Get Out There And Play

Ditch The Map

I remember when I first went away to college.

It was only a couple hours away, and I lived in the dorms.

One of the things I did a lot in my senior year of high school was cycling.

Me and my buddy would go on these long rides a few days a week.

So when I got all unpacked, I was eager to explore my new world.

Way back in those days, we didn’t have GPS or anything.

So I had to look at an actual map, and then try and remember the names of streets.

Needless to say, I ended up getting pretty lost.

And I ended up going through some sketchy parts of town.

You can’t really tell that from a map.

When I finally found my way back (a few hours later), I decided on a different strategy.

I’d ditch the map, and just feel my way around.

I would start in small loops, and just keep slowly expanding the area that I would get familiar with.

About a month later, I had all kinds of cool rides.

That I discovered on my own, without needing any maps.

Loops that went up and down huge hills.

Long flat rides that went to the beach and back.

This is a good metaphor for how we behave, in the moment.

Looking at the map is like trying to consciously think everything out.

While just winging it and going by your gut is like acting without thinking too much.

Without getting in your own way.

One way seems easy at first, but it can end up being very limiting in the long run.

One way seems scary and difficult at first, but in the long run it is much, much better.

It’s very hard for us humans to do things that are unfamiliar.

Part of the reason we perceive a ton of risk when there’s none there.

Especially social risk.

Everybody is looking out into a crowd of strangers and thinking the same thing:

“I’d like to meet some nice people, but only if they go first.”

Luckily, there’s a way to recalibrate this thinking.

So you can feel just as comfortable around strangers as you do around lifelong friends.

Learn How:

Ego Taming

Yeah Baby!

Why Junk Food Tastes Good

If you were a highly skilled chemist, where would you work?

Assuming you weren’t going to break bad like Walter White.

I had a friend once in that situation, being a skilled chemist and looking for work, and he took a job at a major cosmetics company.

Another place where chemists work is in food companies.

The kind that are responsible for food that is nearly addictive.

That is specifically designed to trick our taste buds.

If you’ve ever tried to eat healthy, you know how hard it is.

It takes a LONG TIME to “acquire” a taste for healthy food.

Or “re-acquire” since that’s the stuff we are SUPPOSED to eat.

Even fruit is a Frankenstein creation.

If you took a time machine back a couple thousand years, you’d find “natural” fruit that was nowhere near as big and sugary as modern fruit.

In some respects, it’s GOOD that we can trick our instincts.

That’s precisely why we enjoy movies so much.

We get to feel “non-normal” emotions (fear of death, love, loss, etc.) without having to actually deal with the consequences those emotions would normally produce.

In other areas, our instincts, especially our social instincts, are purposely being jacked all over the place.

Look in any crowded area, and check how many people are STARING at their devices.

Chances are they aren’t reading an in depth article about the economic and social implications of modern life.

Chances are they ARE getting their “fast food hit” from social media.

That “likes” and attention that feel good for about a second, but really only want them crave more.

Very much like those advanced chemists to carefully synthesize supermarket food to make us want more with each and every bite.

Luckily, training (or rather re-training) your social instincts is much easier than re-training your hunger.

Because social health food FEELS much better than social junk food.

And once you re-calibrate your social instincts, you’ll feel much better as well.

Learn How:

Ego Taming

Beware Of False Prophets

The Danger Of Fake Validation

One time I went to this goofy seminar.

One of the exercises we did is a pretty popular one among goofy seminars.

They shut the lights out completely, and you aren’t allowed to talk.

You’re supposed to only use your sense of touch to “get to know” the other people.

Lots of people use it for different things.

As I learned it, it’s kind of a metaphor for how we live.

Not unlike Plato’s cave idea.

Where we don’t really see “reality.”

We only see a poor shadow.

A reflection.

The idea being that we are really just feeling around in the dark.

There are a lot of metaphors to describe the complexities of life.

But they all agree that life is pretty complicated.

