Blaze your own Trail: Start taking Action and you’ll get what you Deserve

The famous motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn once said,

“Life doesn’t respond to what we need, life responds to what we deserve…it doesn’t say if you need a harvest you get one, it says, if you plant in the spring then you’ll get harvest in the fall…reaping and harvesting belong to planters, not to those in need”

What’s stopping you from starting to take action today, to begin planting seeds, so that you ultimately end up getting what you deserve in life?

Around the time I had graduated college back in 2012, I came across a Facebook ad for a fantasy sports company (this was when I was still working on building out my own fantasy sports application).

I decided to click the ad and fill out the survey to see what insights it could give me.

Without much thought, yet due to that simple action, I had planted one of the most important seeds of my life.

Someone reached back out and told me that the company was tied to and ran by a much larger and well known company.

Long story short, they ended up hiring me to help them with their beta version/launch (although I was working on my own application at the time, I was fresh out of college and needed income! I’m pretty sure I also disclosed that I was working on being somewhat of a competitor of theirs).

I was put in touch with the product manager who was my main point of contact, and during those few months of working together he encouraged me to start reading books.

This was the first time I picked up a book to read for pleasure.

He recommended me to start with Phil Jackson’s newest book Eleven Rings and I absolutely loved it!

Circling back to the fantasy sports ad that at the time seemed meaningless, that action enabled me to plant a seed that has blossomed into a beautiful tree.

Since then, I’ve been an insatiable reader. The knowledge and wisdom gained from reading books has truly helped me grow in every aspect of my life for the better.

It’s allowed many of my unconscious dreams come to fruition…all from that Facebook ad.

(Months later, I would go on and perform another small action that would put me at the start of a path towards everything that I would end up accomplishing in my professional/business life to date).

There’s a verse in the bible that says,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

The point I’m trying to make here (if you haven’t gotten it yet!) is that if you keep knocking, you WILL find open doors.

Even in the smallest actions that may seem irrelevant and unimportant at the time, opportunity always lays. 

It’s time to say F the BS and start blazing your own trail!

“Those who will not read are no better off than those who cannot read.” – Jim Rohn

How Your Self Image is Destroying Your Potential in Life

When most people think about their greatest ambitions in life, they typically pair it with a laundry list of excuses on why they cannot achieve it right this moment.

Whether it be due to not having enough money, or time, or because everybody and everything is simply unfair to them, all of these excuses have compiled and compounded over your life as a result of the experiences that you’ve encountered.

Yet, you know very well of others out there who are wildly successful, who have attained tremendous heights and have made incredible impacts on the lives of millions of others. You tell yourself, they’re lucky, they had money to start, or any and every other excuse that you can think of to make yourself feel better.

But is this the truth?

If you had the money or the time, would you really be able to succeed at the same level as these others?  

Per the book Psycho Cybernetics, all of your behaviors are consistent with the self image that you’ve subconsciously given yourself.

In other words, you are limited in life to the self image that’s been created over time through your life experiences.

If you believe this planet hates you, then that’s the reality you live in, and your actions and emotions reflect that world. Deep within without even controlling it, you constantly seek to validate and reinforce this belief, ultimately leading to a low self image value.

What you need to know is that this low self image is DESTROYING your potential in life.

It’s the main reason and driving force behind why you haven’t taken the leap into the amazing unknown that’s filled with infinite possibilities and opportunities that can lead to you living a life filled with meaning and purpose.

It’s literally impossible for you to go after and achieve your goals without first increasing your self image.

It’s time to say F the BS!

Now that you know…

  • that your self image value is in the shitter (sorry, but it’s the truth)
  • that if you want to make a serious move in life for the better you must increase its value

you can begin focusing your awareness towards what will actually move the needle, which is eliminating your current “false” beliefs.

Think about your past experiences.

What stands out the most when you go as far back as you can remember.

Whether it be a bully during your school days that made you feel inferior to speak up to others, or a teacher or parent that drilled into your head that you will never be able to achieve a certain goal leading to you shooting for something less desirable, these past stories have deeply affected your mindset (and honestly, it’s not your fault so don’t be hard on yourself).  

What you need to understand is that these are nothing more than stories, mental barriers that have been blocking you from making positive improvements and changes in your life.

You can break down these walls and change your wiring of beliefs.

You can tell yourself right in this very moment that these past experiences are no longer going to affect your behaviors and decisions that you make moving forward, that they are false beliefs that have manifested into a reality that you do not want to live in anymore.

It is completely in your power to be like the many others who are living and breathing with a self image value that is so high, that they are able to inspire the world and obtain their aspirations regardless of any past circumstances.

The decision is in your hands, in this moment, right now.

“Never measure your self-worth by what other people think you should have become.” -Anonymous

It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses and Start Excelling

What’s stopping you right now from going after your lifelong passion?

If your circumstances were just right, would you be able to pursue your destiny?

If you answered yes to the second question, than you’re fooling yourself.

The fact of the matter is, your current conditions do not shape or determine your future.

The key element that enables you to stop making excuses and to start excelling are your decisions.

I recently finished reading Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within, which is an absolutely incredible and life changing book.

