Get Out of Your Own Way: The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyone's Expectations
Robert K. Cooper
A Powerful Road Map for Surpassing Everyone’s Expectations
Break through your self-imposed limitations by learning how your own brain can be your biggest obstacle—or your greatest ally.
You’d expect your brain to be an always-reliable ally in your quest for a successful, satisfying life, but surprisingly the opposite is usually true. That’s because your brain is pretty much the same model your ancestors were using thousands of years ago when mere survival was everyone’s primary goal. It tells you now what it told them then: Play it safe. Avoid risk. Evade confrontation. Don’t venture outside the territory you already know. And never break the habits that have gotten you this far.
Coming at just the right time to help you deal with the growing demands of our pressure-packed, fast-changing world, Robert Cooper’s Get Out of Your Own Way helps you understand what’s going on in that head of yours. Once you know what really drives you, you can switch off the counterproductive parts of your brain, engage the helpful parts, and set out on the path to accomplishing what everyone else thinks you can’t. Based on more than two decades of worldwide research, Get Out of Your Own Way shows you the five keys for making the choices that let you engage and triumph over the realities of today’s world:
• Direction, not motion
• Focus, not time
• Capacity, not conformity
• Energy, not effort
• Impact, not intentions
Filled with wonderful stories—about everything from the note written by one of the author’s ancestors upon leaving Dublin for America in 1829 (“On the horizon is where hope lives . . . I am going there”) to the unlikely exploits of the world record–setting Jamaican bobsled team—this groundbreaking book confirms that the next frontier is not only ahead of you, it’s inside of you . . . and what everyone else thinks is impossible isn’t.
Also available as an eBook
open space starts to unlock parallel possibilities: One open-space target may be strengthened when it’s aligned with a similar but even bigger open-space target. Or maybe you teach Third World agricultural development, like Professor Dan Clay at Michigan State University, and your open-space goal is to bring your field out of the classroom and, in a very tangible way, into the world’s great places of need.24 What happens next is you find yourself thinking about Rwanda, a place where Clay worked
and future. For me, it begins with push-ups, moving slowly and surely up and down, warming into it as I go, for sets of 80, 60, 40, and 20—200 push-ups in all. It’s a simple thing I can do just about anywhere, a challenge picked up long ago as a Marine during the Vietnam War, and my arms still shake as I press through the final push-ups. Why is this valuable to me? For one thing, it helps silence the doubting voices in my brain as it also joins me with the possibilities of the day to come. It’s
when I’m just not very good at those sports, and everyone else is bigger than me?” I asked, focusing on the little picture of my immediate sadness instead of the bigger one of my life as a whole. My grandfather answered, “There’s something I learned that’s helped me a lot in situations like yours, something about fighting back.” I must have looked surprised, imagining my grandfather putting up his fists, but that was not what he meant. “Want to know how you fight back?” he asked. When I nodded,
limbic-prefrontal circuits give rise to what is called “emotional intelligence.”4 ALL TOGETHER NOW Rationality and analysis get machines to run. Intuition invents them. Rationality and analysis produce spreadsheets dissecting past performance. Intuition creates the future. Because all those things are valuable, achieving all you can is not a matter of “losing your head” but of getting the balance right between the thinking brain in your head and the intuitive intelligences in your gut, heart,
continued to suggest ideas, many of which she also applied, along with many others she gleaned from many other sources. And now—again as Muriel Summers tells it—“Today we are the school that seven years ago was but a dream! Our scores have risen from the 60th percentile to the 90th! 96.8 percent of our students perform above grade level in reading and mathematics. We are honored to hold recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School, a National School of Character, and a National Magnet School of