Summary of “The List”: We all have dreams, and some of them constantly put off until tomorrow while we hardly dare to express others because they seem so outlandish. What if all it took to make those goals come true was a pencil and a piece of paper?
By Yuval Abramovitz, 2014, 432 pages.
Note: This is a guest chronicle written by Florian, the creator of the motivational application PAKTE
Chronicle and summary of “The List”:
The list is put together from a number of short chapters. Therefore I have decided to separate them into larger sections to make this article more readable and easy to understand.
Here is the summary:
- Part 1: Presentation of Yuval Abramovitz and his story Chapters 1 to 8
- Part 2: About the habit of making lists and shouting them out to the world Chapters 9 to 35
- Part 3: Guide to making a good list Chapters 36 to 46
- Part 4: Realising our dreams Chapters 47 to 64
- Part 5: Why financial means are not holding you back Chapters 65 to 72
Part 1: Presentation of Yuval Abramovitz and his story
1 – The list that saved me
16-year-old Yuval Abramovitz was working in a restaurant. On a day just like any other day, he slipped on a puddle of oil and fuel in a neighbouring storage building during his shift. The very same puddle had caused his boss to fall and break his wrist two weeks earlier: Yuval was not so “lucky”. The diagnosis of his doctors was very stark. They all concluded that Yuval would remain paralysed for life.
One day during his convalescence, Yuval decided to open a notebook and make a list of the projects that he wanted to achieve over the coming year. At first, his list took his physical condition into account. Then, little by little, Yuval let his imagination roam free to write down his wildest desires without holding back.
Eighteen months later, after a long and painful period of rehabilitation, Yuval could finally walk again unassisted. The various doctors that he met came up with more or less convincing reasons for this recovery, while Yuval had his own explanation: His ability to heal despite the initial prognosis of his doctors was thanks to the strength that his list of dreams gave him!
2 – The best gift I ever received
Every time he brought up his accident, Yuval systematically encountered the same reactions: pity, astonishment, compassion… However, he considered his period of convalescence to be a genuine gift.
Many people only discover how precious life is when they find themselves battling cancer at the age of 50 or more, but he was able to measure its importance when he was still a teenager. When he recovered the use of his legs, he made a resolution to accomplish all his dreams, even the ones that seemed unattainable.
3 – Who am I?
When The list was first published, Yuval was 37 years old, living in Israel, father to two children. He had been working in Israeli media for 20 years, all the while publishing best-sellers and appearing in Israeli television series. He had achieved his dreams of lunching with Bruce Willis and Juliette Binoche, as well as interviewing Leonardo Di Caprio and Meryl Streep.
His message is clear. If he can make his dreams come true, so can anyone!
4 – I’m a dream worker
For a long time, Yuval was uncomfortable when people asked him what he did for a living. He often answered approximately depending on what he was doing at the time, but now Yuval says that his job is to realise his dreams.
The list of dreams that he continues to write throughout his life, is his only true motivation. Any job he occupies is only with the goal to accomplishing one dream among the many on his lists.
5 – The letter I sent myself
One day, while he was tidying his garage, Yuval came across a box containing several letters. Each of them had been written by one of the guests at his 30th birthday party. Yuval asked every guest at the party to write a list of dreams that they wanted to accomplish over the coming year. Then he had forgotten about the letters.
Despite the fact that he had forgotten the deadline, Yuval sent the letters back to each of the guests who attended the party, and he looked at his own: he had found the means to accomplish all of his dreams…. almost.
One thing that Yuval had failed to do was go to the gym on a regular basis. So he asked himself the following question:
How come I can realise an apparently difficult ambition such as getting a part in a play, while at the same time, I fail in something as easy as going to the gym once a week?
6 – Fantasies do come true
Eran is an entrepreneur that Yuval met though his blog: The List. Two years ago, Eran and his wife Lia were crippled with debt. They were dealing with break-ups, as well as the financial responsibility for the children from their previous relationships.
While many people would have slipped into defeatist mode, convinced that their only solution would be to work harder to try to keep their heads above water, Eran and Lia decided to turn their daily lives upside down. As a complete novice in new technology, Eran took evening classes to learn how to develop a mobile application. After a few months of work, he brought out his application: Sound Touch has now been downloaded more than 2 million times.