Tony talks about the force behind every decision that we make deriving from either avoiding pain or gaining pleasure.

So let’s be brutally honest for a moment.

The reason you don’t do the truly important things in your life (like living it up to its fullest and ensuring you succeed at achieving your dreams) is because you subconsciously convince yourself that by taking any type of action towards these goals (where you may have to confront your fears) you’d be putting yourself in more pain than just putting it off for another time, if ever at all.

Tony states that “we all do more to avoid pain than we do to gain pleasure”.

The issue with this concept is that the perceived “pain” that we do link to going after our greatest ambitions are a big fat lie.

It’s fake, make believe, not fucking real or true.

Instead of just saying fuck it like you may have when you were a child without thinking about any consequences, we allow our minds to take control and persuade us into thinking a million different negative reasons why we shouldn’t take the leap.

We tell ourselves that it’ll be too hard, or that we will fail, look stupid and lose the confidence that we do have.

But all of these excuses can cease to exist.

It’s possible to change these linking patterns that we we’ve unknowingly built up over our lives.

It’s time to say F the BS.

Below is an exercise that I learned from Awaken the Giant Within that you can perform on yourself. In the example below, I’ve used my own situation to help guide you.

Do this and you’ll discover the power of your decisions and how you can learn to link more pain to NOT pursuing your goals and more pleasure to going after them!

What is your ultimate passion in life?

Writing and publishing a book which can help make a meaningful impact for others and allow me to contribute more to society.

What actions have you been putting off from achieving this goal?

I’ve gotten to the point where I need to begin editing the book, and since I’m not an editor I’ve been delaying the process of getting started.

In addition, I know that I can improve the context within a few chapters, but now my mind has started thinking about the idea of the book not being as good as other books that I’ve read. It’s making me second guess the entire idea of writing.  

What pain have you linked to taking this action?

I’m linking the possibility of the book not being written as well as I know that it can be. 

Write down the pleasure you’ve had in the past by indulging in this negative pattern.

I’m able to push it to the side and not think about it all the time, which leads to less stress and worry.

I’m able to concentrate on other important parts of my life, which leads to improvement in other facets.

I’m able to convince myself that when I’m ready I’ll get to it, which leads to me feeling content.

Write down what it will cost you if you don’t change now.

If I don’t change now…

I may lose my flow and never finish writing or publishing the book.

I may fail at achieving my ultimate passion.

Hows does that make you feel?

It makes me feel like my roadblocks aren’t as extreme in the big picture, that not attaining my goal would feel much worse, and that I should focus on completing the essential tasks that I need to in order to go after my passion.

Write down all the pleasure you’ll receive by taking each of these actions right now. Envision all the positive impacts both in the present and in the long term.

By editing my book and improving the certain chapters that need to be bolstered, I’ll be able to take one step closer to successfully publishing my book. It’ll give me back the momentum that I felt when I was writing the book originally.

In doing so, it will allow me to then promote the book and help make a positive impact on all of the others that read it.

Even more so, by spreading the word about my book via podcasts, videos, content, social media, etc, I will be able to not only learn the process of marketing a book, but also educate people on different aspects of my central messages (without them necessarily reading the book) that will lead to making an impact in their lives.

Considering the book will be available to purchase for years to come, there’s no telling the number of lives it can impact. Also, it can give me the confidence I need to go after writing a second or even third book. This could lead to building new relationships, going further out of my comfort zone, trying out new things (like public speaking and becoming a coach/offering lessons), growing as a person, contributing more and ultimately gaining way more pleasure in my life.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” —Tony Robbins”

How Traveling the World Can Help you Succeed in Life

About 100 years ago, commercial airplanes were first introduced (although they were much smaller and slower than today’s planes and highly uncomfortable).

Over the decades, it’s become easier and cheaper to fly than ever before.

If you told someone a century ago that they could hop on a plane from the US and be in Europe within 8 hours or less for a couple hundred bucks, they’d call you crazy.

But crazy back then is what’s normal now.

It’s fascinating and something that all of us should take advantage of, especially considering how cheap flights can be!

So how exactly can traveling help you succeed in life?

Getting out of your comfort zone

By traveling you can take a dive into the unknown, aka get the fuck out of your comfort zone.

In many aspects of our lives, we LOVE to remain in our element where we know exactly what’s going to happen and when. Where we are in as much control as we possibly can convince ourselves that we are in.

By exploring new frontiers, you put yourself completely out of your zone of comfort and into the depths of who really knows?!?!

In doing so, you can come to the realization that your worst case scenarios aren’t always as bad and exaggerated as you make them out to be in your head.

You can use these experiences as a reference for situations in your life when you are stuck or difficult decisions have to be made. When you remember that taking a leap of faith into new adventures could be positively impactful, it could make your circumstances much easier to see through.

Experiencing new cultures

When you branch out and expand your horizons, you get to discover new worlds that you would’ve never realized existed previously.

There are so many unique places in the world (almost 200 countries!) and with that comes a plethora of different cultures to experience. From the food, clothing, art, architecture and language, to rituals and ways of living that are truly a sight to see.

When we visit other places, we instinctively compare and contrast them to what we have and how we live. We begin to recognize the tiny details when we interact with natives to the countries we visit and how they go about living their lives.

