Delicious Outcomes

Steve Pavlina:

To this day I still have the habit of obsessively thinking about what I want. It’s like the opposite of depression. If I’m standing in line or driving in my car, my mind will just start roaming through all kinds of positive scenarios, envisioning one delicious outcome after another. If I want to consider what might go wrong, I have to sit down and think about that consciously, and even then it’s hard because my mind will habitually return to obsessing over how great everything will be.

And:

How do you establish the habit of thinking about what you want? First, do your best to catch yourself thinking about what you don’t want, and consciously stop and replace those thoughts with positive alternatives. It doesn’t matter if the alternatives are realistic or not. This is your imagination we’re talking about, so you’re free to dream up whatever crazy scenarios you like. All that matters is that you enjoy thinking about them. You don’t need to write them down or tell anyone about them. Just enjoy basking in their glow.

Secondly, set aside a few minutes each day to consciously think about positive outcomes. Allow yourself to dream. Imagine how your life could become even better. Do this when you’re driving — put a sticky note in your car with the word “Dream” to remind yourself. Do it when you’re standing in line. Do it when you’re lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. Eventually this will become a habit, and you’ll dream about what you want whenever you have a spare moment. Again, it doesn’t matter if you think these outcomes are possible or not. Just enjoy the positive energy you get from thinking about what you want, and also notice that you can apply that energy to improve your current practical results right here, right now.

And:

It doesn’t matter how much time and energy you’ve invested in this habit already, how many times you’ve tried to change and failed, or how adept you are at making excuses. You can still begin to pay attention to your thoughts and rechannel them in a more positive direction. You’re always free to dream. It may take weeks, months, or even years to reach the point of feeling consistently good about your life, but the time is going to pass anyway, so you may as well get started today.

ACHIEVE

Steve Pavlina:

You become an achiever by achieving your goals. If you achieve your goals, you’re an achiever. If you don’t achieve your goals, you’re not an achiever.

And:

To be an achiever, you must give your goals sufficient attention to reach, attain, or accomplish them. This means you must withdraw much of your attention from activities that are not directly leading to the accomplishment of your goals.

In a given week, where is your attention going? If you aren’t habitually obsessing over your goals, then what are you obsessing over instead?

(…)

What exactly are you reaching, attaining, or accomplishing in a typical week? Are you making progress on your goals by giving them many hours of attention, or are you putting your attention elsewhere?

30-Day Detox

I’m starting a 30-day heavy metals detox today. (Jan 12, 2019)

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time, after first hearing about it from Steve Pavlina (see also), and the increased mental clarity he experienced afterwards.

I also found Alexander Bloom’s experience fascinating.

The Protocol

Here’s everything I’ll be taking for the next 30 days.

This list is based on Steve Pavlina’s protocol; I’m using his descriptions of the items below. For a more in-depth overview of the detox, see Alexander Bloom’s article.

I’ll be mixing all of the liquid items with about 4oz of fresh-squeezed orange juice, or water with lemon juice. I’ll drink the “detox cocktail” first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, with the capsules/tablets; or alternatively, take it right before bed.

As preparation for the detox, I haven’t had any caffeine or alchohol for the last 18 days, and I won’t be taking any caffeine or alcohol during the detox. That way the results of this experiment are not skewed by any stimulants.

The goal is to see how I feel after the detox. Specifically, I want to find out if I feel any boost in mental clarity after 30 days of taking these substances.

I’ll update this post after the detox (mid-February 2019). I might post some updates along the way, too, if I have anything interesting to share.

Feel free to join me in this experiment 🙂

Create Your Vision

What is your vision for 2019?

What delicious desires are percolating in your consciousness? What delicious manifestations would you like to experience this year?

Steve Pavlina:

By default, you are visualizing the status quo. Without a grander vision to occupy your thoughts, you will naturally succumb to the habit of thinking about what you’re already getting, and you’ll often feel some emotions when you do so. This is exactly how you hold the intention to manifest more of the same. So by default, you are automatically holding intentions to keep getting what you’re getting.

This is why it’s rather silly to complain about your problems. Sometimes people come to our discussion forums and write really long posts to explain what they’re experiencing in life and why they don’t like it. What they don’t realize is that what they’re doing is the exact process necessary to ensure that they’ll experience more of the same. They’re imagining their past and present as they write about it, and they’re feeling strong feelings as they do so. They are using the power of vision to create a future that resembles their past and present.

If you want to create something different than what you’re already getting, do NOT do what I described in the previous paragraph. It’s stupid. This is the exact opposite of an intelligent solution. Only do this if you want to be stupid. And if you catch someone doing this, please refer them to this article, so they can hopefully understand why it cannot possibly work… and so that they’ll get some motivation to start creating a new vision, even if they have to guess at first.

Instead of reviewing and rehashing what you don’t want, create the vision of what you do want. If you feel a need to post something online, post about your dreams and desires. Write a really long, emotional post about what you most want to experience next in life. This way you won’t make the terrible mistake of reinforcing what you’re already getting.

And:

If you don’t like what you’re already getting, the best thing you can do is to ignore it. Turn your back on it. Stop dwelling on it. Only pay the minimal amount of attention to it that is truly essential. Turn the bulk of your attention (and emotion) to the new vision you’ve created. Spend more time living in the new reality you’re creating as opposed to the old one you wish to leave behind. This will quickly draw that new reality into your life in physical form. Don’t worry about trying to be perfect at this. Just do the best you can. The more you can turn your attention away from the past and towards your new vision, the better. The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

And:

Keep tweaking your vision as you feel the need to do so. Keep renewing it once or twice per day. Feel the feelings of being there. Eventually you’ll create a vision that feels so good that you’ll find it immensely pleasurable to just sit back and imagine it as real. You may reach the point where you’d rather live in your new imagined reality than in your current physical reality. That’s what creates the shifts that make your vision a reality.

2018 Recap

It’s the last day of 2018 🙂

Take some time today to think of all your favorite memories from this year. Start from January, or work your way backwards. Remember and savor every good memory and good experience that you’ve had this year. Give thanks for it. Feel appreciation for all the good times you’ve had, the people you’ve met, the places you’ve been.

Abraham-Hicks:

If you could just find the things that you adore, the things that feel the best to you, and just for a little while, give those things your undivided attention… everything that has been murky, everything that has been slow, everything that has clogged up will begin breaking free.

And:

Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something, you are telling the Universe, “More of this, please. More of this, please.”

Also…

Here’s a technique from Tim Ferriss that you can use to welcome 2019:

I’m often asked about how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades. Why the change? I have found “past year reviews” more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions.

Premortem

Ryan Holiday:

A CEO calls her staff into the conference room on the eve of the launch of a major new initiative. They file in and take their seats around the table. She calls the meeting to attention and begins, “I have bad news. The project has failed spectacularly. What went wrong?”

The team is perplexed: What?! But we haven’t even launched yet…!