At least modern life is.

Recently a few scientists have actually admitted that social media is bad for you.

It’s very much like junk food for your ego.

Fake approval, fake likes, fake friends, fake validation.

Just for a second, imagine the REAL version of all the fake attention you might get on social media.

Real people would walk up to you, look you in the eye, shake your hand, and say, “I like you.”

And they meant it.

Or imagine if a group of people came to your house.

Imagine they said:

“We really respect your ideas and the work you are doing. We’d like to be kept in the loop, if possible. We would very much like to follow you.”

Imagine how REAL social approval would feel, compared to how fake social approval feels.

Imagine getting ten thousand, or even a million “likes” for RE-POSTING some clever meme you found online.

Now imagine getting a standing ovation from a speech you just finished.

Imagine the looks on people’s faces when they really “get” your message.

The looks of REAL recognition and approval.

These are the REAL THINGS we crave.

For the longest time, they kept our society humming.

We ONLY got positive social recognition for things that actually HELPED OTHERS.

This is the danger of fake social recognition.

It’s junk food for your soul.

How long would you last if you only ate bowls of sugar?

This is the modern equivalent of feeding on a diet of social media.

Luckily, you can RE-CALIBRATE your social instincts.

So you only seek REAL validation for REAL benefit that you provide to others.

Learn How:

Ego Taming

Sugar Can Be Too Sweet

Are You Eating Social Sugar?

Imagine if you were in Mother Nature’s shoes way back when She made us.

Since we were going to be the “smartest” of the primates, She had to think long and hard.

She probably contemplated giving us TOTAL free will, and giving a list of “best practices.”

When she finished laughing, she decided it might be better to give us a combination of free will and these internal programs that would FORCE us to do the things we needed to survive.

Things that we would do without needing to think.

Like run away from tigers, eat stuff when we were hungry, and sleep when we were tired.

We’ve all had to battle these instincts.

Many of us are afraid of things we wish we weren’t afraid of.

Many of us eat things we wish we didn’t want to.

But consider how it would be otherwise.

How difficult it would be if we had to remember to be scared, or remember to eat, or drink, or sleep.

Just without getting tired, many of us would NEVER sleep.

But then we’d be dead in a few days or weeks.

Luckily, we DO have all of these instincts that keep us alive and safe and within our strict range of operating conditions.

However, many of these instincts aren’t working so well.

At least not as well as they used to.

Imagine if you could re-calibrate your hunger.

So carrots, broccoli and boiled chicken breasts tasted absolutely delicious.

And junk food or anything with sugar tasted like crap.

Losing weight would be easy.

Unfortunately, that’s not possible.

What IS possible is to recalibrate our social instincts.

Because what FEELS GOOD to our social instincts is actually WAY healthier than the social “signals” we seek today.

Most of these are very fake, and very shallow.

Kind of like sugar.

Feels good for a little bit, but then you feel like crap later on.

When you feed your social instincts HEALTHY food, it will feel much better.

So much it will naturally shun all that fake shallow stuff that runs people’s lives.

In that regard, it’s much EASIER to re-calibrate than hunger.

Once you do, you’ll notice a HUGE difference.

Learn More:

Ego Taming

She Wants To Push Pull You

Chased By Marines

Thomas Jefferson is a guy whose name can cause some reaction.

Some people love him, some people hate him.

Whatever you feel about him, try and put that aside.

One of my favorite quotes of his has absolutely nothing to do with politics or economics or anything normally associated with him.

The quote?

“The sun hasn’t caught me in bed for fifty years.”

Despite how you may feel about the dude, you gotta respect somebody who gets up BEFORE the crack of dawn as a matter of course.

This isn’t easy by any stretch.

One of the most difficult things to do for us modern humans is respond to our own incentives.

For example, suppose you joined the marines, and were shipped off to boot camp.

If you KNEW that waking up even one minute late would mean you and your friends running all day, waking up would be easy.

