Recent Highlights of the Saturday Blueprint

For this week's edition of the Saturday Blueprint, The Daily Coach put together some of the recent highlights from our guests.

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This summer, the Saturday Blueprint featured lessons from coaches, keynote speakers, athletes and authors on a variety of subjects — including motivation, navigating hardship and finding life balance.

For this week's edition, The Daily Coach put together some of the recent highlights from our guests.

There’s a concept from the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team called “finding the gap” and seeking a non-obvious advantage. You really seemed to do that with your work. How did you go about “finding the gap?”

First off, it wasn’t just me. It was a team effort. I had a very motivated team of people working for me who had all known and worked with Sergei before. Every single one of us was heartbroken by his death and outraged at the impunity. The level of motivation to get justice was so much higher than any other motivation for doing anything.

When you have a group of people who are motivated who also are talented and ready to work literally every night into the night, every weekend through the weekend, looking for every opportunity in every situation, every weakness of the opponent over a decade-long period of a campaign… we were able to find all of the weaknesses of the Russian government.

We were able to see all of the failings and opportunities for justice. We just kept on pushing and pushing until “the gap” emerged, and it did in a variety of ways.

-Bill Browder, financier and best-selling author

You touch a lot on humility and working in silence. But how do you manage to have the right level of ego and confidence so you can still go about your job effectively?

The right ego knows if you find yourself in that room, you belong. Impostor syndrome is so real and it’s very easy for it to creep in. Everyone needs a little bit of luck, but things don’t happen by complete, random chance. You have to have enough confidence, not that you know everything… I believe I’m very good at the things I do, whether it’s writing, fitness and nutrition, running my different businesses. I don’t dilute myself. I try to stick to my lane but know that if I’m put in a situation, there’s a reason I’m here. There’s a big difference between knowing what you can do and what you’re capable of. The can do is the present, the capable of is the limitless potential of what anyone possesses. It gets back to these rules of are you willing to work hard and listen and give to others and do the things that allow you to continue to improve?

Everyone starts as a rookie at some point. This idea that once you find yourself in the position where you have to perform and have to be the best iteration of yourself is so broken. I think it creates unnecessary pressure that allows people to get in their head… If I slip up, my job isn’t to beat myself up. If I have a terrible game, I’m back on the practice floor. That’s the only mentality you can have, and that’s the mentality of a competitor. The right amount is you believe you belong, knowing belonging doesn’t mean you’re ready to dominate. You have to know you’re good enough to hold the space and talk confidently.

It’s easy to get the stage and think you have to prove yourself immediately. Nothing is 100 percent chance. If you find yourself in the room, on some level, you’ve already been approved. You don’t have to go above and beyond to continue proving it. You just need to show up, be consistent, be good and continue to learn to be better. You might be waiting for them to tell you, “You’re great!” It’d be wonderful if everyone just validated you all the time, but external validation is always going to fall behind internal validation. You have to internally validate and check yourself at the same time. If you’re still in the room and keep on showing up, it means you’re doing something right. You would know when you no longer belong.

-Adam Bornstein, health and fitness expert

Can you get into your five levels of motivation?

1. Love
2. Passion
3. Want to
4. Fear
5. Reward

Fear and reward are at the bottom. Fear and reward are good short-term motivators, but they don’t do a great job of leading to long-term change. The reason is that when you’re motivated by them, it takes more and more of them for you to do less and less work. They get diluted over time. You think about money. If you make $1,000 and have never made money before, you think you’re rich — until you find out someone makes $5,000. Then, you really want that, and you find out someone makes $10,000. Fear gets diluted because the consequences have to be more and more extreme. Those are external drivers.

Love, passion and “want to” are internal drivers that you need less and less of to do even more. They’re the exact opposite. When I just want to do something, I don’t have to be paid for it because I desire it, I want it. You don’t have to give me an alarm clock for me to wake up for it. If I’m passionate about the work, I’m going to do it.

