive future actions (habits). We as humans use tools for productivity and the smart phone is a tool unlike any other. It is quite literally the computer that we carry around in our pockets which can play games, record video, watch movies, communicate, access tools, pay for purchases and infinitely more! A growing generation of mobile devices means time and attention are going towards our phones, and since even Silicon Valley is trending towards app startups, it makes sense to understand the Hooked model thoroughly.

By training users to pick up a new habit, the person is essentially reprogramming the way they do things. Instead of spending money on advertising, focus on creating a product that truly enhances the customer’s day-to-day lives. The fact is that successfully changing long-term user habits is exceptionally rare. To build a mind monopoly one must provide a service that is not just marginally better but nine times better. Being first to market (and the mind) is just as crucial. Google vs Bing is a perfect example. 

All humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain; to seek hope and avoid fear; and finally, to seek social acceptance and avoid rejection. Although seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are key motivators in all species, make sure your core product is a “painkiller” rather than a “vitamin”. 

Hooked SystemA habit is when not doing an action causes a bit of pain. Understanding cognitive biases and core motivators of humans will be key to building a product that taps into psychological triggers both external and internal.

The FOGG behavior model, represented by the formula B = MAT represents that a given behavior will occur when motivation, ability and a trigger are present at the same time and in sufficient degrees. If one of these factors is missing then the ability for action is limited. For example, if your phone rings but it is on silent, the trigger is missing. If you get a phone notification from your annoying school bully, then motivation is missing to reply. If the phone rings and it’s your girlfriend calling but your legs are immobile then action is missing. Subsequently, all 3 factors must be maximized to achieve the desired behavior from the user. 

The ability for the user to take action must simple and clear. A cluttered interface or design may lead to confusion and inaction. Here are the six elements of simplicity that influence the likelihood of a particular behavior occurring

  • Time – how long it takes to complete an action
  • Money – the fiscal cost of taking an action
  • Physical Effort – the amount of labor involved in taking the action
  • Brain Cycles – the level of mental effort and focus required to take an action
  • Social Deviance – how accepted the behavior is by others
  • Non-Routine – according to Fogg. “How much the action matches or disrupts existing routines.”

Variable rewards, when compared to static rewards, are key to dramatically increasing the amount of times a “pigeon taps the lever”. You want the user to keep coming back for more and each time not knowing what they are going to get. Variable rewards are the drug that keeps users addicted. There are a few types of variable rewards that work especially well to influence the human psyche.

The Three Variable Reward Types: 

The Tribe – Our brains are adapted to seek rewards that make us feel accepted, attractive, important and included. 

Reward: Connectedness with other people. 

The Hunt – The need to acquire physical objects, such as food and other supplies that aid our survival, is part of our brains operating system. 

Reward: Material resources and information. 

The Self – The rewards of the self are fueled by “intrinsic motivation”. The self-determination theory espouses that people desire, among other things to gain a sense of competency. Adding an element of mystery to this goal makes the pursuit all the more enticing.

Reward: Intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence and completion. 

“Experiences with finite variability become less engaging because they eventually become predictable”

When autonomy feels threatened it is human nature to feel constrained by lack of choices and rebel in reactance. Giving the user autonomy within your product will lead to repeat engagement. Before users become hooked to your product and create mental associations with automatic behaviors, they must first invest in the product. At a simple level the more users invest time and effort, the more they value the product or service. Give the user freedom to explore and let them invest themselves into the app. 

As humans we tend to overvalue our own actions and seek to be consistent with past behaviors. This means that as soon as we find a solution that is better than an old way of doing things and enjoy it, we are likely to switch over to the new solution. Minuscule improvements or marketing angles will do little to persuade the person to another product unless it is better by numerous factors. This means that if you score big on a habit-forming product it will be difficult for competitors to come in and take your users. The Habit ZoneWhen we see others enjoy awesome things, we try a little harder and condition ourselves over time to enjoy it too. A great recent example of this is the timing of Uber and Lyft where a 3 year head start can make a world of difference in users and investors.

Habit forming technologies adapt to our needs by allowing us to make investments in the product to enhance the experience. Every song added to iTunes and every film uploaded to Netflix means more content and value for the user. Information generated, collected or created by users whether it is a photo, video, tweet or news link are examples of stored value in the form of content. 

By getting users to upload their own personal content, the effort associated with providing the data and the rewards received from other users combine to create a powerful hook that brings people back to the service time and time again. Followers, likes, friends and badges are fantastic rewards for investing in a product. 

These investments by the user are excellent opportunities for loading personal triggers, and hence the Hooked cycle goes on. 

(Exercise) The Five Fundamental Questions For Building Effective Hooks

1. What do users really want? What pain is your product relieving? (Internal Trigger)

2. What brings users to your service? (External Trigger)

3. What is the simplest action users can take in anticipation of reward, and how can you simplify your product to make this action easier? (Action)

4. Are users fulfilled by the reward yet left wanting more? (Variable reward)

5. What “bit of work” do users invest in your product? Does it load the next trigger and store value to improve the product with use? (Investment)

Learn more about Hooked on Nir Eyal’s blog.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Portfolio
Publication Year: 2014
ASIN: B00LMGLXTS
ISBN: 1591847788
How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many mo...
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About the Book

How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?
Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.
Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.
Eyal provides readers with:
• Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
• Actionable steps for building products people love.

• Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.

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Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

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