As part of my 2018 goal, I have decided to read 1 book a month. As much as I enjoy reading, I don’t put enough time or effort in to do it often and consistently.
But halfway though January, I have already finished ‘Triggers’ by Marshall Goldsmith (perhaps I should read 2 books a month).
It’s a really great read for those who want to be aware of how the environment around them can trigger emotions within you, and how you can control and create that environment, and not allow the environment to control you.
Check out the video below to learn more about this book:
Do leave a comment below at the bottom of this post.
What’s up everyone? I am Ahmed Khalifa. And today I’m going to be a doing a book review about ‘Triggers’ by Marshall Goldsmith. It’s a very, very good book.
One thing that you don’t think about is how much our environment influences our behaviour and the way we are. It can also have an effect on just how you behave around other people, who are where you are.
It just has a lot of influence on you and you don’t really think about that until you read the book. So for example, you’re in one environment and in another, you probably think that you are just the same person throughout.
Your Ever-Changing Behaviour in Different Environments
But if you think about it this way, when you are at a restaurant, and you had a bad service or you got bad food, for some reason, people think they have the right to kind of act angry. They have the right to be all royal and just shout at the waiter, be possibly abusive, maybe, and that’s in one environment, which is at the restaurant. And then when you leave the restaurant, you are a different person, and you don’t really think about what happened.
But, it happened. It just kind of influences you because of your experience at the restaurant. Another example is, imagine you are going to a meeting with your director, manager, or your colleagues, and the temperature is either very, very cold, or very, very hot, which means that people are uncomfortable, they just want to get out of there, they want to finish the meeting as quickly as possible.
So things are not gonna go how you want, and you’re not gonna have everyone react the way you want them to react about a project that you’re excited about, all because of the temperature in the room.
And speaking of temperature, the book has given a case study about David Letterman, a chat show host, and apparently, in the ’80s, he had experimented with the temperature, and he found that when the temperature was around 12 degrees Celsius, his voice was more crisp, the environment was better, and the audience was more lively. And that’s why, when he goes on stage, he wants the temperature of room to be set at 12 degrees Celsius, and it just makes you think, because of how the environment is, he wanted to control it, so that he had the right result from it.
Assessing Your Relationship With the Environment Around You
And that’s the thing about the book, it’s telling you is that you should not only appreciate the environment and embrace it and throw yourself in it, of course, but it’s also about making sure that you control the environment, and create that environment because if you don’t control it, or create it, the environment will control you, and as a result, the trigger, which is the emotion inside you, can come out, and it could be negative.
And imagine if you are in a business situation, or even at home, if the environment that you are in has triggered this negative emotion from you, you are not the person who you thought you are. You’re not the person you want to be because of the environment, and it has triggered that emotion.
So, the book really makes you think about what you should do, and how you should react, and how you should control it as well.
Who is Marshall Goldsmith & What Does He Do?
If haven’t heard of Marshall Goldsmith, I mean, he has written a number of books, but he is a coach, and he helps top CEOs and business people to be aware of their behaviour, and be involved in adult behavioural change, which, let’s admit it, is very, very difficult to do when you’re an adult to change your behaviour, because you’re kind of set in your ways.
Not impossible, but it’s very difficult, and we are very good at making excuses toward a certain situation, or reject it, or just ignore it completely.
But Marshall Goldsmith, what he does is he talks to clients, and for those who want to observe their behaviour better, he gets the data, the intel from the relevant stakeholders. He talks to the colleagues, the directors, the managers, and he gets all the data back, and presents it to the client.
Hopefully, the client will accept it, is more aware of it, and wants to do something about it, and that’s where Marshall then will help that client go through a set of exercises to better control the environment around you.
But the key thing is, though, that you have to accept it, because it doesn’t matter who you are, you will not change if you don’t want to change, and no one can make you change if you don’t really want to change at all, and that’s just part of being human, I suppose.
And of course, the hard part is making that change permanent.
And if you think about it, it’s like if you want to get fit, and there’s a difference between you want to be fit and getting fit. You want to be in shape, or getting in shape. One is an ongoing process, and one is that you got there, and then that’s it.
But then you can’t just stop once you are in the shape you want to be, you have to continue that exercise and diet, all that kind of stuff.
The same thing happens when you are going through a process of adult behavioural change – it’s an ongoing process.
You don’t just reach that point and then that’s it. You have to keep going.
‘The Parable of the Empty Boat’
And it’s not just the environment, the kind of room you’re in, it’s the ambience as well. People can have that effect, and if you are at a workplace where you get along with everybody, everyone loves you, you all get along and you get the job done, but there’s that one person who you just can’t stand, and every time you have an interaction with that person, you are completely a different person, and the thing is, other people notice.
So then you blame that person. That’s the natural thing to do. You use that person as a scapeboat, because you want to look for a scapegoat. And if there’s a scapegoat, there is someone to direct your anger at.
If there’s nobody, you don’t feel like that at all.
And there’s one story in this book that I really like reading, actually. And apparently, it’s Buddhist wisdom, and it’s contained in the Parable of the Empty Boat. A young farmer was on a very small boat in the river, fishing.
Coming towards him was a big ship, a big vessel.
And he tried to frantically to make it change direction, and it didn’t. It went straight at him, and he had to jump into the water, and the vessel hit the boat. And then he found that he got himself very angry.
He shouted at the boat, and said: ‘You idiot! What are you doing? I told you from far away, get out of the way, because you’re gonna hit me, and you didn’t.’
What he didn’t know was that the boat was actually empty, and it had gotten loose from the harbour and it went with the current, and he didn’t realise it until later on.
The moral of the story is, because there’s something there to blame, and he expected a person to be there, he reacted and that triggered an emotion inside him because of that environment, that situation.
But because there was nobody in that boat, he didn’t react. He was all calm, and it just made me think we behave more calmly when we learn that it’s an empty boat. “With no available scapegoat, we can’t get upset.”
The Moral of the Book
So the moral of the story is that, when you honestly assess yourself, and the environment, the relationship between the two, this is how you become the person that you want to be, and the book really does go into detail about how you can do that. There are practical steps that you can do use.
There are certain things that you should be aware of, and it just makes you think about how you are in a variety of different environments, and how you behave in certain situations. It’s really a good book.
And before you say: “Oh, I don’t want to be a different person. I don’t want to change as a person.” It’s not about changing you as a person, it’s about being a better version of yourself, or the best version of yourself that you can be. You can change. We all can change.
It’s not easy, and this is something that you have to be aware of.
If you think about it in another way, we are very quick to mock restaurants when they don’t change their menu, but we’re very slow to mock ourselves when we need to change something, and that’s what the book tells you about.
So check it out. It’s ‘Triggers’ by Marshall Goldsmith.
If you go to the link down below, I have put the link in there for Amazon, and you can check it out yourself. I really, really recommend you give it a shot, and let me know what you think if you’ve read it, or if you don’t think it interests you. I’m curious to know why.
Just let me know what you think as well.
Thank you for watching the video! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, I would really appreciate it if you could subscribe to this channel down below, by clicking on that red button as well.
And, as I always say, do your thing, because it matters.
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