How I Hit Refresh on Sources of Insight



I’ve been exploring how to take  Sources of to the next level.

If you don’t know the backstory, I created Sources of Insight as a place to empower people with skills for work and life.

I wanted to dive much deeper into personal empowerment.  I wanted to really push the envelope of human potential.  I wanted to explore the art of the possible for what mere mortals could do if they had access to the world’s best insight and action for work and life.

And that’s how Sources of Insight was born.

But here’s how I hit refresh …

The Mission of Sources of Insight

After a lot of hacking, I settled on a simple and sticky mission:

Personal Effectiveness for Everyone!

I wanted to be inclusive and I wanted to make the job of Sources of Insight, so simple and easy to remember, that you can’t forget it, even if you tried.

That said, I do elaborate on it a bit to hopefully really bring the idea home:

Sources of Insight is the place to help you become a smarter, more creative, and more capable you.

A Living Library of Greatness for Everyone (Oh, The Place We’ll Go)

I want to help anybody who chooses to master the fundaments in life that will amplify their efforts and compound their results.

Sources of Insight is a living library and learning platform to help you realize your full potential in all aspects of your life:

  • Master your mind
  • Master you body
  • Master your emotions
  • Master your career
  • Master your finances
  • Master your relationships
  • Master your spiritual intelligence
  • Master fun and do what makes you come alive

Those areas of focus, are actually from my Life Frame which is Hot Spots for Life

Mind, Body, Emotions, Career, Finance, Relationships, and Fun.

I elaborate on how to use the Life Frame to accelerate results in my book on realizing your potential, Getting Results the Agile Way.

Great Books, Great People, Great Quotes

This is really the backbone of the site. 

I wanted to help everybody “Stand on the Shoulders of Giants’ by drawing from “Great Books, Great People, and Great Quotes” to put the world’s wisdom at your fingertips

I wanted to go beyond my personal experience, and include the world’s best insight and action for work and life.

So sometimes, I play the role of expert, where I do share my learnings and insights from first-hand experience.  Other times, I play the role of expert reporter, and I try to bring you things that are useful, that you can test to see if they help you in some way.  I am a fan of testing to see what works for you.

I find that wisdom lurks in many corners of our universe from books, to quotes, to people’s heads.

Here are a few of my favorite quote collections that just might make your day:

  1. 37 Inspirational Quotes that Will Change Your Life
  2. Best Happiness Quotes
  3. Best Dr. Seuss Quotes

May the force of insight and multiple minds, be on your side.

Best Books, Better Book Summaries, and Book Nuggets

As part of reimagining Sources of Insight, I wanted a better way to present what I learn and share.

I read a lot of books.

I find and share a lot of nuggets.

People tend to ask me three main questions:

  1. What are good books to read for topic X?  This is where my Best Books lists come in.
  2. What is book X really about, or what did did you get out of book X or why should I read it?  This is where my Better Books comes in.
  3. What are the key nuggets from book X?  This is where I share the many “needles” from the vast “haystacks” of books as simple Book Nuggets.

Amazing Lessons from People (The Greatness Distilled Series)

One of my favorite sources of insight, is people.  Everybody, if you look closely enough, has something to share. 

It may be in how they look at the world differently.  It may be in how they apply their values to life.  It may be their special twist on how they make something that is more “state of the art” more pragmatic so it can actually become a “state of the practice.”  It may be in the way they use their voice to add color to make an ordinary idea an extraordinary idea, or to even make a brilliant idea, better.

Here is my Amazing Lessons from People (The Greatness Distilled) page, and here are a few timeless favorites:

  1. Amazing Lessons from Chalene Johnson
  2. Amazing Lessons from Seth Godin
  3. Amazing Lessons from Tony Robbins

Courses to Help Unleash Your Mad Skills

I’m a big believer that life is better with skill (and one of my tag lines on Sources of Insight is, “Skilled for Work and Life.”)

