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.


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.

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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?

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