Today, Eran and Lia live off the revenue generated by their application; they have paid off their debts and have as much time as they want to take care of each other and their family.
7 – A dream’s building blocks
Six years after writing The list, Yuval was strolling around Amsterdam when he came across a plastic painting composed of twenty of so typical images of the city in black and white in a souvenir shop. Yuval thought to himself that some nice pictures of Tel-Aviv would be a perfect replacement for the photos of Amsterdam to decorate his apartment.
But Yuval never found these kind of photos in the shops in Tel Aviv. Necessity is the mother of invention, so Yuval went out and took his own photographs of emblematic locations around the city. Now he was able to decorate his home.
That was how he got the idea of creating a souvenir shop that celebrated the city of Tel Aviv.
8 – Life is a game (or: a fateful meeting with an attentive banker)
To open the souvenir shop, Yuval and his associate needed to round up the equivalent of about 60,000 euros, and they only had a quarter of that amount. They went to the banks to get the additional funds, but the absence of this kind of shop in the city, combined with their poor knowledge of the business sector, put off all the bankers they met.
One day, while Yuval and his associate were strolling in the city, they realised that there was still one bank to which they had not yet pitched their project.
The banker really liked the idea and granted them a loan with no guarantees, no deposit and no down payment, simply based on her faith in their project.
Part 2: About the habit of making lists, and shouting them out to the world
9 – How I found John Amaechi
John Amaechi is a British athlete, known for being one of the only basketball players in the world to have openly come out as homosexual. Fascinated by his courage, Yuval got it into his head to contact him in order to conduct an interview.
It only took a few hours for Yuval to scour the thirty or so facebook profiles under the name of John Amaechi, and one of them turned out to be the personal account of the basketball player. After an initial courteous contact over social media, John Amaechi responded favourable to Yuval’s request.
Even if Yuval got lucky, these days every personality (or one of his or her assistants at least), is just a click away. A clever, non-intrusive and original form of contact can help you to enter into contact with almost anyone.
10 – The blog “The list”
In May 2001, curious to find out just how far his list of dreams could go, Yuval created a blog. He published his 8 biggest dreams on it:
- Get a “six pack” of abdominal muscles
- Be interviewed on French television about Israel (but first learn French)
- Go back to college to finish his studies
- Help a homeless person get off the streets
- Start an international association to help children in need
- Interview his role model Oprah Winfrey
- Tour Australia
- Sell a tv programme adapted from The List to some producers
Like a message in a bottle, his dreams were published on the web looking for support.
11 – Hanging onto thin air
Right from the start, Yuval’s blog took off.
Over the first night it was published, 500 visitors consulted his list of dreams.
One week after its publication, 6,000 people had already visited the blog, and the figure topped 50,000 visitors after one month.
12 – The world responds to my list
Encouraged by this explosive number of visitors, Yuval rapidly began to receive emails from people who were in a position to help him turn his dreams into reality:
- Several people sent him contact details for people they knew who worked with Oprah Winfrey.
- The owner of a gym offered him a free 400-day subscription to his gym.
- He even got several emails from Australians offering to put him up for free during his trip.
13 – Other gifts I have received thanks to “The list”
Apart from receiving help to make his dreams come true, Yuval drew a number of other benefits from his blog. For example, he began to give conferences at several Israeli companies, and he also generated some additional revenue from the ads on his blog.
Yuval had nothing to offer but visibility on his blog, but he understood that that was already a lot and that many people were willing to help him in exchange for that visibility, or out of pure good nature.
14 – Dancing along the road to my blog
Like many people, you may well be thinking that if Yuval succeeded in doing so many things, it was also because of his fame and his address book.
However, even though he had some notoriety in Israel, that of the average journalist, or a minor actor in the theatre, he was completely unknown outside of his home country. Despite this, he received an incredible number of offers of assistance, all the way from Japan, Norway, the United States…
In reality, if Yuval got so much support, it was not because of his fame – it was because he did something that very few people do: he shouted his dreams out loud.
15 – The world is writing lists
In parallel with all these offers of assistance and all the opportunities that were offering themselves to him, Yuval also received dozens of lists, written by dreamers from all over the world. In the first weeks after its publication, his blog had already inspired numerous people. Today, many of them have realised several of the dreams they expressed in their emails. And just to show that dreams can transcend any borders, Yuval even received a list that came from Palestine!
