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Dr John Shufeldt - Ingredients of Outliers


Dr John Shufeldt is an unusual and productive professional by any standard. He is a doctor and a lawyer who has created several remarkably successful health care companies and he continues to practice medicine, teach law, and serve as an advisor to numerous organizations. He has also conducted extensive research and analyzed what he calls “the outliers” – and defined what makes extraordinary people achieve their best performance.

I interviewed John for my Journey To Success Radio show.

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His book, Ingredients of Outliers zeroes in on what it takes to make a real difference. He has shared what he has learned about that magical, mysterious, extra something that unleashes the maximum potential in all of us.  And the things that you see in the habits of those who produce the most remarkable and noteworthy achievements may surprise you.

“What separates outliers from others,” he says, “is more about humility, perseverance and attitude than intellect and what the world obliges you. Everyone has the capacity for greatness.  You have the capacity to become an outlier by pursuing your passion thereby achieving your dreams.  Every person who achieved greatness during at least one and probably many points in their life had the same feelings of apprehension, nervousness, paralysis that you may be experiencing.  The only thing that separated them was taking the first step and then many more as they persevered to achieve their goal.  They did it and so can you.”

Purchase Dr John Shufeldt's book Ingredients of Outliers here



Dr John Schufeldt's philosophy is captured and exemplified in the words he uses in his email signature: Gear Up! He explains what this means:

“When pilots take off and leave the runway, they say “gear up.” In a retractable gear airplane this means you are accelerating through the transition phase of flight and leaving behind the security and certainty of the runway.  I am also doctor on the Phoenix PD SWAT team.  After they brief the target the scene commander says “gear up” which is when we all disperse to get ready for the fight.  Basically, putting on all the gear (vest, knee pads and helmet) and all the weapons.  I only carry a 45 but the real SWAT team members carry AR’s shotguns, teargas, etc, etc.  They put on the game face, focus and get the job done.” 

“For me it has special meaning as well.  It means 1.  Get ready to move forwards your destination; and 2. Prepare for the journey ahead.  It captures the moment you have taken the next step -- that critical and necessary point of action from which there is no return.  It has a special transcendental sort of ring to it. Blast off!” 

Purchase Dr John Shufeldt's book Ingredients of Outliers here

Dr John Shufeldt's easy-to-read and well-researched book describes what he sees are the critical elements for extraordinary performance.

Here they are:

1. Take the first step.  The best thing you can do is to the right thing, the next best is to do the wrong thing, the worst thing is to do nothing.  Every process, project or new idea starts with the first step.  It does not matter if you don’t know all the steps when you start.  Pilots are always rerouted on their flight.  Weather changes, controllers change, winds change, runways changes, stuff happens, but they always end up at their destination. 

2. Build the wings as you are flying with rapid cycle changes/improvements.  You need a plan; however, the plan has to be alterable.

3. Education comes in all forms and from all directions.  The key is having your eyes and ears open in order to realize the gift you are receiving.

4. Sometimes education presents “in the negative.”  In other words, the lesson may be to do the opposite of what you just learned.  Whether positive or negative, the lessons are all valuable.

5. Education is like a new pair of glasses or contact lens.  They both allow you to see things, issues, challenges and opportunities in a new way or new light.

6. Changing perspective changes everything – even the knowledge of a near fatal illness seems less daunting with the right perspective.  Like education, a new perspective opens your mind up to a new approach.

7. The fun is the journey.  Walking across the stage to receive a diploma, selling a business, publishing a book, etc. comes with the bitter sweet knowledge that the fun is over – at least for the moment until you choose a new goal/path/journey/challenge.

8. Kindness solves all problems.  Kindness through mentoring, giving, gratitude always offers us more than the person receiving whatever small token you can bestow. 

9. Kindness is like heroin.  Once you start and realize the great feeling you get from kindness, it is impossible to act any other way.

10. Perseverance moves mountains.  Nothing worth accomplishing comes without perseverance.

“People look at high-achievers and think that it must have been easy for them,” he says.  “What they don’t see are the numbers of failures, the hours of practice, and the level of humility it takes to eventually become an outlier.” 

Dr John Shufeldt's book Ingredients of Outliers shows that we all have the potential ingredients to become an outlier, if we emulate some of those traits which have worked so well for others. The book offers inspirational stories and techniques that can help an individual go from average to extraordinary. Each and every tactic offered is designed to motivate people to step outside their comfort zone to join the ranks of the outliers. The book contains sharp, practical ideas to help people find their edge and break through to new levels of performance success.

Purchase Dr John Shufeldt's book Ingredients of Outliers here





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