You cannot put a price tag on these experiences, the new perspectives that you gain and the lifetime of memories that are created from them.

Cultivating gratitude for your life

After traveling and returning back to your normal life, you begin to realize how grateful you are for the small things.

For having warm water to shower in, air conditioning, a car, clean streets, minimal crime, ability to pursue goals, etc.

When you physically witness the way others live in different countries, you discover just how much opportunity you truly have at your fingertips.

It enables you to think from a bigger picture and understand that you really have the chance to make your life any way you envision it being.

The more you travel the more you begin to level up and go deeper into what life is all about, which is growing your gratitude, gaining new experiences, learning from them and incorporating them into making your life as fulfilling as it can be!

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Unknown

When’s the last time you weren’t in a rush?

When’s the last time you asked yourself that question?

Everything in our lives is sped up to the max. We convince ourselves that we have so much to do with so little time, but is it really the truth?

More than half the stuff we do on a daily basis could most likely be eliminated without any immediate negative impact on our lives, yet we insist on doing them anyway (despite the consequences).

It’s time to try to slow the fuck down. It’s time to ask yourself important questions like “When’s the last time I wasn’t in a rush?” and figure out ways to actually do it versus getting side tracked by our cell phones.

If we just take a moment to sit, away from all of the digital media, we can begin to relax, ease up and reflect.

Take one minute out of your day today to just recognize your breathing. Feel the natural patterns of your inhalation and exhalation. Feel how it feels to focus in on the breathe.

By doing this small action, you can distract your mind for just a brief moment and attain some equanimity in your busy life.

From there, you can begin to see things from a clearer lens. You can approach the rest of your day with a more composed state of mind.

You can choose to slow things down, feel less rushed and find a sense of happiness and gratitude during this precise blip in time.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” – Eddie Cantor

Being in a hurry does not slow down time.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Awaken the Giant Within Tony Robbins – Book Summary/Notes

3 elementary principles to change your life

-raise your standards – change what you demand of yourself. (Write down all the things you no longer accept in your life and tolerate and all the things you aspire to become)

-Change your limiting beliefs – our beliefs are unquestioned commands and control and dictate our potential. Must change our belief system for lasting change. Must develop a sense of certainty that we can and will meet our new standards before we actually do. 

-change your strategy – emulate a role model or someone successful who you admire. Learn what they do, their core beliefs and how they think. 

Knowing isn’t enough, you must take action. 

5 areas of life that impact us most

-emotional mastery 

-physical mastery 

-relationship mastery

-financial mastery

-time mastery 

Decisions 

Our decisions determine our destiny not our conditions or circumstances. 

If you truly decide to, you can do almost anything. You don’t have to do things you don’t like, you can make a decision to change them instantly. 

If you truly commit to taking action once you decide what you want, learn along the way and adjust as needed, you will create the momentum vital for achieving the result. 

3 decisions that control your destiny 

-what to focus on

-what things mean to you

-what to do to create the results you desire (what to do in spite of the challenge that may appear to limit us)

Mastery takes as long as you want It to take. Gain experience quicker by working and doing more, resulting in growing and acquiring the talent faster. 

Must commit to long term results rather than short term fixes, as important as any decision you’ll make in your lifetime. 

The force behind all decisions 

The force for all decisions derive from either avoiding pain or gaining pleasure. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we can instantly change our behaviors. 

You don’t do important things because you believe that taking action in the moment would be more painful than just putting It off. 

By linking massive pain to any behavior or emotional pattern, we will avoid indulging in It at all costs. 

Example – if you see first hand how terrible drugs or alcohol are for a person, you will create neuro-associations that prevent you from wanting to do them, linking It to pain. 

Example – people who work out intensely to look better link feelings of pleasure to the pain of physical exertion, converting discomfort of discipline into satisfaction of personal growth. 

To change you must link pain to our old behavior and pleasure to our new behavior and condition it until it’s consistent. Think of something you’d never do and the emotional intensity attached to it, link that to the behavior you want to avoid. 

We all do more to avoid pain than we do to gain pleasure. 

First step to creating change – becoming aware of the power that pain and pleasure exert over every decision and action we take. Understanding the links. 

Exercise/lesson

-write down four actions you need to take that you’ve been putting off

-under each action write down the answer to why haven’t I taken action? In the past what pain have I linked to taking this action? 

-write down all the pleasure you’ve had in the past by indulging in this negative pattern

-write down what It will cost you if you don’t change now. How does that make you feel?

-write down all the pleasure you’ll receive by taking each of these actions right now. Envision all the positive impacts both in the present and in the long term. 

Beliefs

Guiding force on what leads to pain or pleasure.

Whenever something happens in your life your brain asks two questions 

1-will this mean pain or pleasure 

2-what must I do now to avoid pain or gain pleasure 

The answers to these questions are based on our beliefs which are driven by our generalizations about what we’ve learned could lead to pain or pleasure which guide all of our actions and direction and quality of our lives.

Most of our beliefs are generalizations about our past based on our interpretations of painful and pleasurable experiences. 

