The Connection Algorithm: A book review by Bob Morris

Connection AlgorithmThe Connection Algorithm: Take Risks, Defy the Status Quo, and Live Your Passions
Jesse Warren Tevelow
Self-Published (2015)

How to develop a mindset that will help you and others to accelerate personal growth and professional development

To what does the title refer? According to Jesse Warren Tevelow, the connection algorithm is a mindset, one that almost anyone can develop that will “enable you to live the life you want to live, and to be in control. The goal is to eliminate the things that make you unhappy…[and will] naturally lead you to forge relationships with highly connected people. It will also open your eyes to a new lifestyle, freeing you from the shackles of a desk job.”

Tevelow is convinced that success depends upon four HUGE “ifs”:

o If a person decides to achieve personal growth and professional development,
o If they are totally committed to doing that,
o If they offer something to create substantial value (e.g. changing people’s lives for the better), and
o If they build a network of Connectors (i.e. those who can be most helpful to achieving the given objectives).

Note: I presume to add a fifth “C”: courage. The other four won’t happen without it.

Whenever young people asked Rod Steiger (a great actor on stage and screen) for career advice, he always looked them in the eye and asked, “Do you want to be an actor or do you HAVE TO BE an actor.” As he explained, “The longer it took them to answer that question, the less likely it was that they would succeed.” That is what Tevelow means by commitment. It is important to keep in mind that, while building a network of influential allies, you will become a Connector who can help others to develop their own connection algorithm.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Wilson’s coverage:

o The Point of It All (Pages 8-10)
o The Power of Connectors (16-18)
o The Four Cs: Choose, Commit, Create, and Connect (21-25)
o Act Today, Not Tomorrow (33-34)
o Why It’s So Easy to Feel Off Track (35-40)
o Your Passion Is a Product (49-54)
o Connect the Dots Later (54-58)
o You Get Out What You Put In…Sort Of (69-73)
o Learn to Love Experiments (74-76)
o Don’t Get a New Cage (86-87)
o Tim Ferriss and the Two Ps: The Pareto Principle and Parkinson’s Law (95-97)
o Time: 10,000 Hours to Become an Expert? (98-103)
o Productivity Hacks (104-114)
o Body: “Vehicle for Getting Things Done” (131-143)
o Mind (143-153)
o The Connection Algorithm Defined (159-169)
o The Path to Being Connected (169-175)
o Ask for Help (180-181)
o Personal Values and Habits (191-197)
o Connector Qualities (202-210)
o Being a Connector (211-214)

As I read and then re-read Tevelow’s “Final Thoughts,” I was again reminded of Ernest Becker’s classic, Denial of Death, in which he acknowledges that no one can deny physical death but suggests there is another form of death that can be denied: That which occurs when we become totally preoccupied with fulfilling others’ expectations of us. This “death” is what Alan Watts has in mind, in The Book, when observing, “We need a new experience — a new feeling of what it is to be ‘I.’ The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.”

Jesse Tevelow urges his reader to deny the “death” to which both Becker and Watts refer. “I’ve done it. I’ve discovered the secret to prolonged happiness. Yes, it’s taken me thirty years and I still have to remind myself constantly, but I’ve figured it out. Ready? Here it is — the secret to being happy: Do shit you like to do.”

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the abundance of information, insights, and counsel that are provided in this book but I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of it.

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1 Comment

  1. Ivan Walsh on August 6, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Thanks Bob.

    The line from Rod Steiger is terrific.


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