Tag Archives: Psychology

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

Summary

  1. In finance, the soft skills (how you behave) is typically more powerful than the hard, technical skills. Finance is guided more by psychology than laws and this book will help you better understand this idea and how to counter some of the more deleterious effects that ignoring them might bring

Key Takeaways

  1. Luck and risk are inescapable – nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems
  2. “Enough” is a powerful word and one of the most valuable financial skills is to keep the goal posts from moving.
  3. Compounding is a true superpower. A mentality of frugality, paranoia, survival is key. Don’t do anything that can wipe you out and understand that staying wealthy is a different skill than getting wealthy
  4. Honor the power of tails, 80/20
  5. Money’s greatest value is to give you control over how you spend your time
  6. Wealth is what is hidden
  7. Reasonable > Rational – having an approach which you’ll sustain and which allows you to sleep at night is better than what is mathematically optimal
  8. Think of volatility as fees rather than fines
  9. More than some dollar amount, seek independence, the ability to do what you want, when you want. Save more than you spend, keep your lifestyle spending in check, understand your priorities, and give yourself a nice margin of safety

What I got out of it

  1. An incredibly applicable, approachable, and useful book for those who want to better understand how to think about money, investing, saving, and what true wealth really means

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron

Summary

  1. The author digs into the various enneagram types, their strengths and areas for improvement, what they’re like as children, what it’s like to be in a relationship with them, and more. Why does this matter? “What we don’t know about ourselves can and will hurt us, not to mention others”.  It’s when we stop trying to change people and simply love them that they actually have a shot at transformation. The Enneagram is a tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier.

Key Takeaways

  1. The purpose of the Enneagram is to develop self-knowledge and learn how to recognize and dis-identify with the parts of our personalities that limit us so we can be reunited with our truest and best selves, that “pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven,” as Thomas Merton said. The point of it is self-understanding and growing beyond the self-defeating dimensions of our personality, as well as improving relationships and growing in compassion for others.
    1. Type 1: The Perfectionist.
    2. Type 2: The Helper.
      1. Healthy Twos can often name their own needs and feelings without fear of losing relationships. They are generous in their efforts to love well and care for others. These happy, secure Twos also have appropriate boundaries, knowing what is theirs to do and what is not. They create a comfortable, safe space for others and are often considered to be a friend to many. Loving and lovable, they adapt well to changing circumstances and are aware of the true self that exists beyond their relationships.
    3. Type 3: The Performer.
      1. Healthy Threes have transcended the goal of merely looking good and are moving toward being known and loved for who they are, not for what they accomplish. They still love to set goals, rise to challenges and solve problems, but their self-worth is not tied to these things. They try to balance their abundant energy between work, rest and some kind of contemplative practice, recognizing the importance of being instead of doing. They feel valuable, which unleashes a tender benevolence that is focused on the common good.
      2. Unaware Threes are social chameleons. As you can imagine, however, their ability to create and project the image to make the sale or get the girl or guy can leave them wondering who their authentic self is.
      3. Without exception, the relationships of spiritually unevolved Threes suffer because they’re almost all workaholics. They have so many projects running and so many goals to achieve they can’t give their undivided attention to people they love.
      4. Security. When Threes are feeling secure they move to the positive side of Six, where they become warmer and more in touch with their feelings and the feelings of others. Less competitive and defensive, Threes in this space have more energy to devote to family and friends. No longer needing to be the star or in control, they care more about what’s best for the group and want to connect to something that’s bigger than they are.
    4. Type 4: The Romantic.
    5. Type 5: The Investigator.
      1. Fives are motivated by a desire to understand. To them, gathering knowledge and mastering information are not just interesting endeavors but keys to survival. By embarking on a lifelong quest for information, often about unusual or challenging subjects, Fives believe they can insulate themselves from emotional and spiritual harm.
      2. They take in all the information and don’t feel anything until they have a few days on their own to process it in private. For them life is like a knowledge salad bar. They get in line, pick what they want, then bag it up, take it home, eat it and over the next week digest it. They need extended periods of time alone where they can process their thoughts and feelings.
      3. Fives don’t want to be sucked into your emotional dramas, which is another relational challenge for them. They aren’t cold-hearted jerks; on the contrary, they will listen and be supportive while you talk about your feelings. But they don’t want to be made to feel responsible for those feelings. They’ll take responsibility for their own emotions, and they expect you to take responsibility for yours. Fives have to have independence. People who are in a relationship with them need to understand that this is not a preference but a necessity.
      4. This may sound like mundane stuff, but disclosing even little things about our lives is like Miracle-Gro for relationships. By keeping everyone on a need-to-know basis, Fives can make their friends and even their partners wonder, “Do I really know this person? Will I ever know this person?”
    6. Type 6: The Loyalist.
      1. Learn to recognize the difference between legitimate fear and free-floating anxiety, and ascribe different values to them.
    7. Type 7: The Enthusiast.
      1. Scratch the vibrant paint on the surface of a Seven and what you’ll find underneath is the need to avoid pain. I can’t say that strongly enough—Sevens don’t want to feel unpleasant emotions, particularly that swirl of fear and emptiness they register at their core. No one enjoys feeling frightened, sad, bored, angry, disappointed or frustrated, but for Sevens, emotions like these are intolerable.
      2. It also may be they don’t want to face the fact that suffering is the only point of entry into a deeper life.
    8. Type 8: The Challenger.
      1. The deadly sin of the Eight is lust, but not in the sexual sense. Eights lust after intensity—they are high-voltage human dynamos who want to be wherever the action and energy are, and if they can’t find any, they’ll cook it up. Eights have more energy than any other number on the Enneagram.
      2. Spiritually healthy, self-aware Eights love to do what others say can’t be done. When their energy is harnessed and channeled they can change the course of history. Think Martin Luther King Jr.
      3. Anger is the dominant emotion in an Eight’s life. They are fiercely independent people whose oppositional energy expresses itself in a need to be strong and go up against power.
      4. Try not to take it personally. As strange as it sounds, what feels like intimidation to you feels like intimacy to an Eight. For them, conflict is connection. In my experience Eights don’t see themselves as angry people. In fact, they’re genuinely surprised when they learn other people experience them as intimidating, insensitive and domineering.
      5. Eight identifies with the easily preyed upon and rushes to their aid.
      6. Eights don’t feel like they have to be the person in control—they just don’t want to be controlled.
      7. Eights want people to challenge them right back. Eights admire strength. They won’t respect you if you’re not willing to stand toe to toe with them. They want others to be their equals and stand up for what they believe.
      8. Eights want the unvarnished truth. Unless you like lengthy estrangements, never lie or send a mixed message to an Eight. You have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Information is power, so Eights want to know all the facts.
      9. Eights want to be in control. Eights never want to feel like they’re not in control. This is one reason they don’t often say “I’m sorry.” If you tell them they’ve said or done something that hurt you, they may even make matters worse by accusing you of being too sensitive. When things go wrong Eights who lack self-awareness are super quick to blame others rather than own up and take responsibility for their mistakes.
      10. down their guard to allow others to see their fragility or their deep desire to be understood and loved. This is why Eights are often attracted to Enneagram feeling types (2, 3, 4), who can help them get in touch with and outwardly express their affection.
      11. Because they like to be in charge, free from limitations imposed on them by others, Eights often work for themselves.
      12. Vulnerability is the base metal of love and relationships. If Eights want to love and be loved they will have to risk opening their heart and revealing their innermost feelings to a trusted few. It’s the price of admission.
    9. Type 9: The Peacemaker.
  2. Spiritually speaking, it’s a real advantage to know what happens to your type and the number it naturally goes to in stress. It’s equally valuable to learn the positive qualities of the number you instinctively move toward in security as well. Once you become familiar with this material you can know and catch yourself when you’re heading in the direction of a breakthrough or a breakdown, and make wiser choices than in the past.
  3. “Information is not transformation.”
  4. Unfortunately, the downside of their independence and self-reliance is that these kids can forget their innocence much too early, and it is difficult to reclaim it later in life. They need to recover a little of the open-heartedness that defines childhood for others. They need to remember that time in life when they didn’t need to be in charge or control to feel safe, when they could trust others to protect them.
  5. “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”
  6. Apart from the practical advice, the most invaluable part of the workshops comes when Rebecca hands the parents eyeglasses that correlate to each child’s specific disability. Almost always, the parents burst into tears. “I had no idea that this is the way my child sees the world,” they tell her. Once they have the experience of observing through their children’s eyes, they never experience the world in quite the same way again. They may still be angry about the diagnosis, but they’re not frustrated with their child, because even a brief exposure to the reality of how hard life is for these kids inspires in their parents only compassion. This is the gift of the Enneagram. Sometimes people talk about the Enneagram as a tool that reveals the lens through which people see the world.

