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How to Get to the Moon

How to Get to the Moon


I heard a story once about a couple of travelers who, upon coming to a high, seemingly impassable wall, would toss their hats over it first. That way their hats would not fall off while they climbed and, more significantly, they were committed. They had to climb over or else they would never see their hats again.

Turns out that this story was first written by Frank O’Connor in his memoir and was referenced by President Kennedy when he was making a speech dedicating a new Aerospace Health Center in San Antonio in 1963.*
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He said:

“This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space, and we have no choice but to follow it. Whatever the difficulties they will be overcome…we will climb this wall…and we shall the explore the wonders on the other side.”

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What Kennedy had done to toss the nation’s hat over a wall was to make a crazy promise in his first year in office to put a man on the Moon before the decade was over. This was less than a month after the first American (Alan Shepard) went to outer space (and less than 7 weeks after the Russians sent the first human). Really NASA had no idea how they were going to get someone to the Moon let alone get them back in one piece in less than 10 years. But President Kennedy said we were going to do it.

So we tried.

And we did.

So the first action step is to say what you’re going to do. Declare it. Write it down. Tell people about your intention. Then keep saying it. The more often you say it the more power it will have. The more confidently you say it the more power you will have.

Saying you’re going to do something does several important things.

The first is that it commits you to action by putting your goals outside of your imagination and into reality.

Secondly it tells people around about your goal and gives them a chance to support you or too adopt that goal yourself.

Also it makes the goal more concrete and less dreamlike simply because you have to organize the goal into a sentence.

This is how Sacred Fools Theater started. It was just a bunch of brain cells randomly firing inside my skull until I told a few people about the idea. Then I told a few other people. Then I invited them to my house on a Sunday afternoon in January nearly two decades ago (January 19th, 1997…I think).

At that meeting the random group of people I invited became a talked and came up with agreements and plans and structures. We wrote things down and hashed things out and invented stuff.

All of a sudden there was a team, a growing team, of people working on a real project. Like magic we were a theater company.

That started because I opened my mouth.

And here’s an interesting thing about that. When I started talking about it the conversation went like this: “I’m thinking about starting a theater.” My friend would squint and look at me and I would get nervous. I’d think they thought it was a dumb idea or that I had no business starting theater. Then I’d mumble, “Would you want to be part of it?” In nearly every case they responded “YES! I was afraid you weren’t going to ask!”

In my experience, making the statement is the scariest part. After something is out of your brain it takes on a life of it’s own.

More recently I quit drinking. The most important step I took to make that commitment a reality was to announce it on Facebook. That got me a huge amount of positive support for my choice. Honestly I was surprised by that. I was expecting people to be bummed out. I was operating under the delusion that people loved to see me imbibing alcohol. I also got great advice that has helped me stay sober (for 10 months so far). It’s also made my private choice a matter of public record. That a bit of pride keeps me from considering a sip.

So if you have something you want to do. Say it. Say it out loud. Say it to people near you. Declare your intention. Say it before you know how you’re going to do it. Throw your hat over the wall.

That’s how you get to the Moon.

Summary

When you decide to do something the first step is to tell someone about your decision.The next step is to tell more people about your decision. Telling people about your intention gives it life and power.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Write down your goal as a sentence.
  2. Call at least 2 people and tell them about your goal.  Tell them you want to sit down and discuss it. Do it now. (I’ll wait.)
  3. Schedule a meeting with you and at least two other people to discuss your goal. These people may share your goal or support you in reaching your goal.

 

* This was November 21. He was killed in Dallas the following day.

Quick Start Workbook

Quick Start Workbook

Making any kind of change, large or small, takes commitment and energy. Often a big change, like starting a business or moving to a new city, requires a concerted effort that will transform your whole life. Changes like this provide opportunities to create new habits and new ways of looking at the world.

These kinds of changes are always possible but they can be more difficult when you are solely responsible for providing all the transformation and your environment is not changing around you unless you make it change.