-we don’t consciously decide what to believe 

-often these beliefs are based on misinterpretations of past experiences 

-once we adopt a brief we forget it’s merely an interpretation 

We begin to treat our beliefs as if they’re realities and we rarely if ever question them. 

Global beliefs – giant beliefs we have about everything in our life (identities, people, work, time, money, life itself)

Beliefs have different levels of emotional certainty and intensity.

3 different types of beliefs

-opinions (easily changed, based on impressions during the moment) 

-beliefs (certainty, from references such as personal experiences, information from other sources, vivid imaginations). 

-convictions (much more emotionally intense feelings than a basic belief. Completely resistant to new input. Willing to take massive action and is extremely

passionate about the belief). 

Create a conviction by 

-starting with a basic belief

-reinforce it by adding new and more powerful references (from books, podcasts, talking to others that are likeminded). The more emotional they are the stronger the conviction becomes 

-find a triggering event or make one (ask questions or put yourself in situations that will create emotional intensity, example – if you want to quit smoking view an x ray of a smokers black lungs). 

-take action (each action strengthens your commitment and raises the level of emotional intensity and conviction) 

Social proof – belief in things because everyone else believes in it. Great way to limit your life. 

Kaizen – continuous improvement in small steps, compounding over the long term into colossal proportions. Essential to use this concept in all facets of our lives. 

Change can be made in an instant. It’s the “getting ready to change” that takes time. 

In order to create long term change we must have the belief that we are responsible for our own change nobody else. 

Responsibility beliefs 

-believe that something must change, not should or ought to.

-we must be the ones to change It/the source of the change, cannot look for someone else to do It or be able to blame.

-must truly believe that we can change it.

Neuro associative conditioning 

-people link more pain to changing than to not. 

-to get true leverage you must ask yourself pain inducing questions such as “what will this cost me if I don’t change?” What will I miss out on in my life if I don’t make the shift?

What is it already costing me mentally emotionally physically financially spiritually?

How will It affect my loved ones? 

-then use pleasure associating questions – if I do change how will that make me feel about myself? What kind of momentum could I create if I change this in my life?

-The key is to get a lot of strong enough reasons why change should be taken immediately. 

To create change you must interrupt patterns. Example – guy who wanted to stop eating chocolate. Tony forced him to eat nothing but chocolate until he got sick of it and began associating (creating new neural pathways) painful sensations to the idea of eating it. 

You must do unexpected things, radically different from what you’ve experienced before. (If you’re upset or depressed jump up and scream at the sky hallelujah my feet don’t stink today! It will shift your attention and change your state and those around you) 

The more outrageous your approach to breaking a pattern the more effective it’ll be. 

You must do It in the moment the pattern is recurring. (Just like when you’re speaking to someone and get distracted and forget where you left off). 

Fixed schedule of reinforcement – small rewards each time you do the new behavior. 

Variable schedule of reinforcement – vary up the rewards so one doesn’t get stagnant and expect It and end up only doing the bare minimum. 

Jackpot – giving more than anticipated results in working harder and hopes of it happening again. 

Must find an empowering alternative that gives you the same pleasure or more from the old behavior. 

Condition it with emotional intensity and repetition until it’s automatic. Then test It to see if It works in your mind. 

Your body leads your emotions. Change your posture, your facial expression, focus on putting your body in pleasurable states consistently. 

Make an effort to laugh and smile more often daily. 

Whatever we focus on determines how we feel. 

Questions 

Our questions determine our thoughts.

To change the quality of our life we must change our habitual questions. 

Successful people (in any area) ask better questions and as a result get better answers. 

Quality questions create a quality life. 

Questioning our limitations is what tears down the walls in life, all human profess is preceded by new questions. 

The questions you ask will determine where you focus, how you think, feel and what you do. 

It’s not only the questions you ask, but the questions you fail to ask (what’s the worst that can happen if I make this decision) that shape your destiny. 

Questions immediately change what you’re focusing on and therefore how we feel. By focusing on something positive and potentially empowering you will then look for and find references and solutions. If It at first you respond with negativity, but remain persistent with a sense of certainty and expectation in spite of it all, you’ll eventually get the answers you need and deserve. 

By repeatedly asking questions like what am I happy about right now what am I grateful for in my life how can I be happier or more grateful, you’ll come up with the real references that will make you begin to focus on the reasons that do in fact exist for you to feel happy and grateful providing you with a sense of certainty. 

Questions provide actual reasons to feel the emotion. 

Empowering and important questions to ask ourselves when a problem arises (versus focusing on disempowering questions that limit and prevent you from seeking opportunities clearly) 

-what is great about this problem?

-what is not perfect yet? (Presupposition that things will be perfect in the future, versus thinking negatively) 

-what am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?

-what am I willing to no longer do in order to make it the way I want it?

-how can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it?

By putting yourself in a better state, you can come up with better ways of dealing with challenges. Break the pattern and put yourself in a positive emotional environment. 

What are you happy about? What could you be happy about right now if you want to be? Excited, grateful, committed, loving. 

What’s great about this?

How can I use this? 

Words

The words you habitually choose also affect how you communicate with yourself and therefore what you experience. 

Using emotionally charged words can magically transform your own state or someone else’s. How you think feel and live. They shape our beliefs and impact our actions. 

