Triggers Book Summary - Triggers Book explained in key points
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Triggers summary

Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be

4.2 (153 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter is a leadership book that shows how our environment shapes our behavior, and provides tools to overcome triggers that hold us back. It offers simple self-improvement techniques that help us achieve lasting behavioral changes.

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    Triggers prevent us from creating change, and we don’t even realize it.

    Imagine this: It’s a beautiful summer’s day outside, with the sun warming your back and a soft breeze dancing around your ankles. It’s also your first day on a new diet. You’re enjoying the day in a park, along with many other people. Except they’re enjoying it just a little more than you are – because they’re tucking into some delicious ice cream cones. The temptation is too much. You think, “I’d like one, too! I’ll just start my diet tomorrow...”

    That ice cream was a trigger that stopped you from starting your diet. A trigger is any stimulus that reshapes our thoughts and actions. Triggers can take many forms: people, events or circumstances. Even the sound of rain is a trigger, powerful enough to conjure a memory.

    Triggers also impact you in differing ways. Their effect can be direct or indirect, internal or external, conscious or unconscious, anticipated or unexpected, encouraging or discouraging, productive or counter-productive.

    A direct trigger might be seeing a happy baby, which brings a smile to your face. An indirect trigger might be seeing a family photo that initiates a series of thoughts, which in turn causes you to call your sister. It’s great when triggers remind us to perform positive acts like these. Unfortunately, however, they’re also incredibly powerful at stopping us from creating change. Why? Because we aren’t always aware of when we’re being triggered.  

    For years, the author, out of vanity, sported a comb-over; he couldn’t admit he was going bald. Why couldn’t he admit it? Unbeknownst to him, a number of triggers in his environment were pressuring him to look sleek and young.

    That all ended one day when his hairdresser cut his remaining hair too short. After realizing that his surroundings were making him behave superficially, the author did away with his comb-over, and was finally able to embrace himself, baldness and all.

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    What is Triggers about?

    Triggers (2015) exposes the things in your life that you didn’t know were affecting you – and what you can do to stop these things from preventing you making positive change. Backed up with insightful research and filled with the experiences of the author and his clients, these blinks will help you eliminate unwanted behaviors and put you on the path to achieving your personal goals.

    Triggers Review

    Triggers (2015) is a thought-provoking exploration of how we can understand and overcome the forces that drive our behavior. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With invaluable insights into the triggers that shape our actions, it empowers readers to make positive changes and achieve personal growth.
    • By combining scientific research and practical advice, the book offers actionable strategies for breaking free from unproductive patterns and achieving lasting behavior change.
    • The book's engaging and relatable stories keep readers captivated, ensuring that even complex psychological concepts feel accessible and relevant.

    Best quote from Triggers

    Feedback teaches us to see our environment as a triggering mechanism.

    —Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
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    Who should read Triggers?

    • Those who want to make their new health regimes last
    • Professionals looking to up their motivation game
    • Anyone interested in salvaging those forgotten New Year’s resolutions

    About the Author

    Marshall Goldsmith is recognized as one of the most influential business thinkers in the world. He works as an executive coach and author.

    A literary agent in New York, Mark Reiter has collaborated on 13 previous books.

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    Triggers FAQs 

    What is the main message of Triggers?

    The main message of Triggers is that our behavior is heavily influenced by external triggers, and by understanding and managing them, we can make positive changes in our lives.

    How long does it take to read Triggers?

    The reading time for Triggers varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Triggers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Triggers is definitely worth reading. It offers valuable insights into how external triggers affect our behavior and provides practical strategies for managing them.

    Who is the author of Triggers?

    Triggers was written by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter.

    What to read after Triggers?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Triggers, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
    • Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
    • Executive Presence by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
    • The Earned Life by Marshall Goldsmith
    • Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
    • Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch
    • Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
    • How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    • SYSTEMology by David Jenyns
    • Good to Great by Jim Collins