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Chimp Paradox Summary

Chimp Paradox

SUMMARY OF Dr Steven Peters ‘The Chimp Paradox’ To be honest this is more like a reference book as it is jam packed with great and useful content. I could have written something about every page, but to keep this summary to a reasonable length I’ll cover the main points as they spoke to me – the rest you’ll have to read yourself by getting a copy (I urge you).

Dr Steven Peters states we operate using three main aspects of our brain; the ancient chimp brain, the modern human brain and the computer brain.The Chimp utilises emotional thinking designed for survival whereas the Human utilises rational thinking designed for society and communal living.

The Computer brain is set to do automatic functions. The Chimp can be your best friend or your worst enemy – that is the Chimp Paradox. If you consider your Chimp as a child that has little staying power, easily distracted, undisciplined,disorganised, and constantly craving instant rewards, then you won’t go far wrong.

The Chimp… acts on instincts which just require the right stimulus or trigger (fight, flight or freeze), unfortunately in modern society we need more subtle and sophisticated responses. Imagine walking into a room full of strangers – which of the above responses feels most like you? The Chimp wants you to decide quickly because the ancient brain needs to evaluate if there is danger (physically or to status) and if you don’t – it releases adrenalin to force the issue. If you still don’t decide the adrenalin rush causes feelings of anxiety.

The Human… must make a decision or rationale to reassure the Chimp and calm it down. Our Chimp also has powerful natural drives and are very difficult to resist and don’t require triggers. Sex, dominance, food, security, parental, territorial and belonging are the most prevalent. Ther Human operational features include honesty, compassion, conscience, law abiding, self control, purpose and achievement etc.

Being able to manage your Chimp impulses is a determining factor in whether you will be successful. The main drive for the Human is purpose, without it we lack direction. You can understand which mode you’re in by asking: “Do I want these feelings / these thoughts?” etc. If the answer is “No” then the Chimp is hijacking you, if the answer is “Yes” you are in Human mode.

A clear sign the Chimp is in charge is if your questions start “But what if…” Unless the sentence ends with something rational so that you can make appropriate plans. Chimps operate on “How do I feel right now?” and Humans operate on “How will I feel later?”

Nurture the Chimp by meeting its needs for security, territory etc. then it will be easier to manage. To manage the Chimp effectively either exercise it, let it rant or box it by using logic and truth to reason with it, or feed it as distraction/reward. Being influenced by the Chimp is acceptable per se, but we must allow the Human to take over when appropriate. Remember the Human isn’t always right and the Chimp isn’t always wrong.

The computer aspect is where all data is stored, our perspective on the meaning of a situation depends on whether the Chimp or the Human uploaded it. This creates respective associations. We can use our values base to placate the Chimp – EG: when I crave milk chocolate I can revert to the fact that I have chosen to be vegan – I don’t eat milk, therefore eating milk chocolate would not fit with my values. We can use the Chimp’s urges to belong for example by saying: WE don’t do that – when we want to overcome a behaviour.

So how do we know who the real ‘me’ is?

One way to find out who you really are is to write a list of all the things you’d like to be, EG: calm, confident, kind, considerate etc. This list describes who you actually are. Before engaging in an important discussion ensure the four corners of communication are in place.

They are: 1. the right time, 2. right place, 3. right agenda and 4. right way – these corners are arranged around talking to the right person. Remember the very words we use can cause chemical reactions in our brains AND the brains of those that are listening. Be careful with your words. For example using the word ‘should’ can create levels of expectation which can cause anxiety in ourselves and others. Switching it to ‘could’ alters the meaning of the communication making it more like an opportunity.

Of course there are bone fide situations to use both should and could. The Human needs purpose in life so start each day by having goals – small ones to achieve by the end of the day, medium goals that are steps along the path to bigger achievements and big goals that lift you up, bring you joy and make you get out of bed each morning.

Instant Stress Strategy – You can recognise this by noticing you are having feelings you don’t like. Create autopilots that the Chimp can rely on as the Chimp will be reacting to stress first EG: use a cue word like ‘Change’ to acknowledge you are feeling stress and that you want your Human to step in – say the cue word out loud as soon as you notice you’re stressed.

Have a mental ‘pause’ button and press it to slow your thinking down so you can allow the Human brain to work. Notice that you are stressed and whether your default is Fight, Flight or Freeze – then you know how to adapt your behaviour accordingly.

There are three sources of stress: #1 You, #2 Others, #3 Circumstances – identify which is causing your present stress (it could be one or more of the above contributing), and then create strategies to deal with them.