We unconsciously form habitual favorite words that shape and transform our life experience. We don’t evaluate the impact of these words we’ve grown accustomed to using. 

The problem occurs when we start consistently pouring any form of negative sensation into words, such as furious or depressed, and this word may not accurately reflect actual experience. The moment we place this feeling around our experience the label we put on it becomes our experience. 

Transformational vocabulary – The words that we attach to experience become our experience. Must consciously choose the words we use to describe our emotional states or suffer the penalty of creating greater pain than is warranted or appropriate. Also gives us the power to take negative feelings and lower their intensity and also take positive experiences and life them to greater heights of pleasure and empowerment. 

The way we interpret translate and label experience immediately changes the sensations produced in our nervous systems. Words create a biochemical effect. 

“Words form the thread on which we string our experiences” – Aldous Huxley

We tend to experience the same emotions due to the same words we use to describe the experience we are having. By analyzing our sensations more critically and being more creative in evaluating things we can attach new labels to our experience and change our emotional reality. 

To change our lives and shape our destiny we need to consciously select the words we use and constantly strive to expand our level of choice of words. 

The words we use impact others emotions as well. By adopting someone else’s habitual vocabulary you begin to adopt their emotional patterns as well.

Commonly used old disempowering words (that intensify negative emotion) to change to new empowering words to either lower intensity or break pattern and laugh at. 

Annoyed/irritated/pissed – ruffled, my feathers are a tad bit ruffled

Bullshit – this is utter nonsense, this is blasphemy, this is preposterous 

I feel exhausted/like shit – I feel a little droopy

I’m starving/hungry – my belly is rumbling, I can’t hear over the rumbles in my tummy  

How I respond when asked how are you or how are you doing, how do you feel

Good – change this to – fantastic, exceptional, terrific, spectacular, superb, outstanding, fabulous, awesome, phenomenal

Metaphors

Metaphors are extremely powerful and dictate our beliefs behaviors thoughts feelings and actions. They can severely limit our beliefs and potential, as well as positively impact them. 

Most of the time we never consciously recognize the metaphors that we’ve adopted into habits and therefore believe in and let control our views. 

When you hear someone using a metaphor that places limits, step in and break their pattern and offer a new one. Do this for yourself as well. 

Emotions

If you constantly dwell over reasons that you don’t do positive things or that your life isn’t the way you want It to be, your brain will comply by providing references to back up these excuses, leading to negative emotions. 

You can effectively use your emotions by understanding that all of them serve you and that negative ones are just a call to action that can serve as a compass to navigate you towards which way to go in life. 

You are the source of all your emotions, you create them. You can feel any way you choose at any moment in time. 

“Your perceptions are controlled by what you focus on and the meaning you interpret from things.”

If you focus on positive improvement, your perception will come from a positive state. 

When something happens, negative or positive, you have the power to decide how you want to interpret It, whether that’s by saying this is good and can help me grow or that It’s bad and allow It to negatively impact your emotional state of mind. 

You can change your perception in a moment by your physiology or by asking yourself a better question. 

Six steps to emotional mastery

Step 1 – identify what you’re really feeling. Question yourself, use transformational vocabulary and recognize your intensity lowers.

Step 2 – acknowledge and appreciate your emotions, knowing they support you.

Step 3 – get curious about the message the emotion is offering you. This allow you to master the emotion, solve the challenge and prevent the same problem from occurring in the future. 

What do I really want to feel?

What would I have to believe in order to feel the way I’ve been feeling?

What am I willing to do to create a solution and handle this right now?

What can I learn from this?

Step 4 – get confident. Recall a past time when you felt this emotion and successfully handled it. What questions did you ask yourself or perceptions did you view through to overcome it previously? 

Step 5 – get certain you can handle this not only today but in the future as well. Visualize yourself handling the situation easily. See hear and feel it. 

Step 6- get excited and take action. 

Negative emotions are just calls to action to switch up your approach/actions and/or to see things from a different perspective. 

The feeling of frustration is a good sign it means that the solution to your problem is within range that you simply have to change your approach in order to achieve it. Realize that frustration is actually your friend. 

Guilt allows you to realize that you violated one of your standards and it can serve its purpose to drive you to hold a higher standard in the future so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. 

Goals

Lacking powerful goals leads to lack of drive and energy. 

Stop focusing on making a living as your goal and start designing a life that you want to live! 

Consciously decide on your goals. 

Your current circumstances are far from you reaching your true potential, they’re simply the limited goals you focus on.  

Eustress – positive force of pressure that pushes you to constantly increase the quality of your life and those closest to you. 

Persistence is the way those most successful have succeeded. 

Master system of evaluation

Five components that determine how you evaluate everything that happens in your life.

What things mean and what to do about them. 

1 – mental and emotional state when making an evaluation. 

2 – questions 

3 – hierarchy of values 

4 – beliefs/global beliefs – determine our expectations and often control what we’re even willing to evaluate in the first place. 

5 – reference experiences – we use these past experiences to compare to something present to determine what It means. Which references we choose decides the meaning we take from an experience, how we feel about It and the action we will take. 

