10 Lessons from Daniel Pink

These notes are a blend of Daniel Pink’s presentation and some of Bill’s comments.

Daniel Pink’s new book, The Power of  Regrets came out February 1 2022.  I have my copy.  Get Yours.

  1. Best way to make a decision. A focusing question is, ‘what would I tell my best friend to do?’   Why? We are better at solving other people’s problems than our own.  So, take your own advice that you would freely give to others.  Three considerations:
  • Fundamental is better than perfunctory. Making a short-term decision might be appropriate and life keeps changing.  Fundamental decisions are more value-based and will serve us better over the long-term.
  • Do the right thing. Make the ‘hard’ right decision rather than the ‘easy’ wrong decision.
  • Less is more. Goethe said, ‘the things that matter most should not be at the mercy of things that matter least.’
  1. best way to get stuff done. Read ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott.
  • Do one thing first, then a second, etc. Bill O’Hanlon wrote a book ‘Do One Thing Different’
  • L. Doctorow said, “Writing is like driving a car at night: you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Living is the same.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy: One Day at A Time
  1. Best way to choose what to do. In school and life, pick the professor more than the class.’  We learn best from someone we trust and/or like.
  • Relationships first.
  • Maori Proverb: Never spend time with people who don’t respect you. (At least limit the time you spend with those who sap your energy, time, and emotional health.
  1. Best Way to persuade someone including yourself
  • Don’t try to persuade them, make it easy for them to do it. We spend too much time trying to change people’s minds
  • Dirty little secret: make it easy for people to act in the best way for them and the organization.
  1. Best way to get a good idea. Pink interviewed Malcom Gladwell
  • Good ideas lead to good ideas.
  • What is the story of an idea? Maya Angelou said, ‘people will forget what you said, but remember how you made them feel’
  • Indigenous cultures did not have a three-ring binder. They transmitted their culture through story and metaphors.
  • After generating ideas, socialize the ideas. Talk about the ideas to see reactions and reflect on applications.
  • Listen to things that have not occurred to you
  1. Best way to overcome hassles big and small. Everything will take longer than you think.
  • Getting Things Done by David Allen. Two-minute rule – do it now
  • When confronted with big hassles it is easy to throw up your hands. Instead reframe as a test.  Hassle is the norm of things.  Remember: you don’t have control of what happens to you, you have control over how you respond to things that happen to you.
  1. Best way to liberate yourself.
  1. Best way to get stuff done part 2. Dan interviewed Al Gore
  1. Best way to deal with your regrets.
  • Inward – we are too harsh on ourselves, treat yourself with kindness, forgive yourself
  • Outward – talk about it, disclosure, process it. Concrete words can help with emotions
  • Forward – challenge my assumptions. Next time you have an idea, use it in a sentence.  Marshall Goldsmith coined the term FeedForward.  Yes, reflect on the past, deal with the present, and What are you going to do moving forward?
  1. Best three words to say regularly
  • Please and Thank You
  • Please reminds me that I am not entitled to anything – it’s a gift
  • Thank You – reminds me I am not entitled. Expressing gratitude is good for the person receiving the acknowledgement and the person giving gratitude gets a dopamine hit too.

Daniel Pink:  The purpose of this book is to reclaim regret as an indispensable emotion — and to enlist it to make wiser choices. By changing the conversation about human flourishing, this book will spark millions of people to reclaim their own regrets and thereby lead richer, fuller lives.

Bill:  I am grateful to Daniel Pink for sharing his thoughts and for viewing this presentation.