(…)

The technique that the CEO above was using was designed by psychologist Gary Klein. It’s called a premortem. In a premortem, a project manager must envision what could go wrong—what will go wrong—in advance, before starting. Why? Far too many ambitious undertakings fail for preventable reasons. Far too many people don’t have a backup plan because they refuse to consider that something might not go exactly as they wish.

Bending the Rules of Reality

Tim Ferriss:

Reality is largely negotiable.

If you stress-test the boundaries and experiment with the “impossibles,” you’ll quickly discover that most limitations are a fragile collection of socially reinforced rules you can choose to break at any time.

What follows are 17 questions that have dramatically changed my life. Each one is time-stamped, as they entered the picture at precise moments.

Here are some of Tim’s questions:

  • What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
  • What would I do / have / be if I had $10 million?
  • What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
  • What would this look like if it were easy?
  • If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?

And:

For the last 5 years, I’ve asked myself, in effect, “What can I put in place so that I can go completely off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks?” To entrepreneurs who are feeling burned out, this is also the question I pose most often. Two weeks isn’t enough, as you can let fires erupt and then attempt to repair things when you return. Four to eight weeks (or more) doesn’t allow you to be a firefighter.

On lifestyle design:

The rules of reality can be bent. It just requires thinking in different terms.

(…)

Consider the question: What would you do, day-to-day, if you had $100 million in the bank? If still blocked, fill in the five “doing” spots with the following:

1 place to visit
1 thing to do before you die (a memory of a lifetime)
1 thing to do daily
1 thing to do weekly
1 thing you’ve always wanted to learn

Delicious Desire

Steve Pavlina:

When you want something, really want it. Let that delicious feeling of desire permeate your entire being… until you’re almost ready to explode from the energy it creates. Desire feels good. This is how you get yourself aligned with what you want. This is what activates the Law of Attraction to help manifest what you want. This is also what activates your creativity and summons inspired action to help you get there even faster.

And:

The receiving/manifesting part isn’t up to us so much — our part is simply to admit what we really want, to hold that desire, and to move into alignment with it. You will begin to feel good as soon as you start moving in the right direction, which starts with clarifying exactly what you want and then allowing yourself to want it.

If you’ve been feeling bad lately, recognize that it’s because you want something you don’t currently have. Want to feel even worse? Try pretending you don’t really want it, assume you’ll never get it, or imagine you don’t deserve it. Want to turn it around and feel fantastic? Step fully and completely into that desire, and bask in the energy it summons.

Vision

Steve Pavlina:

If you don’t create a vision for each part of your life, someone else will do it for you. The intentions of others will fill in the blanks. You see… you’re always working to fulfill some vision. Either you’re creating and fulfilling your own vision, or you’re working on someone else’s vision for you. There is no neutral.

And:

Keep tweaking your vision as you feel the need to do so. Keep renewing it once or twice per day. Feel the feelings of being there. Eventually you’ll create a vision that feels so good that you’ll find it immensely pleasurable to just sit back and imagine it as real. You may reach the point where you’d rather live in your new imagined reality than in your current physical reality. That’s what creates the shifts that make your vision a reality.

And:

The best thing you can do with your energy is to focus it where you’d like to see further expansion. Personally I’m not that interested in increasing the amount of suffering in the world, so I largely ignore it. I’m much more interested in expanding other aspects of life such as creativity, abundance, playfulness, a sense of purpose, fascinating technology, openness, honesty, courage, expressions of affection (hugs, cuddling), lucid dreaming, traveling, and of course hot sex with Canadians.

If you choose to participate in the expansion of suffering, you’re free to do so, and no one will stop you. Lots of people seem to find it interesting enough to dedicate a significant part of their lives to it. Just as there are people who can’t fathom how I could ignore suffering, I find it ludicrous that so many are able to ignore Canada.

Keep Learning

Steve Pavlina:

There’s a hidden benefit to the hopeless situation though. When you know you’re going to lose no matter what, you can stop playing to win, and start playing to learn instead. You surrender to the inevitability of the loss and focus on the long-term gain. Even though you must endure a short-term sting, you’ll learn some valuable lessons that will make you a better player in the long game of life.

And:

It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. Just look at the board, assess the current configuration, determine where the best opportunities are, and make the best next move you can.

If your best isn’t enough and you keep losing good pieces, it just means you have more to learn. There’s no need to whine and complain when that happens.

(…)

When you lose just pick yourself up, analyze your play, and try again.

And:

The only way to win consistently at life is to regard every situation as a learning experience. That’s the only outcome you can really guarantee. If you make that your primary aim, losing becomes impossible.

Visualize

Steve Pavlina:

Ideally, visualizing your future should be very much the same as remembering your past. Just as you would recall and mentally review what you did yesterday, that’s how you want to imagine your new reality. What are the highlights of your typical day, and how do you feel about them?

Notice that emotional memories are much stronger than routine events. Such memories can draw the past back into your present, but they can also draw a powerful future into your present if you create powerful new memories of the future.

And:

Don’t just visualize one small part of your new reality, such as having more money come to you. Visualize the entire alternate reality you wish to enter, in as much detail as possible.

It’s okay to focus on one area of your life at a time. I personally find it rather difficult to visualize a whole new life for myself that covers career, finances, health, relationships, my daily habits, spiritual development, personal development, etc. So I generally focus on one area at a time, but I do my best to make sure it’s congruent with my desires in other areas too.

Keep Going

Steve Pavlina:

When you use the priming effect or any other daily reinforcement technique to condition yourself for success, abundance, or other positive changes, patience is key.

During the first week or two, it will usually seem like your efforts are having little or no effect. But if the technique is effective, then usually within several weeks after you begin, you’ll start seeing significant shifts in your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.

And:

I’ve been seeing effects like this with a variety of daily conditioning methods, such as listening to positive audio programs every day or reviewing my goals every morning. At first it seems like there’s little or no effect. But with enough persistence over a period of months, it’s quite possible to suddenly tip into a whole new level of experience

And:

All experience is mental programming. Whatever you experience through your senses is still actively programming your brain. It’s up to you to take control of this programming. If you don’t like it, you can change it.

Tangible

Steve Pavlina:

Once you form a new intention, I suggest you alter your physical environment in such a way that it’s impossible for you not to think about the intention several times each day. Post the intention on your walls, use it as your computer’s background wallpaper or screen saver, or post sticky notes all around your house. Literally stick your intention right in front of your face, so you can’t help but notice it.

For your most important intentions, I recommend you create an intention shrine in your home and/or office. Select a specific physical location, and fill it with symbolic representations of your desire.

(…)

Whenever you form a new intention, take the time to make it a part of your physical reality. Don’t waste time vainly trying to hold your desire as pure thought. Make it real and give it form immediately, so that on some level, you’re proclaiming that you already have what you desire.

Create

Steve Pavlina:

Don’t settle for a life you know isn’t working. Change it. If necessary do something radically different. Fire everyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Quit everything that makes you unhappy. Reboot your life situation. If other people whine about it, screw ’em. They’ll get over it.

You’re here to create the life you really want, not to endure a life you don’t want. Your power to make decisions and take action is all you need to get you out of a crappy situation. Exercise that power consciously.

