Category Archives: Action

Circular Loops of Passion

The Best Loop of All

Feedback loops can be pretty cool.

They can also suck.

If you’re in a “good” feedback loop, life seems awesome.

Whatever you do works, which boosts your confidence, which makes it easier to take risks, which work (because you’re confident and operating more efficiently), which boost your confidence, etc.

On the other hand, it can be horrible to be trapped in a negative loop.

Whatever you try doesn’t work, which KILLS your confidence, which makes you less likely to succeed next time, which makes your confidence drop even lower.

How do you move from a negative loop to a positive loop?

Take a break, clear your head, do something different.

Even professional athletes need to be taken out of the game from time to time to kill a slump.

The best feedback loops happen when every success makes MORE success MORE likely.

This tend to stay intact for a while.

But they can also take the longest to get going.

An exercise program is an example.

If you haven’t exercised in a while, getting started can be tough.

But if you stick to it, you’ll reach a “tipping point” where the IMMEDIATE benefit (rather than the expected long term benefit) is greater than the amount of willpower you need.

This is when you get to the point where you can’t NOT exercise.

It’s become part of who you are.

You can think of your brain the same way.

If you’re stuck in a “lazy” rut, where all you do with your gray matter is pass the time (TV, video games, social media, etc) then it be tough to break out of.

But when you reach a “mental” tipping point where learning things, reading non-fiction, etc., give you MORE pleasure than what you USED to do (TV, video games, etc) then you’ve found the BEST positive loop there is.

If you’re getting in shape, there’s really only so much you can do.

If you were a runner, for example, once you got down to 4-5 minute miles that would be it.

But with your brain, the are NO limits.

Which means if you become somebody who has a HOBBY or even a PASTTIME of learning, you’ll NEVER run out of interesting things to do.
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Boom

Is Your Compass Broken?

When I was in Boy Scouts, we had to do a lot of merit badges.

One of the cool ones was compass reading.

Me and a buddy did it when we were camping in the desert.

For part of the exercise, we had to follow a long set of instructions, each of which involved going a certain distance in a certain direction.

It had been set up before, and if we followed the instructions correctly, we would get to the right point eventually.

After five or six turns, and walking carefully, we eventually found the “prize” and got our badge.

Many things that seem mysterious can be explained by science.

The disappearance of Amelia Earhart may be one of these.

A seasoned flier, (first woman to fly across the pacific) one day she just vanished.

One theory is that if her directional compass was only off by a small percent, that would mean missing a crucial refueling point.

Maybe believe she ran out of gas and crashed into the ocean.

An unfortunate example of what happens if you go off course just a little bit.

Most people, though, don’t really have a course.

Imagine if you got on a plane, and all the pilot did was look out the window and hope he recognized certain mountains to find his way.

This may work if you were flying small planes of familiar territory, but if you were flying across the ocean, it would be very foolish.

Sadly, most people live their lives like this.

Not only do they NOT have direction, but they don’t really have a system in place to measure their progress.

It would be like me and my buddy trying to get our merit badge by walking in random directions for random lengths and hoping we’d get something at the end.

Even during the gold rush, people knew they had to keep going west, toward the rising sun.

What about you?

Do you know which direction your life is going?

Do you have a feedback system in place, to measure your progress, and to tell if you are off course or on course?

Even if you don’t, all you’ve got to do is get started.

As you make forward progress, you’ll learn valuable information that will let you know.

And you’ll also learn what skills you might need to keep going forward a lot faster.

The more skills you pick up along the way, the more directions you’ll find that will help you become successful.

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Trying To Copy Everybody Else?

Afraid of Mistakes?

When I was a kid I loved popcorn.

Both making it, and eating it.

Once I tried to make some, but I couldn’t find any oil.

I found some other stuff that looked like oil, but wasn’t oil.

Only I didn’t find out until I’d mixed it with the popcorn and heated it on the fire.

Instead of getting a bowl of popcorn, I got a gooey inedible mess.

Now, at the time, I was pretty disappointed. Not only did I didn’t get what I wanted, but I had a huge mess to clean up.

But at the same time, it was kind of fun to experiment. To try and see.

Something else I used to love as a kid. Most of the time, the results were neutral, or good. Sometimes they backfired. Once I almost caught my room on fire.

Consider what your life would be like if were impossible to be curious. Impossible to wonder “what if.”

You’d only be able to do stuff that was “safe.”

Only stuff that others had tried and succeeded. Always be a follower, and not a leader.

Sure, you’d never catch stuff on fire and you wouldn’t have any expected messes, but it would be pretty boring.

