The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Successby Ed Mylett
You are born to be extraordinary—you just need to find out how. The Power of One More teaches you to combine your gifts with directed, intentional thoughts and focused actions. It lays out a roadmap to unlocking your full potential and helping you achieve your personal and professional goals. By applying the actions in this book, you’ll be able to produce the right standards and outcomes you deserve, which in turn, could lead to a happier and more successful life.
One More Identity
“What we perceive about ourselves is what we believe about ourselves.” —Andy Warhol
Identity can be defined as the thoughts, concepts, and beliefs you hold as the most genuine parts of your inner being. You can put on a face for the rest of the world, but you cannot lie to yourself because, deep inside, you know what is true about you.
Your identity is the force that governs your life and regulates your results. It works like a thermostat that sets the conditions of your life. Think about how you would use the thermostat: If you walk into a room with a temperature you don’t prefer, you immediately look for it to adjust the temperature according to your liking. It doesn't matter if it is 100 degrees outside. As long as the thermostat is set to 75 degrees, it kicks on and regulates the temperature.
Your life works exactly the same way. If you're a 75‐degree person, you turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool it back down to what you think you're worth. This happens every time your results exceed your identity: You unconsciously turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool them back down to what you believe you deserve.
When your identity is set the right way, it will transcend conditions, and you will find success regardless of the circumstance. Sure, you can gain all the talents, skills, and abilities you want, but until they align with your identity, you'll fall short of the goals you've set.
Say you aim to have $10 million in the bank, for example. Even if you have enough income to achieve it in no time, chances are you won’t still have it until you believe your identity is worth $10 million. This is because your thermostat will eventually cool off to what your identity believes you are worth. It may take a few years, but eventually, unless you change that internal thermostat, you'll experience financial setbacks.
Actions to take
One More and Living in Your Matrix
“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” — Morpheus
We live in a matrix where certain forces slow down parts of our life, interpreting and reinforcing what we've already programmed into our consciousness. This matrix is known as the reticular activating system.
The reticular activating system is a network web formation of nerve cells and their connections that extends from your brainstem to your cerebral cortex. This activates your entire cerebral context, creating an enhanced ability to interpret incoming information and preparing your brain for appropriate action—that is, regulating your brain's electrical activity at the speed at which your nerve cells engage. When you're awake, your brain produces low-voltage waves that are incredibly fast so that you can organize information quickly and attentively.
Your brain's interpretation of messages is determined by how your reticular activating system configures these signals. This is how your brain's natural filtering system filters everything important to you into your consciousness.
This explains why if you want to buy a blue van, for example, you immediately begin to see blue vans everywhere. While those blue vans are always there, you never noticed them before because they’re not yet part of your reticular activating system. They have just been filtered into your consciousness after becoming important to you. This applies to other parts of your life, too. So if you want to do well in life, you need to direct your reticular activating system to focus better on your goals.
Actions to take
One More Try
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right.”
When you act and do the same things as everyone else, you'll get the same results as them. But if you want to achieve the greatest success, you need to try a different approach: implement the “One More Try” mentality in your life. How would you do it?
The author’s past experience at a birthday party is the perfect example to illustrate this: At a party, children were given a bat to bust the piñata open while they were blindfolded. To make the game more challenging, they were asked to spin around and swing at the piñata.
In the beginning, the kids didn’t know where to swing. Even with the help of their friends, they did no apparent damage to the piñata. This made them feel as if their efforts had been in vain. What they didn’t realize, however, is that the piñata was already slowly breaking down on the inside. Later on, some kids made solid contact and did some damage.
The compounding effect of pounding on that piñata was making a difference. Every time a blow landed, there was invisible progress, growing ever closer to the goal of busting it. When all the children had taken their swings, the birthday boy took his turn. He reared back, and with the mightiest “One More Try,” he busted that piñata wide open.
You may think that it was that one shot that busted piñata wide open, but this isn’t the case. The reality is that it was the compounded accumulation of all those hits that contributed to achieving the goal of busting the piñata.
Reaching our goals in life is similar to how these children busted the piñata. At first, it may appear like we’re not making any progress at all, despite our best efforts. But if we decide to stick longer and try again once more, we will begin to see how our compounded efforts can greatly result in success.
Actions to take
One More Time Management
“The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.” —Dante Alighieri
Time is more valuable than money. Unlike money, time is a finite resource. You can always add more dollars to your bank account, but you can't add more time to your life. If you're 40, you can't turn back the calendar and become 30 again.
Time is a fundamental element of our perception of the world. Our sense of who we are is shaped by how our brain connects our memories, present sensations, and anticipation of the future.