If you still don’t know what to do, then ask yourself this question: What would a happy person do in my situation? If you start doing what you think a happy person would do, you’ll start moving towards a life that naturally resonates with happiness.

And:

You may not fix everything overnight, but the very act of getting into motion will usually be enough to turn off those negative emotions. Then you’ll start feeling positive and happy again as you begin making progress towards what you want. Just being in motion towards a better situation feels good, sometimes really good.

And:

Your life will improve the moment you realize life isn’t something to be endured or tolerated. It’s an experience of your own creation.

New Vision

Steve Pavlina:

This morning I woke up at 3:30 and then spent a good 2 hours imagining different aspects of my life as I want them to be and getting a clear lock onto the vibes that are consistent with my desires — the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes I believe I’d be experiencing if all my desires were physically real right now.

Then throughout each day, I do my best to hold onto these new vibes as much as possible. When I catch myself slipping into a vibe I wouldn’t likely experience on the side of my new desires, such as frustration or worry, I stop whatever I’m doing, take a deep breath, and reload the vibe I desire. Or if I’m tired and can’t do this very well, I just take a break to distract myself.

I continue to practice this because I find it very effective. Not only do I attract and enjoy more of what I want, but my new vibes also become increasingly repulsive to those whose vibes are incompatible, while becoming more attractive to those with compatible vibes and desires — people with whom I can enjoy co-creating abundantly.

And:

I began by focusing on feeling grateful for what I did have, like being able to enjoy running along the beach or watching a sunset. I turned my attention away from lack as much as possible. I did my best to ignore my debt, my unpaid bills, and my creditors for a while. Obviously that created some consequences, and I further dealt with those consequences by largely ignoring them as well.

This is really a key point that I don’t want you to just overlook. It wasn’t just that I began to focus on abundance thinking. I also did my very best to ignore anything in my life that suggested lack or scarcity.

And:

If you don’t like what you’re already getting, the best thing you can do is to ignore it. Turn your back on it. Stop dwelling on it. Only pay the minimal amount of attention to it that is truly essential. Turn the bulk of your attention (and emotion) to the new vision you’ve created.

Spend more time living in the new reality you’re creating as opposed to the old one you wish to leave behind. This will quickly draw that new reality into your life in physical form. Don’t worry about trying to be perfect at this. Just do the best you can. The more you can turn your attention away from the past and towards your new vision, the better. The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

Commit

Steve Pavlina:

Many people try to move towards abundance because they’re fed up with scarcity. They’re tired of working at jobs they semi-dislike just to pay the bills. They notice the years passing and don’t feel they have much to show for it. These people seldom escape that reality, however, because that level of thinking actually reinforces scarcity.

Abundance is much easier to create once you get clear about what you’ll do with it. Why bother with it? Who cares? What will life be like on the other side? Is it just the absence of some annoyances? Is there something more to it?

And:

People who try to copy my approach usually fail. They typically give up within a few months. Why? Because they’re not really copying my approach. My approach wasn’t to copy someone else’s approach, so if they copy my approach, then that wasn’t actually my approach. Get it?

My approach was to focus on a vision that inspired me and commit to that vision. I didn’t just say to myself one day, “Yeah, this abundance thing sounds cool. Let’s give that a try.” Trying is a waste of your time. It’s much too big a challenge for trying.

Trying works for ordering your first cinnamon dolce latte. Trying works for seeing The Artist. Trying doesn’t work for creating a life of abundance in today’s world.

If you give up within the first year, that’s trying. If you won’t give up even after 20 years, that’s doing.

Load Up the Vibes

Steve Pavlina:

Pretend you’re already there. Manufacture the experience in your body and mind. Create the laughter, the excitement, and the lovey-dovey feelings right where you are.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the abundance vibe is appreciation. It’s similar to that feeling you get when you just finished watching the best movie ever. What does that feel like for you? Can you reload such a feeling right now? How would you do that?

There are lots of ways to load up positive vibes. Some people do it by listening to their favorite music. Others like to visualize their desires as real. Some like to dance and sing or move their bodies around a lot. It’s really not complicated. If I asked you to load up a positive and abundant vibe, how would you do it? And how would you hold that vibe for at least 10 minutes?

And:

I find it’s best to do this first thing in the morning, so as soon as I wake up, I instantly start thinking about the new reality I wish to experience. I load up the corresponding vibes and begin to experience them. It’s easy to do this in the morning since there’s nothing to distract me. I remind myself of some new desires, and I visualize them in a variety of ways. I imagine how I’d feel if I was already there.

This is not a complicated practice, so don’t act like you’re clueless as to how to do it. Be clueless and do it anyway.

And:

When I unload the dishwasher, I reload the vibe. When I make food, I reload it. When I get into my car and put on my sunglasses, I reload it. When I sit down to do some writing, I reload it. When I write my to-do list for the next day, I reload it. I do this over several days, so eventually I create at least a half dozen daily triggers for the new vibe.

I have enough practice at this that it’s not too difficult to remember to do it, but if you find it difficult, then feel free to use physical triggers. For example, you could put up sticky notes around your environment to serve as reminders to load the new vibe whenever you get a chance.

(…)

Basically I’m trying to infect as much of my daily reality with the new vibe as much as I can. Day after day, I’m gradually overwriting my old vibes and replacing them with new ones. The old vibes are congruent with my old reality, the one I’m ready to leave behind. The new vibes are what’s needed to attract the new reality that I’m ready to create.

Change the Channel

Steve Pavlina:

You’re perfectly capable of defining, creating, and then holding a vibe that’s completely out of sync with your current physical reality. This is precisely what conscious growth is.

Many people seem to believe they can’t do this, but they can. You do it whenever you change the channel on the TV or switch to a different website. It’s as easy as pushing a button. You simply shift your attention from one experience to another.

This is how you shift from scarcity to abundance. Commit to leaving the whole scarcity movie behind. Ignore it completely. Change your attention channel to abundance.

When you walk out, feel free to make a stink about it: “Scarcity, you suck! Worst movie I’ve ever seen. So repetitive and boring. I want a refund. Zero stars!”

New City

Steve Pavlina on staying the course while doing vibe-shifting work:

When you begin any sort of vibe shifting work, such as shifting from a scarcity vibe to an abundance vibe, expect to feel out of sync with your current physical reality for a few weeks.

(…)

This is also a test of sorts — to see if you’re really committed to holding the new vibe. If you allow the old reality to get the better of you, and you swing back to the old vibe due to feelings of guilt, regret, fear, attachment, and so on, you’ll simply reinforce the old reality and cancel the shift.

And:

It’s extremely tempting to cancel the move along the way, especially during those first two weeks. It takes a big inner commitment to shift your vibe and let your physical reality catch up, just as it takes a big commitment to move to a new city.

(…)

If you’re truly committed to the shift, then stay the course. Your outer reality will catch up eventually. Just be prepared for a bit of chaotic restructuring along the way. Do your best to relax and breathe through it. Keep going back to your new vibe and reinforcing it, even when it seems like your outer world is screaming at you.

