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Week 1: Weekend reading for health, wealth and happiness

By Sam Instone - January 07, 2021

May the coming year fill your life with happiness, good health and prosperity.

Of course, this is the time of year the 'traditional financial industry' trots out market gurus for their 'annual forecasts'.

For our clients and long-term followers, you'll know we’re not in the market-timing, nor the prediction game.

Nobel prize-winning evidence shows no one can reliably see what’s coming next year but keeping to a few key rules maximises your chance of long-term success.

I am therefore going to kick off the year with a focus on something much more predictable. 

The New Year always starts off with resolutions followed by 80% of people abandoning these by February...

Will you be one of those people? Or will you follow through?

What does it really take to make resolutions stick? 

Resolve means you will do it no matter what.

On this topic, the highlight of my week has been reading a great book by Ross Edgley called ‘The Art of Resilience: Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body’.

It inspires you to ask yourself:

“What can you do to make sure that, no matter what, you achieve what you set out to do?”

For me, ‘clarity of purpose’ is a prerequisite.

As Mark Twain wrote, 

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."

If you’re still looking, this Ted Talk, How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes by Adam Leipzig, has had almost 16 million views.

McKinsey also has a brilliant report on why igniting individual purpose is so critical for individuals and companies in managing the post-pandemic uncertainties that lie ahead.

Defining purpose will help you understand what you stand for, what your beliefs are and why they are your beliefs.

You’ll have clarity on what’s important to your identity and why that matters to you and to others.

This is your value and your values. 

Self-awareness, good questions (which I get from an elite performance/master coach named Mick Todd at 2BLimitless) and 'time to think' have helped me with this as I have long been a master of failing at my own New Year resolutions.

Planning and properly documenting your goals in line with your purpose and taking positive action with clear goals and consistent action, supported by a loving and positive community, help you and your resolutions both survive and thrive.

Having a coach and strong community (both in work and personal) have helped me develop a personalised accountability document which is shared so I (and others when needed) can keep me on track and on purpose.

If you need some guidelines for yours - you can see a copy of mine here.

In summary: 

(Purpose + Optimistic (Faithful) Action) x Positive, Supportive, Collaborative Community = Your New Year Resolutions/2021 Dreams Come True.

As always, and true to my own military roots, the final word is taken from former senior British Army officer, inspirational leader and Ironman Champion David Labouchere, on Progress

How do we progress with our resolutions/goals?

He says, the key is to do it with others (relationships/communities), to think zero-sum or win/win about competition (Latin root: ‘conspire together’) and to optimise our approach through teamwork (where you have the opportunity for both contribution and gratitude). 

Whether your resolutions are grounded upon health, wealth or happiness - with clarity comes confidence and with confidence comes control.

Good luck with your resolutions and in making 2021 your best year ever.


A question for you 

Ask yourself - What is best in the short term? What is best in the long term?


This week's meditations

"Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge."
- Leo Tolstoy


"Modeling a behavior is stronger than telling someone to act differently.

Kids imitate the habits of their parents. Teammates match the competitive energy of one another. Employees learn to manage/lead like their supervisor. 

Be the standard and others will raise their standards."
- James Clear

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Have a great weekend and enjoy the ‘light’ reading! 


The Art of Resilience: Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body by Ross Edgley

How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes by Adam Leipzig

McKinsey's article on 'Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis'

Sam Instone's Accountability Document

David Labouchere's article, 'Progress'