Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So I've been holed up in "work mode" lately -- not taking phone calls or getting onto the internet very much.
I've always thrived off of stating my goals publicly, to force myself to be consistent, and my goal right now is to have Blueprint book and the new RSD Nation out by January 2009.
I'm in the zone right now. I've just experienced the most productive year of my life. There have been a lot of rewards for it, both personaly and professionally, and I'm aiming to take it to the next level in the coming months.
What I want to offer here are a few secrets I've been lucky to figure out, and that I've found to be incredibly helpful. A lot of this has been becoming a sort of revolution in how work is done in recent years.
(And by the way -- being back on Blueprint I'm writing about "picking up girls" on an ongoing basis, so I'm thinking the articles over the next few weeks might venture into a lot of non POOOAH related areas like this one -- if you don't dig it, wait for Blueprint because you'll be swimming in all sorts of great stuff on how to become better with girls.)
Alright let's do it.
1- REMOVE THE INTERNET FROM YOUR HOUSE
Getting off of the internet is tough...
I mean, it's so damned COOL. There's so much info at your finger tips it's like you can gluttonize yourself with it.
What's not to love??
Well in Honolulu I removed internet from my house and found that my productivity basically doubled. The internet is a massive diversion. It allows you to continually "click over" to some other site when you don't feel like working.
More than that, I realized that in the past I had an addiction to checking email. Running operations there are always these little "fires" you have to put out on an ongoing basis.
These are distracting and annoying, but even worse, they give you a little shot of adrenaline and stress. Over time the little adrenaline injection becomes addictive, even if it's unpleasant.
Your nervous system is adapted to become addicted to whatever state is most necessary -- whatever you're most exposed to -- and over time you start putting yourself into situations where you can get your "fix" even if it isn't what you really want. That's what the internet became for me.
In Hawaii I fixed it, by making it so I had to bike to the internet cafe about 15 minutes away whenever I wanted to use it. The charge was about $10/hr and it forced me to write my articles from home and just bring them to post them.
In Los Angeles I have a situation where there's a few computers in the lobby, so I can just walk downstairs every few days and do what I need to do. Totally solid.
I still check my favourite sites and blogs, but it's on a PROACTIVELY DECIDED ON period of time, instead of just surfing and surfing.
Really I can't recommend this highly enough.
2- REMOVE TELEVISION FROM YOUR HOUSE
This doesn't even need much explanation.
TV in the house is giving mainstream media a direct link to infect your brain. They change the frame every 7 seconds to keep you constantly stimulated, which causes you to become addicted to instant gratification. No good.
I still have a few shows I enjoy, like "Lost" (because I come from Hawaii so I love all the shots) and "Entourage", and ummmmmmm, actually I think that's all I really watch at this point.
All of these I watch on my laptop player, with no advertising, which I order from Netflix.
Mostly I like to watch nature videos like "Planet Earth" (on Blu Ray -- waaaaay better) and "Blue Planet" so I can plan out the places I'm interested in visiting and it puts me in a good mood.
3- POUND YOURSELF FULL OF BERRIES AND FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND CLEAN MEATS
White flour, white sugar, saturated fats........NO GO.
I find this stuff fries my brain and burns me out. You eat this stuff and you can't seem to get anything done.
I love food and I love eating, but I pound myself full of all sorts of great stuff that makes me feel "powered up".
Running bootcamps on the weekend I sometimes forget to bring food out with me and I wind up eating hamburgers and all sorts of crap. I've had to discipline myself to bring out the pocket-sized organic bars and proper food in a tupper ware.
Obviously it's funny in contrast to the lifestyle of alcohol, drugs, and eating after-hours pizza that most of these people eat. They're in a different phase of their lives than I am, so it just is what it is.
You have to watch yourself when you're going out a lot, because when you're immersing yourself around party girls on an ongoing basis, you start to become a lot LIKE them.
For the most part, going out a lot is a super positive habit, especially when you're learning all sorts of new stuff about social interaction.
It's just a point of being super clear on your personal standards for yourself, which is valuable in making yourself an attractive person regardless.
4- BLACK OUT YOUR BED ROOM AND SLEEP IN THE PITCH DARK
Most people don't realize how under slept they are. Even if you go to bed early there's still usually light leaking into your room that deprives you of sleep.
Generally you want the room you sleep in to be so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. Even if you go to bed early there is still light that comes in around 5AM that reduces the ability of sleep to renew you.
Personally I have my window blacked out 100%, and I put a curtain in front of the door so no light can leak in through the door either. It is very literally pitch black. Phone off. Ear plugs. Yup, those too, as utterly neurotic as it sounds.
Generally I want my mind with full clarity during the day because when I'm underslept I get paranoid and stressed out. I also find my mind tends to veer into a lot of old patterns that I spent years working to change -- negativity, nonsense, bullshit, etc.