What I got out of it

  1. Whether you put weight into the Enneagram or not, it’s helpful to be aware of and deeply understand that humans are different! I know, I know. Duh! But maybe not. People’s mindsets, priorities, and frames of mind change how they perceive situations and react to it. This can be hard to keep in mind in stressful situations and this book helps give a broad overview of some major ways people differ. I’m an 8 (nearly a 3) and my wife is a 6. It was really fun to read this with her and see a lot of us and our relationship in these descriptions.

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson

Summary

  1. The author walks us through the incredible adaptability and flexibility the human body has to push itself to incredible limits

Key Takeaways

  1. Athletes are generally graded based on vo2 max (capacity), efficiency, and ability to endure pain. We all feel pain, but differ in how our brain interprets it. The most accomplished athletes tend to be able to convert pain to a sort of pleasure
  2. We’ve all heard “mind over matter,” but how they each impact each other and how they are intertwined is just getting started to be understood.
  3. Our understanding of fatigue is, at the very least, incomplete, or else how could ultramarathoners be able to sprint when they see the finish line? This means they should have been able to run faster throughout the race. (goal gradient hypothesis). More experienced athletes have trained their bodies to save less in reserves, meaning their end of race sprint isn’t much faster than what they did the rest of the race. Perceived effort is really the final arbiter. If something feels easier, you can do it faster and better. Being mentally fatigued makes things feel harder and decreases your performance even if your body is rested. The power of perception! Combining effort and motivation gives you the best results. If you could train the brain to get comfortable with fatigue, you can push yourself to do more and better
  4. Being fitter doesn’t increase pain tolerance. How you get fit matters. You have to suffer. The inspiring thing is that pain tolerance can be greatly increased!
  5. It is the build up of carbon dioxide more than the lack of oxygen that makes us pant
  6. The discussion around hydration has fluctuated from extremes. It seems like avoiding thirst rather than dehydration is optimal. The feeling of thirst increases perceived effort which in turn slows you down
  7. A high fat, low carb diet is great for increasing your health and endurance, but the downside is that it decreases your fast-to-release energy for quick sprints decreases
  8. Sports drinks are surprisingly effective and led to the discovery of sensors in your mouth that detect carbs and this helps relax your brain’s margin of safety. Just swishing it in your mouth helps!
  9. Brain training to decrease perceived effort has a lot to do with building capacity for struggle and building up towards response inhibition. Working out and training when you are mentally fatigued is a great way to build this. Elite athletes are able to increase their performance through struggles more than an untrained person. They are able to be more non judgmental and simply deal with the situation at hand

What I got out of it

  1. Perceived effort is everything! Training past your limits allows you to push your pain tolerance, increasing your endurance and performance

Spiral Dynamics Integral by Don Beck

Summary

  1. A theory of everything, helping explain why and how people change and the common patterns in that evolution. Different manifestations of expressed self and sacrificed self. These were not discovered, but uncovered

