Together we improve, Stud…

All BTL clients are freakin’ nuts. I mean, come on man, you gotta be nuts to invest time, money, and all kinda energy in building yourself stronger. Especially when the BTL kinda strength doesn’t necessarily lead to bulging biceps or bank accounts. However, some of our clients are crazier than others. The crazier they are the more PA we put on ‘em. You see, friend, the strong do keep getting stronger. Recently, a client sent me his writing from four of his recent PA’s. I’ve included his writing on three of them as the fourth isn’t for public consumption. The three PA’s from our last practice were to read the book Four, read the Build Your Optimism Essential in the BTL 12 Playbook, and read the book Learned Optimism. Of course, when BTL clients read, they write. They think. They extrapolate their learning to their work & life. This client is one hell of a stud. Here’s his writing. If you want to learn, read on. It’s lengthy…

“The Four:

Melody line.

1. This author is one of the best of mixing basic language and visuals to prove a point. I have about half of the graphs committed to memory. They are cartoon like making them different making them remarkable. He also makes most of his arguments by analogy. I’ll never forget NYT (birds) eating parasites out of the elephants ass (google). One swipe of the tail….

2. These organizations are banking on mindlessness. Margin is in the experience. What their user experience is dopamine. Dopamine is the least effective, short-term brain chemicals for feeling good. It is what you get with a hit of coke, with a roll of the dice, with a suggestive look from someone with whom you are attracted. Most of what is wrong with America stems from this chemical. Feelings-Actions-Identity. Reactivity. Defense. Victimhood.

3. Financial leverage. When you attract shareholders that don’t need/require/want active income, you can think long term. This is the judo each of the four are playing with the rest of us. You think with dopamine and we will use oxytocin with our shareholders. One is short term is individual. The other is long term and bonding. This allows the wealthy investors to create “moats” around their business at the expense of the “active users”. This is not meaningfully different than what the casinos do with their clientele. Bright lights, free meals and rooms, free drinks. A matrix of apparent success as the flytrap closes.

4. The antidote for the new era is mindfulness and discipline. Those that are aware of what is happening internally will be able to resist the external forces. They will know exactly how much time they are spending on these sites and how it is making them act and feel. They will understand what all of this might do to their neighborhood stores, their marriage and their kids. They will limit the impact it has on who they are and where they are going. They will be remarkable for it as everyone else will be asleep. They will be creative as they will think their own thoughts, not get their news from people that want them to spend more time on the site. They will refuse to let the algorithm dress them and create their character. As the author says, it will be easy to become a billionaire and almost impossible to become a millionaire. Put another way, fewer will be awake as the forces (the four) putting people to sleep get stronger.

Playbook- Optimism

Melody line

1. I’m a huge believer in self-reliance. Optimism and luck to me have looked like first cousins. Using luck/optimism as a strategy feels like hope as a strategy. There is no question this borders on pessimism when leading a team. It can manifest in focusing on weaknesses and threats more than strengths and opportunities.

2. People want to be shown the way, not the obstacles. I need to make any strategy discussions about where are headed and why. No real need to discuss where we aren’t going or what our competition is doing. If we are on the right path, we don’t have competition so why bother bringing it up.

3. Matt Biondi- Weigh yourself down when you compete. If you train harder than the environment you compete in then competition will seem easy. This is why we train hard in the morning physically. This is why we read books instead of bullshit magazines.
This is why we listen intently all the time. It will be second nature wile under stress. It will be a durable habit not fragile to circumstance.

4. For those close to you, the perception of your leading style is what matters. While your intent is positive, you may be a negative ion. You may personalize things that have nothing to do with you. You may be showing obstacles instead of gaps. Any asshole can be a critic. What is your solution?

Learned Optimism- About a third through

1. The truth doesn’t care who you are. The fact that Seligman brought his adversaries into his camp to prove his hypothesis is remarkable. Think if he hadn’t. Would we have these advances in cognitive therapy? Back to dopamine vs oxytocin. What would happen if defenses went up and collaboration went down? Do you think his adversaries expected this? Do you think they gave his theory more credibility given his willingness to bring them in?

2. The three Ps. Oh boy. Personal, Pervasive, Permanent. What to say. We all do this to some degree. This is where mindfulness supersedes almost all other aspects of mental health. How do you become aware you are doing this? Even Seligman says that depressives are more aware of the “reality” of their situation. This is how people can become aware of their thought patterns and “catch the bandit” as the buddhists say. One way a pessimist can tun a bug into a feature.

3. Hear what you are saying about self-esteem and stoicism. I don’t have self-esteem issues. I will take all the responsibility I can for anything I can. I know you weren’t a huge fan of Extreme Ownership but I was. I find this to be one inconsistency of Selgiman’s work. He wants to advocate for personal responsibility but acknowledges some mental life from placing blame elsewhere (making it less personal and more temporary). He also indicates through studies that people that feel in control will be more resilient to failure (light bulb experiment). Seems somewhat contradictory.”

Thanks, Stud, for doing the work. See you in practice. We’ll be getting stronger. Together we improve, friend, is more than our tagline at BTL – it’s what we demand from ourselves and expect from our clients. Good…

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