Read time: 10 min

September 30, 2020

Good morning! So, how about that debate? In the words of comedian Lenny Bruce:

“I realized that each group was already so committed to their candidate that it didn’t matter what they actually said. In fact, if their candidate looked into the camera and said, ‘I am a thief, a crook, and a liar, I am totally unqualified for this position and I now realize that I am the worst choice you could ever make for the presidency,’ his followers would say, ‘Now there is an honest man for you. It takes a big guy to admit that. That’s the kind of guy we need for President.’” 

RE: The Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960


“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

-Og Mandino ​

SELF-DISCOVERY: Unleash the achiever within

What Will My Reflection Show?

Reflection gives us a chance to pause and figure out what really matters, especially when struggling with a challenging issue professionally or personally. But how do we do it and do it in a way that’s helpful to us?

Joseph Badaracco, the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School, tries to answer this in his new book Step Back: How to Bring the Art of Reflection into Your Busy Life.

Badaracco recommends four design principles for reflection. They’re a template, not an exact science.

  1. Aim for good enough. Often the biggest obstacles to reflecting are time pressure and all over the place thoughts. Start by letting go of the idea that you must reflect in a time-consuming or perfect way. Thoughtful reflection is worth doing, even if you fall short of some ideal. Some find it easier to take advantage of moments when exercising, cooking, or commuting to work. Others rely on writing out their thoughts that compare the pros and cons. You can also reflect through meaningful conversations with parents, colleagues, and friends.
  2. Downshift occasionally. When working, your mind is usually focused on output, not on contemplating, examining problems, and figuring out solutions. If something is irking you, you have to slow down to recognize it and think it through. Some let their thoughts, feelings, and emotions wander for a few minutes to see where they go. Others slow down physically to slow down mentally. You can even turn to nature. Make sure you also take the time to celebrate progress and successes.
  3. Ponder your hard issues. Pondering means stepping back and consciously looking at a problem through a variety of perspectives. Some try to imagine the everyday consequences of choosing different options. Others looked at a problem from the perspective of someone they admired or who might be badly affected by it. You can talk to yourself aloud.
  4. Pause and measure up. When you have to decide and act, it’s critical to take a few moments to step back and ask which option is best. Some imagine what their role models would do. Others follow personal principles and values. You can ask yourself what kind of legacy you want to leave.

Without reflection, others start to shape and direct us. Reflection allows us to understand and form the trajectories of our own lives.

ACHIEVERS’ ARMORY: Equip yourself with proven tools & tactics

When Your SO Asks Where the Milk Is…

Those I-Love-Lucy-moments are much more endearing on TV. Let’s avoid ones like this one with Remember The Milk.

Life can get real busy, real fast. Your to-do list is a mashup up of work-related tasks, personal items, and family-related responsibilities. Sometimes, someone will throw a new assignment at you at the wrong time, and it goes in one ear and right out the other. It’s frustrating to feel you don’t have control over your day and that you never get done what you want, Remember The Milk is here to help you organize your to-do list and bring some order to your daily routine.

Remember The Milk is a smart app that helps you curate the ideal to-do list for your busy life. As soon as you think of something to do or someone makes a request of you, you can open the app and write it down. You can take this a step further and ask other family members or co-workers to download the app. Then, you can delegate items on your list for them to be responsible for.

As you know, writing something down is half the battle. The key is remembering to do said task. This mobile app allows you to set timed reminders throughout the day. Those gentle nudges can come in the form of email, text, IM, or mobile notification. This ensures that you will never forget to complete a vital task ever again.

This life-changing app is available on iOS, Android, and even desktop.

NEXT LEVEL: Keep your success going

The Rule of Formidable Expectations

He memorized license plates so he could tell who was still at work and sent 2 am emails that started with, “This is the stupidest piece of code ever written.”

Someone said he had “two faces. On one side, he was a brilliant genius and a true misfit. And on the other side, his lack of care and sensitivity for people, his disrespect and dictatorial behavior, were all real.”

He “shouted, bullied, drove us, underpaid us, and refused to spoil us.”

Who were these three? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Vince Lombardi, respectively.

Gates built Microsoft. Jobs built Apple. Lombardi’s Green Bay Packer teams won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls. They’re all looked up to for their hard work and leadership, despite their sometimes jerk-ish tendencies.