Key Takeaways

  1. There is no final stage. Humans are amazing creatures that are able to constantly recalibrate their world’s. This is the theory of spiral dynamics and Clare Graves is The Godfather – the evolution of values and human’s psychosocial systems.
  2. What is adult psychological development all about? The task of evolving from perversity to decency. Human nature is not a fixed being
  3. Emergent, cyclical, double helix model, adult, bio psychosocial systems development
    1. Emergent arises
    2. Cyclical – 2 poles with I/me/mine and we/us/ours at opposite ends
    3. Double helix – awakened systems in people and organizations to handle emerging conditions
    4. Adults ready to explore and evolve
    5. Bio psychosocial – chemical components in the brain that make people ready for this
  4. Graves was a true systems thinker that was holistic
  5. Because of the environment and the challenges we face, some people are better thinkers than others. Deeper Values structures are fractal that organize and by looking at these you can see where decisions are truly being made and if you can unlock or influence or shape the things that truly affect us And gives us a pragmatic application
  6. Basic value systems / priorities for living. How and why we think and see the world. Simply how and why people think and value what they do
    1. Beige – first tier, colors or levels are used to abstract other human traits. Beige is the most base level and once these needs are met, it leads to coordination for safety and security
    2. Purple – tribalistic and animistic and cause / effect. Sharing, superstition, coordination for safety and security
    3. Red – I/me/mine and a self of sense, ego centric, want it all and want it now, want to be free, rebel
    4. Blue – a search for a meaning in life, justify your existence, we/us/our, purpose driven, one right way, order and discipline and responsibility, transcendence and sacrifice for something bigger, law, Justice and fairness. Leads to countries and religions
    5. Orange – seek to find universal truths, science, fate control to the understand that every individual can act on their own and make their world and others worlds better, secular and autonomous, Individualism, success driven. The major world color today
    6. Green – a new sense of humanness, authenticity, internal worlds of feeling and chemicals and internal exploration, human rights, consensus, life’s continued quest of meaning, egalitarianism, release talents of every human
    7. Yellow – There is a quantum jump from green to the next tier. A lack of fear, different priorities, integrated, authentic, natural, balanced. This is yellow. Yellow doesn’t like being praised because it knows when it has failed and when it has succeeded. Equanimity, comfortable in a variety of environments, non-judgmental, sees the world as dynamic and organic and not static, upfront and non BS, both/and and not either/or, integral – meaning they can mesh together differences
    8. Turquoise – competency, utility, things that work, whole earth, mystical
  7. There are of course blending of these in people and countries and can drastically change based on environment and context
  8. If we can create the structures and the pathways for people at any level to progress, human afire will take care of itself. You cannot force it, but you can guide it
  9. For companies, need to think about firm, fit, function, flow, fulfillment

What I got out of it

  1. Understanding the various levels and what defines them

How to Own Your Own Mind by Napoleon Hill

Summary

  1. The problem most of us face isn’t that our goals are too audacious, but that we aren’t using our mind properly. Carnegie classified his approach into three broad principles: Creative Vision, Organized Thought, Controlled Attention

Key Takeaways

  1. Creative Vision – the ability to spot opportunities and act upon them
    1. Focus your mind intently on one or a few problems and your subconscious mind will reward you with solutions. It also prepares you to recognize the solution once you see it or stumble upon it. Persistence and obsession is vital
    2. Must have a definite purpose, an obsessive mission, plans to follow, make use of the mastermind principle (learning from other greats), using the power of applied faith
    3. The man who helps the greatest number to succeed is himself the greatest success
    4. The road to riches is well known, but long. You cannot get something for nothing
    5. Focus more on the services rendered than the riches you shall receive
    6. The most important skill needed is the ability to negotiate with others with the least amount of friction so as to get the maximum of friendly cooperation. In other words, win/win human relations
    7. Man of vision recognize that sound ideal oh best investments one can make
    8. 10 principles of creative vision
      1. Recognizes opportunities favorable to his own advancement.
      2. Moves with definiteness of purpose in embracing opportunities.
      3. Plans every move he makes….
      4. Provides himself with….the knowledge of others.
      5. Removes limitations from his own mind.
      6. Adopts and follows the habit of Going the Extra Mile.
      7. Keeps his mind….attuned to the circumstances and conditions of those around him.
      8. Moves on his own personal initiative, without being urged to do so.
      9. Assumes full responsibility for his own deeds and depends upon the soundness of his own judgement.
      10. Develops and uses….the faculties of imagination.
    9. Those with creative vision make their work look effortless. They achieve what they want with the minimum amount of effort
  2. Organized Thought – self-discipline, perseverance, definitiveness of purpose
    1. You must make your mind and willpower the master over emotions
    2. The mind comes to believe any idea which it is repeatedly presented, whether sound or on sound. Make sure you feed your mind with as accurate and foundational facts as possible. Habit and social heredity and mimicry play an incredibly important role. Be aware of each of their effects on your life and thinking
    3. Remove procrastination, stimulate the subconscious mind, become self-reliant, learn from others
  3. Controlled Attention – With Creative Vision and Organized Thought, you’re able to pinpoint your attention fiercely onto any goal you set
    1. Controlled attention magnetized the brain with the nature of one’s dominating thoughts, aims, and purposes, thus causing one to be always in search of every necessary thing that is related to one’s dominating thoughts.

What I got out of it

  1. “New Age” thinking but from 1908. Interesting to see how Carnegie outlines why and how he succeeded – setting ambitious goals (creative vision), setting a definiteness of purpose (organized thought), and then having the perseverance and focus to follow through (controlled attention).

The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by Jean-Noël Kapferer and Vincent Bastien

Summary

  1. Luxury is about elevation, social stratification, the object must be handmade, the service rendered by a human, hedonistic more than utilitarian, timeless, have both a social and personal component, elicit dreams but not envy, be superlative and not comparative.