Researchers have found that the perceived duration of time is unique to every individual and does not focus on a singular sensory system. Instead, time perception is a blended distribution system that involves the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, and the basal ganglia. To use ‘time’ to your advantage, you need to alter how you perceive time.
Actions to take
One More Emotion
“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” —Sigmund Freud
The quality of your emotions determines the quality of your life. As a human being, you have the power to choose what emotions to put in your emotional home.
On average, you get to experience 5-6 consistent emotions in this home daily. Regardless of your situation, you will find a way to get those emotions. Even if your emotions don’t serve you well, you are conditioned to return to your emotional homes as long as these emotions are familiar to you.
For example, you may seek to worry, insecurity, fear, and anxiety, not because you want to, but because they are familiar to you. Your mind seeks what is familiar because there’s a level of comfort associated with it, even if these familiar emotions work against you.
Every emotion serves a purpose. Negative emotions, like positive emotions, are a valuable source of cognitive information that can help you identify threats and protect yourself from potential dangers.
If harnessed properly, negative emotions can be motivators that will help us address and correct behaviors. Think about jealousy, for example. If a person feels jealous of someone who achieves a goal, they will be motivated to reach that goal too. In such situations, jealousy can be reframed as a positive thing.
When managing negative emotions, remember to always keep them in check. Negative emotions, when unaccompanied by positive emotions, can generate an endless stream of ruminations. What’s worst, this repetitive negative thinking can lead to depression, overeating, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Actions to take
One More Association
“You will never outperform your inner circle.”
Your relationships directly impact how you function in the world. In fact, your identity is shaped based on them.
Think of your relationships as a series of concentric circles. Each circular space represents a different level of intimacy with the people you meet in your life. The closer you get to the center of the circle, the more you'll be able to connect with people on a more profound level.
Your outermost circle usually comprises strangers, colleagues, and acquaintances. The innermost circle, on the other hand, is filled with people who have a daily impact on you and with whom you share a bond of trust, commitment, and familiarity. Then, at the center of all these circles is you.
When people come into your life, they either move closer or away to the center of the circles. The closer they get to the center of the circle, the more potential for ongoing, meaningful dialogue and effects on you. When you choose your inner circle wisely, your life propels you to new levels of productivity.
When you fine-tune your associations, you allow yourself to transform your actions and enhance your results. Depending on your desired outcome, you may need to change or expand who you associate yourself with.
Actions to take
One More Dream
“Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” —Henry David Thoreau
Dreaming is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When we prevent ourselves from dreaming, we rob ourselves of creating beautiful memories in the future. As a result, we struggle against heavy memories that get in our way of living a blissful life.
Think of your past like suitcases filled with cement. You're afraid to put those heavy bags down because that's all you've ever known. Even if you don't like them, their familiarity provides a sense of security. As time goes by, the cement in those bags multiplies, and your brain becomes more cluttered with adult worries.
Although you’re growing and learning more, you may still be unable to drop these suitcases. This is because you're stuck in a thought pattern––a replay loop continuously linked to your past. To break these patterns, you must operate from your imagination, dream, and vision, not from your past memories.
Actions to take
One More Goal
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Goals are energy. They're more than a manifestation of the ideas, hopes, desires, and dreams you have inside of you. When properly executed, pursuing your goals is the transference of energy into action.
Goals and standards are two sides of the same coin. Goals are based on desired outcomes that start as thoughts in your mind. Some examples of these worthy goals include aiming to make enough money to donate $10,000 to charity or wanting to take a trip to Europe. Standards, on the other hand, are what you are willing to tolerate to achieve your goals. They are the actions that propel you toward your goals.
Creating goals without creating corresponding standards is a waste of time. You cannot always control the outcome of your goals, but you can control your standards, which are internal and entirely dependent on how much you're willing to invest. If you want to have the best chance of reaching your goals, you need to adjust your standards. Once you do, reaching your goals will become almost automatic.
If you don't change your standards, your goals become irrelevant. Many people are miserable because they set too low standards for how they want to be treated. If you don't establish and clearly define your standards, others will act to undermine them simply because you don’t know what is acceptable to you and what isn’t.
This works similarly in relationships: If high standards don't exist between two people, a successful relationship can never be attained. Your relationship standards must be clearly defined and mutually agreed upon.
Actions to take
One More Habit
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
Your habits determine your outcomes. Your brain recognizes the value of habits because it is hardwired to protect you by conserving mental energy whenever possible. With habits, your brain already knows what you need to do, and it switches to autopilot mode.
Think about getting into your car to begin your work commute, for example. What do you usually do? You may find yourself adjusting your mirrors first, then buckling your seatbelt, turning on your car radio, plugging in a favorite podcast, and then finally checking your fuel level before putting your car into drive. Because you regularly drive to work, your brain already knows what to do without much thinking, so it automatically goes into habit mode.
