Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter Book Summary

Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter | Free Book Summary

Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter

Using awareness, we can alter our habits and behavior. The book “Triggers” exemplifies the relative nature of the things that can swing your life back and forth.

We have a choice

Triggers appear to be relentless and omnipresent—a cake that makes us forget the sugar content warnings, or a song that takes our attention away from a conversation. 

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All of these have the potential to alter our behavior in less than a second. 

We have a choice, which is good news. We have control over them.

A trigger is only a problem if your reaction to it causes a problem.

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The solution: six self-assessment questions

Daily self-monitoring via six questions that assess our effort rather than our outcomes:

  • Did I do my best to establish specific goals?
  • Did I do everything I could to make progress toward my goals?
  • Did I make every effort to find meaning?
  • Did I try my hardest to be happy?
  • Did I do everything I could to foster positive relationships?
  • Did I give it my all to be fully engaged?

Winning has a negative side effect

Being too familiar with an environment can make you vulnerable to unexpected triggers. Successful people serve as good examples. They are accustomed to winning and are prone to mismanaging their emotions when confronted with environmental triggers.

Five questions that everyone should ask themselves

  • What exactly is my mission?
  • Who is the client?
  • What does the customer regard as valuable?
  • What is the end goal?
  • What is the strategy? 

The Six Key Clues

We look at six key clues to understand how triggers influence our behavior:

  • Direct or indirect behavioral triggers are both possible.
  • An internal or external trigger can exist.
  • A trigger can be intentional or unintentional.
  • A trigger can be either expected or unexpected.
  • A trigger can be both motivating and discouraging.
  • A trigger can be beneficial or detrimental.

Overnight Changes

Overnight transformations are a myth. Success is a game. To be successful, we must practice every day. We must build something great by making small daily efforts such as these:

  • Commitment.
  • Motivation.
  • Self-discipline.
  • Self-control.
  • Patience.

Significant changes are required, but they are challenging to implement. Your level of commitment is essential.

People who require change frequently fight it

Because people are frequently unaware of the behaviors they need to change or how their environment affects those behaviors, changing behavior can be challenging.  

People are resistant to change because they overestimate their willpower, think that their behavior isn’t as bad as, and use magical thinking to believe that change is a one-time event rather than an ongoing process.

Common Triggers: Part 1

If I understand, I will do. Just because people understand what to do doesn’t ensure that they will actually do it.

I have the strength of character to resist temptation. We routinely underrate the influence of environmental triggers that can lead us astray in addition to our tendency to overestimate willpower.

Common Triggers Part 2

There won’t be any distractions, and nothing unforeseen will happen. We rarely account for distractions when we make plans for the future.

My life will be abruptly changed by an epiphany. A sudden surge of insight and willpower can result in an epiphany, which suggests that change is possible.

Common Triggers Part 3

I’ll make a permanent change, and my worries will be over. Without follow-up, our good changes will not stick.

I won’t create new issues by solving the old ones. We fail to remember that whenever we solve one problem, usually another one pops up.

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