Key Takeaways

  1. Luxury items share a common core made of six criteria:
    1. A very qualitative hedonistic experience or product made to last
    2. Offered at a price that far exceeds what their mere functional value would command
    3. Tied to a heritage, unique know-how and culture attached to the brand
    4. Available in purposefully restricted and controlled distribution
    5. Offered with personalized accompanying services
    6. Representing a social marker, making the owner or beneficiary feel special, with a sense of privilege.
  2. A luxury product is rooted in a culture. In buying a Chinese luxury product (silk, let’s say), you are buying not just a piece of material but a little bit of China as well – a luxury product comes along with a small fragment of its native soil. This does of course mean that a luxury brand has to stay absolutely true to its roots and be produced in a place that holds some legitimacy for it: by remaining faithful to its origins, the luxury product offers an anchor point in a world of cultural drift, trivialization and deracination. A luxury brand should not yield to the temptation of relocation, which effectively means dislocation: a relocated product is a soulless product (it has lost its identity), even if it is not actually anonymous (it still bears a brand name); it no longer has any business in the world of luxury. We shall be returning to this later and in greater detail, but we need to understand one thing right away: a product whose production centre has been relocated loses its right to be called a luxury product.
  3. A luxury brand that cannot go global finishes up disappearing; it is better to have a small nucleus of clients in every country – because there is every chance that it will grow – than a large nucleus in just one country, which could disappear overnight. That’s the law of globalization.
  4. In addition to this key social function, luxury is an access to pleasure: it should have a very strong personal and hedonistic component, otherwise it is no longer a luxury but simple snobbery
  5. When it comes to luxury, hedonism takes precedence over functionality.
  6. Luxury has to be multisensory: it is not only the appearance of a Porsche that matters but also the sound of it, not only the scent of a perfume but also the beauty of the bottle it comes in. It is multisensory compression.
  7. It immediately follows from this analysis that if one wants a luxury product or service to be a lasting financial success (which is the point of this book) it absolutely must possess the following two aspects: a social aspect (luxury as a social statement in relation to other products or services – connecting luxury, brand status); a personal aspect (luxury as an individual pleasure – cocooning luxury, customer experience).
  8. a luxury item is both timeless and of the here and now. Put another way, a luxury item has to appear both perfectly modern to the society of the day and at the same time laden with history.
  9. Now we come back to what we said at the outset: price, and therefore money, is not a determinant of luxury. It is quite obvious that price on its own does not make something a luxury; an ordinary car will cost more than a luxury bag, and it is a common error to believe that to turn any product into a luxury product all it takes is to raise its price, which will soon bring about financial failure – a product that is more expensive can often turn into a product that is too expensive, one that nobody wants, rather than a luxury product that people long for. For anyone looking for financial success (which is the point of this book), things are even more clear-cut: within a given range, the most expensive products are never the most profitable, and a company that makes only very expensive products does not generally have any financial success (as in the case of Rolls-Royce, for example), or is likely to find it outside of its core production (designer jewellery and haute couture, for example). Too narrow a client base would entail crippling costs; Volkswagen has publicly admitted that each Bugatti Veyron costs the company over €4 million to produce, whereas it is sold for (only!) €1 million.
  10. Money fuels the luxury engine but is not the engine; the engine is the recreation of vertical hierarchy or social stratification. Luxury converts the raw material that is money into a culturally sophisticated product that is social stratification.
  11. In placing ourselves in the territory of value, so dear to economists, we could say that luxury introduces a new notion of value that goes beyond the classic dialectic of use-value and exchange-value: symbolic value.
  12. the extent to which luxury and fashion differ from each other in two fundamental respects: relationship to time (durability versus ephemerality); and relationship to self (luxury is for oneself, fashion is not).
  13. The parallelism between religion, art and luxury is striking: all three are concerned with eternity, or at least timelessness. We call what survived through the ages art, religion promises eternal happiness after death and luxury is about timeless objects of extra quality and beauty. But the comparison extends to luxury brands behaviour per se: luxury brands start small, with few clients acting as a sect of believers. Later the brand wishes to enlarge this sect, building a real community of faithful. Structurally, like religions, most luxury brands have the following: They have a creator. They have a founding myth and legend. Storytelling will maintain mystery about them. There will be a holy land, or holy place where it all started. There will be a chest of symbols ( logos, numbers, signs, etc) whose signification is known only by those who have been initiated. Luxury brands will have icons (products endowed with a sacred history). Flagship stores for these brands will be seen as new urban cathedrals. There will be regular moments of communion (called ‘community management’). Sacrifices will be involved. The most important is price. One should recall the Latin etymology of sacrifice (‘making sacred’). It is the ability to sacrifice a high sum that seals the sacred dimension of the object. A nice jewel is only nice: once you pay a lot for it, far beyond what reason or function commands, only then does it become fascinating. The sacrifice is the right to wear the object, as one has to pay a fee to enter a club. We are also close to the initiation rituals involving a physical sacrifice or at least deprivation, as described by anthropologist Mauss (1950).
  14. He reminds us also that it is only by spending on non-productive items that people signal their rank. Here lies the difference between luxury and premium. People buying premium or even super-premium cars like to justify every dollar by a return on investment. Premium means pay more, get more in functional benefits. Luxury is elsewhere: it signals the capacity of the buyer to transcend needs, functions, or objective benefits.
  15. Luxury is superlative, never comparative. Comparisons must be avoided at all costs. Upper-premium brands remain comparative, whereas luxury is superlative. The price of any upper-premium car must be justifiable by its utility curve.
  16. Two observations need to be made at this point. First, the history need not necessarily be a long one: new genuine luxury brands will be born tomorrow. Second, history alone is not enough: it is necessary to create a myth, a legendary discourse that gives birth to the dream. This is what distinguishes luxury from the brand, even from the upper-premium brand.
  17. In this chapter we shall be putting forward 24 management principles, which we call anti-laws of marketing peculiar to luxury, as they are at the opposite extreme of what marketing doctrine normally preaches – and rightly so – concerning products and brands, even premium ones.
    1. Forget about ‘positioning’, luxury is not comparative
    2. When it comes to luxury, being unique is what counts, not any comparison with a competitor. Luxury is the expression of a taste, of a creative identity, of the intrinsic passion of a creator; luxury makes the bald statement ‘this is what I am’, not ‘that depends’ – which is what positioning implies.
    3. Does your product have enough flaws? Their ‘flaw’ is a source of emotion. In the world of luxury, the models and the products must have character or personality.
    4. Do not pander to your customers’ wishes
    5. There are two ways to go bankrupt: not listening to the client, but also listening to the client too much.
    6. Keep non-enthusiasts out
    7. When it comes to luxury, trying to make a brand more relevant is to dilute its value, because not only does the brand lose some of its unique features, but also its wider availability erodes the dream potential among the elite, among leaders of opinion.
    8. Do not respond to rising demand
    9. ‘When a product sells too much we stop producing it,’ says Hermès CEO.
    10. a luxury brand must have far more people who know it and dream of it than people who buy it.
    11. Dominate the client
    12. The luxury brand should be ready to play this role of adviser, educator and sociological guide. On this account it simply has to dominate.
    13. Make it difficult for clients to buy
