At the Global Leadership Summit this year, one of my favorite talks was from Jon Acuff. I’ve read everything Jon’s published, dating back to his blog Stuff Christians Like, and up to his new podcast (which is amazing). His newest book is one that I have bought to give away and have recommended to just about every coaching client I have. It’s called Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. If you haven’t read this book, you need to get a copy and start today. It’s THAT helpful and good.

Here are some of my takeaways from Jon’s talk, which was about the soundtracks we all have:

  • Overthinking is the most expensive thing that companies invest in every year without knowing it.
  • Overthinking is when what you think gets in the way of what you want.
  • The longer you listen to repetitive thoughts (soundtracks), the more they become a part of your personal playlist.
  • Great thoughts lead to great actions. Great actions lead to great results.
  • Great leaders do three things:
    • Retire broken soundtracks
      • “That’s not how we do things here”
      • Every reaction is an education in how you really think
    • Replace them with new soundtracks
    • Repeat until automatic
  • Ask your loudest soundtracks three questions:
    • Is it true?
      • One of the greatest mistakes you can make as a leader is thinking all your thoughts are true because they are in your voice
    • Is it helpful?
      • When I say this over and over again, does it push us forward or pull us back?
    • Is it kind?
      • What did Google’s most successful team have in common? Psychological safety. You can ask questions, suggest new ideas, and admit you are wrong without being treated unkindly by the team
  • Thoughts come by choice or by chance
  • Are you picking your thoughts ahead of time?
  • Looking ahead – where do I want to WIN this week?

Again, I cannot recommend Jon’s book highly enough. If you only read one book this month, it should be this one.

Do you struggle with overthinking relationships, work issues, goals, or life in general? What’s your intentional plan to address overthinking?


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