From Do-er to Project-Maker, No Illusions, Self-Coaching Questions, and More.

Bring Ambition Newsletter - February 18, 2021

Hi folks and welcome aboard new subscribers!

In the Bring Ambition Newsletter, I share 5+ things that are fascinating me lately in the world of professional and personal development, peak performance psychology, meta-learning, side hustles, and more. You'll receive unconventional resources, cool gadgets, practical advice, and other inspiring content.

As always, if you enjoy the newsletter please share with a friend!

1.) From Do-er to Project-Maker:

Excellence is about choosing not only what you will do, but what you won't do. It's as much about saying “no” as it is about saying “yes.”

I see a never-ending stream of employees struggling to reach that illustrious "next level" because they've pigeonholed themselves into being “the do-er." When some project-maker has a high priority initiative that needs driving, they tag the do-ers, knowing they will make it happen. The do-ers rise through the ranks on the strength of their tactical execution and the project-makers’ sponsorship. But then they hit a ceiling.

It's a call to adventure. An invitation to transform. The trusty do-er needs to become the project-maker. The one leading, creating strategy, assigning roles and responsibilities, managing and deploying resources. Achieving buy-in from major stakeholders. Maintaining accountability among the team. Taking the risk of putting their name behind a project.

Easier said than done, sure. But if you choose to embark on this adventure a large part of the equation is taking a step back and thinking deeply about what you will do and what you won't do.

An opportunity arises. Instead of blindly accepting, you think “Do I want to be known for this?” Politely decline. Suggest a different, eager, up-and-coming do-er.

Distancing yourself from high-effort, low-personal-value projects frees up time to think more strategically. Thinking more strategically means being more visionary and principles-oriented, maintaining a broad, long-term perspective, and becoming a leader and project-maker. Putting someone you trust in the driver's seat, painting a vision of the destination, and supporting and guiding them along the way.

The road to excellence begins with saying “no.”

2.) Self-coaching question of the week:

If a miracle happened tonight while you slept that solved all of your problems, what would be different tomorrow?

Hold a bite-sized self-coaching session and think deeply about this question. Try journaling — set a timer and don't stop writing for five minutes.

You'll notice certain problems rise to the surface quickly, opening your eyes to your true priorities and the pressing issues in your life and work.

Remember to focus on what you can control. Turn vague "I wish this problem disappeared" thoughts into concrete goals. Break the goals down into tiny, impossible-to-screw-up pieces that you can attack consistently each day.

This question is derived from this research paper: “Application of The Miracle Question on An Adolescent with Academic Amotivation.”

3.) New and expanded article:

"No Illusions." You might recognize some of this content from a previous newsletter where we explored the relationship between wishful thinking and becoming formidable.

A revised and expanded version is now available on the Bring Ambition blog. I’ve added detail about how to gracefully ask for feedback, how to be a great feedback receiver, and some very bizarre illustrations.

4.) Free storytelling training from Pixar via Khan Academy:

"Pixar in a Box: The Art of Storytelling." Pixar has partnered with Khan academy to release an incredibly useful and in-depth storytelling eCourse.

This is great for creatives and storytellers, but especially useful for anyone leveraging storytelling in their marketing, branding, customer or user experience, etc. The quality of free content

5.) Abe Lincoln — A Masterclass in self-awareness and humility:

The Surprising Reason Abraham Lincoln Grew a Beard.” This is much more than a lighthearted article about Lincoln’s famous feature. Yes, it explores the surprising (potential) origins of his legendary beard, but it also offers other incredible trivia, as well as a glimpse into the humility, self-deprecating humor, and wisdom that made him great.


I'd love feedback on this newsletter. What did you enjoy? What's the worst (or most boring) thing about it that needs to be fixed as soon as possible? Reply here, or you can reach me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have a great weekend!

Jon D'Alessandro

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