How can you avoid failure, improve your performance and promote success in the future?


It’s a question I’ve asked myself a few times recently after having experienced a series of failures.

What I didn’t expect was to find the same answer in two books that I read at the start of the year - one by a former Navy SEAL and the other by a former SBS Operator.

David Goggin’s You Can’t Hurt Me and Jason Fox’s Life Under Fire both refer to carrying out an After Action Review (AAR) after each mission.

In short, an AAR enables you to learn from actions taken and decisions made during a mission, in order to avoid failure and promote success in the the future. It’s a process of active learning that helps you improve.

Before reading both books, I hardly spent any time analysing the the outcome of successful and unsuccessful actions and decision I’d taken within my business.  I vaguely remember the things that worked and forgot the things that didn’t.

The big problem with this approach is that it doesn’t encourage making progress, cutting out and learning from your mistakes or doubling down on success. It also left me open to repeating the same mistakes.

The road to high performance requires you to learn from your success & failures, understand how you can improve and what you need to take consistent action on in order to progress towards your goals.

That’s why I’ve started to complete an AAR at the end of each week and after I’ve finished working on a project. The insights I’ve gained and the and the learning I've experienced since doing has been transformational.

High Performance Hacks

A beginners guide to Getting Things Done (10mins)

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a Time Management and Productivity technique that, 20 years since its introduction, remains popular to this day.

I started using the GTD Method in February and it has markedly improved my performance - from capturing ideas to effectively utilising the 2 Minute Rule.

The Not To Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now (4mins)

I carried out a Past Year Review at the start of the year, which introduce me to the concept of making a Not-To-Do List. This is a list of things you should try to stop doing so you can focus on the things that matter.

A Not-To-Do Lists is an effective way to improving your performance because what you don’t do determines what you can do. This blog posts sets out 9 common and stressful habits that entrepreneur and professionals should strive to eliminate.

Tools + Tech

Book: The Alchemist. One of my favourite books by a long stretch. I’ve listened to this on Audible about a dozen times and love Jeremy Iron’s narration. The book is a modern classic of an inspiring tale of self-discovery that combines magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder. It’s a truly transformational book and definitely one to read before you die.

Tweet Thread: 7 Tools to Maximise Your Potential. Simple and effective tools to improve your health, happiness and productivity.

App: Instapaper. If you’re reading this newsletter, it’s likely that you also read a bunch of content online. Instapaper makes it easy to save online articles for reading later. Once saved, the article is stripped down to text and essential images for easier consumption. It’s FREE to use, and premium features include unlimited highlights, speed reading and text to speech.

Haha: Here, have a repository of groan-worthy dad jokes.

Quote of the Week

"Your time is better spent championing good ideas than tearing down bad ones.

The best thing that can happen to a bad idea is that it is forgotten. The best thing that can happen to a good idea is that it is shared.

Feed the good ideas and let bad ideas die of starvation."

- James Clear