Dreams v. Goals – A dream is something that ‘might’ happen (face the fact that it also might not). A goal is something that you can ‘make’ happen. So set goals that move you towards your dream incrementally. Divide the goals into ‘target’ goals – those which you will strive to achieve, and ‘maintenance’ goals – those which once achieved you must maintain.

A good visual metaphor is to imagine each goal is like climbing a mountain – the goal is the top. Then start by figuring out how you get to base camp. What resources, tools, help, skills etc. Then do the same for each of the major steps up the mountain until the goal is reached. Keep a visual representation of your progress to help motivate yourself and your Chimp.

Of course you first have to identify your dream first – and make it BIG.

Learning from mistakes – When reviewing a mistake the Human always starts with themselves, what did ‘I’ do wrong? What could ‘I’ do better next time? The Chimp always starts with blaming others or circumstances or both.

Confidence – The best way to be supremely confident is to base your confidence not on what you think you can achieve but rather on your ability to do your best. This way you can deal with failure and move on because you can’t do better than your best.

In a nutshell to have a successful, happy life we must learn to control the Chimp within us most of the time, allowing them to be in control only in those rare circustances where they are best suited. Our Human and our Computer must be taught to do the heavy lifting.

And remember your Chimp brings every emotion to your world, it can be your best friend and your worst enemy and that is the Chimp Paradox.

Enjoy

Stu

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Filed under Book reviews, Confidence, Goals, Self help, Self Improvement, Uncategorized

‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point

BOOK REVIEW of ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell

This book addresses the phenomena of epidemics in behaviour. It’s premise is that there are certain types of people that start, broaden and continue certain trends in a particular way that is almost formulaic.

These are Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople – all of which play their part in translating and transmitting the mesage from the Innovators of the world.

Connectors: “These people who link us up with the world, who bridge Omaha and Sharon, who introduce us to our social circles – these people on whom we rely on more heavily than we realize – are Connectors, people with a very special gift of bringing people together.”

Mavens: “A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests … they like to be helpers in the marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you … This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace.”

Salespeople: “Mavens are data banks. They provide the message. Connectors are social glue: they spread it. But there is also a select group of people – Salespeople – with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing, and they are as critical to the tipping of word-of-mouth epidemics as the other two groups.”

Things I learned from this book include…

Stickyness – a product or service must be of such quality and usefulness that it lives up to the hype of the reporting of it by the Mavens and Connectors. It must create involvement (engagement) of the target audience.

The Sesame Street Lesson – Kids tune out when things get confusing, even things designed to be exciting (to adults) proved to be confusing to kids and they switched attention. Lesson: know your audience, understand how they want to consume your content and in what situations are they most open to receiving your message.

Which peronality trait are you aiming at? – Studies have shown that children will lie and cheat depending on the circumstances of a situation. Therefore personality traits are not set in stone. Don’t expect adults to be any different, if you’re trying to create an epidemic around your product or service understand the personality traits of your audience as they’re in the situation they come in to contact with your communication, or, news of it via the Mavens, Connectors and Salespeople.

Fundamental Attribution Error – We are more intelligent about human situations than abstract ones, which is maybe why human based stories capture our attention. Gladwell writes: “(FAE) …is a fancy way of saying that when it comes to interpreting other people’s behaviour, human beings invariably make the mistake of overestimating the importance of fundamental character traits and underestimating the importance of the situation or context.” He concludes that there seems to be a mental sleight of hand that helps us reduce the complexity of decision making.

Unfortunately, this usually means our decisions only appear to be rational.

The Power of 150 – The human neocortex ratio of the brain = 150. This means the maximum number of genuine social relationships we can handle is approx. 150. Gore Co. (makers of Goretex) limit the number of employees working in it’s buildings to around 150 for this reason, they find that people function more efficiently, happily and innovatively in groups no larger than this. Mormons split their communities once they reach 150 into two groups of approx. 75. The military have found that units of soldiers operate optimally at 200 or below.

Lastly, Gladwell hypothesises that understanding tipping points when it comes to things like cigarette addiction could have significant impact. Trying to curb the initial usage of cigarettes by youngsters is pointless. No amount of persuasion over the decades has made much difference because of the rebellious nature of teenagers.

He suggests that curbing the stickyness (or addiction) is needed – IE: reduce the nicotine levels to make addiction less likely.

The concepts in this book require some deep thought and can be applied to all walks of life not just marketing. For instance his story of crime reduction on the New York subways simply by cleaning up graffiti is inspirational.