If you are in this kind of situation it’s good to take some time to take a step back. Maybe use the exercises in the coming sections (next week) to define your values and the direction you want your life to take as you formulate goals and commit yourself to new habits and actions.

At the same time, it’s powerful to take steps immediately and get use to reaching your goals.

That’s what this Jump Start section is about.

 

Starting as soon as possible (that means either immediately or tomorrow morning) you are going to:

 

           Commit to doing 3 things for 14 days.

           Tell somebody else about your commitment.

           Figure out a way to reward yourself when you succeed.

           Keep track of your actions for 14 days.

           Succeed and Reward yourself!

Download the workbook HERE:
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Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

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Today is my birthday!

When I was in college, my dear friend Ibi organized a birthday party for me freshman year. Later she became my girlfriend and sophmore and junior year she organized surprise parties for my birthday.

The summer before senior year we broke up. Senior year my birthday came and nobody noticed.

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I was very sad and I felt very sorry for myself.

I realized that I really valued the acknowledgment of my birthday and I also realized that no one but me was keeping track of that date. It was really my responsibility to take care of myself and if something was important to me, as an adult, I needed to communicate that.

From then on I took responsibility for the day. I used to warn people months ahead of time that my birthday was coming. One of the things I love about Facebook is that it makes it very easy for people to send a quick birthday message and it reminds people. The hundreds of little notes I get really makes my day!

It’s good to take time on your birthday to celebrate yourself and your life. It’s good to do that on the other 364 days of the year. (Actually 365 days this year because it’s a leap year.)

It’s actually good to take responsibility for each day as well the way I take responsibility for my birthday. Make each day special by letting people know that you value them.

  • Give a stranger a smile.
  • Give a friend a hug.
  • Give a loved one a kiss.
  • Send a note to someone far away and tell them that you thought of them.

I’m going to start doing those things every day this year and see how it works.

I’m also going to change up my morning routine a little bit. I’m gonna add 3-4 minutes of disco dancing every day. It’ll get the blood pumping and the smile primed and put a little pep in my step.

 

Summary

  • If you want a day to be special it’s up to you to make it special.
  • You can decide to make every day special.
  • You can make every day special by treating yourself and people around you well.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Smile at a stranger.
  2. Hug a friend
  3. Dance!

 

PS

Speaking of dancing, I wanted to mention that I have started an intergalactic movement. It’s a new non-political party called the Friday Morning Dance Party. Every friday morning at 9:35 ET (6:35 PT) everyone in the party dances to the same song.

Join us for a real live dance dance revolution!

Check out my facebook feed for details.

 

Write It Down, Get It Done

Write It Down, Get It Done

pencil-918449_1920Here’s something that everyone has in common, whether they are a US Senator, an NFL quarterback or a dishwasher.

You can only do one thing at a time.*

This can be very frustrating because reality can do an infinite number of things at once and our minds can think dozens of things at once on multiple levels.

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On top of that there are all those people that are not you. There are billions of them and they can do billions of things while you can only do one. Of course each one of them can only do one thing at a time but there are so many of them it’s not fair.*

So it can be very discouraging and overwhelming if you compare how much you can get done (one thing at a time) to what you can think about doing, especially when you’re thinking about all the things that everyone else is doing while you’re thinking about what you should be doing.

But here’s the good news.

Language is linear.

We can think about dozens of things at once on multiple levels (I mean thinking about something and thinking about the fact that you’re thinking about it and subconsciously thinking about something else) but we can’t talk or write that way.

That’s one of the main reasons why it really helps to get your to do list out of your head and onto paper.

If you want to do it write it down.

This will get it out of your head and into reality, at least on paper. This allows you to see how many things you want to do, remember them and put them in order. This is much more effective than just thinking about stuff. Because language is analogous to individual action (as opposed to being analogous to reality, group action or thinking) it’s super helpful to write down the things you want to do.