The three illustrate the rule of formidable expectations: The more you expect (demand) from others, the more gratitude you must display for their effort, loyalty, and dedication. If you want more, you must give more.

Yes, bosses, managers, and the like pay others for their work. But we shouldn’t mistake money exchanged for effort for reward, appreciation, or praise. Sure, the career development, stock options, and Super Bowl wins helped produce affection towards their leaders and keep them going.

However, it seems like employees and players extol these three men because they did an excellent job ensuring that someday their employees would look back and be grateful for the high demands. All the Microsoft and Apple employees who rose to greater career heights and the ex-Packers who went on to be successful businessmen are proof.

If you have incredibly high expectations and goals for others, your business, or even yourself, embrace the rule of formidable expectations. You’ll get back just as much, if not more than you give.

SOCIAL CAPITAL: Build a powerful network

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

You’ve probably heard, “blood is thicker than water,” which has come to mean family over everything. The actual quote is: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This means that blood shed in battle bonds soldiers more strongly than genetics. Although we commonly use it to suggest the strength of family ties, the quote doesn’t refer to the family at all.

A new scientific study sheds light on where friends, the people we choose to have close relationships, fall in the picture. Nathan Hudson, a professor at Southern Methodist University, asked more than 400 study participants to think back on times with their friends or family, identify the activity they shared, and rate whether those experiences left them feeling various emotions. They rated emotions such as happy, satisfied, and with a sense of meaning from 0 (almost never) to 6 (almost always).

The Results:

  • People report higher levels of well-being while hanging with their friends than they do with their romantic
  • People tend to spend more of their time doing enjoyable activities with friends than they do with family members, who occasionally find themselves together doing unpleasant tasks like chores or caretaking duties.
  • When activities were statistically controlled, the ‘mere presence’ of children, romantic partners, and friends predicted similar happiness levels.
  • 65% of experiences with friends involved socializing, but only 28% of the time shared with partners.
  • Spending time with their children also meant more time doing things negatively associated, such as housework and commuting.

The lesson here is to create opportunities for positive experiences with romantic partners and children and mentally savor those positive times. It’s important to find life balance: friendships, family time, work, self-care, and play.

MONEY: Become wealthy

Buy, Don’t Be Sold

We’re all consumers in one way or another; we live in America, don’t we? Consumers buy things- things we need, things we want, things somewhere in between the two, and many other things we don’t need but want anyway.

When we purchase something, one of two things happen: we either buy it, or we’re sold it. What’s the difference? Take a car, for example. You enter the dealership and tell a salesperson you’re in the market for a car. The salesperson asks you many patience-provoking questions, then takes you out to the lot to show you some of what they have on hand and eventually makes a recommendation on which car “you can be the proud new owner of!” That’s “being sold.”

Buying a car is different. It means researching what cars have the requirements you need, such as seating and safety, the features you want, crash test results, and performance, then going to a dealership that sells that car and negotiating the purchase.

You may end up with the same car you would’ve been sold (though, it’s unlikely), but in one case, you were sold the car by someone trying to get you to buy it, and in the other, you knew what you wanted and made an educated purchase.

It’s not wrong to “be sold” things sometimes if you don’t have any experience in a specific area, you genuinely don’t have an opinion on selections, or you leverage the expertise and skills of experts. What IS bad is relying on a 3rd party because you don’t have the experience or know-how to make a decision. Leverage the 3rd party, but come to an informed decision yourself.



[ uh-vou ] | verb (used with object)

to declare frankly or openly; own; acknowledge; confess; admit

NEWS BREAK: Stay informed

  • Disney is laying off 28,000 people in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic hammers its parks and resorts business.
  • Joe Biden released his tax returns before the debate yesterday. Biden’s return shows that he and his wife, Jill, made $944,737 in taxable income last year and paid $299,346, or a 31% tax rate, in federal income taxes.
  • Watch beautiful fall foliage in New Hampshire here.
  • A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case filed a court motion seeking the release of the grand jury’s transcripts and permission from a judge to speak publicly.

1% BETTER: Improve each day

For Apple peeps, the new iOS 14 update has an option in settings to automatically block potential spam calls and to silence calls from unknown callers. Hop on it.