Escape Velocity

Steve Pavlina:

People act a lot like gravitational fields, and when you put enough of them together, all tugging at you in a consistent direction, you’re going to move.

(…)

If you find that the people you spend the most time with are high achievers, I’d bet you’re either a high achiever yourself or quickly becoming one. And if the predominant people in your life are going nowhere, you already know how stuck you are.

To escape mediocrity requires that you surround yourself with the exceptional. Steal time from your mediocre relationships, and invest it in building new relationships with people you find extraordinary.

(…)

Whenever you want to pull yourself up to a new level of performance, start by asking yourself, “Who’s already getting the results I want, and where can I find them?”

People

Steve Pavlina:

Think for a moment about the 5-10 people with whom you spend the most time. Even include online communities if you spend a lot of time reading them — which individuals are having the most influence over your thinking right now? Actually write out the list — it should only take a minute. And this includes family members.

Now look at the list. It’s been said that this list will give you a glimpse into your future.

Do you want to become more like these people? Yes or no.

And:

There’s no “getting rid of people.”

People are always drifting in and out of each others’ lives. Associations grow into friendships, and friendships fade into associations. You don’t get rid of anyone. The truth is that in order to make room for new people and new experiences, you may need to loosen up some of your existing connections.

Are you doing your best?

Steve Pavlina:

The only question that matters for setting your standards is this: Are you doing your best? If the answer is yes, you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, regardless of how your results stack up against other people.

And:

What really got me out of this mess is that I made a committed decision to raise my standards. … No one was coming to rescue me — it was entirely up to me. … The outlook for the next few years looked bleak, but no matter what happened in the immediate future, I could still imagine being in a better place five years hence. It might get worse before it got better, but at least it would eventually get better.

And:

What if I were to ask you, “Are you doing your best?” and you honestly answer, “No, I’m not.” Then you’ve got a problem. You have unused potential that you’re just wasting. You’re living below your capacity.

(…)

What other people are doing is irrelevant. You know you’re capable of more, so step up and claim those results.

(…)

Follow the trail of better. Raise your standards. Can you perform today a little better than you did yesterday? And can you do the same thing tomorrow and the next day? Follow that trail, and you’ll come to discover just how incredible your best really is. I guarantee you it’s way, way out there. Your best is so far ahead of you that you can’t even see it yet. It’s going to take you years before you think you’ve even gotten close to it. And even when you think you’ve found it, you’ll discover it’s always one more step ahead of you.

Parallel Realities

Steve Pavlina:

When I want to make a significant change in my life, I often think of it in terms of switching dimensions. My attention is focused on my current reality right now, and my desired situation can be said to exist as some alternate reality outside of my primary focus. In that other reality, there’s another me who’s already where I want to be. My goal then is to become that other me and to shift into his reality.

On shifting your vibe:

One way to trigger your desired vibe is to create a scene in your mind that evokes the vibe. After some practice this only takes seconds to load the vibe.

You may need to play around with the scene in your mind to reach the point where it feels just right. Keep tweaking your imagery till you feel it’s helping you experience the desired vibe.

In your imagery be specific. Imagine you’re playing the scene in a movie theater. So it’s not blurry or fuzzy or riddled with options. You just click a mental “play” button and watch it go.

Note that you are not necessarily trying to manifest exactly what’s in the scene. You’re simply creating a trigger to reload your vibe.

The most important part:

Now here’s the biggest and most important step. Commit to spending time each day triggering and experiencing your new vibe. Do this for at least 20 minutes a day, and keep it up for 3-4 weeks minimum. You don’t have to do the 20 minutes continuously though. Just aim to spend at least 20 minutes out of each day consciously practicing your new vibe.

If you do less than this, you’re probably wasting your time. The new vibe will not stick.

The idea here is that you have to condition the new vibe as a permanent, long-term habit. It typically takes about 3-4 weeks to do that.

A tidbit from a related post:

Initially I found it very difficult to get myself to imagine having what I wanted in the present moment. My logical mind rejected the notion because it was clear that I wasn’t anywhere close to having what I wanted. But I found a nice little trick that helped a lot. I imagined that I’d shifted to an alternate reality where there was another me who was experiencing exactly what I wanted right now. I just had to tune my thoughts to the right frequency to feel what he was feeling. My logical mind was okay with that; it’s funny that it could accept the idea of alternate dimensions, even though it couldn’t quite accept the idea of having what I wanted right this instant.

See also: 20 Minutes

Trusting Your Taste

Dan Brown talks about writing, success, and taste:

I had written The Da Vinci Code. I had finished it. It had not been published yet. The galley came out, the advanced reading copy. I took it out to a park and sat down with it, and read it in a whole day. Read the whole thing from cover to cover. And thought, if this book doesn’t work, then I shouldn’t be a writer. Because to my taste, this is a terrific book. This is a book I would want to read. When you’re a creative person, all you have to guide you is your own taste. I don’t care whether you’re a painter, a musician, or a writer. You have to create the piece of art, the piece of music, the literature that you like. Then hope other people share your taste.

And:

So for me, it was trusting my gut, saying: “Wait a minute: Just write the book you want to read. That’s all you’ve ever been doing.”

(…)

You compartmentalize and realize that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing for yourself. You are writing the book that you would want to read, then hoping other people share your taste. In my case, I knew at that point people shared my taste. The worst thing I could do for my brand was to chase what I thought they wanted. I know what they want. It’s what I want. So just do what you, as a leader, or an artist, or whatever it is, want to do.

Appreciation

Abraham-Hicks:

If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a joyous, spectacular life. If there was nothing else that you ever came to understand other than just look for things to appreciate, it’s the only tool you would ever need to predominantly hook you up with who you really are. That’s all you’d need.

And:

All those hundred different subjects are already in motion. The Source within you has already tended to them, and lined them up.

Your only order of business is to find one aspect of your life which gives you no trouble and only joyous thought, and fixate on it. And by focusing on one thing that makes you feel good, you come into alignment with who you are, and all 100 projects can move forth happily. Isn’t that interesting?

But most people, because you’re working on action, you take one thing that’s bothering you the most and give it your undivided attention. And use that as your excuse not to line up. And then you feel fragmented and you think it’s because you’ve got too much going on.

You’ve got Universal Forces to help you with all that, you see! You’re not in this alone. You’ve got the Broader Part of YOU and All of the Resources of Source. You’ve just got to let your priority be to tune into that. And when you tune into that, everything else takes care of itself!

And:

Make lists of positive aspects. Make lists of things you love―and never complain about anything. And as you use those things that shine bright and make you feel good as your excuse to give your attention and be who-you-are, you will tune to who-you-are, and the whole world will begin to transform before your eyes.

It is not your job to transform the world for others—but it is your job to transform it for you.

Tell a Different Story

Abraham-Hicks:

You have to tell a different story. You have to begin to tell the story of your life as you now want it to be and discontinue the tales of how it has been or of how it is.