Another way of looking at it is to see that the limitations of language can be very helpful. The bad new is that you’ll never see a poem as lovely as a tree. The good news is that writing tasks down will help you get them done.

This may be very obvious to you but as someone who resisted organization and to do lists for years I found it a revelation.

Summary

  • You can only do one thing at a time.
  • Language is linear so it’s analogous to individual action. You can only SAY one thing at a time.
  • Writing down your tasks will get them out of your non-linear head and help you get things done.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Take 30 minutes and write down everything you want to do.
  2. Pick 1 task from your list.
  3. Get it done.

 


*There are two things that might make it seem like you can do more than one thing at time.

  • Multitasking: This is not really doing two or more things at once. This is just doing one thing that accomplishes two or more goals.
  • Getting other people to do stuff using nifty new inventions like language, money, civilization and twitter is another way to get things done. This is not doing more than one thing at a time, however. This is getting other people to use the one thing they get to do at this time in service to your goals.

**Imagine that the world is split into two teams and you’re on one and the rest of the world is on the other. We’ll call your team “The Ewes.” We’ll order jerseys. Go Ewes! We’ll call the other team the Knots (because they’re not you). The teams are not even (it’s 7 billion against 1) but a lot of people make the comparison between the Ewes and the Knots and find the Ewes sadly wanting. In fact, while your were reading this the Knots had like 100,000 babies, built a few houses, finished 157 novels, fell in love a million times, ran a few marathons and lost a ton of weight (several tons actually). You better get busy!

Mathematical Proof That You Are Incredible

Mathematical Proof That You Are Incredible

There are billions of people alive on this planet right now and, unless you’re a search engine spider or a cat who can read, you’re one of them.

Have you ever considered how unlikely that is?

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Of course it probably seems inevitable to you that you exist. Aside from George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and a few other fictional characters, no one has ever experienced a world that they were not in.

When I look at my son I see a growing human being that I am incredibly proud of who I would give my life for without hesitation. He exists because my wife and I fooled around and one of my sperm fertilized one of her eggs. 8 months later (he came early) he was born.

Something similar happened to me several decades ago. My mother and father fooled around in February and in October** I was born.

Something similar probably happened to you and to everyone you know as well.*

Genetically, we are all unique and recently scientists confirmed that each sperm and egg are unique as well. So what is the likelihood that that particular sperm fertilized that particular egg?

It turns out we don’t have to take into account the likelihood of fooling around on Tuesday night versus Thursday morning. We can just multiply the number of possible eggs produced by a human woman (two million) by the number of sperm produced by a human male (500 billion) to get one quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) possible combinations of all the sperm and and all the eggs that your parents produced.

So you are not one in a million. You are one in a quintillion.

Not unique enough for you? There’s more – a lot more.

It now seems inevitable to me that my wife and I would meet and fall in love and get married and have a baby.

But the chain of events that led to us meeting is mind bobbling. Two years before we met we lived 3,000 miles away from each other and we knew no one in common. Even before we get to one in a quintillion we are talking about extremely unlikely. Let’s be super conservative and, for the sake of argument, let’s say that the chance of any one person meeting and having a baby with a particular other is at least a million to one. Obviously some are more likely (the couple who are both from the tiny, isolated village in Canada) and some are less (the guy from Zimbabwe and the girl from China who met at a rave in France) so it’s an average.

If this is the case then you are not one in quintillion.

You are one in septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

By comparison, the chance that you exist at all is one million times less likely than the chance that you will be hit by lightning three times in the next 12 months.

And here’s the truly mind blowing thing.

Every generation of ancestors is just as unlikely.

So thats one in septillion for your Mom and one in septillion for your Dad and so on and so on and so on (as the ancient shampoo commercial said).

If you add it all up (actually multiply it all up) it’s just about impossible that you exist. It is so unbelievably unlikely that it’s not hard to call it a miracle.

So if you ever think that you’re not that special or not unique please check your math.

