Derek Sivers

The Alter Ego Effect - by Todd Herman

The Alter Ego Effect - by Todd Herman

ISBN: 0062838636
Date read: 2019-06-15
How strongly I recommend it: 4/10
(See my list of 200+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

Great idea: that you should create an inner hero that you bring out when performing. Athletes do this: when they compete they are “The Ghost Panther” (or whatever) in their mind, not their normal self. I've done and prescribed this for 20 years, so it's cool to read a book on the subject. The point is simple. The book is filled with many anecdotes.

my notes

Sacrifice what you are for what you could become.

Suspend who you’ve been and let another version of yourself show up.

Be intentional about who (what kind of person) needs to show up - what characteristics that will help you succeed.
What are the traits, capabilities, skills, attitudes, beliefs, values, and all the other bits and pieces that you need to succeed?

Someone changing something is wanting: Stopping, Starting, Continuing, Less of, More of.
We live in four planes: Thinking, feeling, doing, and experiencing.
Combine them to ask yourself what you want. (Stop doing, start doing, continue thinking, experience less of, feel more of, etc.)
It could be double-negatives like “Stop seeing my day wasted.”

End-in-mind: definine your final outcome or goal, then work backward from that target to build a strategy and plan to reach the goal.
If you’re walking aimlessly, it’s most likely because you haven’t defined a destination, goal, or outcome and you’re just doing.
Work backward to map out a plan with the steps that will ensure it happens.

Moments of Impact: the actions, opportunities, events, situations, or expectations with the greatest impact on your success.
Moments of Impact are filled with the most resistance, most emotion, and most challenge because they occur when you might be the most vulnerable.
(Putting your words on paper and writing, Making a speech in front of a crowd, Investing your money, speaking publicly, networking or meeting someone for the first time.)
These moments will give you the highest rate of return.

Are administrative tasks your Moments of Impact? Probably not. They’re responsibilities, but they’re not going to catapult your career.
Those tasks can be the obstacles to your Moment of Impact.

Name your psychological enemy.
Make it something to defeat, something to overcome, something to battle against.
Humiliate it. Make the Enemy as small as possible.

There is no faster way to evoke a strong emotion than to tell or hear a compelling story.
We feel stories. Those emotions prompt us to act.

I cared so much about what other people thought of me and whether they liked me that it held me back.
“If I did that, my people would think I’m a sellout.”

Have indifference to the opinions of others.

The good things we build end up building us.

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

If you’re not willing to risk the unusual, you’ll have to settle for the ordinary.

People have a hard time answering: “What do you want?”
But if you ask, “What don’t you want?”, you get a flood of don’ts:
It’s so much easier to create a Don’t Want list.

When naming what you want, sound egotistical.
(People fear sounding egotistical when naming what they want, and therefore don't say what they really want. So to counteract that, aim to sound egotistical.)

What you need to believe to make those actions effortless, joyful, or more comfortable?
Valuing action over perfection?
More optimistic about your ability to make a difference?
Love failing, because you know you’re improving and taking action!

Imagine the specific behaviors and actions that you’re taking in your Extraordinary World.

The obsession with “happiness” is causing people to feel empty.
People who pursued activities only for personal pleasure lacked a sense of meaning in their lives.

The motivations of all the great heroes: Trauma, Destiny, Altruism, or Self-expression.
Self-expression is “I wonder what I can do/create/find?” — motivated to uncover “what they’re made of” and love the creative, athletic, or scientific process.

Negative emotions like rage and anger can be incredibly motivating, especially in the beginning, when you’re taking a new action and trying to build momentum.
Whatever gets you moving is all that matters.

Your “why” has to be deeply meaningful to you..

Asking yourself challenging or difficult questions like “what do you want?” or “why do you want something?” can tie you up in a psychological knot.
Self-distancing helps: take a step back when thinking about past experiences and reason about them from the perspective of a distanced observer, akin to a fly on the wall.
“Why does ‘Jane’ want to write bestselling novels?”
“What’s the purpose of ‘Todd’s’ life?”
This third-person language creates an observer-type effect and can allow you to gain perspective.

Start with someone you already admire and ask yourself why.

The best Alter Ego is the one you have the deepest emotional connection with.

If you were prolific at what you do: How would you think about yourself? What attitudes would you have about business? Your skills in business? What beliefs would you have? How would you carry yourself physically?

What propels your Alter Ego to stand up to the Enemy and to defeat it at every turn?
Your Alter Ego’s Origin Story.

Don’t overlook the power of using placebo to trigger your Alter Ego.

Write out a Response Proclamation in response to the question, “Who do you think you are?”
It can be from your history or your Alter Ego’s history.

Go to a local coffee shop as your Alter Ego.
Meditate as your Alter Ego.