16 – Dreams in movement
When his inbox reached 200 messages, Yuval decided to open a section entitled “Your lists” on his blog. It offered his visitors the same visibility as his own list. However, most people who sent him a list did not want to make their aspirations public. This metaphor, formulated by one of these sceptics, sums up the reluctance on the part of the majority of visitors to Yuval’s blog:
“We all want a big house with a swimming pool, but why do you want us to shout it out from the top of the diving board?”
17 – Why stifle the shout of our dreams?
In seeking the cause for this modesty that he considered incomprehensible, Yuval came across the work of Alfred Adler (the father of individual psychology).
- According to Adler, human beings are trapped within a schema that pushes them to believe that any collaboration must be paid for with personal effort. Nothing can be obtained without offering something equivalent in exchange.
- In the same way, Adler observes that education pushes us to bury spontaneity in certain social interactions in order not to appear proud, whimsical, or disconnected from reality.
These two, sometimes correlated observations were what pushed the readers of Yuval’s blog to send him their own lists, while refusing to publish them in the “Your lists” section on his blog.
18 – The dream pirates
Among the refusals that Yuval encountered in his attempt to publish the lists of his readers, some were motivated by the fact that if their innovative ideas were published on the web, they would be pirated by people with more means who would eventually get ahead.
Yuval, however, is convinced that people who think like that overestimate human courage. If such a project has never seen the light of day, it is not realistic to think that someone will beat you to it. People love what is easy. It is much easier to copy what is already being done than to attempt to plant flowers in the desert.
19 – Between fear and fervour, fulfilment and failure
A brave man only dies once. A coward dies a thousand times.
On hearing this sentence from a friend, Yuval realised that man’s greatest enslavement is fear.
Too many men and women hold back from declaring their flame, in the same way that too many couples refuse to put an end to a relationship that is doomed to failure.
The problem with this type of behaviour, dictated by fear, is that it is passed on to our children, and this is why we teach them not to reveal the wish they make before blowing out the candles on their birthday cake.
20 – It’s hardly a secret
Most of our dreams are not particularly original, and could be revealed without surprising anyone in our entourage.
Yuval spent an evening with a friend who had just turned forty and had recently become single. He suggested posting a status on his own Facebook profile, accompanied by the photo of his friend. She replied that it was out of the question.
After a few drinks, Yuval and his friend agreed that she would write an email to 100 friends, to let them know that she was looking to meet new people.
Four dates followed, and one led to a love affair that lasted for one month. So, she did not find the love of her life, but Yuval’s friend at least met some new people thanks to a simple email.
21 – The virtue of courage
Little by little, over time, the “your lists” section of Yuval’s blog filled up and the effect of The List soon began to make itself felt.
- Numerous people shared their goals and their progress on the subject of weight loss;
- One dreamer got to meet his favourite pop band.
- One lady wrote about how she adopted a little girl thanks to the list published on the blog.
- A young man with Charcot’s disease dreamed on the blog about showing the world his battle and he got an article in one of the most visited media on the Israeli web.
The blog The List began to work for the good of others, and no longer simply that of Yuval Abramovitz.
22 – The secret of “The list”
Although many people thought of Yuval’s blog as simply positive thinking, the reality was a little more complex. Positive thinking is essential in order to move mountains, but unfortunately, it is not enough.
The one essential component when it comes to realising your dreams is action!
23 – From a dream to the creator of a start-up
Yuval Abramovitz was not the first person to shout his dreams out loud, far from it! Although they were not precursors in the field, most creators of start-ups begin by dreaming of an idea, and then they were able to express it to bring their project to life. And this is even more true because once their business became sustainable, most of them know how to make a lot of noise about a technological invention or a new application to give it even more life and make it popular.
24 – What’s the point?
A few days after publishing his blog, Yuval had to face all the questions and concerns from his relatives. Some criticized him for spending too much time on his blog when he was already very busy. Others told him that his dreams were not worthwhile.
Generally, they all asked Yuval the same question: “What is the point?” and Yuval’s answer was always the same: “What about you? When was the last time you made a commitment to yourself?”
