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Book:  No Pain No Gaines

Author:  Chip Gaines

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Gaines, C. (2021). No pain, no Gaines : the good stuff doesn't come easy. Nashville, Tennessee: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.

Big Takeaways & Key Ideas

The house, the fancy cars, that lifestyle represented the end of a journey, a goal accomplished, boxes checked. Where's the fun in that? I didn't realize back then the man I would grow up to be would have gotten to the top of the hill and walked right past those cars to look over the edge of the cliff to see what's next on the horizon – or that I would become a person who would rather spend an afternoon digging a hole for a fence post with my kid then having a gin and tonic at the 19th hole. (pg. 18)

Being authentic is as simple as telling the truth: I didn't make the deadline. I ordered the wrong product. I double booked, so I missed the meeting. I screwed up. In that moment, you'll have to deal with the temporary negative ramifications, but what you've ultimately gained - even if it's down the road – is integrity and respect. The distinction of being truthful. (pg. 29)

I believed in working hard, I didn't want to work hard just to end up where most people seem to – in a steady job even if that job bored them to death. I didn't want to work hard for boring or for normal. I wanted to work hard for a shot at something extraordinary. I suspected I wasn't the only one who felt this way. I had this feeling that there were people out there who felt most alive when they wandered a little outside the norm. Who live life on their own terms, who weren't interested in doing things the ordinary way. Each time I'd meet or read about someone who would give me hope that there was a potential for something extraordinary, I'd clench my teeth and believe I just might be right – that there was another way. I just had to keep my eyes open for people who could show me how to find it. (pg. 34)

I'm not looking to write a killer business plan. I'm looking to create a killer business. For my money, I'd rather go ahead and do the thing and figure it out as I go. As we started to grow, we didn't concern ourselves too much with what others were doing in the marketplace. Not because we thought we knew better than everyone else. But because we believed our hearts were leading us towards something different than the way things have always been done. (pg. 42)

You can spend an awful lot of your life lamenting that you are not living in a different one. But you know what's happening while you're fantasizing about another life? You're wasting the one you've got. You only get so much time, so many heartbeats. How are you going to use it – fantasizing about what life might be like in some alternative universe or discovering the beauty of the one you live in now? (pg. 53)

Someone you spend 20 minutes with might have more of an impact on you than a person you've known your whole life. You can smile and watch from the sidelines, or you can let their dedication to living without regret and toward purpose pull you into a life of meaning. You can take that jolt and do something with it. Figure out what inspires you. What did that event make you want to do or change about how you’ve been living? What can you learn from how they approach life that you can incorporate into your own? Then decide what you're going to do tomorrow. (pg. 59)

99% of kindness, of generosity, of fairness, of justice is follow-through. It requires sacrifice. It is uncomfortable. You hold the door open for an older person on their way out of the grocery store - that's kind - but when you help load their groceries into the car, even though you're already running late, that's uncomfortably kind. A teacher who gives a struggling student an extra-credit opportunity - that's kind. Coming in early every day to go over her lessons is uncomfortably kind. But we are going to belong to one another again, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortably kind. (pg. 69)

Before I go on, I want to say that I know this chapter could very well blow up in my face. There's a chance you're going to read this and go, “Cry me a river. Come talk to me when you've got real problems.” But I wear my heart and my personality right on my sleeve, and I'm telling you about this because I believe it matters. I'm asking you to keep your arrows in the quiver for just a moment and hear me out. (pg. 107)

We can't always control the peak part of our experiences or relationships with someone in our network, but we usually have some control over how the end plays out. You've got a choice: you can let a relationship or experience run its course until it sputters out, or you can write your own ending, and in the process honor the journey that got you there. (pg. 141)

Our advisors kept trying to shoehorn us into a pre-existing format that was very salable, and the easy thing would have been to listen to them. After all, they were the experts. Why were we trying to reinvent the wheel? But in our guts we knew that what we wanted was something different. There were a lot of really good reasons for it not to work. But it did. If we had listened to other people's expectations, our product wouldn't exist. (pg. 150)

It's human nature to want to figure things out. Despite what's commonly thought of as the good life - one where you're resting on a beach with a pina colada and a fat 401K - we are actually happiest when we are learning and growing. We don't like sitting around on our rumps doing nothing. Active learning looks different for everyone. For some, it may look like trying something entirely new; for others it might mean  the return to a project or skill you stepped away from for a while. The key is to find something that matters to you. Why would you ever want to quit learning what you can do or what you're capable of offering this world? (pg. 164)

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