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573 Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter: Triggers

“Triggers” explores the powerful influences that shape our behavior and provides strategies to create lasting change and become the person we aspire to be.



"Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be" by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter is a compelling book that examines the triggers, or catalysts, that influence our behavior and prevent us from making meaningful changes. The authors argue that external triggers, such as our environment and social cues, as well as internal triggers, such as our thoughts and emotions, significantly impact our actions and shape our habits. Drawing on extensive research and real-life examples, Goldsmith and Reiter offer practical strategies to identify and overcome these triggers, allowing us to break free from negative patterns and develop positive behaviors that align with our desired goals and values. The book emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, accountability, and continuous learning in creating lasting change. Through insightful anecdotes, case studies, and actionable advice, "Triggers" empowers readers to take control of their behavior, enhance their relationships, and achieve personal and professional growth.


  1. Title: Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be
  2. Authors: Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter 
  3. Publishing Year: 2015 
  4. Publisher: Crown Business 
  5. Length in Hours: 6 hrs and 36 mins


5 main ideas

  1. The Power of Triggers: The book explores how external and internal triggers influence our behavior, habits, and decision-making processes.
  2. Awareness and Self-Reflection: It emphasizes the significance of self-awareness and reflection in identifying our triggers and understanding the underlying reasons for our actions.
  3. Creating Behavior That Lasts: The authors provide practical techniques to create lasting behavior change, focusing on small, actionable steps and maintaining consistency over time.
  4. Accountability and Feedback: The book highlights the role of accountability partners, feedback systems, and support structures in reinforcing positive behaviors and overcoming triggers.
  5. Applying the Principles: The authors demonstrate how the principles and strategies outlined in the book can be applied to various areas of life, such as leadership, relationships, and personal development, to foster growth and achieve desired outcomes.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Your environment is like a really bad roommate. It constantly tries to persuade you to make questionable decisions."
  2. "If you're feeling down, just remember that someone, somewhere is having a worse day than you, and they're probably handling it better."
  3. "When it comes to behavior change, slow and steady wins the race, unless the race is a pie-eating contest. Then it's a different story."
  4. "If at first you don't succeed, try again. And if you still don't succeed, maybe just try a different approach. It's called adaptation, not stubbornness."
  5. "Life is a series of choices. Just make sure the choices you make are worthy of a good story to tell at parties."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Triggers are the stimuli that prompt us to act, to do something, to behave in a certain way. They are the starting point for any action, positive or negative."
  2. "We don't control our behavior. Instead, we experience it. And our behavior is a product of our environment and the triggers that impact us."
  3. "We often fail to recognize how our environment shapes us, how our surroundings affect our behavior in profound and unconscious ways."
  4. "If we want to change our behavior, we must first change our environment. We must identify the triggers that lead to the undesired behavior and alter or eliminate them."
  5. "Our triggers are not just external; they are also internal. Our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs can serve as powerful triggers that lead us down certain paths."

5 dilemmas

  1. The dilemma of embracing feedback without becoming overly defensive or dismissive of constructive criticism.
  2. The challenge of maintaining accountability and commitment to personal growth despite obstacles and setbacks.
  3. Balancing the desire to achieve personal and professional success while staying true to one's values and principles.
  4. The dilemma of creating a supportive environment that fosters positive behavior change and reduces triggers for negative reactions.
  5. The struggle of breaking free from deep-rooted habits and patterns to create lasting, positive behavioral changes.

5 examples

  1. Steve Jobs' struggle with dealing constructively with feedback, as mentioned in a case study.
  2. Mary's experience of getting defensive and deflecting blame when her team faced challenges, as described in a coaching scenario.
  3. John's difficulty in accepting change and adapting to new organizational structures, presented as a coaching example.
  4. Michelle's challenge of managing her anger and impulsiveness, as portrayed in a case study.
  5. David's journey in recognizing and overcoming his tendency to micromanage, outlined in a coaching session.

Referenced books

  1. "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg
  2. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini
  3. "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness" by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
  4. "The Four Tendencies" by Gretchen Rubin
  5. "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. Dweck

Share a quote

"Life is a series of choices. Just make sure the choices you make are worthy of a good story to tell at parties."

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