Values

Things you place great importance upon

Means and ends

Means values are family and money

Ends are love, happiness, security, freedom

Money is a means to achieve a deeper set of values. 

Most people focus on means when they should focus on their desires which are their ends values. 

Ends values fulfill and make life rich and rewarding. 

Rules – specific beliefs about what has to happen in order for us to feel pleasure or pain. 

The truth is nothing has to happen to feel good. Making a million dollars doesn’t give you pleasure, it’s your rule that says when you hit this mark then I’ll give myself permission to feel good. In that moment when you decide to feel good you’ll send a message to your brain to change your muscle responses, breathing and biochemistry in your nervous system that causes you to feel sensations of pleasure. 

If we structure our lives in a way where our happiness is dependent upon something we cannot control then we will experience pain.

Judge and jury system – our rules are controlling our responses every moment we’re alive. They’ve been set up completely randomly. 

We need to reverse the process of how we are wired so that we make It hard to feel bad and easy to feel good. 

We must design rules so that we are in control and so the outside world is not what determines whether we feel good or bad. 

When you get upset or angry with someone, it’s your rules that upset you not their behavior. 

Your rules are not based on reality, they are arbitrary. Just because you use them and feel strongly about them doesn’t mean they’re the best rules or the right rules. Rules are meant to empower not destroy. 

Anytime a rule gets in the way ask yourself “what’s more important, my relationship or my rules?”

If you have conflicting rules and values you must realize It and then link enough pain to a rule that doesn’t serve you and replace it with a rule that does (ex – if you’re top value is love, yet your rules say that if you get too close you’ll get hurt since you have in the past). 

Threshold rules – must and must never do rules. Absolutely not do. 

Personal standards – should and should never. Willing to break these in short term depending on reasons. 

The more must rules, the more unlivable you make your life, the more stressful and painful. 

References 

The more expanded references, then better understanding we can have as to what’s possible and what we are capable of, regardless of challenges.

It’s not our references, but our interpretations of them that determines our beliefs. It’s our perceptions of the experiences. 

How do you use your references? 

Do you consciously interpret them in ways that empower you in ways that support the achievement of your goals?

The way we use our references will determine how we feel because whether something is good or bad is all based on what you’re comparing It to. 

Identity

Our sense of certainty about who we are create the boundaries and limits within which we live.

We all will act consistently with our views of who we truly are, whether that view is accurate or not. 

As we develop new beliefs about who we are, our behavior will change to support the new identity. 

Finances

Create products or services that Increase the quality of life for customers you serve. Value. 

Ask the question – “how can I add more value to any environment I’m in?”

States to experience daily 

Happiness – when I laugh or make someone else laugh, or help them. When I eat delicious food, spend quality time with loved ones and do activities that I enjoy. 

Motivation – when I read, watch or listen about someone/something inspiring, when I think about ways to grow personally and in business.

Healthy – when I feel like i have lots of energy, when i exercise and eat food that’s good for me. 

Gratefulness – when I prime, when i think about all the good in my life. 

Generous/contribution – when I help others, am kind to others, even small deeds. When I make a positive impact for someone. 

Growth – when I read and learn and educate myself. When I gain more knowledge and insights. 

Goofiness – when I do something silly that puts smiles on others faces or makes them laugh. 

Fulfilled – when I reflect on my life and who I am/have become, have accomplished, my growth and what I’ll continue to accomplish as I grow. 

Engaged – when i give undivided attention to any situation and get into flow state/lose track of time. 

Passionate – when I think about helping or making an impact for others. 

Changing time frames when it comes to things like Stress

Stress comes from focusing on feeling stuck in a particular time frame (I have too much to do right now and not enough time)

By taking control of your focus and moving It to a future time frame (where you can visualize successfully completing or finding resolutions to the tasks), you can gain the resources needed to refocus on the present. 

Refocusing on what you can control in the present is important versus thinking of how stressful the future will be. 

Your experience of time is controlled by your focus. When you do something you enjoy time flies by because you aren’t focusing on time, but when you do something you don’t enjoy and you keep looking at the time it takes forever. 

When you must do things that take a lot of time (errands, working out, etc), kill two birds with one stone by adding another component that will help speed up your perception of time (listen to music, a podcast, etc). 

urgency and importance control our decisions about what to do with our time 

The goal is to set up each day where we spend the majority of It doing things that are important to us rather than urgent. 

The Impact that Personal Growth and Self Discovery has on our Loved Ones

If you’re reading this you more likely than not are seeking methods to improve your quality of life, which is terrific and something you should be very proud of.

Seriously.

Unfortunately, most fuck everything up by holding the belief that if they can generate a certain amount of financial income, that only then can they accelerate their happiness levels as well as those closest to them.

It’s not your fault. It’s our environment. It’s what we were conditioned to think and believe since we were youngins.

With this ingrained and limiting view, you allow your behaviors and thoughts to seek validation for it and begin to take action towards it.

The problem with this concept is the belief that something external (money) can bring us what we really seek (gratitude, fulfillment, freedom and happiness).

A sense of gratitude, fulfillment, freedom and happiness are internal feelings. They’re developed from within you, NOT from you getting a new job or a bonus or even winning the lottery and adding an extra few zeros to your bank account.

