Monday, August 24, 2020

Book Review: Lean Life


Paul Akers has written several books on how he has applied Lean thinking in business and at home. In his 4th book Lean Life, he applies the key "Lean" business elements he discussed in 2 Second Lean to our personal lives and relationships. It's the simple and practical shop floor wisdom of stopping our personal assembly line of defects and mistakes to come up with new and improved solutions.

Paul believes we think we know what we want in life and the relationships that are important to us, but in fact, most of us are simply clueless. The question is why? Because we don't know our most important customer...ourselves.

My Favorite Words of Wisdom (Quotes):
  • You must slow down to go fast.
  • Be happy when problems are in front of you. They are the opportunity for you to grow.
  • The small act of being totally present when you are with the one you love is the gateway to a life of love and success.
  • Simplicity attracts people; complexity repels them.
  • The real sign of wealth are individuals with deeply engaged minds and physically fit bodies.
  • Things own you and the more things you have, the bigger slave you become.
  • If we have abundance, we will choose to buy something rather than use our creativity. We become lazy and miss the very essence of life: hard work, discovery, and resourcefulness.
  • Life is all about what you give, but you can’t give what you don’t have. A strong self, with a clarity of purpose and a clear process to achieve it, will allow you to give more abundantly to everyone around you.
  • Have the courage to surround yourself with high-quality people who love to improve and take full responsibility for their position in life.
  • The daily pursuit of discovering solutions and learning from people will enrich your life beyond anything you ever imagined.
Here are the absolute non-negotiables and most important concepts of this book wrapped into six pithy bullet points.

1. Life is short.
Life is short and the meaning of this book will elude anyone who does not approach it from this critical vantage point. Life is not a rehearsal, it is for living right now. It is a gift that has been given to each of us. Life must be cherished and lived in a deliberate and thoughtful manner.

2. Life should be amazing.
Life should be remarkable, exciting, and forever improving in three critical areas: your work, your health, and your relationships. Remember, every element of life should be remarkable, settle for nothing but excellence and build a remarkable life!

3. Use your brain.
Every life experience gives you the opportunity to gain wisdom. Wisdom is essentially a crystal ball that gives you the ability to look into the future and be a better predictor of outcomes. If nothing is changing or getting better, it’s because you are not gaining wisdom from experiences.

4. Brutal truth equals courage.
Everything of significances starts with a single action…courage. Most people will not muster the courage to step definitively outside their comfort zone.

5. High-quality people.
Have the courage to surround yourself with high-quality people, who love to improve and take full responsibility for their position in life. What I do hope to achieve is to make a lasting and substantive effect on others. What I have learned is when people respect you, they will love you, and that’s a much higher and significant pursuit and infinitely more satisfying.

6. Fall in love with lean.
Falling in love with Lean will enrich your life. The daily pursuit of discovering solutions and learning from people will enrich your life beyond anything you ever imagined. Banish Sloppiness and Fall in Love with Precision. Love the idea of being precise and getting it right. Live your life in a deliberate fashion so every process serves you. This intense desire to refine all of life’s processes will energize you and deliver joy.

Lean thinkers who like to learn about the application of lean in non-traditional settings will enjoy this book. If you have a modicum of curiosity and you want to see how to do life better, then Lean Life is the right book for you.

Paul Akers has all of his books available for free in several formats here. Visit the Lean Life page for a free copy of the book and resources by chapter.

 

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