And:

You must find a way of feeling the excitement or satisfaction of your currently unrealized dreams before those dreams can become your reality. Find a way to deliberately imagine a scenario for the purpose of offering a vibration and for the purpose of the Law of Attraction matching your vibration with a real-life manifestation.

When you ask for the manifestation prior to the vibration, you ask the impossible. When you are willing to offer the vibration before the manifestation — all things are possible.

Decide

Steve Pavlina:

If you want to achieve a goal you’ve set, the most crucial part is to DECIDE to manifest it. It doesn’t matter if you feel it’s outside your control to do so. It doesn’t matter if you can’t yet see how you’ll get from A to B. Most of those resources will come online AFTER you’ve made the decision, not before.

If you don’t understand this simple step, then you will waste a lot of time. Step 1 is to decide. Not to ruminate or to ponder or to ask around and see whether or not you can do it. If you want to start your own business, then decide to make it so. If you want to be married and have a family, then decide to attract a mate. If you want to change careers, then decide to do so.

It blows my mind that people think that something else has to come before the decision. People waste months trying to figure out, “Is this goal possible?” And this makes a lot of sense to do so if you’re at a certain level of consciousness. But all you’re really doing is creating delay, and you’ll simply manifest evidence to suggest that the goal is both possible and not possible. You think doubt in your head, you find doubt in the world.

20 Minutes

Lately I’ve been on a Law of Attraction kick, reading various articles about altering one’s vibration and energetic signature. Here are some articles by Steve Pavlina where he describes the 20-minute technique he uses to change his vibrational state:

Physical vs. Non-Physical Reality:

My recommendation is for you to sit in quiet meditation for about 20 minutes each day, and imagine yourself already where you want to be. But imagine yourself changing into the kind of person who already has your desires manifested. Feel what he feels. Think what he thinks. Vibrate as he does.

Shifting Your Vibration to Manifest Your Desires:

Visualize in such a way that you can feel strong emotions. An emotional shift indicates that you’re broadcasting a new signal. The longer you can hold this new vibration, the faster your reality will shift.

Feeling Blessed:

A realistic way to do this is to set aside 20 minutes every evening before going to bed just to dream. Do this sitting up so you don’t fall asleep. Close your eyes or stare off into space, and think about what you want to experience in each part of your life. Whatever you think about is fine, as long as it feels good to you.

Imagine your ideal physical body. Think about your ideal relationships. Picture your ideal career. Imagine having your finances just the way you want them. Imagine living where and how you want to live. Be specific, and picture as much detail as you can. Don’t worry about getting the details perfect — just imagine details that seem attractive to you.

And:

Don’t project your dreams into some distant future. Imagine that whatever you want is happening right now this very moment. Imagine that it’s 100% real.

If it takes you 10 or more minutes just to get a clear picture of some small part of your life getting better, then so be it. Put in the time. Deliberately thinking about what you want is a very important activity. This kind of visualization is an outstanding use of your time.

Overcoming Depression:

Within your mind’s eye, you must construct completely imaginary circumstances that make you feel good when you think about them. Then spend more of your time focusing your attention on your imaginary creations and less of your time observing external reality.

And:

This solution will work if you take the time to understand it and apply it, using whatever energy you’re still able to muster. This isn’t an all-or-nothing solution, so even a partial implementation will yield partial results. Best of all, you don’t even need to take any direct physical action. You can do the whole thing lying motionless on your bed.

Why Do Intentions Take So Long to Manifest?:

Stop putting your attention on what you don’t want, and put your attention on what you do want. You should be more concerned with living in denial of your dreams. Depressed people live in denial of joy. Broke people live in denial of abundance. People in unhappy relationships live in denial of love. Acknowledge the reality you want to create more than the one you wish to leave behind.

Your Vibrational Hum

Steve Pavlina:

You attract what you’re signaling.

Think of yourself as a vibrational transmitter. You’re constantly sending out signals that tell the universe who you are in this moment. Those signals will either attract or repel other vibrational beings, events, and experiences.

And:

The first step to change your reality — your experience of reality, that is — is to intend precisely what you want to experience. You do this by imagining it as already real and by getting excited about it. The excitement will draw it into your world. Your excitement can be rooted in fear or love. It will work either way.

Abraham-Hicks:

If you really understood the power of your vibration, you would never focus upon an unwanted reality again, for your reality is extremely temporary; and it can be easily molded into situations, events, scenarios, and conditions that please you.

Your Self-Worth

Lisa Nichols talks about her process for enriching your self-worth:

You’re only going to go as far as you think you’re worthy. I can push, you can push, you can have the greatest product — but if you don’t feel worthy, you will work hard to sabotage that relationship.

You don’t know you’re doing it! You’re driving that guy away, you’re driving that woman away — because your self-worth says they weren’t going to stay forever, anyway.

(…)

I did this for six months, every single day.

It’s the “I see you” exercise.

You get in the mirror and you complete three different sentences.

1. The first sentence is you look in the mirror, and you say your name. You say:

_________, I am proud that you…

…and find seven different things every day to celebrate yourself for.

Seven different. Each day you can do the same thing you did before, but each day do seven different things to be proud of.

2. The second sentence is going to knock you down a bit, it’s going to come from your gut:

_________, I forgive you for…

…and cut the shackles to blame, shame, guilt, regret, and anger.

In that sentence, you cut those five shackles. Not the first day, maybe not the third day… but by the twenty-first day, by the thirtieth day, you’ll feel some relief.

Go back five years, fifteen years, twenty years… that thing nobody knows about, but you? Go ahead and cut those shackles. Cause if you can still think about it, it’s still in your energy space.

3. And then the third sentence is:

_________, I commit to you that…

Before you make a commitment to anybody else throughout your day, you make seven commitments to you.

(…)

Celebrate yourself. Forgive yourself. Cut the shackles.

And then, commit to yourself, before you commit to anybody else.

That right there — that right there, will begin to fill your cup up.

Always On Your Side

Steve Pavlina on the nature of reality and your relationship with it:

I’ve seen so many people go through traumatic experiences, and generally the way they recover is they have to reframe the experience. They have to change the story that they’re telling themselves. Instead of making it a tragedy, they make it into a lesson, a really powerful lesson.

Or they may turn it into an invitation to be a teacher to other people. “If I had to go through this rough experience, then hey, I can be a source of inspiration and help and assistance and encouragement for other people who are going through that kind of thing now, too.”

There’s so many amazing wonders that happen with that reframe of always, always giving the Universe the benefit of the doubt. Always assuming it’s on your side, 100%. Even when it seems like it’s beating you down, and being difficult, you can always find a lesson in it if you look for it. You can always find the seed of a new growth experience.

Emotional World

Abraham-Hicks:

None of you ever feel joy unless you are moving into what is new. There is no regression. You can’t hold back; you can’t stand still. Life insists that you become more.

And:

You can’t create enough pretty things or enough pretty faces or enough brilliant novels or enough brilliant music, you can’t have enough beautiful statues or paintings… you can’t make the world a beautiful enough place for you to stand around in observation of what someone else has created and have a good life. You’ve got to be in on the creative process yourself.

