I was sad to hear that Larry Wilson passed away last week. No, he was not one of the Beach Boys!

Nor was he Gahan Wilson (look him up if you must!) who has some other fame.

I never met Larry but felt I knew him after studying his book Play to Win. To say I just read it would be an understatement as his book challenges a lot of the personal development theory I had learned over the years. I did not agree with all of Larry’s conclusions but I certainly respected them.

Larry shared so many nuggets of wisdom that I liked, I had to struggle to pick just ten but here they are:

1) Create a personal purpose statement.In the corporate world they call this a mission statement. This is all about chopping done to three sentences – maximum, what YOU are all about. If you can narrow this down to one sentence—even better. I worked for days on this and the clarity was extremely valuable.

2) Playing to Win is about not playing in fear or playing it safe. Avoiding stressful situations is fear. Are “things” we avoid really that awful? Playing to Win is living life to our full potential !

3) If you choose comfort over growth, don’t be surprised if using this weak long term plan causes you to go out of business.

4) Fulfillment, unlike success is largely defined internally. Fulfillment comes from the drive to discover and live with a sense of meaning. Fulfillment is not found by chasing success, working harder or running faster. It is found by stopping and thinking differently.

5) Larry teaches a strategic learning process. It is a detailed seven step process that is a lesson in itself . My favorire process is-I cannot fail, I can only learn and grow.

6) Rather than using high energy complaining and worrying about our problems, it is much more productive getting very good at solving them. The bigger the problems are, the more we grow .

7) Stop, Challenge & Choose-Stop and think before you respond. Challenge your conclusions from multiple viewpoints and only then choose how to proceed based on the results you are seeking.

8)The Four Fatal Fears-to succeed, to be right,to be accepted and to be comfortable. Enough said. Think about these and how they apply in your life.

9) We teach our scientists to make a lot of mistakes-we call them experiments. Those mistakes often turn into the positive results we seek.

10) Larry’s Poem- I face dragons everyday
I find the courage to chase them away.
I stop, I breathe, I center, I observe;
I challenge my thinking when it’s absurd.

I choose the thoughts that are best for me,
And those that are closest to reality.

I find the spirit that is truly me
And serve the world to set it free.

I don’t have to do what I’ve always been
I learn and grow and that’s how I win.

Rest in peace Larry–we’ll miss you!