One of my favorite authors is Daniel Pink.  I enjoy his writing style and how he’s witty and even a bit weird.  

So when I saw his offer for a live talk for anyone that pre-ordered his book, The Power of Regret, I jumped at the chance.  His talk did not disappoint.  And because he didn’t make the recording public, I decided to provide you with my notes on what he shared, which are the 10 best lessons he’s ever learned. 

Here are my notes:

Daniel Pink’s 10 best lessons he’s ever learned

10. The best way to make a decision: What would you tell your best friend to do?

According to Daniel Pink, we are better at solving other people’s problems than our own.  Therefore, taking the time to consider what you would tell your best friend is key when making a hard decision. 

He also talked about something interesting which was making a decision for fundamental vs. instrumental reasons.  In which he affirmed that fundamental reasons beat instrumental reasons.  

For example, making a decision to do something because it’s interesting (fundamental) vs. making a decision to do something because you think it will lead to another opportunity, etc. (instrumental) is better.  According to Pink, instrumental reasons don’t work because the world is always changing and we don’t know what’s going to happen.

Lastly, he shares to always do the right thing. 

To summarize the best way to make a decision:

  • Ask yourself “what would I tell my best friend to do?”
  • Fundamental beats instrumental. 
  • Less is more. 
  • Always do the right thing

9. The best way to get stuff done: Bird by bird  

The best way to get stuff done is to do it one step at a time.  

To bring this idea to life he mentioned a book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott which provides some instruction on how to approach writing and life.  

My biggest takeaway from this is to break things down into small steps and tackle them one at a time.  And when procrastination gets in the way, the same principle applies – take it bird by bird, in other words, one step at a time.  

8. The best way to choose what to do is: Pick the professor, not just the class.

Pink emphasized to consider heavily who you’re doing it with.  

Otherwise, in Pink’s words, “you end up working with people you don’t respect, don’t like, or who are assholes.”  Whoa!  I couldn’t help but think about job interviews.  It’s equally as important for you to interview the hiring manager and the team to see if they’re a good fit for you.  

Key takeaways:

  • We are who we spend time with – they will shape who you are
  • Hang out with curious, intelligent, kind, open-minded people.  People who have the qualities you aspire to
  • You are who you spend time with
  • Figure out who are you doing it with (whatever it is you are planning to do)

7. The best way to persuade somebody: Is not to try to persuade them

Especially working in the health industry and helping people establish habit changes, I really appreciated Pink’s perspective on this one.  He states, in order to help someone do what you want them to do, make it easy for them to do it – brilliant!  

This is something that I preach to corporate clients and personal clients.  For example, I tell them to always make the healthy choice the easy and most obvious choice.  

One of the examples Pink shared was regarding saving for retirement.  He shares that if we want people to save for retirement, we should consider changing the default option (i.e. make saving for retirement an opt-out option not opt-in).

Key takeaways:

  • We undervalue making it easy for people to do things 
  • Focus as much as you can on making it easy for people to act 

6. How to get good ideas and distinguish good ideas between not so good ideas:

  • Focus on the difference between a topic and a story
  • Focus on STORIES, not topics
  • Generate many ideas but have a way to capture them
  • Socialize ideas 
  • Daniel’s approach to ideas
    • Generate: the only way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas
    • Capture: have a system and tools to capture them. I.e. online file, notebook, box, photos
    • Socialize: talk to people about them 

5. The best way to deal with/ respond to hassles

Always remember that everything takes longer than you expect it to take (including weight loss… especially weight loss!)

  1. The 2-minute rule: if you have a task that you can get done in 2 minutes or less do it now 
  2. Reframe it as a test 

4. The best way to liberate yourself

I loved hearing about this one because he shared how much people are simply worried about themselves.  In other words, nobody cares about you and what you’re doing, really, because they are all too concerned with trying to live their own good life and do good work.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Nobody cares about you
  • Everyone else is trying to live a good life, do good work and live their life
  • The few people who do care about what you’re doing… who cares
  • Care a lot less about what people think of you (yep!)

3. The best way to get stuff done part 2

  • Have systems in place (I believe in this 100%)
  • The hard right and the easy wrong 
  • Seek first to understand when communicating with someone, when emotions are engaged, and when you disagree with someone 

2. The best way to deal with our regret

You can start by reading about it.  I’m actually loving his book right now, The Power of Regret.  In his book, Pink, suggests starting a regret circle where people come together and actually talk about their regrets. 

Key takeaways:

  • Inward: treat yourself with kindness and forgive yourself
  • Outward: disclose your regret.
  • Forward: extract a lesson from it.  Challenge your assumptions

1. The best 3 words to say regularly:

  • Please and thank you

If your resolution this year is to lose weight, get fit, healthy, and focused and you’re tired of trying to figure it all out on your own, I’d love to partner with you and help you out.  Coaching is not for everyone and if you feel like you’d be a great candidate for coaching then please consider filling out this form so we can have a conversation and discuss your options.  I have long-term coaching (3, 6, and 10 months) options available as well as quick 90-minute strategy sessions and 20-minute sessions.  

Over to you!

There you have it. Now you have a solid idea for how to create a foolproof action plan to help you achieve your new year resolution with confidence.

Connect with me via email by subscribing to my newsletter.  As my gift to you, you’ll receive my complimentary blueprint to lose 20 pounds by summer. 


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