Quora Saturday: best gifts, explaining leadership, disliking leaders, productive and optimistic daily habits

December 10, 2016 by Joshua
in Quora

Continuing my Saturday series on posting my answers to questions from Quora, here are my next questions answered:

Q: What is the best gift you have given anybody?

A: For my high school / college girlfriend I hand wrote, hand drew, hand made, and hand sewed a little booklet of my favorite passage from my favorite book at the time The Little Prince. The passage was a conversation between the Little Prince, the Fox, and the Rose.

I’m not an illustrator, writer, or book binder, so it didn’t look remotely professional, which I think made it charming for showing my hand in creating it.

Q: How would you explain leadership in an easy way?

A: I point out that Martin Luther King Jr didn’t get people to do what he wanted, he got them to do what they wanted.

Most people recognize King as a great leader. Seeing that he didn’t impose his values on them but rather helped them achieve what they wanted changes the perspective from telling people what to do to learning what they want and enabling them to act on what they want.

Q: Why do we dislike to follow some leaders?

A: I distinguish between people who lead versus people who use their authority.

People who lead, we generally don’t dislike following.

People who use authority, I wouldn’t call a leader, but many do because they don’t make the distinction. When someone uses their authority with you, there is generally an implicit understanding that if you don’t comply, they will make your life worse somehow. We don’t like following them because of that threat.

Are the people you dislike following more leaders or people who are using their authority?

Q: I’m 17, what daily habits can I adapt in order to become more productive and optimistic?

A: People can talk about lots of different habits to improve your life, but three things stand above everything else:

  1. Sleep
  2. Healthy diet
  3. Regular exercise

For sleep, you can find out how much your body needs during vacation, when you can sleep in. For most it’s 7.5 – 8 hours per night, but find out for yourself. Then the rest of your life, get that amount of sleep. If you shoot for that amount but don’t get it, then you will not reach your potential.

For diet, avoid foods whose fiber has been removed (sugar, non-whole wheat, oils) and packaged foods. If you eat packaged foods or fiber removed foods, you will not reach your potential.

For regular exercise, I like burpees as a foundation because they work out nearly all your major muscle groups, don’t need equipment, trainers, membership, or anything else. You can do them anywhere, in any weather, with little risk of injury. Then besides them I do other things like run, row, or lift weights, as well as walking to many places, take stairs instead of the elevator, and so on. If you don’t get your heart pumping every day and build strong muscles, you won’t reach your potential.

Many people try to get enough sleep, to eat healthily, and to exercise regularly but don’t actually do them. They won’t likely reach their potential. Prioritizing at least these three habits will give you the best platform for reaching your potential.

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