Anybody could wake up in those situations.

Or if you went away to some weight loss camp, where there was literally NO FOOD to snack on, anybody could lose weight in those situations.

These are situations that have EXTERNAL incentives.

Responding to those are AUTOMATIC.

One time I ran a 10K.

I was pretty out of shape. My goal was to run it in less than an hour, which is pretty slow.

But I was very lucky.

Because about a hundred meters behind me, for the entire race, was a group of marines.

And they were doing their marine “chant” the ENTIRE race.

It was very easy to imagine they were CHASING me, and I had to stay ahead of them.

This EXTERNAL incentive helped me achieve my goal.

The thing is though, that ANYBODY can pretty much do ANYTHING if the external incentives are strong enough.

What’s really powerful is if you can set and respond to your own internal incentives.

Getting up at the crack of dawn when nobody but you is going to know.

Sticking to your diet when nobody but you is going to know.

Hitting your financial goals when nobody but you is going to know.

Because if you CAN create and OBEY your own internal incentives, you can do ANYTHING.



Luckily, you DO have an internal guidance system.

One that you may have forgotten about.

Or worse, one that you may even think is your enemy.

In its current state, it can certainly seem like an enemy.

But if you can understand why, you can recalibrate it.

And turn it into your most loyal friend.

A friend whose support will help you create and obey any internal incentive you want.

To get anything you want.

Learn How:

Ego Taming


What Business Are You In?

One of the biggest ideas in self development is the idea of a “secret.”

The concept that if we learn “one weird trick” we’ll be able to finally realize our dreams.

Guys that want to do better with girls want to know the one “secret pattern.”

People that want to lose weight want to learn the “one strange diet trick.”

One common story is what happens to lottery winners after they strike it rich.

Especially if they are the blue collar, paycheck-to-paycheck type.

Humans NEED to be motivated by two things.

Moving away from pain, and moving toward pleasure.

Everybody’s got their own unique mix, but without BOTH of these, it’s hard to feel “on purpose.”

And when lottery winners have all of their financial PAIN taken away, it feels great.

At first.

But once that new level of “happiness” feels “normal” they start to get into trouble.

A person without any real motivation AND a lot of money is a BAD combination.

This is why invariably, people who suddenly get a lot of money are almost always ruined.

Humans need incentives, both inside and outside.

Most people that get up at the crack of dawn don’t do so because they like it.

They do so because they feel they MUST.

Either because they’ve conditioned themselves that way, or they have an EXTERNAL set of incentives.

Their job or family requirements demand it, for example.

Most people that made their fortune didn’t have their sights set on money.

Or even the “thing” they were building.

They liked the deeper process.

Of being driven.

To get more, do more, be more, create more, build more.

Walter White, the fictional meth cook, famously said he wasn’t in the meth business, he was in the EMPIRE business.

A sudden bucket of money will DESTROY your drive to build your own empire.

How do you write a classic novel?

So far, nobody knows.

The process seems to be wait a hundred years, and see what books are still being read and enjoyed by various generations.

Consider the “secret” to your life the same.

You won’t really know until you’ve built it.

Then you can look back over your long and successful life and think:

“Oh yeah, now I get it…”

Life, empires, fortunes are not secrets to be “discovered” or “taught” or “revealed” on a mountain top.

They are the sum total of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

Once you’re on the right path, you’ll know.

You’ll feel driven, you’ll feel the need to keep moving forward no matter what.

And money will be a useful byproduct.

Learn More:

Wealth Tuning

Volcano Of Money Ideas

Can You Change Brain Polarity?

I used to love watching the X-files.

One of the reasons was it always explained things in two ways.

One was through paranormal reasons.

Another was from the perspective of medical science.

Even though some of it was “TV science,” it was a good strategy.

The show was on for several years, and they kept the same angle going.

That one character (the doctor) could still be believably skeptical about all the aliens and other paranormal stuff.

While the other guy was convinced there were aliens everywhere.