For real, winning the lottery does NOT make you happier.

Even if you were to increase the amount of money you make, the elusive sensations of fulfillment and happiness are not going to just magically hop onto your shoulders and ride the remaining wave of life with you.

It can takes years, decades, even LIFETIMES of hard work and practice to acquire these coveted qualities consistently over the course of one’s life.

The statement above may hurt and offend, but it’s a hard truth. One that you must learn to accept.

What’s incredible about the process of personal growth and self-discovery (something that I’ve been actively working on for some time now) is just how much of a positive impact your existence and thirst for knowledge and execution of that knowledge can have on others.

Those you love in particular.

While many of us always seek to take care of our family and friends in some way shape or form, we primarily and subconsciously seek to improve ourselves.

Our health, productivity levels, how much we have in our wallet/bank account, etc.

We read self-help books on habits that we need to create as well as those we must eliminate.

We listen to podcasts that inspire and motivate us to want to take action and take the steps towards financial freedom.

We watch documentaries of those who have faced tremendous adversity and overcame it with a incredible sense of ambition and determination to succeed.

But regardless if we are able to achieve success financially, simply performing these acts day in and day out, working on improving ourselves and our well-being physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, we can discover that success isn’t what brings happiness, but that in fact happiness is what brings success.

When you take action to educate yourself (on how to get motivated, become happier, become more grateful, to start your own business, to become more positive, to question your beliefs, your thinking patterns, etc), you begin to learn new and exciting concepts and ideas, forcing your brain to literally start growing new neurological pathways.

This level of tenacity and insatiable hunger to want to achieve and become a more improved and better YOU paradoxically allows you to make an impact on your loved ones in a way that MONEY NEVER CAN.

Your elevated sense of awareness, confidence and positivity that you undoubtedly begin to possess is massively contagious.

Those you surround yourself with can immediately feel and sense the new and heightened version of you. And if they truly love you, they’ll not only be happy and grateful for you, but also take it and implement it into their life.

So keep on going.

Take control of your life, constantly better yourself for the greater good and watch as your own self improvement casts a beacon, luring in those around you to reach new heights.

“I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.” – Richard Branson

How to Ensure Success by Applying the Kaizen Principle

When broken down the word Kaizen is composed of “kai” which means change, and “zen” which means good. Good change, change good!

It’s described as a process of continuous improvement in small steps that compound over time.

The principle/strategy can be implemented into every facet of our life and can help us maximize our chances of achieving our greatest ambitions.

So how does one ensure success by applying the kaizen principle, you might ask?

Let’s start off with a little bit of a science lesson.

After reading One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way written by Robert Maurer (he has a PhD, so he must be smart), I learned about the three different parts of the brain (forebrain, midbrain and the hindbrain). We are going to focus on the first two parts.

So the forebrain is where the Cortex lives. This is the part of the brain that makes us human, enabling us to think, have rational thoughts and creative impulses.

It’s home to where we can make changes in our lives.

The midbrain is where the amygdala is located, which creates our fight or flight responses. When the amygdala is in action other parts of the brain shut down (like the cortex) so that we can focus full efforts on fighting or flighting (like running away from a bear, or stupidly trying to attack it).

Essentially, when we induce fear we limit our access to the cortex. We aren’t able to go after what we want.

What I’m trying to get at is that the reason kaizen is so powerful and effective is due to the way it works to bypass the amygdala/fear (which blocks creativity) allowing us to use the cortex to its full potential.

Simply put, if you focus on small and easily attainable goals you can circumnavigate the triggers of the amygdala and tap into the impetus of the cortex.

Think about a time when you got really excited about an idea or a new goal for yourself. You started putting together a bunch of plans and actions to begin executing them, and then within a few days or maybe a week later you gave up.

Why did this happen? You were so excited about this idea/goal just a week ago! You signed up to the local gym, went and bought all this new apparel and supplements and were destined to lose 30 pounds.

The fact of the matter is, you blew your load too quick.

You set yourself up for failure not by creating too lofty of a goal, but by the steps and actions you convinced yourself you had to take to achieve it. You began telling yourself, this is harder than I thought. How am I going to keep coming to the gym every day and doing all these exercises, how am I going to keep eating healthy and not go for the junk food, etc.

All of this resulted in a sense of feeling overwhelmed and fearful, ultimately allowing your amygdala to do its thing and that was that.

The name of the game in life is to NOT blow your load too fast.

Slow and steady wins the race.

F the BS: Use the Kaizen Principle Right Now to Achieve Your Goals

Everything we do is based upon gaining more pleasure and moving away from any pain.

When we create a goal, it’s PAINFUL to think about all of the things we must do to achieve it. It’s much more PLEASUREable to just push it to the side and continue living our lives, even if that means staying fat, overweight and unhealthy.

It’s when we finally decide that it’s more painful to stay this way that we begin making changes.

But how can we ever come to this realization without letting our amygdala ruin the show?

With that in mind, you must begin to ask yourself small questions (your brain loves questions, as it allows you to investigate into the inquiry and seek answers).

Ask yourself, “What small benefit can I receive from doing just 30 seconds of (air squats, push ups, crunches, etc) per day”?

