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Self-Control and Productivity for a Flourishing Life


The Book

Plato’s allegory of the Chariot suggests that we each have a bright horse, a dark horse, and a charioteer inside us, driving us towards our higher goals. The charioteer represents reason, the bright horse our virtues, whilst the dark horse—the focus of Tamed—is our self-indulgent, impulsive, instinctive self.As we set our chariot towards our goals, the impulsive, dark horse repeatedly tries to derail us, by succumbing to immediate gratification. In a world where interruptions and distractions surround us—from smart phones to Netflix accounts—our goals are constantly under attack. To make matters worse, our dark horse actually thrives on these interferences. In Tamed, Gui Albieri argues that in order to thrive in today’s society we must fully understand Plato’s triad and learn to tame the dark horse. Tamed describes how the dark horse functions, why we succumb to its demands, and how to bring it under control. Based on the latest research on goal achievement, and insights from social psychology, economics, and neuroscience, here you will find a series of simple strategies that anyone can easily and immediately begin to apply in their daily life.

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For decades, I have been teaching about productivity and how to close the gaps between what we believe and what we actually do, in order to better achieve control of our lives. In Tamed, Guilherme Albieri knocks it out of the park by showing us how to harness the power of self-control in order to become the person we want and live the life we want. The strategic principles to improve self-control taught in this book will unlock true freedom and give you the ability to achieve your highest goals.

Hyrum W Smith, Author and CEO of Franklin Covey  

This book has all the danger marks of making a MASSIVE difference in your life.

Jim Hetherton – Productivity Coach at REALLY Productive (UK)





The Anatomy of Tamed

In Part I of this book, I discuss why we need to exercise self- control and tame our dark horses more than ever before, along with what self-control is, and concepts of time—all of which are essential in self-control and goal achievement.

In Part II, I introduce proven strategies to improve self-control using the “EAT” system. The “E” stands for “Environment”; here, I discuss shielding strategies and changes you can make to your surroundings that will help diminish potential distractions for the dark horse and alleviate some of the burden placed on the charioteer. The “A” stands for “Act”; in this section, I will share some valuable strategies for pursuing your desired goals without letting the dark horse lure you towards immediate gratifications that do not support your long-term achievement. The “T” stands for “Think,” and here I share strategies that the charioteer (the rational self) can apply in order to stay focused, on track, and in control. At the end of this book, I recommend a 20-day self- control workout using all the strategies you have learned, and provide a template for you to use.

The Strategies

On the rows below you will find some of the strategies shared in Part II of Tamed. The columns indicate the areas in our lives in which we can benefit from taming our dark horses. The check marks indicate which taming strategies are most effective for the kind of change you want to create in your life. 


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Gui Albieri is a university administrator, trainer, and speaker. He was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After working in Human Resources for an American multinational company, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, to pursue further education in human and organizational change and development. Gui now lives in New York and is passionate about helping students and professionals tame their dark horses. 

Excerpts of Interview with Author:

What are your favorite strategies from Tamed?

I would divide my answer based on what you are trying to accomplish.


Some of my favorite focusing strategies, and oh do we need strategies to focus these days, are: Shielding, This 'r Nothing, Alone Time. I have interviewed dozens of prolific writers and high achievers and all report using some variation of these strategies.

For those who want to improve productivity and create systems for getting things done, I would recommend:  Creating Systems; To Do, In Progress, Done (SCRUM).

In controlling the self, controlling emotions and hot cognition is always a challenge and a continuous exercise. I find these strategies very effective for controlling emotions and ruminative thoughtsReappraisal, Self-Reflection.

About the Author

What are some important concepts from Tamed that ​the modern achiever must be aware of?

- Our dark horses have never been more stimulated than in today's highly connected world

- We share something important with squirrels - we are information foragers (and that is a problem for goal achievement)

 Time and focus compose the canvas in which we create our lives - these two items are disappearing as external distractions increase at an exponential pace. We must create strategies to protect the canvas (the canvas is under attack!), to expand the canvas. 

- Entropy and regression to the mean are important concepts that most achievers need to understand and master.

- Understanding how our dark horse, our bright horse and the charioteer interact and control our lives is key to a life of productivity and achievement; Taming our dark horse is a liberating experience giving us the freedom to pursue our goals without being victims of reactive external and internal forces.


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