The only thing I've proven to do well when under slept is public speaking and running bootcamps. For some reason the little trickle of adrenaline I get from teaching sort of balances out against the lack of sleep.
Regardless I always strive to get as much sleep as possible. The "sweet spot" is 8 hours. But I'd even rather sleep 10 hours and be in the zone all day than sleep 5 hours and have the extra time.
5- TURN YOUR DAMNED CELL PHONE OFF
Any time you answer a text message, answer a phone call, or do anything that takes you out of your zone, it's going to be a least a few minutes before you get back into that zone.
I find I get the most done in 90 minute to 120 minute chunks.
Generally the most productive parts of my year come from when I'm fully engaged in what I'm doing. None of this multitasking nonsense.
I also don't share this often, and I don't judge people for it AT ALL, but I have the personal opinion that having your cell phone left on when you're out with friends is obnoxious.
It's cool in certain situations when you're waiting for a girl to show up, or some buddies to arrive, but once you've got the whole party going it's time to hit the off-switch.
6- RECOGNIZE DRAMA AND AVOID IT
In case you didn't know this about me -- uhhhhh, I've been around a bit of drama in my life.
And so it's been huge, almost epic, to get into a zone where I've consciously moved past it.
Sometimes people ask me about this, like "Does that mean you're AFRAID of drama?? AFRAID of negativity?? Why even react to it enough to avoid it??"
I agree with that, but where I'm coming from is I've been around drama, and heck, been the guy PROPAGATING drama for the first twenty odd years of my life. I figure I've sort of "been there, done that..."
I've learned that the only power drama has over you is it's power to DISTRACT. If you lose even five minutes of your day on some thought loop about people who are annoying you, you've screwed up.
If there are people in your life who are making your head "spun out" with drama, end your relationship with them and let them know the reason why.
(Assuming you're being reasonable and clear thinking -- not just blaming other people for how you feel, when you're being dramatic yourself).
In the past I've had people do that to ME, and it actually helped me to recognize the problems with where my head was at. There is no "favour" in tolerating second class behaviour from people because it communicates to them that what they're doing is cool.
Again -- before you cut out drama from your life, recognize and fix YOUR OWN drama.
BE the person who you expect others to be. You don't attract the friends who you WANT, you attract the friends that are similar to what you currently ARE.
If you change yourself, the types of friends you'll have will improve along with you.
7- WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING FUN MAKE SURE IT'S SOMETHING YOU REALLY ENJOY
To be honest I haven't really figured out what my new hobbies are going to be now that I've moved back to Los Angeles. I'm still re-acquainting myself with the city.
My main hobby for the time being is teaching bootcamps. I consider that my "off time" for the week, even though I'm working hard.
In Hawaii I used to do a lot of hiking and surfing. I also used to bike around all over the neighbourhood.
A day of that leaves me feeling good and ready to work. This is in direct contrast to how the majority of people spend time watching TV or surfing the internet, which just numbs their brains.
"Time off" should FIRE YOU UP, not be used as an ESCAPE.
Do NOT answer your phone when you're out having fun. And even more important, do NOT allow to be dragged into drama or gossip or internal negativity during your time off, because then it becomes absolutely useless.
A big thing when you're working hard is to just take time off to laugh with your friends.
That's something that I've ignored a lot over the years, and I'm now realizing how important it is.
Just being social has a sort of aspect to it where you go home feeling like life is good.
8- MEDITATE FOR 20 MINUTES A DAY
People ask me about this, and my outlook towards it is very practical.
The purpose of meditation is to calm down the internal dialogue that's slowing you down from getting things done.
Meditation basically RECONDITIONS your brain to focus itself sharply, instead of needing to be distracted and fuzzy. This is really such a difference from where most people's heads are at, although hopefully in our lifetimes we'll see that begin to change.
Think of your internal dialogue as a wheel that spins and spins and spins. Meditation slows it down and gets you into that state of clarity that is super productive.
It's a shame that meditation has been associated with the sometimes over-the-top eastern "gurus" and "reincarnation". I have a great deal of respect for all different cultures and belief systems, but I also think such a strong association to the average person who doesn't identify with it can turn them off.
Personally I was turned off of it for YEARS because I had associations to white people dressed up in Indian garments saying "Namaste" and making funny prayer movements.
Sometimes I'll see people get into meditation and get so much peace of mind out of it they wind up using it as an escape.
They get sucked into a mindset that the only goal in life is to be "in the now" -- when for a young person (anyone younger than 50) that's far more about escapism than it is about having profound experience of life.
In my mind meditation is especially applicable for peak performers.
That could be entrepreneurs, CEO's, writers, speakers and stage performers, or ANY occupation AT ALL.
It's a simple habit where you just sit in a chair and look at the wall, allow your awareness onto your breathing, and around the 10 or 15 minute mark you'll find that you become incredibly calm.