From a practical standpoint it is very clear that no one has ever lived who is exactly like you and no one will ever again. You are. literally, unprecedented. What you have to offer, your blend of talents, experience and point of view, has never been seen in the universe and never will again.

Please don’t hesitate to share.

(I mean your talents and your point of view but if you are moved to share this post please feel free as well!)

Thanks!

Summary

  • You are unique. You are more likely to be hit by lightning 3 times this year than to be born.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Write down at least three things that are unique about you.
  2. Write down at least three things that only you can do.
  3. Pick your favorite thing on this last list and do it today.
Update September 20, 2016

Update September 20, 2016

I did not do the Malibu Triathlon this past weekend. I had an ear infection last week and it seemed prudent not to swim in the ocean when my ears weren’t fully recovered and not to ride my bike when I was slightly dizzy all the time.

Those are my reasons for not doing what I said I was going to do.

I have to say that I was partly relieved and partly disappointed when I made this decision. I don’t want to let circumstances stop me from keeping my word and honoring my commitments. I don’t want to be that kind of person. At the same time it seemed like it might be dangerous to go forward with the infection.

I talked to a few people and made a decision. The word decide comes from the latin word for cut. When you decide you cut off the other options and follow the living branch that is left.

So I go forward.

But what can I learn so that I reduce the times I don’t fulfill my commitments?

It is difficult to avoid germs completely but there are two things that jump out.

First of all it is clear that I have too many things going on to do everything well. I need to focus and simplify. That will guide my decisions going forward.

Second of all I need to be careful about how I tell my own story. If you look back at the post I wrote a few weeks ago it is clear that I was feeling overwhelmed and scattered. I predicted (jokingly) that my head was going to explode. Surprise! My head actually imploded.

More to the point, I let myself feel sorry for myself rather than dealing with what was ahead of me. I know that I could have handled the huge amount of stuff I had on my plate if I had been purposeful, careful and confident.

A lesson learned.

Now, when is the next Triathlon…?

 

Is This The Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? (Hint: Ask Your Dog)

Is This The Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? (Hint: Ask Your Dog)

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The story is that this bear in a dog costume is in the witness protection program. Please do not show this picture to any bears.

I just started the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and it’s very interesting. It’s a short book about the history of humankind, looking specifically at the development of language, the development of agriculture and the development of science as three pivotal points in human history.

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We’re not the first animals to use language. Monkeys, apes, wolves, crows and other creatures warn each other about predators and proposition each other all the time. What we do that is unique is that we make stuff up. We can talk about stuff that doesn’t exist.

In other words, homo sapiens create stories.

According to Harari, this ability helped us to kill all the other non-sapiens hominids and take over the world. Yay us!

We create legends and dress codes and instruction manuals and laws and songs and parking spaces and states and ads and games and curriculum and news. All these things are not real outside of language. We made them up and then we agreed on them.

Stories are super powerful. (I don’t just mean the ones with superheroes in them either.) Stories about gods and nations and money have inspired and/or killed hundreds of millions of people. Stories are the motivation behind almost every move we make. How many times are you driven to do something because of a basic drive like hunger? You probably stopped screaming about being hungry or thirsty around the time you learned how to ask for something to eat.

Stories are so integral to our lives that it’s easy to forget they are there. Fish don’t know what water is and we don’t notice the fictional soup we swim in.

By the way, a good way to tell if something is actually real (like a person or a car or an apple) or a consensually agreed upon fiction (like a parking space or money or school spirit) is to ask yourself if your dog or cat recognizes it in the same way you do.

Look around right now and identify what is real and what is a story. I’m writing this (all non-real) in a Starbucks (a corporation is a “legal fiction”). There are lots of packages and furniture in this building but the reason for them and most of the activity that is going on is based on invented laws and customs. All of commerce is a consensual hallucination. It is a very powerful and useful one and it’s not going away…but it is a great big story.