Some people are happy to live a boring life.

Some people would RATHER live a boring life.

Think of the most magnificent thing you’d like in life, right now.

Are you willing to make tons of goofy mistakes in order to get there?

Because that is what it will take.

Nobody went from normal to king or queen without plenty of mishaps along the way.

Two steps forward and one step back. All the way to the top.

Accepting, owning, and learning from your mistakes is the singular most important thing you can do.

If you are afraid to do this, you’ll be stuck right where you are.

If you’re willing to mess up BIG, and keep on rolling, you’ll be fine.

After all, you’re only a “failure” when you stop moving forward.

What do YOU want to learn?

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Mind Persuasion Ebooks

Are You Exhibiting Insane Behavior?

Stop Insane Behavior

Once I had this bit of tendonitis in my wrist. It was something I had many times before.

And I knew if I went to the doctor, they would tell me the same thing.

Take some Advil, put some ice on it, and it if keeps hurting, we’ll inject you with cortisone.

Basically, since I knew the drill by heart, it was my “go-to” routine whenever it would flair up.

Only once a female friend talked me into going to the doctor.

Since this was the first time she saw me with this ailment, it was new.

And foolishly, I gave in. Went and waited an hour. Paid the co-payment (which at the time was $70.)

And was told the same thing. Advil, ice, cortisone if it doesn’t work.

She seemed happy. She said, “Well, at least you know!”

But I already knew.

She seemed to think the doctor would use some secret doctor magic to fix it, and when he didn’t she fell back on the “Well, at least you know!” answer.

This is what all of us do all the time. We have some goal or intention. We fail. Then we RE-FRAME our original intention, so we don’t feel like a failure.

We do this to protect our ego. If every time we didn’t get what we wanted, and we did feel like a failure, pretty soon we’d stop trying.

However, when we do something when we KNOW what’s going to happen, (like some doctor charging you $70 to tell you to take some Advil) it’s kind of foolish.

This is what they mean when they talk about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Humans are goal driven creatures. Every single day, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of small goals.

We set them, we take action, we achieve them. Sure, some of these are pretty simple, like eating and going to the toilet.

But often times they are of the “insanity” type. We keep trying the same thing, but it still doesn’t work.

Our brains are incredibly fast and powerful, which can sometimes be our achilles heal.

Meaning we’re doing the same things over and over, but we’re pretending we’re doing different things.

Maybe talking to different people and different locations, but we’re using the same strategies and operating from the same mindset of beliefs.

If you’ve got a horrible golf swing, buying new clubs won’t help. Or if you suck at playing the piano, buying a new keyboard won’t help. But that’s we do, while pretending we’re “doing something different.”

A fantastic way to beat this common mistake is to keep a journal. Write down your big life goals, and every day, write down what you did to get closer.

Then write down what happened.

Then write down what you could do tomorrow.

This way, you’ll elevate your natural goal setting and getting mechanism up to the conscious level.

And THAT’S when things start to click.

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Mind Persuasion Ebooks

Where Will Your Journey Lead?

Build Your Castle

Occasionally, I’ll re-read a novel I’ve read a long time ago.

I can’t do this with every book, only a few.

The ones I really get into, the characters I identify with or would like to identify with.

It’s interesting to read an epic in different points in your life.

Your response to it, and how you imagine yourself within it is much different from a Junior High School perspective than as an adult.

That’s one of the reasons classics are classics. They appeal across all times, ages, and levels of life experience.

Especially super old stories like mythology or Aesop’s fables.

They touch on the common truths of human existence. What it’s like to struggle. To fail. To succeed.

Many times two people are playing eye contact games across a crowded room.

And they are each thinking the same thing.

“I like that person. I’d like to talk to them. But I’m nervous to make the first move. If they walked over here and started talking with me, that would certainly be cool.”

Most of the time, though, nobody makes a move, and both people go home wondering “what if.”

Most people spend their entire lives like that. Waiting for some external “spark” to get them going.

Even in common stories, there’s always some external “event” that FORCES the hero onto his or her journey.

Rarely does some normal person wake up, and decide that they are going to create a brand new life.

But if you WANT a brand new life, that’s what you’ve got to do.

Remember, stories are the way we WISH life was, not the way it really is.

If they made books and movies about the way our lives REALLY were, they’d be pretty boring.

Even those “reality” shows are highly scripted. Sure, the stuff people are saying and doing are “in the moment.”

But those people are carefully selected in hopes they’ll be MAXIMUM fireworks. And they film a whole week and only edit together the best hour.