There's really nothing to this. You don't have to sit cross-legged or close your eyes. No "Ohmmmm" noises. None of that stuff.
Personally I just sit in my office chair, set my phone alarm to ring "Alarm only" in 20 minutes, and stare at the wall or out the window for twenty minutes.
This is obviously pretty funny to think about, but at the same time, most people who've kept up this habit and then fall off will say stuff like "Man I really need to start doing that again" and "Wow I was really at my best when that was my zone".
You can even get all self righteous and view it as "ME TIME" -- where you're just enjoying yourself, doing what YOU want to do, chilling out and enjoying the fact that you exist.
9- POUND YOU BRAIN FULL OF OXYGEN BY EXERCISING
In Honolulu I used to wake up and blast around the volcano beside my house every morning, along the ocean, and back home. In Los Angeles I'm stuck with a cardio machine but I just read while I'm doing it.
This pummels your brain with oxygen and makes you a smarter dude for at least a few hours.
Generally you want to be pounding yourself with exercise, so your circulatory systems are pumping you brain with oxygen and endorphins throughout the day.
People who live sedentary lifestyle tend to be more "DUUUUUR" than people who exercise. It only gets worse with age as well, which is why most people are less intelligent as they get older when in reality they should be a lot smarter (because they have more knowledge and life experience).
Humans are evolved to walk about 11 or 12 miles a day. If you look at how your ancestors migrated from Africa to Australia, Africa to Asia, Africa to Europe, Africa to Russia and then through to Alaska and all the way down to South America -- this was all in an incredibly short period of time.
These people were incredibly intelligent and adaptable to make it that far, despite not being formally educated.
If you want the similar advantage, which as absolutely melodramatic as it sounds is your BIRTH RIGHT (cue the music -- duh duh duhhhhhhhhh), you have to make it your hobby and passion to make use of your body in similar ways.
10- READ BOOKS THAT HAVE THE VIBE THAT YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF
Generally I try to read every day, and around 400 to 700 pages a week.
Sound extreme?? Well I'd wager that YOU read about the same amount.
The difference is whether it's random Wikipedia articles, Digg, CNN, etc, or is it really high quality stuff??
Warren Buffet's partner Charlie Munger has a great quote:
"In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time-none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren reads-and at how much I read. My children laugh at me, they think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out"
Personally I lost the habit of reading for about 3 years when my energy was driven towards mastering POOOAH. My focus was on going out and learning from the world.
Since then my fascination has only increased, but that's something I've furthered by travelling 3 or 4 months a year.
To get back reading took a bit of an adjustment. At first I felt like I wanted to "take a nap" when I'd sit down to read, or I'd get up and pace around every few minutes.
I basically just pushed through it, and forced myself to read for at least an hour a day. Even if I wanted to get up or take a nap I'd just keep doing it. After about six months it was no problem, and at this point I'm good to sit inside reading all day if it's necessary.
However I don't think that "absorbing information" is the purpose of reading at all.
I think that a really great book has a sort of frequency or vibe to it that's based in positivity, abundance, presence, intelligence, and wit, that sort of "re-aligns" you every day to that sort of mindset.
Purpose of reading = re-alignment with that vibe.
Not necessarily more knowledge to tell yourself "I'm soooo smart."
That's also why I enjoy reading autobiographies even if the information in them isn't always directly applicable.
ALRIGHT SO THAT'S IT!!
You'll notice the key and theme here is CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSING YOUR INPUT.
If you allow trash into your system, whether it's bad sleep, bad food, distraction, gossip, pettiness, or whatever, it's going to be "Garbage in, garbage out..."
Do your best to maximize the positive influences into your zone.
A bit of bullshit is totally fine, and you don't want to lose your grounding in reality by living in "Happy world" all the time -- where a bit of nonsense knocks you on your head.
The point is just to make the conscious choice to saturate yourself with the "good stuff" -- and when you do that, the results you're going to produce are going to be a reflection of that.
And this isn't something I arrived to over a short period of time.
It was an adjustment over the past few years. Each habit was implemented individually, usually over a month's time.
In the past I was younger and I didn't care that much about my life. I allowed myself to get involved in bullshit, whether it was neglecting my health, getting involved in useless drama and gossip, or allowing my mind to run all over the place.
I implemented all this stuff because I realized I'm getting older and I wanted the time to visit the places I wanted to visit, and to do the things I want to do.
Oh yeah, and before you ask, I still make the time to go out and hit the clubs three nights a week -- so this isn't an "either/or" type of scenario.
The bottom line is you're worth it, no??
You have to respect yourself enough to figure out a system to get what you want in life -- adapted to whatever phase of your life you're in at the particular time.
This is a small window into MY system, and if you want to elevate yourself then you likely want to come up with one of your own.
Hopefully that's helpful, and of course, thanks for reading, as always!!
Posted by Tyler-Real Social Dynamics at 6:30 PM