    14. People do eventually get to enjoy the luxury after passing through a series of obstacles – financial obstacles, needless to say, but more particularly cultural (they have to know how to appreciate the product, wear it, consume it), logistical (find the shops) and time obstacles (wait two years for a Ferrari or a Mikimoto pearl necklace).
    15. To create this obstacle to immediate consumption, it should always be necessary to wait for a luxury product – time is a key dimension of luxury,
    16. Protect clients from non-clients, the big from the small
    17. In practice that means that the brand must be segregationist and forget all society’s democratic principles. In stores, for example, it is necessary subtly to introduce a measure of social segregation: ground floor for some, first floor for others.
    18. The role of advertising is not to sell
    19. Advertising feeds on a sustained myth, mystery, magic, racing, highly people-centred but private shows, product placement, and art – as we saw above, an extremely important element for any luxury brand.
    20. Communicate to those you are not targeting
    21. Luxury has two value facets – luxury for oneself and luxury for others. To sustain the latter facet it is essential that there should be many more people who are familiar with the brand than those who could possibly afford to buy it for themselves.
    22. The presumed price should always seem higher than the actual price
    23. Luxury sets the price, price does not set luxury
  18. Raise your prices as time goes on in order to increase demand
  19. Keep raising the average price of the product range
  20. Do not sell
  21. You tell customers the story of the product, the facts, but you do not pressure them into making a purchase there and then.
  22. Keep stars out of your advertising. If celebrities are used to promote the luxury product, the status of the latter is reduced to that of a mere accessory.
  23. However, it is legitimate for a luxury brand to test new products with a selection of existing good customers of the brand, and especially on the shop floor, where a real face-to-face discussion is possible. Not only is the opinion of these brand-lovers good to collect, as they share the dream of the brand, but also it helps them to feel more ‘part of the club’, enhancing their brand loyalty.
  24. Do not look for consensus
  25. Do not look after group synergies
  26. Do not look for cost reduction
  27. Just sell marginally on the internet
  28. This marker conserves in its genes this first function: maintaining rank, and the visibility of rank. This is why it must be highly visible: like a social seal.
  29. The five types of rarity
    1. Ingredients, components limited capacity, eg: diamonds, rings, rare human expertise, fur
    2. Techno-rarity, innovations, new products and features
    3. Limited editions, custom-made orders, one-to-one relationships
    4. Distribution-based rarity Good
    5. 5. Information-based rarity, marketing, brand, secrecy  (best)
  30. It is noticeable that the brands themselves diminish the size and visibility of their logos for their products in the more expensive price ranges. It is obvious for the accessories
  31. The internet is a fabulous place to sell fashion or premium products, but a very dangerous one to sell luxury ones.
  32. Today you can reach the masses, but you have to do it through communities.
  33. In order for a luxury product to succeed, it is important to master three concepts: the separation of the dream aspect from the functional aspect, the holistic understanding of the competitive universe, and management of the time relationship.
  34. The conclusion is that initially it is necessary to expend all your energies and resources on fine-tuning the product and conquering a first core group of clients who will be the brand’s advocates. Once critical mass has been attained, it is then better to stabilize the offer and no longer invest heavily in the product, but reorientate your financial investments towards distribution and communication.
  35. The luxury product is not a perfect product, but a sacred product
  36. Extraordinary customer care needs extending to boundaries beyond the company’s natural expertise, to an individual and customized approach, and finally surprise and delight.
  37. More than empathy, anticipation of desires is also required.
  38. the true role of the salesperson is not to sell the product – it is to sell the price.
  39. The sales personnel should never earn direct sales commission
  40. The second challenge linked to globalization can be summarized by the statement: one brand, one world.
  41. An own brand store makes it possible, in particular, to know exactly and in real time which products are selling, leading to a very precise steering of the logistical chain. On this point, the system is very effective: we calculated at the time that a competitor, not having integrated its production and not selling through its own network, would have had to sell a bag at twice the price that Louis Vuitton sold it in order to make ends meet. In fact, the exceptional (sometimes criticized) margins at Louis Vuitton did not arise from excessively high prices, but from the removal of all costs and damages due to intermediaries. Louis Vuitton’s competitiveness was therefore structural.
  42. You need to sponsor an event – since you can then control all its parameters – but not a competitor (Louis Vuitton sponsors the LV Cup, not a boat; Hermès sponsors the Grand Prix de Diane, not a horse). You must choose an event that is coherent with the universe of the brand’s core, its roots (Hermès and horses; Louis Vuitton and travel, therefore boats), and concentrate on the most prestigious events.
  43. One last point: the luxury brand should not disperse itself across multiple events in multiple sectors but concentrate fully on a single universe, in which you can develop a very strong image by devoting all your available means to it. For instance, Royal Salute has chosen Polo only.
  44. Premium and luxury differ in their use of these strategies: premium uses an ambassador, luxury shows testimonial users.
  45. The black and white ball organized by Truman Capote on 28 November 1966 at the Plaza Hotel in New York remains a model of the genre. The dress code was dinner jackets and long dresses, with a mask: even the journalists and bodyguards had to wear masks. Truman Capote invited 540 friends, only the rich, powerful or famous. But he made 15,000 enemies that evening: in fact, he organized a leak of information and the New York Times published the list of invitees. All those who had not been invited therefore knew that they were not members of the club, and would do anything to be invited next time.
  46. There are nine systematic and necessary elements of the signature of a luxury brand:
    1. The figure of the brand’s creator, the individual who made the brand a work and not a production.
    2. The typographical logos, generally short and very visual, such as Chanel’s double
    3. A visual symbol that accompanies the typographical signature: Aston Martin’s wings, Mercedes’ circle.
    4. A brand colour: Tiffany’s blue, Veuve Clicquot’s orange.
    5. A favourite material, such as silk for Hermès or python skin and ostrich leather for Prada.
    6. The cult of detail, to the point of obsession, which is expressed visually, for example through close-ups on the seams and the lock details at Louis Vuitton. The constant hymns to the manual work, to the excellence of the artisans who have contributed to each object, to the know-how.
    7. A way of doing things that is typical of the brand: whether it is the ‘Chanel style’ so visible in the woman’s suit – an icon of the brand – or the quilting of the Chanel bag, or the typical driving experience at the wheel of a BMW.
    8. The creator–manager tandem is a characteristic of luxury. In contrast, Pierre Cardin’s solitude was the cause for his decline, despite his immense talent.
    9. There are few real synergies within a group. In fact, groups that work well, such as LVMH, are associations of companies each with its own brand, teams, CEO, and considerable freedom of management, with just a small central holding activity, limited to the management of only part of the finances and human resources, and not rigid, heavy structures managing subsidiaries dependent on an all-powerful headquarters.
  47. This is a major characteristic of this business model: you need entry products, that is, ‘budget’ products, but you need as few of these as possible, since they are not there to ‘meet a quota’ or ‘make money’.
  48. You need to begin local and specific (one place, one product) in order to ensure coherence and the personal link to the clients from the start, and then become regional, and finally national. We have seen that the luxury product always carries the marks of its birthplace, which forms part of the client dream. Wine is French, silk is Chinese, caviar is Russian, Rolls-Royce is British.
  49. This step is crucial, and requires skilful steering. In particular, you should not launch ‘in all directions’, nor choose markets according to their size. You must begin with those whose clients are most receptive to the brand, and who will accept the product as it stands, without modifications, as a luxury product.
  50. Scarcity is painful, but rarity, if well managed, can become a dream.
  51. The essence of luxury strategy is to never sacrifice long term to short term.