Your New Identity

Steve Kamb on developing grit and stepping into a new identity:

Identify the new “identity” you want to have. The more specific you can be with it, the easier it’ll be to prove it to yourself. “I’m the type of person that never misses a workout.” “I’m somebody who eats a healthy lunch every day.” “I’m somebody who works on my side business every dang day.” Remind yourself of this EVERY day by hanging up a post-it note on your bathroom window, or using your phone/calendar to keep this at the front of your mind.

James Clear:

The key to building lasting habits is focusing on creating a new identity first. Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity.

To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself. You need to build identity-based habits.

And:

1. Decide the type of person you want to be.

2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

No More Zero Days

Great motivational post by a Reddit user:

Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros.

I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didn’t do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM?

Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter.

Daily Conditioning

Jon Morrow:

For several years leading up to starting my own business, I ruthlessly eliminated anything that even suggested I was powerless and replaced it with concrete proof that I wasn’t. In other words, I deliberately “brainwashed” myself into believing I could do the impossible.

(…)

I listened to podcasts and audiobooks that told stories of people accomplishing incredible things for 4-8 hours a day. The goal? Drown out the negative. Anytime I was around negative people or having negative thoughts, I would pop in the earbuds and listen. Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, biographies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Christopher Reeve. Hours every day, I listened to stories and motivational speakers suggesting I could do anything, and in time, I believed them.

Steve Pavlina:

Inspirational books and audio programs are one of the best fuel sources for cultivating desire. If you want to quit smoking, read a dozen books written by ex-smokers on how to quit the habit. If you want to start a business, then start devouring business books. Go to seminars on occasion. I advise that you feed your mind with some form of motivational material (books, articles, audio programs) for at least fifteen minutes a day. This will continually recharge your batteries and keep your desire impenetrably strong.

And:

For me the effect is undeniable. After 30-60 minutes of listening to someone like Zig Ziglar talk about goals, I invariably feel very optimistic and focused. And I tend to get a lot of high-priority work done when I’m in that kind of emotional state. But the key was for me was to maintain this as a daily habit.

Just like physical exercise should be a daily habit, I feel daily emotional conditioning is at least as important. Whenever I’ve fallen out of this habit for weeks or months at a time, I’ve invariably gotten sucked down into negative emotional states. Then I remember my solution, plug back in, and my attitude and productivity shoot back up again.

Progress

Tony Robbins:

If you want to be happy, it’s one word: progress.

If you can make progress — and if your progress is not only within yourself, but it’s actually doing something of value for more than yourself — you’re going to be a damn fulfilled person.

Pete Michaud:

The factor that divides the successful from the average is not greatness.

It’s consistency.

No matter how busy or distracted or distraught you are, if you show up every day and do what you do, and you do it and do it and do it and do it, you will win.

Go do it.

Joel Spolsky:

You have to move forward a little bit, every day. It doesn’t matter if your code is lame and buggy and nobody wants it. If you are moving forward, writing code and fixing bugs constantly, time is on your side.

Feeling Blessed

Steve Pavlina, in an article called Feeling Blessed:

Once you’re feeling relieved and comforted, even if you’ve had to drug yourself with food, wine, and mindless entertainment to reach this point, you’re in a reasonably good place to start thinking about what you want instead of what you don’t want.

Don’t worry about action just yet. That will come later. Just start thinking about what you want. Dwell on it. Obsess over it. Imagine how you want things to be. Imagine everything in your life working out beautifully.

Don’t worry about practicality. Just fantasize. But fantasize in a specific way. Sit on your couch (or a chair or park bench if people came and took your couch away), and imagine that what you want is actually becoming real. Put yourself in the frame of mind that it’s already happening.

And:

If it takes you 10 or more minutes just to get a clear picture of some small part of your life getting better, then so be it. Put in the time. Deliberately thinking about what you want is a very important activity. This kind of visualization is an outstanding use of your time.

The Fly

James Cameron on problem-solving from a higher perspective:

I had an epiphany while I was writing Avatar. I was working down in New Zealand, and I was just having a… it was just impossible to solve some of the dramatic problems. I couldn’t solve it, I couldn’t fix the script. And I just walked away, I sat down outside.

There was a glass cover to the veranda, and I watched this big fly — he was trying to get out, and he was banging against the glass. He just kept hitting the glass, over and over and over, because that’s how his little chip was programmed: you go toward the light, you go toward the sky. And he couldn’t get to the sky. All he had to do was drop down, fly three feet sideways and come out, but he couldn’t process it.

And I thought, How often am I that fly? How often is there some higher level of perspective that I lack in my chip, that I’m missing, that is so simple — that some fourth-dimensional being could look at the problem and go, “Oh, you idiot, you just drop down, go over three feet, and you’re out!” But the fly couldn’t do it.

And I thought, “What am I not seeing?” And that’s when I went back to first principles. I looked at the whole thing from a higher level. I got out of the trenches, for that moment, and that’s how I solved the problem.

Stay Hungry

Lewis Howes and Tony Robbins talk about success, hunger, and drive:

Howes: With all the tools you’ve learned, the wealth of information over 39 years … the strategies to help people overcome their challenges … if you had to strip them all away and you could only use one strategy, what would that be?

Robbins: I wouldn’t. Part of why I’m effective is cause I don’t buy that. I’m always looking for more strategies, cause one strategy will work for one person, not with another.

But philosophically… I would say that the capacity to strengthen and increase your hunger is the one common demoninator amongst the most successful people. Richard Branson’s a good friend of mine. Peter Guber, Steve Wynn… all these guys, they never lost their hunger.

Most people are hungry to achieve a certain amount, make a certain amount of money, and then they get comfortable and relax. Or to get a certain level of fitness, and then they relax. But you know, Richard is as driven today as when he was 16 years old. He’s on fire! And he’s 65 years old. Warren Buffett is 85 years old. He’s as driven today as when he began the journey.

(…)

There’s a lot of intelligent people that can’t fight their way out of a paper bag. Hunger is the ultimate driver. If you’re hungry, you can get the strategy, get the answer… if you can’t model it, you can find it.

Modeling would be the next best skill. Knowing that success leaves clues, why re-invent the wheel? … Why would I go learn by trial-and-error, and maybe take 10 or 20 years, when I could learn from somebody in a few weeks or a few months or a few hours something that could save me a decade.

That’s what it is. That’s why I read 700 books in the first seven years. If somebody takes 10 years of their life, they pour it into a book, and I can read that in an hour or two or three or four, why wouldn’t I?

It’s Your Life

Lewis Howes and Lisa Nichols talk about life, decisions, and abundance:

Nichols: Abundant thinkers think a certain way. And they don’t go around trying to convert you. People like you and I go, let’s open it up to everyone…

Howes: Yeah.

Nichols: … but here’s what I know about the human spirit. It’s that the human spirit has the power of choice. And most people don’t want to choose this kind of thinking because it costs you something.

Howes: What’s the cost?

