Stillness is the Key and the Infinite Game

Over the last week or so I’ve developed a bit of a morning routine.

I get up early, I go for a run/walk for 30-45 minutes, and when I get back I make some kind of breakfast, have coffee and listen to an audiobook for a few minutes. The routine has helped me stay relatively grounded, and has set the tone for the day ahead.

This week I finished two books, Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday and The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. Both were incredibly timely reads.

Stillness Is the Key:

Stillness Is the Key had been in my queue for a while. In the weeks leading up to San Antonio’s stay at home order I finally started listening to it, in part because I was stressed and needed to find some kind of perspective in the wisdom of others.

What I found was a roadmap for living a quality life.

“Stillness is not an excuse to withdraw from the world. Quite the opposite, it’s a tool to let you do more good for more people.” – Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key

I found myself nodding and agreeing with what was presented, not because it was earth shattering or new, but because it was a distillation of common sense that tends to be overlooked when the world is crazy.

“The gift of free will is that in this life we can choose to be good or we can choose to be bad. We can choose what standards to hold ourselves to and what we will regard as important, honorable, and admirable. The choices we make in that regard determine whether we will experience peace or not.” – Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key

I highly recommend this book anytime, but especially now.

The Infinite Game:

The Infinite Game has been a bit of a slow burn for me. In May 2018 I saw Simon Sinek speak at WorkHuman. His keynote covered a lot of what was presented in the book, so I didn’t sweat it too much when the book was delayed and delayed.

When I started working at H-E-B it was a book that a lot of us were talking about, so I finally got around to listening to it. I saw a lot of what we do at work in what Sinek professes in the book:

“The true value of an organization is measured by the desire others have to contribute to that organization’s ability to keep succeeding, not just during the time they are there, but well beyond their own tenure.” – Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game

I strayed from the book over time though, and when I returned to it this week I realized I was more than ¾ of the way through and I had a completely different perspective.

One of the first catchphrases I heard when I started working at H-E-B was, “We’re in the people business, we just happen to sell groceries”. I’ve spent nearly every moment of my first 10 months with H-E-B seeing that lived and worked by my colleagues all across the organization.

And I see that even more now, as our entire organization has shifted to respond to the Coronavirus crisis across the communities we serve.

“To ask, “What’s best for me” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.” – Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game

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