So what? Culture is, at it’s core, invented. Great point, John. Next you’ll tell me that water is wet and there are a lot more people in California than there are in Siberia. Big deal.

Here’s the point.

If we notice the stories we live inside of we can get power over them. Once we recognize the story we can change it. A lot of stories are consensual so if you want to change it in a meaningful way you have to get other people to change their story as well. People like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela change history in part by telling a better story.

If you change your story you change your perception of the world around you.

But there are also a lot of stories that only you know and the only person who has to change the story is you. In my experience, when people want to accomplish something great and they don’t, the biggest obstacle is their own story.

The biggest obstacle is their own story.

Let me say that again but more directly…

and more forcefully

and in blue

with a larger font.

The biggest obstacle in your life is probably your own story. One that you made up years ago. An antiquated and useless work of fiction with no relationship to reality that needs to be tossed out or seriously rewritten.

Here’s a simple example of how this works.

You have a story that goes like this:

“Because of ____ and ____ I can’t achieve _____.”

As a result of your belief that this story is real, you don’t TRY to achieve _____.

Please note that your dog doesn’t even know about this story and if you told it to him he wouldn’t understand it. Thus it is a work of fiction.

Please note that I am NOT saying that the power of positive thinking will give you super human strength. What I am saying is that this story keeps tons of people from even trying. You can’t do anything if you take no action and if you KNOW (because of your story) that your action will not succeed you will not take action.

In his book David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell talks about dyslexic people like Gary Cohn (COO of Goldman Sachs) and Brian Grazer (Co-owner of Imagine Entertainment) who succeed in part because their learning disability taught them early on that failure wasn’t fatal. They kept trying because they knew from experience that the downside (failure) wasn’t so bad. They’d done that a lot. Their story might go like this:

“I might as well try _____ because the worse thing that can happen is that I fail and that’s not a such a bad thing. I don’t like it but it won’t kill me and I can learn from it.”

I have a huge aversion to failure. Huge. One of my worst stories goes like this:

“If I fail then it will confirm that I am a loser so I should only do things that I know I can succeed at.”

I’m giving that up.

Here’s another one:

“People don’t want to hear from me and if I keep talking about optimism and goal setting and creating habits they will think I’m a delusional loser.”

Note that I’m apparently very worried about being a loser. This worry is a story I made up in 7th grade when I thought I was a loser. I’ve actually worked very hard since then to not be a loser. This has been a tremendous waste of time and energy because, really, who cares? There are really only three people on earth who’s opinion means anything to me and one of them is me. The other two just want me to be happy and occasionally rub their feet so I am free to drop that story as well.

Here are some stories that most people tell themselves:

The world is against me.

I don’t deserve to be happy/successful/loved.

My parents screwed me up.

My responsibilities keep me from being happy.

I am a victim-y, victimized victim and my role in life is to suffer silently as I am victimized.

Someday I will take action so I should not take action now because today is not someday.

By the way, if you read all this and don’t think it applies to you, like you think you don’t base the way you live and act on a work of fiction, you’re delusional.

Here’s another way to ferret out your story. Think about that crazy relative of yours who supports that other candidate for president, the candidate that no one in their right mind would support. You can recognize that your relative is living based on a fictional world view, right?

Okay now think about your own political views from your relative’s point of view. They think that you’re completely nuts to vote for your candidate.

All the evidence that both of you have for the political views that you have are completely invented. Those deeply held political beliefs are works of fiction supported by more works of fiction. That’s why people can live in the same world and believe such different things. Beliefs are made up.

Here’s my proof.

I asked my dog who he was going to vote for and he had no opinion on the matter and was not interested in anything I had to say about it.

So think about that set of political opinions that you have about Trump or Clinton or Bernie or Key or Trudeau.* Think about the evidence you have accumulated to support those opinions. Do you see that every single bit of that is in the non-real realm.

