Winning Isn’t Normal: Eight Tips to Toughen You Up

Photo by Eneas De Troya
Winning Isn’t Normal by tech entrepreneur and Stanford athletic champion Jason Shen isn’t your “normal” self-development book. Normal books of this ilk tend to offer me only one or two salient takeaways… if I’m lucky. Winning Isn’t Normal gave me dozens of performance-boosting tips.

In this post I’ll share eight takeaways from the book that oughta toughen you up and help you wring the most out of work and play. Here we go.

  1. Don’t be perfect, be aggressive. Passion and enthusiasm beats tepidness nine times out of ten.
  2. Take Cold Showers. They are like pushups for your self-discipline (I’m going to try this)
  3. To perform better under pressure, practice where you perform – if at all possible. Try to simulate the same environment and practice the same way, and even wearing the same clothes could give you the edge you need.
  4. Boost brain power (for the purposes of creativity and ideation) by exercising (not surprising since Shen topped Mashable’s “Fittest People in Tech” list).
  5. When working on your weaknesses, make only one correction at a time. The more specific the correction the more likely you are to do it.
  6. Winning Isn’t Normal is big on cultivating positive habits. There’s a section that describes how to create a trigger to spur yourself to do the right thing. Tricky.
  7. Practice recovering from mistakes. We all make them, so let’s recover optimally. Shen is a former gymnastics champion, a sport where maintaining poise after a big flub up is critical. That “fail better” approach is important for work and relationships too.
  8. I’m halfway through Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. It’s an excellent book, highly recommended, but you’ll find a formula for giving negative feedback effectively in Winning Isn’t Normal.

3D-Cover-Winning-Isnt-Normal-217x300So there you have it, eight potential game-changers. Pick one and give it a try to see how it works for you – if you’re tough enough.

Winning Isn’t Normal: Meditations on the Art of Ass-Kicking.

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