I also believe that success in life largely comes down to stories, skills, and strategies (and Tony Robbins, would be the first to say that the difference between those who succeed, and those who don’t is their strategies – the strategies they use for the outer world, and the strategies they use to run their inner world.)

To help share and scale skills, I am creating courses.  As I share courses, you can find them on our Courses page on Sources of Insight.

I created two courses that change lives:

  1. 7 Days of Agile Results
  2. 30 Days of Getting Results

By change lives, I mean I’ve had people send me stories where they’ve learned a new language, learned a new instrument, got new jobs, bought houses, changed other people’s lives, changed their bodies, and more.

These simple courses are actually rich with big ideas, and ways to apply them, that you can use to explore what you are capable of.

These particular courses are special because they help you get more out of everything else that you do – that’s what I mean by they “help unleash your mad skills.”

Oh, and did I mention, the courses I shared above are free.  (there are no mailing lists to join, no fees, you just click and go – simple Web pages, that’s it.)

A Library of 1, 300+ Articles of Profound Knowledge for High-Performance

Here’s where things get serious.

What you don’t know can hurt you.  Ignorance is only bliss until it isn’t.  Then it’s painful.

My goal with this living library of articles is to smash the darkness by shedding some light.

I want to empower you with some of the world’s most profound knowledge so that you can win in more situation (or at least lose less, because of what you didn’t know.)

You can browse the articles in a few ways:

Note that I dig deep into Mind, Body, Emotions, Career, Finance, Relationships, and fun – and expand from there.  So if you are wondering what the organizing frame for all those articles actually is, it’s those Life Hot Spots again.  (those are the core categories that can help you advance your skills for life.)

Here is a few popular articles you might enjoy, if you want to get a taste for what’s to come:

  1. 7 Ways to Bake Happiness Into Your Lives
  2. 101 of the Greatest Insights and Actions for Work and Life
  3. Tony Robbins on How To Master Relationships

Methods, Model, and Mentors

I collects methods and models that help simplify complexity and chop big problems down to size.

I find that the bigger my toolbox gets, the more I can choose the right tool for the job (otherwise, if I only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)

I also learned this is how Warren Buffer’s business partner, Charlie Munger, hacks the financial market down to size.  Munger is known for his market brilliance.  He attributes it to his collection of more than 90 mental models.

Here are a few of my favorite tools:

So anytime anybody throws a piece of information his way, like a skilled Hibachi chef, he can slice and dice it into more meaningful insights.

And I believe mentors are the ultimate short-cut in life. 

If life is like a game of Chutes and Ladders (or Snakes and Ladders in the UK), I find the right mentor can life you up, and help you keep you from sliding back down.

You have mentors all around you if you know where to look.

Personally, I go beyond just the mentors that are right around me, and I learn from anyone I can, whether it’s online, in a book, or a virtual course.

The Menu Redesign and New Information Architecture

I wish I could say it was easy.  I wish I could say I nailed it.  All I can say is, I think I finally improved it.

After all, what goes is all this information if you can’t find it and can’t make your way through the forest.

I simplified the menu to the following:

About | Articles | Books | Courses | Resources

And I sliced the Article library down to size by using categories such as Emotional Intelligence, Life Hacks, Leadership, Personal Development, Personal Effectiveness, and Productivity, as well as providing fast browsing through All Topics, Popular Articles, and All Articles.

The menu is effectively the broad strokes of the backbone that organize all of Sources of Insight.

I’ve been reorganizing my pages, too.

Some of them are major do-overs.

On Bad Naming and Poor Headlines (and a Chance to Be Social)

The biggest problem I found is that I misnamed a lot of my articles.   I tried to make my titles technically accurate, and logical, and correct from information organization standpoint.

And in the process, I skipped over the part that makes them catchy.  I missed the boat where people might want to climb on board.

To bottom line it, I created bad titles and headlines that did not do justice to my cornucopia of articles.  While the advice is don’t just a book by it’s cover, we often do.  With so much better click-bait on the Web, my titles tend to fall flat.  So if an article is awesome, but the title is not, it sinks to the bottom of the sea of serendipity (waiting for lightning to strike).