What I got out of it

  1. A really thorough book on the ins and outs of luxury. Luxury is superlative, not comparative. It has to have personal and social ramifications

When More is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency by Roger L. Martin

Summary

  1. The economy is currently seen as a machine we can optimize, but is more accurately seen as a complex adaptive system. In this view, it changes how we should approach, understanding any action will have an impact and will require constant adjustment. It also forces optimization of a second feature beyond efficiency, resiliency. If the machine metaphor is kept in place it will simply allow those who are in control to profit for longer then if we treated the economy as a complex adaptive system

Key Takeaways

  1. In a CAS, there is no perfection or end in sight. The players adapt reflexively and this must always be taken into account. Relentless tweaking is the best route to steer towards a perfection that will never be achieved
  2. Metaphors are so powerful, which is why changing the “economy is a machine” to the economy is a complex adaptive system is so important
  3. Surrogation – when you surrogate the terrain for the map, when proxies become goals. The followers of great thinkers often take their ideas too far, mistaking more for better. More trade agreements, more efficiency, more division of labor is not always better
  4. Economic effects are not independent. One action could cause more of that action as scale and efficiencies increase. Interdependence moves us from a Gaussian to a Pareto distribution
  5. Pressure can help drive efficiencies and progress but it can also be taken too far if the incentives are not aligned. You just also introduce some limits and fridtion in order to ensure resiliency. These can be thought of as productive frictions in the long term. For example, pitchers are more likely to blow out their arms in the end of a game than the beginning. Pitch count restrictions help limit how much a pitcher can do and therefore prolongs the pitchers life in the long term
  6. Must balance connectedness with separation, efficiency and resilience, pressure and friction, perfection and improvement
  7. Anomalies are a treasure trove. Answers to really difficult problems tend to be found in Data points that don’t fit the current framework. Don’t ignore them, dive into them
  8. Joe’s Stone Crab is the most profitable standalone restaurant in the US. It has been around for over 100 years (resiliency) and is profitable (efficiency). They treat their company like a CAS and don’t fall prey to linear and reductionist thinking. They understand how some frictions actually make the overall system healthier. Similarly, The Four Seasons takes a win/win mentality with every stakeholder and enjoys the longest employee tenure in the industry and massive profits. They take a holistic view and don’t have a “head of guest experiences” because they feel that is every employees’ responsibility. Slack is not the enemy – seek optimal slack rather than zero slack
  9. To avoid proxies becoming a goal, use multiple internal proxies that tend to be contradictory to measure progress of the model against the goal. This forces a systems thinking rather than a reductionist one. Southwest Airlines uses 4 proxies – cost, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and profitability
  10. Argues against monopolies as it leads to complacency, bloat and fragility. Great companies need great competitors to keep them great

What I got out of it

  1. Fascinating deep dive into complex adaptive systems and how organizations can learn from complexity science how to build a robust firm that is also efficient. Efficiency is not the be all end all, some slack is necessary. Infinite tweaking and adjusting is necessary in an interconnected and dynamic world

Hacking the Unconscious by Rory Sutherland

Summary

  1. The author discusses some legendary marketing events and how to think about why they were successful

Key Takeaways

  1. What are the product’s higher order benefits? tap into that in an aspirational way. Coke is just a drink but it can help build bonds and strong bonds can prevent war. This might only be available to the global leader. Coke can do this, RC Cola, maybe not
  2. The allure of altruism – those who do public demonstrations of helping others actually end up donating less or doing less than those who help quietly
  3. Campaigning for real women – the first rule of advertising is to get the audience’s attention and generally nothing does that better than sex. Dove overturned this with their real beauty campaign. They were real and vulnerable and it worked. Give people permission to be themselves
  4. Diamonds and the peacocks tail – signaling theory is everywhere and it is a supremely useful lens to view the world. Organisms are a marketing machine for their genes. When you see life as a series of signals, a whole bunch of things that didn’t make sense of a sudden do. Who is advertising what to whom?
  5. From ads to art – breaking the rules creates the best art and the best ads (Guinness the best things come to those who wait)
  6. Selling a philosophy – Nike’s now famous slogan – just do it – helped them move from an aspirational company to an inspirational company. The words were never spoken so it is up to the watcher to interpret it as a command a statement or whatever else speaks to them. Nike is selling their philosophy that they can do anything
  7. Designated driver – giving something a name, makes it feel more legitimate and real. Those who didn’t drink were party poopers before, but now they’re designated drivers which is a perfectly acceptable reason to not drink
  8. Marketing is so love / hate because it holds up a mirror to who we truly are. It works because it taps into things deep in our nature, whether we like it or not
  9. People are incredible at self deception. Don’t underestimate this ability
  10. If you’re given a budget for one car you’re choose a very boring and conventional car that isn’t too fast or too big or too small. However if you’re given a budget for two cars your criteria totally changed. You may choose one big SUV and one more fun car or a normal car and a moped. The same could be happening with diversity efforts where the safe and boring candidate is most often chosen
  11. Market research get people to say what they think they want you to say and this leads us astray. The logical and rational will not help us innovate. We need the absurd sounding and crazy people to take risks
  12. Showing investment in effort is as important as the product or service itself. Think of the knowledge test London cabbies have to take or the whole engagement and marriage process. Value derived from commitment. However, commitment signaling must be swept under the rug or all else goes haywire. Be aware of then, but don’t verbalize or expose them 

What I got out of it

  1. So fascinating to hear Sutherland talk about some of the all-time great ads and some of the psychology behind what made them successful. Selling a philosophy, understanding signaling and self-deception, investment in effort will stand out to me

Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson

Summary

  1. Peterson explores why people from different cultures and eras have created myths and stories with very similar structures. He discusses into why this matters, what it tells us about human nature and our psyche and morality. This deep dive helps make approachable why myths matter and what they can teach us about ourselves.