25 – When writing is doing
Life is a series of contracts: marriage agreements, divorce agreements, deeds to a house, opening a bank account, taking out a loan… even when we buy a mobile phone, we often sign up for a package.
The only time we seem unable to enter into a contract is with ourselves. Even though almost everyone has a list of dreams in their head, how many of us have taken the time to write them down on paper?
By the way, speaking of contracts, have you ever made one with yourself? Have you ever fined yourself for not observing your commitments? You could pay your fine to the charity of your choosing… This is what I will soon be proposing through the application PAKTE.
26 – When money doesn’t (necessarily) buy happiness
In May 2014, Yuval met a wealthy person who went on to become a very good friend. He was always happy to invite him along on his trips around the world.
Yuval was quickly surprised by his friend’s detached attitude. It had become almost impossible to move him or surprise him, because his fortune enabled him to have anything he wanted.
This observation confirmed Yuval’s opinion that it is important to keep an up-to-date list of dreams, to always have a purpose and to always find personal accomplishment in achieving your objectives.
27 – I will accomplish things, but not until I retire
Like most people, you may already have said to yourself: “Oh, I’ll do that when I retire… When I have the time…”. But as John Lennon sang: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
Life is the present moment. No-one can know what will happen tomorrow, so it is not just important, it is crucial to realise your dreams as soon as possible.
28 – Excuse me, kids, what are you focussed on?
There is no age when it comes to dreams, but as children are generally more talented than adults in this area, their potential is infinite. It is therefore appropriate for adults to encourage them in this approach. Do not hesitate to educate your children to dream. With your guidance, they will understand how important it is to focus on a goal. Teach them to seize the opportunities available to them.
I am sure that everyone remembers a number of romantic relationships from their younger days that never amounted to anything due to shyness or a fear of failure.
29 – Black gold
In the film The Bucket List, the characters played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman meet in an oncology ward and decide to realise their wildest dreams together before they take their final breath.
Why do we need an event that turns our world upside down before we begin to act?
30 – My personal mentor
Although he has known many professors, and been inspired by many authors, Yuval’s main mentor is not even 10 years old. She is his daughter Shira.
Shira is the person who helped Yuval to forget about his mobile phone or to go back to drawing like a child. More generally, Shira offers an infinite number of lessons, which inspire Yuval and give him food for thought when he watches her.
Even though psychological maturity clearly has its advantages, it has the misfortune of presenting many barriers and social conventions that can be brakes that we impose on ourselves without even thinking.
31 – What do we lose when we move from childhood to adulthood?
Most of the Yuval’s friends consider him a brave man, but he knows that it is not a question of courage, but of daring. In his youth, Yuval was much less reasonable than today, much more impulsive and reckless.
At the beginning of his career, he would not think twice about sending a salty e-mail to a boss who was behind in paying his employees their salary, taking good care to copy the mail to a hundred of his colleagues.
Several years later, this boss became a prominent figure in Israeli media, and yet, Yuval worked for him again. The man even said to Yuval: “I appreciate people who stand up for their rights.”
32 – Find your inner child
During the many conferences that he has given, Yuval sometimes asks his audience to play different sorts of games:
- Blow up balloons placed on their seats
- Blow soap bubbles
- Play hopscotch with their hands or feet tied together
- Do the Birdie dance
The purpose of course is to push his audience to laugh, to fall over; in short, to relive all the experiences they first knew during their childhood.
33 – When audacity sends a message
A famous Israeli businessman told Yuval one day about a bold act he witnessed one day when he was having lunch in a fast-food restaurant with his family.
A young woman introduced herself to the businessman as a novice public relations officer, stating that she was impressed by the man’s business. She ended by asking him whether he had any needs in the field of public relations.
The man hired her without hesitation, impressed by her boldness in daring to disturb him while lunching with his family.
Daring does indeed bring dreamers together, once they remember the foolhardy child they used to be, a child they may have lost along the way.
34 – Bruce Willis and me
One evening in 2010, Yuval covered a press conference given by Bruce Willis in Paris for a brand of vodka in which he had shares. He found that the actor jet-lagged and too exhausted to speak at length. After 20 minutes of insignificant questions and answers with the journalists present, Yuval did not have enough material to write an article.
That evening, Yuval managed to speak with the public relations officer of the Israeli importer of the brand of vodka. He invited him to join them at the restaurant where the whole team, including Bruce Willis, were dining that evening.