Now I admit that I am being extreme to prove a point. I understand that most of modern life is comprised of made up stuff that every sane human had agreed to believe in (money, ethics, language, laws) and that it’s impractical and insane to reject those things.

The point I am making is that your personal relationship to any concept including money is in your control in a way that your relationship to mass and gravity is not. If you are literally under water you may die. If you are financially under water you may feel like your life is over but, in fact, it isn’t.

Now since my dog doesn’t understand the important consensual hallucination that we call money, perhaps he’s not the most useful arbiter of what is real. Imagine a person who you don’t know. If you told your disempowering story to them would they accept it without any explanation?

YOU: I have to keep the job I hate because my parents will freak out if I quit.

STRANGER: Are you under 18?

YOU: No, I’m 40.

STRANGER: Are you nuts?

Or

YOU: I can’t get a promotion because my boss doesn’t like me.

STRANGER: That’s too bad. She told you that and there’s nothing you can do about it?

YOU: No.

STRANGER: No, she didn’t tell you that or no, there is something you can do about it.

YOU: Both.

STRANGER: Why do you think she doesn’t like you?

YOU: She didn’t smile at me one time.

STRANGER: Are you nuts?

It’s actually very difficult to dig in and identify your stories. The most disempowering ones are often the hardest to identify and re-write.

Be tough on your stuff.

Then change your story.

But…

Changing your story is only powerful if it changes what you do.

“When you understand, that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan, then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be.”
Chuck Palahniuk,

Okay, enough of my story. What’s your deal?

Summary

The ability to make up stories has given human beings the ability to create civilizations, organizations and advanced technology.

Stories can also stand in the way of progress, both personally and on larger scales.

Realizing that our stories are just made up can give us power over them if we recognize them.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Write down the reason why you haven’t taken action to reach a goal you want to reach. This is a story.
  2. Identify the parts of the story that are not real (Hint: your dog would not recognize their reality).
  3. Rewrite the story in a more empowering way.

* Yes, I have international readers and I am pandering to them. Sue me!

What do Trips, Illness and Celebrations Have In Common?

What do Trips, Illness and Celebrations Have In Common?

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Newly hatched habits are cute and cuddly—everyone loves them—but they’re basically defenseless and they must be carefully protected. Special days (like holidays) and special circumstances (like illnesses or vacations) can be deadly to young, defenseless habits.

Habits are triggered by cues. I have developed a bunch of habits that are cued by the regular events of my work day.

I get on the train in the morning and I meditate and then I write.

Boom.

At 12:00 I get a notice on my computer to go to the gym. I get to the gym and I work out.

Boom.

I’m a meditating, working out, writing, productive monster!!!

But what if I don’t go to work on the train? Do I do all those things anyway?

Of course…

I don’t.

Actually I sometimes do but not regularly. On vacation in Hawaii I kept up with my workouts and mediation but I didn’t write. In Maine I went for one run and that was it. No meditation. No writing.

I had a great time but it broke up the flow of getting things done and establishing patterns and it took an effort to get back on track. Some habits, like writing a gratitude list and a poem every evening, were all but killed by a break in routine.

Actually they did die. Who am I kidding. The trip to Maine put them in the hospital and then Labor Day pulled the plug.

But I’m going to bring them back to life. In this grotesquely extended metaphor that is making everyone uncomfortable including me, I am going to open up the skylight during a thunderstorm and shoot lightning into their cold, dead bodies until they rise from the slab as I laugh like a maniac,

Okay, back to practicality.

The key is to create structures that support positive action. Habits are structures. So are support groups, calendar reminders, accountability buddies, temptation bundles, motivational kitty posters and bets. The secret is to create structures that work even when you travel or have a day or two with a weird schedule.

I have a mild illness right now and I’m not going to work today. That means no train and no outlook calendar reminder. Depending on how I feel I may forgo the workout but I’m going to meditate and write and I’m going to figure out a way to support those habits even when I’m at home.

