Triggers, creating behavior that lasts

“Triggers” is the name of this book, which goal is:

  • Enable you to create behavior that lasts.
  • Help you to be the person you want to be.

I was reluctanttriggers, creating behaviors that lasts

when I started to read this book, thinking about what it could offer to me.

Marshall Goldsmith does a direct clear introduction about what the book is about and it convinced to me about the idea.

I like the way he express the ideas, the stories and the tone of the book is very pleasant;  somtimes you have the feeling he is coaching you while you are reading it and this interaction is funny too.

What I put in practice

There are several aspects about triggers that are described in the book. I have put some of them in practice:

1. Identification of triggers:

This analysis is very interesting to understand how they happen, how they evolve, and the consequence they produce. Once you have listed the triggers it’s interesting to put on the proposed diagram. The division of the trigger in: event, behavior, consequence; is also an important topic to understand how it works and what you have to change: the behavior.

2. Remove negative things from the environment:

The importance of the environment is something I was understimating. Now just with the analysis of it, and the identification how it influence on me, I pay more attention to this aspect.

3. Save time adding time:

I just added a table on a paper with things I should eliminate and how much time it takes per week. I have been able to earn 12 hours easily for activities that matters to me.

4. “21 days challenge”

As an exercise to promote the addition of good habits in my day to day. I plan to do a couple of these per cycle, increasing the complexity and attending the more important habits I want to incorporate.

5. Daily engaging questions:

I have started to do it, and it’s linked to the previous point of the 21 days. It turns the desire in habits and let me evaluate the situation.

6- The wheel of change:

I have done a list of things, then I have given them an unique number (basically the same list of identified triggers). Finally I have drawn the wheel.

I have added each point:

  • in the place I think it’s today,
  • and with an arrow, to the direction I want it to go. This is helping me to evaluate where I am and where I would like to be.

7. “1 hour questions check”:

This is useful to distress special situation where you know you can easily fall in the wrong behavior.

  • Did I do my best to be happy?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  • Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

8. List of depleting activities:

You do the list and then you define a strategy once you are in front of them: delegate, avoid, postpone, just do it… When you have to do then, change your attitude lowering the depleting impact.

9. Good enough attitude:

Avoid the conformist attitude in your personal live.

Be a professional, not an amateur.

the wheel of changeProviding structure and timing

You will find a lot of tips as: do “this” 21 days and you will solve “that”, and some other tips without context. I collect these tips an I quickly relize they are not realistic, they make no sense on the context of the rest of my life, so they are useless without context.

The difference on “Triggers” book is that Marshall provides us 2 important things:

  1. Structure to work on each things you want to change.
  2. Specific activities and exercises with different timings:
    1. 1 hour question check.
    2. Daily questions.
    3. 21 days challenge.

So, if we plan different priorities, start adding them in the loop of changes, puting them in the right timing and driving the things in the right direction; then and only then we can really promote change in the way we behave.

The happiness advantage

Seven principles of positive psycology that fuels success and performance at work, by Shawn Anchor.

The Happiness Advantage

says that people who are happy have a psychological advantage over people who are unhappy. One way to test this is through studies over time.

  • Meditate.
  • Find something to look forward to. Anticipate future rewards lights up the pleasure centers (Pirineos)
  • Commit conscious acts of kindness.
  • Infuse positivity into your surroundings.
  • Exercise.
  • Spend money on activities.
  • Exercise a signature strength (painting…)

The Fulcrum and the Lever

talks about the power of the mindset. The fulcrum is the mindset of the person; the length of the lever corresponds to the potential power and possibility that person believes s/he.

If someone moves the fulcrum in the right direction by adopting a more positive mindset, the lever of possibility lengthens, which leads, to an eventual positive outcome.

The more you believe in your ability to succeed, the more likely it is that you will (confidence).

Remind yourself the relevant skills you have, rather than those you lack.

More important still that believing in your own abilities is believing that you can improve these abilities. Instead of being a “fixed mindset” person, be a “growth mindset” one.

The Tetris Effect

talks about how to retrain your brain to spot patterns of possibility rather than patterns of failure.

The tetris effect stems from a very normal physical process that repeated playing triggersin their brains. They become stuck in something called a “cognitive afterimage”.

Scan the word with positive attitude: it increases creativity, decreases stress and increases our motivation to complete the goals. The result? happiness, gratitude and optimism.

Falling Up

How to find the mental path out of failure.

The Zorro Circle

In the face of overwhelming odds, how to fight off emotions and regain control by beginning with small manageable goals, and them make the circle bigger.

The 20-Second Rule

is about how to fight off the weakening willpower to be positive.

We are mere bundles of habits that we are able to automatically perform many of our daily tasks.

Willpower is not the way, the more you use it, the more worn out it gets. You have to workout your willpower. The need to train the habits (21 days).

Advertisers and marketers make their live on the path of least resistance. They easy the way they want you to act (basically as an illustrated hedonist).

Lower the activation energy for the habits you want to adopt, and raise it for the habits you want to avoid. To decrease the amount of choices also lower the activation energy to act.

Repeated actions is the key to create these habits, until te actions become ingrained in your brain’s neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desire as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible. Identification of the activation energy is a key step on all this.

Save time avoiding distractions and activities that are not a priority.

Set rules of engagement in advance, it free us from the constant use of willpower.

Social Investment

Some tips about how to invest in friends, peers and family members to move forward in challenging times. Some examples about how this influences in the individuals and the society.

They are your football offensive line that protects you from stress and adversity.

