Rich Habits Rich Life

Perks of working for a bookstore: I got paid to attend a TEDx conference a while back.

For those of you unfamiliar with TED talks, repent and go to youtube. I’ll wait.

A TED conference is basically a lecture series, where everybody picks their own topic, and everybody presents on a topic they feel is important. Usually, they’re good speakers, and usually, the topic is good. (Mormons: think General Conference, but secular.)

A TEDx conference is a TED conference franchised out to another location – you have to show a certain amount of certified TED material, and then you can just get local speakers to present. And, of course, all of it gets recorded and put on youtube for free access. It’s a public forum of ideas.

So this TEDxBYU conference was awesome – and free for me, since I was in the lobby for half the time, selling books. (I should sponsor things more often!)

I digress. One of the first speakers was Randall Bell, who talked all about how the little habits stack up, and how successful people don’t focus on huge goals, but rather focus on small routine goals (like making the bed). Then he told us about how he watched a homeless man with an addiction problem rehabilitate himself after only being prompted to do one push-up a day. I thought to myself, “Dang. I wish this guy was going to speak for the entire time.”

Surprise! Guess what was in the grab bag? Apparently, he’s written a book: Rich Habits Rich Life: the Four Cornerstones of All Great Pursuits.

rich habits

I loved this book. As a former editor, I will give a disclaimer: it’s full of typos. He should do another printing. (And I finally got to see someone slip up and refer to “the baseball legend Yogi Bear.”) But aside from the typos, the book is phenomenal. Bell studies disasters for a living – like, he goes in and statistically figures out what went wrong. So after a while, he just started figuring out what causes disaster, and reversed it – if you could do all of those things right instead of wrong, what would your life be like? Cue a whole bunch of research and a self-help book.

The basic gist of the book is this: find an aspect of your life to improve, and then make a tiny, almost insignificant goal. Do one push-up every day, or send one thank-you card this month, or write for five minutes in your journal this week. This is small enough that you’ll actually do it – and you might decide to go the extra mile.

Since reading this book, I’ve been getting up at 7am to read for five minutes. Then I go back to bed. Or I don’t. It doesn’t matter – the point is, I get up and read something uplifting. And now I’m starting my day with something uplifting – and that’s making a difference for me. I highly recommend this book to everyone. ♥

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