The “magic bullet solution” for overcoming uncontrollable triggers

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith

Trigger → Impulse → Behavior.

This is usually the cycle for our spontaneous reactions.

There are plenty of facts, events, and circumstances in our lives that powerfully impact how we act and react.


Want to get the full book in Kindle version? Get it from here:
AmazonTriggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts-Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith from Audible


These kinds of things make us believe that we have no control over them.

The annoying neighbor that wakes you up every Sunday morning with a song on full volume.


RATIONAL CONTROL / TRIGGERS

“Unconscious triggers shape your behavior beyond your awareness.”


 

The crazy traffic that you have to face every day on your way to work. An unexpected call that distracts us from a face-to-face conversation.

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Are we really that weak in front of such of triggers?

Written in a conversational tone, Marshall Goldsmith’s book, Triggers, clarifies plenty of issues related to this.

Marshall Goldsmith’s main approach is that it is in our power to control how we act, even when we have to deal with spontaneous events.

If you haven’t have the chance to read other books by Marshall Goldsmith, let me tell you a few things about him.

He’s a bestselling author, a world-renowned executive coach, one of the Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the world, and the top-ranked executive coach at the 2013 biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London.

At the core of Goldsmith’s book you’ll find the environmental and psychological triggers that can “threaten” us in our daily activities.

As Goldsmith points out, these events are usually the result of unexpected triggers in our environment — people or situations as a stimulus that make us react in a manner opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be.

triggers

We are surrounded by those kinds of triggers, which appear to be relentless and omnipresent – a cake that makes us forget the warnings about sugar content, a song that distracts us from a conversation. All these modify our behavior in less than a second. The good news is that WE HAVE A CHOICE. We can control them.

And maybe this is the most powerful insight of the book. Goldsmith shows how we can overcome those triggers and make lasting changes.

“Going through life and never changing our tastes, opinions and everyday preferences is unimaginable.”

Marshall’s theory of the overcoming triggers process is the following:

Prerequisite: We are superior planners, but become inferior doers as our environment exerts its influence during the course of our day.

triggers

The “magic bullet” solution: daily self-monitoring, through 6 “active”/engaging questions – questions that measure our effort, not our results:

  • Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  • Did I do my best to make progress towards goal achievement?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning?
  • Did I do my best to be happy?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  • Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

Goldsmith filled his book with illustrative stories of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, offering a personal playbook on how to make really meaningful changes in our lives and rebuild our behavior.

'We deify willpower and self-control and mock its absence.' @coachgoldsmith Click To Tweet

Being too used to an environment may become risky and make you vulnerable in front of unexpected triggers. A good example is represented by successful people. Used to winning, they risk mismanaging their emotions when faced with environmental triggers.

How can we prevent a situation like this? Marshall Goldsmith brings us five questions we should all ask ourselves:

  • What’s my mission?
  • Who’s the customer?
  • What does the customer consider value?
  • What’s the goal?
  • What’s the plan?

Marshall also reveals a wheel-of-change model:

  • Creating = Positive/Change
  • Preserving = Positive/Keep
  • Eliminate = Negative/Change
  • Accepting = Negative/Keep

In order to understand how triggers influence our behavior, Marshall provides us 6 key clues:

  1. A behavioral trigger can be direct or indirect.
  2. A trigger can be internal or external.
  3. A trigger can be conscious or unconscious.
  4. A trigger can be anticipated or unexpected.
  5. A trigger can be encouraging or discouraging.
  6. A trigger can be productive or counterproductive.

Triggers is also filled with plenty of Leadership Takeaways, such as:

  • Overnight changes – only a myth. Success is a sport. To achieve success, we have to practice every day. We have to build something great by making small efforts every day, efforts like these:
    • Commitment.
    • Motivation.
    • Self-discipline.
    • Self-control.
    • Patience.
  • Filling our lives with regret could not only be wrong but also very painful. Regret is a state of mind that should be part of a process of looking back at the things we’ve done.
  • Significant changes are necessary but also hard to do. Your level of determination is crucial.
  • The power of the environment is often invincible. Even when it looks friendly, it could still show its ruthless power.
  • We should be our own masters, and we should rule our environment. Otherwise it will define its power over us.
  • A feedback loop comprises four stages: evidence, relevance, consequence, and action.
  • “A behavioral trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behavior.”
  • Starting with an apology could be the beginning of real behavioral change.
  • Be more focused on intrinsic motivation – this will be really helpful in identifying the enjoyable things.

But those are only clues you’ll get about Triggers. Beyond the cover you’ll find valuable lessons of self-control, self-awareness, and self-monitoring.

'Behavioral change demands self-discipline and self-control.' @coachgoldsmith Click To Tweet

You’ll get back to the key prerequisite of our existence: the greatest advantage of being human is that we can control our life, our emotions. The rational side can become vocal if we allow it to.


Want to get the full book in Kindle version? Get it from here:
AmazonTriggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts-Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith from Audible


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