Key Takeaways

  1. We need to know what things mean – not merely what they are – as this has profound impacts on how we act. We need to know what things are so that we can keep track of what they mean and how that influences our behavior. It is not effective to separate what things are from what they mean. They are inextricably intertwined. Meaning provides a useful guide for how to behave
  2. Morals and symbols and meaning are not “matter” that science so effectively deals with, but this does not make them less real. Our existence is so complex that we often don’t even know exactly what we’re saying in our mythology. We can express more than we know and stories help us work through this and communicate this. Myth can be thought of ways to understand what the world signifies and how that impacts our actions. A place to act and not to perceive or measure.
  3. We need an equivalent moral lens as our scientific and descriptive lens. A universal comparative study of the world religions, myths, and epics can help us derive a valuable guide to how to successfully live, helping us move to the ought from the is
  4. Myths help us define the known and unknown, chaos and order. Through this, we can derive meaning and it helps mitigate disputes and increase trust
  5. We can say that everything contains two final sources of information: sensory and affective. It is not enough to know when something is but we must also know what it means, the emotional meaning. It is useful to map objective reality, but we MUST model what it means or else we would quickly die. This mapping of meaning of current state, ideal future state, and behavior and actions we need to bridge the gap, help us navigate the world. Constantly compare where we are with our ideal future state and this helps determine our behavior and emotional state. If we are progressing nicely he’ll future state we are happy and satisfied and if not if they chaos and the unknown are too great and taking us off our path we get stressed and unhappy
  6. We have the pattern way of dealing with everything that is unknown – in other words chaos – as these are best dealt with their narrative form which is where our mythologies an epic stories have deep value and meaning
  7. Things do not have an absolute and objective value. They depend upon our goals and personal preferences. If our goals and preferences change, the meaning which we derive from things and situations also changes
  8. It is the exploration of the unknown, the unpredictable of chaos, that leads to all learning, growth, and wisdom. It pushes the boundaries and allows us to see a little bit more and a little bit more clearly than we were able to before. Successful exploration of the unknown needs to be expected and desired. Increasingly accurate maps bring confidence and help us more accurately navigate the world. This shows us that fear is in the and that security is learned overtime through successful exploration and the turning of the unpredictable into the predictable
  9. A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all
  10. Action requires exclusion of all things but ONE
  11. Good stories can be read at multiple levels at the same time, all holding true depending on your level of analysis. A helpful question is to ask at what level are these things the same and at what level are they different. The best stories provide clues on how to behave in the widest possible territory
  12. A good theory is beautiful. Efficient. It lets you use things for desirable ends, even things that you thought were useless before
  13. We come to understand the unknown, the unexplored by how we react to it. This is how we can define and categorize things. When I see a dog, I pet it and play with it. When I see a chair, I sit, etc. we observe our behavior and come to understand more than we did. This moves the promise and threat of the unknown into the potentially useful predictable and noun expanding our horizons and understanding only through coming into contact and playing with the unknown
  14. The beginning of wisdom is the seeking of instruction. Wisdom should be the highest good we seek to serve above money status or wealth for with it all other things come
  15. The threat or potential of the unknown depends a lot on how you approach it. If approached voluntarily that is to say you you believe it to be beneficial it’s positive manifestation is more likely to present itself. Those things that appear to us suddenly and unpredictably are more likely to be seen as a threat if we reject them they become negative but if embraced they can be greatly beneficial
  16. We are more complex than we can understand, so the best we can do is react to the situation at hand, observe our actions, try to understand that after the fact, and then learn and adjust in order to more effectively and consistently reach your aims. Stories are so effective at helping us do this because they amalgamate and generalize behaviors and beliefs over the eons, aiming to make useful patterns of behavior and meaning universal and valuable across time and context. 
  17. The Enuma Elis is the oldest mythical story in our possession and it tells of the annual ritual where the king would step outside his kingdom once a year get naked in the high priest speaking for the gods would ask him what he’s send. His voluntary subordination it’s common for every religion across the world that is the basis of a successful marriage for each person volleyball voluntarily subordinates some of their individual goals to the idea of marriage
  18. Culture is the accumulation of beneficial behaviors and actions that are passed down through the generations. Culture binds nature by limiting the scope of behavior that is acceptable in your community and by laying the groundwork and providing stories that help people live successful and long lives
  19. A common moral is to beware arrogance for if you do not know where you are going you should not presume you know how to get there. In this state you don’t know who or what is important so you need to be humble enough and kind enough and open enough to people and things that might just help you in your journey
  20. An integrated state or person’s imagination and explicit verbal descriptions are isomorphic – they match at various levels of analysis.
  21. Change and chaos, if embraced, understood, and integrated helps us move forward. This is where progress comes from and rests on the belief that perfection is attainable
  22. The revolutionary band plays outside the rules of the game. This threaten the stability of individuals in that game as well as the nation itself. This means the revolutionary man face is not only total chaos but the wrath of his citizens. This is a difficult quest but is vital for the progress and deeper understanding of the human race
  23. Wisdom alone is not enough. It must be taught and integrated into the whole community. Salvation for one does not exist if there is still suffering in others
  24. It is a scary destructive yet desirable part of maturation to meet chaos. Without it, we cannot truly grow nor learn and this is part of the human condition
  25. Lucifer is portrayed as the angel of reason, the angel closest to God before he gets thrown into hell. The idea is that reason can be dangerous and can lead you to hell
  26. Must transcend the group or risk stagnation and dogma, similar to how you must transcend childhood if you are to become an adult
  27. Integrating the complete unknown is what  Christ did. Must fully embrace and run toward the unknown, make it work for you and strengthen you. If you runaway, the ambivalent unknown becomes the terrifying and unconquerable unknown
  28. The good is anything that allows for moral progress across various dimensions and context. Evil  is anything that stands in the way of that creative progress and the hatred for the good and courageous
  29. Failure to understand and control the nature of evil leads to it’s eventual success. This has been known since the Egyptian times but thousands of years later we still fail to understand this
  30. Alchemy deals with turning the unknown – matter – into something useful. Today’s equivalent could be termed “information.” Alchemy is the heroes journey – a voluntary search, discovery and integration of the unknown. This is the purpose and meaning of life – an integrated and subjective person who actively manipulates the nature of the unknown for their benefit. Alchemy is an active myth, the idea of the individual man as redeemer. It is not enough to worship the divine, but to identify with it. These idea must be voluntarily incorporated and acted out, not simply believed in. This is exactly what we all want to hear. Perfect yourself, follow hour heart and what makes you you and you will benefit all of humanity if the aims are noble and good
  31. It is often easier to know what not to do but as you transcend it becomes increasingly important to define what to do


What I got out of it

  1. A really deep book that helped me better understand Jordan’s other book, 12 Rules for Life. A deep dive into religion, philosophy, psychology, wisdom, and more. “A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all”

Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff

Summary

  1. Lakoff describes how and why to frame things, mostly in a liberal vs. conservative sense. Frames are automatic, effortless, everyday modes of understanding

