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Marshall Goldsmith has again given us a book with true meaning for the lives each of us want to lead. Contained within the book are relevant case studies and various techniques that we can all put into instant practice. Another in the series of books by a great coach and author that have had a massive impact on both my work and life.
This book is based on the Buddhist wisdom of mindfulness and being in the present. The ‘Every Breath Paradigm’ of Buddha teaches us that we are a countless series of selves, comprising old self and current self and future self, changing from one to the next with every breath we take. If we understand this concept, we can appreciate the concept of impermanence. The focus is on every present moment and thereby on living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome.
The Action-Ambition-Aspiration framework helps us understand how we can align Activities (What we are doing now) with Ambition (What we want to become) and finally reaching our Aspiration (Who we want to become). This is like having a perfect roadmap for our life, with clarity and purpose. Having a clear Purpose drives engagement in all that we do, which improves the odds of Achieving our goals. This provides Meaning to life and creates a fleeting sense of happiness. However, happiness too is impermanent, and we need to repeat this cycle, thus creating a virtuous cycle of earning it.
The book outlines some barriers that prevents us from achieving our full potential. 1. Our default response to life is not to experience meaning or happiness. Our default response is to experience Inertia. 2 All of us are programmed in some way by our parents. They shape our beliefs, our social values and even our self-image. Such programming locks us in and blinds us. 3. We are undone by Obligation. We try to please everybody all the time. 4. We suffer from failure of Imagination 5. Our failure to adapt to quickening pace of Change. 6. We are living someone else’s life, in the era of social media that is a smorgasbord of distractions aptly put ‘We are narcotized by Vicarious Living. 7. We do not estimate our Runway (left in our life), and hence either procrastinate with overestimation, or give-up on underestimation.
There are 4 enablers that can help us : Compliance (adherence to an external rule), Accountability (our expectations we impose on ourselves), constant follow-up and Measurement are the rules of the game. In order to have a realistic roadmap, Motivation, Ability, Understanding, Confidence along with Support and Marketplace form the solid building blocks. (These are similar to the four circles described in ‘The Heart of Change’ by Hubert Joly: 1. Doing what you love. 2. What you are good at. 3. What you can be paid for. 4. What the world needs.)
It is important to understand that no one has achieved success all by oneself. All of us are flawed human beings and we all should be seeking help, explains the author in the excellent chapter ‘The Lost Art of Asking for Help’.
This book is a solid guide to start afresh, any stage in life. Every chapter is a delight, with clear concepts, real life cases enriched by the author’s decades of experience in executive coaching. I felt like being in Marshal Goldsmith class once again, blessed, with my memories at Tuck School, Dartmouth.
I recommend reading this book, slowly, not more than one chapter at a time. It needs time to understand and reflect. Only then the concepts would sink in, renewing ourselves, every moment, and guiding us in our precious journey of earning our life, reminding us that we are an endless series of old and new versions of ourselves.
This brings us back to the basic question: ‘Am I being the person I want to be right now?’
This is yet another outstanding book from Marshal Goldsmith.
The author has summarizes his lifelong coaching wisdom in one book and picks a lot of actionable insights which if you really contemplate will be able to implement..... the most brilliant part was the way it was written and gets you hooked
All of Marshall's books have found me in times when I needed them most. The Earned Life is work that may be Marshall's greatest to date. It has conveniently appeared, once again, when it's wisdom is required and needed most...not just by me, but for all of us navigating life right now and looking for clarity and compassion. Compassion towards ourselves and others. Enjoy this masterpiece.
You had the greatest year of your life: Profits are up, the launch was a success, and you got the big promotion. If your definition of happiness hinges on next year being better… you’ll have a tough time.
That's what Marshall Goldsmith takes on in the Earned Life––exploring the meaning of achievement itself.
Why are we doing this? Does success really make us happy? And what if those two things were not so deeply connected?
Having coached some of the world's most powerful leaders ––– having become one himself, he knows whereof he speaks.
Marshall reminds us to question the classic “Marshmallow study,” that tests which kids can delay gratification and get more marshmallows later. Self-discipline is fine, but if you’re always waiting for next year to be better, you’ll be an old man in a room with 1,000 marshmallows.
If you've earned 1,000 marshmallows. Eat one or two or three.
It's a thoughtful reflection, a distillation of his life's work and teachings.
Marshall Goldsmith will change your life! Live, Lead and Read the Earned Life!
Live, lead and read The Earned Life! What an incredible opportunity to learn from the best of the best. Marshall Goldsmith is the World’s #1 Leadership Thinker and Executive Coach—and more, he combines a lifetime of leadership with a lifetime of helping people with what matters most. He has an incredible gift of helping you realize what is holding you back and how to cultivate your vision and determination that allows you to live your best life moving forward. Learning from Marshall is a rare and life-changing opportunity. In the Earned Life you are investing in your future by learning from Marshall’s brilliant wisdom, his deep care and his incredible capacity to translate what is complicated and overwhelming into actionable strategies and perspectives you can use to live and lead your best life without regrets. Your future you will want to thank you for getting this book.