 

Bolsa para Dummies

Un amigo me recomendó leerme este libro, en concreto la parte 3, que recorre un día de trading cualquiera, repasando hábitos y actividades en las cuales nos deberíamos centrar; y la parte 4, que repasa varias estrategias básicas: gap, bandas de bollinger, y cruce de medias. Me sirvió para confirmar algunas cosas que ya había aprendido y reforzar algunos hábitos.

El libro está escrito en un lenguaje muy directo y repite las cosas varias veces sin resultar demasiado espeso. Se lee rápido y encuadra los conceptos en base a un esquema que se respeta durante todo el libro.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Ravikant, Kamal has written this short book where there is not a extra adjective or word so you can concentrate in the goal of the book.

For my memories some of the topics described in the book:

  • Darkness is the absence of light, any negative though is darkness.
  • How do you remove it?, do you fight, fear or worry?Do you push or drown away sadness and pain?  Doesn’t work.
  • Look for the window, pull out a rag, and start cleaning. Just clean.
  • See the light of positive things that there is outside of the window.
  • Mental loop:
    • Repeat and repeat it, like a groove in rock created by water.
  • Meditation:
    • Music, 7 – 10 minutes, “I love myself”
    • Mirrow, 5 minutes.
  • Memory: reinforce the pathways.
  • Do the exercise about the thoughts that affects to you, differenciate if they are real or not real. Identify when something is real or when the mind is hijacked.
  • Surrender: “I used the fear as energy, driving me forward, pushing to achieve, pushing to succeed, paying no attention to my body, to the present, and I paid the price“. “Often, the price for not being present is pain“.
  • Real growth comes through intense, difficult, and challenging situations.

 

 

Quantitative trading, Ernie Chang

This book contains basic concepts and approach (step by step) for does that want to initiate themselves on Quantitative trading. The focus is on statistical arbitrage trading, that deals with the simplest financial instruments: stocks, futures, and sometimes currencies.

The chapters cover the steps a trader should take:

  1. The Whats, Whos, and Whys of Quantitative Trading,
  2. Fishing for Ideas,
  3. Backtesting,
  4. Setting Up Your Business,
  5. Execution Systems,
  6. Money and Risk Management,
  7. Special Topics in Quantitative Trading, (reading it now)
  8. Conclusions.

You can follow the author blog that contains further valuable information and some nice examples.

A short list of common pitfalls related to how the back-test program is written:

  1. Survivor-ship bias: data does not contain companies that have fallen bankruptcy.
  2. Look-Ahead Bias: this phenomenon happens when you are using information that was available only at a time ahead of the instant the trade was made. For instance, “Buy when the stock is within 1 percent of the day’s low”.
  3. Data-Snooping Bias: the use too much parameters that make you build an over-optimized model. A rule of thumb: 5 parameters.
  4. Sample size: you need enough data to back test, how much? As a rule of thumb, let’s assume that the number of data points needed for optimizing your parameters is equal to 252 times the number of free parameters your model has. For instance, you define a daily trading model with three parameters, then you should have at least three years’ worth of back-test data with daily prices.
  5. Out-of-Sample Testing : divide your historical data into 2 parts. Use the first part for training, and keep the second part to test the resulting model.

PMP Certification

I passed my PMP exam this month.

I read the PMBoK, I did the virtual led training courses offered by the company I work and I did a lot of exams, reviewing concepts and learning the details of the exam reviewing answers and explanations.

There is a good bunch of exams on the internet, and the more similar ones I found to the exam I did were:

http://www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/75-free-questions.htm

http://www.oliverlehmann.com/contents/free-downloads/175_PMP_Sample_Questions.pdf

PMP Exam Prep Questions, Answers, & Explanations: 1000+ PMP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions by Christopher Scordo (4-Nov-2009)– 1600 questions by Christopher Scordo.

Now thinking about the next certification or training course to take. Any suggestion?

Thinking, Fast and Slow

After have read The Undoing Project I was investigating about some of the books published by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. Finally I found this essay named “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.thinking-fast-slow

This psychology essay goes chapter by chapter decomposing the different ways the mind works, doing it in plain English. Chapters are short and concentrated on an specific aspect and contains very good experiments that helps you to understand the human behavior.

I can see myself reflected on this analysis

I see so many of the things on myself and I see so many of these behaviors reflected on people when I see TV advertisement, when I see people on a supermarket, when I read newspaper, etc.

Nobel Prize in Economics

In 2002 Daniel Kahneman received the Nobel prize in Economics for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty

Update on October 2017

Now,in 2017 Richard Thaler was awarded with the same prize thanks to his contributions done on behavioural economics.

The undoing project

This book is making me to think about some habits and false concepts we use to fall in a daily basis. There are some interesting parts of the book for re-read from time to time.

People regretted what they have done, and what they wished they hadn’t done, far more than what they had not done and perhaps should have. The pain that is experienced when the loss is caused by an act that modified the status quo is significantly greater than the pain that is experienced when the decision led to the retention of the status quo.

 

When choosing between sure things and gambles, people’s desire to avoid loss exceeded their desire to secure pain.

 

People did not chose between things. They chose between descriptions of things. Economists, and anyone else who wanted to believe that human beings were rational, could rationalize, or try to rationalize, loss aversion.

 

The endowment effect was a psychological idea with economic consequences. People attached some strange extra value to what ever they happened to own, simply because they owned it, and so proved surprisingly reluctant to part with their possessions, or endowments, even when trading them made economic sense.

 

The emotions of unrealized possibility: these emotions could be described using simple math. Their intensity was a product of two variables: the desirability of the alternative and the possibility of the alternative.