Nichols: The cost is you got to get up earlier. You get up earlier than the average guy. Your day… What you do in a day is what some people do in a week. What you do in the morning is what some people do in a 12-hour day.

You got to be willing.

What you’re willing to do on your book tour, to get on The New York Times — Some people say, “I got to do all that? I don’t want to do all that.”

Ok, great. Then have your life. You sign up for your life experience.

When I realized that I was the culmination of all my decisions… That’s like straight with no chaser. That’s like getting it with no cookies and milk.

You are a culmination of all your decisions.

Are you willing to pay the price?

Jon Morrow:

Everything you want comes at a price, and your ability to obtain it depends on two things:

  1. Your awareness of the sacrifices you’ll have to make
  2. Your willingness to make those sacrifices

An example to illustrate:

When I decided to become an entrepreneur, I bought the biographies of Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and dozens of others. As I read through their stories, I paid special attention to what they had to give up to get to where they are.

I didn’t care about the rewards. I didn’t care about the little tips and strategies they used. I cared about the sacrifices.

After reading the books, I made a gigantic list of them, and then I asked myself, “Are you willing to make the sacrifices to become a successful entrepreneur?” At first, I wasn’t sure. The price seemed awfully high, and let’s be honest: sometimes you pay the price, and you still don’t get the result. It was frightening, depressing, enough to make me reconsider.

Ultimately, though, I decided to go for it. I committed to a 10-20 year roller coaster ride, put all other commitments on the back burner, and started working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, dedicating myself to my company, heart, mind, and soul.

How about you?

What do you want in life? What sacrifices must you make to get those things? Are you really, truly willing to pay the price?

Attention

Steve Pavlina:

The attention-worthiness of any particular concern is relative to other items you could be choosing instead.

Will you watch TV or read a book? Will you go on a date or work on your Internet business? Will you get up early and exercise or sleep in late?

Whenever you give your attention to one concern, it means you’re withholding your attention from all other possible concerns. This entails a hidden cost of the potential value of the items you’ve declined to pursue.

If you had used your time differently during the past 5 years, you could have an extra million dollars in the bank. Another path might have led you to travel through dozens of different countries. And still another path might have you looking at a very fit and sculpted body in the mirror right now.

Velleity

Edwin Bliss on goal setting:

I can’t think of a better investment of two or three hours than this process of getting all of your goals on paper. Everything that you can think of that you’d like to accomplish between now and when you’re ninety-five. Write it down.

Don’t stop and think, don’t meditate, just write it all down. The editing of your list is a separate process, that comes later. The first step is to get everything — fill as many sheets of paper as you can with a list of all the things you would like to accomplish in every phase of your life.

And regarding velleity:

Editing your list involves one other thing — in addition to making each of your goals more specific — and that is: you want to eliminate the velleity from your list. Velleity means wanting something, but not wanting it badly enough to pay the price for it. Every time you start making these lists of goals, a lot of velleity creeps in… things you’d love to do, but you’re never going to.

(…)

There’s a price to be paid. Are you willing to pay that price? Are you willing to invest that much time and effort and energy and money to achieve that particular goal? If the answer is “yes”, good. You’ve identified a goal.

If the answer’s “no”, that’s good, too. You’ve identified some velleity, so cross it off. Get it off your list. We don’t want a single thing on that list that you are not committed to. It’s been weighed, you’ve decided, you’re willing to pay the price, and you can go ahead and do it.

The entire recording is well worth listening to.

Heroes

Seth Godin on mentors and heroes:

I am in the minority here: I think mentors are way overrated. They don’t scale, it’s an unequal relationship, and it’s an easy way to let yourself off the hook: “I wish I had a mentor”.

Heroes are in enormously large supply. You can say: What would Bill Gates do? What would Elon Musk do? What would Jacqueline Novogratz do? And you can study their work enough, that even from afar, without them knowing you exist — because they’re your hero — you can start to model it.

And:

I find heroes everywhere I look. I find people who speak to me over my shoulder, virtual muses, who encourage me to solve a problem or deal with a situation the way they would. This is thrilling news, because there are so many heroes, so freely available, whenever we need them.

As You Wish

Steve Pavlina:

One way to help make your thoughts more positive is to imagine that whatever you think or say or write, the Universe replies “As you wish”.

Or as Paul Scheele likes to say, “If you say so.”

Think of every thought, everything you say, everything you write as an affirmation, as an intention… it’s actually a goal you’re asking for. So if you’re just observing reality, and you’re doing so in a negative way, like you’re complaining about how hard your day was — “As you wish” is the response from the Universe.

If you’ve had a bad experience, whatever it is… if you frame it in a negative light, catch yourself and realize “Oh, I’m putting out an intention to continue more of that”.

Replace the thought:

I’m not gaining weight… I’m losing weight.

I’m not getting more broke… I’m getting wealthier.

Reframe it, and then replay it past the “as you wish” filter.

Your Life Strategy

In almost any game, one thing that separates a beginner from a more advanced player is having a well-defined strategy. Even a game like Tetris will have specific strategies that the best players use to get ahead.

What about the game of life? Scott H. Young talks about seven facets of his life strategy:

5. When in doubt, build assets.

Often it’s not clear what needs to happen in order to succeed in some area of life.

(…)

In these cases, my default mode has always been to try to build generally useful assets. This is to switch out the question of “what should I do?” with “what would be useful, generally speaking?” The former question may not have a clear answer, but the latter usually has many things which could probably help. Sometimes success is simply answering this question enough times that the accumulation eventually breaks through.

For instance, if you’re luckless in love, you might decide to start working on your communication skills, start building a deeper social network, improve your fashion/appearance or learn improv to become funnier. It’s not clear any of these projects will bring success, but if you build enough assets in this direction, you’ll probably improve your chances.

Never Miss Twice

James Clear and Rich Roll discuss momentum, and what to do when you break a streak:

James Clear: All habit streaks end at some point. Everybody slips up at some point. The mantra that I like to keep in mind for that is: never miss twice.

If I work out at the gym Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and I miss on Friday — because of a business trip or whatever — then I need to put all my energy into making sure I get in there on Monday. I don’t want to miss twice in a row.

It’s pretty much never the first mistake that ruins you. It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. So if you can get back on track quickly… I think I had a line in the book: “Missing once is a mistake, missing twice is the start of a new habit.”

Rich Roll: Yeah, cause then it creates its own negative momentum.

James Clear: Exactly.

Idea Machine

In a post about the 4 areas of his daily routine (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), James Altucher touches upon the concept of writing down 10 ideas every day:

Every day I write down ideas.

I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more.

So how do you become an idea machine?

Take a waiter’s pad. Go to a local cafe. Maybe read an inspirational book for ten to twenty minutes. Then start writing down ideas. What ideas? Hold on a second. The key here is, write ten ideas.

And:

Every situation you are in, you will have a ton of ideas. Any question you are asked, you will know the response. Every meeting you are at, you will take the meeting so far out of the box you’ll be on another planet, if you are stuck on a desert highway – you will figure the way out, if you need to make money you’ll come up with 50 ideas to make money, and so on.

