1: Success is like a nightclub, Alex Banayan writes in his book, The Third Door

“There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in,” he observes.

Then, there is the Second Door, “the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through.”

Finally, there is the Third Door, which most people know nothing about. 

“It’s the entrance,” Alex writes, where we “jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, [and]sneak through the kitchen.”

There is always, always a Third Door. “There’s always a way,” Alex writes. 

2: The Third Door mindset is an example of psychological flexibility. 

Psychologists call it “pathways thinking,” Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy write in The Gap and The Gain: The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success.

Which is our ability to remain flexible and find or create different possibilities and alternatives. 

“The more flexible we are,” Dan and Ben write, the more willing we will be “to try multiple approaches to get where we want to go.”

They contrast this type of thinking with being more rigid. More dogmatic. Trying to force it. Again and again. Using an approach that has already proved to be unsuccessful.

3: The research shows that low psychological flexibility is associated with the following: anxiety, depression, overall pathology, poor work performance, inability to learn, and substance abuse.

“The more psychologically flexible we are,” Dan and Ben note, “the less anxious and depressed we will be.” 

A key element of psychological flexibility is our ability to manage our emotions. Rather than being controlled by them. 

Doing so allows us to move forward toward our goals even when setbacks occur. 

Let’s say we wake up and discover our car has a flat tire. “Rather than being upset and paralyzed, we just grab an Uber,” Dan and Ben write. 

We will “deal with that flat tire at a different time, but it’s not going to bother our day in any way because we have important things to work on.”

More tomorrow.


Reflection: Think about a recent setback or obstacle I faced. How did I respond? What did I learn?

Action: Discuss these questions with a colleague or my team.

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