During this dinner, Yuval was bold enough to obtain an exclusive interview with Bruce Willis.
35 – Helping is great
An important part of our education is based on the principle that we need to know how to fend for ourselves. We rarely teach children to ask for help when they need it. But why do we continue to act this way?
Yuval persists in shouting out his dreams to Internet users, thereby overcoming the conditioned reflex about not bothering other people. He was able to see one thing about which he is convinced: almost everyone is willing to help if we simply ask for assistance and if we are available to assist in return.
Part 3: Guide to making a good list
36 – Ready for your list? Take it away!
The list is not some random scribbles on a sheet of paper. It requires deep thought, it needs time to settle and it has to be specific.
Remember, the list is a contract between you and yourself.
37 – Ready? Let’s go!
On a blank sheet, write down all the dreams that pop into your head.
Try to write down one hundred dreams, tasks and objectives you want to accomplish.
Do not become distracted by anything that might lead you to think that any one dream does not have its place on the list. No prevarication such as: “That’s impossible”, “I don’t have the time”, “It’s too expensive”…
Let your heart and your brain fill the pages. Don’t stop until you reach 100.
38 – What I have learned about achieving dreams
The main problem with personal development books, as well as well-being workshops, is that the readers and listeners are enthusiastic for a few weeks, and then revert little by little to their old daily routine.
This time, no being easy on yourself.
Choose one of the points in your list. If necessary, google how to realise this dream, pick up your phone and send a message to 10 friends asking them to support you in achieving this dream.
Your commitment with regard to others offers additional motivation.
39 – Forget about it. It’s been done before! (That’s just it – it hasn’t been done before!)
Thanks to The List, Yuval received many testimonials from people who wanted to develop artistically, but were unable to contact a publishing house, a producer or a director. Millions of people are convinced that millions of other people are contacting these people and therefore it is not productive to do the same. The reality is quite the opposite, since only a few hundred people are ever bold enough to undertake this approach. And a significant number of those who succeed are among their numbers.
40 – Where was I wrong on the way to realising my dreams?
To judge by the success that Yuval Abramovitz talks about, you might think that he has been incredibly lucky and that it is not even imaginable to compare yourself against his success. But the reality is that for each one of Yuval’s successes, there were hundreds of unsuccessful attempts.
If Yuval reached his objectives, it is not because he was luckier than others, it is because he devoted all his energy to his goals. Sometimes, he spent his energy the wrong way.
During one of his attempts to find a way to interview (finally) Oprah Winfrey, Yuval suffered an especially embarrassing failure.
In addition to the letters sent to people close to Oprah (Chapter 12), Yuval created a video in which he spoke directly to his idol. He ended his video with these words: “Yuval Abramovitz – Oprah Winfrey: the love story soon to hit your TV screen”.
This particularly clumsy attempt to get her attention made him the laughing stock of a gossip column, under the headline: “Yuval Abramovitz harasses Hollywood”. Although embarrassing, this episode never stopped Yuval from successfully carrying out his various other projects.
41 – Be daring and cheeky (not too much, not too little)
When we ask for help to achieve an objective, we should do it in the right way, because we will never have a second opportunity to make a first impression.
It is therefore important to have a good pitch, to be precise, and not to be afraid to talk about our motivation in chasing this dream. If necessary, we can also emphasize how the opposite party will benefit from helping us.
42 – The importance of managing your time and expressing yourself clearly
In these days when we have less and less free time, it is legitimate to want to lead a fulfilled life. Having a list of dreams to accomplish can quickly prove to be time consuming, either because you have many dreams to pursue, or because they are poorly formulated and will take more time than expected to achieve.
That is why it is important to formulate your dreams precisely, and to learn how to manage the time you spend on them so as not to undermine the other aspects of our life. Fulfilling your dreams should not involve neglecting your family, your work or your passions.
43 – The challenge: Weighing your words
The following two lists perfectly illustrate the difference between a vague, time-consuming list and a coherent list
|List 1||List 2|
|Find love||Go on two dates per week to increase my chances of finding love|
|Lose 10 kilos||Throw away all the sweets and biscuits in the house and go running at least twice a week|
|Become a Fashion Designer||Devote time to gathering information about fashion schools and sign up for the entrance exams|
44 – Narrowing your list
After seeing the importance of weighing your words, go back to the list of 100 dreams you wrote earlier, make some time, and rewrite your dreams in a methodical manner.