After I started exercising the idea muscle, it was like a magic power had unleashed inside of me.

And:

Ideas are the currency of life. Not money. Money gets depleted until you go broke. But good ideas buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences, buy you more time, save your life. Financial wealth is a side effect of the “runner’s high” of your idea muscle.

Just Start

Pete Michaud:

You will never figure “everything” out. You will never be able to make everything perfect before you start. Just make a decision and run with it. Figure it out as you go along.

(…)

You will never live the life you want by wandering aimlessly through hypothetical scenarios. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. I’ve also tried just doing something. That worked.

I implore you: find a quiet place in your mind, identify your desires free of caveats, and make a plan to move toward those desires. Don’t try to plan for all eventualities. That will just prevent action.

Habits & Identity

James Clear on the effect that habits have on your self-image:

Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity. So, every morning that you make your bed, you embody the identity of an organized person. Every time you go to the gym, you embody the identity of someone who’s fit. Every time you sit down to write, you embody the identity of someone who’s a writer.

Every action you take is kind of like a vote for the type of person that you believe that you are. As you take these actions, you build up evidence of a particular identity, and pretty soon your beliefs have something to root themselves in. It’s like, “Man, I showed up at the gym for 4 days a week for the last three months; I guess I’m the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts” — and that I think is the true reason why habits are so important.

Once I realized how beliefs and behaviors are connected, that it’s this two-way street… then I started to think that this is really something. Not only does it deliver those external results — the clean room, or the bigger bank account — but also the internal results of shaping your sense of self-image and what you believe.

Be Obsessed

James Altucher on asking the right questions:

Someone told me a story about Amy Schumer, one of my favorite comedians. She videotapes all her performances. Then she goes back to her room and studies the performance second by second. “I should have paused another quarter-second here,” she might say. She wants to be the best at comedy. She studies her every performance.

(…)

If you aren’t obsessed with your mistakes then you don’t love the field enough to get better. You ask lousy questions: “Why am I no good?” Instead of good questions: “What did I do wrong and how can I improve?” When you consistently ask good questions about your own work, you become better than the people who freeze themselves with lousy questions.

Lucky People

Scott Adams talking about luck and the luck factor:

A researcher named Dr. Richard Wiseman studied luck and lucky people – he was trying to find out if there was any such thing as luck. Of course there isn’t, but he did discover one interesting thing: he found that people who considered themselves lucky, people who feel like luck is going to find them, had a wider field of perception. Not vision, but what they perceived. They would literally notice opportunities that other people wouldn’t notice, cause [other people] weren’t expecting any opportunities to be there.

And here’s the cool thing: he found that you could take someone who thought they were unlucky and just make them do positive thinking exercises – didn’t matter if it was affirmations or prayers – the technique didn’t matter so much. If they got into a mindset that luck was out there if they would just look for it, they would actually notice more things.

Software Simulation

Interesting tidbit from the Joe Rogan podcast with Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert:

Joe Rogan: Human memory is really flawed…

Scott Adams: Well, if you wanna go real deep real fast, you just gave me a good opening… I am a proponent of the “we are all a software simulation” view of reality. That would also explain why memories are so screwed up. The explanation would be that the past doesn’t exist – until you need it. In other words, the past writes itself on demand… because if we’re software, you wouldn’t have everything in the universe pre-programmed just in case you needed it – it would take up too much resources.

Just work on your act.

Ryan Holiday recently wrote a great piece on the importance of working on your craft, and how “your work is the only thing that matters”:

There is a story about an exchange between Jerry Seinfeld and a young comedian. The comedian approaches Seinfeld in a club one night and asks him for advice about marketing and getting exposure.

Exposure? Marketing? Seinfeld asks. Just work on your act.

And:

No one pursuing an artistic career wants to hear what sits at the core of Seinfeld’s advice: Your work isn’t good enough. Keep your head down. You still have a long way to go.

And:

An artist’s job is to create masterpieces. Period.

Everything else is secondary.

Success Takes Time

Steve Pavlina, on 5-year commitments:

People commonly overestimate how far they can get in a year, but grossly underestimate how far they can get in 5 years.

If you actually want results, make a 5-year commitment to a particular path, like building an online business, developing your social skills, becoming a world traveler, etc. A lesser commitment is largely pointless.

And on time horizons:

Think about what you can achieve between now and 2025 if you commit to it. You can lose any amount of weight and develop any kind of physique you want. You can start your own business and make it profitable. You can meet the mate of your dreams and start a family. You can relocate to anywhere in the world.

(…)

You have an enormous degree of control and power when you think with a time horizon of 5 years. Don’t let that potential go to waste. Set a course now and get moving.

Jeff Atwood has similar thoughts on success and time:

…success takes years. And when I say years, I really mean it! Not as some cliched regurgitation of “work smarter, not harder.” I’m talking actual calendar years. You know, of the 12 months, 365 days variety. You will literally have to spend multiple years of your life grinding away at this stuff, waking up every day and doing it over and over, practicing and gathering feedback each day to continually get better. It might be unpleasant at times and even downright un-fun occasionally, but it’s necessary.

(…)

Obviously we want to succeed. But on some level, success is irrelevant, because the process is inherently satisfying. Waking up every day and doing something you love — even better, surrounded by a community who loves it too — is its own reward. Despite being a metric ton of work.

Always Be Shipping

Longtime blogger and developer Jeff Atwood on the idea of always be shipping, whether it’s writing, software, or art:

Always Be Jabbing. Always Be Shipping. Always Be Firing. It’s the same advice, stated in different ways for different audiences.

(…)

… pick a schedule you can live with, and stick to it. Until you do that, none of the other advice I could give you will matter. I don’t care if you suck at writing. I don’t care if nobody reads your blog. I don’t care if you have nothing interesting to say. If you can demonstrate a willingness to write, and a desire to keep continually improving your writing, you will eventually be successful.

M.G. Siegler talks about a similar phenomenon in his post, Just Keep At It:

The good news is that even if the audience doesn’t show up at first, the work pays off in other ways. Namely, you’ll get better at what you’re doing.

I look back at some of my early blog posts and cringe. They were awful. I was foolish. But I kept going and the posts got less awful and less foolish (this statement is subject to review in another decade). I honestly think the worst thing that could have happened was getting a large audience from day one. I wouldn’t have been ready for it (even if I thought I was).

And so again, the advice is simply to keep at it. Even if the next post gets zero readers too. And the next one. Eventually, zero turns to one and then one to two and then you’re off to the races.

They Just Start Doing It

Great email shared by Arnold Rauers:

There are two kinds of people, those who aspire to do something creative, art, music, games, and go around places to ask how to get into the field and those who just do it.

The secret to all successful creative people is that they never ask how to do anything, they just start doing it. They pour their heart and soul into their craft and maybe one day they get into it. There is not one specific way, just a big open road with multiple pathways and opportunities left and right.

If you really feel any creative drive you should be listening to that inner voice and start creating stuff right now.

(…)

So my advice is to stop worrying about how others did it and start creating now.