Being able to see things from both sides is very useful.

I read an interesting article the other day about a hedge fund manager.

He made a ton of money before the crash of 2008.

But remarkably, he made money both ways.

Meaning he made money while housing prices went up, but then he realized the dangers, flipped his strategy, and made money as they crashed.

The article was focused on his “intellectual flexibility.”

Something that is very rare.

To see something from one perspective, but then switch to the opposite perspective.

This is very hard for us humans to do.

Once we get our mind set on something, we usually never change.

They say to the skeptic, no proof is enough.

But to the believer, no proof is necessary.

One of the toughest things to change our minds on is how we think about money.

One of the most strangely “comforting” ideas about money is that it is bad or evil.

Why is this comforting?

This is a very clever mind trick that we play on ourselves in far too many areas of life.

It’s our own humanized version of “turning a bug into a feature.”

It works like this.

We see something we want.

But getting it would be difficult, or scary.

So we “reframe” that which we want from “good” to “bad.”

Then instead of feeling “bad” about ourselves for not getting a “good” thing, we get to feel “good” about ourselves about not wanting to go after a “bad” thing.

Make no mistake, making money takes effort.

And most people don’t like to think about that.

So they readily accept the idea that money is “evil” so they don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to get it.

But that “effort” can be enjoyable effort, or unenjoyable effort.

For example, lifting up bricks for five dollars an hour would suck.

But lifting up bricks of gold you got to keep would most definitely NOT suck.

Same physical effort, but different perspective.

No matter what you do in life, you have to put in effort.

You have to move your body around, say things to people, listen to what they say in response.

If you “believe” money is bad or evil, those things will seem frustrating and scary.

But if you “believe” money is good and holy, those SAME behaviors will be fun and interesting.

Learn More:

Wealth Tuning


How To Train Your Inner Self

Money and body fat are the same thing.

When bears gear up to hibernate, they store as much energy as they can.

Way back in the days when governments and bankers messed up our financial system, people kind of did the same thing.

The saying of “Go out and make your fortune” was create during that time.

Back then it was actually possible for a normal human to leave home at the age of 18 or so, work their ass for ten or twenty years, and have enough saved to live the rest of their lives in relative comfort.

Structurally speaking, a human saving up money is the same as a bear building up body fat.

Today, both are misunderstood.

Human body fat is a very necessary part of our biology.

Without the ability to turn consumed energy into stored energy, we never would have survived.

And without our ability to turn work into stored money-energy, our societies never would have gotten very large.

Today if we look in the mirror and see some body fat, we get angry at ourselves.

Sure, if you have a couple hundred extra pounds, you might want to live a little healthier.

But the process of turning consumed calories into fat is a life-enhancing process on a personal level.

This might sound a bit silly, but consider the message you are giving to your inner self when you get angry at your hips or your belly.

Even sillier, consider pinching a couple of inches of fat and thanking your body for always looking out for your interests.

Money is the same way.

We get angry at ourselves for NOT having enough money.

Or we get angry at the world, or at others.

Consider that your inner self is like a dumb caveman, only capable of following his or her instincts.

Getting angry at your fat or your lack of money could be similar to getting angry at a dog who hasn’t been trained.

How can you train your inner caveman?

If you know anything about training animals, positive reinforcement works MUCH BETTER than negative reinforcement.

If you thank and genuinely appreciate your body’s ability to turn consumed energy into fat (so you don’t die later on) it might be easier to go the other direction.

To convert some of that body fat back into energy (if you want).

Similarly, consider giving your inner caveman or woman some positive reinforcement when it comes to money.

Physically take out some money, hold it in your hand, and appreciate it.

What does the word “appreciate” mean?

To make larger.

When YOU appreciate money, you’ll be directing your inner self to “appreciate” money as well.

Learn How:

Wealth Tuning

Build Whatever You Want

The Human Ant Hill

Imagine the life of a highly gifted athlete.