The first step is to erase or rewrite any patently unrealistic points: did you dream of winning an Oscar? If you have never been an actor, this dream is anything but realistic. On the other hand, you can begin by signing up for Drama classes, and perhaps from objective to objective, you will eventually win that Oscar.
The second step is to focus on the dreams that you really want to achieve. If you have written down “volunteering” but you only wrote it down because it sounds good and you know you do not have the time or the energy, let that one go.
45 – The lives of others
The third step is to remove from your list all the objectives that you have no control over. We do not control the approaches and choices of other individuals. If we include them in our lists of wishes, we will only find disappointment and setbacks.
46 – What’s the score?
When you finally have your final list, note next to each of your dreams a deadline that seems reasonable to you. Although we cannot state anything for sure, it is appropriate to set a dozen objectives to achieve within a maximum of two years. More long-term objectives often face many uncertainties and frustration.
Part 4: Realising our dreams
47 – How to start realising your list
To begin realising your dreams, take the one that burns the brightest, the one you want to realise before any other and… get started!
Begin by turning the first cogs in the wheel that will bring you closer to achieving this dream.
If you have several parallel dreams that can be realised, there is nothing to stop you from working on several dreams at once.
48 – Needed: a distributor
Be the ambassadors of your own success. Do not hesitate to proclaim your dreams on social media. The more people associated with your list, the more you will increase your chances of success.
49 – Behaviour rules for the day after
Now that you have put your list out there, it is time to take a breath.
Fill up your energy levels, strap on your shield and prepare your symbolic ear plugs, because for every person who will be delighted to help you, you will have to face 3 or 4 energy drainers who will try to discourage you.
50 – Avoid toxic people
Toxic people do not necessarily have bad intentions. They are simply incredulous and pessimistic. They can be colleagues, friends, your partner… Of course, you cannot simply eradicate toxic people from your life, but you can stop confiding in them about your projects and their progress. Try to spend time with people whose success inspires you, people who are about action, whose eyes shine when they talk about their projects.
51 – Why the obsession with lists?
Many people ask Yuval why he spends so much energy chasing after his dreams when he could simply enjoy what he already has.
His answer is always the same: he too enjoys spending time doing nothing, enjoying life. But there is nothing like a sense of accomplishment. Accumulated success is the cornerstone of our future dreams.
52 –Types of list writers
Here are 4 profiles of list writers, who unfortunately tear down their dreams with their own hands.
- The scribblers: they write down lists of 5 or 6 objectives and then decide: “I don’t have any other dreams.”
- The ones who sin against themselves, convinced that their list will not bring them anything, that it’s not worth the trouble.
- Those who brainwash themselves, who clip their own wings before they have even spread them: “I don’t have any dreams” or “I have no chance of succeeding”
- The ones that correct themselves constantly. They are the unhappy opposite of the scribblers, writing pages and pages and never giving up until they have arrived at a state of paranoid precision.
53 – Remain flexible
We are dynamic beings; our opinions evolve over time and there is nothing wrong with giving up some dreams that we may have had in the past.
Over time, have you noticed that some of the points on your list don’t get you excited any more? Refresh your list as often as necessary in the same way that you update the applications on your smartphone.
54 – How can a contract be flexible?
A list commits the person who writes it in the same way as signing a contract, but it remains a private agreement and it is important to regard the agreement in the spirit of a game.
For Yuval Abramovitz: “The list is my life’s game. It’s my special Monopoly and checkers, with my own rules that I’ve come up with on my own, in order to lead me to a personal victory.”
55 – Don’t say “No”, say “Yes”
As you draw up your list, you will probably correspond with a number of people, knock on several doors and you are going to try to meet people who can help you to move forward. It is also probable that people will come to you with a similar approach and you should always answer “yes” to this type of relationship, born from social media or contact with the contact of a contact of an old friend as it will broaden your horizons and may well open doors for you.