PLEASE let me know if you have systems or structures that work on normal days and unusual days.

Now it’s time to roll back the skylight and let in the lightning.

Boom

Gratitude List:

  • I’m grateful to have people like you who read my blog.
  • I’m grateful for the support and help I get from Shelley.
  • I’m grateful for my air conditioner.

IT’S ALIVE!!! IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!

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Poem

An NFL team in LA
Moved to Saint Louis one day
Then they came back
But alas and alack
They still didn’t know how to play

 

7 Hard Questions to Ask Yourself

7 Hard Questions to Ask Yourself

These are some questions to answer when you want to start a project or make a change or figure out what’s wrong with your life or your career.

Number 6 Will Blow Your Mind!

Just kidding. They all will blow your mind if you’re able to dig in and answer them. I think there are always things that will be revealed when you look into these questions. New paths will open up and you’ll find new sources of power and freedom.1600x400sandcastle

What are you not willing to do? (Or what are you not willing to give up?)

Most good things cost something. To be in good shape you have to spend time to work out and not eat everything you see. To have a clean house you have to spend time cleaning it (or spend money hiring someone to clean it for you).

A lot of people I talk to have goals that they think they want to reach but there are crucial activities or  that are necessary to reaching that goal that they aren’t willing to give up and, in many cases, they’re not aware of that unwillingness. A good friend of mine would like to married and have a family. The problem is that he likes living alone and he doesn’t want to give up his independence. Every once in a while he realizes this and for a month or so he stops wishing for the thing he doesn’t want to pay the price for.

There is freedom and power in recognizing what you don’t want to do. Once you do that you can decide change you mind and pay the price OR give up the idea that you want to reach that goal.

What are you not being honest about?

If you are human you are probably deceiving yourself and other people about something. If you don’t think you are then I am willing to bet that you are deceiving yourself about how you’re not deceiving yourself. Maybe you’re overweight because you’re eating more than you admit to yourself. Maybe you’re straight up lying to your wife, personal trainer or your boss about everything.

If you want to get something done and you don’t know why it’s not happening look again. You probably know what the problem is but you don’t want to admit it because it involves dishonesty.

Dishonesty is like rotten wood. It’s nasty and it ruins the structure and it’s might be hidden. It needs to be found and removed.

What are you blaming on someone else?

“If only they wouldn’t stop me from doing X.”

“I’d be ____ if it wasn’t for ____.”

If you can figure out what you’re blaming other people for you will, in most cases, see how much power you actually have.

Who should you talk to?

In many cases the most effective next step is to talk to someone. It’s that person you don’t want to call who has the expertise or access that you need. Maybe you don’t want to call them because you’re intimidated of them or ashamed of asking for help. Perhaps there’s some personal mess you have to clean up that you don’t want to deal with. Maybe you need an answer from them before you move on but you don’t want to get a “no” so you just don’t ask.

You know who I’m talking about. The second I asked the question, their name popped into your mind.

Call them right now.

You’re welcome.

What do you have to do that you don’t want to do?

This is either in your mind all the time or you have rejected the idea of doing it so strongly you’ve lost track of what it is. If you want to run that 5K in 6 weeks you have to start training now. If you want a new job you have to update your resume. If you want to raise money you have to ask people for money.

What story are you telling?

A client of mine wanted a new job. He told me that he was frustrated because everyone else gets job offers out of the blue. There must be something wrong with him or the world because he didn’t get these kind of job offers.

We talked about this belief he had and it turned out that I was one of the people who he thought got job offers out of the blue. I assured him that I didn’t and suggested that his story, based on misunderstandings, was causing as much (or more) suffering than his job.

What sad stories are you telling yourself that you could give up? If you have a belief that you are the victim of circumstance you might want to take a look at that. Those kind of tragic stories are usually a justification for not taking responsibility for our own happiness.

Again, if you don’t think you have any stories like this, look again. Most human beings do.

Extra Credit

If you knew you had 12 months to live what would you do?

