Mastering Your Reality: Daniel Pink

In every moment, you choose who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It’s your ultimate power, and your inescapable responsibility. You’re the master of your reality.

Daniel Pink is an award winning author, Yale Law Grad, and former political speech-writer. London-based Thinkers 50 has named him as one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world. Daniel’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 20 million views. His latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timingdives into the important, yet often overlooked science of timing decisions.

In this episode of Mastering Your Reality, we discussed:

  •       We tend to make our timing decisions—deciding when we choose to do certain things–based on intuition and guessing, if we even think about them at all. This is foolish. Timing can have great consequences, and there’s a science to optimizing our time. Daniel’s latest book, “When”, is about that science.
  •        Science can reveal the best time to do anything, from small events to important and consequential ones.
  •        William James states “Most of us go through life only half awake.” Isaac’s book, “Eyes Wide Open,” is about fully waking up, living with intention and awareness and purpose. Dan’s work on optimal timing is an effort in that vein—being smart with our time.
  •        Amazingly, as much as 20% of variances in cognitive performance can be explained entirely by the time of day! Yet most of us do not take the time of day into consideration when deciding when to do important tasks.
  •        About 80% of people have a peak in the morning, a trough in the middle of the day, and a recovery towards the end of the day. The peak is the best time to do analytical work, the trough is our lowest point and perhaps the best time to do administrative work, and the recovery is when our mood is up but we are less vigilant, a good time for creative efforts.
  •        Obvious point that is routinely forsaken: the best time to do a meeting depends on what the nature of the meeting is and what you are aiming to accomplish.
  •        The evidence clearly shows that we can greatly improve our productivity and performance at work and in our personal lives if we factor in timing.
  •        Dan is a Yale Law School grad who worked in politics as a speech-writer, among other things. He always wrote on the side. His wife noticed that this passion for his “side project” seemed to make him a lot happier than his “real” work. She encouraged him to try it full-time, and together they took the steps necessary to give that a shot. The rest is history.
  •         Finding out who you really are is so important because when you run against the grain you are setting yourself up to be unhappy. Taking calculated risks is often crucial to finding out your true self.


Want to learn more? Click here to read about Dan’s books, or click here to learn more about his speaking. You can also click here to view more episodes of Mastering Your Reality.

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