Usually at a very young age, he or she knows they are different.

In PE class, they excel when the other kids struggle.

As soon as they get involved in team sports, their coaches realize how lucky they are.

By the time they’re in high school, they’d got big name colleges coming to their homes and promising them everything.

And if they make it to the pros, they live the life of kings.

All kinds of money, everything taken care of for them.

So long as they don’t make any stupid mistakes, they’re life is set.

These people NEVER have to worry about much.

They just show up here on Earth, do what comes naturally, and get all kinds of admiration and recognition and money.

Generally speaking, this is the same structure of people who build fortunes.

They just do what comes naturally, and it works out.

Sure, they struggle for years, sometimes decades.

But they have a collection of qualities where they KNOW they are doing what they are “supposed” to be doing.

What do they have that most people don’t?

It might not be based on what they HAVE, but what they DON’T have.

Once upon a time, there was nothing on Earth but a bunch of dirt.

And some cave people and some animals.

Now we’ve got all kinds of stuff.

AND all kinds of money.

If you were an alien studying humans, you’d conclude that we humans are pretty good at a few things.

One of them is making more humans.

Another is making more stuff.

If we study an anthill, you might conclude that we are similar.

Humans are busily running around all day.

Ants are busily running (or whatever ants do) around all day.

But ants are genetically programmed. They don’t have much of a choice.

Upon closer inspection, these aliens would see that humans have a bit more going on.

Human do stuff, and get paid.

Then they take that money, and do whatever they want.

Spend it, save it, invest it, give it to the poor.

People have been doing this since the dawn of civilization.

Do what they can, to make as much as they could.

The MORE people did this, the MORE stuff was invented.

Those metaphorical aliens might conclude that ants are genetically programmed to build anthills.

But humans are genetically programmed to make money.

All you’ve got to do is re-calibrate your brain, and get in the game.

Learn How:

Wealth Tuning

Genius Ideas Baby

The Birdhouse Strategy

Humans feel best when we are on purpose.

When we’ve got a reason to get up.

When we are in the process of building or creating or moving towards something.

Going on roadtrips is fun for this reason.

Part of the fun of going on a trip is the time it takes to get there.

If we could transport ourselves, like on Star Trek, from our living room to a faraway beach, it wouldn’t be nearly the same.

Maybe because the time it takes to get to our vacation spot (wherever it is) helps us to slowly shift from everyday mindset into vacation mindset.

Sitting in a car or a plane for a few hours literally feels like we are “leaving behind” our normal selves, and moving toward our vacation selves.

Which puts a HUGE barrier to insulate our vacation experience.

But you don’t have to go on vacation to feel on purpose.

Just doing a project which takes a lot of work gives you the same feeling.

Slow growth toward a better future.

Even building a birdhouse (if you’re into birdhouses) is a pleasant experience.

Taking something in your mind, doing the daily tasks to slowly turn your idea into a physical thing.

And once you put it in your backyard, (and see the birds using it) you can remember the process of turning thought into thing.

For a birdhouse or a road trip, it’s easy to measure your progress.

If you’re doing something and you don’t have a way to measure your progress, it’s easy to pretend you’re improving but you’re really not.

One of the “meta” ways to measure your progress is how much money you make.

On one level, this sounds very selfish and almost evil.

But on another level, it makes perfect sense.

So long as you aren’t a bank robber, the money you GET represents the value you’ve PROVIDED to others.

To be sure, there are a LOT of ways you can provide value to others without expecting to get paid.

But if you look at the money you make as directly related to how much you provide to others, it’s a fantastic way to keep score.

It’s very easy to focus on.

Do whatever it takes to EARN more money, and use that as your gauge.

For many people, however, this is VERY frustrating.

It shouldn’t be.

It should feel just like going on vacation or building a birdhouse.

Some people are lucky, and they are born with this mindset.

For them, making money is natural, fun and easy.

And it can be for you as well.

Learn How:
Wealth Tuning