triggersI had the rare privilege of spending time with Marshall Goldsmith a couple of months ago courtesy of my mentor Alan Weiss at an event that Alan hosts annually called the Million Dollar Consulting Convention. Marshall was the Keynote speaker at Alan’s event this year, and is in high demand as one of the most successful executive coaches on the planet. He’s the author of many terrific and insightful books like What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and he was delightful and very generous in his time with us. Marshall was kind enough to provide us all with copies of his latest book Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts & Becoming the Person You Want to Be”.

I read a lot of books on self-improvement and personal growth, and Triggers offers fresh insights that I haven’t come across elsewhere to this point. Marshall’s basic premise is that we all have environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life. These triggers are constant, relentless, and we are surrounded by them on a daily basis. It often seems like our environment is outside of our control, but we always have a choice in terms of how we respond. Triggers is all about how we can manage and move beyond these disruptive factors to effect meaningful and lasting change.

There’s a gap between knowing what to do, intending to do it, and actually taking action to achieve the desired effect. We often forget our intentions in the midst of daily distractions; turns out that will power simply isn’t enough. In Triggers, Marshall presents a powerful premise and structure in the form of daily self-monitoring — that requires self-discipline and accountability to someone outside yourself, but takes just 5 minutes a day. At its essence it’s a set of questions we ask ourselves daily that are “active” — they measure our effort, not our results, in a non-judgmental way.

The questions are simple but they’re not easy; the key is repetition and a commitment to running through them each and every day — and being accountable to another while doing so. Those who do so for a minimum of 30 days report greater happiness and moving the needle in key areas of their life that they said were most important to them. What Marshall has developed and presents in Triggers is no less than a personal playbook on how to achieve lasting change in our lives, and how to achieve the goals we say we want so that we can become the person we want to be.

Do you have a question, challenge or success story you’d like to share? Please be sure to leave a comment. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


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