My job is to find better ways to surface the insight in more attractive and clickable ways.  Sources of Insight is full of buried treasure that solves real problems for real people.  On a good note, I’ve been learning a lot, through my gazillion mistakes, and I think you will find more of my articles rising to see the light of day, as I give them better names.

(Note that in the mean time, while I continue to improve the naming and formatting, it helps a lot if you please share any articles you find useful with your friends.  Sharing is caring.  That’s where the power of the social network really comes in – where humans help fellow humans find stuff they need, and can do so in a more relevant way — and rise above my bad naming conventions Winking smile )

You 2.0

I created You 2.0 as a very special resource.  In many ways, it’s a simple guide to help you hit refresh on your inner core.

The goal of You 2.0 is to help you quickly accomplish the following:

  1. Figure out your purpose
  2. Find your WHY
  3. Explore your HOW
  4. Map out your values
  5. Showcase your strengths
  6. Identify your Personal Success Patterns
  7. Create a simple “balcony view” of your inner core at a glance

How sweet is that?

You can use this workbook to very quickly create what I believe is your “Firm Foundation” for life.  It’s where your inner You meets your outer You, through a simple process of self-discovery.

I’ve presented You 2.0 in various venues to help people get clear on who they are, get back on their feet, and reimagine who they want to be in the future.

The beauty is that if you ever lose yourself, you can find yourself again – it’s all right here, your “firm foundation” at a glance – You 2.0.

As a little aside, I called it You 2.0 because a friend of mine had broken his back during a tragic incident.  It was a very big deal. 

But he was resilient. 

Instead of giving up, he grew up. He decided he would be better than he was before.

He said he would use this challenge in his life to become a better version, a “2.0” version of his former self.

My Personal Philosophy

My personal philosophy is a work in progress, but mostly it comes down to I believe that everybody deserves a better chance at life, and that life is better with skill.

With that in mind, I have a simple set of guiding principles:

  1. Life’s not a spectator’s sport.
  2. Absorb what’s useful; reject the rest.
  3. It’s not what’s on your plate, it’s how you eat it.
  4. Don’t take life too seriously, or you’ll never get out alive.
  5. Success is a journey, not a destination.
  6. Live more, laugh more, learn more, love more.
  7. Roll with the punches.
  8. Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
  9. If you fall down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, carry the lessons forward.
  10. Don’t seek to be better than others; seek to be better than yourself.

And I am a lifelong learner.

I’m big believer in learning and leading the Agile Way.  Life can change under our feet in very fast and dramatic ways.  The ultimate skill for survival is agility.

As Darwin put it:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

So that gives me hope, I don’t have to be the smartest. 

I just need to keep changing in the right direction Smile

Why Do I Do What I Do?

I included the shorter story in my About page.  I have a deeper version in my personal story of transformation.  

If you prefer audio, I have an audio interview with Dr. Cha~zay.  In the interview, Dr. Cha~zay does an amazing job keeping it real and teasing out beautiful insights.

And in my Golden Circle report out, I share a lot of my drivers behinds why I do what I do.

Getting Started with Sources of Insight

I would say a great way to start is to start small. 

First get comfortable finding your way around, explore the menu so that you know where things live.

Next, Find 3 insights from Sources of Insights you can use.

Make it an adventure.  Or make it an epic mini-mental adventure.Make it a game.  Gamify it. 

Explore the topics page on Sources of Insight, find a few articles that interest you, and focus on finding three take aways or three insights that you can use right way. 

Dig deep if you must, but set a simple goal to walk away with three insights that will in some way help you hack a better day, or even hack a better life.

There are gems of insight everywhere.

And if you are up for it, go the extra mile and share your three insights with others (or just me.)

Happy hunting.


  1. JD,
    Good to see you articulate a rebooted focus for this site. Been following you for several years and it looked like your online presence(s) drifted a bit.

    Site looks great. And immeasurably useful, as it has always been.


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