Now, when the brain experiences pressure and stress, it begins to view the causes of them as threats. When we perceive these threats, our brain moves out of thinking mode and goes into a reflexive mode.
We react and revert to what we know as habits. When your brain perceives a threat, your hypothalamus activates and prompts your adrenal glands to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure and energy levels. Cortisol releases glucose into the bloodstream. This triggers several bodily functions, including alarm systems in the regions of the brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.
When stress hits and you go into a habit mode without having the right habits in place, you'll sink into depression, despair, and fear. But when you engage in positive habits that result in good outcomes, your body produces dopamine.
This dopamine produces euphoria, which slows down your bodily systems and conserves energy. Dopamine pathways regulate the activity of the basal ganglia, which is involved in cognitive and motor functions. These experiences have the potential to alter the brain through neuroplasticity. This means neurons can be rewired, develop new pathways, and create new connections. When basal ganglia engage in neuroplasticity, new habits are formed.
Actions to take
One More Inconvenience
Greatness and convenience cannot coexist. If you gravitate towards convenience, your biggest dreams will never come true. Convenience never lasts. If you don't put in the effort, what you have will eventually vanish.
Humans are not only hard-wired solely to seek comfort and convenience. Often, we also try to convince ourselves that we did our best and achieved the best possible outcome, even if we know we deserve more.
We often tell ourselves we want only the best outcomes, and we may even try to design a life that appears to point to a higher level. In reality, however, we frequently create processes to avoid inconvenience and conflict. When we do this, we're steering ourselves toward a life that already exists. To further justify our efforts, we even seek validation from others to confirm we're on the right path. Besides, we also tend to compare ourselves to others instead of drawing on our own values and capabilities.
If we want to become the leaders of our lives, we must not copy anyone. Instead, we need to recognize that our journey is ours alone. It's fine to draw on others as sources of inspiration and knowledge. However, you need to be aware of where to draw the line.
The most productive people in the world pursue inconvenient things and handle them with a temperament of equanimity. When you can achieve mental calmness, composure, and control, especially in a difficult situation, you will know you have tapped into the right kind of inconvenience. When you’re doing inconvenient things, equanimity is important. This means being able to accept the results of your own efforts. When you know your path is clear, you’ll feel calm and composed.
Remember that you can't sustain inconvenient efforts and rise to another level unless you approach life with the right mindset.
Actions to take
The 11 Leadership Principles
“The test of an organization is not genius. It is its capacity to make common people achieve uncommon performance.” — Peter F. Drucker
To be a great leader, you need to adhere to these principles:
- Become an Evangelist. To become an evangelist, you need to sell a big enough dream so that the dreams of everyone you lead can fit inside the one you're selling. The dream you are selling should encompass your values and your vision.
- Listen and observe. The ability to listen and observe helps you identify the gifts and talents of the surrounding people. If you cannot listen to the people you are leading, then a pile of untapped opportunities and your team's potential will slip out of your hands.
- Wise leaders build other leaders. Wise leaders do not hoard leadership opportunities. Instead, they’re actively looking for ways to grow and develop other leaders. Some leaders are intimidated by developing other leaders around them. They're threatened and prefer to keep power in their own hands without realizing that when they build leaders, they lighten their load, create loyalty, and strengthen the overall team!
- Love, believe in, care for, and show people how to live better. Everyone around you wants to receive love, care, and affection. As a leader, your success is directly connected to these things. When you can incorporate them, you'll get people to do what they otherwise would not do without your presence.
- Repetition, repetition, and repetition. Leadership is not about saying new things to old people; it's about saying old things to new people. You must constantly reinforce your messages and sell your dream to others, so they fully understand your mission as a leader.
- Be generous with recognition. Effective leaders are skilled at acknowledging and recognizing people. When you create an environment where recognition of people and their work are important, you maximize your team's potential.
- Have a cause, crusade, and mission. When you create a mission and convince people to buy into it, you are meeting another basic human need for contribution: you encourage people to rally around a cause bigger than themselves.
- Be authentic and humble. If you're a liar, the people you lead may not say it, but they'll know. In leadership, being truthful is everything. People will accept that you're not perfect. However, they won't accept it when you're not honest.
- Create a culture. People want a culture where a mission, goals, and expectations are clearly defined. A healthy culture is important because it creates a place where everyone executes their unique geniuses in the present and stays focused on the future at the same time.
- Give people the resources they need to be successful. As a leader, it is your responsibility to equip your team members with the proper tools in order to unlock their full potential. If they must worry about what they don't have, you put them at a distinct disadvantage.
- Build a movement. Powerful leaders must allow people to see themselves inside the dream, recognize each person's unique gifts, meet people's basic needs, and set an inspirational example to have a chance at a favorable outcome.