Friday 8 May 2015

The Art of Persistence - Michal Stawicki - Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success

The Art of Persistence:
Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success
Michal Stawicki
ISBN 1511520329

This book showed up in my Amazon recommendations. I am very thankful that it did. Now at first I was hesitant to buy this book based on the price point, number of pages and not knowing the author. But at the time his book The Fitness Expert Next Door (How to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day) was available for free on Amazon. I read it and loved it. I have read 5 of Stawicki's 8 books in the last few weeks and will finish the remaining books soon. One of the quotes from this book that grabbed me most was "Understand that each decision or action in your life could be the beginning of a change in direction." Reading this book can be one of those decisions for you!

Some reviews of Michal's books criticize the English. And Michal admits that his native tongue is not English, but he does an excellent job communicating. And the few rough phrasings are more than made up for by the quality of the content. In another review I compare his writings to those of Robin Sharma, Stephen R. Covey, Dan Millman and John C. Maxwell. This book is short, concise and relays some great information. And it is not just head knowledge it is knowledge that Michal has gained from making changes in his own life. The power of story, his story, and stories he uses of others to give examples beyond his own can motivate you to making changes in your own life.    

The chapters in this book are:
1. The Instant Gratification Curse 
2. Closing the Gap 
3. Definition 
4. Four Lessons from a Millionaire 
5. The Significance of Consistency 
- Paco 
6. Two Kinds of Motivation 
7. Utilizing Motivation 
- Ellyn 
8. Purpose 
9. Purposeful Motivation 
10. Mission 
- Teri 
11. Personal Philosophy 
12. Shape Your Philosophy 
13. Cornerstones 
- Ludvig 
14. Tiny Habits 
15. Tracking 
16. Focus 
- Stan 
17. No Blueprint 

Each chapter has the main teaching points and then a Knowledge Items summary at the end, and some have action items so you can start putting the tips into practice. I found I copied a number of these Knowledge summaries as reminders of next steps. On page 22 he states "Intention, attitude, and commitment determine your consistency" This knowledge point was one of the most impactful for me in the book. He also provides links to some other articles, TED talks and other resources to go deeper on some of the key teachings. Later in the book he declares "If you wanted to walk north, you would follow a compass. The compass needle would show you the way. Reason-powered motivation is your internal compass, always pointing you north. It's the real reason for starting and continuing a discipline. It is a values-driven decision from deep inside that you want a certain result. Some days you will not feel much like going out and working toward it. The flames in your fire may be burning low from time to time, particularly after a big discouragement. But the fire never goes out. 
You can't depend on emotion-based motivation to fuel consistency. Depending on emotional motivation is a recipe for catastrophe as emotions are not constant. 
Rather, you should place much more reliance on reason-fueled motivation. The real reasons for a journey don't just disappear in one instant. Your ambition to go "north" will motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough. It can back you up when you lose your hope. It can add a needed pinch of passion to your mundane activities, which will make them interesting enough that you continue your journey. It may save your life literally and metaphorically." Further on he says: "You can do this too. Motivate yourself with purpose-driven self-talk and reflection every day, and you will enjoy a fresh source of sustained energy that will propel you towards your goals. 
Motivation is a powerful tool. Look for ways to motivate yourself into action by drawing strength from the inspiration that comes from your ideas and the power that comes from your beliefs and values." From these two and the following quote "A life purpose is so powerful because, as its name says, it's a part of your whole life. It's always deep in your heart and will support you in your struggles" we get the main point of his argument. In order for changes to take hold, for them to last and become habits the desire to change needs to be values based, and not just passion based. From that values centred if you can craft your life purpose, and work towards it every day it will fuel the journey and drive the change even when you hit the hard times. 

What is your purpose, are you striving towards something or just existing? Michal says: "Your personal philosophy is your life attitude, which is formed by all of your past experiences and the meanings you gave them. It's your accumulated life knowledge and wisdom. As you become aware that you have an attitude towards life, you can systematically investigate and develop it using your analytic abilities. Unfortunately, not many people do this. For most people, their personal philosophy is just something that has molded itself through various life experiences rather than something they deliberately shaped." Are you willing to work to find your purpose and then pursue it? If so this book and his book A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness will help you along that path.

Some of the best advice in the books is: "Here are some ways we can work at the detail level to improve your general capacity to be consistent: 
1. Make it as enjoyable as possible. 
2. Make your goal public knowledge. 
3. Make time for the activity you want to undertake. 
4. Don't set the bar too high too early. 
5. Make it easy to say yes (or no). 
6. Track your progress. 
7. Make decisions now."

Michal declares: "If you really want to be satisfied in your life, to say goodbye to your frustrations, you must start enjoying the process of achievement, not just the destination itself." So grab this book and start that journey, and if you are already on it, it will likely help you forward. "Realize this: there is no magic formula that ensures results through processes you will always enjoy. Keeping your focus on being consistent is often plain hard work. But if you don't get at least some satisfaction from the steps along the way, your chances for staying consistent in your efforts will lessen rapidly." So get the book and let's get to work!

Books by Michal Stawicki:
The Art of Persistence: Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success
A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness
Trickle Down Mindset: The Missing Element In Your Personal Success

Slicing the Hype
99 Perseverance Success Stories: Encouragement for Success in Every Walk of Life
Power up Your Self-Talk: 6 Simple Habits to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Reclaim Your Life
99 Habit Success Stories

Six Simple Steps to Success
Simplify Your Pursuit of Success - Book 1
Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It - Book 2
Bulletproof Health and Fitness: Your Secret to High Achievement - Book 3
Making Business Connections That Count - Book 4
Directed by Purpose: How to Focus on Work That Matters, Ignore Distractions and Manage Your Attention over the Long Haul - Book 5

How to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day Series:
The Fitness Expert Next Door - Book 1
Learn to Read with Great Speed! Only 10 minutes a day! - Book 2
Release Your Kid's Dormant Genius In Just 10 Minutes a Day: Parenting Your Smart Underachiever With Consistency and Love - Book 3
Master Your Time In 10 Minutes a Day: Time Management Tips for Anyone Struggling With Work-Life Balance  - Book 4
From Shy to Hi: Tame Social Anxiety, Meet New People, and Build Self-Confidence  - Book 5

Author Profile and Interview with Michal Stawicki

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