#1419 Hanging Out with Confucius

And Winning or Learning

In our last couple +1s, we hung out with Emerson and used his passion for chess as the context to talk about WOOPing goals, the science of turning our dreams into reality, and the importance of being willing to be a beginner as we embrace a growth mindset and win or learn en route to becoming a Master.

After Emerson told me (with the enthusiasm of a beautiful 10-year-old!) that he’d be able to beat “Almost ANYONE!” when he was a chess master, we talked about how cool it will be to LEARN from those people who *could* still beat him.

As I mentioned, but it’s worth repeating…

That made me think of Carol Dweck and her research on the growth mindset.

Check out our Notes on Mindset and Self-theories.


Check out those Notes.

As a parent, I think THOSE two books have been THE MOST IMPACTFUL “parenting” books I’ve ever read.

The fact that our kids (currently) have a VERY strong sense of the power of a growth mindset/the importance of practice/etc is DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE to the wisdom in those two Notes.


I repeat…

Check out our Notes on Mindset and Self-theories.

I rarely make “SERIOUSLY. TRUST ME!” recommendations.



Trust me.

Those two Notes are pure gold for parents and the rest of us who are trying to “bring forth the best” in ourselves and those we love—whether that includes our kids or grandkids or nieces or nephews or clients or colleagues.


As I chatted with Emerson about the fact that those chess players who could beat him would teach him a ton, I ALSO thought of Confucius.


That’s how my brain works. 😂


I looked up at my Wall of Heroes and Confucius smiled as I imagined him reminding me of some wisdom we talk about in our Notes on The Analects.

He tells us: “The Master said, Even when walking in a party of no more than three I can always be certain of learning from those I am with. There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself.”

He also tells us: “The Master said, In the presence of a good man, think all the time how you may learn to equal him. In the presence of a bad man, turn your gaze within!”


That’s Today’s +1.

We ALWAYS have the opportunity to win or learn.

When you are in the presence of an exemplary human being (including yourself!), take a moment to admire their great qualities. Celebrate them OUT LOUD (by TELLING them you admire certain qualities you see in them!) if you feel so inspired. And, think about how YOU can embody those qualities even more.


When you are in the presence of someone (including yourself!) who shows up in a less-than-awesome way, take a moment to reflect on the negative qualities you, too, have within yourself and think about how you can get a little better in that regard.


Confucius was ALL IN.

He said things like: “Learn as if you were following someone whom you could not catch up, as though it were someone you were frightened of losing.”

Yep. I like his style.

Let’s go ALL IN, Hero.

All day. Every day.


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