I recently finished up Marshall Goldsmith’s Triggers – creating behavior that lasts, becoming the person you want to be. Sound a little self-help-y? That’s because it is. But in the best way possible.
I’m typically not the biggest fan of the books who claim to be able to change your life with 3 easy steps, who promise by the end you’ll be a new person, or who want to give you a new mantra for living. Goldsmith does none of these things – he simply helps explain human behavior regarding change. As an executive coach who gets paid to sit down with powerful CEOs and business professionals, he knows a thing or two about creating lasting change. Although some of his example were hard to relate to at times, I feel like I learned so much about myself through his words. I think the most help we need today is becoming more self aware, so any “self help” book that involves that has my vote.
Goldsmith breaks down what a trigger actually is – what it looks like in your life, and what are natural reactions to a trigger. He also helps differentiate between positive and negative triggers – as some triggers in our life are good and needed, while others tend to send us down a bad path. He reinforces the need of structure in our lives, at first to an alarming degree. Yet proves how structure is truly needed for successful change, as the world around us is constantly out of our control.
My personal take-away from his work was Goldsmith’s Daily Questions ritual. When a person decides what they want to change, they grade themselves at the end of everyday. Not with “Did I work out today?” to lose weight or “Did I study 3 hours?” to pass the LSAT, but instead asking oneself how hard they tried. “Did I try to be healthy?” “Did I try my best to make time to study?” And, one question most highly educated CEOs found surprising: “Did I try to be happy today?” Grading our efforts, instead of our practices, shows how much we truly want this change. If you aren’t trying very hard for a week straight, Goldsmith suggests you actually don’t care that much about it. Hard truth to swallow. As well as realizing we have more control over our happiness than the external things we like to blame it on…
Goldsmith doesn’t tell you what to change – he leaves that completely up to you. But he explains how to figure out a way to change, and how to make it a lasting change. Something we all need help with!
**This book isn’t a riveting, fast read. But it’s worth the time it takes to get through. 3.5 / 5 stars from me! I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review**