56 – Allow yourself to be selfish (not too much, not too little)
One of the reasons that systematically comes up when people justify the reasons for not accomplishing their dreams is that they are devoting themselves to their family first and foremost. Devoting yourself to the needs of your family can certainly delay the realisation of your dreams, but your family can also accompany you on your quest and rally around you to accomplish it. If we don’t think about ourselves, will our family do it for us, spontaneously? Probably not enough to accomplish our list of dreams.
57 – The power of the mirror of words
The list is not just a contract that you make with yourself, it is also the reflection of your personality. An efficient list could even change your attitude. That is why you should not hesitate to include behaviour that you want to change in yourself, such as: “Control my temper”.
58 – Life’s speed bumps
Of course it is not because you wrote a list and your motivation is unfailing that the universe is going to opens its doors and roll out the red carpet for you. Life is going to throw all sorts of unexpected obstacles into your path. If we don’t want to become despondent, we have to preserve our energy resources and motivation levels, even during the most catastrophic periods.
From time to time, ask yourself this question: “Is everything really that bad?”
59 – The little notepad
Since the age of 16, Yuval has kept a notepad on his bedside table, and in it he writes down 5 good things that happened to him during the day. Whether it is a nice meal in a restaurant, an inspiring book, a pleasant autumn breeze… the kind of banal things that happen to everyone, even on their darkest days.
This allows him not only to find something positive in every day, but above all to go to bed in a positive state of mind, favourable to restorative sleep that will enable him to chase his dreams more easily the next day.
60 – List of acknowledgements
If you are honest, you will agree with Yuval when he states that “We love to criticise; in fact, it is one of our favourite pastimes”. But instead of criticising and complaining, do we remember to say thank you enough?
Stop thinking abut your list of dreams for a minute and write down a new list (obviously!) : a list of acknowledgements.
Note down all the significant things and events from your life (from the small to the grandiose) that you would like to say “Thank You” for.
61 – The second list that saved me
At the age of 34, Yuval Abramovitz received a nasty reminder of the importance of making lists. He was travelling in Norway. He suddenly received a flood of phone calls from the suppliers to his souvenir shops in Israel. One of his associates had fiddled the accounts and disappeared with a very large sum of money.
Initially distraught, Yuval decided to take the bull by the horns and wrote down a list: “State of emergency”:
- Personally call each supplier and explain the situation
- Send a mail to each to summarise the points of agreement after their telephone conversation
- Get some advice from a lawyer
- Look into the idea of a loan with his bank to cover the shortfall
- Consult with friends who are business owners
- Ask close friends for a loan
Just like every time, when he posted his list on social media, he got some valuable advice from bankers and lawyers and more generally a lot of support in his climb back to the top.
62 – Larger than life lists
When you consult your first list (Chapter 37), you will find that many of your dreams are in reality “ultimate goals”. Even if you have probably removed them from your second list (Chapter 46), these dreams remain significant. You cannot have your fingers in every pie at once, but you should record these dreams on lists that do not have an expiry date. Create as many lists as your imagination allows. For example, you can list the cult films that you want to see, the list of meals you would like to try or even the list of extreme challenges that you would like to face. These are dreams that you want to accomplish one day. Little by little, they will find their place on your main list that you are planning over 2 years.
63 – Your finalised list
Now that you have a main list and a multitude of thematic lists, take some time to read them all and then revise them so that they comply with all the instructions presented in the previous chapters.
Starting from there, refresh your lists 2 to 4 times per year and be sure to record all your completed lists in a book, so that you have an account of the mountains that you have been able to move.
64 – The list party
In Chapter 5, Yuval talks about his birthday party, the one where he had his guests write lists that he would send back to them later. It is easy to implement and can prove to be a lot of fun. You may even find that among your relatives, some have dreams like yours that you could work on together.
Part 5: Why financial means are not holding you back
65 – The biggest obstacle? Ourselves
Yuval wanted to write The list for a long time, but he came up against his own judgement telling him that nobody would be interested in this kind of book, that no publishing house would be interested in him, or that he would look like an ego-maniac.
But one fine day, he overcame his inhibitions and launched a crowd-funding appeal to fund the self-published version of his book.
66 – The gold mine is filled with small nuggets
The title of this chapter is the guiding principle of crowd-funding websites. As usual, Yuval shouted out his dream, shared his crowd-funding campaign on social media, and collected 107% of the amount he was looking for in just 3 days.