By asking questions (in a gentle manner) and taking micro steps, it allows for inspiration and creativity to kick in and begins to motivate you to want more. Plus, small questions aren’t scary, enabling you to keep the amygdala fast asleep.

Before you know it, you’ll be doing 1 minute worth of exercises per day and gradually work your way up. Just remember that it’s important to keep the objectives small, as if you begin to feel like you dread doing it then you know that it’s too excessive and you must limit yourself to where it feels effortless.

Effortless is the key here!

If you can begin to turn the wheel of momentum by focusing on small and effortless goals, you will subconsciously convince yourself that these tasks aren’t painful and are in fact filling you with a sense of pleasure. Once you get to this point, there is absolutely nothing that can prevent you from accomplishing your aspirations.

Small actions are at the heart of kaizen. By taking steps so tiny that they seem trivial or even laughable, you’ll sail calmly past obstacles that have defeated you before. Slowly – but painlessly! – you’ll cultivate an appetite for continued success and lay down a permanent new route to change.” – Robert Maurer

Kicking Procrastination to the Curb

Why does one procrastinate?

After contemplating on this topic for quite some time, I’ve come to realize that the main reason we defer to go after meaningful goals (regardless of how big or small) is due to a deep rooted sense of fear within.

Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of what others will think.

We’ve previously discussed

-why failing is good as well as how to rewire our brain and thoughts about fear.
-that most of the time the worst possible outcome for any situation is typically nowhere near as extreme as you subconsciously make it out to be.
-to stop caring so much about other people’s opinions about your decisions as well as their overall thoughts concerning you.

However, fear still lurks inside of the mind each time courage is built up and potential action is deliberated.

So what does it take to not just retain the information you’ve been provided with, but actually apply and implement it to truly kick any form of procrastination or excuses to the curb for good?

By slowly taking it one step at a time, bit by bit, you can begin to chip away at the big scary monster that you’ve built up inside of your head known as fear.

F the BS: Kick this shit to the curb already!

1 – What’s your main goal? 

Write it down on a piece of paper or type it out on your computer.

2 – What’s a realistic deadline of achieving this goal? (don’t be lenient here, but also try to remain rational)

This is important, as without a deadline you’ll just revert back to your old ways.

Make this large and bolded. Maybe in a different color.

3 – Chop up your goal into small steps

Take the time to write and break down your goal into tiny parts. It doesn’t matter if you only know the first few ideas, as this will help put you on the proper path to discovering future steps.

This also helps prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

4 – Take the time to mentally visualize attaining your goal

Even if it’s just for a minute each day, take a moment to visually see yourself achieving your aspirations. Try to literally feel the success that would come with turning your idea into a reality. Think about positive emotions your loved ones would permeate when celebrating this remarkable accomplishment with you.

5 – Hold yourself accountable

Make deadlines within your overall deadline and hold yourself to them. If this is too difficult, appoint a family or friend to check up on you to ensure you remain on track. Give them permission to be stern and remind yourself that they are doing it out of love if you ever start to feel negative emotions towards them.

6 – Be happy with the small wins

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if your goal is still far from being obtained, enjoy the small victories on your path to success. These quick wins are what helps to build momentum and the positive energy necessary to continue powering through any roadblocks that step in your way.

By putting these few steps into motion, you’re mapping out a plan on paper and visually within your mind. This allows you to visibly see the course that you must take to fulfill your dreams.

At this point, if you want it enough, you will take the action needed to go after and get them!

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” – Pablo Picasso

Leveraging the Mastermind Principle to Guarantee Success

I’ve quoted and referred to Napoleon Hill a few times throughout these posts and today will be no different.

Hill coined the term “mastermind principle/group” almost a century ago and it’s discovery and impact is just as powerful now as it was back then.

The principle is described as the “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Simply put, if you surround yourself with others who have similar desires and motives that align with your vision, each individual within the group will grow exponentially and achieve much more success than if they were to go at it alone.

He goes into detail and breaks down the two traits that a Master Mind consists of, and what they can potentially provide you with.

One is economic, the other is psychic.

Economic – If you are counseled by wise people who are looking out for your best interests and possess certain experiences and knowledge that you lack, these shared insights can help catapult you to a new level that can be used to your advantage.

Psychic – By linking up with “other minds” who share relatable views, something not seen with the naked eye is magically conceived, which can be harnessed and leveraged on your path to achievement.

Here’s a terrific quote and summary by Hill on the psychic principle. “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.”

If you’re thinking to yourself right now that this sounds like bullshit, think again.

Go read any biography on any extremely powerful and successful individual and you’ll discover that each and every one of them either had someone specific or a group of people in their corner who further propelled them to the next stage in their pursuit of prosperity.

To wrap things up…

As you bring this principle into your awareness, it becomes clear that in order to excel and grow within any aspect of your life you must surround yourself around those transmitting the equivalent mentality and aspirations. Once you can begin to accept this, its infinite power can be absorbed.

Do not wait. Add and subtract those in your life as needed. Regardless of how difficult it may be, making this change will undoubtedly become the most beneficial decision of your life.

“Men take on the nature and the habits and the POWER OF THOUGHT of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony.” – Napoleon Hill