Key Takeaways

  1. Frames
    1. Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. As a result, they shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions.
    2. You can’t see or hear frames. They are part of what we cognitive scientists call the “cognitive unconscious”—structures in our brains that we cannot consciously access, but know by their consequences. What we call “common sense” is made up of unconscious, automatic, effortless inferences that follow from our unconscious frames.
    3. Not only does negating a frame activate that frame, but the more it is activated, the stronger it gets. The moral for political discourse is clear: When you argue against someone on the other side using their language and their frames, you are activating their frames, strengthening their frames in those who hear you, and undermining your own views. For progressives, this means avoiding the use of conservative language and the frames that the language activates.
    4. Because language activates frames, new language is required for new frames. Thinking differently requires speaking differently. Reframing is not easy or simple. It is not a matter of finding some magic words. Frames are ideas, not slogans. Reframing is more a matter of accessing what we and like-minded others already believe unconsciously, making it conscious, and repeating it till it enters normal public discourse. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is an ongoing process. It requires repetition and focus and dedication.
    5. Reframing without a system of communication accomplishes nothing. Reframing, as we discuss it in this book, is about honesty and integrity. It is the opposite of spin and manipulation. It is about bringing to consciousness the deepest of our beliefs and our modes of understanding. It is about learning to express what we really believe in a way that will allow those who share our beliefs to understand what they most deeply believe and to act on those beliefs.
    6. Framing is also about understanding those we disagree with most.
    7. Facts matter enormously, but to be meaningful they must be framed in terms of their moral importance. Remember, you can only understand what the frames in your brain allow you to understand. If the facts don’t fit the frames in your brain, the frames in your brain stay and the facts are ignored or challenged or belittled.
    8. This gives us a basic principle of framing: When you are arguing against the other side, do not use their language. Their language picks out a frame—and it won’t be the frame you want.
    9. When you think you just lack words, what you really lack are ideas. Ideas come in the form of frames. When the frames are there, the words come readily. There’s a way you can tell when you lack the right frames. There’s a phenomenon you have probably noticed. A conservative on TV uses two words, like tax relief. And the progressive has to go into a paragraph-long discussion of his own view. The conservative can appeal to an established frame, that taxation is an affliction or burden, which allows for the two-word phrase tax relief. But there is no established frame on the other side. You can talk about it, but it takes some doing because there is no established frame, no fixed idea already out there.
    10. The first mistake is believing that framing is a matter of coming up with clever slogans, like “death tax” or “partial-birth abortion,” that resonate with a significant segment of the population. Those slogans only work when there has been a long—often decades-long—campaign of framing issues like taxation and abortion conceptually, so that the brains of many people are prepared to accept those phrases.
    11. The second mistake is believing that, if only we could present the facts about a certain reality in some effective way, then people would “wake up“ to that reality, change their personal opinion, and start acting politically to change society. “Why can’t people wake up?” is the complaint—as if people are “asleep” and just have to be aroused to see and comprehend the world around them. But the reality is that certain ideas have to be ingrained in us—developed over time consistently and precisely enough to create an accurate frame for our understanding.
    12. Spin is the manipulative use of a frame. Spin is used when something embarrassing has happened or has been said, and it’s an attempt to put an innocent frame on it—that is, to make the embarrassing occurrence sound normal or good.
    13. Propaganda is another manipulative use of framing. Propaganda is an attempt to get the public to adopt a frame that is not true and is known not to be true, for the purpose of gaining or maintaining political control.
    14. If you remember nothing else about framing, remember this: Once your frame is accepted into the discourse, everything you say is just common sense. Why? Because that’s what common sense is: reasoning within a commonplace, accepted frame.
    15. A useful thing to do is to use rhetorical questions: Wouldn’t it be better if . . . ? Such a question should be chosen to presuppose your frame. Examples: Wouldn’t it be better if we could fix the potholes in the roads and the bridges that are crumbling? Or, wouldn’t we all be better off if everybody with diseases and illnesses could be treated so that diseases and illnesses wouldn’t spread? Or, wouldn’t it be better if all kids were ready for school when they went to kindergarten?
    16. Always start with values, preferably values all Americans share such as security, prosperity, opportunity, freedom, and so on. Pick the values most relevant to the frame you want to shift to. Try to win the argument at the values level.
    17. Those are a lot of guidelines. But there are only four really important ones: Show respect, Respond by reframing, Think and talk at the level of values, Say what you believe
  2. Other
    1. In fact, about 98 percent of what our brains are doing is below the level of consciousness. As a result, we may not know all, or even most, of what in our brains determines our deepest moral, social, and political beliefs. And yet we act on the basis of those largely unconscious beliefs.
    2. People do not necessarily vote in their self-interest. They vote their identity. They vote their values. They vote for who they identify with. This is very important to understand. The goal is to activate your model in the people in the “middle.” The people who are in the middle have both models, used regularly in different parts of their lives. What you want to do is to get them to use your model for politics—to activate your worldview and moral system in their political decisions. You do that by talking to people using frames based on your worldview.
    3. Orwellian language points to weakness—Orwellian weakness. When you hear Orwellian language, note where it is, because it is a guide to where they are vulnerable. They do not use it everywhere. It is very important to notice this and use their weakness to your advantage.
    4. Levy addressed the question of why there were so many suicides in Tahiti, and discovered that Tahitians did not have a concept of grief. They felt grief. They experienced it. But they did not have a concept for it or a name for it. They did not see it as a normal emotion. There were no rituals around grief. No grief counseling, nothing like it. They lacked a concept they needed—and wound up committing suicide all too often.
    5. The truth alone will not set you free. Just speaking truth to power doesn’t work. You need to frame the truths effectively from your perspective.
    6. Accordingly, the frame-inherent world, structured by our framed actions, reinforces those frames and recreates those frames in others as they are born, grow, and mature in such a world. This phenomenon is called reflexivity. The world reflects our understandings through our actions, and our understandings reflect the world shaped by the frame-informed actions of ourselves and others. To function effectively in the world it helps to be aware of reflexivity. It helps to be aware of what frames have shaped and are still shaping reality if you are going to intervene to make the world a better place.
    7. Studying cognitive linguistics has its uses. Every language in the world has in its grammar a way to express direct causation. No language in the world has in its grammar a way to express systemic causation.
    8. Systemic causation has a structure—four possible elements that can exist alone or in combination.
      1. A network of direct causes.
      2. Feedback loops.
      3. Multiple causes.
      4. Probabilistic causation.
    9. Empathy and sympathy both involve the capacity to know what others are feeling. But unlike empathy, sympathy involves distancing, overriding personal emotional feeling. Someone who is sympathetic may well act to relieve the pain of others but not feel the pain themselves. The word “compassion” can be used for either empathy or sympathy, depending on who is using the word.
    10. Colin Powell had always argued that no troops should be committed without specific objectives, a clear and achievable definition of victory, and a clear exit strategy, and that open-ended commitments should not be used.
    11. Tell a story. Find stories where your frame is built into the story. Build up a stock of effective stories.

What I got out of it

  1. Didn’t realize it was a political book, but some of the core ideas about how and why to effectively frame things was helpful