Reach Your Fullest Potential with These Extraordinary Daily Habits
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Reach Your Fullest Potential with These Extraordinary Daily Habits

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Reach Your Fullest Potential with These Extraordinary Daily Habits

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Madisun Nuismer is the producer of the Remarkable People podcast. She has a BA in Public Health from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She also attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach.

Below, co-authors Guy and Madisun share six key insights from their new book, Think Remarkable: 9 Extraordinary Habits that will Transform Your Life and Illuminate the World. Listen to the audio version—read by Guy—in the Next Big Idea App.

Think Remarkable Guy Kawasaki Madisun Nuismer Next Big Idea Club

1. Sweat the small stuff.

People are judging you all the time. They judge you not just by the big things, like your degree and your work experience, but also by tiny things that you may not even notice anymore. For example, what’s your email address? Are you still hanging out on Do you still have a email address? That’s embarrassing.

Another small detail. What does your avatar look like? Is it a picture where your face is cropped out of a wedding reception? Is it a picture where you pose with your frat brothers or sorority sisters, or have you taken a good portrait photo that shows you’re likable, competent, and trustworthy?

2. Adopt a growth mindset.

A growth mindset means you believe that you can learn new skills. You can have new interests; you can develop yourself. You are but a slice of time. Time changes, and you will change with it.

A fixed mindset is quite the opposite. It means that you believe that you are what you are. You’re not going to be any better and you’re not going to be any worse.
Adopting a growth mindset means believing you can learn new things. You can assume new tasks—you can do all those things. If you want to make a difference, and if you want to be remarkable, you have to have a growth mindset.

3. Make yourself indispensable.

Andrew Zimmern is a famous chef who had a TV series called Bizarre Foods, where he went all over the world eating bizarre things. When he was about thirty, he became the world’s oldest intern. He had three internships at once. His career advice is this: wherever you are, make yourself indispensable.

“Indispensable people get more opportunities.”

This will open up opportunities for you. This will mean that you will get more attention. How do you make yourself indispensable? You do whatever it takes.

When he was working for the TV station, they asked for someone to help lay cable, so he raised his hand. They asked for someone to set up lighting, and he raised his hand. They asked someone to help with video editing, and he raised his hand. Pretty soon, he was indispensable. And guess what? Indispensable people get more opportunities. You have to pay the price. It’s that simple. Make yourself indispensable.

4. Do good shit.

There is no better way to say this. If you want to be remarkable, it’s not about positioning yourself as a thought leader or a visionary. What you have to do is do good shit.

This means you’ll make a great product. You make a great service. You’ll make a great team. You’ll build something, and you’ll make a difference. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs. You don’t have to be Jane Goodall. You don’t have to be Elon Musk.

You can change one person, one team, or one classroom. This person can even be yourself, but you have to do good shit. When you do good shit, the people around you will have no other choice but to think that you are remarkable.

5. Fulfill your success oblige.

There’s a concept called noblesse oblige, which refers to the obligations of the nobility to help people less fortunate. My father explained this concept to me when I was in high school, and I have come not to like the term. It has a haughty, upper-crust arrogance to it—“I’m such a wonderful noble person that I realize I have to help you peons”—which is a total crap attitude.

Rather than fulfilling your noblesse oblige, I suggest that you fulfill your success oblige. This means that when you are successful, you realize, yes, it’s because of your growth and your grit, and you’re making yourself indispensable and you’re doing good shit—but it’s also because lots of people helped you. Lots of lucky things came your way. You are not solely responsible for your success. Because you aren’t solely responsible, you understand that you have a moral obligation to help others. You went through a door to become successful. Your obligation is to leave the door open—even better, make the door bigger so other people can enter. That’s your success oblige. I believe that in the first third of your life, you’re underpaid. In the second third of your life, you’re overpaid. The last part of your life is when you build your legacy. This is when you pay it back.

I interviewed over 200 remarkable people for my podcast. And guess what? Everybody came to the end of their career and realized, “I need to help the next generation.” You progress through growth, grit, and grace—those are the three stages of becoming a remarkable person.

6. Make your decisions right.

So much of our effort—data wonks, analysis, and all this great quantitative stuff—is about making the right decision. It’s as if, with enough work and data, you can make the absolutely singular right decision. I think you are deceiving yourself if you believe that’s how the world works.

Instead, I recommend that you take your best shot at a decision, knowing full well that it could be wrong. There are always unforeseen or mistaken circumstances. Who knows, lightning strikes and your decision is wrong.

“[Remarkable people] take whatever decision they made and then work to make it right.”

So rather than focusing only on making the right decision, remarkable people make their decisions right—which means they take whatever decision they made and then work to make it right. That is about implementation. That is about actualization.

I went to a surfing competition in Manhattan Beach about six months ago. The way a surfing competition works is you have a limited amount of minutes, and you have six other people in the water with you. Much of surfing involves looking out to sea and making a decision. Is that the right wave? Is that the right place to sit? Is this the right time to turn and paddle?

I watched my daughter, and on one wave, she was sitting in the absolute wrong place. She not only couldn’t make the right decision, the decision was made for her. This wave just came down and was going to crash on her. It looked like impending doom, but what did she do? She turned and paddled. Instead of focusing on making the right decision, she made the decision right. She turned, paddled, and caught the wave.

With all of these insights, you will make a difference. You’ll be remarkable, and you will murder your mediocrity.

To listen to the audio version read by co-author Guy Kawasaki, download the Next Big Idea App today:

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