On a thought provoking basis I give this book 8 out of 10.

Enjoy

Stu

🙂

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7 Habits of Highly Successful People (summary)

Hiya,

Excellent summary of a classic self help (business) book:
But it’s equally useful to apply to every part of your life.
Enjoy
Stu
🙂

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Filed under Book reviews, Self Improvement, Success, Video Book Reviews, VIDEOS

Lessons from Mark Homer’s “Low Cost High Life”

Mark Homer property investor

Low Cost High Life

Hiya,

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mark Homer, he is a very successful property investor based in the UK. Over the past decade or so him and his partner, Rob Moore, have made their fortune buying, selling, refurbishing and renting property of all kinds.

Mark’s book “Low Cost High Life” details his childhood experiences that gave him the mindset for success, the lessons learned along the way and the advice for anyone else to replicate.

These are the lessons I gleaned from it, some I already learned from other authors but they bare repeating as that is how we learn best – repetition.

1. Always make sure you get more value than you pay for. IE: Don’t pay market price for investments if possible – reduce the risk

2. Learn to balance creating money and time equally in order to enjoy the independence true wealth brings.

3. Do not spend earned income on luxuries – it should only go in to either; living, saving or investing. Buy luxuries from passive income.

4. Understand the business you’re in as much as possible, it helps you remain passionate and spot opportunities. Temper your emotional urges with this knowledge to make rational decisions.

5. Get good at local property before considering overseas property. The laws and best practice may well be very different.

6. Networking events grow your network and that can be your best route to JVs, finance, expertise and latest investor trends.

7. Model those you admire that have been successful and made the mistakes. When walking through a mine field it’s best to follow someone else’s footsteps.

8. For maximum productivity stay fit and healthy. This will provide the energy and clarity of thought you need to focus and work effectively.

9. Put systems in place for everything, then manage the systems.

10. Keep 6-12 months operating cash at hand – ALL the time!

11. Invest for cashflow FIRST, and capital growth second.

12. Tap into the market’s perception of value in order to increase your price.

13. Get a PA asap.

Enjoy

Stu

🙂

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7 Tips I Learned from ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’

Summary of Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Hiya,

I finally got around to reading the famous Robert Kiyosaki book: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad“.

As a way of helping me remember books I’m going to start blogging my top tips from each starting with this book. So here are the 7 principles that stand out for me from this book…

#1  Pay yourself first

At first read this seems a little selfish but what Kiyosaki is talking about is paying yourself first before your mortgage, your bills, your debts etc. BECAUSE… that will give you the mindset to think more creatively about money so that you CAN pay everyone else. He doesn’t advocate not paying people – just make sure it’s YOU first.

#2  Get your money back quick

When investing in an asset Kiyosaki advises looking to get your initial investment back as soon as possible so the only amount left at risk was any equity or growth that asset achieved in the meantime. That way what’s left IN the deal is actually free money.

#3  Let assets buy luxuries

Pay for the luxuries in your life out of money earned passively by your assets. EG: Let the rental income from any property you own (for example) pay for your holiday or car payments. You should never buy luxuries with earned money, because any excess ‘earned‘ money should be put into buying assets that create positive cashflow.

#4  Model your heroes

Identify who your heroes are and why. Then learn as much as you can about them and what they did to become the people you admire so much. Copy their process if you want to be like them, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

#5  Give away what you want most

Sounds counter-intuitive right? What Kiyosaki means is: identify what it is you want the most and learn to ‘give‘ that to others. What you want then finds it’s way back to you. You want more people to smile at you – smile at more people. In order to start a fire you must first give away a flame.

#6  Learn to teach

And he doesn’t mean study how to teach, he means continue to learn all your life and then share (teach) what you learn with others. Only by teaching something do we get the deepest understanding of it.

#7  Don’t work for money

Most people work for money but if you want to be truly wealthy get money to work for you. Unfortunately the education system doesn’t teach that, so you have to find your own teachers and learn from them. The good thing is… they’re everywhere, in plain site.

That’s my top 7 take aways from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” – no substitute for reading the book yourself which I urge you to no matter where you are in your life. It’s never too late to become wealthy.

Hope that helped – share with others if you think it did and keep an eye out for further book summaries.

Enjoy

Stu

🙂

PS: If you’d like a free pdf copy of my book: “Do You Hate Your Job?” just email me and I’ll send it right over.

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Filed under Book reviews, Life changing, Self help, Self Improvement, Success