Sure, it’s great to get “discovered.” To get “picked,” but it’s not always the best strategy.

Generally speaking, in the real world, people who succeed the most are the people that get out there and make things happen.

Not those who wait for things to happen.

But you don’t have to kill dragons every day. Not even close. All you need is a huge goal, WAY OUT in your future.

And every day, simply take small steps in that direction.

Because you build a massive life the same way you build a massive castle.

One brick at a time.

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Mind Persuasion Ebooks

Get In The Game

Make Way For The Thunderbolt

Make It Easy On The Thunderbolt

​What happens when you forget a crucial ingredient in a complicated dish?

It comes out like crap, that’s what!

Once I was a kid and I wanted to make some popcorn. But I couldn’t find any cooking oil. So I grabbed a bottle of this stuff that sort of looked like cooking oil.

Only it was some syrup stuff. Needless to say, it didn’t come out so well.

Some of the greatest inventions were mistakes. Even myself, as I make many mistakes, find that sometimes the mistake is better than what I wanted.

Then I incorporate it into my routine, and find I’ve got all kinds of options I didn’t know about.

They say that post-it notes were invented by accident. And during the American space program, all kinds of things were invented as byproducts. Electronic gizmos, gadgets, many of which became consumer goods.

None of which were expected.

There’s this theory in economics call “spontaneous order.” Meaning if you have a bunch of people who have a common problem, the “hive mind” will somehow solve it. Usually in a way that nobody could have predicted.

The path to success is never a straight line. And most of the stuff you’ll achieve in life won’t be because that’s what you were after, that’s just what happened.

Consider finding a romantic partner. Most people would agree that having a positive relationship with the right person is a cornerstone of a good life.

How do we humans “enter” into that relationship?

Look at the language. We “fall” in love. Can you plan to fall? Can you schedule a fall? Nope. You’re just walking down the street and BAM!

In The Godfather (both the movie and the book) they referred to this as the thunderbolt. Strolling down the street happy as can be and BAM! The thunderbolt hits and you’re in love.

All success is like this. It happens when you least expect it. But it WON’T happen if you are waiting for it to come knocking on your door.

You’ve got to be out in the world. Head up, eyes and ears open. Engaged with your environment. Including all the people around.

For many, this is pretty scary. But fortune, as they say, favors the brave.

Not dudes who binge watch Netflix all day long on their day off!

The simplest most powerful thing you can do is GET OUTSIDE and engage yourself. Go to new places. Talk to new people. Try new things.

And be open to anything, and everything.

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Are You Wasting Crucial Seconds?

Jump Right In

Force Yourself To Action

I had a friend once with a swimming pool.

Once I was over hanging out, and he was trying to coax his 8 year old nephew to jump in.

The kid could wade in and swim, he was just scared to jump in straight from the side.

Finally my friend grew a little impatient, picked up his nephew, and sort of held him/dropped him into the pool.

After crying for a bit, the kid started jumping in over and over again on his own.

Once I was at the mall, going to a movie. I was getting ready to go up the escalator. In front of me was a mom with her kid, who was terrified of the escalator. She was trying to convince him it was safe, then saw me waiting. So she picked him up and carried him. 

I noticed that right when she did that, the looked of terror on his face suddenly changed to happy relief.

Once I bought a new truck, much bigger than my old car. I was complaining to my friend that parking it was much different. He just said, “Don’t worry, it’s weird at first, but pretty soon you won’t even notice.”

There’s plenty of ways to ease into something you don’t want to ease into, but you KNOW you’ve got to ease into.

You can wait for somebody to push you, or wait for somebody to pick you up, or take your time until it gets comfortable.

The first two aren’t really good strategies, as they depend on other people. People that are always depending on others to get them going tend to wait.

Usually their whole lives.

On the other hand, self starters tend to ALWAYS get the good stuff.

But here’s the thing. Self starters aren’t the super human warriors we imagine they are.

Every single moment of their lives is them choosing to act, rather than wait around.

From the outside, they look the same as the rest of us.

Only they get all the breaks, meet all the right people, and seem to be much happier.

Are they lucky? Or do they just lean forward into uncertainty a little bit more than most?

That’s the real secret. Not being a super hero. Just having the mindset of always going forward, even in tiny, baby little steps.

Even if somebody is right there to push you in, waiting for them to do so may cost you a fortune.

Or a crucial few seconds while you watch some other goof go over and talk to the person of your dreams.

It’s up to you.

Are you going to take action? Or wait for somebody to FORCE you go take action?

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