Your true motivation will always be exposed. People will be drawn to you when you’re driven by love, passion and want to. When you’re driven by fear and reward, people will see you as inauthentic.

-Stephen Mackey, keynote speaker

You’ve always had a variety of interests beyond just basketball. How do you think being multidimensional allowed you to be an even better player?

Growing up, my parents exposed me to different things, to music, to art, to history, to the medical field. I was always a curious mind and a curious kid and a curious human with a variety of interests. It’s always provided me with a better perspective and better balance in my life. That’s how I was able to keep an even-keeled mind throughout my career, weathering the successes and shortcomings and defeats.

I always understood I was lucky to play the sport I loved at the highest level to the best of my ability, but understanding you can’t always win. There are many out there also trying to win who are well-equipped to do that. Sometimes, it’s going to be them. Sometimes, it’s going to be you. You have to keep working and do the best you can as you learn and grow. Having multi-interests allowed me to have a better perspective on that and still does.

-Pau Gasol, Basketball Hall-of-Famer

You wrote on Instagram recently that “Intelligence is overrated. Great thinkers are built, not born.” Can you expand on that a bit?

Intelligence means potential for good thinking. But many intelligent people never seize upon their potential. They never learn how to think. By contrast, many people are excellent thinkers, even without much natural talent. They had good teachers and practiced a lot.

Author Edward de Bono says intelligence is like a car: “A powerful car may be driven badly. A less powerful car may be driven well. The skill of the car driver determines how the power of the car is used.”

I would argue that schools don’t teach kids how to think. They teach math, history and literature “just in case,” but all that information goes to waste unless students know what to do with it. Good thinking is the skill of putting the available information to the best use possible.

Good thinking is also more than critical thinking, logic and analysis. It includes these tools, but it also includes creativity, exploration, design and perception.

The best thinkers use a big tool box. They’re skilled at both analytical and elastic thinking. Edward de Bono wrote a great book, “Teach Your Child How To Think,” that encourages parents to teach their kids the different “thinking hats.” I highly recommend it.

Intelligence is a potential — and for that potential to be fully used, kids need to develop a tool box of thinking skills. Without such skills, the potential is under-used. We can use de Bono’s “Thinking Hats method” to help kids develop this big tool box of mental skills.

-Ana Fabrega, chief evangelist at Synthesis

You mentioned one of your rules for life is “Don’t be an a--hole.” What other rules do you have?

•Listen before you talk
•Leave people better than you found them
•What have you done for others
•What have you done for yourself?
•Are you being true to the person you want to be?

The goal isn’t perfection. That’s a giant bid, but at the end of the day, when you look in the mirror, are you being true to who you want to be? Not, did you do everything right, but what is your intent?

It’s important to check yourself. So many of my rules are more about making sure I don’t lose my way. Life moves so freaking fast. My rules aren’t meant to be big epiphanies. They’re designed to ground me and keep me focused and prevent myself from beating myself up.

-Adam Bornstein, health and fitness expert

You put a really big emphasis on giving our all on days where we’re not feeling our best. Why is that so important to you?

The myth is that if I’m disciplined, if I’m good, if I’m elite, once I finally figure out the secret, I’ll be 100 out of 100 all the time. That’s just not the reality. The best athletes have off nights, the best leaders have off days. The reason you don’t perceive it in the best of the best is that they always give 100 percent of what they have. Most people when they don’t have 100 percent to give don’t give anything.

When we talk about excellence as giving 100 percent of your 70 percent, we’re saying, “Regardless of what side of the bed you wake up on or how good or bad your day is, be the kind of person willing to give 100 percent of what you got.”

This is the irresistible pull of mathematics. If I give 100 percent of what I’ve got every time, I’m going to get farther along. The way I do that is I can hit a reset button. If I’m short with the Starbucks barista because they got my order wrong, I can say, “I’m really sorry. I was short with you and there’s no reason for that.” That takes integrity and some toughness.

You don’t have to be perfect to be excellent. Give yourself some grace.

-Stephen Mackey, keynote speaker

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