Please keep in mind that your time on this planet is probably limited. It is for most people. (I personally plan to live forever but it’s not for everyone.) If you don’t have a quick answer for this question, that’s fine. If you do the next question is “why don’t you do it now even if you’re not going to die?”

To answer that question you might want to look up at the previous 6 questions.

 

A Day of Reckoning
or
How’m I Doin’?

A Day of Reckoning
or
How’m I Doin’?

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2 weeks ago I set the following goals to be reached 9/6 (two days ago).
  1. Define metrics for The Three Simple Steps (Done – Installed Google Analytics)
  2. Experiment with audio and video versions of the blog (Not done)
  3. Finish up the tech stuff on this blog (This is a badly written goal. I can’t tell if I reached it or not)
  4. Create a nice landing page for www.thethreesimplesteps.com (Done!)
  5. Create a Facebook group for Three Simple Steps (Done)

The next goals were for 6 weeks from now (my birthday).

  1. Post a blog post (at least) 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  2. Build an audience of 1000 people for The Three Simple Steps (metrics to be defined later)
  3. Take on 15 clients.
  4. Publish my second Bobby Blinx novel: The Space Academy.
I wanted to take a breath and assess where I am. I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit over the past two and a half weeks but I feel all over the place. I strongly suspect that I am trying to do too much at once and I need to focus. I also think I need to Step Back and plan more granularly.
Here’s the crux of my problem. I have a few goals that will take a big effort on my part and one goal I don’t know how to reach and it’s making me nervous.

Big Effort 1: Malibu Triathlon 9/18
I’m not as ready for this Triathlon as I’d like to be. For several months I focused my workouts on weights and just did a little cardio. I haven’t been swimming much and I haven’t been biking much. I have under 2 weeks of training to go.

Bottom Line:

  • I can swim (slowly) a half mile. I did it in the pool last week and I’m going to do it again today.

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  • I can bike 18 miles. My bike is awesome and the bike path is all along the coast. There are some long inclines but no crazy cut-back mountains.

classic-bike-course-2016-je-1

  • I can jog 4 miles (and if I can’t I can walk). Last year this was the worst part. I find that 5k is one mile longer than I want it to be. This thing is an extra mile on top of that and the finish line looked a lot closer than it was. Lot’s of folks who were ahead of me and on the way back encouragingly lied as I huffed past: “Almost there!”

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  • It won’t kill me…probably.

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Big Effort 2: Bobby Blinx 2: The Space Academy 10/12
I announced that I would have the second book our on my birthday. That means that it has to be ready for publishing a week before that. There’s a lot to do before then.
Bottom Line: This is what I need to do.
  • Rewrite one chapter
  • Hand it to the proofreader
  • Get a cover designed
  • Recruit a launch team
  • Build anticipation
  • Put it all together in a clean copy

I can do that in a month. right?

Big Effort 3: Take on 15 Clients 10/19
I have to get moving on this. I currently have 4 clients and I LOVE working with them. I am talking to a new one tomorrow. Everyone I have talked to has been very interested.
Bottom Line: This is what I need to do.
  • I need to get the word out
  • I need to get business cards
  • I need to map out my curriculum
WFT Goal: Build an audience of 1000 people 10/19
I have no idea how to expand my audience. Currently I have had 92 unique visitors and I want to increase that to 1000 by October 19. I am not at all clear how to make that happen. I was envisioning a community of readers who would follow my story and comment on my ideas and offer input. I know I have readers and I’m really enjoying creating this blog but the audience (that’s you by the way dear reader) has been quiet and I’m not clear that my story or my point is coming across. Based on the numbers, most people come and read one or two posts. That’s totally great but it’s not what I imagined would happen. Or rather I imagined that many would visit and some would stay.
Bottom Line: This is what I need to do.
  • Figure out what to do
  • Do it
That’s simple.
It’s funny, I was in a panic about this until i started writing.