67 – The extension of the project and myself
After a 60 day campaign, Yuval had collected more than 10 times the amount he needed to publish The list. With this amount, he could start to envisage translating the book into several languages, and even invest in public relations and advertising to develop his product.
Yuval’s initial fear about launching a crowd-funding campaign turned into happiness.
68 – Are you interested in crowd-funding? Join the club
Here is a list of points you should be aware of when it comes to crowd-funding:
- Choose the most suitable platform
- What feelings will your project awaken among contributors?
- What is the added value for contributors?
- Contact your chosen platform to prepare the launch of your campaign
- Describe the end goal of your dream in a transparent way
In addition to this, you should also bring your project to life ahead of publication on social media. This is the stage that I am at in my motivational app project.
69 – Remove other people’s bias
Whether they are your relatives or complete strangers; the people we earlier qualified as “toxic” will often try to make you turn back. In most cases, these attempts are well intentioned; based on the fear that these people would face if they were to stand in your shoes. Often, a discussion that outlines your point of view is enough for the person; even if they are not convinced, to accept the relevance of your project.
70 – Does every list have value?
Each list is worth its weight in gold for the person who wrote it, even if it seems insignificant. For people who think that it is not possible for everyone to realise their dreams; you should explain that, just as there will always be more employees than entrepreneurs; there will always be more buried dreams than accomplished dreams. Even if not everyone is capable of moving mountains; everyone has dreams that can be accomplished by changing almost nothing about their habits.
71 – Don’t let your ideas evaporate
The story of The list is the story of Yuval; but not everyone has to have experienced a challenge such as disability in order to begin to dream. A good list has the power to change your life.
Write your list now!
72 – My new list (how about that!)
To end his book, Yuval Abramovitz shares his updated list at the time of the publication of The list. Here are a few points:
- Spread the message of The list
- Finally get access to Oprah Winfrey and propose a professional collaboration
- Establish an association to offer needy children moments of happiness
- Write a play
Book critique of “The List”:
Somewhere between autobiography and a method for personal development, The Listhas something for everybody. Yuval Abramovitz delivers his personal story with passion and attempts to make a universal method out of it.
The architecture of the book; with its particularly short chapters (some of them only fill a page with the help of an illustration) means that we can get to the essential message and concentrate on the method that he recommends. Yuval Abramovitz probably designed his book as an entirely separate list; a list of steps to be followed in order to write our own lists that apply to ourselves.
Clearly, you cannot devote a book to your life story without a little story-telling; but an excess of stories and anecdotes can sometimes make the reading a little heavy going. We can also mention that there is a lot of repetition. Some chapters are little more than a rewrite of the previous one.
But moving beyond the format; whether you are used to personal development books or whether this is the first one you read; there are many lessons to be learned from The list; if only through Yuval Abramovitz’s inspiring story. And the way he overcame the challenges he faced in his past.
This book was a second trigger for me. Olivier’s book Tout le monde n’a pas eu la chance de rater ses études convinced me that you can make a living differently. And The list inspired me to get started. I followed the method step by step; only continuing my reading after I had taken the time to complete all the prerequisites from the preceding chapters; and I was genuinely transformed by the end of it. I changed the way I used social media; and I no longer hesitate when it comes to telling those around me about my dreams. Even though I have not yet reaped the benefits of this change, my relationship with my goals has now changed; and the simple act of moving from procrastination to being expressively pro-active is a victory in itself.
5 benefits of a list of goals:
- A list of goals helps you to define your priorities.
- A list of goals helps you to avoid activities that do not support your goals.
- List of goals reminds you to keep things in order and helps you stay on the right path.
- A list of goals helps you take stock of your progress.
- A list of goals never forgets.
Strong points :
- The book The List, itself presented as a list of things to do, is a genuine call to action.
- The personal story of the author Yuval Abramovitz is particularly inspiring.
- The many testimonials passed on by Yuval Abramovitz demonstrate that not only did this method help the author; anyone can apply them.
- This book condenses a number of well-known personal development tools, but they are useful for those starting out.
Weak points :
- A lot of redundancy makes the reading heavy going sometimes
- Rare chapters offer no added value and seem to just “pad out” the book
- A little too much story-telling in places where it is not necessary
My rating :
Have you read “The List”? How do you rate it?
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