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Book 337 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: I Can’t Hear Your Song!

Book – Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Part 2 of 2)

Book Description:

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the "human scale principle", using the "Velcro Theory of Memory", and creating "curiosity gaps".

In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds (from the infamous "kidney theft ring" hoax to a coach's lessons on sportsmanship, to a new-product vision at Sony) draw their power from the same six traits.


Values are abstract.

Because they are abstract, values are indestructible. Values are tied to nothing and everything at the same time. No matter how hard you try, you can never take an abstract concept from someone because it never fully existed in the first place. There is immense power in the abstract because it only exists in your mind. Values are always open for interpretation and re-interpretation depending upon the situation, environment, and interpreter.

Anything tangible in this world can be taken from you in an instant. What can never be taken from you is what exists in your mind, which is where values reside.

While there may be immense power in the abstract, there is also incredible confusion. If something only lives in your mind, it is near impossible for anyone else in this world to understand themselves.

Made to Stick talks about a famous psychology experiment conducted at Stanford University back in 1990 called “Tappers and Listeners”. Each student was assigned one of two roles: 'Tapper' or 'Listener'. The tappers were given a list of twenty-five popular tunes, such as "Happy Birthday to you" and "Jingle Bells". They had to tap out the tune with their fingers on a table, and the listeners had to guess the song. As you might have guessed, this was not an easy task at all. Of the hundred and twenty times a tune was tapped, the listener could guess the tune correctly only three times. That's a success rate of about 2.5%.

Here is the funny thing, when they asked the Tapper before they started what they would predict the success rate of the listener to be, they said 50%!

And here in lies the problem of values in a nutshell, people can’t hear what you hear in your mind. You may think they can, but they can’t.

One of my core values is challenge. When you hear the word, challenge, what comes to mind for you? I’m willing to bet that what you are thinking and what I am thinking are not even close to the same thing.

So, what do you do? How do you get others to hear and understand your song? In order to unlock the full potential of values as a way of living a sustainable and fulfilled existence, follow this simple 2-step process.

Step 1 – know your song by heart. This song and you must become 1. You must fully believe that song with all your soul because, if you don’t fully embrace it, then there is no way that anyone else will ever be able to figure it out.

Step 2 – Bring that song to life with your actions. Make the abstract song that you hear in your mind concrete through the actions you produce in this world. Show the world what your values look like in motion.

Let me give you an example –

When I hear the word challenge in my mind, I think of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone each day. I love challenging myself as it keeps me excited, frustrated, and engaged in problem solving each day in this world. For me, challenging myself manifests each day forcing myself to go take a run every morning with my daughter even when I often don’t want to, learning about a concept that doesn’t fit my current life paradigm, taking a cold shower, or trying to build a new habit each month on something I’ve never done before as a few examples.

When others see me performing these concrete actions, they understand what the value challenge means to me. They can start to hear the song that is playing in my mind. Most importantly, when I do these things, I discover why I value challenge in the first place, and it gives me energy to keep going forward.

Hence, my profoundly simple concept for sustainable fulfillment in life…FOCUS ON YOUR VALUES!

Now get out there and bring your song to life!

Question: Can the world hear your song?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

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